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Thread: Timing devices in long distance races

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Kevin in MD's Avatar
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    Timing devices in long distance races

    This has come up under the open water section of the forums but never got an official clarification.

    Does section 102.15.9 from the DQ section of the usms rule book apply to long distance swims?

    102.15.9Swimmers are not permitted to wear or use any device or substance to help
    their speed, pace, or buoyancy during a race. Goggles may be worn and rubdown oil
    applied if not considered excessive by the referee.

    If it does apply, does this include watches? Verbal instruction? Shouldn't we then also forbid the swimmer receiving pace information from the crew in an escorted swim?

    There apparently was a sanctioned open water race earlier this year telling swimmers to remove their watches. Seems pretty silly to me and not what the rule was meant to discourage.

  2. #2
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Timing devices in long distance races

    Originally posted by Kevin in MD
    If it does apply, does this include watches? Verbal instruction? Shouldn't we then also forbid the swimmer receiving pace information from the crew in an escorted swim?
    Yes it applies to watches. No it does not apply to support crews or to coaches verbal instructions or gestures.

  3. #3
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    Kevin,

    Interestingly, your quotation of USMS Rule 102.15.9 includes the word PACE which was added by USA Swimming in their rules in June 2004 and adopted by USMS, as well, to conform with FINA rules.

    I see that the hard copy 2005 USMS rulebook does not have the word PACE included. I'm sure that was just an oversight. The online version shows an update of page 17 on 6/6/05 which includes the word PACE.

    This does refer to watches, as interpreted by USA Swimming.

    "INTERPRETATION: The official interpretation of USA Swimming Rule 102.10.10 as amended to conform to FINA rule SW 10.15 is that no mechanical or electronic device that can convey pace or speed may be worn in competition. "

    I remember discussion of this rule and its interpretation at 2004 USMS Convention specifically indicating that it did not apply to our Long Distance rules and it is not included in the long distance disqualification section of our rulebook: 303.2.3, 303.2.4, 303.8, nor in the Open Water section of USA Swimming Rules.

    However, USA Swimming Open Water rules do prohibit "Receiving aid from a non-competing person in the form of pacing." USA Swimming Rule 701.5.7.

    No such wording prohibiting pacing information from a non-competing person (e.g., coach) is found in the USMS Long Distance rules.

    Mary Pohlmann
    Ozark USA Swimming Official
    Mary Pohlmann

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Kevin in MD's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Timing devices in long distance races

    Originally posted by Rob Copeland
    Yes it applies to watches.
    Is there anything to back this up?

    Leo's Original note (I finally found it) says specifically that it does not apply to long distances.

    (http://www.usms.org/rules/2004ruleupdate.pdf)

    Has there been additional guidance from the rules committee that supersedes this memo?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Very Active Member Sabretooth Tiger's Avatar
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    I've never been to an open water/ocean swim where anyone has said anything about wearing a watch. I wear a watch . . . my friends wear watches . . . no problems in USMS sanctioned swims or otherwise in my experience.

    carl

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