DNOWS Header

Image Map

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Explanation Of The Rules Of Open Water Swimming

As the sport of open water swimming grows, the need for competent, experienced and objective rules also grows exponentially.

At a recent 10 km competition, a competitor was disqualified and told to leave the field of play (i.e., water). Her goggles had snapped and she was disqualified for swimming without goggles. She was close to the feeding station and even her coach did not realize that he could have handed her a new pair of goggles.

To the best of our knowledge and decades of experience, we have never heard that goggles were a required piece of equipment and a reading of the various open water swimming rules do not uncover such a rule.

Swimsuits are required, yes. And so are swim caps in many races. But not goggles. And coaches are allowed to give food, hydration, ear plugs, swim caps and goggles to swimmers at the feeding station or from an escort boat.

We have recently heard of more and more questionable calls by open water swimming officials. From pushing off of a feeding stick to swimming in front of a swimmer.

In many countries, meet officials immediately inform pool swimmers of the rule infraction in the case of a disqualification. This is an accepted practice in the pool and it helps the swimmers improve and learn. Immediate and direct communications between the officials and the swimmers help remove any confusion, frustration and questions about the disqualification.

But, sadly, this is not the current situation in much of the open water swimming world where a yellow card or red flag can be issued without explanation to the swimmer. When an open water swimmer is disqualified, they are not told the reason or the specific infraction. This non-communication often leads to confusion, frustration and allegations of subjectivity in officiating.

The sport needs officials, but they need them to be objective and experienced with a willingness to discuss disqualifications and specific infractions with the athletes.

To walk away and avoid the swimmer after a disqualification is called is not respectful, the height of arrogance and does not give justice to the sport.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Source

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The 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 Swimming

An 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.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program