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evmo
January 9th, 2014, 12:38 PM
An item that may be of interest to those interested in the longer open water swims:

Rules of Marathon Swimming - Marathon Swimmers Federation (http://www.marathonswimmers.org/rules)

This document was written by four well-established marathon swimmers, three of whom are USMS members. MSF Rules are intended as guidance for swimmers wishing to attempt a standard, traditional marathon swim in bodies of water where there is no local governing body.

They are also intended as a clear statement about the "spirit" of the sport which underlies these rules, so any popular media who report on marathon swimming in the future will not be confused or misled on this issue.

MSF Rules have been endorsed (http://www.marathonswimmers.org/rules-endorsements/) by an impressive (and growing) list of marathon swimmers and aspiring marathon swimmers. For further info, please see the ongoing discussion at the Marathon Swimmers Forum (http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussion/731/the-msf-rules-of-marathon-swimming), and the coverage by Swimming World (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/OpenWater/37324.asp) and SwimSwam (http://swimswam.com/marathon-swimmers-federation-publishes-rules-marathon-swimming-standardized-feats/).

Happy swimming,

Evan Morrison
Co-Author of MSF Rules (with Elaine Howley, Andrew Malinak, and Donal Buckley)
Co-Founder, Marathon Swimmers Federation (http://www.marathonswimmers.org/) and Forum (http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/).

Rob Copeland
January 9th, 2014, 04:09 PM
Excellent work! If you are taking suggestions, I suggest you include Glowsticks in your list of Standard Equipment.

evmo
January 9th, 2014, 04:25 PM
Excellent work! If you are taking suggestions, I suggest you include Glowsticks in your list of Standard Equipment.

Thanks Rob. We are certainly taking suggestions - it's supposed to be a community document, reflecting community consensus. The omission of glowsticks was unintentional and somehow made it past the numerous drafts & peer review. This was one of the first items people identified after the public announcement. It will be fixed in Version 1.1. Thanks!

JanSwim
January 10th, 2014, 05:15 PM
Evan,
My ignorance will show here, but how much time does a good Observer spend actively watching the swimmer? Is it assumed that the Observer will watch all transitions, such as stops for communication, feedings, more sunscreen, but may perhaps wander off for blocks of time when the swimmer is just plowing through the miles? Or does a good Observer find a comfortable vantage point and watch the swimmer as if they were a lifeguard?


The document states “The swim observer documents the facts of a swim and verifies the swim’s adherence to the declared rules.” Perhaps a list of what the minimum “facts of a swim” are, and maybe some general guidelines for minimum actions and attention of the Observer.


I think it’s great that you’ve put this together!

chaos
January 13th, 2014, 06:20 PM
A good observor will have eyes on the swimmer for the start, finish, every feed. Additionally, they will be noting things like air temp, water temp, conditions, stroke rate...every 30 minutes or so, items consumed, time of each feed/ break, information comunicated, time of swimmer eliminations and regurgitations, etc etc etc.

drmdive
January 22nd, 2014, 02:14 PM
Hi Evan,

Good document and information. Thanks for sharing. Questions...

1. Is wearing two swim caps (either one laytex and one silicone or two of each) considered a way to "retain or increase warmth?"
2. Under Physical Contact it states "The swimmer may not make intentional supportive contact with any vessel, object, or support personnel at any time during the swim." But, what about the bottom of the body of water? Is standing on the bottom acceptable during a feeding for example? I know walking on the bottom is not allowed, but wondered about standing in one place if the water is very shallow?

evmo
January 22nd, 2014, 06:44 PM
how much time does a good Observer spend actively watching the swimmer? Is it assumed that the Observer will watch all transitions, such as stops for communication, feedings, more sunscreen, but may perhaps wander off for blocks of time when the swimmer is just plowing through the miles? Or does a good Observer find a comfortable vantage point and watch the swimmer as if they were a lifeguard?

I would say more towards the latter model (lifeguard) than the former. I observe for the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (http://www.sbchannelswim.org). Our observers are trained to keep their "eyes on the swimmer" at most (if not all) times. The passage from the CCSF manual (which is considered the gold standard on the subject) reads:

The observer must watch the swimmer at all times. This is for safety and to verify that the rules are followed. If you need to take a break, make sure that someone knows you will be gone for a few minutes and ask them to keep watch for you.

Feed stops, starts, and finishes are times for the observer to pay extra attention, but the observer should be paying attention at other times, too.


The document states “The swim observer documents the facts of a swim and verifies the swim’s adherence to the declared rules.” Perhaps a list of what the minimum “facts of a swim” are, and maybe some general guidelines for minimum actions and attention of the Observer.

This is good feedback -- and indeed a list of guidelines for swim documentation is currently under development.

Thanks.


1. Is wearing two swim caps (either one latex and one silicone or two of each) considered a way to "retain or increase warmth?"

Yes. One cap is fairly standard in most major marathon swims - e.g., English Channel, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.


2. Under Physical Contact it states "The swimmer may not make intentional supportive contact with any vessel, object, or support personnel at any time during the swim." But, what about the bottom of the body of water? Is standing on the bottom acceptable during a feeding for example? I know walking on the bottom is not allowed, but wondered about standing in one place if the water is very shallow?

Swim courses that include extremely shallow water are easily accommodated by an amendment (a.k.a. "local exception") to MSF Rules, stating that touching bottom is not subject to DQ - perhaps with the qualification that walking along the bottom is still not allowed.

The Tampa Bay Marathon Swim has stated that they will use MSF Rules for next year's race, and they will use a similar rule due to the very shallow water near Point Pinellas. It is no problem.