Underwater Swimming: A Guide on 15 Meter Rule Swimming

Underwater Swimming: A Guide on 15 Meter Rule Swimming Most swimming competitions,
Underwater Swimming

Underwater Swimming: A Guide on 15 Meter Rule Swimming


Most swimming competitions, including backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle races, adhere to the 15-meter rule. There are stricter guidelines for breaststroke underwater swimming strokes. However, where did the 15-meter rule swimming originate from, and why is it relevant? How can you employ it to your swimming advantage?


Here are all the details you require to know on 15-meter rule swimming.


Presenting the dolphin kick:


Twenty years back, an American swimmer called David Berkoff made an underwater swimming-related observance and chose to place it into action. In an interview with NPR, he stated, “It appeared quite evident that kicking underwater swimming looked to be much speedier than floating on the surface.” His experiments with spending an increasing percentage of his race underwater were successful thanks to the significant advantage it afforded him.


At the Olympics in 1988, he established the 100-meter backstroke world record for most distance underwater swimming. Soon after, the 15-meter rule was implemented for backstroke competitions to ensure that the race remained primarily about backstroke technique rather than devolving into an underwater swimming dolphin kick race with a dash of backstroke tacked on at the end. This allowed swimmers to benefit from the strong start it provides.


Underwater swimming today:


The advantages of the dolphin kick are now generally acknowledged and employed in all strokes that support them. Butterfly and freestyle events are now included under the 15-meter regulation. Michael Phelps , an American swimmer, made headlines during the 2016 Olympics not just for his impressive medal haul but also for spending more time under than any of his rivals during the 4×100 meter freestyle relay.


Phelps’ dolphin kick is more potent and effective than others due to his physique and comfort level with underwater swimming, making it a successful tactic for him even in shorter freestyle races when most swimmers surface more quickly.


What scientific principle rearwards the dolphin kick? 


So why do kicks in underwater swimming go more quickly than surface strokes? You make waves as you breach the water’s surface, which adds to the drag and causes a slight slowdown. When all that drag is added across several strokes, it can result in a sizable loss of time, particularly at the highest levels, where success is frequently measured in hundredths of a second. On other hand, swimming beneath the surface results in the swimmer going without air for that time. Each swimmer will have a distinct optimal ratio of cardiovascular and muscular efficiency.


Learn to comply with the 15-meter rule:


Even though the dolphin kick’s range has been reduced to 15 meters, you should still employ it. It is an effective technique for gaining momentum and knowing how long can you stay underwater after diving or twisting. However, nobody wants to be disqualified for using it a tiny bit excessively. The 15-meter mark in competition pools is clearly marked, so it makes sense to train as you want to compete, being careful to surface before that marker.


Ask whether they’d consider putting permanent marks at 15 meters to the pool if you practice there, or see if you can gain permission to install a temporary marker, like duct tape. To stay clear of that disqualification line, you must have an excellent set of non-fogging goggles.


What is the demand for the 15 meter rule?


To lessen unfair competition, the regulation was established. Swimming quicker and with less drag requires staying submerged. However, everyone has a different maximum amount of time they can underwater swimming before needing to surface for air. It equalizes the competition by requiring all swimmers to breach the water’s surface by the same amount.


To maintain fair underwater swimming competition, the 15 meter rule is required. It’s a crucial guideline that all swimmers, no matter how experienced they are, must keep in mind when competing.