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Rules and Regulation


OWS 7.1 The area leading to the finish apparatus should be clearly marked by rows of buoys which narrow as they get closer to the finish wall. Escort safety craft should be stationed at the approach to and entrance of the finish lane to ensure that only the escort safety craft authorized to do so enter or cross this entrance.

OWS 7.2 The finish apparatus should, where possible, be a vertical wall at least 5 metres wide fixed if necessary to floatation devices, securely fastened in place so as not to be moved by wind, tide or the force of a swimmer striking the wall. The finish should be filmed and recorded by video system with slow motion and recall facilities including timing equipment. The finish should be filmed and recorded from each side and above by a video system with slow motion and recall facilities including timing equipment.

OWS 7.2.1 When automatic Officiating Equipment is used for timing of competitions in accordance with rule SW 11, microchip transponder technology capable of providing split times is mandatory and should be added to the Equipment. Use of microchip transponder technology is mandatory for competitions at the World Championships and Olympic Games. Microchip transponder timing technology will be recorded officially in tenths of seconds. The final places will be determined by the referee based upon the finish judges’ report and the finish video tape.

OWS 7.2.2 It is mandatory for all swimmers to wear a microchip transponder on each wrist throughout the race. If a swimmer loses a transponder the Race Judge or other authorised Official, will immediately inform the Referee who will instruct the responsible Official on the water to issue a replacement transponder. Any swimmer who finishes the race without a transponder will be disqualified.

OWS 7.2.3 When, at the finish of an Open Water Swimming competition, a touch pad / vertical wall is available, swimmers must touch the touch pad / vertical wall to finish the race. Any swimmer who does not touch the touch pad / vertical wall will be disqualified.

OWS 7.3 The Finish Judges and Timekeepers shall be placed so as to be able to observe the finish at all times. The area in which they are stationed should be for their exclusive use.

OWS 7.4 Every effort should be made to ensure that the swimmers' representative can get from the escort safety craft to meet the swimmer as they leave the water.

OWS 7.5 Upon leaving the water some swimmers may require assistance. Swimmers should only be touched or handled if they clearly display a need, or ask for assistance.

OWS 7.6 A member of the medical team should inspect the swimmers as they leave the water. A chair, in which the swimmer can sit while an assessment is made, should be provided.

OWS 7.7 Once cleared by the medical member, swimmers should be given access to refreshment.