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Video review option recommended in swimming

If approved, rule would be effective in Division I next season

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Rules Committee last week proposed allowing the use of video review to determine if 15-meter violations were called accurately.

If approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on June 26, the permissive rule would be effective for the 2019-20 academic year during the regular season as well as conference and NCAA championships.

Before events, meet committees would decide when video reviews will be conducted, and all participants would be informed before the competition. All reviews would be conducted before qualifiers/results are announced.

The referee has sole jurisdiction over the review, and the referee’s decision is a judgment call not subject to further review or appeal. Only the referee and a conference or NCAA meet committee representative (who has no participating school affiliation) may view the video being used for replay review. Challenges by coaches are not permitted as part of this rule, and coaches are not permitted to view that video at any time.

A 15-meter violation occurs when, after the start and each turn, a swimmer fails to break the surface of the water by the 15-meter mark.

“With the video technology that is available,” said Dan Gelderloos, committee chair and men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at Calvin, “we believe this rule will help maintain fairness for the athletes on decisions that may be difficult to judge.”

Timing malfunctions

The committee also proposed changing the rules used after timing malfunctions to be more in line with USA Swimming and international swimming rules.

When a malfunction is confirmed on a lane, the backup times for that lane should be calculated as follows:

  1. If two of the three valid button or watch times agree, that should be the time for that timing system.
  2. If three valid button or watch times disagree, the time of the intermediate button or watch should be the time for that timing system.
  3. If only two valid button or watch times are available, the time should be the average of those two buttons or the average of the two watch times. The digits representing thousandths of a second should be dropped with no rounding.
  4. If only one valid button or watch time is available, the time of that button or watch should be the time for that timing system, unless that time conflicts with other information. 

Other rules recommendations made by the committee include the following:

  • When divers tie in non-NCAA and NCAA championship meets for eighth place in the prelims of diving 1-meter, 3-meter or platform events, the tiebreaking method is to take all nine divers to the final. The consolation finals will have seven competitors in the event, none finishing higher than 10th place in the final standings. In the final, the nine competitors will do a six-dive list. The highest place finisher of the tied divers will remain in the place that they finished, while the other diver will place ninth.
  • A minimum of two officials must be used for dual, double-dual, triangular and quadrangular meets. A minimum of four officials must be used for championship and invitational competition. If approved, the rule would be effective for Division I for the 2019-20 academic year and 2020-21 for Divisions II and III.
  • Lap counters will become optional and can be placed at the end or on either side of the pool.