WOWSA 1.1 – Open water swimming shall be defined as any swimming event that takes place in rivers, lakes, oceans, channels, canals, estuaries, bays, seas, dams, reservoirs, fjords, basins, lochs, coves, meres, firths, sounds, straits, bays and harbors.
WOWSA 1.2 – Marathon swimming shall be defined as any open water swimming event at least 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in distance.
WOWSA 1.3 – Ultra-marathon swimming shall be defined as any open water swimming event at least 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) in distance.
WOWSA 1.4 – Scope
WOWSA sanctioned events include multi-race events, solo swims, stage swims, charity events and relays of any distance or duration with either onshore or in-the-water starts and finishes.
WOWSA 1.5 – Age Limits
The minimum age requirement for WOWSA-sanctioned marathon swims and relays and ultra-marathon swims and relays shall be 14 years of age. The Referee shall determine the minimum age for WOWSA-sanctioned events. However, as a general guideline, swimmers under the age of 8 are not encouraged to do open water swims over 1 mile. Swimmers under the age of 10 are strongly encouraged to swim with a responsible adult in races of at least 1 mile. Swims that have children under the age of 14 are strongly encouraged to have courses along the shoreline.
WOWSA 1.6 – Safety
WOWSA emphasizes and requires that athlete, volunteer and staff safety must be the highest priority at all times. Adherence to rules, protocols, procedures and policies must be put aside when there is an issue of personal safety during any sanctioned open water swimming event.
WOWSA 1.7 – Documentation
WOWSA provides Sanctioning Event Documentation and Observer Reports for solo swims and relays. These documents must be completed in full and returned to WOWSA to complete the sanctioning requirements.
WOWSA 1.8 – Course Layout
WOWSA-sanctioned courses may be point-to-point, loop, geometric of any shape (e.g., triangular, rectangular), out-and-back, two-way, three-way or divided in different stages.
WOWSA 1.9 – Timing
Events can be timed for competitive purposes or simply mass participation for fun or fitness, challenge or charity.