DNOWS Header

Image Map

Friday, August 5, 2016

Men Can Be Jerks In The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Men can be jerks.

Especially in the heat of a competition, around a turn buoy or immediately after an onshore start where everyone is scrambling for space. Men often swim over, hit, grab, pull and otherwise created improper and illegal advantages by impeding others - especially women - in competitive open water swims where the men and women start and compete together.

It is not usually the men who you may expect. It is not the male swimmer who will be standing on the awards podium after the race. It is often a swimmer with lesser abilities or experience that is also anxious to swim faster than anyone or everyone in his vicinity.

These men usually do not discriminate; they will swim over, hit, grab, pull and otherwise created improper and illegal advantages over men, women, teenagers and children alike. We hear this time and time again.

It is not right. We believe race directors should forewarn swimmers - of both genders - that such actions if sighted or documented will result in a disqualification.

On the flip side of the equation, we also read and hear of women who will kick or scratch others with their fingernails.

One Hall of Famer advises publicly, "In an open water race, it is not uncommon for people - men especially - to swim over you in order to pass you. When you find yourself being plowed over by a huge guy, let him know they're swimming in your territory by giving them a little scratch. When they realize they can't just push you aside, they'll usually back off and chart their own course."

While this protective move and counteraction can be justified by some, we think that everyone needs to respect their fellow swimmers at a much high level.

Even more importantly, a swimmer can usually tell the difference between incidental contact and intentional contact. Incidental contact will never be eliminated in competitive or mass participation open water swims. But intentional contact can be significantly reduced if race directors, officials and lifeguards are intent on disqualifying swimmers who purposefully swim over, hit, grab, pull - and scratch - others.

If a swimmer is so intent on gaining a small advantage among a large field, then we say to make this disqualification public knowledge and denote in the official results the reason for their disqualification (e.g., DSQ - for swimming over a 65-year-old woman or DSQ - for pulling on the ankles of a 12-year-old boy or DSQ - for scratching and drawing blood on another swimmer).

If the rules of open water swimming are pre-stated and explained to the field on registration forms and in pre-race meetings and the consequences of these improper actions are dealt with by official disqualifications noted in post-race results, we think the unnecessary and intentional physicality of overly aggressive swimmers will be reduced.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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