Swim News

Notice from USMS Rules Committee


Issued by FINA January 20, 2014


The FINA Technical Swimming Committee has issued a clarification regarding the interpretation of the new rules about separated hands at the touch for breaststroke (USMS article 101.2.4) and butterfly (USMS articles 101.3.4 and 101.3.5). The updated interpretation will apply to USMS competition immediately and replaces the USMS interpretation issued September 25, 2013. USA Swimming has also published the new interpretation. The 2014 USMS Rule Book is available online at usms.org.

Text of the clarification from FINA:

Separated means that the hands cannot be stacked one on top of the other. It is not necessary to see space between the hands. Incidental contact at the fingers is not a concern.

FINA further states, “It is important that officials use common sense. Please also see attached a file which clearly illustrates the sense of the rules.” (See figure to the right.)

For any questions contact Kathy Casey, Chair, USMS Rules Committee


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