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Kimpak
July 4th, 2012, 06:13 PM
I am just returning to competition swimming after a 10 year hiatus.... So I've forgotten the finer points of some of the rules. My question, is it legal to curl your toes over the end of the starting block, or do your feet have to be back farther?

knelson
July 4th, 2012, 06:36 PM
Yes, your toes can curl over. In fact it's required that at least one foot must be at the front of the block (assuming you are starting from the block). Here's the text of the rule from the USMS rulebook:

Forward Start—The forward start may be taken from the starting block, the
pool deck or a push from the wall. 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
that they should take their positions with at least one foot at the front of the
starting platform, the edge of the pool or on the wall before the command
“Take your mark.” Those starting in the water must have at least one hand
in contact with the wall or starting block.

Here's a link to the swimming rules section of the rulebook:
http://www.usms.org/rules/part1.pdf

Kimpak
July 4th, 2012, 06:39 PM
I read that and its not exactly clear on the point I was curious on.

"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
that they should take their positions with at least one foot at the front of the
starting platform, the edge of the pool or on the wall before the command
“Take your mark.”

Say the rules, but doesn't exactly say whether toes over the edge are legal or not. Due to a muscle thing I was born with I'm not the most flexible, so the toes over the edge give me more stability. If I'm just standing there flat I'll tip over backwards, unless I put one foot in front and one behind, lol. Doing that though results in a crappy unstable start.

knelson
July 4th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Trust me. You can curl your toes over the edge of the block.

Kimpak
July 4th, 2012, 06:59 PM
Awesome! Thank you! I just was afraid I'd get DQ'd on my first event back, lol.

__steve__
July 4th, 2012, 10:55 PM
I just was afraid I'd get DQ'd on my first event back, lol.You'll definitely get DQ'ed climbing up on the block for backstroke

orca1946
July 5th, 2012, 12:43 AM
YES - at least one foot with toes over the front edge & also both hands down at the front of the block to hold on & pull down at the start gun/whistle/sound.

Allen Stark
July 5th, 2012, 12:41 PM
YES - at least one foot with toes over the front edge & also both hands down at the front of the block to hold on & pull down at the start gun/whistle/sound.

Hands holding the block is not required.Faster,but not required.

quicksilver
July 5th, 2012, 12:56 PM
There would no doubt be lots of accidents due to slippage if you couldn't get a good foot hold on the starting platform.

Why on earth backstroke is the only event where toes cannot be curled (over the gutter) is still :bitching:. Someone in the rules department needs to swim a few backstroke races.

knelson
July 5th, 2012, 01:02 PM
Why on earth backstroke is the only event where toes cannot be curled (over the gutter) is still :bitching:. Someone in the rules department needs to swim a few backstroke races.

There's a method to the madness if you think about it. In some pools (or in meets where the FINA pads are used) there is no lips to curl your toes over. Therefore it wouldn't be fair to let people curl there toes over.

smontanaro
July 5th, 2012, 01:26 PM
OTOH, if touch pads are not used, there is often no reasonable way for swimmers to gain any purchase at the start. Many pools either have stainless steel or some other smooth surface near the water level. (That's the case at the YMCA where I swim. The pool is less than 10 years old.) At practice you wind up having to curl your toes over the edge, which means you don't practice the way you will start in a race.

I realize this is moot for most meets (certainly at the high level) where touch pads and/or modern construction competition pools are the rule rather than the exception.

quicksilver
July 5th, 2012, 01:28 PM
True Kirk... But since yards meets aren't FINA sanctioned maybe they could bend the rules for us metric loathing Americans.

If we compete in meters then we swim like the Europeans do ...with slippery starts. :)

mlabresh
July 5th, 2012, 07:59 PM
I was under the impression that you had to have your toes at least to the edge of the block and curled over the edge was even better.

My kids' coach always tells them to curl their toes over the edge, they're less likely to get disqualified for a bad start.

Rob Copeland
July 6th, 2012, 08:56 AM
I was under the impression that you had to have your toes at least to the edge of the block and curled over the edge was even better.If starting from the blocks, at the referee’s long whistle the swimmer “should take their positions with at least one foot at the front of the starting platform” (USMS 101.1.1 Forward Start).

Note the “should” means this is not required for Masters, however in USA Swimming it is mandatory (“shall”) that the swimmer have “at least one foot at the front of the starting platform or the deck”

Chris Stevenson
July 6th, 2012, 09:11 AM
True Kirk... But since yards meets aren't FINA sanctioned maybe they could bend the rules for us metric loathing Americans.

If we compete in meters then we swim like the Europeans do ...with slippery starts. :)

This used to be the case, back in the day. I still miss stand-up starts.

jaadams1
July 6th, 2012, 11:18 PM
This used to be the case, back in the day. I still miss stand-up starts.

The high school coach for my former high school was asking how my name was on the 200 Medley Relay backstroke slot, rather than the fly slot. And another backstroker/flyer was in the fly slot.

NOTE: My backstroke SUCKS.

Well, the reason I told him was that back in 1995 my senior year of high school we decided for finals to swap positions (back and fly), since the other kid was about 2 seconds faster than me in the 50 fly. My standup start & SDK as-far-as-you-can-possibly-go backstroke was just about as fast as his backstroke. It worked...SDK till you see the flags from beneath the water, come up breath flip, and SDK back to the other flags, 3 strokes in to finish. :) Fastest backstroke I'd ever done.

In college I did a 200 Back w/ 15 meters SDKing and did great as well.

Hmmmmm...all this means I really need to work on my SDKs again. Maybe my backstroke could be better.