Monday, June 16, 2008


Strokes evolve over time and occasionally, usually once USA Swimming has adopted a change, MCSL has to revise its stroke rules.

I didn't usually swim breaststroke back in the Old Days. From my limited observations, swimmers were either natural breaststrokers--if a swimmer naturally stands with feet turned slightly out, forming a sort of "V" with his/her feet, that swimmer might just be a breaststroker--or they weren't. The natural breaststrokers swam breaststroke and maybe IM; the non-breaststrokers swam everything else.

Anyway, on the rare occasion that I got stuck swimming breaststroke, I would try the trick some breaststroker on our team must have taught me--I'd go to the ladies' room, grab a bunch of paper towels, and stuff them in my swim cap before I reported to the clerk of course.

Why in the world would I do such a bizarre thing? Because the rule for breaststroke used to be that the head could never be submerged. The higher--the "larger"--the head, the less chance water would rush over it. It wasn't until 1988 that the breaststroke rule was changed to specify that the head must break the surface during each stroke cycle instead of being above the water throughout.


marcia tollefson said...

Sally - did YOU really do that??? What a HOOT!! I was a breaststroker and never knew of the old "stuff your cap" trick....NWB and our beloved Cal....and then Sheila (McCarthy, now Wooters!) were tough as nails! While you were stuffing your cap, we were stuffing our cups! After practice we'd go into the locker room, get out of our 1960's Speedos (remember THOSE - that "straight thing" down below and straps which had to be held in place with shoelaces!!), put on dry clothing, and boy did we think we looked like hot-stuff. The problem was, we didn't think of "relative humidity" short time the wadded up tissue began to disintergrate, we'd begin to "deflate", and it gave a whole new meaning to "walking out of a public restroom with TP on your shoes"!!! Oh, what great days!! Marcia Tollefson

Anonymous said...

Oh - and blogging about our first "B" meet last Wednesday - Garrett Park (GP)vs. Tilden Woods (TW)- we had many new families with young children join the great deck-job as first-round timers. During the boys 15-18 breaststroke event, one of our new parents was timing in lane 3; thrilled to see that "her swimmer" was far and away the fastest one in the bunch. The swimmer touched the wall and asked the timer what his time was - with which our timer rattled off a number and then suggested that he "check it out - you're really fast and it could be an all-star time"......little did she know it was Eric Friedland - fast approaching his Olympic Trials Meet!!! Marcia Tollefson

marcia tollefson said...

Hey guys - I don't know where that "anonymous" *&*(% came's another blah, blah, blog-post from Marcia T.

Marcia Tollefson