The UK Rules

ASA Swimming Rules and Regulations

This informative section is a basic guide of swimming rules for beginners. The ASA is the national governing body. They regulate the rules of competitive swimming in the United Kingdom.

SWIMMING RULES: A referee initiates each swim heat and the final race.

The swimming referee uses a series of short blasts on a whistle to give signals to the swimmers.

At this point, competitors should remove all excess clothing except their competition swimwear.

How to Start a Swimming Race?

Swimmers take their places on the appropriate starting block or platform.

As a rule this would be on the deck or actually in the water for certain races. They then wait until they hear the sound of a long whistle. The referee will stretch out his arm. That signal means the swimmers are under the starter's control.

Competitors must wait until they hear the starter's command 'take your mark'. That is the time to assume the starting position and wait for the starting signal.

As a rule that means one foot should be in front of the starting platform. Swimmers who are in the water must have one hand on the wall.

Strokes, Turns, and Finishes

There are four swimming styles recognized in Olympic Championships. They include breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle. In swimming terminology 'stroke' refers to how the swimmers perform the style.

For example, the backstroke style means the swimmer must push off on his back. He will then continue swimming on his back throughout the whole race.

The 'turning' rules govern how each individual negotiates the turnaround. That takes place at the end of each swim lap.

This follows the Amateur Swimming Association or ASA swimming rules and regulations UK. Their governance determines how the swimmer must 'finish' to end the race and win.

Rules of SwimmingRules of Swimming

Aim of Swimming Competition

As a rule, elite and professional competitions take place in a swimming pool. The objective is to win a race against other swimmers.

ASA Swimming Rules and Regulations in the United KingdomOlympic Swimming Pool Size

The dimension of an Olympic-size swimming pool is 50 meters long (164 feet long).

A 50 meter pool gets regarded as the 'long course' of pool competitions. That distinguishes it from the 25 meter 'short course' (82 feet long).

Swimsuits and Equipment

Competitors can only wear one swimsuit (with nothing worn underneath). All competition swimsuits must be non-transparent.

FINA have further stipulations on swimming rules and regulations UK. They do not allow swimsuits to cover the neck and the material must not extend past the shoulders or ankles.

Swimming competition rules allow swimmers to use eye goggles. They can also wear a nose peg but no more than two swim caps.

Note: These ASA swimming rules and regulations refer to professional swimming championships and events.

Competition Swimmers

As a rule all swimmers who are racing against each other must use the same swimming style. That would be either breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke, or freestyle. Races are most often performed as an individual medley or in a swimming relay format.

General Swimming Regulations

During the Race

False Starts

Swimming Rules and Regulations on Disqualifications

Swim Stroke Rules in Swimming

Freestyle Swimming Regulations

Breaststroke Swimming Regulations

Butterfly Swimming Regulations

Backstroke Swimming Regulations

ASA Swimming Rules for Olympic Officials

Olympic Games and World Championships need several officials to control the competitions. Official adjudicators must include at least two referees. They should also have a control-room supervisor, 4 judges of stroke, and 2 race starters.

How to Win a Swimming Competition

To finish the race as the winner, the swimmer must be the first one to touch the wall. In the backstroke race the swimmer must finish by touching the wall while swimming on his back.

To win the breaststroke race the swimmer must touch the wall with both hands. Competitive swimming rules and regulations allow the winner to have a submerged body under water at the touch.

Advanced Swimming Rules


Swimmers Also Ask About...

A to Z List of Sports Rules: A listing of popular indoor and outdoor sporting categories.
Underwater Hockey Rules: Basic regulations for playing 'octopush game' or hockey underwater.
Weird Sports Rules: A concise list of weird and wonderful sports games around the world.
FINA Swimming Rules and Regulations PDF: [Free Download Option]

Rules of Swimming for Beginners: ASA Rules and Regulations of Swimming Competitions