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Windrath
December 23rd, 2017, 10:57 AM
Gary P,

As a backstroker who had the same experience with the old Colorado "slippery pads," I find the whole "toes & gutter" rule to make no sense.

Can you imagine a forward start being done without your toes curled over the front edge of the starting platform? NO - it is unsafe if the swimmer slips. None of the Rules Chairs seemed to care about being inconcistent with the forward start though though until a couple of high profile backstroke swimmers slipped in the World Championship a few years ago. Then, the race was on to develop wedges/ledges.

So, they wrote a rule that allows wedges/ledges to prevent slipping and alot of your feet can be out of the water. But, when ledges/wedges are not available, you still cannot curl your toes over the gutter's edge. Where is the fairness there - especially for masters swimmers who might not have access to facilities with wedges/ledges.

There is absolutely no reason for backstrokers to not be able to curl their toes and the rules should be amended to allow it.

Even dumber is the official jurisdiction when backstroke starts are involved. If a backstroker has their toes curled over the gutter during the start and the starter does not see it, the stroke and turn official cannot make the call. Allowing toes to be curled over would solve a number of officiating and swimmer issues.

Yes, this one has to originate at the FINA level and not just with an eye towards the elite swimmers. There ought to be an accommodation that, for safety and fairness, swimmers may curl their toes over the edge of the gutter."

BUT, given the craziness that sometimes occurs, this discussion would probably evolve into using the forward start for all strokes.....

Paul

quicksilver
December 23rd, 2017, 11:30 AM
So, they wrote a rule that allows wedges/ledges to prevent slipping and alot of your feet can be out of the water. But, when ledges/wedges are not available, you still cannot curl your toes over the gutter's edge.


Out of curiosity, I'm wondering why they won't allow a toe curl - even if just to create a level playing field with this new wedge rule in effect.

For those of us who like to swim backwards, it's slightly unfair that a swimmer in one part of the country might be enjoying the benefit of this nifty wedge - where in some facilities, no such thing exists, and we're still relegated to an iffy start.

Just saying...

Allen Stark
December 23rd, 2017, 01:18 PM
FINA probably has this rule because they like those stupid touchpads that cover the gutter.

Karl_S
December 23rd, 2017, 02:43 PM
I could rant about this for quite a while.
In summary: Not allowing toes over the gutter is just plain stupid.

Windrath
December 23rd, 2017, 03:05 PM
Allen,

I agree that that was probably the reason. So, this could be a case where the rules for backstroke starts in SCY pools could be different than backstroke starts for SCM or LCM when world records could be in play.

Yes, I realize this means a difference that has to be considered, but not much different than using 5 mtrs for turns in SCM/LCM versus 5 yds for SCY.

Paul

ForceDJ
December 24th, 2017, 01:29 AM
IMO, I think the backstroke should start from up on the blocks like all the other strokes.

Dan