Open Water Swimming Rules 2009-2013

OWS 5.1 World Championships and FINA competitions shall be for Open Water distances, 25 kilometres, 10 kilometres and 5 kilometres, conducted at a venue and course approved by FINA.

OWS 5.2 The course shall be in water that is subject to only minor currents or tide and may be salt or fresh water.

OWS 5.3 A certificate of suitability for use of the venue shall be issued by the appropriate local health and safety authorities. In general terms the certification must relate to water purity and to physical safety from other considerations.

OWS 5.4 The minimum depth of water at any point on the course shall be 1.40 meter.

OWS 5.5 The water temperature should be a minimum of 16°C. It should be checked the day of the race, 2 hours before the start, in the middle of the course at a depth of 40 cm. This control should be done in the presence of a Commission made up of the following persons present: a Referee, a member of the Organising Committee and one coach from the teams present designated during the Technical Meeting

OWS 5.6 All turns/alterations of course shall be clearly indicated.

OWS 5.7 A clearly marked craft or platform, containing a Turn Judge, shall be positioned at all alterations of course in such a manner as not to obstruct a swimmer's visibility of the turn.

OWS 5.8 All Feeding Platforms, turning apparatus and Turn Judges craft/platforms shall be securely fixed in position and not be subject to tidal, wind or other movements.

OWS 5.9 The final approach to the finish shall be clearly defined with markers of a distinctive colour.

OWS 5.10 The finish shall be clearly defined and marked by a vertical face.