Into the Summer!
Scientists will tell you that summer officially begins with
the summer solstice. But swimmers and their parents know that summer
really starts with that first dive into the outdoor pool, probably
sometime around Memorial Day weekend. The PVS summer schedule includes
a number of competitive long course meets, including several championship
meets. We’re looking forward to seeing you on deck this summer!
Summer Championship Meets
course season culminates with several championship meets in July. As
always, championship meets require championship officiating. While walk-ons
are always welcome, it is especially helpful to have the roster completed
before the meet. If you know if and when you can help, please go online
and submit an application to officiate.
LC Senior Championships will be held July 14-17 at the University
of Maryland. Officials wishing to work at this meet should submit the
found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than July 5
for specific deck positions. However, late applications and walk-ins
are also welcome and will be assigned to available positions. This meet
will be our only Officials Qualifying Meet of the season, offering
the opportunity for formal evaluation at the N2 or N3 levels. Our lead
evaluator for this meet will be Joel Black. Joel is a long-time official
who has held many leadership positions in USA Swimming, including National
Officials Chair. Any official interested in being evaluated at Senior
Champs must apply
in advance. Complete information regarding the National Certification
program is available on the USA
Concurrent with Senior Champs, PVS
LC Junior Championships will likewise be held July 14-17 at
the University of Maryland. Officials wishing to work at this meet should
submit the application
found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than July 5
for assigned deck positions.
On the following weekend, July 21-24, PVS
LC 14 & Under Championships will be held at Fairland Aquatic
Center. The application to work at this meet can likewise be found on
the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 10 for specific
deck positions. Once again, late applications and walk-ins are welcome
and will be assigned to available positions.
Did You Know . . .
This past March, at the men’s NCAA Swimming
and Diving Championships, a historical swim took place. Two African-American
swimmers, Brett Fraser and Dax Hill, finished 1-2, respectively, in
the 200-yard freestyle. This was the first time in U.S. history that
two black swimmers finished atop the medal podium at any national championship
Make the Call
After swimming the 7th preliminary heat of a 100-yard backstroke event,
a coach approaches the referee and questions the placement of the far
end backstroke flags. Upon checking it is found that the flags are set
for short course yards. There have been three DQs for turn violations.
What do you do? Do you reset the flags for the remainder of the event?
What about the three DQs? What if a coach comes to you and asks for
a re-swim for a swimmer that did not DQ stating that the swimmer’s
time was affected by the erroneous flag placement?
See the answer at the bottom of this
USA Swimming’s Steering Committee has decided that the 2011 Short
Course National Championships, to be held December 1-3 in Atlanta, GA,
will now be a long course competition, in order to allow participants
an opportunity to achieve Olympic Trials qualifying standards.
Also, the 2011 Short Course Junior National Championships,
December 8-10, have been moved to the University of Texas, Austin, TX,
due to unexpected construction at the original venue, the University
In April, 2010, the PVS Board of Directors adopted a policy to help
protect the safety and privacy of our swimmers: “The use of equipment
capable of taking pictures (eg., cameras, cellular phones, PDAs, etc.)
will be banned behind the starting blocks during all meets sanctioned
by PVS. Use of these devices will not be permitted behind the blocks
during warm up or competition.” If a violation
is noted, the Referee directs the person to put the device away or leave
the deck area immediately behind the starting blocks. If an athlete
is involved, he/she will work through the coach for enforcement. Enforcement
of this restriction does not extend into raised spectator areas that
are directly behind starting blocks. However, officials shall continue
prohibiting the use of flash photography from any location during the
time swimmers are on the starting blocks.
At the backstroke turn, three things can happen:
- The swimmer touches the wall while on his/her back. The
swimmer may turn in any manner as long as he/she is past vertical
towards the back when the feet leave the wall.
- The swimmer begins to turn past the vertical towards the
breast, but touches the wall with some part of the body before going
into the turn. As long as the turning motion was continuous once he/she
went past vertical towards the breast, it’s still legal, and
the swimmer may turn in any manner as long as he/she is past vertical
towards the back when the feet leave the wall. If, however, the swimmer
goes past vertical towards the breast, and extends the arm but doesn’t
immediately begin a pulling motion, that’s a DQ for “delay
in initiating stroke.”
- The swimmer turns past vertical towards the breast and
executes a single or simultaneous double arm pull to initiate their
turn. Once you’re certain that the arm has stopped moving, the
swimmer must be doing something to initiate their turn. If they’re
not doing something to initiate the turn as soon as the arms stop
moving, that’s a DQ for “delay in initiating turn.”
They can kick throughout the turn, as long as it’s part of a
continuous turning action. They must touch the wall (usually with
their feet) and they must be past vertical towards the back when their
feet leave the wall.
As the turn judge, you should stand over the lane looking
down to at the swimmers to observe the turns. Once a swimmer passes
vertical toward the breast, you should observe that all actions of the
swimmer were associated with a continuous turning action and that the
swimmer is past vertical toward the back when his/her feet leave the
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
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
Resolution to ‘You Make
There’s not one single right answer for this situation. The referee
should evaluate the situation in view of keeping conditions fair for
all competitors. The specific solution will depend on the conditions
and the information gained through review. The solution could include
leaving the flags in place until the next session and then allowing
re-swims for those competitors affected by the flags. One thing to keep
in mind is that the swimmers warmed up using the misplaced flags.