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Monday, February 25, 2013
Breaststroke Swim Rules In The Open Water
The World Open Water Swimming Association developed an initial set of rules to govern these butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke swims and provide some guidance to both swimmers and race officials.
While breaststrokers have frequented many open water swims from the Netherlands to South Africa to Japan, breaststrokers have a long history of channel swimming starting with Captain Matthew Webb in the English Channel, and among ice swimmers everywhere.
And his legacy continues in contemporary times when swimmers like Jason Lassen crossed the Catalina Channel doing only breaststroke. And in any large mass participation swim and some triathlons, there are always dozens of swimmers who cruise along using breaststroke. As the sport of open water swimming grows, there will undoubtedly be an increasingly larger number of swimmers participating with their heads looking forward using a double-arm pull and a breaststroke kick.
While the various channel governing bodies and other governing bodies from Europe to the Americas have their own rules and interpretations of what constitutes a butterfly open water swim, a backstroke open water swim, and a breaststroke open water swim, the World Open Water Swimming Association has announced its first draft of its proposed breaststroke regulations.
Comments and suggested modifications on the following rules are welcomed. Opinions on the following backstroke rules can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOWSA 12.1 – While open water swims are overwhelmingly completed doing freestyle, a small number of athletes attempt and complete open water swims, including marathon swims and channel swims, using breaststroke. In order for a swim to be considered a Breaststroke Swim, the entire distance must be swum breaststroke as defined by the following rules:
WOWSA 12.2 – From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start (either from shore or in the water) to the finish of the swim (either onshore or in the water), the body must be kept on the stomach to qualify as a Breaststroke Swim. While the athlete is swimming, he is not permitted to roll onto his back at any time or take any freestyle arm strokes or leg kicks, or do sidestroke of any type. A swimmer is allowed to stop swimming in shallow water as he approaches the shoreline and walk up on shore to clear the water as an athlete swimming freestyle would do. However, if the finish is in the water, a swimmer must simultaneously touch the finish pontoon or pad with two hands although they can be in a different plane.
WOWSA 12.3 – From the start to the finish, the stroke cycle must be one arm stroke and one leg kick in that order. All movements of the arms must be simultaneous and on the same horizontal plane without alternating movement.
WOWSA 12.4 – The hands must be pushed forward together from the breast on, under, or over the water. The elbows must be under water and the hands must be brought back on or under the surface of the water. The hands must not be brought back beyond the hip line.
WOWSA 12.5 – During each complete stroke cycle, some part of the athlete’s head must break the surface of the water unless a wave or wake prevents this action.
WOWSA 12.6 – All movements of the legs must be simultaneous and on the same horizontal plane without alternating movement. The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. A scissors, flutter or downward butterfly kick is not permitted.
WOWSA 12.7 – The athlete can stop swimming breaststroke only during voluntary stops or feeding stops. During stops of any kind, the athlete must stay in the same spot and can tread water to rest or take fuel (food) or hydration (drink). They can stretch their arms, body, back, neck or legs, but they must stay in the same location.
WOWSA 12.8 – If the above rules are not adhered to, the swim will be defined as a standard (i.e., freestyle) swim.
Footnote: The butterfly swim rules are posted here. The backstroke swim rules are posted here.
Recent discussions on the different stroke techniques in the open water are posted here at the Marathon Swimmers Forum.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.