MSF Rules - Version History


Release Statement - Version 1.1

February 3, 2014

After several months of development and private peer review, the Marathon Swimmers Federation published the Rules of Marathon Swimming (Version 1.0) on January 6, 2014. In the following weeks, the broader community reviewed the document and identified several areas for improvement and clarification (see Forum discussion). In response to this feedback, the MSF announces a minor revision, Version 1.1.

The substantive changes include the following:

Safety lights (a.k.a. glow sticks) added to Standard Equipment.

Despite extensive peer review, glow sticks were somehow overlooked in Version 1.0. Community members quickly identified this oversight, which we are now correcting in Version 1.1.

Simple timekeeping devices (chronometers) added to Standard Equipment.

In Version 1.0, wearable electronic devices were listed as Performance-Enhancing Equipment, primarily to future-proof the Rules against devices that transmit detailed navigation and biofeedback information, which we consider to violate the spirit of the sport.

After extensive discussion on the Forum (see relevant thread - "Do you wear a wristwatch in marathon swims?"), the MSF is making an exception for simple digital or analogue timekeeping devices (i.e., chronometers). Simple watches are widely worn by long-distance open-water swimmers, and we do not believe there is any clear performance benefit.

"Nonstandard Equipment" clarified.

Version 1.0 listed both Standard Equipment and Examples of nonstandard performance-enhancing equipment, but did not specifically address equipment in the gray area between those categories, i.e., nonstandard, non-performance-enhancing equipment.

Version 1.1 attempts to clarify this distinction with a new section, Varieties of Nonstandard Equipment:

The full list of changes in Version 1.1, including minor language revisions, can be viewed HERE.