2018-19 NFHS Swimming Rules Changes


Rule 1: Rule 1has been reorganized to more accurately reflect and definemeet specifications and organization.
Rationale: Clarifies and consolidates terminology and reorganizes sections to reflect the order in which rules appear in the rules book.

2-4-5: The 16.4-yard/15-meter marks must be visible on both sides of the pool deck.
Rationale: Although markings may be integrated into each lane marker/lane line, because the position of such floats are often irregular, the marks on the sides of the pool are the uniform default marking for all lanes. 

2-7-2b: Backstroke starting ledges arenot permitted in high school swimming.
Rationale: Clarifies that backstroke starting ledges are prohibited in high school swimming due to risk minimization.

2-7-2c (NEW), 2-7-2 NOTE (NEW): Options for starting platform malfunctions are provided, and direction for malfunctioning swimming equipment have been re-organized.
Rationale:  Clarifies directives when swimming equipment malfunctions or is non-compliant.

The referee shall conduct a pre-meet conference with the starter, the coach and the captain of each team for all non-championship meets.
Rationale: Emphasizesthe importancethat participants are aware of all details associated with the event.

4-5-3, 4-7: The responsibilities of stroke inspectors and turn/finish judges can now be combined by the referee.
Rationale: Specifies when the availability of officials is limited, the referee has the option to staff the deck effectively and efficiently with available officials.

5-1-2a: In non-championship meets, thedivingeventmaybe held first, last or simultaneously with the swimming events, in addition to the traditional placement as Event 5 between the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.
Rationale: Allows for flexibility in conducting the diving event within the dual meet program which will permit more options for competing teams.

5-3, 5-3-2, 5-3-6 NOTE: Section 5-3 has been updated to provide lane and heat assignment protocol from the dual meet to the multi-team meet.
Rationale: Clarifies direction for situations in which the number of teams and/or entries cannot be equally divided into the number of available lanes.

5-4-2: New language provides scoring protocol based on pool facilities with differing numbers of available lanes.

Rationale: Clarifies protocol for number of qualifiers and scoring for facilities that have 4, 6, 8, 9, or 10 lanes available.

9-4-6 NOTE 2 (NEW): The NOTE clarifies that it is permissible to conduct eleven-dive competitions during dual meets, double-dual meets, and other non-championship multi-team meets.
Rationale: Provides for additional options for competitors to prepare for tournament series events.


2-6: Reorganizes water condition requirements and provides directives for non-compliant conditions.

2-7-9, 7-2-5:
Clarifiesthe recommendation for posting team scores through a meet.

4-1-2: Clarifies that a meet committee and meet director are only required for championship meets.  Other meets are administered by the referee or                   other officials appropriate to the type of meet.

8-3-3 NOTE:Instruction for the starting procedure during a backstroke relay was moved to a NOTE, as this is not an NFHS event.  The NOTE can provide the guidance that may be needed.


1-2-3, 3-1-1, 3-1-2, 3-2-1, 3-2-2, 3-2-3, 3-2-3 PENALTIES, 3-6-1 PENALTY, 4-1-2, 4-1-4, 4-1-7, 4-3-1b,
4-6-2, 4-6-3, 4-6-4, 4-9-3, 5-1-1 NOTE, 7-1-2, 7-1-3, 9-1-1f, g, 9-2-4


  1.      Suit Coverage
    2.     Guidelines on Handling Contests During Lightning or Thunder Disturbances
    3.     Scratch/Declared False Starts/Failing to Compete
  2. Officials Recruitment


Check Also

MHSAA announces Chess to return to club designation

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 MHSAA announces Chess to return to club designation The Mississippi High …