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Old Mon Jun 12, 2006, 12:03am
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New Breaststroke Rule

What's up with the allowed fly kick on the starts and turns??
Is this some kind of accomodation to a complaining coach?
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Old Sun Nov 26, 2006, 03:00am
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In July 2005 FINA voted to allow a single downward fly kick off the start and turns. The change became effective Sept 21, 2005 for FINA and USA Swimming. NFHS considers rule changes in April, so that the same rules are in effect for swimming for the entire academic year, whether swimming is a fall, winter, or spring sport (which varies by state). NFHS therefore considered the rule change and adopted it in April 2006 to be effective with the 2006-07 Rules Book.

When a swimmer executes the full arm pull past the hipline, the body naturally lifts and falls. The difference between this permitted natural undulation and an illegal fully separate downward butterfly kick was apparently a distinction that FINA did not want to continue having officials make. Many viewers of the 2004 Olympics saw the Japanese breaststroker Kitajima use a then illegal downward butterfly kick. The televised view was from underwater, not the view of the stroke inspector at the end of the lane, who is likely to be able to see little more than a boil of water at some times.

A downward butterfly kick is not permitted elsewhere in breaststroke. It is permitted only after the first armpull is begun for each length of the swim. It is not required.

Kevin Russell
NFHS and USA Swimming Referee
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