2014-2015 High School Rules Changes Proposals Include Eliminating “No Jewelry” Rule

  9 Braden Keith | March 11th, 2014 | High School, News

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.

See all of the proposed rules changes, with entire rationales for those changes, here.

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.

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9 Comments on "2014-2015 High School Rules Changes Proposals Include Eliminating “No Jewelry” Rule"

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Larry Franzman

I seem to remember, a number of years back, that the jewelry rule was instituted with safety as a factor. A swimmer wearing some form of jewelry around his/her neck gets it caught on a lane line. Who assumes the responsibility if the swimmer is injured?

I have never ever seen a swimmer in a position where they would catch a necklace on a lane line.

Please eliminate the jewelry rule, as a coach, I feel like the jewelry police when I should be focusing on swims and times!! How is an earring detrimental to a 50 sprint>

The problem with making it apply to finals and not prelims is in cases where a high school state meet is not prelim/finals. Arkansas is timed finals only and a rules application for finals of prelim/finals meets only causes confusion amongst coaches who do not understand that timed finals is the same as finals ONLY. I welcome the jewelry change. I honestly think the restriction on caps (no club caps allowed) is rather silly also. Let the kids where whatever headgear they want!


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Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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