To: USA Swimming Board of Directors, General Chairs, Officials Chairs, Rules & Regulations Committee, USA Swimming Officials and USA Swimming Coaches,
I hope you have been enjoying your time on and off the deck this season. I am writing to inform you of a change to the USA Swimming Rules to comply with World Aquatics Swimming Rule 6.3. Very recently World Aquatics changed their Swimming Rule 6.3 to allow athletes a greater distance within which they may resubmerge prior to a backstroke finish. Accordingly, effective immediately, we have amended our USA Swimming Rule 101.4.2 to include the additional language shown below in bold.
1. USA Swimming Rule USA Swimming Rule 101.4.2 (pp 24) – To Comply with World Aquatics SW6.3
Stroke – The swimmer shall push off on his back and continue swimming on the back throughout the race. Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it is permissible for the swimmer to be
completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 meters (16.4 yards) after the start and after each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface of the water.
Additionally, once some part of the head of the swimmer has passed the 5 meter mark (long course and short course meters) or 5 yard mark (short course yards) immediately prior to reaching the finish, the swimmer may be completely. submerged prior to the touch.