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Synchronised swimming: rules and regulations

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Team USA won in men's 4x100m medley relay

Team USA won in women's 4x100m medley relay

HOSSZÚ Katinka (HUN) won in women's 400m IM

LACOURT Camille (FRA) won in men's 50m backstroke

SJOSTROM Sarah (SWE) won in women's 50m freestyle

KALISZ Chase (USA) won in men's 400m IM

KING Lilly (USA) won in women's 50m breaststroke

Men's High diving results: 1. Steve Lo Bue (USA) 397.15 2. Michal Navratil (CZE) 390.90 3. Alessandro De Rose (ITA) 379.65

LEDECKY Katie (USA) won in women's 800m freestyle

SJOSTROM Sarah (SWE) just broke the World Record in women's 50m freestyle semi-final



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The most complex set of rules and regulations among aquatic sports is that of synchronised swimming. Considering the artistic character and the highly subjective evaluation process of the discipline the Technical Synchronized Swimming Committee (TSSC) seeks to lay down rules and regulations approved by all FINA member states related to all aspects, elements and routines. For this reason the synchronised swimming manual defines in detail the requirements of hosting tournaments, the scoring process of elements as well as of conducting and evaluating routines – highly popular among spectators-.

What might be useful to know for everyday people about conducting these tournaments is the following:


1. At the World Championships champions are appointed in 9 events: in solo, duet, mixed duet and team events, the ninth event is free combination. The routines of these events differ in length. The shortest is the technical routine solo with 2.00 mins time limit, while the longest is the 10-member combination routine with 4.30 min long programme. In routine events, the walk-on of the competitors from the designated starting point to achievement of a stationary position(s) may not exceed 30 seconds. Time allowance for deck movement is 10 seconds which is considered part of the programme.


2. Routines are judges by judges in side panels. For short routines scores reflect the evaluation of execution, overall impression and the quality of technical elements. Free routines are scored based on execution, artistic impression and level of difficulty. Scoring determines which 12 routines can go on to the finals where swimmers shall perform their free routine only. Champions are appointed based on the free routines in the final.


3. Judges give scores and deduct penalty points for non-conformity, such as the use of the bottom or side of the pool, omitted compulsory elements or deviating from the time limit of routines.


4. In addition to scoring judges several other officials are involved, too. They include clerks to measure time, check suits and accessories, supervisors of scoring and of judges, as well.


5. Judges of adequate qualifications, professional experience and many years of scoring experience shall be involved in world tournaments. Concerning Hungary Gabriella Kobolák and Ágnes Hegedűs conform to such criteria.