The meeting was called to order at 7:20. Present were: John Hirschmann, Chairman; Bob Brofft, Jim Carey, Marty Cohen, Tyanna Ertter, Jim Garner, Dick Griffith, Boots Hall, and Jack Mechler.
Hirschmann reported to the Committee that he has had conversations with Ken Kunstel about his continuing participation on the Committee. Ken advised that while he would like to continue to serve, his professional commitments are such that he cannot do so. He has indicated a desire to submit a letter of resignation, but to date has not done so.
The Committee discussed whether others should be invited to join the Committee. After discussion, we felt that the current Committee size is adequate, and no action is required at this time.
New Starter Evaluators
The Committee reviewed the current list of persons qualified to evaluate new starters at their fifth or final session. We agreed that one individual no longer active should be removed from the list. The Committee agreed the following people were qualified to evaluate prospective starters and should be invited to participate: Steed Edwards, John Ertter, Bill Ferguson, Charlie Griffis, Dave Macedonia, Bob Richardson and Frank Robinson.
Jim Carey reported that he and Lynn Black are current in grading officials tests. Newly submitted tests are being graded quickly. We will be using the 1998 test and answer sheet through the end of August, 1999. Carey noted that he felt that certain answers provided by USS were not correct in a few isolated cases. Hirschmann asked Carey for specifics so he could forward this information to USA Swimming prior to the time the 1999 test is finalized.
Boots Hall indicated that the number of new officials certified in 1998 was lower than in previous years. Between 1991 and 1997, we certified, on average, slightly more than 50 new officials per year. In 1998, this fell to 32 new certifications. These figures do not include the number of officials "moving up" to Starter or Referee, but reflect the number of first-time certifications – primarily Stroke and Turn, Hy-Tek and CTS. The committee feels that while there are occasionally meets with fewer officials than desirable, generally most of our meets are well-staffed. Our concern is that with future turnover, we need to keep up an active recruiting effort to bring in new blood, especially parents of young swimmers. We need to ensure more new officials in the future to keep this from becoming a problem.
Several suggestions were offered for increasing new official recruiting. These include:
We also recommended that the Competition Committee evaluate club history in arranging adequate official staffing for past meets in their process for awarding future meets.
Certification expiration dates
Boots Hall reminded all that the expiration dates for all PVS officials have been shifted starting this year to December, rather than throughout the year. Club Officials Chairs were asked prior to the January clinics to check the expiration dates for existing officials, and suggest attendance at the appropriate clinics as necessary.
Referee re-certification criteria
The Committee considered the issue of whether to require all PVS Referees to be certified in the operations of Colorado timing equipment, and Hy-Tek swimming software. All new Referees and all current Referees who have been first certified within the past several years have been required to certify on both Colorado and Hy-Tek operations. The issue concerns those Referees who were first certified before PVS began widespread usage of the electronics and the current computer system (Hy-Tek) at its meets.
As of September 1998, 12 of the 51 PVS Referees had become certified prior to the adoption of Colorado and Hy-Tek operations, and have never been certified in these areas.
The committee discussed the merits of requiring all referees to become certified in Colorado timing and Hy-Tek operations. Some members felt that since the USA Swimming rules do not require knowledge of the Colorado or Hy-Tek operations, this should not be mandatory for Referee certification. It was also noted that most other LSC's in USA Swimming do not require this of their Referees. It was also pointed out that there are limited opportunities to train on the table operations during the PVS season. Others felt that knowledge of these functions is desirable for Referees, because these have a strong influence on the smooth operations of our meets. We felt that it is important that Referees be aware of the capabilities and limitations of the electronics, and the implications of various decisions that Referees may make on table operations. We observed that there are changes over time to the Colorado hardware and software, and to the Hy-Tek software.
After discussion, the Committee made the following recommendations:
To support making these recommendations practical to implement, we recommend that the Colorado and Hy-Tek clinics be offered more than once per year. We also recommend that a new combined Colorado and Hy-Tek "refresher" clinic be offered in addition to the clinics for new operators. This would permit changes in the hardware/software and new PVS procedures to be emphasized at those clinics.
Staffing of PVS Senior Championships – March, 1999
Hirschmann reported that one person who was under consideration would no longer be in the city during the dates of the meet, March 4-7. He advised he would like to learn within the next week whether any members of the Committee wished to serve as Meet Referee or Administrative Referee for this meet.
Hirschmann advised that John Drupa had reported to him that many clubs have ordered name tags for their officials, although one or two large clubs have yet to place a major order. The Committee generally felt the tags had been well received and expects that more officials will have tags as the ordering process continues.
Hirschmann also reported to the Committee that USA Swimming is now promoting clothing specifically designed for officials. Also, the Maryland LSC has made a similar arrangement with a local supplier. The Committee felt it did not want to promote either of these initiatives for PVS officials at this time.
Procedures for conducting distance meets
Jim Garner noted that the procedures for positive check in for distance meets need to be clarified. The problem arises when there are many entries, forcing long duration sessions. Athletes have been required this year (per the meet announcement) to check in at the beginning of the session, even though they may not be scheduled to swim until hours later. Both the Competition Committee (from a coaching/athletes perspective) and the Officials Committee (to ensure that our deck procedures are consistent with the meet announcements, etc.) have asked that written procedures be developed.
The next meeting will be held on February 23, 1999, with a primary focus on staffing Senior Champs. It will be held at Marty Cohen's Inova offices.