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Rules Committee Blog


Questions about rules? Search the tag cloud to the right to find previous entries that might answer your question. Feel free to post questions via the comments tool in each post, or contact rules@usms.org.

  1. Question: Preliminaries/Finals Formats

    by , March 31st, 2019 at 01:07 PM (Rules Committee Blog)
    Question:

    Is it permissible to run a sanctioned or recognized meet with a format that includes preliminaries and finals?

    Answer:

    This is covered in article 102.5.5.

    Formats other than timed finals, including preliminary heats and finals, are permitted under USMS rules only for short course yards meets. National Championship meets may only be conducted in a timed finals format. The only difference is that when an alternate format is used, swimmers may only swim three events per day. We also say that if a format other than timed finals is used, the meet announcement should state the process for seeding since we donít cover seeding for prelims when finals are scheduled in the rule book.

    For meets held in 25-meter or 50-meter pools, all events must be conducted as timed finals, which means that swimmers only swim the event one time and the results are determined by ranking the official times of all swimmers who compete in the event.

    Charles Cockrell
    USMS Rules Committee Chair
  2. Club Categories & Relay Starts

    by , May 4th, 2018 at 07:17 PM (Rules Committee Blog)
    At Nationals, why are there two club categories?

    At the USMS National Championship Meet, clubs are scored in two categories: Regional Clubs and Local Clubs. The designation is found in the meet program. Regional clubs are clubs that are made up of subgroups or workout groups. Local clubs are clubs that have decided not to have separate workout groups or subgroups so they represent their club at the National Championship Meet. Your club designation is determined by your club and LMSC. Some workout groups decide to join a regional club, which might include workout groups from an entire city or LMSC. As for scoring at local LMSC swim meets, the meet hosts determine whether they are going to be scored by workout groups/subgroups or by regional clubs. Members always compete for your club, not your workout group and results going into the national database is always designated as your club, not your workout group. However, as terms of scoring at local LMSC swim meets, the meet host determine whether they are going to be scored by workout groups/subgroups or by regional clubs. More information about local and regional clubs can be found in the USMS rule book 104.5.6 Club Scoring. For USMS Spring Nationals in May there are currently 251 local clubs registered (including individuals who are unattached) and 19 regional clubs. Championship banners are presented to the top 10 clubs in the local division and top five clubs in the regional division.

    Relay Starts with Adjustable Back Plates on the Starting Platform

    Article 101.7.3 H is a rule that was added this year to the rule book. It states that the relay swimmers in the second, third, and fourth position cannot start from the top of the adjustable back plate (wedge). The first swimmer is bound by normal forward or backward start rules. The swimmers must have at lest part of one foot in contact with the starting platform (not on back plate/wedge) in front of the back plate. This rule was put in partly for safety reasons, to prevent relay swimmers from moving the back plate/wedge all the way to the front of the block and taking off from just the wedge. When doing a relay start, the wedge can be placed as far forward as you would like as long as part of your foot touches the part of the block facing the water before take-off. Only one foot has to touch the front part of the platform so the other foot can remain on the back plate/wedge. Also, the foot that touches the front part of the platform does not have to start in that position. When the start has begun, the foot may begin in any position, however, it must touch the front part of the platform before take-off.