Happy Holidays from the PVS Officials Committee!
The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s may be
the busiest of the year. In the midst of all the holiday activity, a
number of PVS meets (including several high-level invitational meets)
are scheduled for December. Championship meets require championship
officiating — can we count on your help?
Officials Qualifying Meet
The Tom Dolan Invitational Meet has been approved by USA Swimming as
an Officials Qualifying Meet for N2 and N3 certification. The meet will
include opportunities to be observed for N2 certification in all positions
as well as Initial N3 Referee and Starter, and Initial and Final N3
Stroke and Turn and Chief Judge. N2 certification requires satisfactory
evaluation over at least three sessions that include senior events;
N3 requires satisfactory evaluation over at least three sessions that
include senior events. To be evaluated at an Officials Qualifying Meet
you must work at least 4 sessions as an official at the meet. Not all
sessions worked need to be in evaluated positions. Certification at
either level requires a combination of several things including evaluations,
local participation at meets, continuing education, and the training
and mentoring of other officials. More information about the meet is
available in the meet
announcement. More information about the National certification
program for officials can be found on the USA
Welcome, New Officials
This season we’ve seen unprecedented numbers of people attending
our clinics. We’d like to welcome these new officials who have
recently completed the requirements for first-time PVS certification
in the following positions.
|Stroke & Turn Judge:
||Al Meilus (Transfer)
|Ken Moore (Transfer)
N2 or N3?
Why would you want to attain National certification as an N2
or N3 official?
- To have the satisfaction that you’re recognized as
a highly motivated official who demonstrates superior performance
standards on deck.
- To receive practical constructive feedback regarding your
performance from very experienced nationally-recognized officials.
- To qualify to work at higher level meets. N2 certification
recognizes that an official is experienced and has been evaluated
as capable of working the position at Sectional, Zone, Grand Prix
and similar higher profile meets. N3 certification recognizes that
an official has the experience, skills and knowledge to be considered
for selection to work at National Championship level meets in the
- To be viewed as a mentor by your fellow officials.
- To help insure that all swimmers, from novice to Olympian,
will have the most professional, most consistent, and fairest officiating
Requirements for progression to N2 and N3 levels in the positions
of Stroke and Turn Judge, Chief Judge, Starter, Deck Referee, and Administrative
Referee can be found on the USA
Make the Call
During warm-ups, a coach informs the referee that his swimmer
has a broken pinky finger. He asks if the swimmer may swim with the
last three fingers of the hand taped. What should the referee do?
See the answer at the bottom of this
Did You Know?
In 1911, at the Festival of Empire in London (the forerunner of the
Commonwealth Games), Australia’s Harold Hardwick won the 100-yard
Freestyle as well as the heavyweight boxing title.
Keeping Track of Sessions
Potomac Valley Swimming uses USA Swimming’s Officials Tracking
System to maintain the records of sessions worked by officials
at PVS meets. For each meet, the Meet Referee or the host club’s
Officials Chair is responsible for recording the sessions worked for
all officials at the meet. It is recommended that you verify your record
in the OTS a week or two after the conclusion of the meet at which you
work, to be sure that the information is correct. If there is a discrepancy,
please contact the Meet Referee.
The complete User’s
Guide for the Officials Tracking System can be found on the USA
Swimming website. Information
for Meet Referees regarding the simple procedures for recording
officials’ participation at your meet can likewise be found on
the USA Swimming website.
Principles for Officials
Take officiating seriously and work hard at it. Athletes have
a right to expect officials to know the rules and to interpret them
correctly, fairly and courteously. Study your USA Swimming rulebook
regularly. Uniformly apply rules regardless of the level of athletes.
Call violations as seen; don’t guess or anticipate. Be fair and
consistent; always give the swimmer the benefit of any doubt. Exercise
good judgment and remember that ugly isn’t necessarily illegal.
Feet First for Warmups
Did you ever wonder why we ask the swimmers to jump in instead of dive
in during warmups? By jumping in feet first, your child is significantly
reducing his/her chance of being injured. Although accidents are very
rare in swimming, injuries do occur. The practice of jumping, rather
than diving, is simply a safety precaution and a safety policy of USA
Swimming. At your next meet, during warmups help to ensure that all
swimmers enter the pool feet first. It’s all about safety.
Do you have a question about officiating or a tip you’d like to
share? Is there a rule that you’d like to have clarified? Do you
have a suggestion for a future item in this newsletter? If so, please
send your questions/comments to the newsletter editor, Jack
Did You Know?
Natalie Du Toit of South Africa lost her leg in a motorcycle accident
in 2001. She competed at the 2008 Olympic games, finishing 16 of 25
in the women’s open water 10K race.
Do the Whistles Mean?
Early this decade, USA Swimming went to the “whistle protocol”
to start races, in an effort to coincide with FINA protocols. Exactly
what do the whistles mean?
- 4 or more short whistle chirps by the Referee signals the
upcoming heat of swimmers that their start is coming up.
- 1 long whistle blast by the Referee signals the swimmers
to step on the blocks or into the water (as appropriate).
- For backstroke starts, an additional long whistle blast
signals the swimmers to return to the wall without undue delay.
- The timing of the whistles is by judgment of the Referee,
and is determined by the level of swimmers, the time line, and whether
or not dive-over starts are being used.
Resolution to ‘You Make
If the referee determines that taping the fingers is to prevent further
injury to the swimmer — and not to enhance his speed
— the referee has the authority to grant the request.