DQs on the Backstroke finish

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Mike Guld » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Hmmm.. We have talked about this in VA, consensus so far seems to be that once
the swimmer has rolled over, you are too busy watching armstroke, head,
shoulders etc to even consider being fair about noticing whether the whole
body is under water.  Different story if they submerge at the flags and
dolphin kick in to the wall.  Seems to be a case of over-eager S&T trying to
prove they can find a DQ the others can't see.

Mike


Quote:

>I thought I'd shared my thoughts on what appears to be the latest trend
>in DQing swimmers on the backstroke within USS swimming within our LSC.  
>Swimmers & coaches should be aware of this trend as it may be moving into
>your area soon.

 
 
 

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Adam Brid » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Hi Paul (and others),

> I am frequently amazed at some of the posts here regarding swim rules
> and their interpretations, but usually refrain from comment - perhaps
> after reading this you'll suggest I continue my refrain! However ...

> I am a qualified swimming Referee in England and come across some
> strange DQ calls, but I've never heard this one before.

> I'm assuming your technical swim rules are based on FINA rules. This
> being so, then, as English rules are also based on FINA, we shouldn't
> have too much difference.


> >I understand that the rules state that some part of the body must
> >break the surface of the water throughout the race (except on the
> >start and turn)

> The English rule states, "Some part of the swimmer must break the
> surface of the water throughout the race, except that it shall be
> permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn
> and for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and each
> turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface."

> >and, if a swimmer were to dive underwater at the flags and dolphin
> >kick several times into the wall, then they'd be obtaining an
> >unfair advantage.

> Seems a reasonable call and, by the rule, would be a DQ.

> But ... have you ever seen anyone do this? Is this the latest thing
> coaches and swimmers are trying out? I suppose it's possible, I know
> of some of our National coaches and swimmers who will test the rules
> to the limit to gain advantage - and quite right too, providing they
> don't test over the limit.

I've read about this because it was posted on the USS Officiating page and
has been discussed both here and at meets for about a year now.

Quote:
> >However, if the swimmer simply dives for the wall and, by
> >chance, his/her body is totally submerged, I don't see any reason
> >for the DQ.

> Now here's where I see the Referee needing to make a fair judgement,
> and the key, as you've already said, is did the swimmer gain an unfair
> advantage?

> Of course VERY STRICTLY it's a DQ, but can anyone be sure, absolutely
> positive, without doubt, that, at the finish, the swimmer did not have
> some part of their body breaking the surface of the water? I'd suggest
> everyone would be far to busy judging the finish to observe anything
> like that absolutely positively, without doubt. And, even if they
> claim it, just what possible advantage did the swimmer get anyway?

Personally I've never seen this and, in a way, it penalizes someone who's
really working on finishing properly.  BUT...the rule says that you have
to be on the surface and an official saw a swimmer who made the last few
meters underwater and DQ'd that swimmer.  The ruling eventually went to
United States Swimming who issued a ruling that the interpretation was
correct.

Quote:
> Also, again going STRICTLY by the (English) rules, the call would have
> to be made by either the placing judges or the Referee (or by the
> turning judges appointed to the finishing end of the pool - if you are
> well endowed enough to have this rare luxury) as these, STRICTLY, are
> the only officials judging at the finish. (You may not have come
> across rulings on the limitations of a judges' jurisdication, but I've
> heard of a turn judge who pointed out a stroke fault and was told by
> the Referee that he wouldn't accept the call because it wasn't that
> offical's job to judge stroke - STRICT again, and perhaps coaches and
> swimmers might take note - but also take note there's nothing that
> stops the Referee from making a dual appointment and asking a judge to
> cover more than one judging task).

United States procedures, rather than rules, give this call to the TURN
JUDGE who as juristiction for the swimmer ON THE BACKSTROKE between the
turn flags and the walls.  There is no procedure for for placing judges
just to make this call.

Jurisdiction of judges is something that we're keenly aware of in USS
officiating, especially at the national meets although we attempt to teach
and maintain the concept locally.  If it's not in your jurisdiction we
don't "see" it even if it happens.

Quote:
> As an aside - do you see swimmers of all ages 'diving' for the wall at
> the finish, or only the more senior swimmers? I notice our younger
> swimmers tend to look over their shoulder when coming in to finish -
> and thus risk a (strict) DQ for being 'off their back' (90 degrees or
> more from the horizontal) before the touch. The more senior swimmers
> tend to dip their head back to see the wall upside down as they
> approach the finish, and in doing so would have the front part of
> their body submerged as they touch.

Unfortunately the most common problem with the backstroke finish is not
being on one's BACK, not being under water.  This typically happens to
swimmers of moderate experience who are just beginning to go fast...or on
the IM where everyone is looking for a very fast transition between back
and ***strokes.

<snip>

Quote:

> I'd be most interested to find out how English rules measure up to US
> and whether you have different sets of rules for different levels of
> meets (I've been following the High School swimming 'Jewelry' thread
> with some amu***t).

You need to understand there are at LEAST four different governing bodies
for swimming in the United States: USS, YMCA, NCAA, and High School.  The
rules for competitive swimming that choose a national champion at
Nationals, or select various world competative teams are USS.  NCAA
oversees a vast majority of college competition (which is all short course
yards), while High School does...yep, high school.  I've not particiated
in any way with YMCA meets but they have their own championships and their
own take on the rules.

And then there are the Rec Leagues which modify the rules to suit their
own purposes and extent of competition.

The transition to and from high school rules is, in my opinion, a problem
for teaching and sustaining technique in swimming.  In our area most meets
don't HAVE stroke and turn officials until the championship meets.  (this
is in the Central Valley of northern California.)  HS rules are much more
liberal on the backstroke in starts (only SOME PART of the body must be in
the water) and turns
(you can pass vertical and float into the wall).  HS rules are more
strenuous that FINA/USS rules on butterfly where the shoulders must be
parallel to the surface of the water before the first pull OR THE FIRST
KICK.  That's a killer for me when I go back to doing USS officiating.

Quote:
> Perhaps there's some officials out there who'd like to comment on my,
> sometimes flippant, attitude and stance to over zealous and
> inappropriate officiating?

The answer is: it's up to the Referee.  A demand by stroke and turns to
call the backstroke finish can be nixed at the meeting by saying those
calls won't be sustained so don't embarrase yourself by making them.  The
Referee generally has an idea of staff and how they are handling
themselves on deck.  And we all blow calls from time to time.  (except, of
course, me....  :-)  )

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
> I'd also be interested in any swimmers or coaches comments on anything
> I've said and also on their thoughts on this apparent new feature -
> perhaps another change in the backstroke rules. Is one to parallel the
> great backstroke turn change on its way, and give us officials
> something new to argue about for the next few years!

> Yours,

> Steve

> Steve Davies


> (WebPages) http://SportToday.org/~istar/
> --


 
 
 

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Bill Pri » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Beign DQed for going completely underwater on the last lunge to the
finish in the backstroke is definitely NOT what the writers of the 15 metre
rule had in mind. Soemone with a lot of time on their hands came up with
this one. This is a quirk of the rule and should be ignored but will probably
not be.

William J Price
Saluki Swim Club, Inc.


 
 
 

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Michael Barn » Sat, 17 Feb 1996 04:00:00

€Bill,

€    Thanks for your comments.  However, I speaking of the swimmers coming
€INTO the wall at the finish and not going AWAY from the wall at the
€start.  I've seen very few DQs at the start (because facilities usually
€aren't marked off correctly).  I'm not sure how the 15 meter rule applied
€here.

€Paul

The 15 meter rule is the basis for this whole controversy.  Here is the
rule directly from the 1996 USS rule book:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
101.3.2

Stroke - Standing in or on the gutter or curling the toes over the lip of
the gutter immediately after the start is not permitted.  The swimmer shal
push off on his back and continue swimming on the back throughout the
race.  Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water
throughout the race, except it shall be permissible for the swimmer to be
completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than
15 meters (16.4 yards) after the start and each turn.  By that point, the
head must have broken the surface of the water.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The interpretation on the finish has to do with the fact that it exists
outside of the allowable 15 meters described in the rule and technically
(very technically) the swimmer is submerged when they are not supposed to
be.  Again, some officials obviously have way too much time on their
hands.  It's a shame when you get officials that are on such a power trip
that they spend valuable time and energy actively searching for ways to
deke swimmers.  They ought to remember that they are there for the benefit
of the kids.  I would also like to thank those officials that I have seen
that have chosen not to deke swimmers for this but still taken the time to
warn them that this practice might cause them problems with another
official.  It would also be a shame to have a kid get away with this all
year and then go to a championship format meet at the end of the season
and get nailed.

One official I have spoken to made a good point.  If you are watching a
swimmers hand coming into the wall and their shoulders to make sure that
they are horizontal, assuming that the swimmer is say 5'10"-6'2", can you
honestly say that their big toe was definitely udner the surface?

As an aside, I coach in central Ohio and have been impressed by the
behavior of all of the officials in our area.  As far as I know, these
kinds of nit-picky calls for the sake of harassing the swimmers are not a
problem in this area.  If any officials from the Columbus area read this
"GOOD JOB!"

Just my $1.25. ;>)
    mike

--
Michael Lee Barnes - also know as - the original Iridescent Mouse

 
 
 

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Paul Burkhard » Sat, 17 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>Beign DQed for going completely underwater on the last lunge to the
>finish in the backstroke is definitely NOT what the writers of the 15 metre
>rule had in mind. Soemone with a lot of time on their hands came up with
>this one. This is a quirk of the rule and should be ignored but will probably
>not be.

>William J Price
>Saluki Swim Club, Inc.


Bill,

    Thanks for your comments.  However, I speaking of the swimmers coming
INTO the wall at the finish and not going AWAY from the wall at the
start.  I've seen very few DQs at the start (because facilities usually
aren't marked off correctly).  I'm not sure how the 15 meter rule applied
here.

Paul

 
 
 

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Adam Bridg » Sat, 17 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>One official I have spoken to made a good point.  If you are watching a
>swimmers hand coming into the wall and their shoulders to make sure
>that
>they are horizontal, assuming that the swimmer is say 5'10"-6'2", can
>you
>honestly say that their big toe was definitely udner the surface?

I think you have a good point...and a poor one in the same remark.  It's
not an issue of whether a "big toe" is breaking the surface -- it's whether
the swimmer is ENTIRELY under the water when the touch is made.  That's
something that you have to SEE.

Which means seeing, as they teach officials, the "whole swimmer" through
the turn/finish.  It takes lots and lots of practice.  And it takes immense
focus.  Speaking entirely for myself now, I find it unlikely that a turn
official can make this call when doing multiple lanes (unless the arrival
stagger is IMMENSE) because of issues related to position and equity.

Here's what I mean.  I'm doing 4 lanes (not uncommon in our LSC) and
swimmers arrive such that one has a half-pool lead over the other three.  I
can achieve perfect position for that swimmer's finish so I can see the
touch, make sure the swimmer hasn't passed the vertical toward the ***
before the touch, and is on the surface.  It's a straightforward call but
requires work to be in the right position to make it so I can look
vertically downward and see the line between the shoulders and judge if
that line passes vertical before the hand touches the wall.

BUT...now the other three swimmers come in and they are very close.
Probably I won't be in proper position to judge THEIR finish at all!  I'll
see the touch and if there's a completely gross violation I might see
shoulders or a complete submersion at the finish (which I have NEVER seen,
by the way.)

So, while I practice getting in the proper position to make the call for
the first swimmer, I don't make the call I can't make for the others.  It
isn't fair.  It's like having an empty lane and giving that lane equal
time.  It's hard.  

All of this is what make going to the national meets so enjoyable: being
able to focus on a single lane, observe each swim, and feel that I was able
to do a quality job.

Regards,

Adam Bridge

 
 
 

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Paul Burkhard » Tue, 20 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Mike,

   Thanks for your comments.  I think the attached extract from your
reply says it all:

Quote:
>One official I have spoken to made a good point.  If you are watching a
>swimmers hand coming into the wall and their shoulders to make sure that
>they are horizontal, assuming that the swimmer is say 5'10"-6'2", can
> you honestly say that their big toe was definitely udner the surface?

   This was part of the rationale I used in overturning those DQs....

Regards,

Paul

 
 
 

DQs on the Backstroke finish

Post by Paul Burkhard » Tue, 20 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Steve,

    Thanks for your reply.  Adam has already provided a detailed response
to your questions so I won't reiterate what he's said.  However, from my
perspective, our rules (USS) are very similar to yours (England) and it
sounds like our judgements are similar as well...

Thanks,

Paul