Not wanting to dwell in the past, it seems now that calling freestyle front crawl during Medley competitions seems more appropriate now that changes to FINA rules with respect to Freestyle include the ‘Lochte rule’.
Swimmers now have to be on their breast prior to engaging into any kick or stroke in freestyle during a Medley race.
But if swimmers swim freestyle in any freestyle race e.g. 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 or any other distance solely devoted to freestyle, swimmers can swim that in any stroke or stroke-combination of their choice. Swimmers can even swim on their side or do flip turns throughout the race, as long as part of their body is above the water unless they start or do a turn.
The term freestyle is synonymous with no restriction on style. Front crawl implies that a swimmer has to be on their front to crawl in the water.
The majority of swimmers have picked up this new rule without problem but explaining it to novices is not so easy.