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Common Infractions

Swimming is a technical sport. It is typical for swimmers to get disqualified while learning fundamentals of correct stroke technique. We encourage swimmers to try new events and have fun. If your swimmer disqualifies (DQ’s), they will not earn a place ribbon or time for a disqualified race. If you have a question about your swimmers’ race, please ask a coach at a convenient time, preferably after the meet. Remember to congratulate your swimmer’s attempt at ANY event!

Stroke & Turn Judges are parents just like you. They do their best to correctly see that the kids’ strokes and turns follow the rules for that event. Frequently, parents are concerned when the 8 & under kids are disqualified. However, there are two very important reasons for this:

1. The kids learn very quickly to correct that mistake.
2. All times, even those from the first meet, count toward the county meet.

It is wrong for a child to get a fast time and qualify for County by doing the stroke illegally. They will be more critically judged at the County meet.

Below is a listing of common reasons why swimmers are disqualified in a meet. These should be viewed as points to improve on, rather than something negative.  If your swimmer does get disqualified, one of the coaches, as well as an official at the meet, will talk with them about what they did wrong.

• swimmers can touch the bottom of the pool, but may NOT make any forward movement or “push” from the bottom
• swimmers may bump into or “hang” on the rope, but they may NOT pull themselves forward toward the finish on the rope

Freestyle (hard to mess up!)

• Start - diving entry or “jumping in” are both okay
• Stroke - may swim any style of stroke they want, legally, only in freestyle.
• Turn - DQ if they miss the wall

• Start - toes must be below the surface of the water
• Stroke - swimmer does not stay primarily on their back, and leans too far over onto their side
• Finish - must remain on the back the entire race until AFTER they touch the wall with their hand (or sometimes) head. The most common mistake that young swimmers make is to turn over just as they are about to touch the wall.
• Turn - they may do a “flip turn,” but cannot glide toward the wall once on their front, cannot take more than one arm stroke once they’ve turned over, and may not push off the wall on their back, or not more than sideways. It must be a “continual motion.” This is an advanced turn.

• Start – allowed no more than 1 pull and 1 kick underwater before they surface, and the head must surface before the beginning of the next pull or kick.
• Stroke – There is only 1 kick and 1 pull per “cycle.”  If swimmer does 1.5    or 2 pulls, or 2 kicks per one pull, this is illegal.  Hands must pull underwater, but may recover above (this is advanced style). 1 breath per pull.
• Kick – Feet must stay on the same plane, “toes pointing outward” with flexed feet. Kick must remain under the surface of the water. One leg cannot have a pointed foot, and the other flexed, which causes a “whip kick.” It only takes one kick to be incorrect during an entire swim for the official to call an illegal kick.
• Finish & Turn – both hands must touch the wall simultaneously, but they may be different heights.

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