Freestyle swimming is a swimming discipline in which a swimmer is allowed to swim in any way, arbitrarily changing it along
the course. At the same time, over the entire distance, with the exception of a segment of no more than 15 m after the start or turn, «any part of the swimmer’s body must break the surface of the water.»
Currently FINA (International Swimming Federation) holds competitions and registers freestyle world records at distances of 50 m, 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1500 m (distances 800 m for men and 1500 m for women – non-Olympic) and in relay races 4 × 100 m and 4 × 200 m for men and women, in a mixed relay race 4 × 100 m (2 men and 2 women swim – non-Olympic) in 50-meter and 25-meter pools. LEN (European Swimming League), in addition to these distances and relay races, registers European records in the 4 × 50 m relay in 25-meter pools.
Freestyle swimming is also included as the final segment of the complex swimming distance and the final stage of the combined relay; in these cases, “freestyle” means any style other than backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly stroke.
In modern freestyle swimming, all participants use a crawl stroke.