If Ice Swimming Were In The Olympics, What Are The Rules?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

If an Ice Swim were added to future Winter Olympics, what would be the proposed rules and qualification process?Who would adjudicate these rules?

It makes most sense – and the only way to go – is to work within the existing infrastructure and entities. That is, ice swimmers can use the same fundamental rules and processes utilized by FINA for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim. The rules and processes have been accepted by the international sporting community which can also be used for the Olympic Ice Swim.

The parameters would include the following:

Event

A men’s 1 km competition and a separate women’s 1 km competition

Course

A point-to-point or out-and-back 1 km course in a lake near the Olympic Village.

Number of Athletes

25 men and 25 women

Rules of Competition

* Athletes line up at the start either onshore or on a floating starting pontoon, dive in, and race to the in-the-water finish

* Yellow cards and red cards are given for unsportsmanlike conduct and impeding by qualified referees on official’s boats

* Guide buoys at 200 meters are positioned along the course, but athletes can take any line from start to finish

* All other FINA rules apply, but additional medical staff are positioned along the course and at the finish line

Swimwear

* Porous swim briefs are required by the men; no jammers or tech suits allow

* Swimsuits that do not go beyond the upper leg or past the shoulders are required by the women

* Only one rubber or silicon swim cap permitted of standard thickness; no bubble caps or neoprene swim caps allowed

* Ear plugs permitted; no additional equipment or neoprene allowed

Qualification Process

* Host country is allowed one automatic qualifier, both male and female

* Remaining 24 participants are selected based off of timed 1 km races at two competitions; the fastest 12 participants by time, both male and female, in a 1 km qualification event at the Winter Swimming World Championships in Europe and Russian Winter Swimming Championships in Siberia are selected

For more information on this concept, read here.

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