The NFHS has sent out their rules changes proposals for the 2014-2015 high school season, and among them are two of the more tedious rules for high school coaches to manage.
One proposal would eliminate the restriction on jewelry in high school meets: one that doesn’t exist in USA Swimming competition. The rule change proposal, submitted by Robert Lehr of Connecticut, is rationalized by the fact that it “does not create a situation of concern for risk minimization” and that the rule creates “administrative burden.”
Another proposed change is a Note addition to rule 3-2-2, the one that involves disqualifying an athlete from the rest of the meet after missing a race in a championship meet. The note would allow state associations to waive this rule, on the basis of the fact that the Declared False Start rule makes this rule almost moot: there’s “no advantage” to a team to simply skip a race as compared to filing a DFS, and it can unfairly penalize a competitor who “may inadvertently and unintentionally miss an event due to confusion or lack of attention/awareness.”
Another major change is that the rule disqualifying relays when a swimmer reenters the water during the race. Instead, Bethany Brookens of Colorado has proposed that the disqualification only happen if they interfere with the race, but that the offending swimmer should still be disqualified from the rest of the meet even with no interference.
In Brookens’ rationale, she feels that there is NO rationale for penalizing the entire relay.
Scott Morrison from Maine proposed multiple rules. One includes requiring competitors to put their foot at the front edge of the platform when the referee blows the long whistle, rather than when the command to “Take your mark” is given. Morrison feels as though the current rule causes unnecessary delay from the few who don’t immediately put their toes over the edge.
In a related change, Morrison wants to change rule 8-1-5 that allows swimmers to leave the block on the command “Stand up.” He believes that this is a safety issue when the blocks have fins on the back.