Floating some new rule changes for high school swimming for the 2020-21 season. What do you think?

Reactions welcome

These ideas were posted to three Facebook groups for swim coaches, my personal FB page and this blog. The FB groups included those for NISCA, PA Swim Coaches and the Swim Coaches Idea Exchange.


Here are a few of the rule changes that I think should be made now, concerning the PA High School Swim & Dive Season for 2020-21. This is the year to ask for some rule changes for high school swimming in the PIAA. Here is what I'm thinking.


It has always been dumb to limit the scrimmages to 2 in the pre-season. If a coach at one team gets sick -- allow the assistant to combine forces with another team for the short term. Of course, this is a joint practice. But easier to drop the restrictions on number and time of scrimmages.

2. Drop the requirement of needing 10 swim meets to allow for a team to score points in the district and state meets.

Ten meets should be scheduled, but in reality, if only 1 happens, so be it.

3. Allow for easier entry into district meets.

Perhaps give 1-extra second for 50-yards, 3-extra seconds for every 100-yard race and 6-extra for the 200 and 500 yard races -- across the board, boys and girls, AA and AAA. 

4. Allow for Sunday practices.

Local decisions. Spread the kids out more. 

5. Allow for unlimited number of invite swim meets with 1, 2, 3 or more teams.

Invites can have multiple heats. And invites can have flexibility for events offered. Official meets need to have officials present. Same order of events, but events can be skipped. So, allows for what had been time trials with one team, and an official, to be a legit opportunity to make a district qualification time. 

6. No warm-up day at the PIAA Meet. 

Show up and swim. 

7. TV coverage for the all the heats at the PIAA meet, more than just the finals. 

Add an extra camera. Add live-streaming for fans for $0. 

What am I missing? 

Season start date? 

Well, I'd just allow any squad to practice whenever they wish and call it SKWIM / Water Polo season.

We need to take the pressure off.

You may also like

Helping those with hearing and vision issues – out of Canada

Helping those with hearing and vision issues – out of Canada

Kevin’s first song hits YouTube

Kevin’s first song hits YouTube

ESPN virtual even on November 9

ESPN virtual even on November 9

World Swim Day! October 28

World Swim Day! October 28

Presentations from Dr. Ernie Maglischo in Chicago and Philadelphia

Presentations from Dr. Ernie Maglischo in Chicago and Philadelphia

Page [tcb_pagination_current_page] of [tcb_pagination_total_pages]

  • Input from a coaching friend who is NOT a Facebook user:

    I may be mistaken, but #1-5 are all WPIAL specific situations. You should send them to the WPIAL swim committee.

    That being said in all my years of coaching I have never held a scrimmage so I do not see the need for #1.

    I do believe in a 10 meet minimum for high school swimming. I do not feel comfortable with kids having one meet a season and heading to championships. Meets are excellent training, I believe kids at this age should swim themselves into meet shape, they also build great camaraderie.

    As well, I disagree with #3. I think that if we, as coaches, want to give more kids another opportunity to swim we should organize an alternate to the WPIAL meet. The district meet should be selective and I think the entry minimums are on point.

    I do not believe the WPIAL or PIAA forbids Sunday practices. The only thing I can find is that we are not allowed to require practice for more than 6 days in a row. I have offered practices on Sunday but not on Saturday some weeks.

    I am all for as many invites as you want to attend. The four max was always a head scratcher to me.

    Technically, you are not required to be at the PIAA meet one day early. There is a ‘day of’ registration clause for kids/teams to show up when they want.

    All for more live streaming / coverage. Good luck getting PCN / PIAA to get on board.

    My two cents. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.


  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Let's be more social and share!