I want each coach to query any disqualification for the backstroke turn in the medley and ask the following:
- who reported the infraction
- did the referee accept an infraction report from a stroke judge/official on the side of the pool?
- was there a turn judge on each lane?
It is very important that the quality of judging gets raised because there are strokes where the judging is so difficult to do that it is really very important that the person judging the action stands directly above the lane to see what’s actually going on.
It is literally up to the referee from whom they accept infraction reports and if they accept an infraction report from an official who is not directly on the lane then the angle of vision and ability to see detail is diminished.
To improve the chances of swimmers to develop stroke techniques to the utmost efficiency, they must be judged on the technique applied as it can be seen from the nearest possible angle rather than from further away.
For example, if a swimmer comes to the end of the backstroke and changes onto the breaststroke, the swimmer must finish the backstroke as if it was the end of a backstroke race. The swimmer must touch the wall whilst on his back with part of his body above the water.
The rules also state clearly that the body can be turned by up to 89 degrees to the side for the swimmer to be on the back. Also the position of the head is not important.
Only the stroke judge on the lane can see if the swimmer touched the wall whilst still on the back especially if that touch happens below the water line.
From further away a side judge cannot see the angle clearly, cannot see where the swimmer touched the wall in relation to the position of the shoulders, if the touch happened below the water line.
Clearly it is unacceptable that swimmers do a tumble turn from the backstroke to the breaststroke because with a tumble turn they do not touch the wall whilst still on their backs but swimmers can develop incredible effective turning techniques.
That is good because the aim of the sport is to swim #swimskilful #swimfast. It is the duty of officials to assist this aim. If there is a doubt it always must be for the swimmer. Judges must be alert and judge what they actually see and not expect the swimmers to do dramatic touches just because they are easier to see. Swimmers must to fast turns to help the sport develop faster swimming.
So if now a swimmer has been disqualified by a side official who is not directly above the lane the disqualification happened in, then I think that coaches should put in a complaint on the grounds that the official could not clearly see what was going on.
I think that all referees should ask the lane turning judge for an opinion before disqualifying a swimmer – especially on the backstroke turn – to get the best picture.
Unfortunately not all officials do have radios, if they had, then it would be easy to cross reference with all officials. I think that is something I would strongly support.
Also if a turn judge has more than 1 lane to watch, then they have to concentrate on one swimmer, which gives reason to query a disqualification on a lane.
So to improve the quality of swimming and to help swimmers to swim more fast and skilful I think it would be appropriate to query disqualifications on the grounds stated above.
Please do so only strictly within the rules, do not approach individual judges, only approach the referee and ask to see the disqualification report and put in a protest only in the most polite and disciplined manner.
The disqualification report shows at the bottom who submitted the report there are boxes, which must be ticked, it can either be the
So if in the Medley, any other than a turn stroke has submitted an infraction report on the turn from backstroke to breaststroke then I think coaches should query that infraction and subsequent disqualification.
However if the disqualification happened because the swimmer was totally submerged, then of course stroke judges are in a better position to judge that as they can see the whole body. Turn judges and time-keepers cannot keep an eye on the whole body when they have to time when the hand/arm touches the wall, they need to look at that rather than whether the whole body is submerged or not.