2/24/16 – Swimming and Diving Starting Block wedges

February 24, 2016 Swimming Blog Updates

The KHSAA administered a survey to participating member school designated representatives (normally the school AD) regarding the use of starting block wedges at the state swimming and diving meet for 2016. The purpose of this survey was to receive feedback from schools participating in the state meet to determine whether or not their athletes had had the opportunity to utilize these wedges during the season and whether or not they would be in favor of allowing their use at the state meet.

Only 25 of the schools with a swimming program had utilized these wedges in the past with only 34 total schools in favor of utilizing them at the state meet. Especially critical in the information gathering process was the fact that several coaches expressed concern about their athletes lack of familiarity with the blocks and the potential competitive disadvantage their athletes would be placed in by trying to familiarize themselves with these wedges. In addition, it was noted by multiple respondents that this should only be done after the wedges had been permitted in regions as well. While several made comments in favor of the blocks, it is apparent that this issue should be vetted on a much larger scale within our swimming community rather than making a last minute decision after postseason meets have already been conducted.

For this reason, the State Instructions remain as they were distributed and the wedges will not be permitted at this year’s state meet. For those interested coaches, the issue of the use of wedges, at both region and state competition, will be placed on the agenda for the Advisory Committee of Swimming coaches and administrators when they meet this fall, and that discussion will serve as input for any decisions made for the 2017 postseason meets.

Thanks to each of you for your passion and support of swimming and diving, and to those who participated in the information gathering process.