April 26, 2009
To avoid risk of serious injury, no swimmer who has not been properly trained should attempt to perform a racing start, from either a starting block or the side of the pool, into less than six feet of water.
USA Swimming has implemented a racing start certification program where a swimmer’s coach documents his or her professional judgment that a swimmer has demonstrated sufficient skill to safely perform a racing start into four feet of water.
Although somewhat unusual, swimmers do not always participate in swimming competitions under the supervision of a certified coach. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure the swimmer does not attempt to perform a racing start in less than six feet of water if the swimmer has not been properly certified by the swimmer’s coach to do so. Beginning May 1, 2009 all swimmers must be certified to do a dive by their coaches.