Hi All,

In another post about butterfly, it grew into a wider topic of issuing penalties for rule violations instead of absolute DQs. This is an attempt to broaden the topic a little further.

Thanks to comments from everyone as well as pondering my responses, I have come to conclusion that there are three different situations in play:

The first is a violation of the stroke (i.e. doing a dolphin kick during the breaststroke stroke or missing the wall during a turn). In these kinds of situations, I could agree that a DQ is a better way to handle the violation than a time penalty.

The second kind of violation is different. A False start, surfacing beyond the 15 meter mark, multiple dolphin kicks off the wall, or one hand touches, could easily be handled by a time penalty. None of these (or other examples) are stroke violations to my way of thinking. A time penalty could be a better way to encourage the swimmer to become more proficient. These are violations that give the swimmer an advantage that is similar to drafting on a bike or in open water swimming. In diving, these would be comparable to knees spread very wide to improve their spin velocity. A penalty is more appropriate than a DQ. I view touches as arbitrary rules that the power-to-be might change when they feel like. As evidence, I offer that in the 50s, a hand touch was required on freestyle turns. And, under the 80s/90s, a swimmer had to remain on their back the entire length of a backstroke race.

The third situation would be when the swimmer does something that results in them going slower - such as gliding into the wall on a backstroke turn. IMHO, there should NOT be a penalty or DQ for doing something that results in a slower time. Maybe a time penalty is necessary, but I would need to be convinced.

Relay exchanges fall into a hybrid of the above. The first swimmer must abide by the start rules for an individual. The rest must abide by the rules for exchanges. When judging platforms are used, the cumulative exchange time must be positive. When the exchanges are "eyeballed", they much all be ok - just like current rules.

Hope this explains my thought process a little better.