National Federation of State High School Associations Includes a Section About Shallow Water Blackouts for the First Time in its 2019-20 Rule Book.


Over 19,500 high schools belong to associations that are members of the NFHS. Most high schools, whether public or private, belong to their state's high school association; in turn, each state association belongs to the NFHS. However, in states that have separate associations for public and non-public high schools, only the public-school bodies are full NFHS members.

2019-20 Rules Book


Page 3:


2019-20 Swimming and Diving Points of Emphasis

(For comments on the 2019-20 Points of Emphasis, see page 94)


1.    Preventing Shallow Water Blackout

2.    Suit Coverage

3.    Accommodation for Students with a Disability

4.    Sub-varsity Competition

5.    Pre-Meet Conferences



Page 94:


2019-20 Points of Emphasis:


Preventing Shallow Water Blackout

    The rules for NFHS swimming and diving exist to ensure fair competition in a positive, safe and healthy environment.  Consequently, the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee recognizes concerns that have been raised over instances of shallow water blackout, which can affect swimmers of all experience levels.  Shallow water blackout is a potentially fatal condition that causes a swimmer to lose consciousness while under water.  Shallow water blackout can be prevented through education, awareness and understanding of the dangers of breath-holding.  The tips below are provided by Shallow Water Blackout Prevention.  For further information, visit

·       Never hyperventilate

·       Never ignore the urge to breath

·       Never swill alone

·       Never play breath-holding games

·       No repetitive underwater laps


We wish to extend a very big thank you to the Rules Committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations for giving shallow water blackout a spotlight in its newest Rules Book.  Your support of our mission to raise awareness is greatly appreciated.