View Full Version : Breastroke kick used in butterfly

Peter Cruise
April 27th, 2002, 03:29 PM
Back a few months, there were energetic discussions about doing away with the use of breastroke kick during butterfly swimming. At that time, I recall that FINA postponed the decision for Masters until after the Worlds. Has anyone heard anything?

April 27th, 2002, 06:43 PM
The answer to your question was just posted in The 2002 Spring edition of USMS National Office Newsletter, Streamlines... From the National Office. Page 20 reports on the FINA Congress. Breaststroke continues to be legal in Masters butterfly events.

April 28th, 2002, 11:02 AM
That's really too bad. It's time for USMS to legitimize itself by conforming with accepted rules of swimming for all strokes. In USA Swimming we do not make allowances for kids who are too young to properly swim butterfly...the rules are applied equally and if a kid is illegal he/she gets disqualified. For masters swimmers, eventually this rule will be changed and those who cannot swim butterfly correctly, should not enter those events, or risk getting DQ'd.

April 28th, 2002, 11:33 AM
We do DQ competitors who do not swim the stroke under the technical rules of the stroke. The question is what are the technical rules of the strokes? In Masters, more so than USA-S the competitors get to decide.


April 28th, 2002, 05:40 PM
There is only one stroke rule that is vastly different in Masters swimming from USA swimming, and that is the allowance in butterfly for use of the breaststroke kick. When Masters swimming began back in the 1970's, maybe there was some rationale for this, being that butterfly is the most difficult stroke to learn and perfect. However, I believe that Masters swimming has grown up enough now to eliminate this one discrepancy. Using a breaststroke kick makes an entirely different stroke that just isn't butterfly, even if there is a rulebook that says it is.

April 28th, 2002, 06:10 PM

As I wrote in a previous post the competitors get to decide the technical rules of the strokes. 2002 is a Rules year. To get the rule changed, go to your LMSC and have propose the change in the butterfly kick rule.

If the rule is voted to be submitted by your LMSC it will be sent to all the convention delegates and will go to the Rules Committee of the House of Delegates. If the Rules Committee votes for your change, it will be sent to the House of Delegates, where a 50% + one vote will change the rule. (If the rule gets turned down by the Rules Committee, the House of Delegates can overturn the Rules Committee but it will take a 2/3 vote).

The first step is for YOU TO CONTACT YOUR LMSC ABOUT CHANGING THE RULE. It is not that hard. I probably have had about a dozen of my ideas that have made the Rule Book.


April 28th, 2002, 08:54 PM
Why do you feel threaten by someone who swims fly with a breaststroke kick and/or a combination of breaststroke/dolphin kick? Are they recording faster times than you? If not, don't worry about them. Fast fliers have nothing to fear from us.

April 29th, 2002, 01:16 PM
No need to get bent out of shape, please. And, no, I don't feel threatened by butterfroggers. I just think it looks silly for a serious organization committed to swimming to have such an allowance in the rules. It makes us look less than legitimate to the other organizations involved in swimming, USA Swimming, FINA, and even the multitude of little summer leagues around the country who all abide by the commonly accepted rules.
As a USA Swimming official, I have witnessed numerous kids who struggle to learn how to swim butterfly until they finally get it right and they don't ask for special circumstances because they're too young to swim legally. They learn to swim the stroke or they get DQ'd and we should be held to the same standards as any eight year old.

April 29th, 2002, 04:21 PM
I believe there is a big difference between a young swimmer who will eventually learn the motor skills to swim a legal butterfly and an older masters swimmer whose strength, flexibility and range of motion are in decline, making the possibility of a legal butterfly with dolphin kick less and less likely as the years pass. It's not in USMS's best interest to block older swimmers out of butterfly and IM events by mandating a dolphin kick.

April 29th, 2002, 06:19 PM
Rick, Karlene, and others,
I'd be glad to participate in any effort to change the rule. Sorry Karlene, but the difficulty of butterfly is part of it's mistique for those of us that consider it's esoteric beauty in our belief that butterfly "rules" as the preferred competitive stroke.
Masters swimming began in the early 70's, some twenty or more years after butterfly was recognized as a distinct stroke so there shouldn't have been consideration for the breaststoke kick allowance other than the inherent difficulty. If, given the option, kids were allowed to use either, many of them would never put forth the effort to learn the stroke correctly. Change the rule and Masters swimmers who want to swim it will learn it.

April 29th, 2002, 08:48 PM
So what you're saying is that if the kids under USS/FINA have to swim fly a certain way, then, as Masters so should we (in spite of what our rules say)? There are other rules that are different between USS/FINA and Masters. Why stop with the fly? go after these too.

The start. FINA says you must use a starting block for starts (SW 4.1). USMS (101.1.1) states blocks, deck, water, your choice. Are you going to try to outlaw this method of starting? Why not go for it? After all, there is such ďesoteric beautyĒ from a start from the blocks compared to the deck or water.

Relays. USS/FINA state you must exit the water as soon as possible when you finish on a relay (SW 10.13). USMS allows you to stay in the water (101.7.3). Hereís another one for you to go after. Just between you and me, I never did like all those people loitering in the water after they completed their leg of the relay. Donít cut those who canít or donít want to get out of the water any slack. Outlaw them too.

Granted, the fly with a dolphin kick can be pretty to watch. However, this is not synchronized swimming, pretty doesnít count. The name of the game is swim by the rules in the fastest possible way you can. And for those of us who employ the breaststroke kick (with or without a dolphin kick thrown), we offer no apology for our method of swimming fly.

Bert Petersen
April 29th, 2002, 11:56 PM
Time for a pure butterfly affectionato to weigh in. (pun intended) ! I only have one stroke to give to my sport. In the early 50's, the dolphin kick was just becoming known. My coach and I learned it out of a book, the "Swimming Times" of Great Britain. One of my team-mates and I would race a 100 fly every Monday, for time trials. Every time he would catch me in the last 10 yards and I still remember the sound of that dreaded frog-kick catching up with me. But one time I failed to die at the end and that was the last time trial for him. He was also the last frogger to ever beat me. So; what is the point ? I feel that as long as the rules allow, and as long as the poor froggers cannot beat real butterfly, what's to lose ? Seriously, the frog kick should be grandfathered out. The only question in my mind, brought to my attention by my breast-friend, Peter Cruise, is at what age should we require the purification of the stroke ? Over to you.......................:p

April 30th, 2002, 07:58 AM
Even in USA Swimming we make allowances for those with physical disabilities, and the rules do say that they can start a race other than from the block.

What I am talking about is the one instance where there is an essential change in the form of a stroke that has outlived it's need.

Masters Swimming has grown considerably since it began and the abilities of the competitors is reflected by that growth. It's time to change this one rule, maybe as Bert says, by grandfathering it over time to allow for everyone to become accustomed to the idea.

There is a difference between using common sense in a situation where you allow relay swimmers to "loiter" in the water when safety must be a concern and what I am talking about which is the accepted form of a distinct stroke as viewed by the rest of the swimming world.

April 30th, 2002, 09:42 AM
In general, I am in favor of all organizations having the same rules for competitive swimming. However, FINA's rules for Masters permit the breaststroke kick in butterfly and I think that we should follow their rules unless there is a compelling reason to differ. Since it was only last summer that FINA banned breaststroke kick in butterfly for kids I suspect it will take some time before they do so for masters. I feel that people who think that breasstroke kick should direct their efforts to changing the FINA rules first and then we can make to same change to our rules.

Steve: FINA rules permit Masters to start on the blocks, on the deck, or in the water (MSW 3.2). FINA rules also permit swimmers to remain in their lane until directed by the referee to leave the pool (MSW 3.5). USMS rules do not differ from FINA rules in either case.

May 1st, 2002, 07:37 PM
Thoseof us in the + 55 age groups probably learned the fly with the frog kick before changing over to the dolphin kick. As we get older. it gets tougher to compete a 200 fly entirely with dolphin kick, pull ourselves out of the pool after our leg of an relay, or even start from the blocks due to many factors. Please do not change the butterfly rule. I want to be able to swim fly when I reach the older age groups!

jean sterling
May 1st, 2002, 09:32 PM
Winnie wrote:
Those of us in the + 55 age groups probably learned the fly with the frog kick before changing over to the dolphin kick. As we get older. it gets tougher to compete a 200 fly entirely with dolphin kick, pull ourselves out of the pool after our leg of an relay, or even start from the blocks due to many factors. Please do not change the butterfly rule. I want to be able to swim fly when I reach the older age groups!

I am in the 65-69 age group, so fly was done with a frog kick when I was in my teens. I always thought that fly with a frog kick was extremely awkward - the frog kick doesn't lift you out of the water to breathe the way a properly executed dolphin kick does - at least frog kick didn't work for me in fly, so I didn't do butterfly much in my younger years. I love doing fly with the dolphin kick - it's more graceful, and I don't sink down with each kick like I can remember doing in the old days with the frog kick. And yes, I am proud to say that I do the 200 fly - did my first 200 fly just a couple of years ago and have managed to improve on my time in both the 100 and the 200 since then. So, yes, older age group folks can do fly with the dolphin kick.

As for changing the rules, I don't care one way or the other - I think that doing dolphin kick is the faster way to go, and if somebody can swim faster with a frog kick, more power to them.

September 4th, 2002, 01:35 PM
This is a old thread. Most of the master swimmers who use breastroke kick in the butterfly are probably from the 1950's and 1960's generation in AAU or school swimming, when this was legal. I remember in 1969 that the novice meets allow you to do this. AAU did'n't allowed for this. For someone who did both breastroke and butterfly as their top strokes as a teenager and young adult, I don't see the advantage. I even have a faster breastroke kick than a dolphin kick, but the breastroke kick makes it difficult to swim with a fly pull. If few older master swimmers who grew up under the old system, want to use breastroke kick then that's their decision, and I don't see why masters has to have the same rules as USA Swimming on this, since some master swimmers swam as children and young adults before 1960.

September 4th, 2002, 02:06 PM
Butterfly with a breaststroke kick, interesting concept but to me seems it would be a bit awkward. As a flier, it seems trying to integrate the breast stroke kick would throw off all the rythm and timing of the stroke. The butterfly is a beautiful stroke, and the fly kick is not really a kick but just the natural movement of the legs from the torso. Doing the breast stroke kick with fly would seem to me exerting much more energy and effort than needed.

September 5th, 2002, 06:29 PM
Have you ever tried the Butterfly with the Breaststroke kick? Believe me, it may sound awkward. But as a 200m flier, I find using the breaststroke kick is the answer for me. I was never taught swimming as a child, however could swim. So when it came to the fly kick. I did try it but with dismal results. I am faster over the 200 fly by 20 seconds when using the breaststroke kick. I'm not saying it's ideal for the 50m sprint though as it is difficult to do an all out sprint using the breaststroke kick. Try it, you may be surprised. Good luck.:p

Peter Cruise
September 5th, 2002, 07:15 PM
Always a pleasure to see an old thread restart! Despite years of diligent effort, my dolphin kick doesn't. Using breastroke kick is my only hope for 50m+. Now I think I'll exit before all the outraged butterfly purists vent their spleen (try to envision that).
Breastroke is for lovers...butterfly is for...Bert!

jean sterling
September 5th, 2002, 09:32 PM
I swam back in the 50s when fly had the frog kick. This always seemed real awkward to me, and I never did much fly.

For a long time my fly with dolphin kick was quite exhausting - I seemed to sink every time I breathed, which is a real bummer. I could get by with double breathing for a 50, but this didn't work for anything longer.

A few years ago I finally got a coach who changed the timing of my kick in the fly, got me to do a proper arm pull, and gave me some drills so I could feel the undulation. It has begun to all come together, and I actually like to do fly with the dolphin kick - it just seems to flow when you get that undulation going.

September 5th, 2002, 10:13 PM
Well, Pete, I never tried it with breastroke kick at 200 yards. I learned fly with a dolphin kick. But a girl about 2 years older than me who was a breastroker, use the breastroke kick in butterfly at a novice meet. Anyway,I was surprise that fina just recently outlawed breastroke kick for children and teenagers. I don't remember anyone past the early 1970's in age group swimming using it. And as I stated before, I'm a breastroker, and when I was a kid fly was one second best stroke. Free and Back were my worst strokes. Now, the other three are not that good. And sprint breastroke at 50 yards or 50 meters is my best event.

September 6th, 2002, 07:56 PM
Since I have absolutely no ankle flexibility, maybe I should try the 200 with a breaststroke kick, I at least get a little forward motion with it.:D

September 7th, 2002, 12:25 AM
I'm not sure I'm co-ordinated enough to do froggy kick with fly. While dolphin kick hurts my back sometimes I also have this natural floation device called my tush that pops on during fly making me do dolphin kick.

I'm actually surprised to see people miffed over the non conformance of fly in USMS. Maybe these folks need to look back into history when refs refused to DQ a swimmer in the Olympics for swimming fly in the breatstroke event . . . . .