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Thread: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

  1. #1
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    Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    I want the Backstroke flags moved out at least 1 or 2 yards (or meters) - it's just too close - who will second my motion ?

    I don't swim a lot of backstroke - and I have not done anything fast until I started tackling the IM this season - but the flags are just too close for me. I do have a very long stroke (plus I am tall) - but does anybody else have this problem ? My fastest backstroke turns are using one stroke to intiate the roll over to my stomach and then using one full stroke on my stomach. I pretty much have to look and anticipate the flags - otherwise I am too late and I miss out on my full free stroke.

    It should not be that difficult - they just need to drill new holes into every pool dack in the country ....

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Kurt Dickson's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    Have you been dipping in the peyote again? Just how long are your arms? It is four strokes for most human beings to the wall (3 to get ready and 4 to go)--any more and I would lose count. If they did make it further out they could call it the Michael Gross/Albatross rule (although he never swam back as I remember).

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    I think they should just have the flags at 5M instead of 5M or 5 yds.I am not clear what you mean by a full stroke after you turn over.I thought you get one pull that is part of the turning motion.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    SW 6.4 When executing the turn there must be a touch of the wall with some part of the swimmer’s body in his/her respective lane. During the turn the shoulders may be turned over the vertical to the breast after which a continuous single arm pull or a continuous simultaneous double arm pull may be used to initiate the turn. The swimmer must have returned to the position on the back upon leaving the wall.


    4 arms pulls ? I do 12-13 strokes for a 25 - so 2 strokes within 5 yards is a close call + I do the turn about 1 yard out. It's just not enough space. Totally agree on the 5y / 5m thing -- it's different at every pool.

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    Very Fetching Rump SwimStud's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    Motion for the stroke to be removed totally would get my vote!



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  6. #6
    Very Active Pirate Blackbeard's Peg's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    The flags are there as a guide. If they're too close for you, count your strokes for a whole length. Obviously you'll probably have different stroke counts for each length of a 50/100/200, but you can work that out in practice.
    By the way, you shouldn't be doing much different from the flags on into the wall as part of a turn - you should be going fast the whole time.
    Why do we always run out of rum?

  7. #7
    Very Active Member thewookiee's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    The flags are the same for everyone. If you can't hit your turn correctly, that's your fault, not the backstroke flags. All of us, at sometime or another, have screwed up backstroke turns.

    The flags weren't to blame for that either. This is one of the worst ideas I have heard yet.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    If Matt Grevers can get used to it, anyone can...

    I think the effect on young age groupers if the flags were moved out to 8 or 10 meters would be pretty signficant. Many more DQs, I'm sure. Slower times, too -- almost every young swimmer I watch slows down a little (or a lot!) when they see the flags.

    I definitely support Allen's suggestion of making it a uniform 5m, though. I never really understood why they change it for 25y pools. The 15m DQ line doesn't change between courses, why should the flags?

  9. #9
    Active Member susanehr's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    Flags rule:
    Long course and short course meters—
    5 meters (16 feet, 5 inches)
    from each end of the course, a minimum of 1.8 meters (5 feet, 11 inches)
    to a maximum of 2.5 meters (8 feet, 3 inches) above the water surface.
    [M]

    B Short course yards—
    15 feet (4.57 meters) from each end of the course,

    7 feet (2.13 meters) above the water surface. [M]

    The difference in the distance I'm sure is the difference in FINA making the meters rule and USA-S/USMS/YMCA/High School/NCAA making the yards. Why would we want pools to spend all that money drilling four new holes for a foot and a half difference?

    I am a backstroker, after I pass the flag in a race I take three arm pulls then roll to my stomach and flip. I'm a measly 5'6" and my wing span is about 5'8" and it generally takes me 16-18 strokes a length 25 yards or meters. I would think this is pretty average.

    If I have been swimming yards in practice and switch to meters, I remind myself by doing some fast 50's before the meet, where I need to turn.

    A better rule change would be to allow us to not have to do the continuous turning motion once we are on our stomach. Let us kick into the wall!



    "Life is too important to be taken seriously."

  10. #10
    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Dickson View Post
    Have you been dipping in the peyote again? Just how long are your arms? It is four strokes for most human beings to the wall (3 to get ready and 4 to go)--any more and I would lose count. If they did make it further out they could call it the Michael Gross/Albatross rule (although he never swam back as I remember).
    Ditto. I'm 6'4" and it's easily 3 strokes for me ... likely 4 by the last turn on the 400 IM.

    I did like the other comment re: counting strokes your whole lap. I do that now in my 400 free to try to ensure I stay long on the 1st 200. Idiot me, though, I've never thought about doing the same in backstroke.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    I take one stroke on my back and immediately roll over.
    What helps keep me from jamming the turn is a quick look at the wall while reeling myself in with the freestyle stroke.

    Unlike freestyle, the T at the bottom is not the ideal gauge to get a bearing on how far out you are.

    And Chris is right, If Matt Grevers can do it anyone can.

  12. #12
    Bigger than a breadbox mattson's Avatar
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    Re: Motion to move the Backstroke Flags

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoch View Post
    4 arms pulls ? I do 12-13 strokes for a 25
    It is more like 12 strokes for 20 yards, even less distance if you have a decent dolphin kick in addition to your push-off.

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