Welcome to the first edition of our new PVS Officials’ Newsletter!
The Officials Committee of Potomac Valley Swimming hopes to make this newsletter
a regular opportunity
to keep you up-to-date with happenings in USA Swimming and PVS
officiating, and to provide a forum to help us all become better officials. Do
you have comments, questions, or suggestions regarding this newsletter or about
or any member of the PVS
Are You Registered?
There’s still time to submit your 2008 Registration and receive
that beautiful pink and gray card verifying you are a member of USA Swimming!
If you haven’t yet registered for this year, click
here for the
registration form. With the start of a new registration year, Meet Referees
remember that all coaches and officials
must be current members of USA
You Make the Call
A coach tells you that his swimmer has sprained an ankle and is unable to turn
his foot out in the breaststroke kick. The coach says that, because of this
sprained ankle, the swimmer should be considered disabled. Should the swimmer
be disqualified for not turning his foot out in the propulsive part of the
or is he
of a disability?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.
Congratulations to our own Boots Hall, who is the January, 2008
recipient of the Maxwell Excellence Award for service to local swimming.
The Maxwell Excellence Award is given under the sponsorship of Swimming
World magazine and Maxwell Medals to honor an LSC official for
his or her outstanding contributions to local swimming. Boots is the
second PVS official to receive this prestigious award, the first being
Ron Whalen in 2004. Congratulations, Boots, on a well-deserved honor!
National Officials Certification Renewal
Please note: Officials with N2 or N3 certifications that expired
December 31, 2007
have until March 31, 2008 to renew them without dropping
a level in that position. For more information regarding the National
Certification program, click
here. Looking for an “OQM” (Officials Qualifying Meet)
in which to be evaluated for N2 or N3 certification? Here’s where
find the applications
to officiate at higher level meets — including the 2008 Eastern
Zone Southern Sectional meet, March 13-16, in College Park.
Officials’ Training Material
on the PVS Website
Have you checked the Officials area at the PVS website lately? There’s
a brand new Timing
Judge Manual now available — recommended reading for all referees
and timing personnel — along with review materials for Stroke
& Turn Judges, Starters, Referees, and timing system (HyTek, Daktronics,
Colorado) operators. Check
Stroke & Turn Clinic
A Stroke & Turn Clinic has been scheduled for Saturday, February
9 at the Spring Hill Recreation Center, 1239 Spring Hill Road, McLean,
VA. The clinic will run from 10 am to Noon. Need to attend a clinic
for recertification? Have a friend who’s interested in learning
more about officiating swimming? Pre-registration
is encouraged, but not required. You can just show up on the date and
time of the clinic.
“Making My First Call” by Jim Thompson
I started my officiating career in the mid-1990s
as a timer. After about two seasons of working as a timer and observing
the folks “in white” (at that time), I decided that I could
become an official. Actually, the thing that got me over the decision
to become a certified official is that the uniform changed from “all
white” to the current “white top over navy blue pants”.
I figured with the “white over navy blue,” I did not look
like the Pillsbury Dough Boy or the blimp monster from the first Ghost
Buster movie. :-)
I still remember my first time on deck as an apprentice stroke and
turn official. I was perspiring even more than the temperature warranted.
I remember working with a senior official during that session. He was
very helpful and helped me to feel more comfortable on deck.
Even though I could not write-up a DQ, he wanted me to raise
my hand when I saw a disqualification. When I raised my hand
the first time, I remember my heart rate going up to at least a thousand
beats per minute. And I'm sure when I described the DQ to that senior
official it came out sounding like, “um...the swimmer sort of
did...this...um...kind of thing with his arms...that...um...did not
look right...so I think it is a DQ. You should write it up.” Luckily
for my officiating career, even though I must have sounded like I never
been to a meet before, he had faith in me and encouraged me to keep
Over time I got better at describing the infractions and being able
to write to the rules. It is one of those things that get easier with
practice. I found working different kinds of meets, especially mini-meets,
allowed me to see all types of infractions and the opportunity to practice
verbally describing the infraction.
In the next installment, I’ll talk about my “first coach
Resolution to ‘You Make the Call’
The swimmer should be DQ’ed. A sprained ankle does not qualify
as a disability, which is defined in Article 105.1.1 as “a
permanent physical or mental impairment that substantially limits
one or more
major life activities.” No exception to the breaststroke rule
is warranted in this situation.