Swimming for beginners

1st March 2011

With the Swimming varsity event soon approaching, here are some of the rules and regulations for those new to the sport:

Swimming is an aquatic sport, in which participants compete to be the fastest over a given distance. The different events at this year’s varsity would be the 50 and 100 meters of each stroke, which are the breast, back and butterfly, the medley relay, 100 IM and freestyle relay.

The breaststroke is performed face down in the water, the arms move synchronously whilst the leg performs a frog kick. The butterfly swimming stroke is swum on the breast, with both arms moving simultaneously. The leg movement is known as the dolphin kick. The feet are pressed together to avoid loss of water-pressure. The feet are naturally pointing downwards, giving downwards thrust which thus moves up the feet and presses down the head. The back stroke is performed with the swimmer lying on its back, synchronising their arm and leg movements with kicks and semi circular arm pushes. The freestyle is where a competitor can use an unregulated swimming movement over a given length. Such strokes often involve the front crawl and side stroke.

The medley relays consist of swimming up to 400 metres whilst the freestyle relay up to 800 metres. The 100 metres individual relay involves all strokes, starting with the butterfly, then backstroke, breaststroke and finally freestyle, of all equal length
The medley relay combines strokes swam by four swim partners, beginning with the Backstroke, the breaststroke, butterfly and ending with freestyle. In this event, the swimmers only swim one stroke.

There are seven types of officials in swimming:
The referee who has full control over the officials and declares the winner of the race, the starter who send s the swimmers off their blocks and watches out for any false starts, a clerk of course whom assembles the swimmers prior to the event, the time keepers who keep the time of each swimmer allocated to them, an inspector of turns who ensures that swimmers comply with the relevant rules for turning as well as the relevant rules for start and finish of the race, judges of stroke whom ensure that the rules related to the style of swimming designated for the event are being observed and the finishing judges that determine the order of finish and make sure the swimmers finish in accordance with the rules.

David Akosim