This week, MHSAA officials coordinator Sam Davis explains a new rule in swimming that allows for more flexibility when determining when a competitor has finished a race.
Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.
Below is this week's segment - Swimming Finishing Touch - Listen
There’s a swimmer-friendly rules change being made in that sport this season. The definition of a legal finish has been changed to allow a competitor to touch any part of the finish end of the lane.
Previously, a swimmer had to contact the touch pad for a legal finish. The touch rule has also been changed to apply during relay races – where prior to this season only the final swimmer had to touch the finish end of the pool.
While the changes may provide some flexibility for swimmers, it does put additional responsibility on lane judges and back-up hand timers to be ready for those occurrences when a swimmer does not contact the touch pad.