View Full Version : Relay Rules: Then & Now

June 26th, 2004, 06:55 PM
My children swim competitively. In relays they have the rule that the 2nd-4th swimmer may not leave the blocks until the preceeding swimmer touches the wall. I was swimming in junior and senior high school in Broward county Florida in the 60's. I'm certain that we swam to the rule that we could not touch the water until the preceeding swimmer touched the wall. Therefore, we always anticipated and left the blocks as the preceeding swimmer was in mid-stroke with about 12 inches to go before touching the wall. Were we violating the rules or have they changed since 1967?

June 27th, 2004, 06:58 AM
I know my children have been taught to anticipate the swimmer coming into the wall. The best relay exchange is that the swimmer on the block only has the tip of the toe left on the block when the swimmer in the water touches the wall. So they are in motion and almost taking off, but still legally touching that block at the wall touch. This requires them to start their wind-up to lift off before the swimmer gets to the wall. This can cause a DQ for "jumping" if the swimmer in the water does not drive to the wall as expected, so I can see some coaches cautioning them to "make sure" that swimmer is in before take off.

June 27th, 2004, 07:41 PM
dorothyrd, thank-you, but I am not looking for what is correct today. I'm looking for a confirmation that what we did in jr/sr high in the 60's was valid for the rules then. We know that other rules have changed: back then breast strokers were not allowed to completely submerse their head accept on the start and turns; back then back strokers could not roll over on the bellies to make a flip turn. So, I'm looking for someone out there to tell me if the relay take-off rule has changed or whether alzheimers has kicked-in and I can't remember the facts!:confused:

Allen Stark
June 27th, 2004, 08:42 PM
I don't know of any rule change. I started in Oklahoma in 1964 & the rule was the same as now.

June 27th, 2004, 11:31 PM
I swam on my high school team in 91 and 92. I beleive then that it was you couldn't touch the water until the swimmer had touched the wall. If it has changed I am not sure or it could be coaches are just taking a little extra percaution.

Rob Copeland
June 28th, 2004, 08:29 AM
I donít have any old AAU swimming rule books from the 60ís to confirm this, but even back then the swimmer was not allowed to leave the block before the previous swimmer touched the wall. As mentioned before, the swimmer on the block was allowed to move and only had to have a toe on the block when the swimmer in the water touched the wall.

Back then we had relay take-off judges who would place their pinkie finger next to the little toe of the swimmer on the block and watch the swimmer touch the wall. If they felt the toe leave before the swimmer touched, the relay would be disqualified.

June 28th, 2004, 08:35 AM
Back in the 70s, the rule was the same as now, you couldn't be fully off the blocks until the swimmer before you touched.

In can't speak for the 60s, ask Tom Ellison, he was around back then!

June 28th, 2004, 08:39 AM
Thank-you. I guess age has made me forget. Thanks.

June 28th, 2004, 10:05 AM
In the mid 60s the rule was also as it is now - recalled from both my AAU and my summer league experiences. We often had relay judges at each lane that would place a finger across your toes as they watched the incoming swimmer to help determine whether you were legal.