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PatrickJM
December 1st, 2013, 12:48 PM
The recent Georgia Masters newsletter cited a few new rules, one being that backstrokers must "Immediately initiate pull on turnĒ. Does this mean entering the turn, as in once inside the flags the swimmer roles over and must take one stroke right away? If I need to coast because I rolled too early itís after the stroke, which is in cadence with the backstroke pull anyway. If I coast before taking the pull itís only hurting my race. Can anyone explain the rule and the why?

Kathy Casey
December 1st, 2013, 05:27 PM
FINA added "an immediate" as clarifying language in two places in one sentence of the backstroke rule. That change was automatically adopted by USA Swimming and USMS. In the USMS Rule Book that change will be in the second sentence of USMS 101.4.3 (see below).

"101.4.3 Turns—Upon…wall. During the turn the shoulders may be turned past the vertical toward the breast, after which an immediate continuous single arm pull or an immediate continuous simultaneous double arm pull may be used to initiate the turn."

The additional language is clarifying language only. The interpretation has not changed; upon rolling over the swimmer may take a single or double arm pull that must be part of the continuous turning action. In other words, it was previously and still is grounds for a disqualification if you roll over and coast before taking the pull or coast after taking the pull. Once the body has left the position on the back, any kick or arm pull must be part of the continuous turning action (101.4.3). Rolling over is considered part of the turn and the turning action must be continuous.

Kathy Casey, Chair
USMS Rules Committee