FINA Congress Votes ‘NO’ on Underwater Cameras

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.

Yesterday, FINA rejected a different proposal that would allow unlimited dolphin kicks off of the start until 15 meters.

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So, people are going to keep cheating? I agree with no extra dolphin kicks in breaststroke but no underwater cameras either? Come on…

Breaststroke BS

Total BS. You let them cheat and admit to cheating and show the cheating on live TV, yet they totally get away with it. I feel bad for the poor breaststrokers that work their behinds off and lose by a hair because the cheaters are allowed to cheat. FINA should be ashamed of themselves. I have lost all respect.

Agreed completely

Lane Four

So who has been dropping $$$$ into the pockets of FINA to bring about such a decision? This smells of something we don’t know about. Look the other way and hey, here’s another dime to go into your pocket. But let’s keep this a secret amongst ourselves.


Im thinking some of the same people that allowed Cielo off with a warning for his masking agent a few years back.

Mr Krabbs

I agree with you completely. Unlimited dolphin kicks off the wall ruins the nature of breaststroke, but not installing underwater cameras ruins the entire competition and FINA’s reputation.


At the very least there should be underwater cameras at the World Championships, Pan Pacs, Europeans and Olympics.



I agree 100%


I wonder why they couldn’t agree on a “compromise” where video “could be used as an option” if it met certain technical specifications?.That way, not every meet need have video but we could be sure that the “big” meets would use it (Olympics, Worlds, USA Nationals, etc).


How about world records achieved at meetings without underwater cameras?


You need to start somewhere…..better to have them at major international meets (and big USA/NCAA meets) than no where.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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