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Thread: Race 1 Arm Breast

  1. #1
    Very Active Member m2tall2's Avatar
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    Question Race 1 Arm Breast

    K, so I have a hurt shoulder but not from swimming (imagine that!). By now I wanted to have goal races for December SCM NE Champs but I'm still mostly kicking with a bit of 1 arm drill. I may or may not be better by then but I want something to focus on now to keep me going.
    I've been practicing a LOT of SDK (although I'm mostly unable to streamline the hurt shoulder) and a lot of breaststroke kick with gentle sculling. I'm doing other stuff, too but a lot of dolphin & whip kick drills. I did some open water swimming this weekend (30 minutes without a set distance) completed as 5 x 1 arm fly, 5x Breast kick with sculling (not a legal pull). And it got me thinking...I could race...anything.
    So I was thinking:
    50 M free as 1 arm Fly
    100 M free as 1 arm Breast
    200 M Free as 1 arm IM or 1 arm Free
    All with in water starts.

    Except the tricky part being Breast isn't quite legal for Freestyle - I do go under a tiny bit and certainly would with a 1 arm stroke. Is it possible to get 1 arm breast for time in a breaststroke event if you keep that arm by your side and don't use it the whole race? I mean, I'll get a time no matter what but not get DQ'd? Would it be possible?

  2. #2
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by m2tall2 View Post
    Is it possible to get 1 arm breast for time in a breaststroke event if you keep that arm by your side and don't use it the whole race? I mean, I'll get a time no matter what but not get DQ'd? Would it be possible?
    Nope, you'd get DQed:
    "All movements of the arms shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement."

  3. #3
    Very Active Member m2tall2's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    Nope, you'd get DQed:
    "All movements of the arms shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement."
    Actually, that makes me think it might be legal. It says MOVEMENTS of the arms. I wouldn't move that arm at all. Not one bit, glued to my side.

    I know you know your swimming stuff...but what would an official say?

  4. #4
    Very Active Member arthur's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    The rules (at least in Canada) allow for medical exceptions to be allowed at an official's discretion with a letter from a medical practitioner. I don't know if this would be accepted but could be worth trying.

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by m2tall2 View Post
    I wouldn't move that arm at all. Not one bit, glued to my side.
    How would you turn or finish? the touch shall be made with both hands separated and simultaneously so to turn you will need to unglue the arm. Also during the swim The hands shall not be brought back beyond the hip line, except during the first stroke after the start, and each turn.

    Medical exceptions are allowed for disabilities, where Disability is defined as a permanent physical or cognitive disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


    The legal way to deal with this is to swim streamlined (hands out front). As long as your hands separate once per kick this is a legal stroke cycle (one arm stroke and one leg kick in that order). Our rules dont say how far the pull needs to go, so tiny sculling should be permitted. I suggest making the referee aware of your intent so they dont see the small arm stroke as no arm stroke.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by m2tall2 View Post
    Actually, that makes me think it might be legal. It says MOVEMENTS of the arms. I wouldn't move that arm at all. Not one bit, glued to my side.
    Movement must be simultaneous to me means BOTH arms must be doing the same thing at all times during the stroke cycle.

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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    I have seen a disabled swimmer swimming all strokes with one arm. With the exception of free, all of her strokes are technically illegal, but she is never DQ'd, so I believe that there is some accomodation for disabilities. (Her participation and perseverance is just amazing!) Whether that applies to temporary disabilities is another question. I believe I have also seen one armed fly several times, including a 200 at Summer Nationals last week.

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    I raced breaststroke with an easy dolphin kick last December due to a hip injury (labral tear). My surgery was scheduled for a few days after the meet just to give you an idea of the seriousness of the injury. I checked with Ed Saltzman (Chief Official at Nationals and the official of the December meet) ahead of time, and he said as long as I had a doctor's note, he would allow it.

    Get a doctor's note detailing your injury and limitations, and have your doctor state that you must swim breaststroke with one arm.


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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    In reality, he has a bet with someone that he can beat him "with one hand tied behind his back" but a DQ wouldn't count.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member m2tall2's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    I raced breaststroke with an easy dolphin kick last December due to a hip injury (labral tear). My surgery was scheduled for a few days after the meet just to give you an idea of the seriousness of the injury. I checked with Ed Saltzman (Chief Official at Nationals and the official of the December meet) ahead of time, and he said as long as I had a doctor's note, he would allow it.

    Get a doctor's note detailing your injury and limitations, and have your doctor state that you must swim breaststroke with one arm.

    I knew there might be some way to get it ok'd if needed. It's not like I'd be going out for guts and glory with a 1 arm breast - gee, I'd just love to go (if I'm lucky only 10-15 seconds) slower. It's just I feel the Breast kick is one of the few things I can do and I'm getting quality work in on and so it would be nice to see what it could do.
    The short scull would be an option if I could get that arm up but right now I can't keep it up - the sculling I've been doing is at my sides. Perhaps this would be possible in a few more weeks but right now it's not happening.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member m2tall2's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    How would you turn or finish? the touch shall be made with both hands separated and simultaneously so to turn you will need to unglue the arm. Also during the swim The hands shall not be brought back beyond the hip line, except during the first stroke after the start, and each turn."
    The touch would be a problem. In order to do a touch it would have to come unglued thereby making the second rule a problem. Hands brought back to me implies movement. I need to do an in water start, so I wouldn't have ever "brought it back". It just wouldn't have entered the race. But if it needs to move just to touch the wall, then it would be "brought back". :-/

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    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    My advice would be to talk to the Referee before the meet and explain your situation to them. By virtue of the rules I think most referee's would DQ you since you are not permanently disabled. If the referee declares he/she will DQ you there's still no reason you can't swim. You can participate and get a DQ; there's really no shame in that. I assume you're not going for any records and you already know you're not swimming a technically correct breast so just dive in and see what you can do with one arm and look forward to the day you'll have use of both again. BTW I was a National Level Starter/Referee for several years when my 3 kids were swimmers.
    HTFU!

  13. #13
    Very Active Member swimmieAvsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    You can reach out to the USMS Rules Committee chair, if you're concerned. Her email is rules@usms.org. Point her in the direction of this thread so she has the background. She'll be able to give you the official answer you're looking for.

    Mollie Grover
    Potomac Valley Top Ten Recorder
    USMS Rules Committee Co-Vice Chair

  14. #14
    "Don't float through life orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    IMHO ---You can do all that in the "Freestyle event" but not get a time for "breast stroke" using one arm.
    Unless amputated or something close is involved, Rehabbing is not a disability.
    This coming from someone that has 4 major hip operations.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    IMHO ---You can do all that in the "Freestyle event" but not get a time for "breast stroke" using one arm.
    Unless amputated or something close is involved, Rehabbing is not a disability.
    This coming from someone that has 4 major hip operations.
    That is actually a good idea.Enter it as free,then you can get a time with splits.If you get DQd swimming BR you may not get a posted time.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member ALM's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by m2tall2 View Post
    Except the tricky part being Breast isn't quite legal for Freestyle - I do go under a tiny bit and certainly would with a 1 arm stroke.
    It is legal to swim breaststroke during a Freestyle event. You can swim anything you want during a Freestyle event (even sidestroke). The time will be recorded as Freestyle, though, in the meet results.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    BR is the only stroke where you can go underwater after 15M. The chances of an official actually DQing you for that are slim as it is rare and subtle to go totally underwater.

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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    I'd be leary of training one arm swimming. You may end up like Popeye. I think we all have a dominant arm but if the training arm is already your dominant arm I could see it effecting your balance and symmetry.

  19. #19
    "Don't float through life orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Race 1 Arm Breast

    I don't think he will swim that way after rehab.

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