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shark
November 16th, 2007, 09:31 AM
Has anyone seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9HP7_cJc9U

I checked back a few pages and couldn't find any recent posts on this guy from Greece, Romanos Alyfantis. (My current computer won't allow me to open this site due to blocks installed by my employer.) Apparently, he's cheating. Or is he? Has he found a loophole in the rules? Apparently, officials are allowing it. And it sounds to me like he's been doing it for some time. Being an Olympic year, it is bound to be the next big "committee" question.

My question comes from trying to find a loophole in the National Federation of State High Schools Association Swimming Rule Book.

The rule states for the breaststroke kick the following:

"The kick requires the feet be drawn up with the knees bent. The feet must be turned outward during the propulsive part of the kick. All movement of the legs and feet shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane. No scissors, flutter, or downward butterfly kick (developed from a flexing and extending of the knee) is permitted except as provided in 8-2-2c above. [8-2-2c refers to the single butterfly kick on the pull out]

This rule says nothing about an upward butterfly kick. Hmmm. As long as you do not (flex and extend the knee) you can produce propulsion with an upward kick after the legs have been extended at the end of the insweep of the legs. {the point at which you are pointing your toes and streamlining upfront}

I introduced this new idea to my high schoolers and they looked at me like I was from Mars. If you could produce propulsion this way, why would you not try it? Has anyone have an idea on how to fundamentally break it down to allow for younglings to understand this concept?

I am a freestyler that never could do breaststroke due to an unfortunate break of the knee when I was four. So, I am asking all of you knowledgeable evil strokers for help in this "next big thing."

christineL
November 16th, 2007, 10:18 AM
I sent an email to my girls' coaches with the link to that site and I'm waiting to hear what they need to say. If it is something I can do, then I'd go for it!

Rob Copeland
November 16th, 2007, 10:19 AM
Im not sure I would characterize this as cheating. However he is using an illegal kick and should be disqualified. The FINA rule SW7.5 states: the feet must be turned outwards in the propulsive part of the kick. A scissors, flutter or dolphin kick is not permitted except as in SW7.4 (a single downward dolphin kick is permitted out of each turn while wholly submerged). Clearly from the underwater view his feet are not turned outwards in the propulsive part of the kick and any competent official seeing this kick would DQ him. However FINA does not have underwater and video judging, yet, so I cant say what the officials saw, but it is hard to believe that this was not readily visible for the stroke judge.

As for the using a dolphin up-sweep, I have seen a number of swimmers use this and none have been DQed, yet. At the present time the up-sweep is not considered the propulsive part of the kick

poolraat
November 16th, 2007, 10:34 AM
I agree with Rob that this is an illegal kick. To me it appears to be nothing more than a dolphin kick with the legs apart. All the kick propulsion appears to be coming from the tops of the feet. As an official, if I saw this there would be no hesitation in calling a disqualification. Although I will give the stroke judge the benefit of the doubt here because I know how difficult it is to see the UW portion of a swim with surface turbulance, glare and so forth.

shark
November 16th, 2007, 10:44 AM
Im not sure I would characterize this as cheating. However he is using an illegal kick and should be disqualified. The FINA rule SW7.5 states: the feet must be turned outwards in the propulsive part of the kick. A scissors, flutter or dolphin kick is not permitted except as in SW7.4 (a single downward dolphin kick is permitted out of each turn while wholly submerged). Clearly from the underwater view his feet are not turned outwards in the propulsive part of the kick and any competent official seeing this kick would DQ him. However FINA does not have underwater and video judging, yet, so I cant say what the officials saw, but it is hard to believe that this was not readily visible for the stroke judge.

As for the using a dolphin up-sweep, I have seen a number of swimmers use this and none have been DQed, yet. At the present time the up-sweep is not considered the propulsive part of the kick

From what I have read, the swim in the clip is the 5th fastest time ever recorded in that event.


I think the key word here is "yet". I for one am going to try to figure it out and see what happens before the committee rules it illegal.

pwolf66
November 16th, 2007, 10:50 AM
This should have been ruled as illegal as the propulsion is occuring from the top of foot and is clearly in violation of the Breaststroke kick rule.

Paul

JimRude
November 16th, 2007, 11:13 AM
Illegal - end of story.

christineL
November 16th, 2007, 12:14 PM
:confused: Why do we have to declare it to be illegal without giving it some chances to prove its worth? When I stopped swimming many years ago, I thought that techniques would remain the same over years. Much to my delight and surprise, I found many of the techniques to have changed to help us swim more effortlessly with the same amount of work. This kick seems to have evolved for better propulsion? From the viewer's stand, I saw butterfly's and breaststroke's movement to be very similar. So.......why declare it to be illegal without much giving it some chances?

poolraat
November 16th, 2007, 12:25 PM
:confused: Why do we have to declare it to be illegal without giving it some chances to prove its worth? When I stopped swimming many years ago, I thought that techniques would remain the same over years. Much to my delight and surprise, I found many of the techniques to have changed to help us swim more effortlessly with the same amount of work. This kick seems to have evolved for better propulsion? From the viewer's stand, I saw butterfly's and breaststroke's movement to be very similar. So.......why declare it to be illegal without much giving it some chances?


Because by the current rules, it is illegal. The time may come when that changes, but until then it is not a legal kick.

shark
November 16th, 2007, 12:39 PM
After travelling home for lunch and watching this video, the kick being used by the Greek is clearly illegal. Why was he not dqed? In Athens 2004, the Japanese guy was not dqed and Hansen got the silver. The rule changed and now you are allowed to use the dolphin kick on your pullout. If this Greek has clearly swam this way for several years, are we going to see a change in the way the breaststroke kick is judged? Alot of the rules are changed by committee due to the difficulty in judging underwater, as we do not have underwater judging capability. The backstroke turn rule changed because judges had difficulty judging the wording "past vertical towards the breast." If it is so difficult to see an individual "cheating" from the side and end decks of the pool, it is likely that the rule will change, so as to make it less difficult for the official to make a ruling. I am not an official, but it has been my experience that the swimmer gets the benefit of the doubt, if doubt has been created by the swimmer, or argued clearly and to the point by the coach of said swimmer. Isn't this the reason for a Meet Committee?

Lightning
November 16th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Even the background announcers are doubting the legality of it, the final comment is, "I just can't watch this".

pwolf66
November 16th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Again, how did this not get DQed? This should have gotten called for several reasons.

1) Toes not turned outward
2) The bottom of the foot is not being used for propulsion
3) The surface of the water is being broken and is being followed by a downward dolphin kick.

Any one of those should have been cause for a DQ and ALL those can easily be seen from the pool deck by a S&T judge.

We can not judge a stroke by what the rules MAY be, we can only judge by what the rules CURRENTLY are.

Paul

christineL
November 16th, 2007, 02:51 PM
2) The bottom of the foot is not being used for propulsion
3) The surface of the water is being broken and is being followed by a downward dolphin kick.


I want to ignore the legality of this....I'm focusing more on how effective is it on propelling forward. From the quote above, it sounds like there are more drags than the traditional breaststroke kick produce. Is this correct?

cowsvils
November 16th, 2007, 11:41 PM
The way he is doing this it is illegal, however, there are some ways that this rule can be manipulated, which was something that my coach worked on over the summer. First, as I think you alluded to, if you get your swimmers to try to keep their hips loose and have their body follow more of a wave, their feet will naturally rise and sink in a butterfly motion. I'm not sure how much propulsion this adds as you aren't really able to emphasize it very strongly at the risk of being DQed. As long as they do this motion naturally from the hips and not from the knees they shouldn't be disqualified. Another idea you could try, which may work better with non-breaststrokers and breaststorkers is to try to develop a kick where the purpose is to create a short movement with a lot of vertical force. Although this may be a little more dicey, it would allow for a lot more power to be created.

Just my two cents

shark
November 17th, 2007, 07:25 AM
Another idea you could try, which may work better with non-breaststrokers and breaststorkers is to try to develop a kick where the purpose is to create a short movement with a lot of vertical force. Although this may be a little more dicey, it would allow for a lot more power to be created.

Yesterday, during our HS practice I had my #1 Breaststroker try to create propulsion with an upward push of the legs after the insweep of the kick and squeeze of the legs, but before the recovery of the kick. I had her doing 25's, half with her old form and half with the new form. Their was a noticeable difference in surge forward with the upward part of a dolphin kick at the extension of the legs. This created a situation where her heels would exit the water on her recovery phase. (not against the rules I believe, but possibly added surface tension resistance) It was such a huge difference that I had to incorporate other sets of eyes to make sure that what I was seeing was actually happening. I then had her do a 400 kick concentrating on the upward motion with legs extended. She went a 6:08, in traffic. Her previous best time was 6:28. Now, is that because she is a year older and stronger, maybe. But, the new component of the kick that I had her try did seem to create a completely noticeable surge forward. Next week I am going to have her try it while swimming. I believe it is going to create a need to remain in streamline at the front of the pull for a moment longer. Breath control sets are in her future. Go Bucks! Beat Michigan!

ourswimmer
November 17th, 2007, 01:25 PM
Even the background announcers are doubting the legality of it, the final comment is, "I just can't watch this".

I think commentary on the illegality of the kick is the whole reason someone put this clip on youtube in the first place. The announcers' only topic seem to be the fact that the swimmer's kick is obviously illegal, which it is. All he is doing is dolphin kicking with his knees apart. He'd be faster still if he recovered over the surface, or if he alternated arms and legs and pulled from full arm extension in front down to somewhere near his hips; but then again he wouldn't be doing the breaststroke in those cases either.

Allen Stark
November 17th, 2007, 06:35 PM
ILLEGAL,ILLEGAL,ILLEGAL.:censor:The stroke judge should be fired.
I just read an article that Joseph Nagy(Barrowman's guru) thinks the future of the stroke is to minimize the knee bend and do basically a dolphin kick but with the feet turned out.I don't think he is right,but that would be very different from this guys illegal stroke.

shark
November 18th, 2007, 08:48 AM
ILLEGAL,ILLEGAL,ILLEGAL.:censor:The stroke judge should be fired.
I just read an article that Joseph Nagy(Barrowman's guru) thinks the future of the stroke is to minimize the knee bend and do basically a dolphin kick but with the feet turned out.I don't think he is right,but that would be very different from this guys illegal stroke.

Is there a link to the article of which you speak? I would be interested in reading it.

shark
November 19th, 2007, 09:22 AM
Check out this thread about this question on Lane 9 News:

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/15930.asp

It is recent and discusses some points about FINA looking into the possibility of underwater replay systems. Does anyone have any info on the topic of underwater replay officiating in swimming? Of what I can find it will not be in place for Beijing.

Jeff Commings
November 19th, 2007, 10:56 AM
If the rule is changed to allow dolphin kick, I will never swim breaststroke again.

knelson
November 19th, 2007, 11:05 AM
I can't understand how he wouldn't be called for a DQ on this. The feet turned outward is the salient point of the breaststroke kick and he is clearly not doing this. It's obvious from underwater, but it seems like it would be pretty blatant from the official's vantage point, too.

aquaFeisty
November 19th, 2007, 05:57 PM
Wow, I do this kind of swimming all the time in practice to save my knees. It's called breaststroke w/dolphin kick and it is known as a DRILL!!!

:censor:

Warren
November 19th, 2007, 08:16 PM
Even if dolphin kicking was legalized I still think I would rather use a breaststroke kick.

Allen Stark
November 19th, 2007, 09:52 PM
What is the matter with these stroke judges:doh:.There is no way he would get away with this at a Masters Meet.The elite judges should be at least as good as our local ones,or is the fix in.I found that Nagy article and it was in Sept. Swimming World. I am really afraid these gutless judges will say"it 's just too hard to tell if they are doing a dolphin kick or not,lets just make it legal(so we don't have to pay attention to do our job.)":(:(:(

shark
November 20th, 2007, 08:55 AM
or is the fix in.

I am preparing myself for the fix. I cannot see how this is any different than any of the other rules that have been changed in this sport during the progression to where we are now.

knelson
November 20th, 2007, 10:27 AM
I am preparing myself for the fix. I cannot see how this is any different than any of the other rules that have been changed in this sport during the progression to where we are now.

I think it's different. The frog kick is what makes breaststroke breaststroke. There have been rule changes based on things that were difficult to judge (e.g., the backstroke turn, the dolphin kick on the breast pullout), but this shouldn't be difficult to judge.

2fish&1whale
November 20th, 2007, 11:18 AM
Well, here is a story about a swimmer and his coach who drew attention to this "new" style of breast stroke .....:applaud:

http://www.swimnews.com/News/displayStory.jhtml?id=5661

Breast stroke is my favorite stroke and to see it mutilated like this is just sad. I agree that there will always be improvements on each stroke and change is often good, but to change the kick, which makes up half of the breaststroke, is too severe and it sounds like it would cater to lazy judges more than anything......

jonblank
November 20th, 2007, 12:36 PM
If the rule is changed to allow dolphin kick, I will never swim breaststroke again.

If the rule is changed to allow dolphin kick, it will be butterfly. Thus, I doubt anyone will ever swim breaststroke again.

But I'm with you. That video is of a very fast pull drill using dolphin kick.

knelson
November 20th, 2007, 01:00 PM
If the rule is changed to allow dolphin kick, it will be butterfly.

Not quite. The arms need to be recovered over the water in fly. Isn't that how fly and breast became separate strokes originally?