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2017 Herndon Swim League Rules

1. The purpose of the Herndon Swim League is to promote sportsmanship through friendly competition between amateur swimmers. The league is developmental in nature, designed to teach good swimming techniques for each swimming stroke to all team members and to provide participants with aquatic skills which they can use throughout their lives. Every swimmer is to be a participant in league meets, and coaches are required to rotate their swimmers so that each has an opportunity to swim all strokes.

2. The overall conduct and showing of good sportsmanship by all teams before, during and after the meet is very important. Accordingly, the following announcement will be made at the beginning of each meet and before the last event of each meet: "In the interest of maintaining good sportsmanship and providing adequate safety for all competitors and spectators, all celebrations at the end of the meet must remain orderly. No pushing, shoving or running is allowed and no one is allowed in the pool once the final race is completed. Thank you." In addition, the Herndon Swim League Code of Conduct will be incorporated by each team into their sign-up process, and must be followed by all swimmers, coaches, officials and parents.

3. One additional announcement, as follows, will be made at the beginning of each meet: "There will be no smoking during the meet."

4. The following teams are in the Herndon Swim League:

 Bradley Farm Four Seasons  Foxfield
 Herndon Community Center Hunters Creek  Kingston Chase
 Kingstream Faircrest  Reflection

5. Each team will have a team representative who must be a parent or guardian of a team member or former team member, and who may not be one of the team's coaches. If the team representative will not be present for a meet, an acting team representative must be appointed.

6. The Herndon Swim League is not an officially chartered organization, but rather is a confederation of swim teams who have agreed to abide by the by-laws and rules set forth by the league's governing body. This governing body consists of the team representatives, one from each team, which may be administered by a commissioner, if so elected by the team representatives. By accepting membership in the Herndon Swim League, each team and those associated with it automatically agree to abide by all League Rules, guidelines and decisions.

7. Each swimmer must have no other summer league/team swimming affiliation (except a United States Swimming sanctioned team, such as Nation's Capital) and must either be a resident of the development, pay a season membership fee to join its pool or meet the requirements of the development's swim team charter/by-laws. In the case of Herndon Community Center, each swimmer must only have no other summer league/team swimming affiliation as described previously. A team will forfeit a meet if it fails to conform with this rule, with the team representative and coach being responsible for compliance.

8. Lifeguards may swim officially in league meets only if they are of the appropriate age, have no other summer league/team swimming affiliation and are residents of the development or meet the requirements of the development's swim team charter/by-laws. Otherwise they may swim unofficially if a lane is available without bumping a swimmer or adding a heat. Coaches may swim officially if they are of the appropriate age and have no other summer league/team swimming affiliation.

9. The Herndon Swim League follows the basic rules set forth in the United States Swimming rulebook, unless modified herein by these League Rules. Exceptions for our league are that for the freestyle leg of the medley relay or individual medley a swimmer may push of the wall on the back but must rotate to the breast before taking a stroke and the Rule 23 exception for false starts.

10. A swimmer's birthday (actual age on the day of the meet) determines the age group he or she will swim in. Those swimmers turning 19 after the first scheduled meet day of the season may swim during that season and are eligible for league records. A swimmer may swim "up", but not "back" (must swim in own age group or an older age group, only). If a swimmer swims in a race in a younger age group without the approval of the opposing team representative(s), the swimmer will be disqualified from that race. The meet will be rescored accordingly.

11. There will be freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke events for the 6 and under age group. The freestyle and backstroke events will be official events and be scored, and the breaststroke event will be swum as an unofficial event. There will also be a butterfly event for the 8 and under age group, which will be an official event and be scored.

12. No swimmer shall receive substantive external assistance, such as "water wings", kickboards, or any other artificial floatation devices, while swimming in a race unless that swimmer has a documented handicap. Any coach or other person swimming or walking in front of a young swimmer must have no physical contact with the swimmer or the swim will not count.

13. Coordination between teams before a meet is important. A home team representative will contact the visiting team representative(s), ideally two days before a scheduled meet, to coordinate such things as events, number of heats, officials and to discuss any other proposed modifications to normal rules.

14. There will be only one official heat for each event, with a maximum of three swimmers from each team allowed. Lanes 1, 3 and 5 will be used by the home team; lanes 2, 4 and 6 by the away team. Unofficial swimmers may be included in this maximum of three swimmers per team. An unofficial swimmer must be clearly identified as such on the meet sheets and card to make scorers aware of the swimmer's unofficial status so that no points will be awarded. In the case of Tri-meets, lane assignments will be as follows: home team, lanes 2 and 5; the first-listed visiting team, lanes 3 and 6; and the second-listed visiting team, lanes 1 and 4.

15. Additional heats (unofficial) will be added only when the number of swimmers in a particular age group precludes all of those swimmers from competing in a meet, even with using available slots for swim-ups, complete rotation of the swimmers in all strokes and entering extra teams in the relay events. Ideally, each swimmer should swim in at least two events. Such extra heats should be arranged in advance (as a courtesy, two days before the meet) by team representatives. Additional heats will not be allowed for the individual medley or for relays.

16. Teams will swim the league-approved schedule. A team may schedule additional meets with other teams as desired on a not-to-interfere basis with the league schedule.

17. During the entire season a 100-meter Freestyle Relay will be swum for the 8 and under age group and 100-meter Medley Relays will be swum for age groups 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. A Mixed Age 200-meter Freestyle Relay will also be swum, with one swimmer from each of the following age groups swimming in the indicated order: 11-12, 9-10, 13-14 and 15-18 (swim-ups are allowed, but only when no other swimmer is available to swim in the race). 100-meter Individual Medleys will be swum for the 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18 age groups at the beginning of each meet. The official league meet sheets posted on the website are for use in all league meets, and show the order of events which may be deviated from upon agreement of all teams involved in the meet.

18. Boys and girls relay events for the same age group will be conducted at the same time (lane availability permitting), but scored separately. Standard lane assignments to be placed on the entry cards for the "designated" (or official) teams are:

2 - Away Girls
3 - Home Girls
4 - Away Boys
5 - Home Boys

Only the official teams are eligible to score points. If desired, a team may enter additional unofficial relay teams. Lanes 1 and 6 will be used for additional teams, but the lane assignment on the entry card should be left blank -- this will be assigned poolside. If more than two additional teams are entered in an age group, the boys and girls events will be conducted separately.

19. Only official events will be scored. For dual meets scoring will be 5 points for first place, 3 points for second place and 1 point for third place for individual events. Relays will be scored 5 points for first place only. For tri-meets, scoring will be 6-4-3-2-1-0 for individual events and 8-4-0 for relays. Ribbons will be awarded for first through sixth places. Each team will provide their own ribbons for all dual and tri-meets. If there is a tie for one or more of the places for which points are awarded, the points for all the places involved will be added and then divided by the number of swimmers (relay teams) tied, with the resulting equal number of points awarded to each swimmer (relay team). The appropriate ribbon (medal) for any tied position will be awarded to all such swimmers, and the resulting subsequent award(s) will not be issued.

20. Changes to events which will effect the scoring must be noted on the cover sheet of both team's copy of the official meet sheet and the meet sheets signed by both team representatives before the meet.

21. League records will be maintained for official events only, however because the Bradley Farm and Herndon Community Center pools are 25 yards in length, no metric league records can be set in those pools. A separate set of yards records will be maintained from 1998 on. A league record may be established only in a league-sanctioned meet, in any heat of an event and only in the actual age group of the swimmer for individual events. Except for those records set at the All-League Meets, a record submission must contain a copy of the actual meet card or meet sheet showing the swimmer’s name and time. All records must be submitted not later than August 31 of the season in which the performance occurred.

22. Backstroke flags must be in place 15 feet or 5 meters from both ends of the pool for league meets.

23. Subject to the discretion of the starter and/or referee, a false start will be charged when a competitor leaves the mark before the starting signal. Two such false starts charged to the same competitor in an event will result in that competitor's disqualification from that event.

24. All competitors in the backstroke and medley relay events will enter the pool in a dignified, safe manner, feet first, when given the command “step in" by the starter. No jumping or deliberate splashing is allowed, and failure to comply with this rule may result in disqualification from that event by the referee for unsportsmanlike conduct.

25. A swimmer may swim in no more than four individual events (including the individual medley) and two relays. Any swim-ups are counted in this number, and a swimmer may swim no more than two events in the same stroke. Swim-ups will be allowed only when no other swimmer is available to swim in that particular race and may not be done to gain a competitive advantage.

26. A swimmer may swim two non-consecutive legs without running around the pool in a relay race only if no other swimmer is available from the same or one younger age groups to swim in the race, however no two-person relay teams are allowed. A swimmer of the opposite sex may be used to fill a relay team only as a last resort, and then only after advance agreement by both team representatives. Such mixed or three-person teams will not be eligible for a league record.

27. The term "available" as used in relation to swim-ups or swimming two legs in a relay shall be deemed to mean any swimmer present at the meet at the time of the event, allowing exceptions for legitimate illness or injury. If a swimmer is available by the preceding definition but chooses not to swim in an event because of lack of confidence, personal decision or any other reason, no swimmer from a younger age group may swim up into that slot.

28. Coaches are allowed to make changes to meet sheets on the day of the meet for reasons of absence, injury, etc. At the beginning of warm-ups, both meet sheets will be reviewed by the team representatives. All swim-ups will be highlighted. Any changes made after this review involving a swimmer from a younger age group swimming up must be presented to and confirmed by the opposing team representative.

29. The normal starting time for Saturday meets is warm-ups at 8:00 AM, meet begins at 8:30 AM; for weeknight meets, 5:30 PM warm-ups, 6:00 PM meet begins. These times may be changed as agreed upon by the team representatives involved.

30. All alcoholic beverages are prohibited before, during and after Herndon Swim League functions at the pool facility where the function is held. This includes all parking lots and buildings associated with the pool facility.

31. When inclement weather conditions exist or are predicted prior to the commencement of a meet, a determination of whether to hold the meet, or to delay, postpone or cancel the meet will be made by mutual agreement of the team representatives involved.

32. Lifeguards who are assigned to work at a Herndon Swim League facility have full authority which cannot be overridden to stop a meet before it begins or is in progress and close the pool facility if hazardous weather is sighted or heard in accordance with local ordinances.

33. If a meet in progress must be stopped due to adverse weather conditions, the team representatives involved will determine by mutual agreement whether the meet will be official up to that point or whether the meet will be completed at a later date.

34. Any dispute relating to the outcome of a meet must be noted within 24 hours and if at all possible should be resolved by the team representatives involved. If this is not possible, the protest will be referred to the Commissioner who will appoint a protest committee composed of three team representatives from teams other than those involved, one member will be designated as the chair. This committee will have the authority to examine all records and other evidence pertinent to the matter and may interview those involved and also request written statements from them. The decision reached by this committee will be final and binding on all parties.

35. For serious rules breaches, any team representative or a protest committee can make recommendations for sanctions against a team or individual if it is felt that team or individual is in serious violation of league rules. Action on such recommendations must be discussed at a league meeting and any sanctions, which will be binding, imposed only after a two-thirds affirmative vote of all team representatives besides those involved in the dispute or rules violation.

36. Raindate makeups, schedule changes, changes for individual events and any other modifications related to Rules 11, 17 and 19 will be arranged by mutual agreement of the team representatives only.

37. If a pool facility scheduled to host a Herndon Swim League function has a mechanical problem or other situation that will cause the pool facility to be unsuitable for use and/or not be allowed to be opened per health department codes, the scheduled meet should be moved to the facility of the opposing team, ideally at least two days in advance of the meet. If the situation causing the facility to be unusable occurs within this two-day period, as much advance notice as possible must be provided to the opposing team concerning the change of venue. If the venue is changed, the original host will be given the opportunity to do concessions.

38. A full complement of officials will be required to work each meet. The following will be required as a minimum:

Referee
Starter
2 Stroke and turn judges (1 from each team)
2 Clerks of course (1 from each team)
Chief timer
18 Timers (9 from each team)
2 Scorers (1 from each team)
4 Ribbon writers (2 from each team)
Announcer (optional)
Runners (as necessary)

Meet officials will use and apply United States Swimming (USS) rules for swimming the strokes. They will be guided by the Duties and Responsibilities of Deck Officials which is in the Officials Guidelines and Responsibilities which is an addendum to these Rules and is published by the league. Those assigned as officials should have some experience and/or knowledge of the job they are to perform. This is particularly important for the referee, starter, stroke and turn judges, clerks of course and chief timer. Stroke and turn judges will rotate positions at least once during the meet. Normally, the referee, starter and chief timer are provided by the home team. Prior to each meet, team representatives will agree on any changes to this normal assignment of officials.

39. All officials are strongly urged to attend clinics which will be held at the beginning of the season in order to discuss league rules and provide training in the proper performance of the jobs of various meet officials. These clinics are intended to establish a uniform method of approaching the running and judging of league meets and establish a sameness of decision to be utilized by all officials. Two people from each team in the position of referee and two in the position of stroke and turn judge should attend a clinic annually.

40. A coaches/team representatives clinic may be held each year before the beginning of the season. At least one coach from each team should attend.

41. Meet officials may need to make a special effort to ensure that a hearing-impaired swimmer has an equal opportunity to a fair, if necessary vision-assisted, start. This may mean using one or more of the following: changing the swimmer's lane to be closer to the starter, repositioning the starter and use of an arm signal simultaneously with the gun report or beeper.

42. A referee, whose decision is final, will be used at all league meets. The referee must be poolside and may not perform another function (except announcer). He or she must be familiar with all league rules and USS rules for swimming the strokes.

43. The starter, chief timer and stroke and turn judges may not perform another function (except announcer).

44. Stroke and turn judges will write a disqualification slip when a swimmer in any heat of an official event violates the USS rules for swimming the strokes. Warnings will not be in effect at any point in the season. If a disqualification slip has been written for a swimmer, that swimmer's time cannot be used for qualification or record purposes and for first heats no ribbon higher than sixth place may be awarded.

45. Three timers will be assigned to each lane. Timers will start their watches when sighting the flash of the strobe or similar device (including the flash/smoke from a gun) used for starting the race if a device which produces a flash is used. Only if there is no visible flash produced will timers start watches on the sound of the starting device. The high and low times will be eliminated, with the middle time being the swimmer's official time, unless two (or three) watches indicate the same time, in which case that time will be the swimmer's official time. If only two watches are available, the average of those two watches will be the official time. The digits representing thousandths of a second shall be dropped with no rounding. These times will be final, with no place judging allowed.

46. A swimmer competing in the 6 and under breaststroke (an unofficial event) must advance through the water without pushing off or walking along the bottom or pulling along a lane marker or wall. A reasonable representation of the correct technique for the stroke must also be used. Swimmers violating this rule will be awarded a ribbon for the appropriate place behind all swimmers who did not advance improperly.

47. A league rule may be modified or a new rule added only after approval by a majority of the team representatives. If one or more representative (or a designated alternate) is not present at the time a vote is taken, those representatives must be contacted and their position on the proposed change/addition obtained. Each team will have one vote.

For those watching a swim meet here are some guides for parents at Amazon:

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