UPDATE: Fin Removals To Be Allowed at Women’s NCAA’s, But Only At Start of Relays

In an update to an earlier story, at the pre-NCAA women’s championships coaches’ meeting, coaches were informed that they would be able to remove the relay fin, but with a catch: the fin can only be removed by a coach prior to the beginning of a relay event. Which means, if you want the advantage of doing a relay start without the fin on, then you’re going to lose the advantage of having the leadoff swimmer use the fin. Everyone we saw was practicing relay starts with the fin on before the beginning of the race, though with the rapidity of warmups, it’s possible that this was simply for logistics. Our guess, though, is that most teams will use the blocks for relay starts.

Update: in the first relay, South Carolina was the only team we noticed who totally removed their kickplate so far.

Click here to see the new Spectrum blocks that Minnesota has at their pool, and why taking the fins off (they only go off the front of the block) is such an issue.

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6 years ago

I feel like a complete ignoramus. I’ve never heard of relay fins before. Are they solely an NCAA thing? Can only the leadoff swimmer use it ? What’s the disadvantage of having it on; I see only advantages.

6 years ago

You could also have the wedge be removable from the sliding piece. The housing stays on the rails and the wedge it self is secured in in the housing. The right size dovetail cut out of the piece (think cabinetry) would withhold the push from an athlete and be easily removed.

6 years ago

The Fins were added on a few years back. It actually made it to USA Swimming and then took a year or two before it was allowed on the college seen if I remember correctly (juts before I had a chance to use it). There were even times at nationals where you had a mix of college and non college swimmers where the college swimmers weren’t allowed to use it, but other swimmers were. The reason why you would want to remove it for a relay would be if you weren’t starting off the relay. It’s fine if you have a flat start, but most relay swimmers start from a 2 footed position or even do a 2 step to… Read more »

Reply to  Michael Scott Schwartz
6 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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