Synchronised Swimming is one of the 'only women' sports in Olympics. Learn about the rules and regulations of this sport and also have a look at the Olympic history of this event.

Synchronised Swimming

A test of advanced water skills, strength, flexibility, endurance, grace, precise timing, artistry and exceptional breath control - Synchronised Swimming, a wonderful Olympics aquatic event, is a perfect blend of arts and sports. Performed with synchronized elaborate moves in water in a musical backdrop, it coalesces dance, gymnastics, and swimming in a flawless manner. Debuting into Olympics in 1984 Games, Synchronised Swimming competitions in Olympic Games are open only to women; other international swimming competitions allow men to participate though. Requiring tough skills like ability to perform movements like sculls and eggbeaters, different types of lifts etc., Synchronised Swimming is highly challenging. Requiring ease movements and ability to stay upside down in water, Synchronized Swimming is as hard to practice as beautiful it is to watch. Teams of eight swimmers perform in Olympics and scoring depends upon factors like choreography, difficulty, and execution. Read about the history, rules and regulations of this aquatic event.

Synchronised Swimming Rules And Regulations
  • Swimmers should measure up to the qualifying competitions to participate in the Olympics.
  • Currently there are only two events in Synchronised Swimming - team and duet. Each of them consists of two routines, a technical, and a free routine. Same swimmers may perform both in team and duet events.
  • Technical routine is done on the basis of predetermined elements and should be performed in a specific order. Free routine, unlike the technical routine, is not based on any predetermined elements and hence, provides the participants to be creative and innovative while exhibiting their choreography skills.
  • Team event requires eight participating swimmers and one alternate swimmer. Technical routines has a time limit of 2:50 (+ or -15 seconds). Free routine is provided with a time limit of 4:00 (+ or -15 seconds).
  • Duet Event, as the name suggests, consists of two swimmers and one alternate swimmer. Technical routines has a time limit of 2:20 (+ or -15 seconds). Free routine is provided with a time limit of 3:30 (+ or -15 seconds).
  • The scoring is the responsibility of the judging panel. There are two judging panel to monitor the Synchronised Swimming performances in Olympics. Each panel consists of 5 judging members. One panel scores technical merit while the other scores artistic impression.
  • The points are awarded on a scale of 0.0-10.0 (in tenths). The judges observe the degree of difficulty of each movement, beauty of its execution, and synchronization of the movements. The trick is to perform the most difficult choreography with ease because the easier it looks, the difficult it is to perform.
  • The Olympic medal winners are declared on the basis of total points scored by the swimmers. The scores for both the routines, technical routine and free routines are totaled and the team with highest score wins gold whereas the second highest and third highest silver and bronze respectively. If the competition results in a tie, then both teams win medal.
Synchronized Swimming History
Originating during late 19th and early 20th centuries as water ballet performed with artistic movements complementing the music played, Synchronised Swimming became a popular aquatic event even before its inception in Olympics. However, it couldn't find a place in Olympic Games until 1984, though it was demonstrated in 1952 Olympic Games. From 1984 to 1994 games, Olympics featured two events in Synchronised Swimming - solo and duet. In 1996 Games, team events were included but the other two events were dropped. The 2000 Olympic Games restored the duet event. Now, Olympics features two Synchronised Swimming events - duet and team events. Interestingly, Synchronised Swimming, just like rhythmic gymnastics, is an exclusive female Olympic sport.