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Freestyle swimming

Freestyle is one of the official swimming competitions according to the rules of FINA. However, it is technically not a style, as there are very few regulations about the way freestyle has to be swum. Most swimmers choose to swim front crawl during freestyle, as this style provides the fastest speed.

Table of contents
1 Technique
2 Rules and Regulation
3 Competitions


Freestyle swimming competitions can be any of the unregulated stroke as front crawl, dog paddle or side swimming. Individual freestyle competitions can also be swum in one of the officially regulated strokes Breaststroke, Butterfly and Backstroke. The freestyle part of medleycompetitionscompetitions, however, cannot use breaststroke, butterfly, or backstroke. Most competitive swimmers, will choose to swim front crawl during freestyle competitions, as this style provides the fastest speed. Freestyle competitions have also been swum completely and partially in other styles, especially at lower ranking competitions. During the Olympic Games, front crawl is swum almost exclusively during freestyle.

Rules and Regulation

Freestyle means any style for individual distances and any style but breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke for medley competitions. The wall has to be touched at every turn and upon completion. One part of the swimmer has to be above water at any time except for the first 15 m after the start and every turn. This rule was introduced to avoid the dangers of swimmers passing out during underwater swimming. (see: History of swimming). The exact FINA rules are:


There are eight common competitions swum in freestyle swimming, both over either a long course (50m pool) or a short course (25m pool). Of course, other distances are also swum on occasions.

Freestyle is also part of the medley over the following distances: