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Synchronised Swimming Module Teaching Manual

Produced and published by the STA: STA Birch Street Walsall West Midlands WS2 8HZ Phone: 01922-645097 Fax: 01922-720628 Email: sta@sta.co.uk Web: www.sta.co.uk The STA would like to thank Christine Rankin for help in developing this module. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, computerised or otherwise, without prior arrangement with the STA.

Synchronised Swimming Module Teaching Manual

Contents
Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) _________________________________ 3 Teaching Programme Completion Declaration ______________________________ 7 1. Introduction ___________________________ 8 On going Training _________________________ 8 The Synchronised Swimming Teacher CPD Programme _______________________________ 8 Safety____________________________________ 8 Pool Suitability ____________________________ 8 Equipment________________________________ 8 The STA Awards __________________________ 8 Refraction ________________________________ 8 2. What is Synchronised Swimming? _______ 9 Synchronised Swimming ____________________ 9 Benefits of Teaching Synchronised Swimming ____ 9 Introducing Synchronised Swimming __________ 9 Terminology _____________________________ 10 Variations _______________________________ 11 Basic Strokes _____________________________ 11 Stroke Adaptions__________________________ 11 Basic Skills ______________________________ 12 Basic Positions ___________________________ 14 Basic Figures _____________________________ 15 Entries__________________________________ 15 3. Planning a Routine_____________________ 17 Use of Music and Choreography ______________ 17 Individual Routine _________________________ 18 Duet ____________________________________ 18 Teams and Groups _________________________ 18 Simple Routine Explained ___________________ 19 4. Teaching Synchronised Swimming ______ 20 How to Introduce Synchronised Swimming to Classes __________________________________ 20 Lesson Plans ____________________________ 22 5. Support Information ___________________ 23 Twists and Spins __________________________ 23 Deep Water ______________________________ 23 More Entries _____________________________ 24 Arm Movements __________________________ 24 Hyperventilation __________________________ 24 Stretches_________________________________ 24 6. Training and Competition ______________ 25 Land Based Training _______________________ 25 Displays _________________________________ 26 Competitions _____________________________ 26 Competition Rules _________________________ 26

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Safety Training Awards


The Awarding Body of the STA
Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE YOU ATTEND THE CPD AND HANDED TO THE COURSE TUTOR. SECTION 1
YES 1 2 NO Are you pregnant? Within 15-20 minutes of contact with latex, for example blowing up of balloons, wearing of rubber gloves or using any other latex product, have you ever have suffered from: - Swelling of lips/face, Itching, Redness/blistering?

SECTION 2 During your course you will be required to participate in a variety of practical sessions. All
activities have been carefully risk assessed, and will be demonstrated by your Tutor before you are asked to perform them. However, there may still be the risk of Musculo-Skeletal Injuries from the lifting and moving of objects (and people for pool courses) and the physical activities in water. These activities will also place extra demands upon your cardiovascular (heart & lungs) system. In order for the tutor to train you safely and provide guidance pertinent to you personally he/she will need to know about any pre-existing condition which you may have. Please read the questions carefully and answer each one honestly. If you knowingly give incorrect information the Tutor and STA can bear no responsibility for any resultant injury or pain. YES 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 NO Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor? Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity? In the past month, have you had chest pain when you are not doing physical activity? Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose consciousness? Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity? Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart condition? Do you know of any reason why you should not do physical activity?

If you answer YES to any of the questions 3 9, then you are required to obtain your Doctors written permission BEFORE attending a course. (Doctors Letter available to download from www.sta.co.uk)

Name: .Date: ............................................ Signature: ...................................................................................................................................................................


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Teaching Programme Completion Declaration


STA Synchronised Swimming CPD Module Details
Candidates Name Membership Number Course Venue Course Date Course Tutor (1) Course Tutor (2)

Pre-requisite Qualifications
Teachers Qualification Please STA Swimming Teachers Certificate Full Equivalent Date Awarded: Details of Pool Rescue Award Please NaRS Pool Lifeguard NaRS Pool Safety Award Equivalent Date Awarded: Please provide details: Expiry Date: NaRS Pool Attendant NaRS Poolside Helper Please provide details: Expiry Date:

STA Synchronised Swimming Completion Declaration


I confirm that the above named teacher has completed the STA Synchronised Swimming CPD Module. Signed by the Tutor: Signed by the Candidate: Date: Course Ref:

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Teaching Programme Completion Declaration


STA Synchronised Swimming CPD Module Details
Candidates Name Membership Number Course Venue Course Date Course Tutor (1) Course Tutor (2)

Pre-requisite Qualifications
Teachers Qualification Please STA Swimming Teachers Certificate Full Equivalent Date Awarded: Details of Pool Rescue Award Please NaRS Pool Lifeguard NaRS Pool Safety Award Equivalent Date Awarded: Please provide details: Expiry Date: NaRS Pool Attendant NaRS Poolside Helper Please provide details: Expiry Date:

STA Synchronised Swimming Completion Declaration


I confirm that the above named teacher has completed the STA Synchronised Swimming CPD Module. Signed by the Tutor: Signed by the Candidate: Date: Course Ref:

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1.

Introduction
Pool Suitability
The ideal pool would be at least 12 metres in length and width and 3 metres deep. This would be important for competition but not necessary for introducing and teaching basic Synchronised swimming as few pools nowadays have such dimensions. Where the pool does not meet these requirements a careful risk assessment must be undertaken to determine what can be safely taught.

This manual provides the underpinning knowledge for those qualified swimming teachers wishing to teach Synchronised Swimming.

On going Training
This Module is delivered as a CPD seminar for qualified Swimming Teachers who hold a minimum qualification STCF or equivalent. Regular attendance at CPD seminars, workshops and evidence of teaching experience is required to maintain the validity of the qualification.

The Synchronised Swimming Teacher CPD Programme


This Programme is designed for those who wish to teach Synchronised Swimming to pupils already attending swimming lessons to add variety to their classes or as a separate topic for pupils who can already swim. It aims to provide teachers with the knowledge and skill to adapt swimming strokes and to design simple routines for individuals and teams. This module is available as an additional topic for qualified swimming teachers. The module is an Introduction to Synchronised Swimming and can be delivered as a half day seminar.

Equipment
Pupils taking part in Synchronised Swimming will be required to wear swim caps and nose clips for their own comfort. Should they progress to taking part in competition they would be expected to wear appropriate matching swimwear and head dress. Routines are likely to take place to music therefore music equipment that can be safely played on pool side will also be required. See section on using music page 17.

The STA Awards


Teachers completing this Introduction to Synchronised Swimming CPD Module will be eligible to teach and assess the Synchronised Swimming elements in the ILSP award scheme and the TOPS schools programme. Those wishing to become involved in more advanced Synchronised Swimming Routines or Clubs will be required to attend additional training.

Safety
As with the teaching of any aquatic discipline safety is paramount. All pupils taking part in Synchronised Swimming must be able to swim to the standard required to safely take part in the skill being taught and in the depth of water necessary to perform the skill. The depth of water and the extent of the required water depth will determine the skills that can be taught. Teachers will also need to be aware of individual pupil heights and abilities and therefore rigorous pre-course assessment should be undertaken. Teachers must also be aware of the risks associated with Hyperventilation. See section on page 24

Refraction
Refraction occurs when a light ray changes mediums. Light travelling from air and going into water for example. The speed of the light ray changes upon changing mediums this causes the light to bend and images below the water appear distorted. It is important for Synchronised Swimming Teachers to be aware of this as the figures are performed underwater. A dolphin figure, for example will look like an oval rather than a circle when viewed from above.

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What is Synchronised Swimming?


stamina. Swimmers need to have good basic technique of all strokes. Synchronised swimming is performed to music either as a solo, pairs or in teams. Breath control, stamina, co-ordination and timing are therefore important skills that need to be developed in any associated learning programme. Synchronised swimming provides variety and can be adjusted to suit all standards of swimmers, pool dimensions and depths. Team spirit is generated and this further encourages the development of personal awareness, social awareness, spatial awareness and interaction. Synchronised swimming is not only an attractive sport, but also challenging. It involves a multitude of skills and leads to awards that provide a good springboard for further swimming successes.

Synchronised Swimming
Synchronised swimming is a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers (either individuals, duets, teams or groups) performing a synchronised routine of complex moves in the water, accompanied by music. Synchronised swimming demands advanced water skills, and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater. Developed in the early 1900s in Canada, it was a sport performed by both men and women. In its early form it was sometimes known as "water ballet". First demonstrated in 1952, synchronised swimming has been an official sport at the Summer Olympic Games since 1984. The 1984 through to 1992 Olympics featured Singles and Duet competitions, but they were both dropped in 1996 in favour of a Team competition. At the 2000 Olympics, however, the Duet competition was restored and is now featured alongside the Team competition. Olympic and World Championship competition is not open to men, but other international and national competitions allow male competitors. Competitors show off their strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance required to perform difficult routines. Swimmers perform two routines for the judges, one technical and one free. Synchronised Swimming is governed internationally by FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation).

Introducing Synchronised Swimming


It is important to assess when and how to introduce synchronised swimming into normal swimming sessions. It is also vital to ensure a development plan of logical progressions, so that the interest and enthusiasm of all pupils, particularly beginners can be inspired and maintained. Teachers must have a thorough knowledge of the principles that keep the swimmer balanced in the water and move them through the water. Understanding refraction is important, as the figures are mostly performed underwater but viewed from above. Sculling is the procedure by which the body is propelled, balanced, supported and controlled. Sculling is used in all swimming strokes; when performed correctly enables the swimmers to have far more control over their movements. Teachers need to have an appreciation of why so much emphasis is placed upon the value of sculling and how it is taught. Treading Water, especially the egg beater method is another essential skill, it is the means by which synchro swimmers remain stationary, travel in a vertical position and generate lift.

Benefits of Teaching Synchronised Swimming


The use of the skills that are needed during Synchronised Swimming have a valued place in teaching stroke technique and overall improvement of a swimmers movement through the water. Synchronised swimming can be enjoyed by students of all ages. It develops self-discipline, good body posture, cardio-vascular, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance and

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Terminology
In everyday conversation Turn, Somersault, Rotate, and Spin all describe the same action. In Synchronised Swimming the words have more specific meanings. The majority of figures involve some form of rotation about one of three main body axes. 1. Longitudinal axis roll 2. Dorso-ventral axis turntable 3. Lateral axis somersault Somersaults Forward, backward, tucked, piked. Horizontal plane rotation. Body held in layout, tuck or pike. Sculling Rolls Rotation in the vertical plane. Rotation height. at a constant Twirl Roll change

brought above the head after a rapid breaststroke kick is performed while the arms push down, the body is then thrust upwards in a flourish. Figures Specific shapes performed by the synchro swimmer Oyster, Heron, Marlin etc. As defined by the FINA Handbook. Body roll of 180 degrees with 90 degree change in trunk position from horizontal to vertical or vice versa. Figure of eight hand motion for support and travelling. A rapid twist in an inverted, vertical position. Two swimmers start in line in back layout and change places. One grabs the ankle of the other and submerges. The partner glides over the top and their positions are reversed. Two or more synchro swimmers are connected in a line. The feet of one, with the neck of the other.

Turntables

Twists

Spin

Can rise or descend. Rotating on a vertical axis. Raising part of the body e.g. one or both legs above the surface. Mixture of 2 or 3 strokes or figures

Planking

Elevation

Hybrids

Dolphin chain Transition Change from one movement or position to another Position of the body when laying horizontally on the surface of the water either supine (back layout) or prone (front layout).

Layout

Thrusts/Foot first Boost/Barracuda From a submerged pike position, the legs lift vertically, the trunk unrolls to reach alignment with the hips & feet. The hands reach beyond feet scull up to approximately the hips, turn out & push to the bottom. BodyJump/Boost Head first, vertical position, treading water (egg beater), legs circling quickly, hips held near water surface, arms

Dolphin Pinwheel Dolphin chain is executed by 3 or more synchro swimmers. They form a complete circle and rotate taking a quick breath at the surface before submerging again. Egg-beater
Positive Buoyancy Factor (P.B.F.)

An alternating stroke kick.

breast-

A measure of the resultant buoyancy force acting on the body in a vertical direction upwards. When the body is submerged it will cause the body to rise to the surface. When floating, it will enable part of the body to be supported above the surface.

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Variations
Synchronised Swimming can take different forms and routines can be performed by: Individuals Duets Teams Groups Routines include Entries Exits Swimming strokes, sculling and treading water Figures Patterns Formations

water straight and bends under the water. The hand sculls underwater and pulls through ready to recover over the water. Bent arm The recovering arm remains bent with high elbow and re-enters the water finger tips first. The opposite hand sculls for balance as with back crawl. Salute As bent arm but hand taps head in salute before re-entering the water.

Breaststroke
Push As the arms recover forward the hands are turned so that the fingers point upwards and the palms push the water in front of the swimmer. Bunny After the propulsive phase as the hands come together under the chin they come up, out and briefly over the water before being recovered under the water as usual. Side-sweep The swimmer swims in the usual way but using small arm actions alternating with one arm doing a wide single sweep to the side each side in turn.

Basic Strokes
All basic swimming strokes can be adapted to Synchronised swimming, the emphasis in each case being in controlled, balanced movement and patterns. Strokes are the easiest method of movement across the pool. They are also used in transitional movements from one figure to another. The body position is head up with the hips well under the water, water resistance is greatly increased. Front crawl is the hardest stroke due to the increase in frontal resistance.

Front Crawl Variations

Stroke Adaptions
Back Crawl
Straight arm - The arm leaving the water is held straight, thumb clearing the water first. As the extended arm reaches the vertical it is rotated so that it enters the water in advance of the head, little finger first. The hand should be firm, fingers together. As the hand clears and enters the water it slices like a knife, the hand under the water sculls for balance. Bent arm The arm leaving the water is bent during recovery with a high elbow, straightening just before entry. The hand under the water sculls for balance. Tap-tap As straight arm but as arm leaves the water palm turns downward, moves across the body to tap the water at the opposite hip, then back to tap the water at the hip on the side of the recovering arm before turning to enter the water in the usual way. Military Style As bent arm but before the bent arm straightens to re-enter the water the head is tapped as if saluting. Straight Arm

Pulling with Scull Bent Arm

Military Style

Front Crawl
Straight arm The arm leaves the water thumb up and remains straight. The arms enters the

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Breaststroke Variation

Treading Water All methods should be practised but especially the egg beater technique. This is an alternating breast stroke action with the body in a vertical position and the knees wider than the hips. Mastering this method of treading water is essential for Synchronised swimmers. It enables the swimmers to maintain a stable position in the water, change direction smoothly, perform graceful arm movements above the water and gain lift above the water. Egg Beater Kick

Back Crawl Variations Bunny Style Floating - These are the starting positions for teaching and performing figures. Sculling - Is a basic skill for support or propulsion, it allows balance and control, whilst in the water. The action is created by the smooth movements of the arms and hands towards and away from the centre line of the body (figure of eight action). The hands are flat with fingers together. The movement is continuous with a force applied. Positioning of the fingers determines the direction of travel. Bent Arm Pushing with Scull Military Style

Straight Arm Pushing with Scull

Dolphin butterfly - This stroke rarely used except for training. Side stroke - This can be used for transition and patterns. Hybrid strokes Combining several strokes. Changing Strokes This should be executed smoothly. i.e. 8 x front crawl variation, lateral roll 8 x back variations strokes or 8 x breast stroke variation backward roll 8 x back stroke variation etc.

Basic Skills
There are some basic skills that must be mastered before more advanced techniques are attempted. Breathe control Practise using a nose clip. Various breathing exercises, under water swimming practice and submerged games.

Standard scull The swimmer is in the back layout position with arms by their side, hands held firm with fingers together and pointing upwards with palms towards the feet. Movement is from the shoulders with the hands moving at the wrists in a figure of eight action. Travel is head first.

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Flat scull This is a supporting, stationary position with the swimmer in back layout, arms close by their sides, hands firm with palms facing down. Movement is from the shoulders with the hands moving slightly away from the body in a figure of eight action.

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More Advanced Sculls


Canoe Prone position with the head raised in order to keep the mouth clear of the water and back arched. Shoulders and feet are close to the surface of the water. Arms are close to the body with hands under the hips. Fingers point to the bottom of the pool, wrists extended and palms facing towards the feet. Propulsion is provided by a continuous sculling action. Travel is head first.

Reverse scull The swimmers is again in the back layout position, hands are by their side with fingers pointing down, palms towards the head. Movement is from the shoulders with the hands moving in a figure of eight action. Travel is feet first.

Canoe

Back layout This is the start position for many of the figures performed in synchronised swimming. The body is held in a supine, flat, horizontal, streamlined position. Ears, shoulders, hips, knees and toes should be at water level with eyes looking up, toes pointed. Arms can be by the side, palms down or extended above the head palms up. The position should be firmly held and a flat scull used to remain stationary. Back Layout

Torpedo From a back layout position the arms are extended above the head keeping the whole body in line. Fingers point towards the bottom of the pool, with palms facing away from the head and the stomach is firm with a slight pelvic tilt. A sculling action from the hands, through the arms to the shoulders, with elbows slightly bent and wrists hyper-extended provides propulsion. The scull remains narrow and travel is feet first. The scull may be performed in an alternating or simultaneous action. Direction of skull Dolphin This is the reversed Torpedo Scull, in the same supine position but with the palms facing towards the feet. Travel is head first. Lobster Very similar to the Torpedo Scull but in a prone position. This method is rarely used in figures but is good practice, emphasising body control. Travel is feet first. The body is streamlined, with the face in the water, both arms extended beyond the head and wide of the shoulder line. The sculling action is carried out with the fingers turned upwards. Having the face in the water counter balances the legs from sinking. Head up, the legs move in a slow alternating action to balance the body.

Front layout As back layout but swimmer in a prone position. Face can be in or out of the water. Front Layout

Side layout Starting from the back layout position the swimmer extends one arm above the head, while the other arm is by their side palm against the leg. The swimmer rolls onto their side so that their head rest on the extended arm which is below the water surface, the other arm remains along the body but is now above the water surface. This is a fully stretched position with the body in a straight line or arched depending on the figure to be performed. Practise is required to remain in this position.

Lobster Reverse Lobster Rarely used but good for practise. Travel is head first, palms dropped.

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Somersaults and Rolls For practice in performing some figures. Forward From the back layout position, the swimmer draws the knees up to the chest to form the tuck position and rotates the hands backwards allowing the body to turn through 360 degrees.
Start
Back Glide Back Paddle

Reverse To

Back Glide

Breast Stroke Reverse To

Reaction

Action

Basic Positions
Once the basic skills have been mastered, a number of basic figures can be introduced. Even the novice synchro swimmer can very quickly perform simple routines and patterns.
Finish Somersault Front Tuck

Backward As with the front somersault the swimmer starts from the back layout position, draws up the knees into the tuck but rotates the hands backwards to the head and then forwards causing the body to go into a backward rotation through 360 degrees.
Start

Tub Very basic in concept and practice, this position is useful during routines to change direction. For the Tub from a back layout position the legs are drawn up bending at the knees to be vertical with the hips and the thighs perpendicular. The lower legs remain parallel with the water surface. The head is in line with the body and the face is on the surface looking upwards. The back is kept straight. A sculling action of the hands maintains the position or can be used to rotate through 360 degrees, the buttocks being the pivot point. Tub

Reaction

Tuck From the back layout position, the knees are drawn up to the chin, the head is lifted causing the back to be rounded.
Action

Finish Somersault Back Tuck

Isle of Man position From the back layout position the knees are bent and tilted to one side. The knees remain bent with the foot of one leg resting on the knee of the other. This position can be rotated horizontally. Bent Leg From the back layout position one leg bends at the knee and slides up the inside of the other leg.

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Ballet Leg position From the back layout position one leg is extended vertically above the water.

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Oyster

Ballet Leg

Flamingo position From the bent leg position one leg is extended to a vertical position above the water.

Pike position From a front layout position, using a sculling action the body bends at the waist, the back and legs remaining straight, the arms extend above the head. Although basic in concept this is quite an advanced position.

Marlin - A figure allowing the synchronised swimmer to move over the surface of the water in a large circle, in 45 degree sections. Starting in the back layout position with arms out stretched, one arm is raised to the side of the head while the other is laid by the side, this will cause the body to roll onto the side. In a continuous flowing movement the body rolls onto the front and the arms move out to the side. The opposite arm is now extended above the head with the other by the side and the body rolls on to the other side. The body then rolls onto the back with arms out stretched as at the start and having moved through 90 degrees. This can be repeated to finish where the figure started. Depending on which arm is raised first will determine the direction in which the figure circles.

Basic Figures
Figures are achieved by moving between positions e.g. The Ballet Leg figure goes from bent leg to ballet leg position and back again. The Flamingo figure from bent leg, to ballet leg, then drawing the horizontal leg in, so that the vertical leg cuts half way between the knees and the toes. Oyster From the back layout position the body bends at the waist and sinks below the water, the legs and back remain straight, the hands scull. The arms may be brought over the head to touch the ankles or toes; the whole body then sinks below the surface.

When these have been mastered the synchro swimmer can progress to more advance skills and complex figures.

More Advanced Figures include:


Dolphin Kip Eiffel Tower Heron Porpoise Fishtail Walk over Catalina Crane Somersub

By linking basic figures together with adapted strokes simple routines can be introduced.

Entries
Entries used in synchronised swimming should complement the routine or performance.

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Step In Entry This is frequently used in synchronised swimming. It should be controlled, graceful and balanced causing as little water disturbance as possible. From standing on the poolside the synchronised swimmer will have their arms fully extended above their head with palms facing forward. The body will be stretched and streamlined. In stepping off the poolside both legs will be brought together with toes pointed. Entry is calm and smooth, with the body remaining erect. A variety of different step entries may be practised. Kneeling Dive This entry can also be used for transition into stroke or figure. From the poolside the synchronised swimmer will kneel with one leg, the other leg will be at right angles with the toes at the edge of the pool. The arms will be fully extended above the head with palms forward. The body will be stretch and streamline.
Kneeling Dive Entry

Into a torpedo

Then arching and pulling to the surface then

On entry the swimmer will push off from the side using the front foot, as they leave the side both legs come together with toes pointed, the arms remain above the head and the body remains stretched and streamlined. The synchronised swimmer enters the water with as little splash as possible and can either glide to the surface and into stroke or by arching their back and sweeping their arms back can come to the surface in back layout or in a torpedo scull. A formal jump

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3.

Planning a Routine
9DE. Telephone 020 7534 1000 or for further information the website is www.ppluk.com. PRS the Performing Rights Society Protects the rights of the original owners and ensures remuneration when that music is broadcast or publicly performed. The pool operator is responsible for this licence. Further information is available at www.prsformusic.com. PPL Licence Included Music. There are companies that produce music for the fitness industry which include the licence fee. The tracks are listed along with the beats per minute and are usually produced without the music introduction or bridge which can be very useful for introducing music to a Synchronised Swimming class but may not be challenging enough for a complex routine. These music CDs can be purchased either directly from the companies as and when required or by subscription. PPL Licence Free Music. There are companies that produce music the same as PPL Licence Included Music Providers, but you do not need to pay an annual subscription fee. This music can be purchased directly from the STA; please note that the venue in which you operate will require a PRS Licence simply to have a stereo system on the premises a bit like a T.V. licence if the music is broadcast openly for public use other than solely for private use. Copyright Expired Music Currently the copyright on music in this country is 50 years so you can legally play music older than this without a licence. How to Choose Music Suitable music should have a strong beat that Synchronised Swimmers can follow even when they are submerged below the water. Both the teacher and pupils will need to be, or become familiar with the music chosen. Practicing frequently to the beat of the music is essential to ensure accurate timing. It is therefore, important that you choose music that both you and your class will enjoy. When choosing music it is important to establish the number of beats per minute and therefore the

Routines can be performed by the individual, in pairs as a duet or in teams of equal numbers or groups of any number. The emphasis in all situations is on grace, control, balance and artistic interpretation and this must flow through the whole routine. From the first entry into the water, through the transition from stroke to figures and into the patterns, the routine must flow smoothly without pause or hesitation.

Use of Music and Choreography


Music is an essential part of Synchronised Swimming The routine must fit with the music chosen and needs to be carefully choreographed so the Synchronised Swimming teacher will need to have a knowledge and understanding of how to adapt music to fit with the Synchro performance. Legal Use of Music Copyright law does not allow you to use music purchased for domestic use in any other circumstance unless you acquire specific licences to do so. The penalties for doing so are severe heavy fines and even imprisonment. There are various ways of obtaining legal music for use in Synchronised Swimming sessions. PPL Phonographic Performance Limited - Is a non profit making organisation that controls the copyright of the public performance and broadcast of sound recordings on behalf of the music industry. Obtaining a PPL licence will allow you to play music in public i.e. your Synchronised Swimming sessions. This includes most shop bought CDs. The disadvantage is that most commercially produced recordings are not in the correct order for choreographing routines. If you have a CD player that can be programmed then you can legally play the tracks in the order that you require but you cannot legally copy your own CD in the order you want to play it. Two tier licences are available depending on how many classes you teach per year. The licence fee is payable annually and can be obtained direct from The Phonographic Performance Limited, 1 Upper James Street, London W1F

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speed of the music. Music is made up of phases usually 32 count or sometimes 16 or 56 count and these are repeated throughout the piece 4 or 5 times i.e. 4 x 32 or 5 x 32. In all cases the phases can be broken down into 8 beats. When choosing music for a Synchronised Swimming routine this allows you to decide when to make changes in direction or how long to hold figures for etc. Breaking Down Music Components for Synchronised Swimming - understanding how music can be broken down will allow you to choreograph your Synchronised Swimming routines. This takes some practice. Music with a constant beat can be used which will be easier to introduce initially. Music consists of the following components: Introduction I Verses - V Chorus - C Instrumental or Bridge B The Introduction takes beginning of the piece of Chorus will be repeated Bridge may appear once phases together. place once at the music, the Verse and 2, 3 or 4 times the or twice and links the section. Then consider the routine and how it can be performed with the music. This may be as so: I Entry into the water V- Transition to stroke C- Figure B Transition to pattern V Pattern B Transition to V Figure C Pattern And so on. When introducing music it may help the pupils if the teacher taps out the rhythm with a drum, metal bar or metronome.

Individual Routine
The individual Synchronised Swimmer can practise their routine to music frequently, as they only need to organise their own time and pool space. They can also have a large say in the chosen music, figures and strokes that make up the finished routine. The sequence should include stroke variations, figures, sculling, twist and spins smoothly linked together with music accompaniment. A wide range of figures should be incorporated in varying levels of difficulty. The entry and finish of the routine should be controlled and fit into the sequence, timing, presentation and the costume worn are also important. The swimmer should aim to move around the pool as much as possible. The routine will be limited by the size and depth of the pool but the swimmer should avoid repeating the same route around the pool and use both surface and below water activity.

To select an appropriate piece of music you should listen to the chosen selection and determine the breakdown of the music components which may appear as: I V C B V C B C B End After establishing the components you will need to determine the number of phased beats in each section. E.g. the number of counts of 8. This may be as so: I=8x8 V= 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 C=8 x 8 B=8 Choreography In order to fit the music and the routine together consider the length of the music, the number of beats and how often they are repeated. The number of phases and how many appear in each

Duet
When two Synchronised Swimmers perform a routine together this is called a Duet. The two swimmers must practice together to perfect their routine. The same considerations for variety and presentation as for the individual swimmer apply. However, when working with a partner very careful timing with each other as well as with the music is essential. The routine can include matching shapes and figures performed symmetrically and simultaneously or separate figures performed simultaneously but fitting into the sequence appropriately. A perfect duet couple will be of a similar size, build and ability.

Teams and Groups


Teams and Groups will need to ensure sufficient time together to practice and perfect their performance. Usually a Team will be an equal number of Synchronised swimmers performing at

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the same ability level usually a maximum of eight; whereby a group could be any number of swimmers of differing ability and could be as many as twenty. Teams and Groups are able to perform a variety of different sequences, patterns and formations. They can create circles, star shapes; lines, crosses, arrows, diamond or box shapes etc. They can swim in parallel lines, straight lines, diagonals or in a zig zag formation. They can perform symmetrically and simultaneously, or symmetrically but not simultaneously or in groups within the group or team performing in reverse. Timing is especially important for teams and groups and it is here that the experience of the Synchronised Swimming Teacher will be essential. New teachers should concentrate on small groups initially, building up numbers and more complex routines as experience develops. Below represents a simple routine for between 4 8 beginner synchronised swimmers which can be built up over a number of lessons.

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7. Swimmers close their legs, in back layout they kick their legs keeping together and move outwards increasing the circle circumference. 8. All together swimmers perform a backward somersault finishing in back layout 9. Swimmers perform an Isle of Man figure then together a turntable rotation maintaining figure. 10. Swimmers finish the routine by adopting a vertical upright position and by treading water perform an upward boost with arms held above their head. All could be performed to music with a regular easy to follow beat. Alternately the routine can be counted or tapped out. This simple routine can be progressed by including additional changes of direction, strokes, formations or including more figures. The entry could be from poolside and other variations added before the finish. The routine can be built up over a block of eight to ten lessons. The initial lessons will be to teach the skills and build up the routine and subsequent lessons to perfect the performance.

Simple Routine Explained


1. Swimmers starting in the water swim in synchronised pairs in parallel lines. Any appropriate stroke or variation can be used i.e. Bunny breast stroke, Push Breast stroke etc. 2. Swimmers change stroke, military or straight arm front crawl and the first pair of swimmers cast off with their partner. The following pairs follow on and as they move forwards change position. 3. The swimmers form a circle using any appropriate stroke or scull i.e. standard scull they move round in a clockwise direction. They can then move on to figure 4 or perform a reverse scull and scull anticlockwise. If using a prone stroke, swimmers may rotate or roll onto their back. 4. Swimmers go into back layout then all in unison perform a tub figure again in unison and maintaining tub swimmers perform a turntable rotation back to starting position. 5. Swimmers perform back layout together, 6. Then opening their legs into a V shape keeping feet close to the swimmer next to them creating a star pattern.

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4.

Teaching Synchronised Swimming


Reverse scull moving feet first, individually, in pairs, in lines. Alternating between forward and backward motion with music beat. Using games.

How to Introduce Synchronised Swimming to Classes


Synchronised Swimming can be used as a contrasting activity to add variety to a learn to swim class, as part of a training session for a competitive swimming club or as a standalone lesson. Depending on the ability level of the pupils the skills taught could range from basic stroke adaptations and sculling techniques to the most complex figures and routines.

Teaching Points Hold position very still, support the body without movement. Keep in time with partner, maintain speed of movement. Keep in line and in time to music. Tub and Tuck Position Pupils can practise from the back layout position going into the Tub position and back into back layout. Using a sculling action they can rotate through 360 degrees or 180 degrees and reverse. They can practice individually then in pairs ensuring they keep together. By drawing the knees to the chin, rounding the back and lifting the head the tub position becomes the tuck position. Teaching Practices With floatation aids each side of the body. Woggle under the arms. With float resting on shins (to ensure lower legs are in line with the water). One side against the wall. Teaching Points Bend knees, drop hips, point toes. Bring knees to chin. Keep shins in line with water. Hands sculling at the side. Egg Beater Techniques Swimmers can practice moving in all directions side to side, forward, backwards and diagonally. They can practices moving in pairs and groups keeping in time with each other. Teaching Practices Land based practice sitting on a stool. Using a float under each arm or woggle one leg at a time. With hands sculling by the side. With arms above the head (advanced practice). Turning through 360 degrees and moving in all directions. Sitting on the edge of the pool.

Contrasting Activity
Synchronised swimming may be used simply to add variety at the end of a lesson or to develop specific skills and teach pupils to better understand the properties of water. The following could be introduced: Back Layout As practice for streamlining and floating. Pupils can practice making pattern shapes while in the back layout position. i.e. in a circle feet in, head in, head to toe or spelling out letter shapes. Teaching Practices At the rail. With partner assistance. With buoyancy support float under each arm or woggle under hips, or hooking feet over woggle. With pull buoy at ankles & float support. Teaching Points Stretch out, lie flat, point toes. Push hips up close to the surface. Tilt pelvis, lift chest, head and shoulders back. Keep body in line. Face parallel to surface, squeeze bottom and legs together. Basic sculls Standard, reverse, flat. Pupils can practice sculling in line keeping together. Changing directions moving forward, backward, diagonally and to a beat or tap on steps or rail. Teaching Practices Flat scull remaining stationary. Standard scull moving head first, individually, in pairs, in lines.

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Teaching Points Legs alternate, one circles inwards as it reaches half way the other circles inwards. Actions continuous no pause. Wide legs, push water down. The knees rotate; action is from the lower legs. Body remains steady no bobbing. Forward and Backward Somersault Somersaults should initially be taught in chest deep water and starting from a standing position. The swimmer bends their knees tucks in their chin and rolls into a ball using their hands and arms to propel them either forwards by rotating their arms backwards or backwards by rotating their arms forwards. When the swimmer has mastered both forward and backward somersaults they can move on to practice from different starting positions and using a sculling action with the hands. Teaching Practices From the back layout position backward somersault into back layout. From the front layout position forward somersault into front layout. From the Tub then into the Tuck position forward and backward somersaults and back to starting position. From any scull in motion half somersault to change direction and change scull method. With a partner in the water assisting. Teaching Points Roll into a ball, knees to chest, tuck in head. Sweep with both hands equally. Eyes to knees. Point toes.

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Synchronised Swimming Lessons


If a whole lesson or lessons are to be devoted to teaching synchronised swimming it will be possible to introduced additional figures and patterns moving towards a complete routine. Bent Leg Can be a part practice used towards developing the Ballet Leg or Flamingo or as a figure in its own right. Teaching Practices from back layout position Parallel to the poolside. Partner assisted. Using buoyancy support floats or woggle. Unaided. Teaching Points Flat body position, ears in the water. One leg horizontal, straight, foot pointed. Other leg extended, bent at knee and slides up the inside of the straight leg. Foot touches inside of straight leg. Hands continually sculling. Isle of Man This can be performed with one leg or both legs and can be used as a practice or a figure used as part of a routine. Teaching Practice from back layout position Parallel to the poolside. Partner assisted. Using buoyancy support floats or woggle. Unaided. Teaching Points Keeping one leg straight bend the knee of the other leg. Rotate the bent leg at the hip, folding it out to lie flat of the water (single leg). Bend both legs at the knee rotate at hips to the same side. Bent legs lie on the water with the foot of one leg touching the knee of the other. Hands continually sculling. Ballet Leg This can be used as a part practice towards the Flamingo or a figure as part of a routine. Teaching Practice from back layout Parallel to the poolside. Partner assisted. Using buoyancy support floats or woggle. Unaided. Teaching Points Flat, horizontal body position with pelvis tilted. Back and shoulders pulled back and down for maximum extension.

Training Session
This could be used equally for training Synchronised Swimmers in a Synchronised Swimming Club and for Competitive Swimmers to enhance their awareness of the benefits of streamlining and sculling as well as improving stamina. Training sessions can take place swimming widths or lengths of the pool but careful planning should take place to ensure there is sufficient space for all swimmers and that they are swimming in the correct ability levels to prevent catch up. They can swim as individuals to practice skills or in pairs to practice timing. Standard and reverse sculling, egg beater kick, adapted stroke techniques, canoe, torpedo and lobster sculling and be practices in this way.

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Extend one leg vertically with knee locked and toes pointed. Continuous sculling from the shoulders. Very firm. strong sculling action, elbows slightly bent. Teaching Practice from back layout Practice transferring the arms to a position above the head. Practice back pike touching the toes with hands. Teaching Points Arms up and forward keeping head in line with arms. Pike at hips touch toes with hands. Submerge maintaining tight pike position.

Flamingo This can be used as a practice towards Ballet leg or a figure as part of a routine. Teaching Practice from the tub position Parallel to poolside. With buoyancy support. With partner support. Unaided. Teaching Points One leg extends vertically. Face at water surface. Shin level with water surface. Toes of both feet pointed. Pull bent knee close to chest. Push back on vertical knee. Sculling action from the elbows, close to hip. No water disturbance, continuous action. Pike This is a transition and performed from the front layout. Teaching Practice from front layout Using a large float bent over the side with legs straight across float. Using woggle for support at the waist bend over woggle. Practice reverse scoop scull with hands. Feet hooked over the edge of the pool. Unaided. Roll into the wall with back flat against it (for position) with partner support With pull buoy between ankles. Teaching Points Bend forwards keeping legs and body straight, toes pointed. The hips should be at right angles to the body. The legs should be lying on the surface of the water. Hips replace the head. Oyster A figure which starts from a back layout, assumes a pike position with the hands reaching up to touch the ankles or feet causing the body to sink below the surface.

Lesson Plans
Just as when teaching swimming planning in advance is essential. Synchronised Swimming Teachers must also consider long term, short term and individual lesson plans. Long Term Plan - This should consider the final outcome of the synchronised swimming class. Is it intended that the class will enter a competition or put on a display? Will the final performance feature individual or a group routine. What will the time scale be, a year, six months? It should take into consideration holidays and teacher availability. Short Term Plan - This should cover a fixed number of lessons and may be for a school term or block of six, eight, ten or twelve lessons. The long term plan objectives should be broken down evenly between the number lessons in the short term plan. Individual Lesson Plan - This should include detailed learning outcomes for all the skills you plan to teach. Lesson plans should be broken down into introduction, main theme and contrasting activity and include teaching practices and teaching points. The introduction will act as a warm up and may include a recap of a previous lesson or adapted stroke or sculling practice. The main theme which will form the largest part of the lesson will include the new skills or figures you want to introduce or previously learned skills that have not been fully mastered. The contrasting activity will also be a cool down and may be an introduction to the next lesson or the run through of a section of a routine being planned. Evaluation - Teachers should be aware of the importance of evaluating each session by asking themselves the following questions: What went well? What did not go well? What will you do differently next time?

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5.
Twists and Spins

Support Information

A spin is a descending rotation performed in one continuous motion. The body is in the vertical, inverted position and must be absolutely straight with head in line with the trunk.

Spins - Should start at the full height of the vertical position. In both 180 and 360 degree spins the movement should be completed by the time the heels reach the water surface. In the continuous spin movement continues until the heels drop below the water after completing at least a 360 degree rotation. The Twist - Is a rotation at a sustained height. The body is in the inverted, vertical position and turns through 180 or 360 degrees or 180 degrees and back to start position.

The Log Roll - Is where the body is in a streamlined position on a horizontal plane and rolls through a longitundinal axis. Teaching Practice Deck level pools can be very useful for practices inverted positions. Swimmers can fold themselves over the edge of the pool head down and support themselves with the poolside. Land based exercises can also be used to practice shapes and to formulate figure positions.See section 6.

Deep Water
Where deep water is available the more complex but fun Dolphin figure can be performed. The Dolphin - Starting by practicing the dolphin scull in a flat, streamlined body position, progress to arching the back locking the shoulders, rasing the hips, keeping the legs and feet together. From a backlayout position with arms extended above the head, hands firm with fingerd together,

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start by arching the neck, follwed by the back, pull the arms down as the body performs a full circle finishing in back layout. This can be performed in reverse feet first using the arms to push the body round. The Dolphin position can be further modified by the swimmer taking a vertical descent before following through into the circle.

Arm Movements
During entry into the pool and at times when the synchronised swimmer is in an upright position and hands are not sculling it is important that the arms above the water form part of the routine. Arm movements should be graceful and elegant; they can vary in speed and move in a variety of patterns in the air or over the surface of the water. The timing of the arm action should correspond to the figure or pattern being performed and also fit into the music chosen for the routine. Breathing - While performing inverted positions the Synchronised swimmer will be required to hold their breath but it order to keep the routine smooth and flowing it is important that breathing is carefully controlled. Coming to the surface gasping for breath or coughing and spluttering will interrupt the routine and spoil the performance. Nose clips should be worn when prolonged under water activity is taking place. Even when in the upright position it is important to breathe steadily and regularly. Underwater training and breath control must be carefully monitored to avoid the risk of hyperventilation see below.

More Entries
The entry is an integral part of any routine and must be performed elegantly and have a smooth transition into the water routine. Synchronised Swimming routines can start on land or in the water. A maximum of 30 seconds (including10 seconds deck work) is allowed for a swimmer to enter the water if the performance starts on land. In a team routine the time ends when the last swimmer enters the water The method of entry depends on the ability of the swimmer, the depth of the water and the size and shape of the pool. Entries can be head first or feet first. Dive variations including pike, twist, tuck or back dives are all possible. Feet first entries can be from a sitting or standing position. They can be with both feet together or one foot in front of the other. A twist in the air can add effect. Entries can be by jumping or stepping in adding elegant arm movements. In duets and team routines it is essential that all performers synchronise their entry as well as the water performance. Action below the water and movement away from the poolside should also be carefully coordinated.

Hyperventilation
Synchronised Swimmers can be at risk of suffering from hyperventilation if their training is not closely monitored and supervised, especially during under water training sessions. silent drowning or shallow water blackout are fatal consequences of hyperventilation occurring while swimming under water. Teachers must be aware of these risks and ensure that pupils do not take frequent deep breaths before performing under water sequences but take only one deep breath to hold and that underwater training sessions are restricted to avoid this risk.

Stretches
Ensuring an adequate warm up and cool down is especially important for Synchronised Swimmers because of the tremendous exertion placed on muscles, ligaments and tendons. Therefore as well as gradual exercises at the start and finish of any session it is also important to perform gentle stretches to ensure there is no risk of injury.

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6.

Training and Competition


Progression The training must continue to progress in order for improvement to continue. Overload The intensity of the training programme must increase as the body adapts to it or improvement will cease. Endurance Training needs to improve cardiopulmonary performance to improve aerobic endurance Reversibility If training stops fitness is lost. It takes longer to gain fitness than it does to become unfit. Therefore Synchronised Swimmers and other athletes need to use it or loose it Landwork This is a training schedule allowing the swimmer to develop components of fitness on land. Although it cannot be a substitute to water work it can be useful in reducing the amount of pool time required and is especially useful for the following: a) Warm up exercises before the start of a routine or competition. b) To improve specific components of fitness e.g. flexibility. c) To maintain a level of fitness when the pool is not available. d) To practice choreography and become familiar with the music chosen for a routine. e) For cool down and stretching exercises at the end of a water session allowing pool time to be used constructively. Land work must be enjoyable and varied to motivate the swimmer. Coaches will need to be familiar with the swimmers routine in order to advise on the most appropriate form of land based training. Teams should train together on land as well as in the water. The Synchronised swimming teacher is likely to require to liaise with other fitness professionals in order to develop an appropriate land based training programme for their Synchronising swimmer or team. Water Training - As well as practicing synchronised swimming skills and the specific routine swimmers will need to undertake additional training to improve their fitness, stamina and breath control. Serious competitive

Many Swimmers will enjoy taking part in a Synchronised swimming class just for fun or for fitness. A few may wish to take their skills to a higher level and enter into competitions. Those wishing to do so will need to be aware of the high demands involved in reaching and maintaining the level of fitness and skill required to be competitive. Individuals can make their own time available to suit themselves; teams will need to arrange their time to suit each team member as it is essential that they train together. As well as spending a considerable amount of time practicing their routine in the water they will also need to consider taking part in land based training Teachers that wish to train a competitive synchronised swimmer or team will need to be able to set aside sufficient time to be available to coach and advise the competitors and also to attend the competition venue. These teachers will need additional training and would be advised to qualify as a Synchronised Swimming coach.

Land Based Training


In order to develop the necessary flexibility, stamina, strength and endurance to perform a demanding Synchronised swimming routine a land based programme in addition to the water work training is essential. Land based training can take the form of Dance, Gymnastics, Circuit training, Weight training or a programme involving all of these. The Principles of Training - In order to develop and improve the bodys level of fitness the following principles need to be included in any fitness programme. Specificity This ensures that the training content is appropriate to the demands and requirements of the sport the individual is training for. Adaptation The body will adapt to a programme of training and must therefore progress to create improvement.

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swimmers will need to be prepared to undertake this training in addition to practicing their routine. Types of training are likely to be stroke counting to become familiar with the number of strokes the swimmer will take to swim a certain distance of the pool. Controlled underwater training, to build breath control but avoiding the risk of hyperventilation. Pace and clock swimming to build speed and stamina. are usually marked by a panel of between five to seven judges. Pool Dimensions The pool must have an area of at least 12 metres. The depth for the figure competition must be at least 3 metres and for routines 1.7 metres. Timing An Individual swimmer is allowed 3 minutes plus or minus 15 seconds; Duets have 3.30 minutes plus or minus 15 seconds; Combinations have 4.30 minutes plus or minus 15 seconds. These times are inclusive of 30 seconds allowed for poolside work. The timing of a routine starts and ends with the music accompaniment. Officials In addition to the judges, there will also be a referee, an assistant referee, organisers, scorers, (2 per judge), timers (2), music controller, announcer and general helpers. Costume - For the figure competition must be plain and dark worn with a plain white cap. Costumes for routines must be one piece and devoid of open work.

Displays
These are rewarding but very demanding as they require creativity, imagination and innovation. Displays can be the objective and culmination at the end of a block of lessons or produced for a specific festival, open day, pantomime etc. They can be a collection of skills learnt being demonstrated or have a specific theme. They can be in the form of several individual routines or a large group performing together. These shows can be great entertainment but careful planning and organisation is essential. To be successful the following should be considered well in advance. The order of the programme and the time available. What scene changes will be required and how these can be undertaken. Adequate lighting is essential and special effects may also be used to enhance the performance. Costumes appropriate to the display will be required. Props may also be included and will need to be considered at an early stage in the planning as pool operators will need to be consulted before introducing anything into the pool.

Competition Rules
International and National Synchronised Swimming Competitions are governed by FINA and they decide the rules under which all competitors must abide. Most Competitions, however, take place under ASA Law. There are 3 main events in Synchro Competition; Figures; Technical Routines and Free Routines. Figures are prescribed compulsory movements, which are performed without music. Technical Routines may be solos, duets or teams that are performed to music and must contain prescribed elements in a set order. Points are deducted for missing or inadequate elements. Free Routines are also performed to music, they can be solos, duets or teams, but do not have to contain any prescribed elements. New compositions of figures are frequently being compiled. A complete list with descriptions of all figures and combinations, the competition rules and the current figure competition age group lists are available from the FINA website www.fina.org.

Competitions
Every competitor performs the figures which are drawn up by the referee before the competition starts. Entry into the Individual and Duet competition is usually by qualification from the figure section. Clubs can enter a Team which should be between four and ten swimmers. Competitions

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