Dear Gary, Could you please tell me why the flip-turn is not used in the breaststroke and butterfly?
It seems strange to me, because the flip-turn seems more fluid and more fun to watch.
Hi Wayne, What a great question.
I agree with your suggestion and have no doubt that sometime over the next ten years the rules for breaststroke and butterfly turns will be modified so that flip turns can be used. This innovation would create more excitement on the turns and really challenge the swimmers.
There would need to be very stringent rules especially for the breaststroke turn if a flip turn was implemented.
Both turns currently include the technical requirement that two hands much touch the wall at the same time and then the swimmer must rotate their body from one direction to the other to perform the turn. The quicker they rotate their body and position their feet on the wall for a stronmg push off, the faster they will go.
If a flip turn was introduced in breaststroke, the rule would need to be adjusted so that on the final stroke of breaststroke on each lap, the hands may be brought down past the hips at the beginning of the flip turn. I would imagine one fly kick may also be allowed.
The implementation of a flip turn in butterfly would be easier as the swimmer is already doing fly kick and could tumble over at the completion of the arm pull.
Swimmers would need to be very fit and have a strong lung capacity to perform a breastsroke or butterfly flip turn. Currently swimmers take a breath as their hands touch the wall in preparation for the split stroke in breaststroke or up to 15 metres underwater kick in butterfly. The deletion of this breath will really challenge most swimmers as their last breathe before the turn will be a second or two earlier.
The Swimming Expert