Racing Starts


To LSC General Chairs, Sanction Chairs, Permanent Offices


From Bruce Stratton, Rules Committee Chair


Conditions of Sanction


Under our current rules when a swimmer shows up at a meet unaccompanied by a coach, the Meet Host or Referee are required to insure the swimmer will be supervised by a USA Swimming member coach.  However, there is no requirement or procedure for insuring that the unaccompanied swimmer has been properly trained and certified by a USA Swimming member coach to execute a racing start.  The following proposed legislation will put the burden of complying with the rule on the swimmer and his parents when that swimmer is unaccompanied by his coach. If passed, this legislation will become effective January 1, 2011; however, it is strongly recommended that LSCs immediately begin requiring the following statement be included in all meet announcements:

“Any swimmer entered in the meet, unaccompanied by a USA Swimming member coach, must be certified by a USA Swimming member coach as being proficient in performing a racing start or must start each race from within the water.  It is the responsibility of the swimmer or the swimmer’s legal guardian to ensure compliance with this requirement. “


In those situations where sanctions have already been issued and do not include the new statement, the following action is recommended:  If the coach that has been assigned (or has accepted) responsibility for supervising an athlete at a swim meet is not sure that that athlete has been racing start certified, he/she may require that athlete to start in the water at that meet.