As we move into 2014, it is a great time to step back and remember
why we officiate. Did you begin officiating because your child was swimming? Because it was better than sitting in the stands for multiple hours?
Because your club requires volunteer hours? Because you swam when you were (cough) younger? Or did you do it for the love of the sport, your team,
etc.? Whatever the reason, we all know that officiating isn’t always easy. It takes hours to become certified and then re-certified, and it
requires some of our hard-earned money (of course, if I was sitting in the stands the amount I would pay for food and drinks would likely be way more
than what I pay for officiating). However, no matter how long I have been officiating, I usually learn something new at every meet.
As we enter into the new year, I ask that each of you make a goal—to recruit one new official. As I mentioned
in a previous newsletter, LSCs are having problems recruiting and retaining officials in some places in the country. Our athletes work too hard
participating in our sport; so please help them and each LSC by inviting other parents or community members to become an official.
Again, thank you for your invaluable service to our sport, our athletes and our coaches.
Clark Hammond, National Officials Chair
ANNOUNCER: A REFEREE'S SECRET WEAPON TO RUNNING AN EFFECTIVE MEET
By Sam Kendricks
Sam has worked as an announcer at many USA Swimming meets including: Sectionals, Grand Prix Series, Nationals and Olympic
Whether you are the referee for a local age-group meet or working a sectional or zone meet, the announcer is key to your
meet’s success. A good announcer will help you set the tone, stay on time and energize the athletes and crowd. Energized swimmers and an
involved crowd make a meet better.
Like most things in swimming, this doesn’t just happen. It takes some planning and friendly and helpful
communication between the announcer and deck crew. Here’s a checklist of the most important protocols that you should discuss before the
- How the announcer, meet referee and deck referee(s) will interface with each other to ensure a smooth and effective transition as
events are introduced and then handed off to the referee
- Warm-up procedures and coordination with safety marshals, etc.
- Start procedures, such as flyover starts
- Athlete introductions
- Results announcements
- Record information
- Safety & emergency protocols
- Materials (such as timelines,
heat sheets and team abbreviations) needed by the announcer
Additionally, if the meet is a prelims/finals meet, you should make sure that
- Swim-off procedures
- Scratches and intent to scratch
- Differences for specific A, B, C
- How to handle alternates
If you need to find a new announcer, you might want to consider an experienced current or former
coach, or even an official. They typically make excellent announcers as they understand the nuances of swim meets and understand how to work with
officials better than most.
Two exciting new features were added in an update to Meet Manager for Swimming 5.0 in late October, 2013.
1. For the finals of a prelim/final open event, you now can set up the event to limit any number of the slower heats to a
certain age such as 18 & under. This preference is available in the setup for each event. To set up the preference for a given event, the
Meet Type must be a Standard Meet or a Divisions by Event meet. The event must be an individual event with A
final, B final Style. The event cannot be Multi-Age Group or Diving.
Alternates are listed in the Meet Program for
each of the two sections of the Finals: non-age specific, and age specific. For example, if an event is set up with five final heats and the two
slowest finals heats are limited to 17 & under, the alternates for the A final, B final and C final will be the next two fastest from prelims
regardless of age. The alternates for the D final and E final will be the remaining two fastest 17 & unders.
This has been a
much-requested feature and will be used a lot—particularly at Sectional meets. In previous MM versions, a global feature in the Seeding
Preferences permitted limiting only the C final to a certain age in all prelim/final events setup with A final, B final and C final.
2. There is a new seeding preference for how many heats in a preliminaries round are circle seeded. In prior versions, the
default for how many heats to circle seed was three. This continues to be the case for events less than 400. A new default of two has been added for
events 400 and longer. But of course, for any event distance you still can set your own number of heats to circle seed.