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Friday, April 12, 2013

What Is The Correct Call In The Open Water Swimming World?

Scenario: It is a close and competitive race where two athletes are racing into the feeding station. They are swimming side-by-side and their two feeders are also standing side-by-side on the feeding station.

Situation: The outside swimmer veers the inside person against the feeding station. The inside swimmer puts out his hand out to protect himself. In the process, he touches the feeding station.

The Issue: Is a call appropriate in this situation? If so, what athlete is called for what infraction of the rules?

Does anyone receive a warning, a yellow cardor a red card?

The Call: In one situation, the referee on the feeding station gave a yellow card to the inside swimmer for touching the feeding station. In another situation, the referee on the feeding station gave a red card to the inside swimmer for touching and pushing off the feeding station.

Our Logic: We believe the outside swimmer committed something that was deserving of either a warning or a yellow card for an infraction based on impeding and unsportsmanlike conduct.

The inside swimmer did admittedly touch the feeding station, but it was caused by the action of the outside swimmer and, more importantly, it adverted a possible injury (a safety issue) while the touching (and pushing) of the feeding station did not result in any advantage to the inside swimmer over his competition.

What If?: On the other hand, what if the inside swimmer had touched the feeding station, and then proceeded to turn his body and push off the feeding station with his feet? Then this would have provided an unfair advantage and either a yellow card or red card could have been issued.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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