The Flyer is usually the smallest member of the team. Flyers must be agile and flexible, with a preferable gymnastics background if they are jumping off the lift.The Chair or The Plank tends to be of average size. She should have good leg strength and a solid core (when performing a platform lift, a strong core and length is essential).The rest of the team will be underneath the chair or plank. They are usually strong and powerful, as their job is to support the Chair/Plank and supply the force needed for the flyer to execute her job. .....
Competitors wear custom swimsuits and headpieces, usually elaborately decorated with bright fabric and sequins to reflect the music to which they are swimming. The costume and music are not judged (but marks will be taken off if the headpiece falls off any swimmer while she is swimming the routine) but factor into the overall performance and artistic impression. Heavy eye makeup is often worn to help portray the emotions involved with the routine; it helps to accentuate the eyes of each swimmer. (This makeup style is often the center of criticism and ridicule. Some argue that it shows a lack of taste and minimizes the athleticism of the sport. Other artistic sports, such as gymnastics and ice skating, do not employ the same makeup practices.)
Underwater speakers ensure that swimmers can hear the music and aid their ability to synchronize with each other. Routines are prepared and set to counts in the music, to further ensure synchronization. Coaches use underwater speakers to communicate with the swimmers during practice. Goggles, though worn during practice, are not permitted during routine competition. .....
Solos (where an individual swimmer will synchronise with the music).
Duets (where a swimmer co ordinates with their partner and in time to the music).
Teams (where the swimmer co ordinates with up to seven other athletes and in time to the music).
Combo (a team routine where up to ten swimmers perform in one continuous routine but during the routine there will be segments where different numbers of swimmers will perform.
Teams normally contain eight swimmers, but the minimum number for a team is four. Teams lose marks for every swimmer they have under the full complement because it is easier to synchronise the less people there are in a routine!
Currently, only the duet and team competitions are included in the Olympic Games (although the Solo competition featured in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics)
In most senior competitions, swimmers will perform two routines for the judges, one technical and one free. The technical routine involves performing predetermined elements that must be executed in a specific order. The free routine has no requirements so the swimmers can be free in how creative they get with the movements and their choreography.
There are also competitions called Figures for junior swimmers where they perform set movements to the judges. There is no music and this is simply a case of how well the individual performs the movements. .....
There are also certain movements that swimmers can perform in many different ways, so for example a swimmer can spin in the water but this can be spinning 180degrees or moving their entire body for one rotation (360 degrees).
Or with the Flamingo position there is a way to move the leg into the bend position and a way to get out of the move. Learn more about Figure Descriptions.
There is an internationally recognised list of figures provided by FINA, the sports world wide governing body. All figures are given a category and a tariff. So a single ballet leg (one leg out of the water stretched upwards) has a lower rating of 1.6, while a spiral (where a swimmer will lift both legs out of the water to hip height and perform two full twists , followed by a Vertical Descent) has a rating of 3.5.
There are also a few figures that are part of the synchronised swimming stages of the ASAs National Plan for Teaching Swimming but are not recognised by FINA. These have been designed to introduce young swimmers to the basic movements of synchro. .....