Sept 10: ASAA Releases Statement

DECISION TO OVERTURN SWIMMER’S DISQUALIFICATION

 

On September 10, the Alaska School Activities Association received a request from the Anchorage School District to overturn the disqualification of a Dimond High School swimmer which occurred on September 6, 2019. This request was made pursuant to 2019-2020 NFHS Swim and Dive Rule 4-1 Article 4 which states, in part:

 

“…State associations may intercede in the event of unusual incidents before, during or after the referee’s jurisdiction has ended…”

 

ASAA will be granting this request, for the following reasons. While the rules do allow for swimmers to be disqualified (see Rule 3.3 below), the rules clearly state that “when an official discovers a competitor wearing illegal attire…prior to the start of the heat/dive…the official shall…notify the coach of the competitor…”

 

All evidence gathered, including the statement provided by the official, indicated the official did not notify the coach prior to disqualifying the student. Therefore ASAA has determined, the disqualification was the result of the misapplication of the rule and as a result is being overturned. All team and individual points shall be restored to both the individual swimmer and the Dimond High School Swim team.

 

This decision is based on the following 2019-2020 NFHS Swim and Dive Rule Book rules:

 

Rule 4-1 Article 2 allows for “meet management” to “make decisions on the misapplication of a rule during a meet. Judgement calls of officials are not subject to review by this committee. The decisions of the meet committee are final.”

 

Rule 3.3 Articles 1-2:

 

Rule 3.3

 

ART. 1 . . . It is recommended all swimmers and divers on the team wear suits of identical coloring and pattern.

 

ART. 2 . . . Suits shall be of one piece. A competitor shall not be permitted to participate wearing a suit that is not of decent appearance. Males shall wear suits which cover the buttocks and shall not extend above the waist or below the top of the kneecap. Females shall wear suits which cover the buttocks and breasts and shall not extend beyond the shoulders or below the top of the kneecap, nor cover the neck. PENALTIES: When an official discovers a competitor wearing illegal attire as described in Article 2, the official shall:

  1. when observed prior to the start of the heat/dive, notify the coach of the competitor to make the suit legal before becoming eligible to compete. If the competitor cannot comply without delaying the start of the heat/ dive, the competitor is disqualified from that event/dive and shall not be eligible for further competition until in a legal suit;
  2. when observed after the heat/dive officially begins, disqualify the competitor at the completion of the heat/dive; nullify the competitor’s performance time/score and he/she shall not be eligible for further competition until in a legal suit.

 

ASAA has also sent out the following guidance out to our Swim and Dive Officials:

 

To Swim and Dive Officials:

 

After multiple discussions with the NFHS, in order to properly implement Rule 3.3.2 (Uniforms) on page 24 of the 2019-20 NFHS Swim and Dive Rules Book, the following must be considered.

 

Is the lack of coverage the result of an intentional action by the swimmer?

 

The rule was put in place to curtail swimmers from intentionally rolling up their swimsuits in such a manner as to expose their buttock.

 

ASAA believes students are not intentionally rolling up their swimsuits in this manner. Therefore, we believe the best course of action in implementing this rule is to:

  1. Assume school issued uniforms are legal and will remain so.
  2. Upon observing a potential swimsuit coverage issue, notify the coach as directed in Rule 3.3.2 Penalties 1 and 2

 

ASAA very much appreciates the efforts of our Swim and Dive officials in helping schools and this Association conduct Swim and Dive competitions. We hope this direction will help you in your duties.

 

Billy Strickland, Executive Director
Alaska School Activities Association