CSA trained officials, called Stroke and Turn Judges and Referees, monitor swimmers to determine that they are using proper/legal starts, strokes, turns, and finishes. When an infraction is observed by a judge (and confirmed by the referee), the swimmer is DQ’d. If that swimmer placed 1-4, the place if forfeited to the next fasted legal swimmer. Because of this, it is likely that a second or even third place finisher can end up in first place, however slow he/she swims. In training, coaches encourage swimmers to first learn to swim the stroke legally, then tweak their technique to swim faster.
While it can be disappointing to be DQ’d, these rules level the playing field and are for the swimmers’ benefit. Coaches teach proper stoke, turns, and finishes, but it can be a lot for a new swimmer to retain this information under pressure at a meet. DQ’s are normal and frequent for any team at the beginning of a summer season, and generally diminish closer to City Meet. As part of the learning process, DQ’s motivate swimmers to pay close attention to their coaches’ training and instruction and prepare them for City Meet.