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View Full Version : New Omega Backstroke Start Device



ALM
May 1st, 2014, 09:57 PM
Wow, this is cool! A "starting wedge" for backstrokers. Looks like it's approved by FINA; it's on their YouTube page.

How to use the backstroke foot ledge:
- At the start, the toes of both feet must be in contact with the end wall or face of the touchpad. Bending the toes over the top of the touchpad is prohibited.
- The ledge may be adjustable to 4 cm above or 4 cm below the water level.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63C-zMOCAB0

jpetyk
May 2nd, 2014, 08:33 AM
I would prefer the rule change back to where one can use the gutter. Everyone is on the same playing field then, and programs with lesser funding aren't at a disadvantage because they can't afford the new gadget. the swimmers won't be at a disadvantage because they don't have one to practice on. Everyone has a pool gutter. I never really understood the change to keep the toes under water in the first place, other than to make the backstroke start more difficult. Now they are trying to make it easier again. :2cents:

Bill Sive
May 2nd, 2014, 08:42 AM
Looks cool. Would like to try it.

Not every pool has a gutter. I swim in a a few pools that have no gutters, and sometimes no lane lines. Its a tough workout when there a multiple persons in the pool lap swimming. Hoewever, I think its worth the extra effort to complete the workout.

arthur
May 2nd, 2014, 10:48 AM
Pools for bigger competitions usually have touch pads that come out of the water so there is no gutter/edge you can put your feet on. I am wondering if I will ever see this at a masters meet. It seems like a bit of a hassle (timers have to pull it out of the water after each start) but I want to try.

orca1946
May 2nd, 2014, 02:50 PM
It took me a while to get an OK back start , then they changed the rule. I see many more poor or slipped feet starts with the feet on the face & under water than with the feet/toes above on the gutter/starting pad.

Chris Stevenson
May 2nd, 2014, 04:31 PM
Pools for bigger competitions usually have touch pads that come out of the water so there is no gutter/edge you can put your feet on.

Except that curling your toes over the edge of the gutter is illegal in a backstroke start... (Article 101.1.2B).

jpetyk
May 2nd, 2014, 04:49 PM
Except that curling your toes over the edge of the gutter is illegal in a backstroke start... (Article 101.1.2B).
which is why I think they should change it back to the good ol' days when you could curl your toes. this new gadget will let you get the same type of leverage, now with more cost.

__steve__
May 2nd, 2014, 05:01 PM
I wasn't aware of the toe - grip, 101.1.2B rule up until when I was formally educated last year at a LCM meet. At the start I proceeded to grip my toes over the gutter then the referee called me out, which was a little embarrassing but better than a DQ.

arthur
May 3rd, 2014, 03:20 AM
Except that curling your toes over the edge of the gutter is illegal in a backstroke start... (Article 101.1.2B).Yes, I was replying to a post about changing that rule. I think I am for eliminating that rule although none of the meets I usually go to have gutters I could take advantage of.

Chris Stevenson
May 3rd, 2014, 10:47 AM
which is why I think they should change it back to the good ol' days when you could curl your toes. this new gadget will let you get the same type of leverage, now with more cost.


Yes, I was replying to a post about changing that rule. I think I am for eliminating that rule although none of the meets I usually go to have gutters I could take advantage of.

I don't think FINA ever allowed the "curling of the toes", in the US it was only allowed in SCY meets while LCM meets obeyed FINA rules (when I was young, the whole foot had to be submerged).

I imagine the reason for FINA's rule is the one that Arthur mentions in passing: many -- maybe most -- of the pools internationally didn't have gutters at the end of the pool so they didn't want to give an unfair advantage to people (maybe mostly in the US?) who competed in pools that did.

In the old days in SCY meets I enjoyed stand-up starts a lot. But I am glad that now the rules are consistent between courses. Now if they'd only move those backstroke flags to 5m for SCY pools...!

Of course they could avoid ALL OF THIS if they just allow backstrokers to dive from the blocks! Just have a rule that you have to be on your back before the first stroke. That's a rule change I could get behind!

jim thornton
May 3rd, 2014, 12:05 PM
Of course they could avoid ALL OF THIS if they just allow backstrokers to dive from the blocks! Just have a rule that you have to be on your back before the first stroke. That's a rule change I could get behind!

Intriguing suggestion. Your backstroke and fly times are always pretty close--a backstroke dive would give backstroke an advantage.

The other thing about this that would be nice--granted, in one of those imaginary universes that comic books occasionally use when the run out of ideas for their superheroes--is that the order of a medley relay would no longer require backstrokers to start first.

This would, in my view, open up a whole other possibility: strategic medley relay swimming, where each team would be free to pick its own order just so long as each of the four strokes are swum. You might, for instance, want to start with your freestyler in hopes of getting as much clear water as possible for your team. Or maybe you could start with breaststroke, be a little behind, but give the other teams that creepy sense that you are fast catching up, causing them to panic. Who knows?

But it could add an intellectual component to swimming competition that, god only knows, is somewhat lacking now!

Redbird Alum
May 8th, 2014, 02:13 PM
To Chris' point... if you can dive start, and only the first stroke needs be on your back, and with the "new" turn, that would leave, what, maybe two actual strokes on the back in the first 25? Then SDK for 2/3 of the next length off the wall and maybe another four strokes and the 50 is done!

(Somehow, that doesn't seem like the backstroke I knew all those years ago....)

sunruh
May 8th, 2014, 02:18 PM
you can only UDK for 12.5m. that is another rule.

Chris Stevenson
May 8th, 2014, 07:17 PM
To Chris' point... if you can dive start, and only the first stroke needs be on your back, and with the "new" turn, that would leave, what, maybe two actual strokes on the back in the first 25? Then SDK for 2/3 of the next length off the wall and maybe another four strokes and the 50 is done!

(Somehow, that doesn't seem like the backstroke I knew all those years ago....)

It would be the same number of strokes either way since the 15m rule would still apply.

jackback
August 11th, 2014, 06:39 PM
I did not notice the use of the backstroke ledge during the weekends broadcast of the phillips 66 swim championship. I believe one of the gals slipped at the start of the 200 back A finals, but I did not see it. Shortly we probably will start seeing the ledge at meets and then what would be the point of not allowing toes over the gutter that most pools in the US have. I suppose we would have to keep our heels in the water to prevent that wonderful back dive from a standing position which probably has an intolerable risk of injury. I'm thinking the cost of this device adapted to the vast majority of US pools would be a foolish use of resources when we generally have a "ledge" already available to us. Certainly the ledge was a good solution to the "FINA wall Omega pad" problem. I do not look forward to a time of selecting meets with the criteria of availability of the ledge at certain pools. That said I had been thinking of not competing in backstroke this year as the SCY Nats will be swum outdoors and after seeing Phelp's and Clary swim into the lane line I'm convinced. It will be fly this year hopefully my shoulders hang in there

Sportygeek
August 12th, 2014, 01:03 AM
I had the pleasure of watching 4x50 SCM backstroke relays last week. First swimmer in each relay team did a standard backstroke start; second, third and fourth swimmers did dive starts.

Chris Stevenson
August 12th, 2014, 09:31 AM
I did not notice the use of the backstroke ledge during the weekends broadcast of the phillips 66 swim championship. I believe one of the gals slipped at the start of the 200 back A finals, but I did not see it.

It was Elizabeth Beisel, one of the worst slips I've ever seen. Video is below.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm1DyROcxx8

knelson
August 12th, 2014, 10:11 AM
It seems like a simpler solution would be to just make the Omega pads more tacky (something like Colorado pads). That wouldn't help the situation with all the Omega pads currently in use, but I really don't understand why Omega can't change the design going forward.

jpetyk
August 12th, 2014, 10:13 AM
That was painful to watch. She ended up making a good showing despite the horrific start.

Chris Stevenson
August 12th, 2014, 10:15 AM
It seems like a simpler solution would be to just make the Omega pads more tacky (something like Colorado pads).

Every backstroker I know thinks Omega pads are evil.

Rob Copeland
August 12th, 2014, 12:16 PM
... I really don't understand why Omega can't change the design going forward.I understand why Omega doesn’t change their design, but without going into boring detail about materials science and slat and tape switch vs mesh separation designs, suffice it to say you most likely won’t see dramatic changes in Omega pads soon. This may be some of why FINA approved the wedge.

jackback
August 12th, 2014, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the video post Chris ... i agree with you, this was the worst slip i've ever seen or done ... an earlier poster mentioned the dive off the blocks start ... i doubt that FINA would pull the rug out from OMEGA at this point ... but FINA could throw us a bone by allowing the curling of our toes on the gutter rather then adding the expense of retrofitting all the blocks in the US that have simple hang off the gutter touch pads ... i have never been a fan of FINA

ALM
August 12th, 2014, 02:03 PM
... but without going into boring detail about materials science and slat and tape switch vs mesh separation designs...

Huh? What is "slat and tape switch?" What is a "mesh separation design?"

orca1946
August 12th, 2014, 02:49 PM
If she can blow a start, how we we mere mortals to do it all the time?

quicksilver
August 12th, 2014, 08:55 PM
A little dab of pine tar is all you need.

Your shoes might stick to your feet, but you'll never slide off of a timing pad again.

jackback
August 12th, 2014, 09:40 PM
The rules might have that covered:

102.12 Swimwear for Pool Competition
102.12.1 Design
E No swimmer is permitted to wear or use any device or substance to
enhance speed, pace, buoyancy, or endurance during a race (such as
webbed gloves, fins, power bands, adhesive substances, snorkels, neoprene
caps, etc.). Goggles may be worn, and rubdown oil applied if not
considered excessive by the referee. Medical identification items may
be worn. Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved
by the referee.

knelson
August 12th, 2014, 11:33 PM
Is this known as the "Lester Hayes" rule? :)

jackback
August 13th, 2014, 12:12 PM
hey rob copeland ... would you happen to have the wording of the rule that will allow this "ledge/wedge". i'm supposing that it can't be product specific as that would make the incestuous relationship of FINA - OMEGA even worse. is there a possibility that the rule could have equipment adaptable to the hang off the gutter touch pads that are prevalent in the US (even it was just for the 2-4 cm under the surface of the water levels)

Rob Copeland
August 13th, 2014, 12:49 PM
hey rob copeland ... would you happen to have the wording of the rule that will allow this "ledge/wedge". i'm supposing that it can't be product specific as that would make the incestuous relationship of FINA - OMEGA even worse. is there a possibility that the rule could have equipment adaptable to the hang off the gutter touch pads that are prevalent in the US (even it was just for the 2-4 cm under the surface of the water levels)The wording can be found on the FINA web site FINA.org
http://www.fina.org/H2O/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4412&Itemid=1627

And I assume the ruling would be applicable to non-FINA walls (with gutters) as well as FINA walls.

jackback
August 13th, 2014, 01:21 PM
thanks for the info rob ... i'm not so sure this will be applicable to pads that hang on the gutter ... it seems very specific to the Omega pads. for one, with a hang on the gutter pad you can't get the full 8 cm range of adjustment stated in the description/rule (probably the 2 and 4 cm below the water might be able to be done but not the "level with the water level" or above as you would not be able to place your toes against the pad). the devil will be in the details when it comes to the US style end wall gutters and pads.

sunruh
August 14th, 2014, 08:46 AM
Of course they could avoid ALL OF THIS if they just allow backstrokers to dive from the blocks! Just have a rule that you have to be on your back before the first stroke. That's a rule change I could get behind!

yes i agree...let's just make it freestyle for all but a small portion of a length! :grin:

quicksilver
August 14th, 2014, 11:26 AM
Is this known as the "Lester Hayes" rule? :)

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Stickum incident

In 1980, Hayes was involved in a stickum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stickum) incident. Stickum is a sticky adhesive substance that was introduced to Hayes when he was a rookie in 1977 by Hall of Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Biletnikoff). But instead of just using a little on his hands to help him hold onto the football, Hayes also started slathering it all over his arms and even on his uniform, drawing more and more attention to himself and the gooey Stickum. In 1980, Hayes intercepted 13 passes during the regular season and five more in the playoffs as the Raiders went on to win Super Bowl XV. Hayes was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year. A year later, in 1981, the NFL banned stickum from the league. It has remained banned since then.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Hayes#cite_note-5)

arthur
August 14th, 2014, 12:21 PM
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Stickum incident

In 1980, Hayes was involved in a stickum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stickum) incident. Stickum is a sticky adhesive substance that was introduced to Hayes when he was a rookie in 1977 by Hall of Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Biletnikoff). But instead of just using a little on his hands to help him hold onto the football, Hayes also started slathering it all over his arms and even on his uniform, drawing more and more attention to himself and the gooey Stickum. In 1980, Hayes intercepted 13 passes during the regular season and five more in the playoffs as the Raiders went on to win Super Bowl XV. Hayes was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year. A year later, in 1981, the NFL banned stickum from the league. It has remained banned since then.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Hayes#cite_note-5)
It looks like he went pretty overboard with it!:
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3269/2905539854_6a64b8e384_b.jpg

jackback
August 18th, 2014, 05:04 PM
just for the heck of it i emailed "Colorado Timing" to see if they had any "ledge/wedge" in the works. to my amazement they got back to me and the response was:
"We anticipate our first run of product to be available later in September, but will begin taking pre-orders at the American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic in a couple of weeks"
they sent me a MOV file of the device in use (that i could not upload to the forums):bouncing: and it looks very easy to use and retracts automatically. i can't wait !