At its meeting that was held on January 24, 2009, the USA Swimming Board of Directors adopted an amendment to Article 103.2.2 of the USA Swimming Rules. The amendment was modified on March 16, 2009 to be effective on May 1, 2009. The amendment specifically defines the term “teaching racing starts” and provides that teaching racing starts can take place only under the direct supervision of a USA Swimming Member Coach.

USA Swimming Coaches Safety Curriculum

For the 2012 membership year (which begins September 1, 2011), the following certifications will be acceptable for the Safety Training for Swim Coaches requirement:

  1. ARC Safety Training for Swim Coaches certification (valid for 3 years)

  2. Email confirmation from the ARC that the individual has passed the Safety Training for Swim Coaches online exam, ALONG WITH one of the following certifications:

    1. ARC Lifeguarding, Lifeguarding/Waterfront, Lifeguarding/Waterpark, Basic Water Rescue, or Shallow Water Attendant

    2. American Lifeguard Association First Time Lifeguard, Professional Lifeguard Challenge, or Lifeguard Recertification

    3. Ellis and Associates International Lifeguard Training or International Lifeguard Training Instructor License

    4. StarGuard

    5. YMCA Lifeguarding

    6. For Option #2, the expiration date shall be the earliest expiration date on either the ARC email (valid for 3 years) or the lifeguard certification.

    7. USA Swimming has also issued a document outlining the Safety Curriculum requirements and procedures. USA Swimming Coaching Requirements

USA Swimming Water Depth Rule Change

Special Notice to Members of the USA Swimming House of Delegates & All USA Swimming Clubs: Pursuant to USA Swimming Rules 504.8, the USA Swimming Board of Directors has decided to amend Rule 103.2.2 (page 43 of the 2010 Rules & Regulations) which specifically applies to teaching racing starts to provide as follows:

.2/M/Teaching Racing Starts – Minimum water depth for teaching racing starts in any setting from any height starting block or the deck shall be 6 feet (1.84 meters) measured for a distance of 3 feet 3 1/2 inches (1.0 meter) to 16 feet 5 inches (5.0 meters) from the end wall.

This decision has been made with the advice and consent of the Safety Education Committee, the Rules and Regulations Committee, and legal counsel. The purpose of this action is to further protect novice swimmers from accidental bottom strikes while they are learning to execute racing starts. This change was effective immediately on February 19, 2007.