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Comparing Two Sports

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Through out this assignment I will be examining two different sports, one being a group sport and one an individual sport. The group sport which I have chosen to examine is Rugby and the individual sport which I have selected is Swimming. Rugby is a sport which I have study in the last term, I have a vast understanding of the rules and therefore can examine them adequately. Swimming is a passion of mine and I have spent many years learning and perfecting the rules. Although the sports I have selected are very different, their rules are paramount in participation.

In both swimming and rugby there are specific boundaries for athletes and in the case of rugby also the ball. Each sport has set rules which are in place to either ensure that the sport is fair or to ensure the safety of the athlete and spectators. "The Fédération Internationale de Natation" which is abbreviated to FINA is the international governing body for swimming and controls all rules and regulations. In the official FINA rule book it states 'Obstructing another swimmer by swimming across another lane or otherwise interfering shall disqualify the offender.' It also goes on to say, 'a swimmer must finish the race in the same lane in which he started.' ( (28/11/2009)) This implies that it is important for an athlete to remain in their set lane for the duration of the race. And mustn't leave their lane until all swimmers have completed the race and the race official has signaled that the pool may be vacated.

The world governing body for rugby is the International Rugby Board and is know as the IRB. The boundaries in rugby are known as the touch lines, and in the IRB's rules and regulations it states that, 'the ball is in touch when it is not being carried by a player and it touches the touchline or anything or anyone on or beyond the touchline.' It then goes on to state that, 'the ball is in touch when a player is carrying it and the ball carrier (or the ball) touches the touchline or the ground beyond the touchline.' ( In both swimming and rugby there are boundary rules, this is to guarantee that the sports are fair and that there are no quires from participants in reference to boundaries.

The second two rules to compare are linked with the officials in the sports. For many years a whistle has been used to get peoples attention, the loud high pitched sound is distinctive and most athletes see it as a sign to stop either for fairness, or for a matter of safety.

In rugby the role of the referee is very important, as the safety of all players is in the hands of the officials. Although in rugby the whistle is used to signal many different things, the most important rule from the IRB's law book says the following, 'the referee must blow the whistle when it would be dangerous to let play continue. This includes when a scrum collapses, or when a front row player is lifted into the air or is forced upwards out of a scrum, or when it is probable that a player has been seriously injured.' ( (28/11/2009))

However in swimming the whistle is very rarely used. Apart from the starting of a race, the whistle is only otherwise used to indicate a false start. The rule book states, 'disqualification can occur for any violation of the rules that the referee personally observes. The referee may also disqualify any swimmer for any violation reported to him by other authorized officials. All disqualifications are subject to the decision of the referee.' ( (28/11/2009)) However disqualification does not have to interfere with the race in progress so hence a whistle is not used during the race and the issue is dealt with after the race has finished. In rugby however, safety of the players is vitally important so it is imperative that all players must follow the orders of the referee and be aware of the whistle at all times.

Even though many rules were written at the beginning of the sports existence, the international governing body's have a continuance job to produce new rules to keep the sports as fair and safe as possible. This is relevant for both Rugby and Swimming as in the last two years both sports have had dramatic new rules enforce on sportswear.

Over time as science has progressed sports wear have been changed. This is noticeable in Swimming, in 2008 the "Super- swimsuits" were introduced. They are made from a specially formulated synthetic material which helps with buoyancy and movement through the water. Within a year of the Super swim- suits being introduced over forty new world records were set which led to the FINA starting an investigation into the effects of swimwear. The super swim-suits were deemed performance enhancers and performance enhancers have been against the rules since the beginning.

The FINA congress held a meeting on the 24th July 2009, in which 168 members of that congress agreed on the banning of the Super Swim-suit. Also from this investigation a new rule has been imposed, 'starting in 2010, swimsuits will only be made of fabric, men's suits will be waist to knee (jammers) and women's suits will be below the neck (shoulder straps) to above the knee.' (



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