Swimming and Diving Rules Changes - 2021-22
By NFHS on April 19, 2021
3-2-5: Changes protocol for declaration of the lead-off swimmer in a relay to be submitted prior to the start of the event.
Rationale: The lead-off swimmer must be declared at the specified time and place prior to the start of the event, which is consistent with entry procedures for identification of all relay participants.
3-3-5: Permits competitors to wear suits providing full body coverage for religious reasons.
Rationale: Eliminates the need for state association authorization of suits providing full body coverage. Added language allows for exercise of religious practice without creating a competitive advantage for the athlete.
3-3-5b,c,d: Permits the application of temporary adhesives for divers.
Rationale: Allows divers to protect themselves from hand slippage, minimizing risks for the diver.
5-4-3 NOTE: Clarifies protocol for conducting swim-offs and what purposes the time can be used.
Rationale: Updated language clarifies the impact of the swim-off time on future seedings.
9-2-1: During championship meets, new language establishes when diving boards should be open for practice if breaks between sessions extend longer than ten minutes.
Rationale: Defines when diving boards shall be made available for practice during the break between sessions of a championship meet unless the meet director establishes specific guidelines prior to the start of competition.
9-3-7 PENALTIES, 9-5-2, 9-5-5, 9-7-4f, 9-7-5k, 9-8-2c: Permits standing forward takeoffs, clearly defining the proper procedure for performing a standing forward takeoff and the protocol for application of the mandatory two-point deduction.
Rationale: The standing forward takeoff is a critical part of the educational process in teaching new dives. This provision allows divers to participate in competition sooner and encourages growth in the sport.
9-5-4b: Clarifies that only four oscillations are permitted before the diver leaves the board.
Rational: The removal of vague language clarifies the number of oscillations a diver may take while on the diving board.
9-6-4: Defines process to rectify announcing errors that occur during diving competition.
Rational: Language establishes protocol when an announcer error occurs. The diver should not be penalized for the error of meet personnel; the referee retains broad discretion to resolve such problems in the most equitable and efficient way possible.
2021-22 SWIMMING AND DIVING EDITORIAL CHANGES
1-4-2, 4-1-6, 4-4-1, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 6-2-2, 6-4-1b(3), 8-3-3
Swimming and Diving Rule Interpretations - 2021-22
By NFHS on July 28, 2021
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.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2021
The following two situations are clarifications to situations added to the Swimming and Diving Rules Book:
9.5.2 SITUATION E: Diver A is performing a dive requiring a forward approach. (a) Prior to assuming the starting position, the diver declares to the referee that the dive will be performed with a standing forward takeoff. Once the dive is performed, the diving referee declares a violation of the forward approach and deducts two points from each judge’s score. (b) The diver performs the dive from a standing forward takeoff with no declaration. The diving referee instructs the judging panel to score not more than two points for an unsatisfactory dive. RULING: (a) and (b) Correct procedure. COMMENT: If the diver does not declare the standing forward takeoff, the dive shall be considered unsatisfactory. If the diver declares a forward standing takeoff, two points are deducted from each judge’s score. The referee has discretion in establishing the manner in which the declaration is made. (9-3-7)
9.6.4 SITUATION C: During the second round of diving competition, the announcer reads Diver A’s third listed dive, which the diver then performs. The error is discovered upon completion of the dive. The referee instructs the scorer to enter the awards for the dive that was performed adjacent to that dive’s listing in round three of the competition (9-6-4). In round three, the announcer is instructed to announce Diver A’s second listed dive with the scores for that dive to be entered adjacent to that dive’s listing in round two. RULING:Correct procedure. In this instance, the diver is not penalized for performing the dives out of order (9- 7-5a). No penalty is imposed for the officials’ error, which can be rectified by a simple clerical adjustment. COMMENT: The diving referee’s discretion is broad but may be limited based on when the error occurs. The objective is to place the minimal burden necessary on the diver.
SITUATION 1: Prior to the start of the heat/long whistle, the starter/referee notices that the swimmer in Lane 3 is wearing a suit with an illegally oversized manufacturer’s logo. The official notifies the coach who indicates that the swimmer is not able to make an immediate adjustment. The official permits the swimmer to participate in the heat and disqualifies the swimmer upon completion of the race. RULING: Incorrect procedure COMMENT: If discovered prior to the start of the heat/race, and if a swimmer is unable to make immediate correction of the problem, the swimmer shall not be permitted to compete in that race, shall be disqualified from that event, and shall be charged with that event as one of the swimmer’s two individual events. (3-3-2)
SITUATION 2: Swimmer A comes to the blocks wearing a full-body suit including tight head covering that captures all but her face. She indicates that this attire is required by her religious convictions. The referee, noting the apparent compression provided by the suit and assuming a competitive advantage, disqualifies Swimmer A and advises her that she may not compete until she alters her attire to make it legal. RULING: Incorrect procedure. When a swimmer cites religious reasons for wearing a suit as described, the official must permit the swimmer to compete. If the official has concerns about the attire, the official must report those to the state association. (3-3-5)
SITUATION 3: During the 500-yard freestyle, the team member designated as lap counter for Lane 5 (a) is shouting splits to the Lane 5 swimmer; (b) is encouraging the Lane 5 swimmer to “pick it up”; (c) tells the Lane 5 swimmer, “you’ve got to catch Lane 4.” The referee disqualifies the Lane 5 swimmer in all three instances. RULING: Incorrect procedure. In (a), the swimmer can easily see his/her splits on the scoreboard and is thus not assisted improperly by the lap counter. In (b) and (c), the counter is providing no physical assistance to the swimmer and is behaving appropriately. COMMENT: “Aid” to the swimmer requires some sort of physical action that creates a competitive advantage. (3-4)
SITUATION 4: Timing results are being displayed to thousandths of a second. The referee instructs the scorekeeper to record times to hundredths only and utilize a rounding procedure so that times displaying 5-thousandths or higher are recorded with hundredths rounded up to the next digit. RULING: Incorrect procedure. All official times are stated to hundredths only; any times displayed to thousandths are adjusted ONLY by dropping the thousandths digit. (6-2-2)
SITUATION 5: A diver performs 302C using an undeclared standing forward takeoff. In the process of performing the dive, a balk is committed. Upon completion of the dive, the referee instructs the scorer that the score for the dive is zero. RULING: Correct procedure. The diver’s undeclared standing forward takeoff reduces the score to a maximum of two points (unsatisfactory dive); the balk further reduces the score by two points, resulting in no score. This is NOT considered to be a failed dive for purposes of implementing Rule 9-8-3. COMMENT: Other examples of zero-sum dives include failing to come out of a somersault after committing a balk, doing a dive clearly in the wrong position on an undeclared standing forward takeoff, balking and then hitting the board, or failing to come out of a twist with a balk or undeclared standing forward takeoff. (9-3-7)
Swimming and Diving Points of Emphasis - 2021-22
By NFHS on April 19, 2021
2021-22 SWIMMING AND DIVING POINTS OF EMPHASIS
- Suggested Meet Warm-up Procedures
- Responsibility of Official, Competitor, and Lap Counter in Distance Events
- Updating Diving Rules
Rule 3‐3 Uniforms
ART. 1 . . . It is recommended all swimmers and divers on the team wear suits of identical coloring and pattern.
ART. 2 . . . Suits shall be of one piece. A competitor shall not be permitted to participate wearing a suit that is not of decent appearance. Males shall wear suits which cover the buttocks and shall not extend above the waist or below the top of the kneecap. Females shall wear suits which cover the buttocks and breasts and shall not extend beyond the shoulders or below the top of the kneecap, nor cover the neck.
PENALTIES: When an official discovers a competitor wearing illegal attire as described in Article 2, the official shall:
- when observed prior to the start of the heat/dive, notify the coach of the competitor to make the suitlegal before becoming eligible to compete. If the competitor cannot comply without delaying the startof the heat/ dive, the competitor is disqualified from that event/dive and shall not be eligible for furthercompetition until in legal attire;
- when observed after the heat/dive officially begins, disqualify the competitor at the completion of theheat/dive; nullify the competitor's performance time/score and he/she shall not be eligible for furthercompetition until in legal attire.
ART. 3 . . . The uniform consists of a suit and, if worn, cap(s).
- The suit or cap(s) may display the competitor's name, school name, school nickname and/or the school logo.
- Advertising or name other than that permitted in 3‐3‐3c is prohibited.
- A single visible manufacturer's logo/trademark/reference, no more than 2¼ square inches with no dimension morethan 2¼ inches is permitted on each item of the uniform .
- One American flag, not to exceed 2 inches by 3 inches, may be worn or occupy space on each item of uniformapparel. By state association adoption, to allow for special occasions, commemorative or memorial patches, not toexceed 4 square inches, may be worn on the uniform without compromising its integrity.
NOTE: The FINA mark, individual barcode and/or USA Swimming approved checkmark logo on certain suitsdesignating that the suit has been approved for FINA and/or USA Swimming competition is not considered to bea second manufacturer's logo nor a form of advertising. Such suits with a FINA marking and/or checkmark, ifotherwise legal, shall be legal for NFHS competition.
ART. 4 . . . Suits worn by swimmers (excluding divers) shall be limited to the following requirements:
- Only one suit shall be permitted in competition. (A swimmer with special needs may request forcustomization to the state association through his/ her school.)
- The suit shall be:
- constructed of a woven/knit textile material;
- permeable (100 percent to air and water), except for one post‐construction, impermeable school name and/or logo which shall not exceed 9 square inches.
- made so as not to aid in buoyancy and shall not be altered to aid in buoyancy;
- made with no zippers or other fastening system other than a waist tie for a brief or jammer and elastic material within the casing/ribbing in the terminal ends (straps, leg openings and waist openings); and
c. Suits with a FINA marking, if otherwise legal, shall be legal for NFHS competition.
PENALTIES: When an official discovers a competitor wearing illegal attire as described in Articles 3 and 4,the official shall:
- when observed prior to the start of the heat/dive, notify the coach or the competitor to make the attirelegal before becoming eligible to compete. If the competitor cannot comply without delaying the start ofthe heat/ dive, the competitor is disqualified from the event/dive and shall not be eligible for furthercompetition until in legal attire;
- when observed after the heat/dive officially begins, disqualify the competitor at the completion of the heat/dive; nullify the competitor's performance time and he/she shall not be eligible for further competition until in legal attire.
ART. 5 . . . For religious reasons, suits providing full-body coverage are permitted. The suit must meet requirements of 3-3-4b(1-3). If a competitor’s suit does not meet rule specifications, the referee must notify the state association following the completion of the contest.
ART. 6 . . . Competitors shall not wear or use any device or foreign substance to aid their speed, buoyancy or body compression. The following may be used within the stated conditions:
a. A foreign substance may be applied if not considered excessive by the referee (if excessive, the referee shall require the competitor to remove it;
b. Adhesives are not allowed for swimmers;
c. Divers may wear tape or wraps for support and may also use temporarily applied adhesives.
d. Tape may be used by a swimmer to treat a documented medical condition. The referee must be presented signed documentation from an appropriate health‐care professional before
permitting the athlete to compete.
NOTE: Each state association may, in keeping with applicable laws, authorize exceptions to NFHS playing rules toprovide reasonable accommodations to individual participants with disabilities and/or special needs, as well asthose individuals with unique and extenuating circumstances. The accommodations should not fundamentallyalter the sport, heighten risk to the athlete/others or place opponents at a disadvantage.
PENALTY: When team personnel/competitor uses an unapproved artificial device during an event, thecompetitor(s) is disqualified from further competition.
ART. 7 . . . Prior to the meet, the coach shall verify with the meet referee that all competitors are legally attired.
NOTE: Religious and medical-alert medals are not required to be taped to the body. It is recommended the medical alert itself is visible to assist in care by a health-care professional.
The NFHS along with the WIAA offices continue to receive questions regarding the application of NFHS Rule 3-3-2b(2), school logo restrictions, to swimsuits with logos and mascots applied to the suit during construction.
A process known as "sublimation" allows colors, designs, prints, etc. to be dyed into the fabric to be used for suits in a pre-construction phase. Using "sublimation," colors or designs, such as a school mascot, are dyed into the fabric and the textile material remains 100% permeable.
The restriction of a single, post-construction, impermeable school name or logo, not to exceed 9 square inches, does not apply to suits using sublimation for the process to include a school mascot, name and/or logo on the suit. This means that if a school desires more than one logo, or a logo and school initials on their sublimated suits, this is legal and allowable.
The single, post-construction, impermeable school name or logo, not to exceed 9 square inches, only applies to post-construction logos which render the material to no longer be 100% permeable.
If you have any questions regarding this interpretation, Tom Shafranski, WIAA Assistant Director and Swimming/Diving Liaison, can be contacted at email@example.com
Tom Shafranski, WIAA
Printable Copy - Please print and place in your rule book for future reference.
Swimmer two in the 200 freestyle relay started with one foot behind the wedge and one foot in front of the wedge, stepping over the wedge with her back foot as she moved forward for a legal relay exchange. The wedge was 2/3 of the way to the back on the block. Neither foot was on the wedge and both feet were on the surface of the starting block. Rule 8-3-4c, page 68, does not seem to prohibit this action. But some of our officials thought it was an unsafe act, and therefore should result in disqualification. According to the girl who did this at our clinic, it was allowed at the state USA (club) meet. Because were use NFHS rules, that don't address this action, is it legal?
Starting wedges are permitted by rule 2.7.2. Relay exchanges are governed by rule 8.3. 8.3.4 provides that moving from the back to the front of the starting platform is permitted. 8.3.4 c requires the swimmers in relay starts to have at least one foot in contact with the surface of the starting platform in front of the wedge during takeoff.
While the use of wedges may be unsafe, the rules permit wedges to be installed. There is no rule prohibiting the movement of the contestant from the back to the front of the starting platform during relay exchanges/starts.
There are many risky components in a swim and dive meet. Use of starting platforms may be considered ‘high risk’ in some one’s opinion. We don’t prohibit use of these platforms since the rules provide for its use.
While risk minimization is paramount in high school sports, we permit coaches and athletes to determine the safest practices in the pool arena.
We cannot prohibit use of starting platforms or wedges that are allowed by rule.