Pool markings focal point of 2022-23 high school swimming and diving rules changes


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INDIANAPOLIS, IN — A collection of new markings for pool facilities constructed or renovated after January 1, 2023, stands out among the high school swimming and diving rules changes approved for the 2022-23 school year.

The markings, placed in a Table within Rule 2-4, were the most notable of the three rules changes brought forth by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee, which held its annual meeting March 20-22 at the Conrad Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The NFHS Board of Directors accepted all three rule change submissions.

The table includes four new measurements that constitute changes of the width of the line along the pool bottom, longer cross lines, shorter end wall targets below the water, and an exact listing for the distance between the end of the line on the pool bottom and the end wall.

The width of that line can now be anywhere from 8 to 12 inches rather than the previous range of 10 to 12 inches. The cross line has been extended from 36 inches to 3 feet, 4 inches (1 meter); the end wall targets below the water have been reduced from 3 feet, 6 inches to 3 feet, 4 inches (1 meter); and the space between the end of the pool line and the end wall should now be 6 feet, 7 inches (2 meters).

“Nationally recognized standards for newly constructed or renovated facilities after January 1, 2023, provides consistency for high school swimming,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “Facilities constructed prior to this date will remain in compliance in accordance with current specifications and will not require prior mutual consent of the competing teams unless state association regulations determine otherwise.”

Updated dimensions pertaining to the non-slip surface on the end wall were written into Rule 2-3-1. In addition to reaching 0.8 meters (2 feet, 7½ inches) below the water level, the non-slip surface should also extend at least 2 inches above the water beginning with the 2022-23 season. Additional new language in Rule 2-3-1 reads: “for pools constructed or renovated after January 1, 2023, it is recommended the end walls extend no less than 0.8 meters (2 feet 7½ inches) below and no more than 0.3 meters (12 inches) above the water surface.”

Finally, an editorial change was made to Rule 2-4-4, as it no longer includes the information referencing end wall height above the water now found in Rule 2-3-1.

A complete listing of the swimming and diving rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Swimming and Diving.”

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, swimming and diving is the 10th-most popular sport for boys with 136,638 participants in 7,704 schools, and the eighth-most popular sport for girls with 173,088 participants in 8,007 schools.

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