Competition rules

The updated changes of the rules by Suomen Latu 23.1.2009

In competition series head-dresses are compulsory
and everyone swims at his/her own risk.

The rule changing decision of winter swimmers division to the Championship 2009 in Imatra 




(Old rule: Breast-stroke, the top of the head may not be submerged)


This means, that competitors may swim using the valid swimming style. This change of the rule runs as a test in the Championship in Imatra. We collect experiences (for example making inquiries afterwards of the participants and organizers). According to those experiences winter swimmers division decides whether the change of the rule comes into force finally.



Breast-stroke, where the top of the head may be submerged during every stroke. It is not allowed to take two strokes successively without raising the head above the water surface. When swimming the hands are not allowed to be raised above the water except at the start. Then the hand holding the handrail of the steps can be put in the water by putting it either from above or below the water. During the swim and also at the start and the finish, diving and sliding under the water is forbidden.

The start of championship races and relays happens by standing on the steps with both shoulders under the water surface. When the competitors are in their start position the starter says: READY, at which time the swimmer must hold on the handrail of the steps with the other hand until he/she hears the claxon sound, indicating the start of the race. False starts will not be called back. It will result in a five second penalty being added onto the race time. Blatant false starts will result in disqualification. 


Competitors may not use any internal or external substances that preserve or increase body heat. The anti doping rules available in Finland are obeyed in the competition. Consumption of alcohol by participants is not allowed. 


Swimsuit for competition must be morally acceptable and non-transparent. Sleeveless and legless swimsuits are recommended. Swimmers may not use any devices which are designed to improve floating or swim speed. All kind of clothes which isolate coldness are forbidden. This includes, among other things, gloves, footwear, or any other accessory. The use of a hat or a swimming cap and swimming goggles are recommended. The decision of the competition director on whether or not a swimmer is attired appropriately will be final. 


A competitor may represent his/her homeland, its' national swimming union, (coalition), corporation, company or other community or purely his/her own district. If a competitor represents his/her country he/she must be a citizen of the country and if he/she represents a union, he/she must be a member of the union. 


In each four member teams both sexes must be represented. In the case of illness another swimmer can take the place with at least one hour’s notice before the start time. A person is allowed to swim only in one team. 


Protests can be made for the following reasons:

-  organizer fails to comply with the competiton rules

-  circumstances or conditions risk the competition and / or competitors

-  against the decisions of the competition director


Protests regarding results or disqualifications can not be made against the decisions which have been decided by any of the trained officials. Protest must be given in writing and delivered to the competition director. The fee for a protest is double the participation fee. Protest must be delivered within 30 minutes of relevant entry, when also the protest fee must be paid. If the reason for protest is identified before the competition, the protest must be made before the start. The competition director will be the final adjudicator of any protests: If he rejects the protest, he must justify the decision. In this case the protest fee stays with the organizer. If the protest is approved, the protest fee will be returned to the protester. 



Each team may have between 3 and 20 members. Their dresses are free and the participants can use other items. All members do not need to swim, but at least three of them must swim during the performance. Diving is allowed, but not under the platforms or the ice. Each performance must last at least 2 minutes, but no longer than 5 minutes. The points are given for the idea, the technical realization and the artistic impression. The team, which is given the highest points is the winner.


Protest must be given in writing and delivered to the competition director within 10 minutes of the published results, at which time also the processing fee must be paid. It will be returned if the protest is approved. The competition director handles the protest and provides the statement.