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Competition Rules

Competition Specific Rules and Info


General Conditions for Pool Competition

Team management and competitors are responsible for being familiar with the competition schedule, and with the rules and procedures governing events.

  1. In all events, at the conclusion of the race, competitors shall remain in the water in their lane until instructed by the referee to leave the pool. Failure to do so will result in the event being declared invalid.
  2. Competitors must take part in all events, failure to do so will result in disqualification.
  3. Competitors must exit by the sides of the pool, not by the pool end over timing pads.
  4. Competitors shall wear swim caps in all events.


Prior to the start of each race, designated officials shall:

  1. Check that all officials and judges are in position.
  2. Check that competitors are in correct positions.
  3. Check that all equipment is in a safe and correct position.
  4. Notify competitors to remove all clothing except for swimwear and get ready to race. When competitors and officials are ready for a legal start, a designated official shall:
  5. Signal the official start of each race with a long whistle indicating that the competitors should take their position on the starting platform.
  6. Signal the starter (that the competitors are under the starter’s control) with an outstretched arm in the direction of the course.
  7. Starts are in accordance with the one start rule.


  1. On the long whistle, competitors’ step onto the starting platform and remain there.
  2. On the starter’s “Take your marks” command, competitors immediately assume a starting position with at least one foot at the front of the starting platform. When competitors are stationary, the starter gives the acoustic starting signal. Competitors may start on the starting platform, or on the pool deck, or in the water.
  3. For in water starts the competitor must have one hand on the pool edge or on the starting block.


  1. All competitors who start (i.e., commence a forward starting motion) before the starting signal has been given, shall have their event declared invalid.
  2. If the starting signal sounds before the invalidation is declared, the race shall continue, and the competitor(s) shall be informed of the invalidation upon completion of the race.
  3. If the invalidation is declared before the starting signal, the signal shall not be given; the remaining competitors shall be called back and start again.
  4. If an error by an official follows a fault by a competitor, the fault of the competitor may be expunged.

Competitor Control

All Competitors must start, always finish and compete in their defined area and
must remain in that area until told to leave by the Referee or Nominee.

Aquatic Initiative Test

 Competitors will have 90 seconds to respond to an Aquatic Initiative Test, which will not be previously known to them.

  1. The initiatives shall be in accordance with the current edition of the ‘Nationa Lifesaving Academy’ Manual.
  2. Competitors will be held in Security from the time the Security Room closes until called to compete.
  3. The giving of any unfair assistance or unauthorised information will result in disqualification.
  4. Every effort will be made to ensure that each Individual/Team is presented with the same emergency.
  5. CPR must only be performed on a manikin. Chest compressions performed on a live subject will result in invalidation of the test and last place allocated.
  6. One or more manikins may be used as Subjects.
  7. Competitors are to wear a shirt. The short-sleeved shirt can be either a T Shirt or a polo shirt. In addition, competitors will wear full-length trousers over their swimwear at the start of their aquatic initiative test. The competitor may use their clothing as an aid during the initiative test, as required.

New Competition!

Branch Lifesaving Championships 14/07/24

This is a large lifesaving championship for all levels and abilities in lifesaving. Entry Closes on the 30th June 2024

Click for more info