Snatch switch question

goeri

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Hi,

I have a, rather unique, style of speed-switch in the snatch. I switch hands in the hike-position, So my free Hand goes between my legs to grab the bell at the end of the backswing .
I have understood that this is not allowed in the TSC. Can someone confirm this please?
 

Ryan Toshner

SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS
Senior Certified Instructor
That is correct. From the rules page:
The competitor may not place the non-lifting arm on the thigh or allow it to assist in any way.
So, you need to either switch hands on the way down (and get the now-free arm away from the leg before the kettlebell passes through) or on the way up after the kettlebell has passed between the legs going forward.
 

goeri

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Thank Ryan,
In fact, there is not really any violation. But I understand that it is impossible to judge.
Seems that I will have to learn a new switch.
It did not stop me from being first in my class, so all is well...
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Going to be interesting to see what the SF leaderships says about your style. I did see a few no-reps with the thumb pad of your right hand hitting your right thigh during left side snatch. Three no reps or no counts will terminate your snatch test in a cert. No sure with the TSC.
 

Ryan Toshner

SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS
Senior Certified Instructor
There were definitely a few no-counts in there. As @Don Fairbanks pointed out, your free hand/arm touched the leg a few times. See my comment above (below?) about the standard for the TSC... The rule says the free arm may neither assist the lift nor touch the leg.

There were a few other switches that looked like you didn't touch, but that's also quite challenging to see if you're not at the perfect angle. If I were judging it live, I'd probably have no-repped all of the switches because (a) it's difficult to tell and (b) there are legitimate—and, at the same time, obvious—methods of speed-switching in which the free hand doesn't touch the leg.
 

goeri

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Thanks @Ryan Toshner,

It seems that you came to the same conclusion, in that it is almost impossible to properly judge this switch.
I am still convinced that this technique follows the sense of the rules. But I will have to keep working on the switch on the way up then.

Tanks all!
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
I hesitate to comment on this since I'm not directly involved with the TSC. So any competitors, organizers or judges, feel free to tell me to shut up and butt out (or just ignore me).

Nevertheless...

IMO, speed switches should not be allowed at all. Any rep that includes a hand switch should be a no count, and hand switches should be required to be executed at the top of a swing in between reps. That would simplify and standardize everything for everybody. It would also reward being able to minimize hand switches (which I personally value more), rather than being able to switch hands mid-rep (a specialized competition technique that I don't value at all).
 

Ryan Toshner

SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS
Senior Certified Instructor
@Steve W. , comments are always welcome. :)

I'll start the reply by saying that there has been a lot of discussion on this and other TSC-related topics over the years. There's a lot more to the comments below than what I'm willing to type (and probably what most people would even want to read). So, please don't think that I'm being flippant...

Speed switches are not allowed at certifications. As you mentioned, it is a specialized competition technique. And that isn't the goal at the certs.

The TSC is, however, a competition (between yourself and your previous scores and/or between other people... depending on why each person participates and in which division)... which makes specialized competition technique a valid option.

You may value fewer hand switches (a totally valid viewpoint) while others may value a specialized technique that allows them to switch hands "on the fly" (also a totally valid viewpoint). In both cases, the point is to put up higher numbers than in other situations. We've decided that that is acceptable in the context of the TSC.

There does have to be some type of standard, hence the "free hand may not touch the leg or assist the lift in any way" rule. Beyond that (or, even, including that) we could have endless discussion about the pros & cons of various techniques.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
@Ryan Toshner,
Thanks for the explanation. Just out of curiosity, with regard to the OP's technique of switching at the end of the back swing:

If the free hand touches the leg (hard to avoid with this technique) that's a basis for a no count.

But also, if both hands are ever simultaneously in contact with the handle in that position, would that be considered a no count on the basis of the free hand assisting the lift? After all, if you could grip the bell with both hands in the hole that would be a tremendous advantage and it would probably be advantageous to do a switch like that on every rep. It looks like the OP is mostly releasing the bell on the switch and then regripping with the opposite hand, but if there were ever simultaneous contact (as I often find happens when doing hand to hand swings, switching at the top of the swing), would that also be a basis for a no count?
 

Ryan Toshner

SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS
Senior Certified Instructor
You're correct in that the free hand touching the leg is the basis for the no-count.

Speaking from personal experience, about the only time that I switch hands without simultaneously touching the bell with both hands at least for a brief instant is when I'm "juggling" the bell. In other words, hand-to-hand swings and speed switches on the way up or down (← at the midpoint as opposed to at the very bottom) almost always have two hands in contact with the bell at least briefly. So, both hands simultaneously touching the bell would not constitute a no-count... at least on the switch.

Hopefully obviously, if the free hand touched the "ball" part of the kettlebell, that would constitute a no-count.
 

goeri

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
This discussion is getting interesting.
@Ryan Toshner , you answered a concern I had, about touching the bell with both hands on the switch. I agree that it is almost impossible to avoid some overlap.
@Steve W. There are several advantages to a speed switch. But, what you describe above is not one of them. At each switch there is a loss of energy, created by the downswing, that you have to compensate at the upswing.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
@Steve W. There are several advantages to a speed switch. But, what you describe above is not one of them. At each switch there is a loss of energy, created by the downswing, that you have to compensate at the upswing.
Right, but that's because you're not trying to take advantage. You're finding the float at the end of the backswing, letting go with one hand and regripping with the other. Both hands may touch, but only one at a time is really working.

But I've done a lot of experimenting with speed switches on the way down (I tried to use it at an RKC cert in 2009 and was told not to, even though it was not in the published rules at the time) and at the bottom like you are doing. On the backswing if you put your free hand on the handle a beat early, hold on with both hands for a beat at the bottom, and keep both hands on the bell for a beat as you initiate the upswing, it takes a lot of stress off your grip. IMO, once you let people put that second hand on the bell during a counted rep, it opens up a whole can of worms for actually using both hands at once.
 
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Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Ryan Toshner, I don't mean to open Pandora's Box, but is the standard really no touching the leg? It would seem to me that incidental contact that clearly isn't intended to assist and isn't assisting is something we might, if we're discussing such things, consider allowing.

-S-
 

Ryan Toshner

SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS
Senior Certified Instructor
@Steve Freides , I agree that incidental contact is clearly intended not to assist. But let me flip the question around:

In what instance would the free hand ever need to touch the leg, other than to assist the lift (either by making it easier on the way up or reducing fatigue on the way down)?

(Note that in the video above, there was at least one rep from the front where it did look like the free hand pushed on the leg a little. Now, it's probably true that that really isn't going to affect the outcome of a 5-minute test... But we're also dealing in a gray area.

You know Pavel's typical response to stuff. Something along the lines of "make it simple/obvious; don't overcomplicate". It seems like this conversation is getting into the weeds...

If there's no legitimate reason to touch the leg... and if a lift can be assisted by touching the leg... then a rule that says "you can't touch the leg" seems simple, obvious, and valid. If we also say that speed switching is allowed (because it's a competition and we're accepting of slightly higher reps than otherwise)... and if someone touches the leg when speed switching... then it's a fault according to the rules, particularly if there are other methods of speed switching in which the free hand does not touch the leg.

Simple, no?)
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
I find the snatch test easier if I keep the bell off the ground for the duration, and within reason, to limit my hand switches.
Maybe less switching will lead to more reps.
 
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goeri

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Well, @Ryan Toshner and @Steve Freides , I agree, to both of you...
There is no advantage in touching my leg in my style of speed switches. All touching is accidental and dod not aid in the snatch.
But, to keep things clear in judging it gets very complicated.
 
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