1998 Rules Changes for Masters Swimming

Adapted to Masters by Wayne McCauley

AUTHORITY OF USS RULES COMMITTEE TO CHANGE THE TECHNICAL RULES

516.1.1 A (page 131, 1998 book) says in part: "… the Rules Committee may alter, amend or repeal any portion of Part One at any time to conform to the rules of the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA)."

The Rules Committee has approved the changes here to mirror the recent changes to FINA Technical Rules.

EFFECTIVE DATE: MARCH 6, 1998 (same as FINA effective date)


SUMMARY OF CHANGES

The 15-meter underwater limitation is a restrictive change. However, the Butterfly change received considerable advance publicity as well as reporting in the news media when approved. (The Freestyle change will be a surprise to many.) The other changes (dropped shoulders and start foot placement) are permissive changes. As a result, they should be easily adopted.


COMPARISON OF CHANGES

The amended FINA rule is shown first below, followed by the appropriate sections from the USMS rules (colored in blue). New language is underlined; Deleted language is struck. FINA changes were lifted virtually word for word (adds and deletions) for the USS changes.


ITEM R-1: BREASTSTROKE

FINA SW 7 BREASTSTROKE

Masters Rules 101.2.2 BREASTSTROKE

101.2.2 From the beginning of the first armstroke after the start and after each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast and both shoulders shall be in line with the normal water surface.

101.2.4 At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water level. The shoulders shall remain in the horizontal plane until the touch has been made. The head may be submerged after the last arm pull prior to the touch, provided it breaks the surface of the water at some point during the last complete or incomplete cycle preceding the touch.

USMS 101.2 BREASTSROKE

.2 Stroke - From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and after each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast and both shoulders shall be in line with the water surface. The arms shall move simultaneously and in the same horizontal plane without any alternating movement. … <rest of section remains unchanged>

.4 Turns - At each turn, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water surface, and the shoulders shall be in line with the water surface. The head may be submerged after the last arm pull prior to the touch, provided it breaks the surface of the water at some point during any part of the last complete or incomplete stroke cycle preceding the touch. Once a touch has been made, the swimmer may turn in any manner desired. The shoulders must be at or past the vertical toward the breast when the swimmer leaves the wall and the form prescribed in .2 must be attained from the beginning of the first arm stroke.


ITEM R-2: BUTTERFLY

FINA SW 8 BUTTERFLY

SW 8.1 The body must be on the breast at all times, except when executing a turn. The shoulders shall be in line with the water surface from the beginning of the first armstroke, after the start and after each turn and shall remain in that position until the next turn or finish. It is not permitted to roll onto the back at any time.

SW 8.1 Immediately prior to the first armstroke after the start and each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast and both shoulders shall be in line with the normal water surface. It is not permitted to roll onto the back at any time. Under water kicking on the side is allowed.

<Note: No change to USS rules is required as result of FINA adoption of SW 8.1.>

SW 8.4 At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously, at, above or below the water surface. The shoulders shall remain in the horizontal plane until the touch is made.

SW 8.5 At the start and at turns, a swimmer is permitted one or more leg kicks and one arm pull under the water, which must bring him to the surface. It shall be permissible for a swimmer to be completely submerged for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and after each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface. The swimmer must remain on the surface until the next turn or finish.

USMS 101.3 BUTTERFLY

.2 Stroke - After the start and after each turn, the swimmer's shoulders must be at or past the vertical toward the breast. One or more leg kicks are permitted, but only one arm pull under water, which must bring the swimmer to the surface. It shall be permissible for a swimmer to be completely submerged for a distance of not more than 15 meters (16.4 yards) after the start and after each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface. The swimmer must remain on the surface until the next turn or finish. From the beginning of the first arm pull, the swimmer's shoulders shall be in line with the water surface. Both arms must be brought forward over the water and pulled back simultaneously.

.4 Turns - At each turn the body shall be on the breast and the shoulders in line with the water surface. The touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water surface. Once a touch has been made, the swimmer may turn in any manner desired. The shoulders must be at or past the vertical toward the breast when the swimmer leaves the wall.


ITEM R-3: FREESTYLE

FINA SW 5 FREESYTLE

SW 5.1 Freestyle means that in an event so designated the swimmer may swim any style, except that in individual medley or medley relay events, freestyle means any style other than backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly.

SW 5.2 Some part of the swimmer must touch the wall upon completion of each length and at the finish.

SW 5.3 Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it shall be permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and each turn. By that point the head must have broken the surface.

USMS 101.5. FREESTYLE

.1 Start - The forward start shall be used.

.2 Stroke - Freestyle means that in an event so designated the swimmer may swim any style, except that in a medley relay or individual medley event, freestyle means any style other than butterfly, breaststroke, or backstroke. Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it shall be permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 meters (16.4 yards) after the start and each turn. By that point the head must have broken the surface.

.3 Turns - Upon completion of each length, the swimmer must touch the wall.

.4 Finish - The swimmer shall have finished the race when any part of the swimmer touches the wall after completing the prescribed distance.


ITEM R-4: FORWARD START

Rest of the World Adopting Masters Starts- Masters can ignor the following

SW 4 The Start

SW 4.1 The start in Freestyle, Breaststroke and Butterfly races shall be with a dive. On the long whistle (SW 2.1.5) from the referee the swimmers shall step onto the starting platform with both feet the same distance from the front and remain there. On the starter's command "take your marks", they shall immediately take up a starting position with at least one foot at the front of the starting platforms. The position of the hands is not relevant. When all swimmers are stationary, the starter shall give the starting signal (shot, horn, whistle or command).

USS 102.14. STARTER

.2 The Start

A - The Starter, upon receiving clearance from the Referee (for all events except backstroke and medley relay) directs swimmers to step on to the starting block or platform with both feet the same distance from the front and remain there. Refer to 101.3.1 for backstroke start requirements.

B - After the Referee’s whistle, the Starter instructs the swimmers and directs them to "take your mark", to which they must immediately respond by assuming a starting position by moving at least one foot to the front of the starting block or platform. Sufficient time should follow "take your mark" to enable swimmers to assume starting positions, but no swimmer shall be in motion immediately before the starting signal is given.

C - At all USS Championship meets as defined in Article 206.1, the following FINA starting procedures shall be used:

At the commencement of each heat, the Referee shall signal to the swimmers by a short series of whistles to remove all clothing except for swimwear, followed by a long whistle indicating they should take their positions on the starting block or platform with both feet the same distance from the front and remain there. <omitted sentence on backstroke and medley relay.> When the swimmers and officials are ready, the Referee shall signal with an outstretched arm to the Starter that the swimmers are under the Starter’s control.

On the Starter’s command "take your mark", the swimmers shall immediately assume their starting position with at least one foot at the front of the block, …<omitted rest of sentence referring to backstroke/ medley relay start>. When all swimmers are stationary, the Starter shall give the starting signal.