After seeing some accomplished swimmers get disqualified in Austin, our masters group has been trying to interpret the rules on both the butterfly and breaststroke turns.
The first question is related to the "simultaneous touch":
The 2008 USA Swimming Rules and Regulations book states for both strokes: "The touch shall be made simultaneously at, above, or below the water surface."
Does this mean that one hand can be above the water and one below the water as long as they touch at the same time? We all seem to remember as kids that the touch had to be simultaneous on the same horizontal plane.
For breaststroke, the book also states that throughout the stroke "the arms shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane...", so if that is the case, then the swimmer would have to touch the wall at the same level.
There is no such added description for arms in the butterfly stroke.
The second question is regarding the body position upon leaving the wall:
For breaststroke, the book states: "...after each turn when the swimmer leaves the wall, the body shall be kept on the breast." Must the swimmer be 100% flat as soon as their feet leave the wall?
For butterfly, it states: "Once the turn has been made, the shoulders must be at or past the vertical toward the breast when the swimmer leaves the wall."
To further complicate things, for the backstroke to breaststroke turn in the IM, the rule book states: "Once the legal touch has been made, the swimmer may turn in any manner but the shoulders must be at or past the vertical toward the breast when the swimmer leaves the wall and the prescribed breasstroke form must be attained prior to the first arm stroke."
Does anyone have any insight into these rules?