Video Review Will Be Used At 2022 U.S. Open Championships to Look at DQs Made on Deck


  • November 30-December 3, 2022
  • Greensboro Aquatic Center, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Long Course Meters (50 meters)
  • Start Times:
    • Prelims: 9 AM (ET)
    • Finals: 6PM (ET)
  • Psych Sheets

The 2022 U.S Open Championships kick off on November 30th in Greensboro, North Carolina. USA Swimming has announced that video replay will be used at the meet.

According to USA Swimming Rule 102.22.15, replay “may be used to review stroke or turn infractions called on deck. The official(s) reviewing the video may only confirm the call made on deck, overrule the call, or advise the Referee that the review proved inconclusive.” This means that replay may not be used to make new disqualifications.

This is different than the rules that FINA has had in place since 2020, which do allow using video to initiate stroke infraction calls. FINA’s rules also cover using video to confirm stroke infraction calls and aid the Referee in overturning calls made on deck.

Following the protocol outlined in USA Swimming Rule 102.22.14, the cameras that can be used for video replay are the DV Sports underwater camera system (including the 15-meter mark deck cameras), the OMEGA Timing overhead video timing system, and the NBC Sports cameras.

Video technology is not new to the swimming. In 2019, a year before FINA’s rule change, the NCAA began allowing optional video review to more accurately call 15-meter underwater rule violations. In March, Swimming Victoria launched Hawk-Eye’s latest Synchronized Multi Angle Review Technology (SMART) for the 2022 season. Among other uses, the SMART system automates stroke-and-turn officials.

Most video replay systems are introduced as a way to ensure fairness. However, what “fair” actually means is left open to interpretation. The ability to replay races provides more opportunities to make the correct call, but that enables more accurate calls, not necessarily fair ones. Video replay does nothing to remove bias that the persons reviewing the tape have towards overturning or upholding certain disqualifications.

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2 months ago

Not newsworthy, are you just trying to stir the pot? You need to explain your bias comment.

Reply to  Posh
2 months ago

Weird comment.

2 months ago

I believe that USA Swimming has been using video, including underwater, to review calls made on deck in the Olympic Trials since at least 2016. I feel like it’s good and bad. The last sentence in the article has been proven time and time again “…does nothing to remove bias that the persons reviewing the tape have…” That’s a lot to put on highly trained and skilled volunteer officials.

Reply to  anonymous
2 months ago

It’s been much longer than 2016. At least 2008, although the equipment and protocols were upgraded 2013ish.

2 months ago

“enables more accurate calls, not necessarily fair ones”

not sure what this means — and the notion of bias that is introduced in the next sentence makes the notion of ‘accuracy’ even more difficult to interpret.

do you mean that “even with video review the process does not necessarily gurantee the ‘right’ call (‘acurate’ or ‘correct’ or whatever), as judge’s bias cannot be fully eliminated”?

Reply to  HrSchmetterling
2 months ago

Yes, there are very blatant disqualification calls made on deck that go under review, only to have the racer make it through to the finals/next round with the DQ overturned. It depends who you are… And it’s really sad for the officials that work so hard to be invited to volunteer at these events only to have their calls overturned.

2 months ago

I’ll be looking for Lily King to make the consols or finals of the 50M free.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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