DQs Rage in Prelims at ACC Men’s Swimming Championships

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 46

February 27th, 2021 ACC, College, News


  • When: Wednesday, February 24th to Saturday, February 27th Prelims 10:00 am | Finals 6:00 pm (1650 prelims Saturday at 4:00 pm)
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: North Carolina State University (NC State) (29x, 6th-straight) (results)
  • Streaming: ACC Network
  • Championship Central: Here
  • Detailed Timeline: Here
  • Psych Sheets: Here
  • Live Results
  • Saturday Morning Heat Sheets

There were a rush of disqualifications for stroke infractions in prelims on Saturday at the ACC men’s swimming & diving championships that could impact the final outcome of the meet.

Virginia’s Sam Schilling touched in 1:56.16 in heat 4, lane 2 before being disqualified for multiple dolphin kicks off the last wall.

A heat later, Virginia’s Matthew Otto swam in lane 3 and Virginia Tech’s Keith Myburgh swam in lane 4. Otto was disqualified for a one-hand touch, while Myburgh was disqualified for the same infraction as Schilling. Otto’s ultimate 1:53.73 would have placed him in the A final, while Myburgh’s would have made him the top qualifier in the B final.

It appears that all three infractions were called by the same official.

The challenge is not so much disbelief that three swimmers could have committed infractions in breaststroke at a meet of this level. To the contrary: videos of elite breaststroke races reveal that a mere fraction of disqualifiable infractions are called.

This leaves uncertainty for athletes about what is and isn’t allowed. Sports officiating is full of judgement calls, but what athletes usually hope for most is consistency so they know what to expect.

But the official in question can’t really be faulted for calling infractions, if in fact they were seen (we haven’t found any good video yet to confirm or reject them).

This all leads to the need for video judging, above and below water, especially in breaststroke, because the infractions are too hard to call consistently, too easy to get away with, and all-too frequent.

One event later, UNC’s Santos Villalon Centenera was disqualified in the 200 fly for a one-handed touch after a 1:45.93. That’s another swim that would have been a B-final qualifier.

Otto repeated his 200 breaststroke post-session in a time trial, swimming even faster at 1:53.41. That should safely earn him an NCAA Championship invite.

The original official who called the first disqualification also adjudicated the time trial, but this time the hand stayed down.

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2 years ago

Officials don´t disqualifiy swimmers, swimmers disqualify themselves, fairness to all competitors must dictate actions, always give the swimmers the benefit of the doubt.

Last edited 2 years ago by Alfonso
2 years ago

To the Official – good for you!

2 years ago

I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of dq’ing a couple gold medalists in different meets. Sure they might get upset, but stop trying to cheat the rules. They are clear.

Is it the fault of the official? No. Is it the responsibility of the athlete and coach? Yes. Do I feel bad for the team? Nope. We’ve had years of judgement calls and they don’t stop for college or olympic athletes.

Mark Rauterkus
2 years ago

Perhaps the lack of dual meets is part of the blame. Swimmers were not before many judged races in the past year.

Read here: The response from USA Swimming was to threaten to pull our credentials.
WHAT? That is when you need to name names!

2 years ago

The one hand touch DQs are interesting. When I was a college swimmer, that was a mistake I made very rarely. It sounds like this might be a power hungry official.
I had an experience with one as a masters swimmer at Nationals. I was DQed for a one hand touch on my last wall of a long course 200 fly. Trust me, I was struggling so much at that point, I was hanging on the wall and both hands were on it for quite some time. The official DQed at least 5 people in the next seven to eight heats. I and others lodged complaints and the DQs were eventually overturned and she was removed from her position.… Read more »

Coach Macgyver
2 years ago

Coaches and officials have been pointing out multiple dolphin kicks as an issue for too long. People still getting away with it.

Allow for multiple dolphin kids and come up at 15yrds. Problem solved.

Reply to  Coach Macgyver
2 years ago

I’m told this has been in discussion as a rule change and maybe happening by the next Olympic cycle, although at this point it might be after the 2024 games.

Personally I don’t understand how its going to work as most breast strokers go well beyond 15 meters. And this isn’t elite breaststrokers this is the guys who can qualify for their high school state championship. But I guess we will see when we see it.

2 years ago

This headline is designed to create dissent in the forum below haha. “Rage”…one would probably assume a significant percentage of all swims got disqualified with that term haha. Sneaky clickbait writers!
other then that…did watch the double dolphin kick infraction happen on video and it wasn’t a slight undulation-it looked as if the swimmer thought he was doing a 200 fly and then realized he was doing breast. That much of a kick. Didn’t see the others but that was a correct and legitimate call.

2 years ago

We now have the technology available to video and review, this should be done for both the officials and the swimmers best interest. Calls should be like that on a football field. Original call stands unless video review proves otherwise.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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