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Thread: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

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    This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    At the past 4 Masters meets I officiated (including 2 Nationals), I have observed slower butterfliers completely submerged at some point in the stroke cycle (after surfacing before the 15 mtr mark). Although the swimmer is not attempting to submerge for the purpose of streamline dolphin kicking, their momentum coupled with slow turn-over takes them completely underwater for short periods of time.

    The video link - - shows me swimming slow fly. For brief moments I am completely submerged with no forward propulsion - just resting before the next stroke.



    An overly strict, by-the-rules official would be within the rules to DQ a swimmer doing butterfly like the video. It is called "resubmerging after the 15 mtr mark".

    This is one of those cases where Masters might need an interpretation of the rule - specific for masters swimmers - that allows for submerging during a stroke cycle provided the swimmer does not perform more than "x" dolphin kicks while submerged.
    Last edited by Windrath; December 21st, 2017 at 02:57 PM.

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    although the video is not included with the post i believe i have seen the stroke ... if trying to rest i've always thought that putting the hands together and dolphin kicking with head above surface would be a better way or resting on the wall ... the violation is described as after the 15 yd/mtr mark - "the swimmer must remain on the surface until the next turn or finish"



    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

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    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    From where I'm sitting, it looks like your heels are going below the surface just as your head breaks it. Perhaps it is due to the resolution of the video.

    Has this been an issue for many masters swimmers?

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    https://vimeo.com/248356962?utm_sour...campaign=28749

    I have been having trouble getting the link to display in this thread, so maybe if you cut and paste the line above, it will work.

    Jackback - I am a certified Stroke/Turn for both USA Swimming and USMS (highschool/college as well). what you describe doing is legal. You just have to be sure NOT to scull with your hands while taking a breath.

    Freestyler - it has not been an issue, but no one is looking at it either. I suppose we could take the "wait until it is broken" approach, but doing that will mean someone has to be DQ'd for something they should not be DQ'd for.

    The "resubmerge" wording was put in to prevent swimmers from surfacing before the 15 mtr mark and then re-submerging so they could streamline dolphin kick. Simply going slow without intending to submerge should not, in my mind, be reason fro DQ.

    Changing the Rule means FINA has to change it - that will not happen. Instead, I would like to see USMS Rules develop an interpretation before someone is DQ'd. I suppose I could DQ someone at the next nationals so it has to be dealt with, but that is the wrong approach - imho.

    Paul Windrath

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    was able to see it with the repost ... stopping the action repeatedly might show a "moment" where your not on the surface but thats with the advantage of stop action ... i just can't do this, i need the momentum gained to continue with the next stroke, of course i can't swim the 200 fly nonstop either ... also holding the hands together helps to prevent that sculling motion
    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    So the portion of the body that is failing to surface is the rear?

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    _Steve_

    Not quite. The rule requires the entire body to be submerged at the same time - not just the rear. Admittedly, my attempt to completely submerge should be better and longer. Usually what happens is a swimmer's upper body (arms, head, shoulders, rear) submerges and then their feet/heels pop out of the water at the same time. This is what makes the call difficult, if not impossible, to make.

    This might be a better vantage point: https://vimeo.com/248535719?utm_sour...campaign=28749

    However, I have observed at least 4 slower fly swimmers who completely submerge long enough that there is no doubt.

    We tend to see our rules as cast in stone and they never change. A look back shows that is NOT true. In the 50s and 60s, a freestyler had to touch the wall with their hand. Until the early 90s, backstroke was completely on your back. In the 70s and 80s, it was legal for backstrokers to stand on the gutter (as long as their heels were in the water) and do "back dives" for starts. Until the 80s, your head had to stay above the surface of the water - ALL THE TIME - swimming breaststroke. ZOf course, we know about the dolphin kick during the underwater pull-outs on breaststroke. Someday, Backstroke will be done with a forward start....

    Happy Holidays!

    It is time to to clarify this resubmerge rule - imho.

    Paul

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    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    As an official, I think I would first look at whether the swimmer was breaking the surface during each stroke cycle, as in breaststroke. This "resubmerging" scenario can be even more pronounced when Masters swimmers are using a breaststroke kick instead of dolphin kick.

    If the swimmer is resubmerging to make it more of a kicking race, then that's one thing, but if it takes place as part of their normal stroke cycle, then I think some discretion would be in order.

    This discussion reminds me of when Sheila Taormina was coaching our Masters team and she would be yelling at me "I want to see you butt every stroke!" when I was swimming fly...

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    Very Active Member Gary P's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    In the 70s and 80s, it was legal for backstrokers to stand on the gutter (as long as their heels were in the water) and do "back dives" for starts.
    I was brought up in the era of "toes over the gutter" backstroke starts. After a 27 year layoff, I came back to the sport about 3 years ago. This is the one rule change I haven't been able to adapt to. If I try a "legal" backstroke start now, there's about a 50/50 chance my feet just slide down the wall and I'm left floating vertical right in front of the block. Even if I keep my feet from sliding down, I still get very little lift and momentum, resulting in a back flop of epic proportions.





    Until the 80s, your head had to stay above the surface of the water - ALL THE TIME - swimming breaststroke.
    And if I remember right, your hands couldn't break the surface on the recovery, either.

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Mark,

    Your paragraph 1 & 2 comments are exactly why I would like to see Masters "issue" an interpretation. Without an interpretation, DQs will take place on the basis of discretion and personal interpretation - neither of which leads to consistency.

    To date, I think the officials are making the right call, as you mention, if the resubmerge takes place as part of their normal stroke cycle." Masters could be out in front of this and avoid an official making the wrong call.

    Many years ago, there were questions about which part of the arm had to break the surface during the butterfly recovery. Some officials used the fingers, other looked at the elbow, others looked at the shoulders - all independent of each other. Then there was the official who felt the water surface was arbitrary and simply judged if the arm recovery on the basis of the "path of the arms." This is a great example of personal interpretation and discretion being used to avoid making a tough call.

    Paul

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Gary P -

    So we keep this thread pure to the original Title, I will start another thread about discriminating against against backstrokers.

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Have you ever seen Yajima Yuma? He submerges in every stroke, at least that's how it looks to me:

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    67King,

    I would agree with you. I might send to a USA Swimming National level official and see what she thinks. There is a butterflyer at RPI who swims like Yuma and she has never been DQ'd.

    What I have heard from some USA Swimming officials is that it almost impossible to make the resubmerge call because the swimmer's tempo is sufficiently fast that they cannot be sure the entire body is submerged.

    Thanks!

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    So you "might" DQ a masters fly swimmer that is going that slow because they are under water for X amount of time?
    They seem to be still be kicking and arm stroking in a rhythm as in all fly.

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Hi Orca1946,

    The only reason I would DQ someone is to generate dialogue within the Rules Committee. I have asked a couple of times and, so far, they do not want to write an interpretation for this. The rules are quite clear and do not comment about "kicking and arm stroke in a rhythm as in all fly" or allow an official to use discretion. Maybe I have to enter fly and get someone to DQ'd me. Then, I can protest and, hopefully, get it to the "supreme court" for a decision.

    Now, believe it or not, I have seen the same thing when someone did double arm backstroke with a dolphin kick and was fully submerged. Same concern applies, but much less common.

    Paul

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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    Someday, Backstroke will be done with a forward start
    I would be happy to see this happen. would definitely even out the differences between pools - some pools make for easy starts, but with most, my feet slip or it is impossible to get in any position of leverage.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    I'll volunteer to get DQ'ed if you wish??!!

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    Very Active Member m2tall2's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    I haven't seen it come up yet in Masters, but as an official, we've been struggling with this resubmerge rule in our kids rec league. We have a number of, what I call in the most endearing way, "little sinkers", who have trouble making it 25 yards of anything on the surface. They're not trying to gain an underwater advantage, they're trying not to drown (much like many slower masters butterfliers, including myself). Some officials have started DQing these little drowners to make a point for rule clarification. Our kids league generally follows USA swimming rules but has a few items a bit more relaxed, for example in butterfly as long as some PART of the arm breaks the surface while being brought forward, our league considers it acceptable. However, there is a difference between the rule in freestyle and the rule in butterfly. In freestyle, some part of the body must BREAK the surface throughout the race after 15 meters. In breaststroke, even though there is no 15m rule, the head must BREAK the surface each stroke cycle. This is in contrast to the butterfly rule which states the swimmer must remain ON the surface. ON the surface is different from BREAKING the surface and allows some flexibility for the "sinky" potentional in butterfly. Should this be clarified, maybe. But the rule does not state needing to break the surface at any point in the stroke cycle other than arms which need to be over the surface. This initially seems in conflict with not being allowed to resubmerge. However, resubmerging would not allow the arms to recover over the surface throughout the race. Swimming on the surface, you could recover your arms over even if no other part of the body has broken the surface. I think in general this rule is being interpreted properly by officials, which is the only thing that makes me wonder if it needs official clarification.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    We tend to see our rules as cast in stone and they never change. A look back shows that is NOT true.
    While this is certainly true, I wouldn't want to see masters rules or interpretations diverge from non-masters. In fact I think "butterfrog" should be banished from masters, but it's probably not going to happen.

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    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
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    Re: This Butterfly might get you disqualifed

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    ... In fact I think "butterfrog" should be banished from masters, but it's probably not going to happen.
    Amen to that.


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