Girls Swimming & Diving - Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations

3-3-4   The rule has been reorganized in a list form for easier reference and compliance. Divers now permitted to use tape, at any location, for support.

3-3-4 Penalty    Adhesives are not allowed to be used during competition by a swimmer or a diver.

3-6-1 & 3-6-3   Unsporting conduct will disqualify a swimmer from further competition in the meet; and, subject to state association rules, possible withholding from future meets.  Unacceptable conduct (such as profanity, failure to follow the directions of a meet official and other such actions) will disqualify a swimmer from that event.

2-7-3 Note, 4-3-1 Note    The sounding device for the start of final lap shall not be a pistol capable of discharging live ammunition or a closed barreled starter's pistol

8-1-5     Forward Start - Once called to the starting platforms, should the referee/starter give the command "Stand up," the swimmers should remain on the starting platforms.  Swimmers will not enter the water or delay a new start by stepping down.  Referees and starters should direct swimmers to step down only when unusual circumstances occur.

8-2-1e    Backstroke Finish - After breaking the surface of the water, the swimmer must remain on the surface.  Any part of the swimmer's body is on or above the surface.  The only exception to remaining on or above the surface once breaking the water surface is for turns.  Only when the entire body is submerged is there a violation of the rule.

9-2-1    Divers shall be permitted at least two practice approaches during specified warm-up times prior to each diving session.  Each approach may be with or without a water entry.  Divers are allowed to do practice dives from the published dive list for practice water entry approaches.

9-2-2    Subject to meet director's discretion and published prior to the competition, divers may be reordered by rank - lowest to highest scores - following the semifinal round.  With no previous action by the meet director, the default is keeping the divers in the same dive order as preliminaries/semifinals.

9-7-2    New Diving Award Scale  Excellent 10; Very Good 8.5 to 9.5; Good 7.0 to 8.0; Satisfactory 5.0 to 6.5; Deficient 2.5 to 4.5; Unsatisfactory .5 to 2.0; Failed 0.

2014-15 Major Editorial Changes

3-2-1 PENALTY   Entries by Individuals - A competitor participating, or attempting to participate, in more than the allowable number of events is disqualified from that event and further competition.  The competitor(s) shall not be disqualified from events in subsequent rounds for which he/she has previously and legally qualified (previous performance not nullified)

Uniforms - Official discovers competitor wearing an illegal swimsuit (wearing two suits of illegal construction). Observed after heat begins - competitor disqualified at completion of heat, performance time nullified and competitor not eligible for further competition until in legal swimsuit.

1-3-10 Note   Preliminaries and finals are considered one meet.

1-3-12 Note   An invitational/multi-team meet is not considered a championship meet, but may be conducted...

2-7-4 New Note   When a recall rope is used, it should be placed beyond the 15m mark.

6-4-1a, b    (button or watch times)

9-3-5    ....(with the number and degree of difficulty of the voluntary dive(s) circled or otherwise clearly identified.

2014-15 Points of Emphasis

Touch Pads - It is recommended that touch pads cover the finish end of each pool lane (Rule 8-1-7).  There are circumstances where a pool has 7-foot wide lanes, but the touch pads are 5 fee wide.  Officials and timers shall recognize that, if a swimmer touches the end wall within the recommended area that should be covered by the pad, this is a legal finish. Touch includes the entire lane, as pads should be proper width, or the area where the pad should be located.  Touching above the pad is NOT a legal finish.

Conduct - Unsporting conduct include, but is not limited to, making insulting or derogatory remarks, gestures, or acts including taunting, trying to influence, showing disgust or interfering with an official.  Team personnel shall be disqualified from further competition, including events in which previously qualified, for unsporting conduct. Unacceptable conduct includes, but is not limited to, the use of profanity whether or not it is directed at another person or any action which could discredit the individual or his/her high school. Team personnel shall be disqualified from that event. The meet referee always retains the authority under Rule 3-6-1 to disqualify a competitor for any act he/she deems as unsporting conduct.

Showing up for events at Championship Meets - It is the competitor’s responsibility to compete in each and every race or round he/she is entered. The coach has the responsibility to make sure the athletes on his/her team report as required and this should be communicated clearly with his/her athletes at the meet, as well as at the start of the season for athlete accountability. If, for some reason, an athlete is not going to compete in a scheduled event in which entered, the coach must notify the referee of a declared false start prior to the start of the event to avoid disqualification of the athlete. WIAA Tournament Procedure 3.,h.,(5)—in the event of scratches, the Meet Manager will not reseed the event.  The deleted swimmer/diver must be removed from all events (individual and relay) in the entire meet, except when certified by a physician or the meet referee.

Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.

SITUATION 1: At the state meet, the coach of Team A notifies the meet ref- eree between the consolation finals and finals of the 50-yard freestyle that his/her swimmer is withdrawing from the finals with a declared false start. The coach provides the referee with the reason, although not required. The referee acknowledges the declared false start, reminds the coach that the competitor is eligible for further competition in the meet and then notifies the appropriate meet personnel of the declared false start. No change in seeding occurs as the consolation finals are completed. RULING: Correct procedure. The event counts as one of the competi- tor’s events. COMMENT: A competitor may withdraw from an event dur- ing the preliminaries or the finals, including diving, with a declared false start. Notice must be given to the referee at a specified time set by the referee. It is preferred that this time be set before the championship finals to allow a reseeding. (3-2-3, Points of Emphasis)

SITUATION 2: A diver from Team A approaches the board for the first dive of the competition and the diving ref- eree observes that the diver is wear- ing tape for support on one knee. No note for medical reasons for the tape has been provided to the official. The diving referee takes no action and the diver completes his/her first dive of the competition. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: Divers may wear tape or a wrap for support with no limitation to the location on the body. (3-3-4b)

SITUATION 3: During the individual medley, the swimmer, when finishing the backstroke section, does not com- plete the stroke with some part of his/her body on or above the surface of the water. The swimmer is disqual- ified. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: Within the individual medley, each section must be finished in accordance with the finish rule that applies to the style concerned. (8-2-5, 8-2-1e)

SITUATION 4: All divers have been allowed a specified amount of time for practice prior to the start of the meet. Once the diving competition begins, the coach from Team A approaches the diving referee at the completion of the preliminaries stat- ing that the divers are to have at least two practice approaches during this break before the semifinals com- mence. The diving referee clarifies to the coach that the requirement for the practice approaches applies to the time immediately prior to the start of diving competition and thus, does not apply to the time between prelim- inaries and semifinals in this meet as semifinals immediately follow the preliminary rounds. RULING: Correct procedure. (9-2-1)

SITUATION 5: In a championship meet, the meet director informs the coaches at the coaches’ meeting that the order of the divers shall be seeded after each cut based upon the divers’ scores. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: In championship meets, the meet director has the option to seed the finalists based on their semi- final scores (lowest to highest). This option is only permitted between the end of the semifinals and heading into the finals. (9-2-2)

Printable Version -- Please print and place in your rule book for future reference.


Rule 3-2-1a: Exhibition

(1) There must be prior written mutual agreement among the involved schools. This must be facilitated prior to the day of the meet.


(2) Officials should be informed that the meet will include exhibition performances and in what events. The notification should be prior to the day of the meet.


(3) The number of individual exhibition entries in an event should not exceed the maximum allowed for the meet. If a school is allowed three entries per individual event, the maximum allowed for exhibition is three.


(4) Exhibition performances should not adversely affect the length of the meet.


Rule 3-2 PEN: For competing without submitting an entry card (sign-up sheet), the competitor or relay team shall be disqualified from that event only. Other legally entered competitors or relay teams from that same school will not be penalized.


Rule 3-2-3: In dual meets, the entries for the varsity event become official and no changes will be allowed upon the start of the JV event which precedes it. Coaches and officials may elect to use another system if agreed to prior to the start of the meet.


Rule 3-2-4: When it is noted a heat is missing a contestant, the meet referee will hold that heat until the situation can be resolved. The involved contestant must be charged with a false start for delay of the meet for that event, but shall be allowed further competition in the meet.


Rule 5-1-1: The length of events may be modified for nonvarsity competition and invitational meets.


Rule 8-1-3: In all meets (championship and nonchampionship) there must be dual confirmation of a false start by the referee and starter before a school swimmer or relay team is disqualified.


Rule 8-3-5: In all championship meets having at least three officials, there must be dual confirmation of relay takeoffs before a school swimmer or relay team is disqualified.


Rule 9-1-1: Diving Competition

(1) Diving competition will be allowed only in facilities with a water depth of 10 or more feet, 2-5 feet in front of the end of the board. NOTE: Pools remodeled or constructed after January, 1987 must have a water depth of 12 or more feet.


(2) Diving competition will be conducted on one meter boards only.


(3) If a host school cannot conduct diving competition because of the water depth, the following options are available: (a) With prior mutual consent, conduct diving at an alternate site and add diving points to total meet score. (b) No diving competition - points are lost to the meet. Total team score from 11 swimming events only. NOTE: A break of at least 15 minutes, including at least 10 minutes in water, must be taken during the normal diving event unless there is mutual agreement of all involved schools to shorten.


(4) If a host school can conduct diving, but is competing with schools which do not sponsor diving because of illegal facilities, the conference (if a conference meet) or the meet contract (if a nonconference meet) shall determine if diving will be scored. If diving is not conducted, the length of the break needs to be determined.


(5) If a school, however, has a legal facility but is not sponsoring diving because of lack of a coach or athletes, diving must be conducted in meets with schools sponsoring diving and appropriate points for diving forfeited to opponent(s).


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Wisconsin Interscholastic
Athletic Association
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