1995 Archive

This page is the additions, discussions from 1995


Back Stroke Finish and Breaststroke Sculling Question

Rules Updates for 1995

There is a clarification from FINA regarding the backstroke turn posted in the rules section. posted in January 1995

This is taken from a note from Anneliese in Dec. 1994

Effective January 1, 1995, the breaststroke rule will read: "The elbows shall be under the water except for the last stroke at the finish of the prescribed distance." This would disqualify SOME of the swimmers doing the 'new' over-the-water breaststroke recovery. Many of our swimmers, although recovering the hands over the water still keep their elbows under the water. They would still be legal. In any event, the rule does not take effect until January 1st so for now its "status quo". The USS Rules Committee will be issuing further clarification of the new rule as soon as FINA's interpretation is received. Anneliese Eggert, National Officials Chairman

Under the new backstroke rule, WHICH WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL JANUARY 1, 1995, "Once the swimmer has left the position on the back, there shall be no kick or arm pull independent of a continuous turning action." The word "flotation" was removed by FINA, however, you will note the rule still refers to a "continuous turning action". Undoubtedly some "gliding" will be allowed, but we are waiting for further clarification from FINA before the USS Rules Committee issues a more definitive interpretation. That interpretation will be made available before January 1, 1995. In the meantime, flotation independent of a continuous turning action is still illegal. Anneliese Eggert, National Officials Chairman

More Information on the rule changes 1/16/95

Date: Thursday, January 5, 1995 2:08pm

From: Aeggert

Re: 95 rule changes

FINA has not yet issued its interpretations on the new breaststroke and backstroke rules -- if you post the following information it should be made clear that these are USS's temporary guidelines ONLY until further word is received from FINA:

BREASTSTROKE: Elbows must be under the water: Guideline will be that some part of the elbow must remain in contact with the water, i.e. on or under the water. Intent of the rule is to prevent a clearly "over the water" butterfly stroke.

BACKSTROKE: We will call DQ's essentially as we do now, i.e. swimmer can kick while arm is pulling, EXCEPT that "flotation" in itself will not be a DQ. Therefore, if the swimmer is just floating (gliding) before or after the arm pull (without kicks or an extra armpull), this would not be a DQ.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Date: Monday, February 6, 1995  7:46pm                               /Rules
From: PCarney                                                   Msg#: 81077
  To: ** ALL **                                                            
  Re: backstroke turn                                                      

   Please Copy and Distribute to All LSC Officials

DATE:   February 5, 1995

TO:     Officials Chairs
        General Chairs
        Permanent Offices

FROM:   Peter Carney, Chairman, Rules Committee

RE:     Backstroke Turns

Sometimes the  more things  change,  the  more  things
remain the  same.  Despite wording changes in both the
FINA and USS backstroke turn rules, there is NO CHANGE
in the way backstroke turns should be judged in 1995.

FINA changed its wording merely to clarify its intent.
The USS  changes used  similar language.    Thus  both
rules represent clarification, not change.

To avoid  pulling out  your rulebook as you read this,
the 1995  USS backstroke  turn rule (101.3.3, page 17)

    Turns --  Upon completion of each length, some
    part of  the  swimmer  must  touch  the  wall.
    During the  turn the  shoulders may  turn past
    the vertical  toward the breast, after which a
    continuous single  arm pull  or  a  continuous
    double arm  pull may  be used  to initiate the
    turn.   Once the swimmer has left the position
    on the  back, there  shall be  no kick  or arm
    pull  independent   of  a  continuous  turning
    action.   The shoulder  must be at or past the
    vertical toward  the  back  when  the  swimmer
    leaves the wall.

The key  to a  proper interpretation of the backstroke
turn rule  is the  phrase "continuous turning action",
ie. a  uniform, unbroken  motion with  no pauses, once
the shoulders  pass the vertical.  Removal of the word
"flotation" from prior interpretations was intended as
a clarification  only, since "flotation" was ambiguous
to much of the world.

To summarize,  in 1995,  there is NO CHANGE in the way
the backstroke turn should be judged.  Should you have
any questions, feel free to contact me.

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