“plastic material normally associated with the sport of swimming”

Snorkel Training, by chuck_nc, used under CC-BY-SA

Training, by chuck_nc, used under CC-BY-SA

One of the things you can bring into the California bar exam is ‘earplugs or plastic material normally associated with the sport of swimming‘. Two things I really want right now:

1) to walk into the exam with a snorkel.
2) to know why this was put in the list. This must have made sense to someone, at some time; maybe someone with some sort of eye allergies wanted to wear goggles? Someone had a serious medical need to cover their hair with a headcap? There must be an explanation. I really, really want to know what it is…

[search engine nerdiness data point: bing has only 9 results for “plastic material normally associated with the sport of swimming”, where google has 19, including one result from twitter. But unlike google, bing appears to actually find the relevant document on the calbar website. This is particularly interesting to me given that it is obvious (from searches for various NY restaurants) that bing does not search inside flash, but is the first proof I’ve seen that they search pdf.]

12 thoughts on ““plastic material normally associated with the sport of swimming””

  1. I expect they probably only intend for plastic earplugs to be allowed?

    Probably it was worded so imprecisely by someone who didn’t pass the bar exam… surely no lawyer would be so sloppy? :)

  2. That list of things you can bring has all kinds of weirdness in it….
    “Silent analog watches, timers and clocks not measuring *larger* than 4″X4″ inches or *smaller*”

    So a 2″x2″ watch would be larger then 1″x1″ and since 1″x1″ is 4″x4″ or smaller you’re not allowed to wear it! Pretty sure no lawyer ever saw that list :-)

  3. I used swim on the national level, received a college scholarship and my friend ended up getting a getting a gold in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, so I have a pretty good grasp on the sport of swimming. The fact that the bar exam requirements/options says you can bring “plastic material normally associated with the sport of swimming” illustrates to me how very smart people can be incredibly dumb which I would find embarrassing. As Anon mentioned there is more weirdness to that list, but to get back to your question… I could name all the plastic things in swimming, but I would agree with the first posted saying it’s probably those plastic earplugs you could use which btw over 99.99999% of competitive swimmers don’t use. I think that’s probably what they mean because they mention earplugs with that. I highly doubt they mean paddles, those snorkels in your picture, fins (which are usually rubber not plastic in swimming now a days) or goggles. After you pass the bar exam (unless you have already) I would write them a letter, email and/or give them a phone call about how ridiculous and convoluted that list is and then reference a blog illustrating that.

  4. my take was they meant earplugs and some fancy new-fangled earplug-like stuff that doesn’t come pre-shaped into earplugs but you just stuff however much you need in there. bar study has done wonders for my vocabulary

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  6. Hi Luis,

    It your cousin Carmen from miami. You made my day with this entry. I literally laughed out loud in my office and my eyes filled with tears as I got the mental picture of anyone going into the bar exam with a snorkel on. HAHAHAHA!! My sister Laura is in her last year of law school and I had to share this with her.
    Congratulations on your recent graduation!

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