WOWSA 15.1 – While open water swims are overwhelmingly completed doing freestyle, a small number of athletes attempt and complete open water swims, including marathon swims and channel swims, using breaststroke. In order for a swim to be considered a Breaststroke Swim, the entire distance must be swum breaststroke as defined by the following rules:
WOWSA 15.2 – From the beginning of the first arm stroke after the start (either from shore or in the water) to the finish of the swim (either onshore or in the water), the body must be kept on the stomach to qualify as a Breaststroke Swim. While the athlete is swimming, he is not permitted to roll onto his back at any time or take any freestyle arm strokes or leg kicks, or do sidestroke of any type. A swimmer is allowed to stop swimming in shallow water as he approaches the shoreline and walk up on shore to clear the water as an athlete swimming freestyle would do. However, if the finish is in the water, a swimmer must simultaneously touch the finish pontoon or pad with two hands although they can be in a different plane.
WOWSA 15.3 – From the start to the finish, the stroke cycle must be one arm stroke and one leg kick in that order. All movements of the arms must be simultaneous and on the same horizontal plane without alternating movement.
WOWSA 15.4 – The hands must be pushed forward together from the breast on, under, or over the water. The elbows must be under water and the hands must be brought back on or under the surface of the water. The hands must not be brought back beyond the hip line.
WOWSA 15.5 – During each complete stroke cycle, some part of the athlete’s head must break the surface of the water unless a wave or wake prevents this action.
WOWSA 15.6 – All movements of the legs must be simultaneous and on the same horizontal plane without alternating movement. The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. A scissors, flutter or downward butterfly kick is not permitted.
WOWSA 15.7 – The athlete can stop swimming breaststroke only during voluntary stops or feeding stops. During stops of any kind, the athlete must stay in the same spot and can tread water to rest or take fuel (food) or hydration (drink). They can stretch their arms, body, back, neck or legs, but they must stay in the same location.
WOWSA 15.8 – If the above rules are not adhered to, the swim will be defined as a standard (i.e., freestyle) swim.