In This Issue
1. Important Updates
2. Chief Judges Need to Have "FIN"
3. Hy-tek Corner
Grand Prix Applications
Applications for the
following meets are now available.
Orlando Grand Prix
HERE to apply
Greetings from Alabama. Just when I thought things might quiet down a bit, I received a call about the
need for more officials in various parts of the country to meet the growing demand of the additional athletes. It appears that our growth is providing
both opportunity and challenges as coaches are trying to find meets for their athletes before the meet is closed out. In certain cases, this means no
meet at all for some athletes because of various reasons. One of the reasons seems to be a lack of officials in a particular area. This situation is
certainly one where we as officials should roll up our sleeves and make sure that no athlete is denied the chance to swim because there were not
enough officials to run a meet. It could also mean that some officials might wish to consider working across town in order to make sure that all meets
can run efficiently and effectively. I know it may be a hardship, but I am hopeful the spirit by which we all offer our services will prevail on those
who are able.
In light of this situation, the National Committee is going to put on its thinking
cap (not swimming, as some of us might, well, sink) and brainstorm some ways to attract new officials. If you have any interest in working with this
group, please let me know. Another area that I have discussed with the LSC Officials Chairs is the need to make sure that each LSC's certification and
recertification requirements are not driving officials out of our sport. While I am an advocate for good training and standards, I ask every LSC chair
to revisit their minimum standards, certification and recertification requirements to make sure that they are appropriate and necessary
"minimum" standards. Thanks to everyone for their service and commitment to our athletes and our sport.
Thank you for your dedication, and see you on deck.
Clark Hammond, National Officials
GOING BY THE BOOK – Latest rule
changes and interpretations:
- FINA: FINA met in Barcelona, Spain, this past summer (ever wonder why they don’t come
to Iowa?) and decided, among other things, not to turn the breaststroke into a 15-meter dolphin kick race. USA Swimming adopted these technical rule
changes on Sept. 23, 2013. To learn more about the technical rule changes, CLICK HERE
- USA SWIMMING: USA Swimming’s House
of Delegates approved the corresponding changes in our rule book. Nothing huge, but you still might get quizzed by one of those
“helicopter” parents. CLICK
- Officials' Briefing: to help you better communicate this with your officiating team, the officials' briefing has been
updated with the new rules. CLICK HERE
PROTECTION TRAINING (APT)
Many of you just received free months of APT! In order to better
coordinate all our expiration dates, the APT expiration date for everyone will now be Dec. 31 of the current registration year. This means if you take
the APT in September-December, it will expire on Dec. 31 of the following year. If you take it in January-August, it will expire on Dec. 31 of the
current year. All of our APT expiration dates have already been changed to Dec. 31 of the year in which they were originally set to
Everyone should be serious about this 4-hour meet rule for our 12 & under swimmers. Long meets are
turning off parents and swimmers who would rather go to a 1-hour soccer match, Little League or even a flag football game. Help swimming win by
planning shorter meets! CLICK HERE to read more.
NEW RESOURCE FOR TIMING ADJUSTMENTS
Timing adjustments are a bugaboo for most of us, but they are important. Swimmers work all season to
shave-off a half second, which our mistakes could add right back if we are not careful. We have just written a step-by-step guide called
"Reconciling Times in Meet Manager 5.0." I know that does not sound like a thriller, but it is. Furthermore, it is the answer to,
"Help, how do I do this?" CLICK HERE for this
Chief Judges Need To Have “FIN”:
How to Survive the Officials’
Briefing and Other Maladies
By John C.
Gagliardo, Pacific Northwest Swimming LSC
contemplating being a Chief Judge for the first time or maybe you have just been selected to be a Chief Judge at a big meet. What to do? Here is a
short pop quiz that might help you.
1. Why did you become (or why are you
still) an official?
A. Son or daughter in the sport
B. Hate having to sit
in those uncomfortable bleachers for LONG hours
C. The "free" food and meet shirts
D. Fun and camaraderie of your fellow ‘blue & whites’
E. All of the
2. What is a primary reason we
hold officials’ briefings prior to a meet/session? 3. What is the one
item that most meets have that is so often dreaded by the officials?
A. See who has the whitest shoes in the room
B. It’s really only for the benefit of the CJs so they can create the deck-staffing plan
C. Give everyone a chance to sit down before those long shifts standing on deck
D. Provide vital,
meet-specific information regarding protocols, jurisdiction, etc.
E. All of the above
A. All distance events over 400 meters/500
B. 8 & under butterfly in a Challenge meet
C. Taking Order Of
Finish for 50 free at a Sectional, Zones, or higher meet
D. The same old, tried and true Stroke Briefing
E. All of the above
"E. All of the above" might sound like the best answer (admittedly, in many cases, it is). However, as our focus is on being a Chief Judge,
the answer we are looking for is "D".
One of the many
things that a good Chief Judge does (and I’ve had the good fortune to study and observe from many of you out there) is to keep things
interesting from the moment we walk in the door. Keeping this in mind, I try to do something special for every meet in which I participate, whether
big or small. I like to call this the "FIN" approach. Corny? Perhaps. But "what exactly is FIN?" I hear you cry. Simply put,
at all times – whether it be in the officials' briefings or on deck, with the
appropriate eye on professionalism of course – try to keep
things Fun, Informative, and New.
can make a meet seem longer than it needs to be (never mind those distance races) than when an officiating team is not having any fun. When
officiating becomes work we tend to lose focus on why we’re really out there (for the athletes of course). A great place to start
this Fun is in the briefings. Of course, you must be careful with how much you push this as not everyone has the same sense
of humor. Also, it is important to maintain a certain level of professionalism. If you try to keep things light while conducting your meetings
though, it’s a great place to start building your team of smiling officials.
Next, make sure that you share the Information in your briefings before you send everyone out on
deck. Resolve with your meet referee and fellow CJs what protocols you wish to follow. For example, do we judge freestyle from the corners for all or
merely for the longer events when officials are to stand (short or long whistles)? Also, what jurisdictions are in play for stroke judges versus turn
judges and the like? Nothing hurts your team’s effectiveness more than trying to manage things too much on the fly after the officials'
briefing has ended. Remember those meets where you’re told something for the first time on where or how to stand when a swimmer is already in
the water coming at you? Covering this information in the briefing rather than on deck is vital.
And finally, at your next briefing, try something New. Ask a seasoned official to give the
stroke briefing. Or, hey, ask a newly certified person. Don’t put them on the spot without help, but sometimes hearing the stroke briefings in
a new light can keep everyone engaged. Try to approach the entire officials' briefing with an eye on keeping things light and fresh. Your
audience–the officials–will appreciate it. Remember, too, that every meet has something different to offer each one
of us. Whether it’s a record set, an equipment malfunction, or something in between, no two meets are exactly the same and therefore, each one
offers us all a new experience to enjoy.
I urge all of you to try to
utilize the "FIN" approach as you face each meet. If you can do this, each and every meet will be a kick (you really didn’t expect me
to pass that pun up, now did you?)!
In closing, I would like to
offer up a little something that might help liven up your next officials' briefing; see below for "A Stroke Briefing in Rhyme." At your
next meet, remember our pop quiz fundamentals: share information, encourage everyone to enjoy whatever new comes their way and have fun out
Stroke Briefing in Rhyme" by John C. Gagliardo
One topic being discussed in
many LSCs is timing adjustments, particularly with the new requirement that every USA Swimming sanctioned meet must have an administrative referee or
an administrative official.
Meet Manager 5 has some exciting new
features to help in this process:
1. An adjust status column, which will display whether a time in a lane that is highlighted in
yellow, green or blue has been adjusted (A), a decision has been made not to adjust the time (K), or a decision is still pending (?).
2. The heat buttons now display five different colors showing their status. Gray
means that the heat has entries without results. Green means the heat has results for every lane/position and there are no problems. Red means the
heat has results for every lane/position, but there are problems with one or more lanes. Blue means the heat is the selected heat and there are either
no results in any lanes or there are full results with no problems. Yellow means the heat is the selected heat, has full or partial results, but there
are either problems with one or more lanes, or one or more lanes are missing results.
3. If a lane has one or more splits or backup button times, but no pad time, Meet Manager 5 will not
put an NS in that lane when the results are imported. Rather the time for that lane will be blank, indicating that it needs to be investigated
In addition you have all of the features for highlighting lanes where the backup times are more
than 0.3 seconds different than the pad times and for calculating the timing adjustments.
Meet Manager 5 also
has a new eLesson Training Video on Timing Adjustments that you can access either through the software itself or by using this link: CLICK HERE
My hope is to use this corner to acquaint you with some of the features in Meet Manager that you may not be aware of
– but find to be useful. If you have suggestions or comments, please email, Bob Matlack at firstname.lastname@example.org