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Freestyle swimming

From Academic Kids

Freestyle is one of the official swimming competitions according to the rules of FINA. However, it is technically not a style, as there are very few regulations about the way freestyle has to be swum. Most swimmers choose to swim front crawl during freestyle, as this style provides the fastest speed.

Contents

Technique

Freestyle swimming competitions can be any of the unregulated stroke as front crawl, dog paddle or side swimming. Individual freestyle competitions can also be swum in one of the officially regulated strokes Breaststroke, Butterfly and Backstroke. The freestyle part of medley competitions, however, cannot use breaststroke, butterfly, or backstroke. Most competitive swimmers will choose to swim front crawl during freestyle competitions, as this style provides the fastest speed. Freestyle competitions have also been swum completely and partially in other styles, especially at lower ranking competitions. During the Olympic Games, front crawl is swum almost exclusively during freestyle.

Rules and Regulation

Freestyle means any style for individual distances and any style but breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke for medley competitions. The wall has to be touched at every turn and upon completion. One part of the swimmer has to be above water at any time except for the first 15 m after the start and every turn. This rule was introduced to avoid the dangers of swimmers passing out during underwater swimming. (see: History of swimming). The exact FINA rules are:

  • Freestyle means that in an event so designated the swimmer may swim any style, except that in individual medley or medley relay events, freestyle means any style other than backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly.
  • Some part of the swimmer must touch the wall upon completion of each length and at the finish.
  • Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it shall be permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 meters after the start and each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface.

Competitions

There are eight common competitions swum in freestyle swimming, both over either a long course (50m pool) or a short course (25m pool). Of course, other distances are also swum on occasions.

  • 50 m Freestyle
  • 100 m Freestyle
  • 200 m Freestyle
  • 400 m Freestyle
  • 800 m Freestyle
  • 1500 m Freestyle
  • 4*100 m Freestyle Relay
  • 4*200 m Freestyle Relay

Freestyle is also part of the medley over the following distances:

  • 100 m Individual Medley (short 25 m pool only)
  • 200 m Individual Medley
  • 400 m Individual Medley
  • 4*100 m Medley Relay

External link

  • Swim.ee (http://www.swim.ee/models/models.html): Detailed discussion of swimming techniques and speeds

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