In what was a wild, multi-round vote, sources tell us that the FINA Technical Congress has voted to NOT allow underwater cameras for the judgement of disqualifications at major meets.
Those who we spoke to weren’t sure even they could exactly pinpoint what happened in the vote, but after two rounds, a few switches back-and-forth between which side of the issue put one ‘yay’ and which side of the issue put one ‘nay,’ ultimately the measure failed by about a dozen votes.
Who voted which direction was unclear; Denmark were the formal proposers of the rule, so they voted yes, as did the Americans, but after that things became murky.
There have been a number of reasons bandied about as to why various parties were against the cameras. Among them were:
- interference with broadcasters’ underwater cameras
- costs associated with installing
- parity across the world (can every national/international level meet afford to install such cameras?)
- How exactly the rules should be worded/administered
- Deciding what exactly can be reviewed
So still, we emerge from yet another FINA Technical Congress with no solution to one of the most controversial issues in swimming over the last decade: how to monitor what happens underwater, specifically with regard to the breaststroke underwater pullout. Our readers will recall that at least half of the Olympic final could be observed on camera doing more than the one allowed underwater dolphin kick off of the start.