Breaststroke and Butterfly Separated Hands Interpretation

 Below is an e-mail that USA Swimming sent out about the breaststroke and butterfly separated hands interpretation.  This is effective immediately.


January 15, 2014

To:    General Chairs                                                           Board of Directors, USA Swimming
         Officials Chairs                                                          USA Swimming Officials
         Rules & Regulations Committee                                 USA Swimming Coach Members

From:    Daniel W. McAllen III, Chair, Rules & Regulations Committee

Re:    Breaststroke and Butterfly Separated Hands Interpretation

The FINA Technical Committee met in Bangkok, Thailand on December 6-7, 2013. At the meeting there was a discussion of the term “separated hands” as it relates to the rule adopted by FINA at its August, 2013 Congress.

The discussion resulted in the following interpretation:
“Separated means that the hands cannot be stacked one on top of the other. It is not necessary     to see space between the hands. Incidental contact at the fingers is not a concern”

Accordingly, the separated hands in breaststroke and butterfly interpretation issued by me on October 8, 2013 is hereby expressly revoked and is replaced by the FINA interpretation above. A picture of the legal and illegal separated hands position as defined by FINA can be found on the Rules & Regulations page of the USA Swimming website as an attachment to this memo. Below is the link to the Rules & Regulations page and the document is posted under the heading “Interpretations, Legislation & Bylaws.”

Daniel W. McAllen III
Chair, Rules & Regulations Committee