Stroke & Turn Info

How to Avoid Disqualification
It is common for swimmers to get a disqualified (DQ). Coaches will talk to a swimmer after a DQ to let them know what they did wrong so that they can correct it. 

For more detailed information please review the Stroke & Turn Guidelines


  • False starts will be counted as a disqualification if a swimmer leaves the block before the signal. They will not be disqualified if they fall in the water.
  • Swimmers many not use the lane line to pull for forward advancement.
  • Swimmers many not use the bottom of the pool for forward advancement.
  • Swimmers deemed incapable of safely competing in the meet will not be permitted to swim. Coach’s discretion will be used and we will adhere to the facility guidelines.


  • Whatever stroke is started, it must be continued throughout the race.


  • Swimmer must stay on back except during flip turn.
  • No feet in gutters - toes only.
  • One freestyle pull is allowed during transition from back to front for turn.Once the swimmer turns onto the stomach for the turn the arm and body must be in continuous turning action. 
  • Swimmer will not be disqualified for head catch at the wall.
  • Two hand touch at turn and finish. Hands cannot touch one at a time.
  • Neutral pull - must not pull past waist.
  • Legal pullout (pull down, dolphin kick, pull down, break surface)
  • Legal kick inside the stroke.  Swimmer will not be disqualified if flutter kick is used to break the surface of the water.
  • Legal kick = Simultaneous somewhat circular motion similar to the action of a frog.  Toes pointed outward during propulsive part of kick.  No scissors, flutter or downward dolphin kicks permitted.
  • Requires simultaneous movements of the arms on the same horizontal plane.  The hands are pressed out from in front of the breast in a heart shaped pattern and recovered under or on the surface of the water. 
  • Two hand touch at turn and finish. Hands cannot touch one at a time.
  • Simultaneous recovery of the arms over the water combined with an undulating dolphin kick.
  • Undulating dolphin kick = Swimmer must keep both legs together and may not flutter, scissors or use the breaststroke kick. 
  • No underwater recovery (breaststroke pull into wall).
  • Swimmers will be permitted to flip from back to breast.  Hand must touch the wall before the flip.