Relay Swimming is a competitive swimming race in which four athletes compete as a team, rather than as individuals, to complete the distance in the fastest combined time possible.
The three most common codes of race conducted for both men and women are: 4 X 100 freestyle, 4 X 200 freestyle, and 4 X 100 medley. For the medley event, swimmers in each of the four legs have to use, Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle strokes respectively.
Before the start of the race, all four athletes line up behind the jumping platform. At the start signal, the first swimmer takes to the water to complete the leg individually, followed one after the other individually by the other three swimmers.
The second, third and the fourth swimmers can only jump into the pool after the pervious swimmer touches the wall. If any swimmer leaves the platform before the pervious athlete touches the wall, it results in the disqualification of the team. The swimmers are however allowed to start their diving motion, when the previous swimmer is close to touching the wall, as long as the foot remains in contact with the platform.
Swimming relay races are a major part of all swimming events and is contested during the Olympics and World Championships.
- Freestyle — in these events competitors can swim using any stroke of their choice.
- Backstroke — a swimming stroke performed on the back with the arms lifted alternately out of the water in a backward circular motion and the legs extended and kicking.
- Breaststroke — one of the major swimming strokes, performed with the swimmer with his chest forward and facing towards to bottom of the pool.
- Butterfly — one of the major swimming stroke styles, swum on the breast, with both arms moving simultaneously, accompanied by a "dolphin kick.