Proposed Changes To Ice Swimming Association

Proposed Changes To Ice Swimming Association

Courtesy of Ram Barkai, International Ice Swimming Association.

Ram Barkai announced that the posting of proposed changes to the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) Constitution. Several changes to the IISA events and sanctioned swims were significant, from the addition of shorter events to the definition of an Extreme Ice Swim.

Changes [in the proposed constitution – see here] are open for review. Please send any comments to International Ice Swimming Association.

The end of the season is almost there with many lessons learnt and challenges achieved. Well done to all swimmers, supporters, friends and families who helped us swimmers to to do these amazing Ice swims healthy and safe.

The growth in swims and interest in our mad sport is absolutely amazing. We have seen people rising to new personal achievements and times in the Ice races is dropping. Swimmers are gaining experience, physically an mentally and it is wonderful to see the improvement in the swims and in the recovery.

Nevertheless, as part of our growth, we have revisited our safety and swim integrity protocol and decided to introduce few changes to make our sport safer and tighter.

The growing demand for our 1 km events and the need to have a better way to qualify swimmers require that we introduce a way to monitor swimmer growth in the ICE. Therefore, we have decided to introduce shorter distance swims.

All these swims will be together with the 1 km events, they will be captured and added to swimmer biography. This will allow us to monitor swimmers growth and experience in the ICE and will make our sport safer.

We will invest significantly in our website and allow swimmers certificates for 1 km events to be added to their profiles. We will allow for medical and ECG certificates attached to swimmer bio so we don’t have to carry it around as a proof. We will load once a season and update it when required.

Once we publish the new amendments to the constitution, we will open the constitution for its annual review. Comments and suggestions are very welcome

New Changes to IISA constitution effective 1 May 2016

1. IISA has decided to tighten up the water temperature requirements. Any future swims as from the 1 May 2016 will be required to adhere to these changes.

a. The water temperature on any thermometer may not read more than 5ºC / 41ºF.
b. The variance between the thermometers reading must not be greater than 1ºC / 2ºF. If one is outside this tolerance it must be replaced.
c. For claims of a ºC Ice Mile, all thermometers must show a temperature lower than 1ºC / 32ºF;
d. The 3 thermometers’ average temperature stands as before. Nothing else changes. IISA decide to change this to make sure water temperature is certainly at 5ºC or below.
e. If the water temperature is borderline (4.8ºC – 5ºC), IISA will require temperature measurements at least two locations which are a minimum 20 meters apart within the swim area.
f. In an Event, it is the race director responsibility to monitor water temperature and swim integrity.

2. From 1 May 2016, Ice Mile application fees for members who have previously completed an Ice Mile will be reduced to $50.

3. With a 1 km or mile swim, it is permitted that coaches, seconds or other walk along the course for cheer and/or support. The safety officer and Event director’s approval is required to ensure no compromise to the swimmers or the event safety (this is not allowed by FINA).

4. If the swim course is an open water swim, the distance of the course is taken from the centre point of each buoy. No extra distance is allowed to be added for the turn.

5. Swimmers are allowed to swim with plasters/bandages if they are medically required so, as long as it does not give the swimmer an advantage and does not compromise the swim integrity.

6. The age limit for IISA events has been raised to 17 years on the date of the swim and 18 years for world championships.

7. IISA is introducing short/medium distance swims under IISA rules:

a. From 1 September 2016, IISA will allow for short/medium distances to be part of any IISA event.
b. The short/medium distances will be captured by IISA website and will be added to the events records and results.
c. All swims will be added to the swimmer’s bio on the IISA website to allow for monitoring of progress and used as qualifying in further swims.
d. The short/medium swims are strictly governed by IISA swim rules.
e. The short/medium swim results will not be used in the international records book [i.e., no world records, world championships, etc.]. They will only be used in the event results.
f. The new distances are:

i. 500m freestyle
ii. 200m freestyle
iii. 100m freestyle
iv. 50m freestyle
v. 200m breaststroke
vi. 100m breaststroke
vii. 100m individual medley (order – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, crawl)
viii. 4 x 100m mixed freestyle relay
ix. 4 x 50 mixed freestyle relay
x. 4 x 50 mixed IM relay
“Mixed” means at least one man and woman in the relay team.
xi. 25m single/relay fun swim – any attire allowed, no records taken.
xii. Not all the above has to be included in a single event.
xiii. The event director will stipulate maximum number of swim events allowed per swimmer per day.

8. Due to increased number of Ice Miles and attempts to push the limits, IISA has introduced the following new measures:

a. IISA will only recognize one Ice Mile attempt per 48 hours.
b. IISA strongly recommends that swimmers exercise extra caution when attempting longer swims or more frequent swims in the Ice.
c. This may be subject to change in the future as we learn more about prolonged exposure and frequent exposure to the ICE.
d. IISA defines a new category: Extreme Ice Swim (“EIS”) is an Ice Mile attempt with at least one of the below factors:

i. Water temp is at 2ºC or below
ii. Air Temperature / wind chill is below -10ºC
iii. Distant attempted is longer than 2 km
iv. Swim time is greater than 45 minutes

e. IISA does not approve of Ice Mile attempts if outside visibility is dark or very low light. Artificial lights are allowed if swimmer is visible and safe.
f. IISA requires extra safety measures for Extreme Ice Swim Attempts. i. Notify IISA by email to before the attempt – no approval required.
ii. A doctor must be on site.
iii. ECG must be maximum 1 month old at the time of the swim.
iv. Safety team, second, doctor and everyone on site must be informed of the attempt before the swim’s start.
v. Recovery area must have heating.
vi. Swimmer must be able to be lifted from the water within few seconds of decision.

9. IISA Ice Mile application – is compulsory (meaning Ice Mile will not be ratified without…).

a. A video clip of the start of the swim from entry to the water (approximately 1 minute).
b. A video clip of the end of the swim from entry to the water (approximately 1 minute).
c. Picture of the three thermometers with time/date stamp (place a digital watch or a cell phone next to it).

10. IISA will add two more fields to applications.

a. Stroke rate at the start (first 5 minutes).
b. Stroke rate at the end (last 5 minutes).
c. This will require the second to monitor the swimmer stroke rate.
d. We may choose, in the future, to set parameters relating to a swimmer’s stroke rate.

11. IISA to no longer provide Red Jackets or Badges.

a. The Red Jacket will be available directly online (from IISA site) from a selected supplier (at much better rate).
b. Badges will be available via your Country Association Chair/Board.
c. IISA Red Jackets swimmers are required to wear their Red Jackets at IISA formal events, dinner, dance, etc.
d. IISA Red Jacket can only be used by IISA ICE members.
e. The IISA badge must be attached on the left side pocket area.
f. IISA country jackets will use the Country Logo on the left pocket and IISA badge on the side arm.

12.IISA is aware that there are a few conflicting requirements in its constitution, especially between ICE Mile and 1 km swims. We are in the process of updating the constitution [see here].

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones