View Full Version : Breaststroke rule question

December 25th, 2017, 01:41 PM
Quick question, when did the rule change?

When I was in age-group, HS, and Collegiate swimming I was DQ'd enough times (embarrassing to admit) to incur the wrath of several coaches and teammates, including one state championship meet, for my head going too far below the waterline in breaststroke. The last time was in the late 80's. I am watching videos and seeing swimmers in the pool routinely doing the same thing, head way under waterline during breaststroke. When did the rule change? And what is the rule now?


December 25th, 2017, 04:04 PM
Chris -

I do not remember when the rule changed - sometime prior to 1995. The rule now requires that some part of the swimmer's head break the surface once during each stroke cycle (except after start and turn and after the final stroke into the turn and finish). (101.2.2)

Also, breaststrokes are NOT required to surface before the 15 mtr mark like the other three strokes are required to do.


Allen Stark
December 25th, 2017, 05:05 PM
FINA changed the rule in 1986. If you were DQd after that I guess they weren't following FINA rules. The rule change also legalized recovering with the hands out of the water, but not the elbows. That turns out to not really be an advantage, but the head going underwater totally changed the stroke,in my opinion for the better.

December 27th, 2017, 01:06 PM
Welcome to "newer" swimming. Are you also aware that backstroke now allows a flip turn on the front, like a freestyle turn?

December 28th, 2017, 02:43 PM
There are some of us ( the over 70 crowd) who can remember pre-Summer '57, when it was legal to swim the whole breaststroke race underwater. In fact, it was common for one swimming a fifty to only take a breath at the turn. Having poor breath control, I was constantly being told by my coaches to "stay under longer." I can remember one coach telling me in a relieved tone that I could now be a good breaststroker because the rules had changed. So in my first big meet after that, I panicked and took a long stroke to catch up and was promptly DQd! It's hard to tell how many changes my stroke has undergone in all those years.

December 30th, 2017, 07:02 PM
Nope. Wasnt aware of that either.