At some point in the season, a swimmer might be disqualified during an event. This means that the swimmer has not started properly, or has not properly performed the stroke during the swim, on the turn, or at the finish. A disqualification (DQ) can be an emotional event, especially for younger swimmers. The official who DQs the swimmer will explain to them what they did incorrectly. Swimmers should take this as a learning experience.
Common errors leading to a DQ are:
Relays: Leaving starting block before previous swimmer touches; doing wrong stroke.
Freestyle: Walking on bottom or pulling on the rope (touching rope is okay); not touching the end of the pool at the turn.
Breaststroke: Two underwater pulls during start or turn; not touching with two hands simultaneously at turn or finish; both hands not coming out of water at same time; toes not pointed out during the kick.
Backstroke: Turning over onto stomach at finish or during the stroke.
Butterfly: Not keeping legs together; not touching with two hands simultaneously at turn or finish; underwater recovery (hands don’t break the surface of the water).
If a swimmer is disqualified, no official time is recorded, nor can any points be scored.