Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The DQ and the experienced swimmer

You'll probably hear outrage on your pool deck if one of your best swimmers gets DQ'd at a meet. He/she couldn't have done whatever the DQ stated, people will say, because he/she swims year round.

I mentally roll my eyes when I hear this, though I do understand. At a dual meet a few years ago, my then 13-14 swimmer got DQ'd for a one hand touch on the fly to back turn in the IM. I was flabbergasted, but I was also the starter, so I couldn't do more than make a note to ask my son after the meet. His response? Oh, yeah, it happens more times than you think.

I was watching the Olympic Trials 100 breaststroke prelims on Sunday, courtesy of NBCOlympics.com, when I heard the announcer say one of the swimmers had been disqualified for a one hand touch. Yes, at the Olympic Trials. Those turn judges at the ends of the lanes and the stroke judges walking the sides aren't just there for decoration. Even good swimmers can make mistakes. They are in a bit of a hurry, after all.


Anonymous said...

some of the more common DQs by "elite" swimmers: disjointerd flip in backstroke (it is supposed to be a continuous motion from when you turn onto your stomach to when you flip, but if you misjudge the wall it happens all the time), and uneven touch in fly to back in IM (one hand on top of each other, even though they touch at the same time). of course before they changed the breastroke rule allowing one butterfly kick, that was a huge one because the motion is so natural. Also, when an elite swimmer makes a mi stake, they know it. similarly if they did not make a mistake they are very sure and in that case it is usually the mistake of the stroke and turn.

Sally MacKenzie said...

Good points, anonymous. I do want to mention, though, that a non-continuous backstroke turn is no longer a violation in MCSL swimming. We changed our rule a few years ago to be more in line with high school swimming--and I think, overall, our stroke & turn judges have been much happier!