Rules of Swimming

A competitor swimming over the course alone shall cover the whole distance to qualify and must finish the race in the same lane in which he/she started

In all events, a swimmer when turning shall make physical contact with the end of the pool or course. The turn must be made from the wall, and it is not permitted to take stride or step from the bottom of the pool

Obstructing another competitor by swimming across another lane or otherwise interfering shall disqualify the offender, and should the foul be intentional, the referee shall report the matter to the management committee promoting the race and to the association of the swimmer.

No competitor shall be permitted to use or wear any device that may aid speed, buoyancy or endurance during a competition (such as webbed gloves, fins etc). Goggles may be worn

Any swimmer not entered in a race, who enters the water when an event is being conducted before all swimmers there in have completed the race, shall be disqualified from his/her next scheduled event in the meet

Any relay team shall be disqualified from a race if a team member, other that the swimmer designated to swim that length, enters the water when the race is being conducted, before all competitors of all teams have finished the race

The members of a relay team and their order of competing must be nominated before the race. Any relay team member may compete in a race only once. The composition of a relay team may be changed between the heats and finals of an event, provided that it is made up from the list of swimmers properly entered by an association or club for that event.

Any swimmer having finished a race, or his/her distance in a relay event, must leave the pool as soon as possible without obstructing any other competitor who has not yet finished. Otherwise the swimmer committing the fault, or the relay team, shall be disqualified.

Should a foul endanger the chance of success of a competitor, the referee shall have the power to allow him/her to compete in the next heat or, should the foul occur in a final event, order it to be swum again.

THE START

The start in Freestyle, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Individual Medley races shall be with a dive. On the long whistle from the Referee, the swimmers step onto the starting platform 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 platform. The position of the hands is not relevant. When all swimmers are stationary, the Starter shall give the starting signal.

The start in Backstroke and Medley Relay races shall be from the water. At the Referee’s first long whistle, the swimmers shall immediately enter the water. At the Referee’s second long whistle, the swimmers shall return without undue delay, to the starting position. When all swimmers have assumed their starting

positions, the starter shall give the command “Take your marks” . When all swimmers are stationary, the

starter shall give the starting signal.

Any swimmer starting before the starting signal has been given, shall be disqualified. If the starting signal sounds before the disqualification is declared, the race shall continue and the swimmer or swimmers shall be disqualified upon completion of the race. If the disqualification is declared before the starting signal, the signal shall not be given, but the remaining swimmers shall be called back and start again. The Referee repeats the starting procedure beginning with the long whistle (the second whistle for backstroke)

THE FINISH

It is important that swimmers hit the wall firmly with both hands simultaneously in breaststroke and butterfly, with any part of the body in freestyle, and with the hands, arms, shoulder or head in backstroke.

AFTER THE RACE

The Referee should give two short sharp whistle bursts to signify to the competitors that they may leave the water. It is required that swimmers wait in their lanes in the water until that signal. At the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, competitors must leave the water at the side—they must not climb over the end and risk damaging the timing device.

FREESTYLE

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

BACKSTROKE

Prior to the starting signal, the swimmers shall line up in the water facing the starting end, with both hands holding the starting grips. Standing in or on the gutter, or bending the toes over the lip of the gutter is prohibited.

At the signal for starting and after each turn, the swimmer shall push off and swim upon his/her back throughout the race except when executing a turn. The normal position on the back can include a roll movement of the body up to but not including 90 degrees from horizontal. The position of the head is not relevant.

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

When executing the turn, there must be a touch of the wall with some part of the swimmer’s body in his/her respective lane. During the turn, the shoulders may be turned over the vertical to the breast after which an immediate continuous single arm pull or a continuous simultaneous double arm pull may be used to initiate the turn. The swimmer must have returned to the position on the back upon leaving the wall.

Upon the finish of the race, the swimmer must touch the wall while on the back in his/her respective lane with some part of the body above the water.

BUTTERFLY

From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and each turn, the body shall be kept on the breast. Under water kicking on the side is allowed. It is not permitted to roll onto the back at any time, except at the turn after the touch of the wall where it is permissible to turn in any manner as long as the body is on the breast when leaving the wall.

Both arms must be brought forward simultaneously over the water and brought backward simultaneously throughout the race.

All up and down movements of the legs must be simultaneous. The position of the legs or feet need not be on the same level but they shall not alternate in relation to each other. A breaststroke kicking movement is not permitted

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. 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/her 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.

BREASTSTROKE

After the start and after each turn, the swimmer may take one arm stroke completely back to the legs during which the swimmer may be submerged. A single butterfly kick is permitted during the first arm stroke, followed by breaststroke kick

Interpretation: A butterfly kick is not part of the cycle and is only permitted at the start and turn whilst the arms are pulling back to the legs or after the arm pull, and must be followed by a breaststroke kick.