PDA

View Full Version : Swimming history - flip turns and goggles



SwimSister
March 21st, 2010, 07:27 AM
Does anyone remember:

When were flip turns in free style invented/introduced in competitive swimming?
When did goggles become 'standard equipment' for swimmers?

Thanks!

fastback
March 21st, 2010, 12:45 PM
Not sure about flip turns but I saw my first pair of goggles in 1968. They looked like 2 plastic thimbles held together with a rubber band. A few other historic swimming oddities. We used to swim 220 and 440 yard races to equate to 200 and 400 meter distances- finishing in the middle of the pool. That ended in the early 60s. Breaststroke was added to the IM in 1958. Up till then it was fly back free only.

orca1946
March 21st, 2010, 12:48 PM
1967, I tried some new goggles, but they were not to stay on no matter what I tried. I was doing flips in 1959, so before that.

debaru
March 21st, 2010, 01:56 PM
Does anyone remember:

When were flip turns in free style invented/introduced in competitive swimming?
When did goggles become 'standard equipment' for swimmers?

Thanks!

I think goggles for swimming purposes were first in use way back in the early part of the 20th century. I found an image of Gertrude Ederle of New York who became the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. It looks like she was wearing ski goggles, so I'm not sure these count as "swimming" goggles. :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertrude_Ederle
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6-IIXAF5HOE/SnprcpGqq_I/AAAAAAAAGYM/FWD0f8HYYuk/s400/0806channelswimB.jpg

I swam in high school in southern California during the early '70s and no one on my team wore goggles. There were a couple of guys on the men's team that did wear them. I recall they were kind of expensive back then.

I had super long hair then, so I always wore a cap (which I still have, by the way -- it's rubber and is close to completely falling apart), but goggles would have been nice.

Georgio
March 21st, 2010, 02:09 PM
A tumble turn, or flip turn is a technique of turns in swimming, used to reverse the direction in which they are swimming. It is usually done when the swimmer reaches the end of the swimming pool but still has one or more lengths to swim.
The technique's development is credited, by the International Swimming Hall of Fame, to legendary University of Texas swim coach Tex Robertson while he was training Adolph Kiefer for the 1936 Olympics.

Maui Mike
March 21st, 2010, 02:12 PM
Dr. Ransom Arthur, USN, used to work out with us at San Diego State ('64, '65) and he wore goggles during workouts. He was a cool guy but no one thought his goggles were cool. Time has proven he was right and we were stupid. And as most of you already know, he later went on to become one of the founders of Masters Swimming.

debaru
March 21st, 2010, 02:21 PM
Dr. Ransom Arthur, USN, used to work out with us at San Diego State ('64, '65) and he wore goggles during workouts. He was a cool guy but no one thought his goggles were cool. Time has proven he was right and we were stupid. And as most of you already know, he later went on to become one of the founders of Masters Swimming.

You know, now that you mention it, the cool factor did play a big part in what was worn in the pool when I was in high school. My best friend and I had real Jantzen racing suits, which were the envy of our team. Caps were okay for girls, but you wouldn't catch a guy dead in one. I also remember wearing goggles was like admitting you were afraid to open your eyes underwater. The one guy on the men's team that I recall always wore them, had prescription goggles so he could see where he was going; otherwise, he wouldn't have worn them. I remember hating my red eyes and now I wouldn't dream of swimming (even for fun) without goggles on. :)

Allen Stark
March 21st, 2010, 02:33 PM
The turn rule was changed about 1965 so that you didn't have to touch with your hand first in free.Until then many people didn't flip,especially in the longer distances as the speed difference wasn't worth the air lost.After the rule change everyone flipped in free.I wore black rubber goggles starting in about 1966 in High School.One of the cool guys on the teams tarted wearing them,so it was suddenly OK to wear them.I saw my first pair of goggles like what we wear now in about 1970(if my memory was better I wouldn't have to say" about".)

SwimSister
March 21st, 2010, 05:21 PM
THANK YOU ALL for great answers - including bonus info on the odd yard events and breastroke in IM :applaud:

I'm researching for a novel, I'm writing, so if any of you have some good swim stories from the late sixties in the US you would like to share ... I'm all ears

And ... Why, oh WHY wasn't I born before 2nd world war ... the IM without breaststroke would have been the perfect event for me :D

Georgio
March 21st, 2010, 09:28 PM
In the 50s & early 60s, they had some sort of smelly, milky looking substance in a gutter at the pool access you had to dip your feet in on the way in! Probably a health department regulation left over from pre-antibiotic days, before they discovered germs! I think the pool was lined with white ceramic tiles.

In those days, before I had contact lenses, I couldn't see a thing underwater. If I tried to race, it wasn't unusual for me to suddenly pull a right turn right into the wall! Contacts opened up a new underwater world for me at 21.

The flesh colored nose clips with the neck strap were sometimes used, although I never tried one.

The way they trained life guards in the 60s didn't have much to do with safety and prevention as today. One of the requirements, they would grease down a 200lb guy with petrolium jelly and he would jump in the deep well. You had to get to him as he lunged at you and put a cross chest bear hug on him. Both arms locked around him while he thrashed around and pulled you under like a mad tuna! If you were able to hang on for a couple minutes you passed! There were no rescue tubes then either. :chug: Good luck with your writting.

Gail Roper
March 22nd, 2010, 08:02 PM
Bill Yorzyk wore diving goggles in 1954. I remember seeing him workout with them on in Meiji Pool in Tokyo. We were on a trip with Ford Konno, George Breen, Bill and myself. Those goggles were huge, like a facemask.

Mark Savage
March 23rd, 2010, 04:12 AM
If I remember correctly, Don Schollander in his book, "Deep Water" said he used open turns in the 400 in the 1964 Olympics.

Anyone know if swimmers were using goggles in competition during the early 70's? There's a video of Goodell wearing goggles in 76 during the 1500, but I don't think they were that commonly accepted or preferred.

When I competed in the 70's, I think only half of my friends at best wore goggles in meets. I never wore them racing, but my longest event was the 200 so it was never a big issue for me.

Started swimming again regularly a few years ago- goggle are sooo much better now.

I bought my first pair in 73- think they cost less than a buck.

nhc
March 23rd, 2010, 07:24 PM
What about streamlined dolphin kick start (free and back)--when was it introduced?

Before the goggles, did the swimmers open or close their eyes underwater?

Allen Stark
March 23rd, 2010, 08:36 PM
I never wore goggles in college in meets(67-71) but when I started Masters in 1974 I wore them in meets.A swimmer in my HS in 65 did the first 25 of the IM SDK regularly.

Mary R.
March 23rd, 2010, 09:28 PM
In college, 1970-1974, no goggles. We were supposed to look where we were going so generally I kept my eyes open underwater but not when above (blurry). In graduate school I did not swim for a year or two and when I went back (1976) everyone had goggles. And that concurs with others on this transition!

debaru
March 23rd, 2010, 11:20 PM
Anyone know if swimmers were using goggles in competition during the early 70's?

I remember watching Mark Spitz on TV during the 1972 Olympics and he didn't wear goggles. I was in my last year of high school and no one on my team was wearing them either.

I found several videos on YouTube of Mark Spitz swimming and no one was wearing goggles and only one guy had on a cap.

I couldn't find any videos of the 1976 Olympics. I wish I had a wayback machine so I could go back to that year to see whether they were more widely used. I suspect they were from what others have said.

Mark Savage
March 24th, 2010, 02:33 AM
What about streamlined dolphin kick start (free and back)--when was it introduced?

Before the goggles, did the swimmers open or close their eyes underwater?

Just saw a video on youtube of the 84 Olympic trials- men 200 back(I'd normally post it, but it's late and I'm tired). Anyway, you can see Jesse Vassallo kicking a few dolphins on his start which was unusual compared to the other swimmers.

nhc
March 24th, 2010, 12:13 PM
Just saw a video on youtube of the 84 Olympic trials- men 200 back(I'd normally post it, but it's late and I'm tired). Anyway, you can see Jesse Vassallo kicking a few dolphins on his start which was unusual compared to the other swimmers.

Thanks. YouTube- 1984 Olympic Trials 200 Backstroke is the link (it's not late so I'm not tired :)).

Seems that Lane 1 (Jesse Vassallo) and Lane 4 (Rick Carey) both did a few dolphin kicks at the start (not after flip turns, though?), and they turned out to be the 2nd and 1st places--perhaps owing to the dolphin kicks!

Also noticed the differences between then and now: a) before the race started, they had some easy swims as warm-up, as opposed to nowadays swimmers just jump in and get ready. b) it seems they stroke more frequently (more stroke counts) than the swimmers in the next video clip with Peirsol (not sure what year that was).

Karl_S
March 24th, 2010, 01:28 PM
In the video you can see that the lane 1 swimmer does a couple of dolphin kicks after the last turn.

That Guy
March 24th, 2010, 01:42 PM
the lane 1 swimmer

http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/indresults.php?SwimmerID=06C3U

knelson
March 24th, 2010, 03:48 PM
And ... Why, oh WHY wasn't I born before 2nd world war ... the IM without breaststroke would have been the perfect event for me :D

The original post was wrong. Breast has always been part of IM. It was fly that was added (since it wasn't considered a separate stroke prior to 1952).

Gail Roper
March 24th, 2010, 03:54 PM
That's prior to 1952. In the 52 games, we used breaststroke kick. I remember all this very well as I was .2 off the world record in Dec. and Jan. 1 they changed the rules. Arggh...................

SwimSister
March 24th, 2010, 04:30 PM
The original post was wrong. Breast has always been part of IM. It was fly that was added (since it wasn't considered a separate stroke prior to 1952).

Of course it wasn't breast stroke ... So, I'll just have to keep arguing for a new swim event, the 300 tripley: 100 fly-100 back-100 free. Would be a great event for two reasons:
1. No need to do breast stroke (at which I really suck ...)
2. A perfect distance - not too short, not too long

Anyone doing a backstroke start tiday like the ones we did in the seventies would probably be disqualified for delaying the start ... :cane:

orca1946
March 24th, 2010, 05:33 PM
A guy that just joined our team does not wear goggles NOW !!! i let him try a pair of my RX Kiefer goggles & now he loves them .

SwimSister
March 24th, 2010, 06:27 PM
The original post was wrong. Breast has always been part of IM. It was fly that was added (since it wasn't considered a separate stroke prior to 1952).

Just found results from some 'ancient' Danish National Championships revealing that swimming competitions included:

- 300 m individual medley w/o fly in 1943-45 (this was during the German occupation in World War II, does that say anything about anything?).
- 3 x 100 m medley relay w/o fly 1924-1936 and again 1946-48 (women only up to 1936, wonder why?)
- 400 m IM from 1962
- 200 m IM from 1966
- 100 m fly from 1949-1952 and again from 1966
- 200 m fly from 1953

AND:
- 400 m BREASTSTROKE (oh dear!) in 1918-1948 (Women swam this event only in 1948)
500 m freestyle in 1908-1933 - men only
1 English mile (1609 m) in 1896-1912 - men only

Denmarks first competition pool opened in 1930, results before that was in open water. New ideas usually get to us from America, things probably changed a bit earlier in the US.

I still believe 300 tripley (fly-back-free) would be a great event :applaud:

smontanaro
March 24th, 2010, 08:45 PM
I wonder who the 300m IM world record holders are?

Ifrank
January 29th, 2012, 11:22 AM
Does anyone remember:

When were flip turns in free style invented/introduced in competitive swimming?
When did goggles become 'standard equipment' for swimmers?

Thanks!

Flip turns we're first used in the Olympics in 1956

Ifrank
January 29th, 2012, 11:25 AM
Not sure about flip turns but I saw my first pair of goggles in 1968. They looked like 2 plastic thimbles held together with a rubber band. A few other historic swimming oddities. We used to swim 220 and 440 yard races to equate to 200 and 400 meter distances- finishing in the middle of the pool. That ended in the early 60s. Breaststroke was added to the IM in 1958. Up till then it was fly back free only.

You have breaststroke and butterfly mixed up. Butterfly was not accepted as a stroke until 1953. So it was butterfly that was added to thmedley not breaststroke which was already inclided

Coach Burke
June 28th, 2016, 05:52 PM
Breaststroke was added to the IM in 1952. Up till then it was fly back free only.

Actually, it was the other way around. Butterfly was not separated from Breaststroke until 1952. So both Individual Medleys and Medley Relays were Back, Breast, and Free. In 1954, the international rules were changed to include Fly as part of the Medley. Butterfly become part of the 1956 Olympics.

Coach Burke
June 28th, 2016, 07:26 PM
You also have to remember that the head on Breaststroke had to remain on top of the water.
Try doing that on Butterfly.

Silverdolphin
June 28th, 2016, 07:54 PM
This would be a good place to ask when was it approved to allow the head going under water during breaststroke? p

Allen Stark
June 28th, 2016, 08:03 PM
This would be a good place to ask when was it approved to allow the head going under water during breaststroke? p

1986. It was also allowed to recover your hands over the surface then(forearms too,not elbows). The hand rule seemed like it would be useful,but it really doesn't make much difference unless you really make an effort to recover your hands over the surface,which is almost always slower.Not having to keep part of your head out of the water all the time totally changed the stroke,for the better in my opinion.

ForceDJ
June 29th, 2016, 12:47 AM
The flip turn...aka the tumble turn -- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumble_turn

But I was thinking...I would bet that the flip/tumble turn was inspired by synchronized swimmers. A racer saw them performing some routine and though "If I did that I could get through the turn much faster than touching with my hands."

Dan

orca1946
June 29th, 2016, 12:22 PM
In college 1964 -68 I tried "large contact lenses" They were about the size if a nickel. I swam without goggles BUT after a while they held chlorine gas in and with the body heat made them unwearable!

FindingMyInnerFish
July 5th, 2016, 05:16 PM
I didn't get into masters swimming until 2005, but I would swim laps on and off, through the 70s and 80s, not wearing goggles. But one day, a friend lent me a pair, suggested I try them. I wasn't too eager b/c it seemed as if they'd feel constricting, and I liked the freedom of not wearing them. But that viewpoint changed the moment I put them on and noticed how much easier it was to see who was in my lane, and thus not be so distracted swimming.

Ever since, I've always worn goggles to swim.

My sister was on a swim team in the 1960s at our Y, but I don't remember if she or her teammates did flip turns. Now it seems as if every kid on a swim team is expected to learn them--I occasionally watch the kids' practice after I'm done w/ my workout, and they pretty much all do flip turns. (And I envy them learning early b/c I still find them a struggle, never seem to get comfortable doing them.)

Mark Usher
July 6th, 2016, 02:18 PM
Goggles weren't worn in the Olympics until '76. We never wore them when I was an AGer in the mid-to-late 60's.

We did freestyle flip turns, but with a somewhat different technique than today with an exaggerated pike position and then "flipping" or throwing your lower legs over to the wall.

Mark

flystorms
July 6th, 2016, 04:42 PM
I was trying to tell someone on my team about doing backstroke without flags (I don't remember them - in HS circa 1986). I remember peeking over the shoulder underwater while looking for the wall, plus we had that strange back flip instead of being able to roll onto the belly like now. Ahh... good times.

robertsrobson
July 6th, 2016, 05:15 PM
1986. It was also allowed to recover your hands over the surface then(forearms too,not elbows). The hand rule seemed like it would be useful,but it really doesn't make much difference unless you really make an effort to recover your hands over the surface,which is almost always slower.Not having to keep part of your head out of the water all the time totally changed the stroke,for the better in my opinion.
I remember that. I was DQ'd several times in the 200 especially, before they changed it when I was 13. It made no sense not to allow it, really.

HornDawg
July 6th, 2016, 06:09 PM
Here's what might be the definitive answer about the goggles:

http://www.usmsswimmer.com/200601/splashback.pdf

Hope this helps!

Gary P
July 12th, 2016, 07:53 AM
I remember wearing goggles as a young age-grouper in community summer league swimming in the late 70's. The gaskets back then were foam, and would come unglued from the lenses fairly easily.

I swam through the late 80's, came back to swimming through Masters a couple years ago. I remember the first time I did an old-school backstroke pivot turn, the others on the team (all of whom were either younger or adult-onset swimmers) were like "what the hell was THAT?" Same thing happened the first time they saw my "semi-pike" start technique.

srcoyote
July 12th, 2016, 10:23 AM
I was trying to tell someone on my team about doing backstroke without flags (I don't remember them - in HS circa 1986). I remember peeking over the shoulder underwater while looking for the wall, plus we had that strange back flip instead of being able to roll onto the belly like now. Ahh... good times.

Swimming in the 80's I do remember there always being backstroke flags in every pool I practiced or competed in. As for the turn, I still do the basket turn in backstroke. I stopped competing in backstroke around 87 when it became legal to roll over and flip. I've tried to adjust but find it disorienting still even though I've always done flip turns in free.

smontanaro
July 12th, 2016, 10:44 AM
I stopped competing in backstroke around 87 when it became legal to roll over and flip. I've tried to adjust but find it disorienting still even though I've always done flip turns in free.

Interesting. I actually find it more straightforward to do a flip turn in backstroke these days than in free. Perhaps it has something to do with


a more consistent relationship between the backstroke flags and my position in the pool (the tee on the bottom is close enough to the wall to not allow quick adjustments if I'm off a bit)
a more symmetric stroke (I only breathe to the right in free)
having lungs full of air going into the turn


In fact, when warming up, I frequently start off with open turns (to let my back loosen up a bit), and often do my first flip turn while swimming backstroke, even if I've done a fair bit of free before that.

Mark Usher
July 12th, 2016, 12:57 PM
Swimming in the 80's I do remember there always being backstroke flags in every pool I practiced or competed in. As for the turn, I still do the basket turn in backstroke. I stopped competing in backstroke around 87 when it became legal to roll over and flip. I've tried to adjust but find it disorienting still even though I've always done flip turns in free.

In the 60's we didn't have backstroke flags, but went by the colors of the lane line floats. You had to take a peek to the side to see where you were relative to the wall. You could also go by the recall rope at the start end of the pool.

Mark

Marieke
March 2nd, 2019, 07:03 PM
I remember the goggles coming onto our team in the late 60s and early 70s. But their history in swimming goes way back and is much more fascinating than that. https://www.simplyswim.com/blogs/blog/history-of-swimming-goggles

As for the flip turn, it was apparently first used at AAU nationals in 1934, but the question this article leaves is whether Al Vande Weghe had to touch the wall first or not. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumble_turn

And this article claims that the first time goggles were allowed at the Olympics is 1976. https://www.swimoutlet.com/guides/history-of-swimming