Situation Resolutions

As of:, 15 May 1995

The following situations have been reviewed by the U.S. Swimming Rules Committee. Following a discussion period, your group's interpretations will be compared with the official interpretation.

Question 1: Two 8-year-old swimmers are disqualified because the one seeded in Heat 2 arrived early and swam in Heat 1 (in the correct lane). The second swimmer then swam in Heat 2 (also in the correct lane). Should the disqualifications stand?

The disqualifications should be overruled. Article ~102.17.3B(l) of U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations places the responsibility on the head lane timer to determine if each swimmer is in the proper lane. Therefore, the swimmers should not be penalized.

Question 2 In the butterfly event, a swimmer misjudges the wall. He finishes the race with his head only, stopping the electronic timing system. Should he be disqualified?

Yes. U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 101.2.5 states that a 2-hand touch is required for the finish of the butterfly event.

Question 3 in a backstroke event, a swimmer stands up in the pool at one point after the race has begun. He does not walk or spring of ~f from the pool bottom, but rests and then resumes swimming. Is there a disqualification?

Yes. once he stands, he is no longer on his back, as required by U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 101.3.2, "The swimmer shall push off on his back and continue swimming on the back throughout the race." Moreover, Article 102.10.5 stipulates that a swimmer should be disqualified for standing on the bottom during any stroke other than freestyle,

Question 4 At the start of a butterfly event, a swimmer incorrectly believes that there has been a false start. He stands up but, realizing that no one else has stopped, he then resumes swimming. Is there a disqualification?

Yes. U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.10.5 says that any swimmer who stands up in a stroke other than freestyle will be disqualified.

Question 5 A breaststroker swims an entire length of the pool with hands clenched in a fist and touches the wall with his knuckles on the turn or finish. Is this legal or should the swimmer be disqualified?

All references to hands and arms say "hands" and "arms". There are no specifics such as fingers, palms, knuckles, etc. Therefore, the swimmer's touch is legal.

Question 6 A swimmer leaves the pool believing that he has finished his freestyle race. Finding out that he has not swum the correct number of lengths, he enters the pool again to finish. Is this legal or should he be disqualified?

He should be disqualified. U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.10.5 states, "...he must not leave the pool, or walk, or spring from the bottom."

Question 7 A swimmer believes he has finished a freestyle race and walks a few steps away from the wall. He is advised to swim two more lengths. He returns to the wall and completes the required distance. Should he be disqualified

The swimmer should be disqualified. U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.10.5 states, "..the must not leave the pool, or walk, or spring from _the bottom."

Question 8: A "splasher" who is preparing for the next heat, accidentally stops the electronic timing system while a race is in progress. May he swim in his heat or should he be disqualified?

This is a judgment decision which may vary and can only be made on site. It must be determined if the swimmer is "interfering with the competition" (U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.10.8) by depriving another swimmer of a valid time.

Question 9: After having disqualified several swimmers for false starts, the referee and starter learn that: someone behind the starter has been taking flash pictures What should the referee do?

First, the referee should politely stop the photographer. Second, if he believes that the swimmers involved reacted to the flash because they were expecting a strobe, the referee may permit the swimmers to swim the event again. This is a decision which must be determined on site. (U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.10.9.)

Question 10: A breaststroke swimmer moves his hands in a sculling or flipper movement at the end of the first armstroke after the start and also after the turn. Should he be disqualified?

No, he should not be disqualified This is legal provided "The arms shall move simultaneously and in the same horizontal plane without any alternating movement." A sculling motion of the hands only as part of the armstroke is not considered the beginning of a new stroke. (U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 101.1.2.)

Question 11: It is discovered after the fact that a swimmer has competed in more than the allowed number of events. What action should be taken?

This is a judgment decision which may vary and can only be made on site. If they believe the swimmer deliberately violated the rules, the meet committee has the authority to take action

under the broad outlines of U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 401.1. If it was an honest error, it is recommended that all races after the allowable number be declared non-events for the swimmer.

Question 12 In a backstroke start, a swimmer keeps his toes under the water until the gun sounds and then slides them up and takes off from the gutter. Should any action be taken?

U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 101.3.2 states, "Standing in or on the gutter or curling the toes over the lip of the gutter immediately after the start is not permitted.,, Since the infraction took place after the start, the stroke and turn judge should disqualify the swimmer.

Question 13: Near the finish in a butterfly race, a swimmer starts his final stroke and finds himself too close-to the wall to make a full recovery, so he ducks his head under and reaches forward simultaneously with both hands underwater from the breast to touch. Is this legal?

No, this is illegal according to U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 101.2.2. "Both arms must be brought forward over the water ......

Question 14 In a breaststroke turn, the swimmer touches with his left hand and then touches immediately after with his right hand. The turn judge raises a hand, signaling a disqualification. The coach argues that the turn is legal because both hands were on the wall at the same time. Does the disqualification stand?

Yes, the rule is very clear. U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 101.1.4 states, "At each turn, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously." Therefore, the hands must touch at the same time, not one after the other.

Question 15: A backstroke swimmer pushes off the wall with one foot. The turn judge disqualifies the swimmer because Article 101.3.3 of U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations reads, "...when the

feet leave the wall." Should the disqualification stand?

This decision can only be made on site. The feet do not have to touch at all unless the shoulders have turned beyond the vertical. In that case, the swimmer must have returned to a position where the shoulders are at or past the vertical toward the back when the foot/feet have left the wall.

Question 16-. A swim meet has preliminaries scheduled at 9:00 a.m. and finals scheduled at 4:00 p.m. Time trials are scheduled in the same facility at 1:30 p.m. A swimmer competes in three preliminary events. He qualifies for the finals in one. He then enters the time trials for the two events in which he did not make the finals. He has then swum six events for the day, just as if he made finals in all three events. Is this legal?

U.S. swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.2.1 reads, "In any combination of events conducted on a single day at the same site when preliminaries and finals are held, no swimmer shall be permitted to compete in more than three (3) individual events per day." The preliminary in which the swimmer qualified, plus the final in that event, counts as one event. The two preliminaries count as his other two events, so he has filled his quota of three, Had he made the other two finals and swum them, he would still have competed in only three events. Therefore, the swimmer should not have swum in the time trial events. If the time trials had been run in another facility, he could have, entered and competed without incident.

Question 17 An event is announced and the swimmers are on the blocks. A coach approaches the referee and tells him that the swimmer in lane three is ineligible to swim for one or more reasons. What action should the referee take?

U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.11.2 states, "Protests affecting the eligibility of any swimmer to compete or to represent an organization in any race shall be made in writing to the meet director or Referee before the race is held, and if the meet committee deems it advisable, the swimmer may compete under protest and it shall be so announced before the race. The meet committee shall immediately refer such protest to the review section having jurisdiction for adjudication at the earliest possible time."

Question 18: To save time during a prolonged meet, the referee combines a female preliminary race with a male preliminary race. Two days later, a parent protests to the meet director and demands revision of final results. What action should be taken?

No action should be taken since U..S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.11.4 requires that, "Any other protest arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the race in which the alleged infraction took place." Note: U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.8.2 states, "At the Meet Referee's discretion, events may be combined by age, sex, distance and/or stroke provided there is at least one empty lane between such combined events."

Question 19: During a 500-yard event a swimmer misses the wall. The turn judge signals an infraction At what should be the end of the race, the coach shouts, "swim another 50, and the athlete does so. Is there any limit to when a swimmer can go back and touch a missed wall? Does the disqualification stand? What if the event is 100 yards or 1, 650 yards? Does the length of the race have any bearing on the disqualification

The disqualification should stand. U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 101.4.3 requires that the swimmer touch the wall upon completion of each length. When the swimmer makes the next touch at the opposite end of the pool, he has lost the opportunity to correct the missed touch. The length of the race has no bearing.

Question 20: During a preliminary heat of the 200 freestyle at an LSC Junior Olympics open to non-association teams, Lanes 1 and 3 are empty. A visiting international team member, who happens to be a Pan Am Games gold medalist, is seeded in Lane 2 but gets up in Lane 3. The swimmer places eighth for the finals. The coach of the ninth place swimmer files a written protest within 30 minutes of the event stating that the international swimmer should be disqualified for swimming in the wrong lane. What is your decision and why?

No disqualification should occur (Article 102.17.3B(l)). An error was made by the head lane timer in that a "Determination that the proper swimmer is in his lane..." was not made.

Question 21: At a local invitational preliminary/final meet, the 1500 meter freestyle is a timed final event. The meet information sheet states that the 1500 will be a positive check-in event, i.e., in order to be seeded a swimmer must check in by a certain time. There are 25 male swimmers in the men's event 24 of whom check in prior to the posted scratch deadline. After, the event is seeded, the coach of the 25th swimmer declares to the referee that his swimmer did not scratch and he wishes to swim in an open lane in the first heat. What should the referee do?

The USS Rules and Regulations do not specify check-in and/or scratch procedures except for the National Championships (206.5.9- 10). Meet information stipulated that one must check in to be seeded. The 25th swimmer did not scratch the event which he legally entered. Recommendation: The referee should seed the event with four heats and the 25th swimmer should be placed in an open lane in the first heat. Had the meet information sheet stated that one had to check-in to swim as is common at many local meets, then the swimmer should not be allowed to compete in the event.

Question 22: At a Junior Olympics a swimmer is disqualified by a turn judge at the turn end of the pool, The disqualification is verified by a chief judge and a deck referee and it is sent to the recording room. The results are posted and announced without the disqualification being listed, placing the disqualified swimmer in seventh place for finals. No one notices the omission. Thirty minutes prior to the evening finals, the coach of the ninth place swimmer complains to the referee. What should the referee do?

An error by meet management obviously occurred.The scorers did not eliminate the disqualified swimmer (102.10.13) in determining the order of finish. This rule citation clearly stipulates that disqualified swimmers may not receive awards or scoring points from disqualified swim. To overlook this would violate the "fair and equitable" criteria established in the prologue to Part One of the rulebook. The referee or a designated official is required to make "every reasonable effort" (102.10.2) to advise a swimmer or his/her coach about the disqualification. It would be inappropriate to withhold from the legitimate 9th place swimmer a place in the finals because of an official's error in recording.

Question 23: During the 1000 yard freestyle the turn judge, having been given the jurisdiction to sound the warning signal required under Article 102.14.3 rings the bell over the leader in Lane 4 at 900 yards. The leader and the swimmer in second place, Lane 5, continue beyond 950 yards and complete the race. The coach of the swimmer in Lane 5 files a written protest stating that his swimmer visibly increased his pace to a sprint at the sound of the warning bell. Realizing that he was not done and having nothing left, he was only able to finish third instead of second, causing his team to lose the meet team championship. what decision should be made with regard to the protest?

The protest should be disallowed. Although Article 102.14.3 requires a warning signal, U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.5.6E states that "In the event of official or counter error it is the responsibility of the swimmer to complete the prescribed distance.

Question 24: A swimmer makes finals in the 100 backstroke at a preliminary/finals A/B meet where the penalty for failure to show in a preliminary seeded heat is being barred from individual and relay events for that day. At the start of his next event, the 100 butterfly, the coach asks the referee if his swimmer may be disqualified for delay of meet since he wants to save his energy for finals in the 100 backstroke. What should the referee do?

Article 102.14.5A states that a swimmer who deliberately disobeys a starter's command to step on the block can be disqualified by the starter with the concurrence of the referee.

Recommendation: Permit the disqualification for delay of meet.

Question 25: During the parade of finalists at the Region XIV championship meet, one of the finalists in the men's 100 butterfly realizes as the parade is lining up to march that he has on his "hole-y" warm-up suit and not his competition suit. In the excitement he runs up into the stands to get his proper suit. What should the referee do?

This situation is not covered by the USS Rules and Regulations. The Technical Rules " ... are designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and promote uniformity in the sport so no swimmer shall obtain unfair advantage over another." Recommendation: Hold the parade of finalists a minute or two until the swimmer returns: do not chastise the swimmer, as his mind, by now, is jelly anyway speak to his coach to ensure that it will not happen again. You might have the timing room people "fiddle" with a pad or have the announcer do some results during the delay.

Question 26: A visiting nationally-known college coach is in attendance at an LSC Junior Olympic meet to observe some local swimmers. He is video taping several events. A stroke disqualification is called in an event and it is accepted by the referee but eventually protested in writing by another coach. The college coach tells the disqualified swimmer's coach that he has the swim on tape and it probably will show that there was no DQ. The protesting coach demands that the referee review the tape and change his decision. What should the referee do?

The disqualification should stand disallowing the protest. Article 206.5.8 (on technical rules protests during National Championships) stipulates that a Technical Jury cannot adjudicate judgment decisions.... USS has not approved any videotape devices or the use of them to resolve such protests. Only the referee may adjudicate judgment decisions (102. 13) ., (Note: The referee may view the tape if he feels it contains pertinent

information; however, there is no obligation to do so.)

Question 27: In a B/C championship meet using dual confirmation relay take-off judging, the relay take-off judge on a lane does not call an early take-off infraction while several side judges do. Additionally, the deck referee calls the early take off on the third swimmer in the lane in question, but without raising a hand. Is there a valid disqualification?

Article 102.13.1 states that the referee,... shall also disqualify a swimmer(s) for any violations of the rules that he personally observes and shall at the same time raise one hand overhead with open palm. If he does not make such a signal there shall be no penalty." The DQ is invalid as the referee did not raise his/her hand overhead.

Question 28: The meet referee is standing at a position about 30 feet down the pool sideline from the starter in a Junior Olympic meet where a Colorado Timing System is in use. He hears what he believes to be a double beep (echo) on the start and observes Lanes 2, 3 and 7 stop momentarily on their entry into the water, while the other swimmers continue. There is no recall by the starter recall starter or deck referee, What should the meet referee do?

This situation is not expressly covered by the Rules and Regulations. Article 102.13.3 states that the referee, "... shall have authority to intercede in a competition at any stage, to ensure that the racing conditions are observed," Recommendation: Allow the swimmers in the heat a chance to re-swim for a new official time, if they desire.

Question 29: In a zone championship meet there is a swim-off for 16th place in the 100 butterfly In the swim-off the two swimmers tie again. The referee decides to swim two consolation heats and one finals heat in the 100 butterfly that evening by taking the two swim-off competitors and one other to make an extra heat. Is this legal?

Though this decision seems like a fair and just solution, it is illegal since Article 102.8.1 states, The order of events ... shall not be changed. The announced arrangement of heats in any event shall not be added to or altered, except by the authority of the referee, to the extent of consolidating the heats." Adding an extra consolation heat is inappropriate. A second swim-off should have been held within 45 minutes of the first swim-off.

Question 30: In a region championship meet at a local college which has a new 50-meter pool with a moveable bulkhead, a swimmer sets a new national Age Group record in the 400 meter individual medley. The referee asks the meet director for a copy of the pool's certified course measurement, which apparently cannot be found. What should the referee do?

Article 104.2.2C(3)(a) states, "Record applications will not be accepted unless certification of course length accompanies them or is on file with USS." Further, Article 104.242C(4)(c) states, where a moveable bulkhead is utilized, course measurement of each lane must be confirmed before each session of competition and at the conclusion of the meet. Recommendation: The referee should instruct the meet director to get a surveyor and have the pool measurements redone.

Question 31: In a large LSC invitational meet where the relays are swum as timed finals with the two fastest seeded heats swimming at night in the finals, the team 14th fastest on the psych sheet asks the referee if they may swim in the morning as their plane reservations require that they be at the airport by 7:00 p.m. What should the meet referee do?

U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.4.3 requires that "Timed final relays shall be swum in seeded heats, with not more than two heats (which shall be the fastest heats) conducted during the final session..." Allowing the above request would require modification of the seeding rules and should not be done for one team unless the same option has been given to all.

Question 32: At a Junior Olympics meet) a 13-14 age group swimmer wears a "Bud Lite cap during a preliminary event. The referee instructs the swimmer that the cap is inappropriate, to which the swimmer replies, "But Budweiser is an Olympic sponsor. Why can't I wear my cap?" What should the referee's response be?

The swimmer should be told that Article 102.9.3A states, " swimsuit shall carry any visible marque or insignia in the form of advertising ... other than the trademark on technical equipment or clothing, that is not in excess of 16 sq. cm. (2.48 sq. in.) in area .... offenders may be barred from competition under this rule...." Additionally, Article 102.9.3B states, "Products involving... alcohol ... may not be advertised under .3A above, but the advertiser's name only may be used."

Question 33: Immediately after the start of a 50 meter freestyle heat during an A/B championship, a swimmer in the next heat quickly jumps in and out of the pool to get wet. What should the deck referee do?

Article 102.10.7 states, "Any swimmer not entered in a race who enters the pool or course in the area in which said race is being conducted before all swimmers therein have completed the race shall be barred from the next individual event in which he is entered on that day or the next meet day, whichever is first." The swimmer should be disqualified.

Question 34: A swimmer misses her heat because she states that the timer told her that it was Heat 4 instead of her heat (Heat 5, the final heat of the event). The coach files a written protest. What should the referee do?

This situation is not expressly mentioned in the Rules and Regulations. If the referee determines that the head lane timer did misinform the swimmer, he may choose to allow swimmer to swim in a later heat (Article 102.13.1). Article 102.17.3B(l), however, specifically charges the head lane timer with checking to see if the correct swimmer is present when the heat is preparing to move to the starting blocks.

Question 35: The backstroke flags break and fall into the pool during the 200 meter backstroke event. The stroke judges on each side of the pool quickly pull the flags clear of the lanes before they physically interfere with any swimmer. The coach of the second place finisher in the heat files a written protest, saying that his swimmer was at a disadvantage because he couldn't properly judge the distance to the end of the course. What should the referee do?

Article 102.10.9 states, "Should a foul endanger the chance of success of a swimmer, the referee may allow him to swim in the next round, or should the foul occur in the final he may order it re-swum." The protest should be upheld and the swimmers allowed to reswim.

Question 36: You are the referee at an AA preliminary/finals championship meet. You and a group of judges go to a local restaurant between preliminaries and finals. Two people order beer with their sandwiches. What do you do as the referee?

This is not covered by the rules but the "Unwritten" code of professional officiating suggests that the referee should suggest that they not order the beers.

Question 37~: It is the last heat of the 13-14 boys 400 individual medley. During the backstroke leg of this event, the recall rope is accidentally dropped. Two swimmers make contact with the fallen rope before it is raised. The other swimmers in the heat are unaware of the problem and continue the race. What do you do and why?

Generally, only the two swimmers who made contact with the rope would be allowed to reswim the event because of interference. Still, the other swimmers, although not touched by the rope, may have been distracted by the commotion caused by its fall. If the Referee feels that all swimmers may have been affected, he could give them the option of reswimming the heat Those who elect to reswim the event would be awarded their reswim time (their original times would be superseded); those electing not to reswim would retain their original times. (102.10.9)

Question 38: At a 1-day senior meet in an 8-lane pool with morning preliminaries and evening finals, a swimmer places second in the 100 backstroke, eighth in the 100 butterfly, third in the 200 breaststroke and first in the 200 individual medley, in that order, accumulating 23 points for high point trophy. Arival coach files a written protest stating that only three events can be counted. What would you do?

Under the event limitation specified in U.S. Swimming Rules and Regulations Article 102.2.1, only the swimmer's first three events should count.

Question 39: Just before the call to the blocks of the 100 backstroke, a rival competitor goes to the deck referee and complains that the swimmer in the lane next to him is wearing "stick-um". What should the referee do?

"Stick-um" is not currently an illegal aid under our rules. The referee, however, has sufficient authority under Article 102.13.1 to ask the swimmer to wipe his/her feet.


Question 40: Prior to the 100 butterfly, a coach informs the referee that his swimmer has all broken "pinky" finger and asks if the swimmer may swim with the last three fingers of the hand taped. What should the referee do?

If he determines that taping together of the fingers is to prevent further injury to the swimmer and not to "help his speed" (Article 102.10.10), the referee has the authority under Article 102.13.1 to allow the request.

Question 41: A 10-year-old girl steps up on the block at the starter's command. Just as the starter says, "Take," she loses her balance and falls into the pool. Is the swimmer disqualified?

No. Article 102.14.2B says "Sufficient time should follow "take your mark" to enable the swimmers to assume starting positions If the starter disagrees with this call, Article 102.13.1 provides that the referee "can overrule any meet official ... on a judgment decision...."

Question 42: A senior age group swimmer comes off the 50-meter turn in the butterfly on his back with his arms fully extended and does two dolphin kicks (streamlined) before rolling onto his breast and taking his first arm pull. Is he disqualified?

Yes. While Article 101.2.2 indicates that a swimmer "is permitted one or more leg kicks" after the start and each turn, Article 101.2.4 stipulates that, "The swimmer's shoulders must be at or past the vertical toward the breast when the swimmer leaves the wall."

Question 43: A coach comes to you as the referee and says that the young lady who was in Heat 5, Lane 7 of the 13-14 Girls 100 Breast was an 11-12 year old of a different name. What do you do?

You should investigate the allegation to determine: a) Is this correct? b) Was it a deliberate or intentional act? Assuming that you ascertain the facts are correct, Article 102.17.3B(l) may assist you in determining whether this was a deliberate act or not. That article requires the head lane timer to determine if the correct swimmer is in his lane for that heat of the event. If the official failed to do this and the swimmer inadvertently swam in the wrong lane/heat, you may excuse the swimmer inasmuch as the athlete may not be penalized for an officials error. if, however, you determine that this was a deliberate (knowing) switch of swimmers, Article 102.10 is in effect. 102.10.3 stipulates that the referee may disqualify "any swimmer who acts in an unsportsmanlike manner"; 102.10.7 mandates the disqualification of "any swimmer not entered in a race who, enters the pool or course..." and further stipulates that the swimmer will be barred from the next individual event in which he/she is entered that day or the next.

Question 44: The first day of a meet is Friday, July 31, and only the 13 & older 400 IM and 1500 are being swum. August 1 is Mary's 13th birthday. What is her age for the meet? She does not swim on the 31st

Regardless of the fact that she does not swim on the 31st, Mary competes in the meet as a 12-year-old since that is her age on the first day that the meet starts. (Article 204.3.2)

Question 45: A senior swimmer steps on the block and places his toes over the front edge. He makes no attempt to change his

position prior to the starter saying, "Take your mark.'' What should the starter do?

The starter should direct the swimmers to stand up. He should then advise the field that their feet may not be at the

front edge of the blocks prior to the starting command and that both feet must be the same distance back from the edge prior to that command. Note: This is to ensure that there is some forward movement after the starting command. (Article 102.14.2 A&B)

Question 46: There are yellow buoys on each lane line to mark the 15-meter distance but some buoys shift and slide haphazardly up and down the lane lines. The swimmer's head in Lane 6 breaks the water surface at the edge of the buoy but the marker in Lane 7 is passed. Is this a DQ?

No. Article 103.12.2 covers the placement of these distinctive colored floats or markers, and they must be uniformly set at the 15-meter distance. In this case, inasmuch as the placement of the Lane 7 marker may not be accurate, the swimmer should be given the benefit of the doubt (Article 102.13.1)

Question 47: A swimmer in backstroke who has gone past vertical with the shoulder makes the backstroke turn but fails to touch the wall and sculls back to touch. The turn judge reports this as a disqualification. Is this a valid DQ?

Yes. Article 101.3.3.

Question 48: The blocks at the local recreation pool are 30" above the surface of the water. A faulty circulation system allows the pool to drop 2" below the lip edge of the gutter. A swimmer's coach requests an OVC for a time made in the 50 free. Is the time reportable?

Yes. Whether to conduct the competition or not under these circumstances is a pure judgment call; therefore, the swimmer gets the time if competition is Permitted.

Question 49: A meet is held at a pool where the tiles are numbered from left to right facing the turning end of the pool. The block surfaces have been renumbered by hand; yet, an 8-year old steps up and swims in tile numbered Lane 2 instead of block printed Lane 2. What do you do?

The swim is valid but ensure the recorder is informed about the mistake so results reflect the correct swimmer with the time in that lane. Article 102.17.3B(l) stipulates that it is the head lane timer's job to ensure that the proper swimmer is in the lane before the heat is started. If that was not done, the athlete may not be penalized because of an official's error. Moreover, under Article 103.4.3A, the marking of the lanes (right-to-left versus left-to-right) is optional at the LSC level.

Question 50: The deck referee, observes the University of Miami ladies 4 x 100 Free Relay third swimmer leave early; yet, does not raise his/her hand. The relay, take-off judge and the confirming side judge make no observed call. Is this a DQ?

No. While the referee should disqualify any swimmer(s) for any violations of the rules he/she observes, Article 102.13.1 also mandates that the referee "raise one hand overhead with open palm. If he/she does not make such a signal there shall be no penalty."

Question 51: The recall starter and deck referee confirm that the 50-meter sprinter in Lane 5 false started after the heat was recalled. The deck referee walks to Lane 4 and tells the swimmer that he/she is disqualified for a false start, at which time Lane 4's coach screams, yells and verbally abuses the deck referee as the meet referee returns to the deck from the timing room. What does the meet referee do?

He/she should investigate to find out what is going on and correct the error. The meet referee should also talk to the abusive coach privately to advise that, while he/she has the right of complaint, the coach should register the complaint in a civil manner.

Question 52: A swimmer with a wrist in a cast requests to be allowed to start from within the water, to which the referee replies, "O.K. but you must have contact with the wall and be motionless before the start." The starter says, "Take your," to which the swimmer responds by releasing his/her hand and coiling up to push off with his/her feet. At the beep, the starter recalls the heat and indicates a false start on this swimmer. Does the referee concur?

Yes. In this case, the referee clearly advised the swimmer that he/she had to be motionless before the start. (Discussion points: What if the referee did not remind the swimmer about the requirement to be motionless? Was the swimmer actually moving or simply "assuming a starting position"? Should the starter have stood up the field when this swimmer moved, since the starter had not yet completed the starting command before the swimmer moved?)

Question 53: Coach (A) reports to the referee that swimmer (B) who just stepped on the blocks for Heat 6 has a cut on his/her foot that seems to be bleeding. What should the referee do?

The referee should direct the starter to have the swimmers step down and relax. He/she should then check to satisfy himself/ herself that the swimmer does, in fact, have a cut that is openly bleeding. The referee should then call for the swimmer's coach and the facility personnel. The latter should provide first aid or otherwise implement the local health policy pertaining to blood pathogens (to include disinfecting the block).

Question 54: At the officials' briefing, the meet referee assigns a senior referee as the far end turn judge in Lane 8 for 9 heats of the 1500 meter Free to which the senior referee replies, "Let one of the younger turn judges do it." As meet referee, what do you do?

Fire the senior referee! See Article 102.13.1 which stipulates that you have "full authority over all officials and shall assign them and instruct them."

Question 55: During the evening finals, lightning and thunder are nearby; so, you clear the pool. At 8:10 p.m., you still have not begun an events program of swims and awards estimated to take 2 hours, but the lightning is gone, leaving only a steady rain. What do you do?

If you have reached the required time that many locales impose as a safety period after lightning has occurred, you can still swim despite the rain. Recommendation: conduct the finals races but eliminate the awards ceremonies. You must, however, call a coaches meeting to advise all of them about your decision.