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Swimming Regulations –  NHSSA

Meetings will be conducted under the rules of FINA in conjunction with Swimming Australia Ltd (SAL) and Swimming Tasmania, except as hereinafter stated.

  • There are three NHSSA Carnivals – Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3. (Reviewed annually)
  • There is relegation and promotion between divisions each year.
  • The NHSSA carnivals will start no earlier than 9.30 – later depending on travel time.
  • All events are conducted in Grade groups.
  • There are two sets of records:
  • Divisional Records (achieved at each of the Divisional Carnivals)
  • NHSSA Records (collated at the completion of all three Divisional Carnivals)
  • There should be adequate lane ropes, blocks, flags, handholds for backstroke starts and a false start rope.
  • Referees and officials are to be appointed by NHSSA and Swimming Tasmania where possible.
  • NHSSA Executive Officer and Committee must check:
    • Access to exits.
    • Evacuation procedures
    • Provision and confirmation of lifeguards and their responsibilities


  • Entry forms will be emailed to all schools. These need to be filled out and returned by the due date.
  • Event Entries: For NHSSA carnivals, member schools may have entries in each individual event as follows.
  • Late Entries:  Where no name is entered for an event on a schools’ entry form, then no competitor will be allowed to compete for that school in that event unless a late entry is received 30 minutes prior to the start of the carnival.  Such late entries can only be accepted if there is a lane available in that event.
Division 1Division 2Division 3
50m Free4x50 Comb Age Free Relay324x50 Comb Age Free Relay3225m Free4x50 Comb Age Free Relay32
100m Free1 swimmer/race
9/10 G & B
41 swimmer/race
9/10 G & B
450m Free1 swimmer/race
9/10 G & B
50m Back1 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
81 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
825m Back1 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
50m Breast1 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
81 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
825m Breast1 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
100m Breast1 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
50m Fly1 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
41 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
425m Fly1 swimmer/race/
grade G & B
4x50 Free RelayAll grades
B & G
8All grades
B & G
84x24 Free RelayAll grades
B & G
4x50 Medley Relay7/8 G & B
9/10 G & B
47/8 G & B
9/10 G & B
44x25 Medley Relay7/8 G & B
9/10 G & B
4x50 Comb Age Free RelayG 7-10
B 7-10
2G 7-10
B 7-10
24x25 Comb Age Free RelayG 7-10
B 7-10
  • Students are allowed to compete in a maximum of 5 events. The relays can be additional.  In Div. 2 and 3 this rule (because of school numbers) may be relaxed to allow certain competitors to compete in more events. Common sense should prevail.
  • Competitors may only participatein one age group, however where and only when a particular event is not available in any age group, a competitor may participate in the next higher age group where the event occurs without it precluding him/her from participating in other events of their own age group. (e.g., 50m Freestyle (Div3), 100m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke (Div 1/2))”
  • Students may compete in a higher age group to fill a relay team in both the medley and freestyle relays (in addition to their own age group).
  • The combined age freestyle relay must have a representative from each age grade. (exceptional circumstances may apply – previously discussed with EO)
  • School coloured caps must be worn by all competitors. If a school is unable to uniform teams/individuals in accepted school caps the Executive Officer needs to be informed prior to the event.
  • The carnival will be a 2-start carnival and procedure are as follows: False Start – restart. Second start, anyone false starting is to be disqualified.
  • When a competitor or school is disqualified, it will not be announced. The school is to be notified of the reason through the delegate or teacher in charge, by an official as soon as possible.
  • Protests or disputes must be lodged with the organising administrative officer, by the person in charge of a team, within 15 minutes of receiving the disqualification notice. The organising administrative officer shall then refer the protest to the referee.
  • The resolution arising from any event shall be in the hands of the referee of the day as appointed by the organiser.
  • The first event for NHSSA carnivals will begin at 10:00am. Warm-up is allowed between 9.30 and 9.50am.
  • The order of events shall be, from youngest to oldest, alternating female/male.
  • Each individual event will have 1 heat, with one competitor from each school in each event, with the exception of Freestyle which will have 4 heats. Heat 1 will have the fastest swimmers  and Heat 2 will have the second fastest swimmers from each school.  
  • Each school may only enter one relay team in relay events.
  • Lane Allocation
    • A random draw will be conducted to determine lane allocation. A rotation will then occur. Each heat will have the same lane allocation for each Grade.
    • A separate lane is to be provided for each competitor.  They must swim in the lane allocated to them.
Points Allocation
  • Div 1 Swimming

Heat A – 50 Fly, Free, Back, 100 Free, 100 Breast – 1st – 18, 2nd – 16, 3rd – 14, 4th – 12, 5th – 10, 6th – 8

Heat B Free – 1st – 9, 2nd – 8, 3rd – 7, 4th – 6, 5th – 5, 6th – 4

Heat C Free – 1st – 8, 2nd – 7, 3rd – 6, 4th – 5, 5th – 4, 6th – 3

Heat D Free – 1st – 7, 2nd – 6, 3rd – 5, 4th – 4, 5th – 3, 6th – 2

All Relays – 1st – 36, 2nd – 32, 3rd – 28, 4th – 24, 5th – 20, 6th – 16

  • Div 2 Swimming

Heat A – 50 Free, 50 Breast, 50 Back, 50 Fly, 100 Free, – 1st – 16, 2nd – 14, 3rd – 12, 4th – 10, 5th – 8

Heat B Free – 1st – 8, 2nd – 7, 3rd – 6, 4th – 5, 5th – 4

Heat C Free – 1st – 7, 2nd – 6, 3rd – 5, 4th – 4, 5th – 3

Heat D Free – 1st – 6, 2nd – 5, 3rd – 4, 4th – 3, 5th – 2

 All Relays – 1st – 32, 2nd – 28, 3rd – 24, 4th – 20, 5th – 16

  • Div 3 Swimming

Heat A – 25 Free, 25 Breast, 25 Back, 25 Fly, 50 Free, – 1st – 16, 2nd – 14, 3rd – 12, 4th – 10, 5th – 8

Heat B Free – 1st – 8, 2nd – 7, 3rd – 6, 4th – 5, 5th – 4

Heat C Free – 1st – 7, 2nd – 6, 3rd – 5, 4th – 4, 5th – 3

Heat D Free – 1st – 6, 2nd – 5, 3rd – 4, 4th – 3, 5th – 2

All Relays – 1st – 32, 2nd – 28, 3rd – 24, 4th – 20, 5th – 16

  • Place ribbons are awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placegetters in all events. These will be presented as the event is completed.
  • Outstanding Performance Certificates are presented to Record Breakers. These will be sent to schools as soon as practicable after the carnival.
  • Shields are awarded in each Division for Junior, Senior, and Aggregate Results (Three shields). These will be presented at the completion of each carnival.
    • Junior (Grades 7/8 Boys and Girls Combined)
    • Senior (Grades 9/10 Boys and Girls Combined)
    • Aggregate (Grades 7 – 10 All Combined)
Announcement of Results
  • Record breakers will be announced first, followed by shield results.
  • Reading of shield results: schools placed fourth and below will have their place only announced, schools placed 3rd, 2nd and 1st will be announced in that order with their points.
  • The order of trophy presentation will be rotated annually to avoid any one group of trophies gaining pre-eminence.
  • The Executive Officer will send detailed results to School delegates as soon as possible after the carnivals.
  • If programs are to be used these will be produced and costs incurred by NHSSA.
Pool Protocols
  • Prior to your race:

You will be directed to assemble in the marshalling area a few events before the event you are swimming in. The Marshall will mark you off as present for your event, and just before your event is to start will walk you to the starting blocks and ensure you are standing in front of the lane you are to swim in.


  • The Start:

The Referee will blow one long whistle. This is the signal for you to step up onto the starting block.  If you do not wish to start on the starting block, then you can stand next to it or get into the water and hold onto the edge of the pool. It is important that you do this quickly, ready yourself for the starting signal and remain still.

For the start of a backstroke race the referee will blow one long whistle which is the signal for you to get into the water, and then will blow a second long whistle when all swimmers’ heads have surfaced. This second whistle is the signal to get yourself ready for the starting signal.

When all swimmers are steady the starter will announce  take your marks.  This is the signal for you to be ready to dive into the water, or to start swimming. You will then hear a long buzzer sound which is the signal to start swimming.  Do not start until you hear this buzzer.


  • The End of the Race:

Once all swimmers have finished the race, the referee will blow two short whistles. This is the signal for you to leave the pool. You do not leave the water until this signal. It is important that you exit the water from the sides of the pool and not climb up over the end. It is also important that you leave the water quickly so that the next race can be started.

Some tips concerning some of the strokes :


  • Backstroke is started in the water.
  • You must remain on your back throughout the race, with the exception when you are executing a turn.
  • At the finish you must be on your back, and you must have a part of your body above the water.



  • Your arms must be brought up over the surface of the water when doing your arm strokes; and they must be brought up over the water at the same time.
  • Your legs must be kept together throughout the race (butterfly kick); and your kicking action must be a dolphin type kick – you are not allowed to kick in the same way that you would kick in a Freestyle or Backstroke race.
  • When finishing the race you must finish with both hands touching the end, and they must touch at the same time.



  • You are allowed only one butterfly kickprior to the first breaststroke kick after the dive or after when making a turn (if applicable)
  • Your arms must move at the same time and in the breaststroke action.
  • Your legs must move at the same time and in the breaststroke action.
  • No butterfly kicking except for the one at the start and at each turn (if applicable) is allowed.
  • No freestyle kicking is allowed.
  • When finishing the race both hands must touch the wall at the same time, and they must touch the end apart.



  • It is important swimmer two does not start before swimmer one has touched the end; swimmer three does not start their turn until swimmer two has touched the end; and swimmer four does not start before swimmer three has touched the end.
  • If doing a Medley Relay (that involves the four different stroke) you must finish each stroke as you would in a normal race of each stroke

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