While there has been some increasing commonality across some swimming organizations’ rules, there is not, and never has been, one set of rules for competitive swimming. There is no right way to swim, to host a meet, or to swim a particular stroke. Swimming rules are continually evolving. Most of the more well-known organizations make changes to their rules every year. ASA’s rules have been designed to be:
Inclusive • Progressive • Flexible • Fan Friendly • Fun
Top Ten Reasons for using ASA Rules
- It's all about the swimmers. ASA rules are swimmer-friendly, fun rules.
- Save trees and tears. ASA rules yield few disqualifications.
- Make it a good experience for all. ASA rules make it easier for beginning and older swimmers; for real young swimmers too.
- Don’t take the whole day. ASA rules facilitate faster-running meets due to flexible formats, fewer disqualifications, no-recall on false starts, dive-in backstrokes, and more.
- Think outside the box. ASA rules allow you to be creative. Offer any strokes and distances. Offer traditional events or: Swim 25s, 150s, 400 backstroke, 800 free, anything you want. Contest pulling, fin kicking, I.M.s in any order, 4 x 200 free add-ups. Anything you think would be fun.
- Keep ‘em guessing. ASA rules add excitement. For example, medley relays that allow teams to swim the strokes in any order keep competitors and spectators guessing, discussing, and anticipating the race.
- Don't make it a production. ASA rules require fewer officials.
- Have it your way. ASA rules allow you to fit your meet to your situation. Run the number of events that work with your time line. Don’t be stuck with set age groups; offer competition in age groups/divisions that make sense for your swimmers.
- Recognize natural consequences. ASA rules provide no disqualifications for minor deviations from start, stroke, and turn specifications that are disadvantageous to the swimmer.
- Promote integrity. ASA self-disqualification rules keep races in perspective while promoting honesty, personal responsibility and accountability. No more: "You got away with it."