Qualifying Times 
County
All Ages:573 
Regional
Age Group:65 
Youth:
Short Course:
National
Age Group:
Youth:

These Hints & Tips are to help you understand what the teachers and coaches are training you to do. They show how a turn for example should be executed and what to avoid. Where appropriate the FINA Law is quoted that the officials follow and judge you against. A summary of the DQ Codes Officials use can be found here.

Backstroke Turn - Video (read the bit below first!)

SW 6.4 When executing the turn there must be a touch of the wall with some part of the swimmer's body in his/her respective lane. During the turn the shoulders may be turned over the vertical to the breast after which a continuous single arm pull or a continuous simultaneous double arm pull may be used to initiate the turn. The swimmer must have returned to the position on the back upon leaving the wall.

What this means for the swimmer is that once you turn onto your front you must either be turning or 1 or both of your arms must be doing a continuous pull that ends in a turn.

SW 6.5 Upon the finish of the race the swimmer must touch the wall while on the back in his/her respective lane.

Common Disqualifications:

If you roll on your front with your arms by your side and do not turn immediately you can be disqualified, some judges and referees may allow a short pause but if one or both of your arms aren't pulling you will be disqualified.

If you do more than one arm stroke on your front then you will be disqualified.

You must push off on your back which is the natural position out of the turn, if you somehow manage to end up on your front you will be disqualified.

Breaststroke Turn - Video (read the bit below first!)

SW 7.1 After the start and after each turn, the swimmer may take one arm stroke completely back to the legs during which the swimmer may be submerged. At any time prior to the first Breaststroke kick after the start and after each turn a single butterfly kick is permitted. The head must break the surface of the water before the hands turn inward at the widest part of the second stroke.

SW 7.2 From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start and after each turn, the body shall be on the breast. It is not permitted to roll onto the back at any time except at the turn after the touch of the wall where it is permissible to turn in any manner as long as the body is on the breast when leaving the wall. From the start and throughout the race the stroke cycle must be one arm stroke and one leg kick in that order. All movements of the arms shall be simultaneous and on the same horizontal plane without alternating movement. 

SW 7.3 The hands shall be pushed forward together from the breast on, under, or over the water. The elbows shall be under water except for the final stroke before the turn, during the turn and for the final stroke at the finish. The hands shall be brought back on or under the surface of the water. The hands shall not be brought back beyond the hip line, except during the first stroke after the start and each turn. 

SW 7.4 During each complete cycle, some part of the swimmer’s head must break the surface of the water. All movements of the legs shall be simultaneous and on the same horizontal plane without alternating movement. 

SW 7.5 The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. Alternating movements or downward butterfly kicks are not permitted except as in SW 7.1. Breaking the surface of the water with the feet is allowed unless followed by a downward butterfly kick. 

SW 7.6 At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands separated and simultaneously at, above, or below the water level. At the last stroke before the turn and at the finish an arm stroke not followed by a leg kick is permitted. The head may be submerged after the last arm pull prior to the touch, provided it breaks the surface of the water at some point during the last complete or incomplete cycle preceding the touch.

This can seem very complicated but watch the video and you will see that once the swimmer turn and drives off the wall streamlined he does once powerful pull down past his hips he holds that position until he starts to slow and then drives his arms forward and does a big breaststroke kick. As he starts to slow he begins his first full breaststroke and you will see that the rule say your head must break the surface before your hands start the in sweep part of the pull! For Junior swimmers this means almost immediately as they have very little if any out sweep, make sure your head clears the surface in time!

This pull and kick are used at the start from a dive as well.

The dolphin/fly kick can be difficult for swimmers to get right and for the majority of Junior swimmers it's not of any benefit until they do it well, the most important thing is that it is just a downward kick and done as the arms are doing their big pull down to your sides. Any kick upwards or second kick will get you disqualified.

Note. Older powerful swimmers can have a stroke cycle that looks very much as though they are doing a dolphin kick at the end of every stroke, this is a grey area because modern breaststroke has an action very similar to butterfly which generates a lot of power, as long as the downwards kick looks part of the strokes kick cycle and not separate it is allowed. 

Other Videos can be found on the links below

SwimSwam 

Swimvortex