Rules of Competition

There is a long history of masters oversight of the rules that apply to masters swim meets.  In 1977, Beth Whittall became the first Chair of the Masters Swimming Rules Committee. The Rule Book was first published by Masters Swimming Ontario (MSO) in 1990-91 and nationally by Masters Swimming Canada (MSC) in 1992‑93.

In 2017, MSC abandoned the Rule Book and opted to refer only to the FINA Rules, ignoring previous Canadian variations or interpretations of FINA rules.  Again, MSO stepped in to retain this comprehensive document. In 2019, Canadian Independent Masters Swimming (CIMS) took shape and adopted this Masters Rule Book for national application.

The Masters Rules of Competition continue to be reviewed chapter by chapter to ensure close alignment with FINA and with relevant Swim Canada rules. Chapters will be replaced as they are completed and approved.


Masters Rules – Front Pages – updated 2019-09-30

2013-2017 Rules – General – updated 2013-12-16

2013-2017 Rules – Swimming- updated 2017-12-26

Swimming update 2017 includes minor FINA/SNC changes to the breaststroke and backstroke rules of November 2014.

2013-2017 Rules – OWS –  updated 2013-12-16

2019 Rules – App-A- Facility – updated 2019-02-24   UPDATED -SEE DIVING CHANGES BELOW!!!!

New diving rules (CFR2.3.1) as below; addition of Yard pools (OMFR 2); Lane width rules updated (CFR 2.5.1 and 2.5.2)

2013-2017 Rules – App-B- Referee – updated 2013-12-16

2013-2017 Rules – App-C- Differences – updated 2013-12-16

2013-2017 Rules – App-D-DQ Wording – updated 2013-12-16

2013-2017 Rules – App-E- Record Form- updated 2017-09-15

MASTERS WARM-UP RULES – updated 2019-09-30 (PDF version)

MASTERS WARM-UP RULES – updated 2019-09-30 (WORD version for insertion into meet package)



Swimmers who attended MSO 2018 Provincials, showed patience and flexibility when the meet suddenly changed from a double-ended to a single-ended format.  The change was the result of the City’s risk assessment that resulted in the elimination of diving in the shallow end.

In September 2018 Swim Canada issued revised pool depth Guidelines and communications for both competition and training (Refer to Swim Canada’s statements and communications).

Diving for both Competition and Training

A Minimum water depth of 1.20 metres, extending from 1.0 metres to at least 5.0 metres from the end wall, is required for pools where diving takes place from a permanent deck or bulkhead, where the height is not more than 0.35 metres from the water surface.

When water depth is less than 1.20 metres, no diving is permitted.

Water Depth 
Less than 1.2mNo Diving; in water starts only (no change from previous rules)
1.2 m to 1.35 mDiving from permanent deck or bulkhead where height is not more than 0.35m from water surface.
1.35 m (equal to or great than)Diving from Starting Platform (max 0.75m from water surface as per FR 2.7)