FINA Communications Department

Artistic swimming is a traditional sport with a long-lasting history but the discipline continuously looks at improving and modernise.

As an important Olympic sport in the Summer Olympics programme since Los Angeles 1984, artistic swimming needs to stay attractive and evolve with its time to maintain the sports fans’ interest and to attract new generations of athletes.

In parallel to the first stage of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019 in Paris, France, from March 1-3, some of the world’s biggest experts in the discipline are holding major discussions.

The latest key development the Technical Committee, led by Chairwoman Lisa Schott, is looking at is building a designed computer software that would analyse movements and standardise the way difficulties are being judged. The execution and synchronised impression will both remain subject to the judges’ expertise.

The aim of this innovation is to improve and transform the current judging system which is based on human assessment at the moment. It can sometimes be quite controversial and provoke conflict of interest within the artistic swimming community.

The new computer software would be able to analyse the imposed elements performed in a routine and attribute marks independently from a human being action.

Swimmers, female and male, are judged in three areas:

1.     Execution — how well the skill was carried out.
2.     Synchronisation — how in-time with one another the swimmers are.
3.     Difficulty — how difficult the attempted skills were.

With this new system, providing graphics and a comprehensive and pre-determined fair calculation system, scores would be awarded more partially and the level of excellence demonstrated would be considered more objectively.