Shepshed Swimming Club

Disqualification....Why me?

Our sport is governed by a set of rules to ensure nobody can get an unfair advantage in a race. However sometimes swimmers break one of these rules resulting in a disqualification. 

It is something that everybody should be avoiding (by training ‘legally’ at all times), but is also something most swimmers go through at one point or another, even the elite, and so although often upsetting at the time, it can also be a learning curve!

So you've been disqualified but aren't sure why…..If you find out about the DQ at the gala, make sure you ask you coach/team manager about it straight away, if they don’t know at the time, they will be able to find out.

Here are some common reasons swimmers get disqualified, most of which can be easily avoided:·

  • False start:- This is when you are moving before the Starter gives the signal or you enter the water before the starting signal.·
  • Flyer:- This is when the outgoing swimmer in a relay race leaves the block before the incoming swimmer touches. Unlike a start, you are allowed to be moving prior to the incoming swimmer touching providing the feet are still in contact with the starting base as the incoming swimmer touches.·
  • Gliding into turn:- This happens in a Backstroke race when you are on your front at the turn and both arms are by your sides doing nothing.·
  • Kicking into turn:- This happens in a Backstroke race and there is a kick or series of kicks that are independent of “The continuous turning motion”. While you are on your front at the turn, providing the arm or arms are still moving to initiate the turn you are allowed to kick. However once the arms have stopped moving you must have begun the tumble phase of the turn.·
  • Screw kick:- This happens in a Breast-stroke race when the feet are not turned outwards during the propulsive phase of the kick.·
  • Uneven arms:- This happens either during a Breast-stroke or Butterfly race when the arms do not move in a symmetrical manner.·
  • Arms not over water:- In a Butterfly race the arms must be recovered over the water surface. Not through the water.·
  • Single handed touch:- In a Breast-stroke or Butterfly race each touch or turn must be made with both hands at, above or below the waterline. There are other rules and ways swimmers can be disqualified but the above are the most common. To avoid disqualification remember to train correctly, as the saying goes practice makes permanent (not practice makes perfect!) So if you are training incorrectly you are likely to do the same in a race!