ISL Releases Underwater Footage of Lilly King’s Disqualified Breaststroke Turn

2021 INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE – SEASON 3, MATCH 18 – LEAGUE FINAL

Yesterday, we posted a clip from above the water of Lilly King‘s 75 meter turn on the breaststroke leg of the Cali Condors’ 400 medley relay at the ISL finale.

On Saturday morning, the league posted the underwater footage of the touch to Instagram. We’ve uploaded the most relevant section to YouTube, since you can’t easily pause an Instagram video or go frame by frame.

King’s Cali Condors teammates, as well as her training partner Annie Lazor of London Roar, flooded the comments of the ISL’s Instagram post declaring that they didn’t think it was a disqualification. Coleman Stewart brought up some missed 15 meter disqualifications earlier this year, alluding to an anti-Condors bias after he was disqualified for a 15 meter violation earlier this year. Read more about that controversy here. Even swimmers without any skin in the game, like Matt Grevers and Bruno Fratus, chimed in with their opinion that the touch looks legal.

There are three different angles in the video: one from above the water, one from a side view (that shows one swimmer very clearly, but that swimmer isn’t Lilly King), and one from the bottom of the pool.

The last one is the most relevant as it shows the best angle of the touch.

Pro tip: on YouTube, you can use the comma and period keys on your keyboard to go frame-by-frame.

From this angle, we can see what appears to be a non-simultaneous touch, with her left hand hitting first, and then her right hand. This is the opposite of what we thought the official might have seen based on the high angle above-the-water view.

This is the second time that King has been disqualified for this infraction at a major meet, after prelims of the 200 breaststroke at the 2019 World Championships. Just like that call, when slowed down, we can see that the call was correct, but it sure looks okay in real-time.

As King said at the 2019 World Championships: “I think it would have been very difficult to see with the human eye personally, but I think the official was standing at just the right angle and she got me… The officials are there to do their job and that’s what they did.”

But it seems that maybe this is (yet another) breaststroke rule that needs some review. The exact language of the rule is as follows:

At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands separated and simultaneously at, above, or below the water level.

A most literal interpretation of the word “simultaneously” is, effectively, impossible to adjudicate. With some electronic means of measuring, either via pressure sensors or high-speed cameras, we could set a certain threshold of the gap that could be considered “simultaneous.” But until then (and there are a lot of other things in swimming that could be fixed with technology sooner), the actual ruling falls on some subjective point in between those two things.

This time, the result was a 50 point swing between the Condors and their chief rivals Energy Standard. That’s the number to look for in a final score to see if this call was the difference between the two teams.

Standings after Day 1 of the Final:

  1. Energy Standard – 271
  2. Cali Condors – 250
  3. London Roar – 206
  4. LA Current – 171

The final day of competition to crown the ISL champion begins at 7PM Dutch time, 1PM US Eastern Time, on Saturday.

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Canswim13
1 month ago

Annie Lazors comment on ISLs post got me wondering

swim like fish
Reply to  Canswim13
1 month ago

Screen cap before it gets deleted!

Alice
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Fr. If i didn’t know better, looking at those verified accounts comments, I’d think this is in no way a pro league lmao.
In most cases in other sports, it’ll be fans fighting but this one, the actual swimmers also join it. Anyway this drama is the most interesting part of isl so far

Coach
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Very true, but at the same time, in most pro sports leagues, the athletes get paid on time.

whever
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

The most interesting one is Stewart blaming officials to be blind on 15m violations, when he’s the one who was flirting with the 15m mark most.

MugSeven
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Can’t fine the athletes if you don’t pay them in the first place

Steve Nolan
Reply to  MugSeven
1 month ago

This is one of the best comments I’ve seen in a while. Absolute lol

Scotty P
Reply to  MugSeven
1 month ago

MugSeven – you just threw down. Respect.

Apparently even Peaty hasn’t been paid. Woof.

CanSwim13
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Well they can’t pay their athletes , so maybe they should fine

Tomek
Reply to  Canswim13
1 month ago

Are referring to twitter?

ALDASP
Reply to  Tomek
1 month ago

On Instagram…go view it before the ISL take it out 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by ALDASP
Virtus
Reply to  ALDASP
1 month ago

What did she say I think it’s gone

Monteswim
Reply to  Virtus
1 month ago

“this is not a DQ for one hand touch. do not make this your caption grabber as it is factually incorrect. tell the audience what the call actually was (which was also quite questionable)”

swimmerswammer
Reply to  Virtus
1 month ago

“this is not a DQ for one hand touch. do not make this your caption grabber as it is factually incorrect. tell the audience what the call actually was (which was also quite questionable)”

jdsmitty1
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

they did edit the caption, so i imagine that’s what happened

Katie
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

The caption was edited.

If you look at the page source on a permalink Instagram page (click on the time a post was posted to pull up that page), the source code tells you whether the caption has been edited. In this case: (start quote) “”caption_is_edited”:true (end quote) so it’s been edited. If it said (start quote0 “”caption_is_edited”:false (end quote), the caption hasn’t been edited.

kazoo
Reply to  swimmerswammer
1 month ago

So what was she disqualified for, then? What exactly is the problem with one hand touching before the other, if that’s what in fact occurred? Does one gain an advantage in that way–and if so, how exactly?

Swammer22
Reply to  Canswim13
1 month ago

What did she say?

RMS
Reply to  Canswim13
1 month ago

what did she say? I don’t have IG.

2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

It is still kinda hard to tell. Maybe something if you zoom in and slow down, but even then…

No way an official saw a definitive DQ there. Tie goes to the runner. I think it should have been a no-call.

Coach
1 month ago

If we are having to study this call frame by frame to see a definitive call, I don’t know how one can assume that the official could make this DQ without a reasonable doubt.

Tyson
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Exactly this is why I think for some calls like this they need video reviewing in swimming as well as offical watching underwater cameras to stop the double dolphin kick in breaststroke

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Have to remember though that all good officials know the tendencies of star swimmers known for previous high-level DQs (Worlds) in a competition like this. They’re looking for Katijima’s or Miller’s dolphin kick. And they’re now, and especially forevermore, going to be looking really closely at King’s touches. The UW video was basically the same as what she did at Worlds. It’s a bang-bang non-simultaneous touch. Both called by humans and verified by videos. To say a human can’t compute something that happens that fast negates what hockey goalies, batters, tennis players at the net do all the time.

Swimswamswum03
1 month ago

Almost like the refs in the NFL favoring the Pittsburgh Steelers the ISL is favoring Energy Standard

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  Swimswamswum03
1 month ago

**the Tampa bay buccaneers

coachymccoachface
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
1 month ago

I mean maybe the last two years but the refs have favored the Steelers for YEARS

Entgegen
Reply to  coachymccoachface
1 month ago

And they still suck lol

Book it!
1 month ago

I was a USA swimming official for 4 years. No chance I would have made that call.

GowdyRaines
Reply to  Book it!
1 month ago

that’s probably why you were an official for only four years.

The unoriginal Tim
1 month ago

At normal speed hands touch simultaneously but not level and shoulder is dropped. That is allowed however so no DQ. It should also be noted that there is no advantage gained here.

Fina need to clarify this rule and the breastroke kick rules, and the breastroke arm recovery rules as so much gaming is going on. This turn however is perfectly fine.

I really hope Cali win.

swim like fish
1 month ago

They deleted the video off of twitter… Suspect

miwski
1 month ago

I feel sorry for King. From a scientific perspective, the possibility for a human (or a living thing) to perform perfect simultaneous motion is basically 0. If you had to slow the frame down to that extent just to get someone DQed, breaststroke and butterfly shouldn’t have existed in the first place. This rule must be refined by technology, giving swimmers a reasonable buffer for what’s so-called simultaneous with the touch-pad.

NoFlyKick
Reply to  miwski
1 month ago

From a scientific perspective, the possibility for a human (or a living thing) to perform perfect simultaneous motion is basically 0” Is exactly 0.

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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