This week, USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Committee Chair Jay Thomas
sent out this info:
The NCAA and NFHS have adopted rules which permit
the use of tape under certain circumstances.
There now appears to be some confusion regarding the application of USA Swimming Rule
The following interpretation of 102.8.1.E is presented to provide clarity to the use of tape in USA Swimming competitions.
Article 102.8.1E states in part, …“Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by the Referee.”
Common sense should prevail. The following uses of tape are generally permitted in competition:
Wound protection and closure.
Band-Aids, dressings, ”Butterfly” type, etc. are normally permitted with
no advanced notification to the Referee. When the tape to hold a
dressing in place completely circles a major limb or the dressing is
exceptionally large in size, advanced notification to the Referee is
2. Taping of fingers or toes. “Buddy Taping” no more than two (2) injured fingers or toes together should be
permitted. Advanced notification to the Referee is recommended.
3. Tape to secure medical alert bracelets and pendants, religious objects,
etc. should be permitted. Advanced notification to the Referee is recommended.
4. Tape to secure medical devices. Example – insulin
pumps, ostomy bags, etc. should be permitted.
Advanced notification to the Referee is required.
The following uses of tape are
not permitted in competition – irrespective of whether a Doctor’s note has been presented.
1. Elastic Therapeutic Tape is never
2. Kinesio Taping is never permitted.
3. Any other taping intentioned to provide compression or support to muscles, ligaments,
tendons or joints (except as stated above) is never permitted.
Yes, "common sense should prevail," but we all know it doesn't always prevail...
Next, an "in case you missed it" note on a some NFHS
rules changes released in April. This from Sandy Searcy:
At its March 21-23 meeting in
Indianapolis, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved a change to the freestyle portion
of the individual medley and medley relay as it relates to body position.
An addition to Rule 8-2-4c will read
as follows: “The final leg of the individual medley and the medley relay
requires the swimmer to be at or past vertical toward the breast before any
stroke, kick or propulsive motion.”
This revision was one of several
changes recommended by the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee and subsequently
approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
The committee also approved a change
in the current practice of determining a final time when a touch pad malfunctions
in a lane. Searcy said that research has shown that the current practice of calculating
the average difference between the primary and backup timing systems, and
adjusting the backup time in the malfunctioning lane(s), does not improve the
accuracy of the times.
“Using the backup time without
adjustment results in a final time that is just as accurate and avoids a
mathematical exercise which is both time-consuming and difficult to perform
during a meet,” Searcy said.
In addition, the committee defined a
deck change as “changing, in whole or in part, into or out of a swimsuit when
wearing just one suit in an area other than a permanent or temporary locker
room, bathroom, changing room or other space designated for changing purposes.”
Beginning with the 2016-17 season, any team personnel/competitor involved in
“deck changing” will be assessed a penalty for unsporting conduct, which would
disqualify an individual from further participation in a meet.
In diving, the committee approved
two rules changes and made three revisions in the official diving chart. In an
effort to minimize risk, the committee ruled that a dive is failed if, in the
diving referee’s opinion, the diver “performs an additional bounce(s) on the
end of the board after the culminating hurdle.”
“The forward approach shall begin
with not less than three steps and finish with a hurdle, defined as a jump off
one foot to a landing on both feet at the end of the board,” Searcy said. “The diver
should not be permitted to perform an additional bounce just prior to the
In Rule 9-5-5, the committee added
clarity and consistency to the balk call, requiring a diver to actually
commence, then stop the dive.
In the official listing of approved
dives, the committee eliminated the Flying Back 1 SS (212) and the Flying
Reverse SS (312), and added a new dive – the Forward 2 SS 1 Twist – with degrees
of difficulty of 2.6 (tuck) and 2.7 (pike).
Easy to see why a high school "Swimming" rule book would require but a small fraction of the paper used for our "Swimming & Diving" one...