Safety Considerations for Coaches & Officials

Racing Start Proficiency

Effective May 1, 2009, USA Swimming's Board of Directors modified the racing start rule 103.2.2 (which already provides that racing starts should only be taught in at least 6 feet of water) to further clarify that racing starts should only be taught under the direct supervision of a USA Swimming member coach, and to expand the definition of teaching racing starts to make clear that no swimmer who has NOT been certified as proficient by his or her coach, should be performing racing starts into less that 6 feet of water.

Coaches are reminded that it is their responsibility to certify the racing start proficiency of every swimmer in their charge, and to mantain records documenting this assessment. Clubs are reminded that failure to comply with certification requirement is a violation of USA Swimming rules and may jeopardize club and coach insurance coverage.

Below are links to more in depth information regarding race start proficiency:

Water Depth Requirement

Per USA Swimming Rules & Regulations 103.2.2, the minimum water depth for teaching race starts in any setting from any height starting block or the deck shall be 6 feet (1.84 meters) measured for a distance of 3 feet 3-1/2 inches (1.0 meter) to 16 feet 5 inches (5.0 meters) from the end wall.

Requirements & Equivalents List

Under USA Swimming, all coaches must complete certain courses to validate their membership: Please click on the link below for a checklist of these requirements.

Membership Requirement Checklist For Coach Members

For more information on all of these requirements and their equivalents, visit USA Swimming's website.