NCAA Considers Video Review for Swimming Violations

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The NCAA is considering a new rule that would allow video review of swimming violations.

Specifically, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Rules Committee suggested it may turn to video to determine if 15-meter violations were called accurately.

If approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on June 26, the rule would be effective for the 2019-20 academic year during the regular season and championships.

According to a post on the NCAA website, meet committees would decide when video reviews will be conducted prior to the event, and all participants would be informed before the competition. All reviews would be conducted before qualifiers/results are announced.

The referee would have sole jurisdiction over the review, and the referee’s decision is a judgement call not subject to further review or appeal. Only the referee and a conference or NCAA meet committee representative (who has no participating school affiliation) may view the video being used for replay review. 

Coaches would not be allowed to challenge a ruling and they are not allowed to review the video footage.

A 15-meter violation occurs when, after the start and each turn, a swimmer fails to break the surface of the water by the 15-meter mark.

“With the video technology that is available,” said Dan Gelderloos, committee chair and men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at Calvin, “we believe this rule will help maintain fairness for the athletes on decisions that may be difficult to judge.”

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