Do The Rules Of Open Water Swimming Need To Be Changed?

Do The Rules Of Open Water Swimming Need To Be Changed?

In this online discussion with Human Kinetics, the following question was asked (2 minutes into the interview), “Given the untimely death of Fran Crippen, do you think the rules of open water swimming need to be changed?”

The answer was as follows, “First and foremost, the rules of open water swimming need to be followed and the basic aspects of safety need to be strictly adhered to. The community of open water swimmers has been writing rules and guidelines to ensure safety in the open water since 1927. We are constantly writing and implementing new rules and this year is no different due to the tragic death of Fran Crippen. Risks are always inherent in our sport: currents, waves, marine life, everything presents an element of risk. Our rules have been written and developed over time to help recognize and minimize these risks. But it is a fact that problems occur when these established rules are not followed.”

And where the rules, procedures or protocols are not clear or undefined, then the practical, experienced voice of reason must take over. Swimmers, officials and coaches should be consulted with a balanced view of how the elements can affect those in the front of the pack as well as those in the rear of the pack.

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