Shaving Violation Costs Broadneck County Swimming Title

Severna Park High School has been named the new champion nearly two weeks later.

UPDATE (6:25 p.m.)—An illegal shaving the day of the meet has cost Broadneck High School’s girls varsity swim team its county championship, according to a schools spokesman.

Severna Park High School's girls varsity swim team has been named the new champion of the Feb. 10 event after points were redistributed, with Broadneck placing third.

A Bruins swimmer was disqualified after officials learned that she had shaved "on site" just before the competition began, in violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rulebook, a release from the school system said.

“No team personnel/competitor shall perform any on-site shaving before, during or after the meet," according to the rulebook.

According to the NFHS rule book, on-site shaving is prohibited for health and safety reasons, and also prevents the transmission of blood-borne diseases. 

“It is very important that coaches counsel their athletes on the danger and inappropriateness of on-site shaving ranging from sharing razors, possible cuts and exchange of body fluid (blood) and spreading communicable disease to cleanliness issues at the facility," according to the NFHS.  “Coaches have the responsibility to educate their athletes and enforce this restriction.”

Disciplinary action has been taken against the coach, according to a press release.

Patch is reaching out for comments from swimmers and parents who were involved with this year's team.

Email me if you have more information.

The full press release: 

Broadneck High School’s varsity girls swim team has been forced to forfeit its county championship after it was discovered that a student-athlete and coach violated rules of the meet.  

School system officials were made aware this week of a concern that one of the team’s swimmers improperly prepared for the county championship meet, held on February 10, by shaving on-site just prior to the start of the competition. 

Anne Arundel County Public Schools Office of Athletics officials immediately notified all necessary parties and redistributed the points earned by the disqualified swimmer to the other participating teams.  

As a result, the county championship has been awarded to Severna Park High School. Broadneck finished third.

Under National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 2011-2012 swimming and diving and water polo rules, “No team personnel/competitor shall perform any on-site shaving before, during or after the meet.”

The penalty for breaking the rule is disqualification for the applicable meet.

The coach violated a rule in the 2011-2012 AACPS Athletics Handbook that addresses a coach’s responsibility to abide by the rules of the game and promote ethical relationships among coaches and players.

Appropriate disciplinary action has been taken against the coach.

Lorrie Davis February 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Thanks Jes. Do they have this rule in College, National competitions and the Olympics? I sure hope my swim club does not ban shaving before I get there - no one wants to see that.
Esme Neely Smith February 22, 2012 at 01:50 AM
All of the above is true. However, in this case the rule has more to do with health that competitive edge -- shaving on site at a meet carries the risk of blood-born diseases if someone is cut. In the meantime why is there not a story about the fact that the BHS boys swim team has a county title and both the boys and girls teams just won regional titles. For that matter why are there basically no stories covering any sports at BHS? It is our peninsula's high school.
Catherine thomas February 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Find out if the high school is generating press releases for their sports teams.
CB9678 February 22, 2012 at 06:45 PM
The significnce of shaving is it reduces drag. The shaving is not against the rules but it was decided and added about 15 years ago to the rules to keep down BBP spread.
CB9678 February 22, 2012 at 06:47 PM
NCAA added the rule in 1998 when I first started officiating college meets. USA swimming I believe has the rule and not sure about FINA!
Terry Thompson February 22, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Three questions: Who was the female swimmer that violated the rule? Why isn't anyone releasing her name? Since she didn't commit a crime and assuming she is under 18 what does it matter in keeping her identity a secret?
Lorrie Davis February 22, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Please do not put up this poor girls name. I am sure she feels badly enough and to drag her name through the mud would be horrible. Rumor has it she was shaving after the meet to go out on date and probably had no idea shaving after the meet was an issue.
Esme Neely Smith February 22, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Your rumor sources is incorrect.
Ganon W February 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM
How and when was it discovered?
D. Frank Smith (Editor) February 22, 2012 at 11:22 PM
I have an update to the story planned for tomorrow, but I don't have that information yet.
kellie February 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM
One reason Broadneck may not be being covered more on this site is it is the Severna Park Patch. There are Patches for each town/area and your local news would be covered there. However, if you mean BHS is not covered at all in the acutal newspaper or online, then that I can't answer. And NO, they should not print the name of a child. Her name has no relevance to the story. In this age of anonymous comment posting, you can bet some of the comments would be spiteful and inappropriate, not what a teenager needs to hear during a difficult time.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) February 23, 2012 at 12:03 AM
BHS is my territory. I'm not sure what you mean about it not being covered by my site. It's just a guess, but I've probably written three BHS stories each week since I started as a guest editor. Now, I'm sure I don't hear half of the actual news that happens there, but that's where you guys come in, right? =).
Esme Neely Smith February 23, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Kellie -- there have been both SP and Broadneck Patch sites for a while now -- they each have their own territory to cover. D. Frank -- unfortunately I feel that the Broadneck site is a shadow of its former self. While I have noticed a number of local theater stories which is good, there is no longer a regular flow of new and timely news. I miss seeing features on area residents, reading about cool kids, news on athletic teams and coverage of meetings and events. I also miss the regular photo essays. It's too bad that Patch no longer uses its cadre of freelance photographers and writers as no one person can effectively do the job.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) February 23, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Well, sorry you feel that way. I'll keep at it though.
Leslie Hunt February 23, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Hi Esme- Give Frank a chance over there in Broadneck. He's still getting his feet wet in Patch land. And, yes, the sites are being successfully managed by sole editors with a growing cadre of bloggers and UGC (user generated content). We still have freelancers. We count on our readers to let us know what they want covered, so let him know. This story was "crossposted" with SP Patch, originating in Broadneck, the comment thread is from both Patch sites. Thanks for being a Patch fan~ Leslie
Laura February 23, 2012 at 03:21 AM
As I understand it, the no shaving rule is not an across the board rule for all sports though, which doesn't make sense as blood born pathogens are not sports specific. As a matter of fact, I know of an incidence where a wrestler was forced to shave right before a meet. If it truly has to do with BBP, than the rule should either be followed for ALL sports or abolished.
Bill February 23, 2012 at 01:52 PM
It was self reported by the swimmer after she was told it was against the rules to the coach, and the coach to the High School Athletic Director at the conclusion of the meet.
Let me vent February 23, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I'm gonna take a guess and say the shaving incident was SP back up plan, otherwise why not disqualify the young lady before she swam. I guess when they came up short they had their ace and they played it. I think this became an issue in water sports after Greg Louganis had his accident on the diving board. But really their are many other sports in school where blood can be exchanged, football, wrestling, LAX, but swimming in a pool with chlorine, come on.
Colleen Parr Winans February 23, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Since I now have permission to comment let me set the record straight: A swimmer from another team reported to her coach before the meet began that my BHS swimmer had been shaving her underarms. I went to my swimmer and said, "you could be disqualified for shaving!" She said, 'Why?'(Because of a rule regarding blood-borne pathogens) And right then I felt sick because I realized I had not told my entire team about the no shaving before, during, or after the meet rule (from the NFHS rulebook) this season. Goodness knows, I talked about the NO jewelry rule all year! So instead of dq'ing my swimmer and replacing her with other great swimmers, I let her swim. Threw her the life-ring but sank the ship! After the meet, when I had time to think, I knew I had to self-report the incident and did to my ADs. My team and I learned a valuable lesson, follow the rules to the letter. I apologized to my team, parents, school, and swimming community of coaches and participants. The press release that should have gone out Monday following the meet did not arrive until this week so hence all of the speculating. HS Swimming has friendly rivalries among the coaches and swimmers which is one of the reasons to really enjoy the sport. Please support our teams from Anne ARundel County as we head to the State Meet in College Park Saturday! MPSSAA.org has all the info. Sincerely, Coach Winans/BHS Swimming
Tina by the Bay February 23, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Thank you for speaking up Coach Colleen. I was shocked to read this whole thing in Yahoo http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/maryland-swim-team-retroactively-loses-county-title-because-153508295.html. It just goes to show the passion for sports we have in our area. I do agree with not mentioning the name of the swimmer because she is a minor. It's enough that she will have to live with the mistake for the rest of her life. I hope she got some counseling. At the same time, if I was in the shoes of a team member who won the title because of the shaving incident I can't proudly tell my grand kids down the road... they'll come back to me and say "well, yeah your team only won because someone shaved in the other team."
LaRue February 23, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I think Frank has been terrific since he's started.......So "lighten up Frances!"
Leslie Hunt February 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Thank you coach Winans for setting the record straight on what exactly happened. This makes me feel proud of Patch for providing the platform for you to do so and end the speculation. You showed courage in joining this conversation- bravo to you.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) February 23, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Thanks for giving your side of the story. It seems to me the kids think the world of you despite all this. You've got some dedicated swimmers. Hope they do well at state this weekend!
kellie February 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM
@Let me Vent, what a cheap shot at SPHS! It was their backup plan to not report an illegal incident? Whether reported before or after the event the outcome would be the same. And whether you agree with the rule or not, its still a stated rule and the dq would have been given to any team that did it, including SP.
Lorrie Davis February 24, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Thank you Kellie. I felt the same way when I read Let me Vent but I decided I should bite my tongue. Why we all cannot just feel really lucky that we have exceptional students and amazing athletes on both sides of the Hwy. and celebrate all of their success, feel badly about all of their defeats, mourn all of their losses is beyond me.
Fran Klassen February 25, 2012 at 04:46 PM
In a world filled with imperfect people (every one of us - incase you're taking inventory), I am grateful for people like Coach Winans who not only teach our kids the importance of following the rules, but also leads by example and owns up to it when a mistake is made, despite the heavy cost. Well done Colleen! Thank you for loving our young people and giving them something far more valuable than a title. F. Klassen
Mike McTammany February 29, 2012 at 03:57 PM
@let me vent: Severna Park Swimming had nothing to do with the incident. What coach or team would want to win a championship in such a manner? I admire Coach Winans for her candid explanation of what happened, as I admired both the boys' and girls' teams from Broadneck for their grace and skill in the county championship meet. Both of our teams thrive on the competition, and that familiarity has spawned friendships and mutual respect.
DioDingo February 29, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Yes! She cost her team the Title! I'm sure she feels bad enough and to subject her to public scorn would be cruel. Right or wrong, some people may see what she did as a crime.
DioDingo February 29, 2012 at 04:32 PM
If you go back to the story you will see that the athlete in question reported on herself after the meet was over. Blaming SP doesn't make sense. Yes there is blood in all sports. I ran track and certainly smeared blood on kids that spiked me in the leg or pushed me into trees/poles. It was childish, but they still spilled my blood, and there isn't a rule against it. As a father I don't want my kid doing it but how are you going to stop it?
DioDingo February 29, 2012 at 04:34 PM
You now have shown how adults act and set a great example for your kids.


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