FINA was committed to maximise the benefits of this new online format which proved highly successful, with the quorum required to run the technical congresses, reached every day, highlighting the ongoing engagement of NFs (National Federations) with FINA.  

Members were welcomed by President Husain Al-Musallam and Brent Nowicki, FINA Executive Director in a video address.  

My dear friends and colleagues, welcome to the FINA Technical Congress. I would like to thank you for attending and your input. Your ideas and opinions are very important for FINA. As you all know, FINA passed through a series of reforms and in the next Extraordinary Congress in Melbourne, there will be a new name, a new logo and a new constitution and I am positive that this change will help the aquatic sport develop around the world. I wish you the best of luck for your meeting today and looking forward to seeing you soon in the near future. Thank you.
By FINA President Captain Husain Al-Musallam

Brent Nowicki, FINA Executive Director, also welcomed delegates, saying: “We have an incredible opportunity before us. But the work will not be easy. We need to challenge the status quo of how things have been done. We also need to stay true to the roots and character of our sports. Fortunately, we have the team to do this. The depth of sporting knowledge and experience collected here today is impressive.” 

Over the course of the three days, delegates voted on various changes in the disciplines of Artistic Swimming, Diving, High Diving, Open Water, Water Polo, and Swimming. Each Congress was moderated by the chairperson of the respective disciplines. 

The main changes which were approved over the past three days were as follows.


The new rules will:

  • Simplify the process, define roles and divide tasks
  • Calculate the difficulty using mathematical values and formulas
  • Obtain objective and detailed measurement using technology
  • Introduce well-balanced routines: set number of hybrids and acrobatics for each routine according to discipline and age group
  • Athletes and coaches make strategic decisions about program composition
  • Provide athletes and coaches with more specific feedback about all aspects of their performances

We now have two panels: Elements & Artistic impression (Ten judges, six technical controllers)

We have moved to a 0.25 marking scale.

National Federations have access to a detailed acrobatic catalogue of:

  • Classification of acrobatic movements
  • Acrobatic groups and subgroups
  • Components and special elements
  • Values and algorithm for the calculation of the Degree of Difficulty
  • Tables, catalogue and code system

We have introduced the Coaches Card where Coaches will indicate all the elements of their routines in their order of performance in advance of the competition.


Image Source: FINA Archive

Competition Format – Mixed Team Event 

Two dives shall be executed by the female competitor and two dives by the male competitor. Two dives shall be executed by a mixed synchronised team of one male and one female diver. Three dives shall be executed from the 3m springboard and the other three dives from the 10m platform. 

Refereeing and Judging Synchronised Diving 

In synchronised diving all forward facing dives on the springboard must be performed with a running approach. If a forward-facing dive is not performed with a running approach the Referee shall declare it a failed dive. 


Image Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Age Group Rules : A delegate from Canada proposed that the degree of difficulty in points 3.1.2 (Girls’ and Boys’ Platform 15 metre) and 3.2.2 (Girls’ and Boys’ Platform 10/12 metre) should be lowered. The request was voted upon by member NFs and approved by 19 votes in favour (76%), with five opposed and one abstention. The vote was approved by the Chairman Orlando Duque. 


Image Source: FINA Archive

Duties of Officials : The Chief Referee is enabled to enforce the disqualification of a competitor at the end of a race. 

The Start : Approved swim caps are defined and the rule that Men’s events must always start before Women’s events is discontinued.


Image Source: FINA Archive

The word ‘brutality’ is replaced by ‘violent actions’ throughout the rules 

The Ball : The pressure of the ball is reduced. 

Caps: Goalkeepers are to wear red caps to aid identification. 

Ordinary Fouls : The goal area is a rectangular box extending to 2 metres from the lateral outsides of the goal posts to the two-metre line opposite the goal line. 

Exclusion Fouls: Referees are to ensure that all players are outside the six-metre area and at least three metres from the thrower during a penalty throw, to avoid interference. 

Penalty Fouls: The referee can delay whistling for a penalty and wait to see if the attaching player scores a goal in the same action. If the player does not score, the referee should sanction the penalty. 

Age Group Rules: Age groups will be known as 16U (15 and 16 years of age), 18U (17 and 18 years of age) and 20U (19 and 20 years of age) instead of Cadet, Youth and Junior. 

Offences against Team Members or Team Officials: For violent actions, the minimum suspension is increased from one to two matches. 


Image Source: FINA Archive

Proposals were made to update the rules to the current best practice. They include: 

  • Inclusion of video review judges 
  • Incorporation of previous rule interpretations 
  • Removal of “the same horizontal plane without alternating movement” in Breaststroke 
  • Allowing the use of technology and automated data collection devices for the sole purpose of collecting data 

For MORE details about the new rules approved at the FINA Technical Congress 2022, visit this page