Lifesaving World Championships 2024

Sport Commision Technical Bulletin #5

This Bulletin advises an official interpretation to the Manikin Carry Rules. It s designed to assist competitors and teams preparing for competition and particularly for the Life Saving World Championships (LWC) 2024.

This interpretation follows a series of questions about the legality of competitors’ “lunge” to the wall to finish when carrying the manikin. These rules are contained in S3 – 3.4 F. of the ILS Competition Rule Book located on the ILS website.

The question has arisen based on observations at a number of competitions around the world where, prior to their finish, competitors dive under the surface of the water with the manikin and kick to the finish wall and without taking a further stroke. The event in question relates primarily to the Manikin Carry with Fins but could also apply to manikin carries without fins.

The relevant wording in S3 – 3.2 F. is:

“The competitor and manikin are considered to be one unit and, when in the carry position, either must remain above the surface of the water.

Note 1: “Surface” means the horizontal plane of the surface of a still water pool.

Note 2: If the competitor and manikin are both fully “below the surface”, it is a disqualification.

However, there is no disqualification if the manikin is underwater and a competitor dips below the surface of the water as part of their normal stroke or kick cycle provided that the competitor breaks the surface throughout the race with some part of their body such as their head or arm.

Note 3: If the competitor and manikin are both below surface as the result of the competitor’s final stroke/lunge to touch the turning or finish wall/edge or for a relay exchange, it shall not be a disqualification.”

Following consultation with the ILS Sport Regulations Committee and the Chief Referees for the National Teams, InterClub and Masters Pool LWC2024, the interpretation is that the intention of the rule S3 – 3.2 F is to allow for a “lunge” only as a final stroke near to the finish wall. i.e., a competitor diving under the surface of the water with the manikin and kicking without taking an arm stroke either within or beyond the 5m mark to the finish wall is not completing a final stroke/lunge to the wall and is participating outside of the intention of the rules unless the final stroke/lunge is within close proximity to the finish wall and shall be subject to disqualification (DQ19)

The ILS Event Management Committee (also known as the Competition Committee) appointed for LWC 2024 has supported this interpretation as per S1 – 6, S2 – 2.3 and S2 – 4.4 of the ILS Competition Rulebook and Part B Section 5 of the ILS Lifesaving World Championships 2024 Handbook.

Should further information be required please direct your enquiry to the Secretary of the ILS Sport Commission at