Document Sample
					                     VHSL SWIM/DIVE RULES CLINIC AGENDA



WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS                               5 MINUTES

PHILOSOPHY OF OFFICIATING                             5 MINUTES

VHSL/NFHS POWERPOINT                                  40 MINUTES

THE REFEREE’S ROLE                                    10 MINUTES

THE STARTER                                           5 MINUTES

MEET ADMINISTRATION                                   5 MINUTES

TESTING PROTOCOLS                                     5 MINUTES

DIVING                                                10 MINUTES

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS                                   5 MINUTES


                                                    2010-2011 VHSL Clinic Materials
                     2010-2011 VHSL SWIM & DIVE RULES CLINICS

PAYMENT: The certification fee is $40.00 and is paid at the clinic for all seeking officials'
certification. The certification fee includes VHSL registration, insurance and a rule book. There
is no charge for coaches or guests attending clinics, but they receive no rules book or test
materials. (Schools were sent two rules books.)

USA SWIMMING OFFICIALS: USA Swimming certified stroke & turn, starter and referee officials
will be recognized to officiate at all levels of VHSL meets by registering and obtaining a NFHS
2010-2011Swim/Dive Rules Book from the Virginia Swimming or Potomac Valley Swimming
Officials Chair or their designees. These officials are not certified VHSL officials, but are
recognized. These officials may serve in any position for swimming; diving judges and diving
referees must be VHSL certified.

TEST: VHSL Referee, Starter, Stroke & Turn and Diving officials are required to complete and
pass test. Officials must score 80% to be fully certified to officiate at district, region, or state
championship meets. The test is taken on-line—log in at The exam will
be open from 23 October 2010 to 6 February 2011.

TRAINING CLINIC: Clinic participants will not be fully trained when they leave the clinic. Each
participant is responsible for completing their certification education by studying and learning
the rules contained in the Rules Book and by working meets. On-the-job training is by far the

RULES: Coaches must review to ensure understanding. Officials learn them when taking the
open-book test. The clinic PowerPoint and handouts provide a review of common violations
and rule changes from last year.

UNIFORM FOR OFFICIALS: White tops, navy bottoms, white shoes and socks, VHSL patch.
Certification card should be carried.

VHSL WEBSITE: information and forms to use as an official. The
clinic PowerPoint can be downloaded from this site as well.

                                                                   2010-2011 VHSL Clinic Materials
                                Virginia High School League
                                   Building Better Citizens


            Review important VHSL policies and
            On-site registration of officials who are not
             affiliated with USA Swimming
            Review this year’s NFHS Swim & Dive rule
            Answer any relevant questions you might


            This is NOT a training clinic for coaches or
            Each official is responsible for completing
             their certification and education
                Study and learn NFHS rule book
                Work meets

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                             1

               Coaches must read the rule book and
                review the PowerPoint
                   Rule books for coaches were mailed to
                    each VHSL-member school
                   Additional rule books may be purchased
                    directly from the NFHS (

                                 Clinic Attendance

           Each school must be represented by one
            boys’ coach and one girls’ coach

           Non-USA Swimming officials must attend
            each year to be eligible for varsity and
            post-season consideration

                                       Virginia High School League
                                          Building Better Citizens

                 Penalties for Non-Attendance

           Coach
               Letter to principal
               $50 fine
               Head coach must take NFHS Swim & Dive rules exam

           Officials who are not USA Swimming certified
               Cannot work varsity meets
               Officials who miss the clinic in two consecutive years
                may not officiate VHSL meets at any level.

                                       Virginia High School League
                                          Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                        2

          Coaches or officials who are unable, due to extreme
           or unusual circumstances, to attend one of the VHSL
           Rules Clinics, MAY be given an opportunity to meet
           the clinic requirement by viewing the PowerPoint
           presentation online.

                                     Virginia High School League
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              The request for an official must come from a VHSL
               Principal or his/her designee.

              The request for a coach must come from his/her

              Requests must be in writing (email is OK).

              Past clinic attendance and present circumstances
               along with any additional pertinent information will
               be considered in the decision to grant or deny the

                                     Virginia High School League
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          If the request is granted
              The coach/official must pay a $25 administrative
               fee to VHSL in order to receive credit for
              The requesting school must verify that the
               official/coach did in fact view the presentation.
              The coach must take the online exam.

                                     Virginia High School League
                                        Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                     3
                        USA Swimming Officials

             Certified stroke & turn, starter and referee officials
              are exempt from the VHSL rules clinic
                  Must register with Virginia Swimming or Potomac
                   Valley Swimming and pay the VHSL $40.00 fee
                   (includes insurance)
                  Are “recognized” by VHSL
                  May work in any position for swimming during the
                   regular season.
             Diving judges and diving referees must attend the
              annual VHSL rules clinic.

                      Important Dates

             First Practice Date                         Nov. 15*

             First Contest Date                          Dec. 1*

             District Deadline                           Feb. 15

             Regional Deadline                           Feb. 12

        * Local restrictions may apply
                                      Virginia High School League
                                         Building Better Citizens

                      Important Dates
             VHSL Championships

                  AAA – Feb. 18-19, 2011

                  A/AA – Feb. 24-26, 2011

                                      Virginia High School League
                                         Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                       4
                            Contest Limitations
               Regular season meets . . . . 10*

                       No participant may exceed 10

                       No team may exceed 10

                       *Local restrictions may apply

                                          Virginia High School League
                                             Building Better Citizens

                        Pre-Season Conditioning

               Must be open to entire student body

               May include weight training and/or running

               Cannot be sport-specific
               No instruction

                                          Virginia High School League
                                             Building Better Citizens

            ALL non-USA Swimming officials must take
             and pass the exam to be eligible to work
             VHSL meets.
                   Minimum score of 70 for regular season
                   Minimum score of 80 for post season eligibility

                                          Virginia High School League
                                             Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                        5
          All officials who wish to be eligible for District,
           Region or State level events must take and
           pass the exam
          Coaches who miss the clinic must take the
          Exam will be taken online --
              VHSL will provide a link to the NFHS site from
               the Swim & Dive landing page of the VHSL web

                                    Virginia High School League
                                       Building Better Citizens

                       USA Swimming Officials

              Certified stroke & turn, starter and referee
               officials must take and pass the NFHS
               Swim & Dive exam to be eligible for
               District, Region and State meets.
                  Score of 80 or higher is required.
              Diving judges and referees must also take
               and pass the exam.
                  Score of 80 or higher is required.

          Exam opens on Oct. 25, 2010

              Exams completed by Jan. 16, 2011 – no fee

              Exams completed after Jan. 16, 2011, but
               before Jan. 31, 2011 - $50.00 fee must be
               paid to VHSL before credit will be given

              Exams completed after Jan. 30, 2011 -
               $75.00 fee must be paid to VHSL before
               credit will be given
                                    Virginia High School League
                                       Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                  6
           You must have your VHSL ID to take the

               Officials should have only ONE VHSL ID,
                regardless of the number of sports you

               If you do not have a VHSL ID, contact
                Carolyn Shifflett at the VHSL office.

               Registration fees must be paid prior to
                receiving a VHSL ID.
                                  Virginia High School League
                                     Building Better Citizens

                     EXAM WEBSITE
           If you took ANY NFHS/VHSL exam online
            last year, you already have an exam
            website username and password.

           Bring up and sign in.

               Swim & Dive landing page on VHSL
                website will have a link to the exam site.

                                  Virginia High School League
                                     Building Better Citizens

                        NEW USERS
           If you have never taken an NFHS/VHSL
            exam online, you will need to create a
            username and password.

           There is an online power point presentation
            (under “Resources”) that details how to
            register and take the exam.

                                  Virginia High School League
                                     Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                7
                         EXAM LAYOUT
          100 True/False questions

          Order of the questions is random
              No two tests will be alike

              If you need to re-take the exam (because you
               failed on your first attempt), the questions will
               appear in a different order.

                                    Virginia High School League
                                       Building Better Citizens

          Officials who score less than 80 may take the
           exam a second time
              No additional attempts will be permitted

              Do NOT attempt the exam until you are
               prepared to take it.

          Officials who score 80 or higher on their first
           attempt are not permitted a second try.

                                    Virginia High School League
                                       Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                   8
               VHSL PROGRAMS ARE

                SPORTSMANSHIP IS
                   THE #1 PRIORITY
              OF EDUCATION-BASED


           The sole purpose of VHSL and
            other “education-based” athletics
            and activities programs is to
            provide students with opportunities
            to learn skills that will make them
            better people.

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic             9
               More and more VHSL schools are realizing that
                sportsmanship is an issue that needs to be addressed

               VHSL has established sportsmanship guidelines for
                our championship events, and has encouraged
                schools to adopt the same or similar guidelines for
                regular season play.

               VHSL Handbook 27-13-1 thru 27-13-14

               “Building better citizens!”

               Good sportsmanship is simply having RESPECT for
                oneself, for others, and for the sport.

                                         Virginia High School League
                                            Building Better Citizens

                    Coaches are Teachers

           Coaches, if you are more concerned with
            wins and losses than with teaching your
            athlete skills that will make him/her a better
            person – GET OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL
            COACHING!                                          NOW!

                                         Virginia High School League
                                            Building Better Citizens

            Questions about Sportsmanship

           All questions regarding VHSL
            regulations should be directed to VHSL
            office – not to contest officials

           Swim & Dive officials do not determine
            the number of meets a swimmer will
            miss if he/she is ejected.

                                         Virginia High School League
                                            Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                       10
            Reporting Sportsmanship Problems

                ALL ejections must be reported to
                 VHSL office

                Sportsmanship “incidents” must be
                 reported to the VHSL office

                                          Virginia High School League
                                             Building Better Citizens

                   It’s All About RESPECT

           Good sportsmanship is nothing more
            than having and showing respect for
            competitors, coaches, officials, each
            other, and the sport itself!

           Swim with honor!

           Player behavior mirrors that of his/her
                                          Virginia High School League
                                             Building Better Citizens


                 Officials – you are the “protectors of the sport.”

                      NEVER engage a spectator – not before, not
                       during, not after a meet

                      NEVER “bait” a coach or participant

                      ALWAYS behave in a professional manner

                      You are always an official, whether you are in the
                       grocery store or a spectator at your child’s swim
                       meet – behave like one.

                                          Virginia High School League
                                             Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                            11

               ALWAYS show respect for players, coaches and

               If you have “an attitude” about a coach or team,
                don’t do their meets.

               If a question is asked in a respectful manner, it
                deserves an answer.

               What you permit, you promote.

               The meet is about the student athletes.

                                     Virginia High School League
                                        Building Better Citizens

                            National Federation of State
                             High School Associations

            Swimming and Diving
                       Rules Changes
                   Major Editorial Changes
                    Points of Emphasis

                                                     Take Part. Get Set For Life.™

                            National Federation of State
                             High School Associations

                                                     Take Part. Get Set For Life.™

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                                     12
       Swimsuit Design and Construction
              Rules 3-3-1, 3-3-2
           New requirements for male and female
            swimsuit construction and design adopted in
            August 2009

           Suit shall be
             • one piece
             • decent appearance (boys shall cover
               buttocks/girls shall cover buttocks/breasts)

       Swimsuit Design and Construction
              Rules 3-3-1, 3-3-2
           New requirements for male and female
            swimsuit construction and design adopted in
            August 2009

           Suit shall be
             • one piece
             • decent appearance (boys shall cover
               buttocks/girls shall cover buttocks/breasts)

       Swimsuit Design and Construction
               Rules 3-3-1, 3-3-2
           Suits limited by the following requirements:
             • suit must be one piece
             • only one suit permitted in competition
             • material shall be woven/knit textile, permeable
               (100% to air and water)
                • one post-construction impermeable school name
                  and/or logo which shall not exceed 9 square inches
             • shall not be made to aid in buoyancy
             • shall not be altered to aid in buoyancy

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                  13
        Competition Suits/School Logo
               Rule 3-3-2b(2)

                          One school
                           logo may be                      School logo
                           added to suit                     added to suit
                          Does not                          exceeds 9 square
                           exceed 9                          inches
                           square inches

            Legal Logo                     Illegal Logo

       Swimsuit Design and Construction
              Rules 3-3-1, 3-3-2
            • shall not have zippers or other fastening
              system other than
               • waist tie for brief or jammer
               • elastic material within casing/ribbing in terminal
            • style/shape of suit
               • males shall not extend above the waist nor below
                 the top of the kneecap
               • females shall not extend beyond the shoulders nor
                 below the top of the kneecap nor cover the neck

       Swimsuit Design and Construction
              Rules 3-3-1, 3-3-2
           Suit and caps shall not contain advertising
            • may contain name and/or number of
              competitor, school or mascot
            • may contain one visible manufacturer’s
              logo/trademark or reference not exceeding 2¼
              square inches and not exceeding 2¼ inches in
              any dimension
            • American flag not to exceed 2x3 inches
            • commemorative patch not to exceed 4 inches

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                           14
       FINA Barcode/Competition Suits
              Rule 3-3-1 NOTE
           The FINA mark and/or individual barcode is
            allowed to appear on suits and is NOT
            considered a second manufacturer’s logo or
            form of advertising

           Suits with FINA mark, if unaltered, are legal
            for competition under NFHS rules

       FINA Barcode/Competition Suits
              Rule 3-3-1 NOTE
           Absence of the FINA barcode does not render
            an otherwise legal suit illegal

           Absence of an otherwise legal suit on the
            FINA List of Approved Suits does not make
            the suit illegal

       Swimsuit Design and Construction
          Rules 3-3-1, 2 & Penalties
           Official discovers competitor wearing illegal suit due
            to construction, design, and/or wearing two suits
             • Official shall
                 • when reporting prior to the start of the heat, notify
                   competitor to make suit legal before competitor
                   considered eligible and does not delay start of heat
                 • when the competitor has stepped up on starting platform
                   but prior to activation of starting device
                     – direct the competitor to “step down,” disqualify the
                       competitor from event and declare ineligible until suit is
                 • when the starting device has been activated
                     – disqualify competitor at end of heat
                     – nullify competitor’s performance time
                     – declare competitor ineligible until in a legal suit

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                               15
         Devices to Aid Performance
            Rule 3-3-3 & Penalty
           Competitors shall not wear/use any device to
            aid in speed, buoyancy and/or body
           Foreign substance may be applied
           Referee shall require competitor using
            excessive foreign substance to remove it
            before competing
           PENALTY: Team personnel/competitor uses
            an unapproved artificial device during an
            event, competitor disqualified from further

                Illegal Compression
                     Rule 3-3-3
           The application of compression tape, wraps
            and other devices for the purpose of
            compression of muscles to reduce muscle
            fatigue is an aid and considered illegal

           Tape, wraps and other devices may only be
            used for medical reasons and/or protection of

                    Lead-off Times
                      Rule 8-3-8b
          A lead-off time shall be nullified should the
           relay team be disqualified for conduct under
           Rule 3-5, or for any entry rule violation under
           Rule 3-2

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                        16
             Signing the Dive Sheet
                Rule 9-3-3 NOTE
           ART. 3…A diver officially becomes a
            participant when:
             • c. In all meets, the diving scoresheet is signed
               by the coach and diver, and if not signed by
               both shall not be accepted for review

             Signing the Dive Sheet
                Rule 9-3-3 NOTE
           NOTE: The signatures of the coach and diver
            confirm accuracy of the scoresheet submitted
            and indicate that the diver is capable of
            performing all of the dives listed on the diving
            scoresheet. If obtaining the diving
            scoresheet electronically, a method shall
            be designed to have the coach and diver
            sign the diver’s scoresheet prior to the

                     Twisting Dive
                      Rule 9-7-4d
           ART. 4…A dive is unsatisfactory if, in the
            diving referee’s opinion:
             • d. A diver does not attempt to come out of the
           Requires the diver to demonstrate attempt to
            come out of a twist
           Places twisting dives in line with diver
            attempting to come out of tuck or pike

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                             17
                     Twisting Dive
                      Rule 9-7-5g
          ART. 5…A dive is failed if, in the diving
           referee’s opinion, the diver:
            • g. Executes a twist as determined by the
              position of the diver’s shoulders, that is greater
              or less by more than 90 degrees of what is
              written on the scoresheet when the diver’s
              feet/hands contact the water.

                     Twisting Dive
                      Rule 9-7-5h
           ART. 5…A dive is failed if, in the diving
            referee’s opinion, the diver:
             • h. in a twisting dive, twists the shoulders past
               90 degrees, before the feet leave the board;

              Excessive Oscillation
                  Rule 9-8-2a
           ART. 2…Each diving judge shall deduct ½ - 2
            points for:
             • a. Not stopping the oscillation of the board
               just before or after the starting position is
             • b. Excessive oscillation;

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                              18
                         National Federation of State
                          High School Associations

              Swimming and Diving
                   Major Editorial Changes

                                               Take Part. Get Set For Life.™

                 Editorial Changes
           Rule 1-3-12 NOTE               An invitational/multi-
                                           team meet may be
                                           conducted as a
                                           championship meet

           Rule 3-2-3                     (3rd paragraph) In each
                                           relay event, eight
                                           individuals may be…

                 Editorial Changes
           Rule 3-2-7         Any competitor who exhibits signs,
                               symptoms, or behaviors consistent
                               with a concussion (such as loss of
                               consciousness, headache,
                               dizziness, confusion, or balance
                               problems) shall be immediately
                               removed from the meet and shall
                               not return to the meet until cleared
                               by an appropriate health-care
                               professional. (See NFHS
                               Suggested Guidelines for
                               Management of Concussion)

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                          19
                Editorial Changes
           Rule 8-2-2c                     …before the
                                            breaststroke kick, a
                                            single (delete
                                            downward) butterfly

           Rule 9-2-1                      …divers are permitted
                                            one practice approach,
                                            with or without a water
                                            entry as determined by
                                            the diver,…

                Editorial Changes
           Rule 9-8-2e                     Entering the water to the
                                            side of the board

           Rule 9-5-4                      The back/inward takeoff
                                            is permitted only for
                                            dives in the back and
                                            inward groups and
                                            twisting dives in the
                                            back and inward
                                            categories. Divers…

                          National Federation of State
                           High School Associations

             Swimming and Diving
                    Points of Emphasis

                                                Take Part. Get Set For Life.™

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                                           20
                Points of Emphasis
           Wearing jewelry during warm-ups is
           On site shaving is prohibited
           Swimsuit construction and design
           Automatic timing, judging and integration of
           Concussions

            Points of Emphasis
         Wearing Jewelry Prohibited
           For the purpose of risk minimization, the
            wearing of jewelry is prohibited
             • during warm-ups
             • during competition
           If contestant observed wearing during warm-
            ups, he/she shall be directed by the meet
            official to remove before being permitted to
            return to warm-ups
           If the contestant does not comply, the coach
            shall be notified and an unsporting penalty is

                Points of Emphasis
                 On-Site Shaving
           Coaches and competitors are reminded that
            the penalty for shaving on-site is
            disqualification from further competition in that
             • Rule 3-5-7 is under Conduct in the rules book
             • Each state association may choose to impose
               additional penalties beyond meet

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                           21
                Points of Emphasis
                 On-Site Shaving


            Points of Emphasis
      Swimsuit Construction and Design
           Rule 3-3-2 is specific as to the requirements for a
            legally constructed and designed suit
           Coaches as well as the swimmers must be fully
            knowledgeable of all requirements and restrictions
           The ultimate responsibility of having the swimmer in
            a legal suit rests with the coach
           A change this year permits the placement of the
            school logo on the suit after the suit is
            manufactured, providing the logo does not exceed
            9 square inches
           The NFHS does not publish a list of approved suits

               Points of Emphasis
          Automatic Timing, Judging and
              Integration of Times
           Even when FAT is being used, it is important
            officials should always be in a position to
            judge the race finish
           Pre-meet actions by the officials and timer
            should include making certain the timing
            system is in full working order
           The meet referee should be knowledgeable
            and ready to follow the procedures for
            integrating times, if necessary

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                              22
             Points of Emphasis
           Concussion Management
           A new section has been included in all NFHS
            rules book addressing Concussion
            Management Guidelines
           Coaches, officials, athletes and parents should
            become familiar with the signs, symptoms and
            behaviors of a possible concussion
           Each state association will develop a protocol
            for handling removal and returning to
            competition if an athlete displays concussion
            symptoms as well as the definition of
            “appropriate health-care” professional

              Concussion in Sports

         NFHS Swimming and Diving
                                  The Rules Book can be
                                    • online at
                                    • by calling

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                          23
                  Uniform for Officials

             White tops, navy bottoms, white shoes and

             VHSL patch must be worn on the shirt

             VHSL certification card should be carried


             VHSL Referee Reminders

                 Preventive officiating is important

                 Meet with coaches and captains before warm-

                 Referee Motto -- Semper Gumby – Always

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                           24

             VHSL Meet Administration – Recommended
              Procedures and Guidelines

             VHSL Typical Starting Sequence

                 NFHS rules for whistle preparatory commands

                 Common additional Starter commands


             VHSL Tips for Starters

             VHSL Common Stroke & Turn Disqualifications

             VHSL Diving Hints

             VHSL High School Diving How-To Manual

                  State Event Passes

             Officials may purchase through association

             Cost is $15.00

             Admittance to ALL VHSL state tournament level
              events in all sports.

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                           25
                       Clinic Cards

                 ATTENDANCE CARD!


                       Clinic Cards

            Please PRINT legibly – if we can’t
             decipher it, you weren’t here!

            One card per person – fill out both
             sides if you officiate and coach

                                Virginia High School League
                                   Building Better Citizens


                          Tom Dolan
                       VHSL Assistant Director
                  Swim & Dive Program Administrator

                    George Homewood
                     VHSL Swim & Dive Clinician

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                              26
                      Virginia High School League
                         Building Better Citizens

2010-11 VHSL Swim & Dive Rules Clinic                    27
                       NFHS Swimming & Diving Rules Changes 2010
3-3-1 new NOTE: Clarifies the FINA mark and/or individual barcode appearing on some swimsuits is not
considered a second manufacturer’s logo nor a form of advertising. Such swimsuits with a FINA marking
are legal for NFHS competition.

Rationale: This NOTE will clarify that new swimsuit markings required by FINA shall not be considered a
second manufacturer’s logo that would render the suit illegal.

3-3-2b(2): Allows placing one post-construction impermeable school name and/or logo not exceeding 9
square inches on the competitor’s swimsuit.

Rationale: Clarifies that a school name and/or mascot may be placed on the suit even though it might
be impermeable. The restriction on the size and number of school logos prevents coating the full or
significant portion of the suit after construction to make the swimsuit impermeable.

3-3-3: Clarifies that competitors shall not wear or use any device to aid in body compression other than
that which occurs by a legal swimsuit.

Rationale: One of the advantages of the technical suits that have not been disallowed was the body and
muscle compression which reduced muscle fatigue during competition. This same effect could be
replicated by the use of various tapes or other devices that compress muscles, therefore, a restriction to
address compression is necessary. This restriction will not prohibit bandages or similar tapes applied for
medical purposes or protection of injuries.

8-3-8b: Nullifies use of a lead-off time for qualifying or record in the corresponding individual event if
the relay team is disqualified for Conduct or any entry rule violation under Rule 3-2.

Rationale: Currently, only a conduct violation would nullify an otherwise legal lead-off swim on a relay
from being recognized as a record or qualifying time in the corresponding individual event. In addition
to a conduct violation, the lead-off swim should also be nullified if there is an entry violation that would
render the relay team from being entered in the race.

9-3-3 new NOTE: The signatures of the coach and diver indicate that the diver is capable of performing
all of the dives listed on the diving scoresheet and confirms the accuracy of the scoresheet submitted.

Rationale: The required signatures on the scoresheet currently confirm that both the coach and diver
have reviewed the scoresheet being submitted and agree on its accuracy. The signatures should also
indicate, for risk minimization purposes, the diver is capable of performing all dives as listed.

9-7-4 new d: Requires a diver to demonstrate his/her attempt to come out of a twist during a dive
otherwise it is unsatisfactory.

Rationale: To assist in fairness and consistency in judging a twisting dive performance, requiring the
diver to demonstrate his/her attempting to come out of a twist places these dives in line with
attempting to come out of the tuck or pike positions. Rule 9-5-7 defines the position of the arms when

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the diver completes the dive. Therefore, the diver, on a twisting dive, must demonstrate his/her
attempt to come out of the twist to complete the dive.

9-7-5g: Specifies the diver’s shoulders shall be used as the reference point when the feet/hands contact
the water to determine whether the proper amount of twist has been achieved for the individual dive.

Rationale: The reference of a definitive body part to use when judging the completion of twists has
been absent from the rule and is necessary for consistency in judging the dive.

9-7-5 new h: Stipulates a diver performing a twisting dive cannot twist the shoulders past 90 degrees
before the feet leave the board.

Rationale: To perform a twisting dive, the competitor should perform the majority of the twist while off
the board. The twist should not be taken out of the dive by twisting beyond 90 degrees while still
having the feet on the board.

9-8-2 new a: A deduction will be given if a diver does not stop the oscillation of the board just before or
after the starting position is assumed.

Rationale: It has been accepted that the diver shall stop board oscillation before or after the starting
position is assumed, but a clear statement of this requirement has been omitted from the rules.

Major Editorial Changes

1-3-12 NOTE, 3-2-3, 3-2-7, 3-3-2, 8-2-2c, 9-2-1, 9-3-3c, 9-5-4, 9-8-2e

                    NFHS Swimming & Diving Points of Emphasis 2010
1. Jewelry not permitted during warmups – For the purpose of risk minimization and consistency in
rules, contestants/competitors shall not wear jewelry in warm-ups or competition. If a contestant or
competitor is discovered wearing jewelry during warm-ups, the meet officials will direct the athlete to
remove the jewelry before continuing with warm-ups. If the contestant does not comply with removing
the jewelry, he/she is withheld from warm-ups and the athlete’s coach is notified of the unsporting
conducting. With lanes traditionally being filled with contestants during the pre-meet and post-diving
event warm-up sessions, the potential for injury increases significantly. Ultimately, the coach is
responsible for being sure the contestants and competitors do not report for warm-ups or competition
wearing jewelry and that each swimmer/diver is in proper attire. The restriction and consequences for
wearing jewelry are to be reviewed during a pre-meet conference between officials, coaches and team
captains. A quick check of contestants already in the water during warm-ups should be added to the
official’s pre-meet check list.

2. On-site shaving is prohibited – In an effort to prevent the potential for the transmission of blood-
borne diseases, NFHS Rule 3-5-7 prohibits the practice of shaving at swimming competitions. On-site
shaving is a health, safety and cleanliness-of-facilities issue. Under the “NFHS Communicable Disease
Policy,” athletes in all sports are to refrain from full body shaving. It is very important that coaches

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counsel their athletes on the danger and inappropriateness of on-site shaving ranging from sharing
razors, possible cuts and exchange of body fluid (blood) and spreading communicable disease to
cleanliness issues at the facility. Coaches have the responsibility to educate their athletes and enforce
this restriction. “On site” includes the pool area, adjoining locker rooms, shower rooms and restrooms
within the facility where the competition is being conducted. Penalties include disqualification from
further competition under Rule 3-5-7, and by state association policy, could result in further restrictions
for future meets.

3. Swimsuit construction and design – Rule 3-3-2 outlines the requirements and restrictions for a
legal swimsuit. Last year, Rule 3-3-2 was modified, prohibiting the so-called high-tech suits. A clear
definition for a legal suit design and construction was adopted. To address continued developments in
the ongoing evolution of swimsuits, new Rule 3-3-1 states that the FINA logo is not considered a form of
advertising, and swimsuits with the logo/barcode will be legal under NFHS rules. A change regarding the
placing of a school logo or name is an adjustment to last summer’s major rule change. Rule 3-3-2b(2)
now states that the swimsuit worn during competition must be of a textile material and 100%
permeable to air and water except for the school name or logo, which may be an area no more than 9
square inches added to the suit after construction. Officials should use reasonable and good judgment
in the application of the suit rule. It is not intended that officials become suit inspectors nor should they
be expected to verify the legality of each competitor’s swimsuit. The referee should ask each coach
during the pre-meet conference to confirm that all competitors will compete in legal swimsuits. During
warmups, the officials should also advise the coach of any competitor(s) observed to be wearing an
illegal swimsuit or multiple suits and that the suit(s) shall not be permitted during competition. During
each race, the officials should watch for competitors wearing more than one swimsuit, in a swimsuit of
illegal style, shape or made with zippers or fasteners. When observed during the competition, the
appropriate penalty as defined in the rule should be applied. As a reminder, a “drag suit” worn over a
regular suit is considered a multiple suit and is not allowed during competition.

4. Automatic timing, judging and integration of times – At meets where automatic timing is utilized,
it is easy to fall into the “trap” of letting the machine pick the finish or sort the places out. Officials
should always try to be in position to judge race finishes in case the timing system malfunctions, a touch
pad fails to activate or does not cover the entire lane and/or becomes dislodged during the race. A pre-
meet check of the timing system, the touch pads in all lanes, the starting device and scoreboard should
be standard part of an official’s pre-meet duties. It is also critical that officials look at the scoreboard to
ensure that it is functioning once a race starts or to instruct the timing equipment operator to report a
malfunction immediately. Good protocol calls for the starter to verify with the timing equipment
operator that the system is set for the designated distance or race prior to the start of each event. Rule
6-4-1 discusses the integration of backup times and provides tables as to how these times can be
calculated when there is a malfunction for a heat or a malfunction for a lane. If places can be
determined but qualifying times are needed to advance to the next level of competition, and backup
times are not available, the referee could authorize the event to be re-swum. Section 5 of Rule 6
explains how the ballot system is to be implemented as a backup judging system for failure of an
automatic or semi-automatic timing system, and as the primary system when only hand-held watches

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are utilized. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that it is the primary role of an official to be in position
to judge a finish, determine legal strokes and turns. Recently developed Swimming and Diving Officials
Guidelines Manuals have been published by the NFHS to improve the consistency of officiating high
school swimming and diving. These manuals, which will be available July 1, 2010 at, are
not meant to be another rules book. Rather they have been designed to help all officials better
understand their roles in conducting competition as well as to enhance their meet organizational skills
along with their mechanics of officiating.

5. Concussions – With swimming and diving being a non-contact sport, the incidence of concussions
are rare in comparison to contact sports. Striking the head on the diving board or at end of the pool as
well as colliding with another swimmer during a warmup session are instances that could lead to a
concussion. It should also be kept in mind that slipping or falling on the deck, in the locker room or
shower area could also have the potential for causing a concussion. Proper policies and preparations
should be in place to minimize injuries due to these causes. The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory
Committee and the Board of Directors adopted the “SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR MANAGEMENT OF
CONCUSSION IN SPORT” that outlines symptoms, sideline decision-making and appropriate health-care
professional’s clearance to return to participation. The introduction to this document states,
“concussions…..have the potential for serious complications if not managed correctly.” Rule 3-2-7
outlines the actions to be taken by the meet official to provide an opportunity for the contestant to
receive medical attention. In the event a certified athletic trainer or medical personnel is not on site,
the host school would be responsible for implementing their Emergency Action protocols in this

               2010-11 NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Interpretations
SITUATION 1: A swimmer from school A has a medical condition that requires him/her to wear a full
body suit of some kind while in the water. The coach tells the meet referee this is a customization that is
needed for a medical reason. The referee does not approve the swimmer to compete due to the
absence of a letter of authorization from the state association. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT:
Rule 3-3-2 provides that a swimmer with special needs may request customization through his/her
school to the state association. If the customization is approved, it should not set aside the restrictions
on material. (3-3-2)

SITUATION 2: The referee observes the swimmers from Team A, the Eagles, during warm-ups wearing
suits with an eagle on the front of the females’ suits larger than 9 square inches. Likewise, the males’
jammers have an eagle on the side of the suit larger than 9 square inches. The referee confirms with the
coach of Team A that these mascots are dyed in the material and are not placed over the textile material
of the suit impacting permeability. The referee allows the suits in competition as Rule 3-3-2b(2) does
not apply to this suit. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: The restriction on the size and number
of post-construction school logos is necessary to prevent covering the suit to make it impermeable. The
restrictions are not necessary when the sublimation process is used.

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SITUATION 3: A male swimmer is wearing a swimsuit such as a “board short.” When he steps on the
block, it extends below the top of the kneecap. However, when he assumes his starting position, it no
longer extends below the top of the kneecap. Is this legal? RULING: Illegal. COMMENT: The suit would
be viewed as the swimmer is upright with the suit in its natural state, legs not rolled up. The rule on
swimwear design is very specific and has been adopted for a purpose. The suit, worn in its natural
position on the swimmer, is illegal. (3-3-2b(5))

SITUATION 4: Two contestants from Team A are shaving on-site in the locker room. This is observed by a
meet official and reported to the meet referee. The referee disqualifies both contestants from any
further competition in the meet under the penalty for Rule 3-5-7. RULING: Correct procedure.
COMMENT: Coaches should be certain to educate their athletes and enforce Rule 3-5-7 regarding the
restriction of on-site shaving to avoid an unnecessary penalty. (3-5-7)

SITUATION 5: An invitational meet is using fully automatic timing (FAT). At the completion of the first
heat of the 200-yard IM, the referee does not agree with the results of the FAT and overrides the order
of finish results with no indication of a timing malfunction. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT:
Even when FAT is used, the appropriate meet officials should observe the order of finish as a back-up. If
there is no timing malfunction, the FAT times stand and the referee shall not override the results. (6-5-
1, 6-4-1)

SITUATION 6: The coach of Team A fails to sign the diving scoresheet; however, it is signed by the diver.
The referee, in error, accepts the scoresheet for review. After the event has begun, it is discovered the
scoresheet for the diver from Team A is not signed by both the coach and diver. The diving referee,
without interrupting competition, has the coach report to the scoring table and sign the scoresheet.
RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: The diver is not disqualified, but the scoresheet shall be signed
by both coach and diver. The diving referee erred by first accepting the improperly signed scoresheet for
review. The review of the sheet should have discovered the problem prior to competition. In this case,
the diver is not penalized for an error of the official because the signatures do not directly impact being
able to judge the dive or the correct dive being announced for the diver. (9-3-3 NOTE, Penalty)

SITUATION 7: Diver A performs dive 5112 and, in the opinion of the diving referee, the diver does not
release his/her arms and is not attempting to come out of the twist. The diving referee declares the dive
unsatisfactory. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: A twisting dive is unsatisfactory if the diver does
not attempt to come out of the twist. (9-7-4d)

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     a. Failure to touch at the turn. (NOTE: if touch missed, swimmer may reach back and make a legal touch or
         may come back if he missed the wall, but only in freestyle.)
     b. Walking on, running on or contacting the bottom of the pool to gain an advantage.
     c. Swimming in the wrong lane for any portion of the race—applies to all strokes/events.
     d. Getting artificial assistance (e.g., grasping and pulling on the lane lines; pushing off side walls.)
     e. Head fails to surface by 15 meters (16.4 yards); but it is OK to re-submerge at finish.
     f. Failure to swim required distance—swimmer is responsible for distance even if lane counter and/or last lap
         bell is incorrect

     a. Swimmer submerged after start or turn and head surfacing beyond 15 meters (16.4 yards); but it is OK to
        re-submerge at finish.
     b. Turning shoulders past vertical on the turn and, after pulling forward with arm already in motion or
        simultaneously with both arms, taking additional pulls to bring swimmer closer to the wall before initiating
        the pulling or somersaulting action. (Note: Independent gliding/kicking is permitted either before or after
        the arm pull)
     c. Failure to return to or past vertical toward the back before swimmer leaves the wall on the turn.
     d. When shoulders have turned past vertical on the turn, swimmer misses touch on the wall after doing a
        somersault and sculls back to touch.
     e. Turning shoulders past vertical at the finish.
     f. Getting artificial assistance (e.g., grasping and pulling on the lane lines to assist forward motion; pulling or
        pushing off side walls.)
     g. Toes curling over lip of gutter or deck after the start. Note, toes are no longer required to be below the
        surface of the water at the start.

     a. Body not at or past the vertical towards the breast following the start or when the swimmer leaves the wall
        after a turn.
     b. At the start or after any turn, head still below the water surface when the arms reach the widest part of the
        second arm stroke after the start and each turn (8-2-2-c).
     c. Sculling with the hands at the end of the first arm stroke after start or turn.
     d. Over-the-water recovery with elbows out of the water (except after last stroke prior to turns or at the
     e. Sidestroke or scissors kick (any alternating movement of the feet or legs).
     f. Downward butterfly kick or flutter kicks other than a single downward dolphin kick after the first arm pull
        begins and before the first breaststroke kick after the start and after each turn.
     g. Touch not simultaneous; one-hand touch on turns or finish. (Need not be on the same level.)
     h. Getting artificial assistance (e.g., grasping and pulling on the lane lines; pushing off side walls.).

     a. Alternating kicking movement, such as flutter kicks, where legs are moving in different directions at the
        same time.
     b. Scissors or breaststroke kicking movement.
     c. Failure of head to surface by 15 meters (16.4 yards); but it is OK to re-submerge at finish.
     d. Arm movements (both stroke and recovery) not simultaneous.
     e. Arm recovery not over the water after pull; this is especially prevalent into the turn or finish (usually
        characterized by short pull and an underwater, stabbing touch).
     f. Touch not simultaneous or one-hand touch on turns or the finish. (Need not be at the same level.)
     g. Getting artificial assistance (e.g., grasping and pulling on the lane lines; pushing off side walls.)

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5.    INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY (All transition turns are judged by finish rules):
      a. Violation of any rule pertaining to individual strokes. (NOTE: When turning from the butterfly to the
          backstroke, after a legal touch, the swimmer's shoulders must be at or past the vertical toward the back
          when the swimmer leaves the wall. Also, when finishing the backstroke portion, the swimmer must
          make a legal touch on the back (rule does not say so explicitly but this should be judged as “at or past the
          vertical toward the back”). Regardless of how the turn is thereafter executed, the swimmer’s shoulders
          must be at or past the vertical toward the breast before leaving the wall in breaststroke.
       b. Swimming a legal breaststroke, or butterfly in the freestyle leg (NOTE: in NFHS, illegal variations of
          breaststroke or butterfly that are illegal from the first stroke and remain illegal are permitted in the
          freestyle leg but any stroke done on the back is considered backstroke).
       c. Swimming the strokes out of order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle

 6.    RELAYS:
       a. Early take-off (swimmer on the block leaves before incoming swimmer touches the wall).
       b. Running take-off (the forward start must be used by all relay swimmers other than the lead off of the
           medley relay); forward start is defined as foot/feet at the front edge of the platform or pool deck.
       c. Failure to swim proper order of strokes.
       d. Stroke violation.
       e. Failure to swim required distance.
       f. The 1st swimmer of a relay, once called to the starting platform by the referee, shall not change his/her
           swimming order in the relay event with any teammate. Also, each relay card must indicate, not later
           than the conclusion of the heat, the actual order of swimmers in that heat.
       g. Entering the water without permission: whole team is disqualified if any member, other than the
           swimmer designated to swim, enters the pool before all other competitors have finished, and that
           individual is disqualified from further competition. (This is a Referee’s call; however, the Stroke & Turn
           Judge should let the Referee know of violations in this area. If all other competitors have finished, that
           competitor is disqualified from his/her next scheduled event.)
       h. Failure to exit the pool promptly after swimming required quarter of race.

 7.    OTHER
       a. Suits—only one suit may be worn and it must be made of permeable fabric. Men’s suits may not
          extend below the knee or above the waist. Women’s suits may not extend below the knee or below the
          shoulder on the arms nor cover the neck.
       b. Jewelry—nothing is permitted other than medical or religious medal that is securely taped to the skin.
          Functional items such as elastic hair ties are not considered jewelry, if worn in the hair. The rule now
          provides that only the refusal to remove jewelry when directed to do so is a disqualification.
       c. Pacing devices—no pacing device is permissible. Watches are an example, but are illegal under the
          jewelry rule as well.
       d. Logos—the rules severely limit the size and number of commercial logos worn on the suit or cap;
          swimmers may not wear a suit or cap that displays a logo or name of any team other than the high
          school team they are representing at the meet. There is no size limit (yet?) on the logo for the school.
       e. Unsportsmanlike conduct—making insulting or derogatory remarks, gestures or acts including taunting,
          or showing disgust with officials' decisions or with own or other competitors’ performance. (NOTE: This
          is a referee call, but S &T judges should bring potential violations to referee’s attention. The referee
          may choose to provide a first warning.)
       f. Entering or re-entering the water without the referee's permission.
       g. Jumping into water—for backstroke (and any other in-water) starts, rules state that swimmer shall step
          into the water—NO jumping in or cannonballs or flips off the deck or block. Considered a false start.
       h. Shaving onsite is not permitted, before, during or after the meet.
       i. Tattoos are not specifically addressed, but if deemed "objectionable" by the referee, could be subject to
          a conduct violation with swimmer disqualified from further competition in the meet, but covering the
          tattoo should be considered first.
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                                VHSL REFEREE REMINDERS

The referee should anticipate problems and see potential issues and head them off so that
they never become actual problems and do not impact the meet
Be on time and be ready to be flexible—call together coaches and team captains before
warm-ups and remind about warm-up and meet safety procedures. Try to get to the venue
at least 30 minutes before warm-ups begin
During warm-ups, wander about and meet coaches—find out about any unusual
circumstances or issues
Jewelry—remind any swimmer you see wearing jewelry that it must be removed before

Apparel—only ONE swimsuit is allowed for competition and technical suits are restricted.
Also look for potential logo problems and be prepared to solve before the meet

Sportsmanship—equally important to exhibit good sportsmanship as well as avoid bad
Timers—consider delegating the timer briefing to the starter, but in any case ensure that
the timers are briefed on their responsibilities
 “Step into the pool” command means exactly and precisely that. Any jumps, leaps,
cannonballs, etc. merit a disqualification which is recorded as a false start

Break after 50 free (typically event 8)—15 minutes or other time agreed to by coaches—get
the agreement BEFORE the meet begins

Jumping into any lane before all swimmers in the pool finish race merits a disqualification—
referee must continue to watch until ALL lanes are done

Lap Counters—orange at 450y not “69” which is considered offensive by some; the latter
has been ruled in meets as an unsportsmanlike call that not only disqualifies the competitor,
but also removes the swimmer doing the counting from the remainder of the meet. The
portion of Rule 3-4 relating to when the counter is advanced should be considered
ADVISORY not mandatory—swimmers should not be disqualified based on when the lap
counter is changed. [Note in a meter pool, the distance freestyle is 400 meters and while
USA Swimming uses neither a lap counters nor a bell lap signal, NFHS rules require both]

Many, but not all high school swimmers swim year-round in programs using the USA
Swimming rules. There are some differences—a reminder ahead of time may prevent an
unfortunate disqualification
The entry (seed) times for entry into any VHSL sanctioned meet must have been earned by
the swimmer or team in actual VHSL competition in the current year.
Referee Motto—Semper Gumby—Always flexible

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                                         VHSL TYPICAL STARTING SEQUENCE
                                   NFHS Rules for Whistle Preparatory Commands



directs swimmers to step into the pool after which a second long whistle directs the swimmers to place their feet) AND

1. “Take your mark” --                               said conversationally with even or declining pitch

2. [Beep] --                                         given only after all swimmers are motionless

                                      Common Additional Starter Commands

“Stand up.” --                                       used when all swimmers do not promptly assume a legal starting

“Please respond promptly to the command” --          used when swimmer is slow assuming a starting position

“Please hold your position motionless.” --           used to correct excessive motion

“Place your feet”         --                         used optionally on backstroke starts—referee-starter agreement needed

“Your toes must be below the lip of the gutter”      (on backstroke starts)

“You must have at least one foot at the front of the block” -- used when swimmer doesn’t have at least one foot at the
                                                                front of the block after the “Take your mark” command

“Lane __, please __________.” --             used to correct the action of a single swimmer; should only be used
                                             after the entire field has been corrected and the swimmer repeats problem

“Step down” --                                       used to avoid swimmers standing on the blocks for too long

NOTE: Whistle start protocols will be used at all district, regional and state championship meets

The use of verbal preparatory commands is strongly discouraged, but they may be used in dual meets
where the officials working the meet are unfamiliar with the whistle preparatory command protocols
and there is a risk that athlete starts might be negatively affected.

For more information, see starting protocols in the 2010-11 NFHS Rules Book on pages 80-81.

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1.    Before meet, set up and test starting equipment and check stability of blocks.

2.    Very often, referees will assign starters the task of doing the timer briefing. Be prepared to do this.

3.    Speak slowly, clearly, and loudly into the microphone—practice beforehand to get the feel for the microphone and
      volume levels.

4.    Limit speaking over the microphone to essential commands. Do not add introductory language such as “Swimmers”
      before your commands.

5.    Use full names of events, not abbreviations (“Individual Medley”, not “IM”). Do not put an “s” on the end of “yard.”
      (e.g., 100 yard_ freestyle)

6.    Always ensure fair starts for all swimmers.

7.    If too much noise at the start, wait or ask for quiet.

8.    If you say the wrong event, simply say, “Correction,” and say proper stroke and distance.

9.    Starter should stand reasonably close to the end of pool, but where s/he can see all swimmers at once.

10.   Watch the whole field, rather than focusing on specific swimmers.

11.   False starts are not recalled. A false start is handled like a stroke disqualification and the swimmer is notified at the
      completion of the race. See the No-Recall Starting Protocol on page 81 of the 2010-11 NFHS Rules Book

12.   Each swimmer is responsible for his or her own start so if Swimmer B leaves his mark in reaction to Swimmer A’s
      false start, Swimmer B must also be charged with a false start by the starter/referee.

13.   If a swimmer leaves his mark in response to “Stand up” command, starter/referee may relieve the swimmer of the
      false start.

14.   If you stand a heat up because a swimmer is moving, and that swimmer’s movement takes him into the pool,
      generally that swimmer should be disqualified.

15.   If a heat is stood up a second time, usually it is best to ask swimmers to step off blocks, wait a few seconds, then try

16.   If you make a mistake or some external factor interferes with a fair start, recall the race and do not disqualify

17.   With starter/referee permission, swimmers may do a forward start from within the water (at least one hand in
      contact with starting platform/end wall).

18.   A swimmer who fails to report for the initial start of his heat is disqualified.

19.   For forward start, swimmers no longer have to have a foot at front of block prior to “Take your mark” command.

20.   Backstroke start no longer requires swimmers to have feet, including toes, completely below water surface.

21.   In 500 yard freestyle, starter must count laps and ring bell for lead swimmer at 450 yards; ring bell from flags into
      wall and back out to flags. No longer needs to be over the lane of the lead swimmer, but still preferred. Timers are
      supposed to count laps too.

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                                        VHSL MEET ADMINISTRATION
                              RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES & GUIDELINES
    DOUBLE CHECK arrangements to ensure the pool is scheduled for meet date (cost, reserve lead time,
    equipment requests, etc.)
    POOL SET UP—backstroke flags properly placed (have a tape measure so can be verified), lanes numbered
    correctly, lights, blocks, etc.
    MEET SETUP—seating, drinking water for timers and officials, starting system, PA system for announcing,
    national anthem, false start rope, lane lines, etc.
    LAP COUNTERS—MUST be provided for visiting team and MUST be in good repair else host team swimmers
    are disqualified from 500y/400m Free (yes, lap counters are required for 400m in NFHS)

    Schedule officials to include referee, starter, at least two stroke & turn judges plus alternates/relief, sweep
    judge. Advise all to arrive no less than 30 minutes prior to scheduled start of meet
    Assign head timer to obtain adequate number of timers, check watches for adequate number and working
    Assign head scorer to obtain one or two assistants, distribute score sheets as necessary
    Obtain required meet equipment and supplies, including starting system, watches, bell, clipboards and pencils
    Schedule deck marshals for warm-ups as well as locker room marshals if necessary
    Contact visiting team rep: Provide map or directions, agree on equipment to bring (watches, lap counters if
    necessary), discuss any equipment or deck official/scorer shortages for which you need assistance

    Provide maps to parents
    Schedule officials (two stroke & turn plus relief/alternates), sweep judge, timers and scorers. Advise to be at
    meet at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled start.
    Check watches for adequate number and working properly

   It is recommended that prior mutual consent between coaches be reached on those items requiring it at least
   3 days before the meet.
   One item that may require discussion/decisions is the number of entries per team/number of lanes scored for
   competition in pools with 8 lanes. Exhibition entries are permitted and may be assigned to fill up additional
   o Visiting team’s coach selects competition lanes (odd or even for use in preparing entry cards in advance
         of meet)
   o Agree on Event numbers (22 events or 24 events depending on how the diving events are considered)
   o Decide on warm-up times/lanes, as necessary
   o Decide on exhibition swims for extra lanes/heats
   o Verify that scoring heat swims FIRST in multiple heat events
   o Describe pool deviations (length, block shape or height)
   o Discuss procedure for inclement weather decisions – Host athletic director/principal decides

    Communicate information on exhibition heats; verify that scoring heat swims FIRST in multiple heat events
    Discuss/decide on 15-minute or shorter (or longer) intermission if no diving
    Verify that swimmers are not wearing jewelry and are properly attired—suggestion: make captains
    responsible for their team
    Warm-ups Safety Briefing – Swimmers may only enter pool with coach & referee direction; feet first entry
    from deck unless in designated start/sprint lane (See guidelines in the 2009-10 Rules Book) Ensure that each
    coach has a copy of the meet warm up procedures prior to the start of warm-ups.

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                                          VHSL DIVING HINTS
Failed dives, for example:
         Doing a dive other than that on the dive sheet
         Does a forward or reverse dive without a forward approach (from a standing position)
         Twisting 90 degrees more/less than on dive sheet (determined by shoulder position)
         Contacting water with something other than head/hands on head-first entry, or feet initially on
         feet-first entry
         Twisting 90 degrees or more (determined by shoulder position) before leaving the board
Unsatisfactory dives (max. score of 2.0), for example:
         Dive is done in position other than that on dive sheet
         Diver hits the board
         Diver does not attempt to come out of tuck/pike position or out of a twist.
Balks & Violation of Forward Approach (2 points deducted from each score by scorer)—dive judged on its
merits as actually performed (2 balks on same dive is a failed dive)

Deficient dives, for example, when the diver breaks position in flight or lands dive either well inside or
well beyond 3 feet from end of board or when a diver enters water with one or both hands above
shoulders on feet-first entry or one or both hands below shoulders on head-first entry. Deficient dives
should receive a maximum score of 4.0.

Mandatory deductions, (0.5-2.0 from initial score—each judge decides) for such things as:
         Entering the water to the side of the board
         Excessive oscillation of the board in back/inward approach (4 times is suggested maximum in
         NFHS Diving Guidelines) or not stopping the oscillation just before or after assuming the starting
         Feet/foot leaving the board prior to a back/inward takeoff ("crow hop")
         Obviously twisting from the board
         Spreading knees in the tuck position
         Entering water in a position twisted away from the line of the board, but less that 90 degrees

       Diving is an aesthetic sport—ugly dives should not receive satisfactory scores
       A dive should be scored based on all areas of consideration and the required aspects (see Rules
       9-5 and 9-7).
       In awarding points, Judges should not hesitate to reward a diver for exceptional performance in
       these areas.
       Conversely, Judges may score dives in the “Unsatisfactory” range when the Referee does not
       indicate that it is a mandatory unsatisfactory dive as a result of significant deficiencies in all areas
       of consideration, none of which individually meet the mandatory requirement, but which
       collectively make the dive unsatisfactory.

                                                                                          2010-2011 VHSL Clinic Materials
                         VHSL High School Diving How-To Manual
Welcome to the high school diving season! Many       another individual to serve as non-scoring
elements of high school diving competition will      referee), an announcer, and two table workers (a
be familiar, but the brief refresher course that     scorekeeper and a tabulator). A total of 3
follows may prove helpful.                           judges are required; 5 is the preferred number.

High school diving differs from other competitive    Students or team members not competing in the
diving in that it comprises two events (women        diving events may work table but may not judge.
and men) within a swim meet, and is governed
by rules adopted by a national association of        Meet equipment includes five diving scorecards,
high school swim coaches. High school rules          scrap paper, two calculators (make sure the
are very specific as to which dives may be           batteries are working), and pencils. Usually the
performed, the order in which they must be           home team provides this equipment.
performed, and the manner of performance.
                                                     Chairs should be set up for the judges on either
The primary emphasis of a high school meet will      side of the diving well. The scoring table should
be on the swimming events, but it’s important for    be located so that the announcer has a clear
coaches, parents, and athletes to remember the       view of all the judges and can hear easily the
divers make a valuable contribution to the overall   referee. Set up five chairs at the scoring table.
team effort.
                                                     All meet sheets (the NFHS sheet is required)
The number of official divers permitted to           should be completed and signed by the divers
compete for each team must be the same as the        and turned in to the table by the beginning of the
number of swimmers competing for each team           event before the diving event (usually 50 free).
in a swimming event. With mutual consent of          This allows the table workers enough time to
coaches, the referee may permit unofficial           check the sheets and correct any problems
divers, but only up to the total number of event     before the event starts. There is no penalty if
entries as determined by the number of lanes in      sheets are corrected prior to the event start. Any
the pool. Thus, in a meet held in a six-lane pool    later, and the mandatory calls become rather
no more than 12 divers would be competing. No        Draconian. Frequently, disqualification is the
team may enter more than three “official” divers     prescribed penalty.
in any event, and exhibition divers must be so
designated prior to the start of the meet.           For 6-dive dual meets:

Divers need not wear team suits, or even                The      voluntary  dive  MUST      be
competition-style suits, but must wear suits “of         performed first (remember the voluntary
decent appearance.” Jewelry, except religious or         dive group changes each week in some
medical, must be removed. Religious or medical           districts);
jewelry must be taped to the body. Hair restraints      The remaining dives MUST include
are fine, but they’re supposed to be functional          dives from at least four groups
rather than decorative. Divers may be                    (forward,  back, inward, reverse,
disqualified for violating the appearance                twisting);
provisions only if they refuse to comply after
being reminded by the referee.                          Every dive listed MUST be listed on
                                                         the table of dives in the high school
             Organizing the Event                        rule book; and
                                                        The DD assigned to the voluntary dive
Every team needs to provide officials -- typically       must not exceed 1.8. (For instance, if
five -- to work each meet.                               5122D, forward 1 somersault 1 twist free, is
                                                         used as a voluntary, the sheet would show
The host team provides two judges (one of                a DD of 1.8, rather than its actual DD of
whom serves as a referee or, alternatively,              1.9.)
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Remember the degrees of difficulty assigned to        A referee may set a maximum score to be
dives under high school rules are not necessarily     awarded, but may not set a minimum score.
the same as those used in summer league or
USA Diving meets.                                     High school rules also provide that a dive is
                                                      failed if the diver falls into the water, performs a
After the sheets are checked, a decision should       forward or reverse dive from a standing start,
be made on whether to combine the boys’ and           neglects to put the written description of the dive
girls’ events. If either event has less than four     on the sheet, performs a dive not listed on the
competitors, it will be more efficient to combine     high school table or twists greater or less than 90
the event. The referee should obtain the consent      degrees from what is written on the score sheet.
of both coaches.
                                                      A diver may change the position of a dive from
Diving order should be assigned to correspond         the board. Degrees of difficulty should be
to the swimming lane assignment. For a team           adjusted downward, but never upward. (e.g., if
swimming in lanes 1, 3, and 5, its divers would       the dive listed is 201 back dive pike, 1.6,
compete 1st, 3rd, and 5th in the diving order. In a   changing to tuck would require adjusting the DD
combined event, boys dive first, and sheets for       to 1.5. Changing to straight would leave the DD
all competit ors should be numbered                   at 1.6.) In championship meets, the true DD of
consecutively. For example, in a combined event       the voluntary dives cannot exceed 9.0 so
with five boys and three girls, the sheets would      changes to a position with a higher DD need to
be numbered 1 through 8, not 1 through 5 and 1        be carefully monitored.
through three, to avoid confusion at the table.
                                                      Explicit pre-meet instructions by the referee are
               Judging Pointers                       particularly important in high school meets
                                                      because many of the judges have limited judging
The referee should briefly review the rules for the   experience. In addition to covering the special
other judges, with emphasis on requirements           points listed above, the referee should review the
that are unique to high school competition.           generally accepted standards for judging diving
These pre-meet instructions are the best way to       competitions:
ensure a fairly judged meet. The observation
“Well, I think we all know what we’re doing” is not   1. Draw the difference between the dives. To
adequate, regardless of how experienced the           the extent the divers give you the ability to do so,
panel may be.                                         use the entire range of scores. Judge all divers
                                                      according to the same scale. Don’t have one set
In high school diving, some flaws mandate a           of standards for experienced divers and a
maximum award of two points per judge. This is        different set for those less skilled. They’re all
a referee’s call, but a judge should impose this      competing in the same event.
ceiling on his or her own score if the referee
does not make the call. These “max 2 point"           2. Disregard difficulty. Apply the same
errors include:                                       standards to a forward 2 1/2 somersault that you
                                                      would to a front dive tuck.
   A dive clearly performed in the wrong
    position;                                         3. Dives end when the body passes through
                                                      the water. Stop judging the flight and position
   A twisting dive in which the diver tucks, but
                                                      when the diver makes first contact with the
    tuck position is prohibited (tuck is only
    allowed in 5152, 5221, 5231, 5321, and
                                                      4. Judge the entire dive. Weight the
   A dive that hits the board; and                   approach, the takeoff, the flight, and the entry
                                                      equally. It’s easy, but wrong, to judge a dive
   A dive in which no attempt is made to             based on the size of the splash it generates.
    emerge from tuck (the “cannonball”) or pike.
                                                      Awards from 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 indicate a satisfactory

                                                                                2010-2011 VHSL Clinic Materials
dive. It’s balanced and controlled on the board,         The announcer should call for the judges to
has a vertical takeoff, a flight that includes all the   assemble no later than the time the swimmers
elements (right number of spins and twists), and         from the preceding event clear the water. Ideally,
lands more or less vertically, approximately three       this announcement is made prior to 50 free, to
feet from the board.                                     allow the referee adequate time to instruct the
If a dive, or pieces of the dive, exceed
“satisfactory” your score should be 6 or above.          The announcer should then review the sheets to
                                                         be sure they are legible and the names
If one of more of the flaws listed below is              pronounceable. Any questions or concerns about
present, your score will likely be a 4 or below:         the sheets should be directed to the referee.
   Distance is too close or too far from                At the scoring table:
    board (deduct on a sliding scale);
                                                            The announcer reads the name of the
   Break in position (deduct on a sliding
                                                             diver, the dive, the DD, and the next
    scale depending on the severity and
                                                             diver. He or she announces the
    duration of the break);
                                                             judges’    scores    and    relays  any
   Split tuck (deduct 1/2 to 2 points);                     instructions from the referee. When an
                                                             electronic scoreboard is used, the
   Crow hop (deduct 1/2 to 2 points);                       announcer need not announce the
                                                             individual awards. After Round 1, the
   Over-twisting,      under-twisting, or                   announcement of each dive should be
    twisting at all in dives that shouldn’t                  abridged. For instance, in Round 1,
    include twist (deduct on a sliding                       the announcer would say, “Joe Croft of
    scale, depending on degree of twist—                     Langley will perform 101, forward dive,
    over or under by 90 degrees or more                      pike, degree of difficulty 1.5. Matt
    is a failed dive); or                                    Bower on deck.” By the second round,
   A dive in which the hands are below                      the announcement format should be
    the shoulders on a head-first entry or                   shortened to “Joe, 201, back dive
    above the shoulders on a feet-first                      straight, 1.7; Matt”. This may seem a
    entry—hands must enter the water                         minor point, but it will make the event
    before the shoulders (deduct 1-2                         run more quickly. Remember that only
    points, but maximum score of 4).                         the referee, not the announcer, can
                                                             declare a balk or failed dive.
With twisting dives, remember that the legality of          The scorekeepers write down the
the dive is determined by the degree of twist at             scores as they are announced, cross
first contact with the water. A legal dive is not            off the high and low if five judges are
necessarily a good, or even satisfactory, dive.              being used, and add the remaining
                                                             three scores. One scorekeeper writes
               Running the Event                             on the dive sheet, the other on scrap
                                                             paper, so arithmetic can be done
Generally, a brief warm-up is allowed immediately            simultaneously and compared.
before the event starts. In a combined event, all
divers warm up; otherwise only boys warm up                 The tabulators multiply the total score
before their event and girls are provided a                  by the degree of difficulty and keep a
separate warm-up. Divers are entitled under the              running total of those results. One
rules to only one practice bounce or one entry,              does the initial calculation, the second
but, from a practical standpoint, let the divers             checks the work, and has the added
remain on the boards until the judges and the                responsibility of ensuring the sheets
table are ready to start. On the other hand, do              remain in order and are passed back to the
not allow coaches to insist on warm-ups beyond               announcer in a timely fashion.
the “one entry” if the officials are ready to start.
                                                                                  2010-2011 VHSL Clinic Materials
             Concluding the event                    DD of the voluntaries may not exceed 9.0, all five
                                                     diving groups must be touched in the first eight
As the last round is completed, the second           dives, and no optional group may be touched
tabulator places the sheets in order of finish       twice until finals.
rather than returning them to the announcer, and
writes the finish place in the appropriate section   Exceeding the DD limit on voluntaries results in
of the dive sheet. Unofficial divers are not         the last voluntary dive performed (the one that
included in the final order regardless of how well   causes the limit to be exceeded) being declared
they did. The sheets are placed in reverse order     a failed dive. Touching an optional group twice in
of finish (1st place face-up on the bottom) and      the first eight dives causes the second optional
returned to the diving announcer so they can be      to be declared a failed dive. Failure to complete
read to the competitors and spectators.              the official dive description results in a failed
At the conclusion of the event, the sheets are
returned to the swim scoring table so that scores    Most other illegalities result in the diver being
can be recorded and team points allocated.           disqualified from competition. These include: four
Don’t return any sheets to divers or coaches.        or less dives designated “voluntary”; four or less
                                                     groups listed in first eight dives; five or less dives
             Championship Meets                      designated as “optional.” Any diver who fails two
                                                     dives is disqualified. High school rules provide
The championship meets that typically are held       no latitude on this point.
at the end of the season are the most angst-
laden elements of the high school season.            Sheets may not be changed after the meet
                                                     starts, even if an error is discovered prior to
These meets require performance of an 11-dive        performance of the dive that would render the list
list. During these meets, the judging standards      illegal.
should remain the same as those for dual meets,
but the conduct of the meet is complicated by        Correct sheets are the responsibility of the
other factors, especially the dive sheet             divers and coaches. Any sheet checking done
requirements.                                        at the table is a courtesy.

The order in which dives must be performed is        In championship meets, the number of places
very specific. The requirements are intended to      being scored in the overall swim meet
ensure divers have demonstrated comparable           determines how many divers compete in the
skills at each point in the competition at which     diving finals.
cuts are made. An unfortunate side effect is that
clerical skills may influence some outcomes          If 16 places are scored, cuts would be made
more than athletic skills.                           after five dives to 20 divers, and after eight dives
                                                     to 16 divers. The meet host may (but is not
A legal list consists of five preliminary dives,     required to) make cuts after three dives to
three semifinal dives, and three final dives:        reduce the number of competitors to 32. If there
                                                     is a tie for the last qualifying place, both divers
   Prelims — Two voluntaries, three                 advance to the next round.
                                                     If a diver (or divers) withdraws from the contest
   Semis —         Two     voluntaries,     one     at the conclusion of prelims or semi-finals, other
    optional                                         competitors shall be added, in the order
   Finals — One voluntary, two optionals.           determined by their point standings, to make up
                                                     a full complement of competitors.
Additionally, voluntaries must be clearly
designated on the sheet by circling both the         NFHS has produced a Diving Officials Manual
number and the DD of the dive, the combined          available at

                                                                                2010-2011 VHSL Clinic Materials

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