Rules to play Finswimming

Rules to play Finswimming

1 . Finswimming

Finswimming is an underwater sport consisting of four techniques involving swimming with the use of fins either on the waters surface using a snorkel with either monofins or bifins i.e. one fin for each foot or underwater with monofin either by holding ones breath or using open circuit scuba diving equipment. Events exist over distances similar to swimming competitions for both swimming pool and open water venues. Competition at world and continental level is organised by the Conf

2 . Classes of competition

Competition is divided in two classes: swimming pool and long distance also called open water.

A swimming pool must be 50 m long by 21 m wide and 1.8 m deep, i.e. an Olympicsize swimming pool also known as a long course pool suitable for the holding of swimming races for either the Olympic Games and a FINA world championships.The International Rules do not permit the use of 25m length pools known as short course although these are used in regional and national competition.
Long distance sites include both the sea and natural water bodies such as freshwater rivers and lakes. Site selection criteria include low current and tides and water quality appropriate for swimming as certified by a local authority. The site, when in use for competition, will be marked by buoys, patrolled by safety boats and will have observation points or additional boats for judges to oversee any turns present in the course.

3 . Surface swimming

Surface swimming also known by its acronym, SF is swimming on the surface of water using mask, snorkel and monofins. SF races are held for distances of 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 4 ? 100 relay and 4 ? 200 relay metres in swimming pools and over various long distances in the openwater environment. Swimmers must remain on the surface of the water at all times for the duration of the race except when starting or make a turns at the end of a swimming pool where an immersion over a distance of 15m is permitted.

4 . Apnoea finswimming

Apnoea finswimming also known by its acronym, AP, and as apnoea or apnea is underwater swimming in a swimming pool using mask, monofin and holding ones breath. AP races are held for the distance of 50m. A swimmers face must be immersed for the duration of the race or risk disqualification. AP races are not conducted in open water for safety and security reasons.

5 . Immersion swimming with breathing

Immersion swimming with breathing apparatus also known by its acronym, IM, and as immersion is underwater swimming using mask, monofin and underwater breathing apparatus conducted in a swimming pool. While there are no requirements on how a breathing apparatus is carried, it cannot be exchanged or abandoned during a race. IM races are held for distances of 100 and 400 m. A swimmers face must be immersed for the duration of the race or risk disqualification. IM races are not conducted in open water for safety and security reasons.Historically, IM swims were conducted in openwater up to distances of 1000m.

6 . Bi fins

Bifins also known by its acronym, BF or as stereofins is swimming on the surface of water with mask, snorkel and a pair of fins using a crawling style. BF races are held for distances of 50, 100 and 200 m in swimming pools and over various long distances in the openwater environment such as 4 km and 6 km. It is reported that BF was introduced in 2006 to provide the opportunity for competition by swimmers who cannot afford to purchase a set of monofins. Swimmers must remain on the surface of the water at all times for the duration of the race except when starting or make a turns at the end of a swimming pool where an immersion of a distance of 15m is permitted.

7 . Equipment

Finswimming which is often compared to sports swimming differs from that sport in the use of masks, fins, snorkels and underwater breathing apparatus. This reflects the sports origins in the underwater diving techniques of snorkelling, breathhold diving and open circuit scuba diving.
Apart from requiring the use of a mask for protection of the eyes and for the ability to see underwater, the international rules have no requirements regarding selection. Centremounted snorkels also known as front snorkels are the only type approved for use subject to meeting minimum and maximum sizes. Fins are also regulated by the international rules. Monofins have a maximum size which can be checked by the use of a template while bifins must be one of the brands certified i.e. homologated by CMAS.
Underwater breathing apparatus is restricted to open circuit scuba using compressed atmospheric air as the breathing gas. The use of oxygen enriched mixtures is forbidden. Cylinders are limited by maximum cylinder pressure rating of 200 bar and a minimum cylinder capacity of 0.4 litres. While there are no requirements for regulators, swimmers appear to be free to modify these to remove any unnecessary parts

8 . Appeal

The main appeal of finswimming is reported by some as being the speed that a swimmer can reach.The world record for the 50 m freestyle, Long Course in sports swimming see World records in swimming, is 20.91 seconds by Cesar Cielo of Brazil. In finswimming it is 13.89 seconds for 50 m Apnea by Mauricio Fern

9 . Training

Unlike most sports swimming training programmes, finswimming training tends to be far more specific and more like systems used for track running in athletics.In addition, finswimming training tends to have more dryside work, including a huge amount of core stability as core strength, plyometrics and weight training.It has been recorded that sports swimmers tend to approach finswimming with preconceptions on technique, which can limit their success.

10 . World Championship

The World Championship is held every two years in odd numbered years for senior swimmers starting with the year 2007 and in even numbered years for junior swimmers starting with the year 2008. Pool competition held over five days while open water competition is held over a maximum of three days.

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