The Broadneck (Md.) High girls swimming squad was stripped of a competition title recently because of illegal shaving. No the shaving didn’t involve some type of points shaving or time shaving that gave them a victory but rather because one of the teams members literally shaved right before her races.
Under National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) swimming rules a swimmer can not shave once they are on-site for a competition. That means had the player shaved before heading to the event they would have been fine.
The rule was instituted a long time ago in order to protect other swimmers from possible blood transmission of diseases. Officials have long worried that sharing razors could in the locker room lead to potential health issues.
Because of the girls violation her team lost all points she had won, dropping the team to third in the meets final standing from their original first place win. After the violation was reported Severna Park (Md.) High won the event when points were redistributed to other teams players,
The players violation also led to swim coach Colleen Winans being suspended from the Class 4A-3A Regional Championships.
While rule breaking has it’s consequences Swimming World Magazine general manager Jason Marsteller says it’s not the rule that surprises him but rather the fact that Broadneck’s punishment was so retroactive in taking place.
While the violation was a setback for the team they eventually emerged at the top of the seasons standings, winning both the boys and girls regional title.
Ironically the boys and girls teams cited their coaches bizarre suspension as the motivation they needed to beat their next closest competitor by 16.5 points.
Do you think the violation for shaving was a bit odd or should the player have better followed safety rules setup by the swimmers organization?