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Sunday, April 14, 2013
What Is The Correct Call In Open Water Swimming?
Situation: Swimmer A veers into Swimmer B and then suddenly shifts direction, this time towards the desired mutual goal. Swimmer A now has the distinct advantage over Swimmer B.
The Issue: Is a call appropriate in this situation? If so, what athlete is called for what infraction of the rules? Is Swimmer A warned or receive a yellow card?
The Call: In many situations, the referee does not give any warning or call even if Swimmer A veers off the straight-line tangent 5º, 10º or as much as 45º.
The accepted logic is that Swimmer A may swim in any direction he wishes and Swimmer B can either (a) speed up and avoid the situation, (b) slow down and change his own direction, or (c) stop and go around the back side of Swimmer A. In some limited situations, the referee gives a whistle warning to Swimmer A.
Our Logic: This is a difficult call and one of the most difficult judgments that an open water swimming official is faced with. We believe Swimmer A is impeding Swimmer B in any case that Swimmer B is impeded from taking a straight-line tangent to his desired direction or target. Whether this veering is 5º, 10º or 45º, we believe the concept of impeding is being committed by Swimmer A. However, if Swimmer B continues along this same direction, then there is no impeding involved. Impeding is only committed when Swimmer B is moved off of his direction which can be determined by frequent physicality between the two swimmers.
To establish objectivity in officiating before the race, a referee can explain his or her opinions and basis for judging veering to the athletes at a pre-race meeting. However, to make a judgment call based on what the referee believes the Swimmer A or Swimmer B's intentions are is too subjective for fair officiating we believe.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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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.
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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.
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