VIDEO: An Examination on FINA’s Tweak to the Backstroke Finish Rules

  45 Braden Keith | May 14th, 2014 | College, Industry, Masters, National, News, Video

Two weeks ago, a group of swimmers from the Chattahoochee Gold Swim Club in Atlanta, Georgia went viral when they Tweeted a picture at us of a full 8 swimmers who were disqualified for illegal backstroke finishes, and specifically for submerging at the finish.

While the inability to submerge prior to touching the wall isn’t new, FINA recently changed the wording of the finish rules so as to emphasize this portion of the rule, and it has been noticed. Especially as we head into the long course season, officials at every level across the country have been calling this rule with some frequency.

Because the rule still was causing some confusion, we asked two of our video producers, Jenna Haufler and Hugh Berryman, to put together a video demonstrating the difference between a legal backstroke finish and an illegal backstroke finish.

With the help of Jean-Paul Gowdy, the head coach of Pomona-Pitzer’s swim team, and a few of his swimmers, Haufler and Berryman explain and demonstrate the subtle differences between a legal and illegal backstroke finish.

Leave a Reply

45 Comments on "VIDEO: An Examination on FINA’s Tweak to the Backstroke Finish Rules"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Eugene Watson

Watching FINA champs today, and this weekend, August 2015, and while watching the finishes of the backstroke I saw many submerged finishes so I goggled this thinking there had been a rule clarification/change.
Judging by what your link describes, the submerged finish is still illegal. Is it me, or is it allowable at the world’s.
As a retired USA and high school swim coach I bitched about the backstroke rule, as it is stated; “nothing states that some portion of the body must be on the surface.”
I retired in June of 2011 and while watching FINA in Russia, I gathered that that submerged rule had been changed.

I think the rule is being interpreted very incorrectly. The wording for USA swimming backstroke finish rule 101.4.4 only states that a swimmer must touch the wall on their back. Nothing about being submerged or no t being submerged at the finish. Stroke rules and finish rules are completely different and should be treated as such.

excuse me , I only have one important question :
Can athletes do a dophin kick except for any downward lunge when touching the wall?


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

Read More »