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What does DQ mean?


Swim meets are officiated by USA Swimming Officials. It is common for swimmers to get a DQ (Disqualified). Coaches will talk to a swimmer after a DQ to let them know what they did wrong so that they can correct it. If your child gets disqualified, it's not the end of the world. Most importantly, they swam, did a great job, finished and there is always another meet to try again. Don’t worry about a DQ, even the best swimmers DQ.

The most important things that kids get DQ'ed on are flipping to their tummys at the wall when swimming backstroke, forgetting two hand touches, feet coming apart on fly, and an illegal breastroke kick, according to swim team coaches.

How to Avoid Disqualification


Avoid false starts.

Feet must touch wall on turn.

No part of the body may touch the bottom of the pool any time during the race. Also no pulling on the lane line.


Avoid false starts.

Both feet must be entirely in water at start of race.

Must stay on back entire race except on flip turn.

Once the swimmer turns onto the stomach for the turn the arm and body must be in continuous turning action.


Avoid false starts.

Hands must stay in front of shoulders. Pushing arms down to sides will result in a disqualification. Arms must move symmetrically (at same time).

Two hand touch at turn and finish. Hands cannot touch one at a time.

No scissor kicks...feet must be at the same horizontal level. No flutter kick.

Only one pull out.


Avoid false starts.

Arms must move symmetrically (at same time.)

Feet must stay together on kick.

Two hand touch at turn and finish.

Hands cannot touch one at a time.

No underwater recovery (breaststroke pull into wall).

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