New Officials Come From?
The Potomac Valley schedule gets busier every year. More swimmers
mean more meets are needed. More meets mean more officials are needed.
And while your efforts on deck are genuinely appreciated, we also need
your efforts behind the scenes to help recruit new officials. Yes, your
club’s Officials Chair takes a major role in recruiting, but the
“one-on-one” approach is especially successful in recuiting.
And we can all be recruiters. Are there other parents at your practice
site who might make excellent officials? Talk to them! Every official
is an ambassador for the sport and can help it grow. And when we grow
the roster of officials, EVERYONE wins: swimmers, coaches, and parents.
Who is currently sitting in the stands and would make an outstanding
colleague on deck? Be the one to suggest a great way for them to support
their swimmer. Let them know how rewarding it is to be an official.
Introduce them to other officials. Put them in touch with your club’s
Officials Chair. Then follow-up and be supportive through the certification
Officials Qualifying Meet
The Tom Dolan Invitational Meet (December 8-11) has been approved by
USA Swimming as an Officials Qualifying Meet for N2 and N3 certification.
It is anticipated that the meet will include opportunities to be observed
for N2 certification in all positions as well as N3 evaluations in all
positions except Administrative Referee. 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
Is your email address correct in OTS, the Officials Tracking
System? Find out, and make any necessary changes by signing-in to your
account on the USA Swimming website, and then clicking “My Account”
in the upper right-hand corner.
to Improve as a Swim Official
- Work regularly – There is no substitute for experience.
- Know the rules – Review the rulebook on a regular
basis; listen carefully to the pre-meet briefing, no matter how many
times you’ve heard it previously.
- Have a protective (rather than punitive) attitude –
A DQ is not considered a penalty against a swimmer, but rather a protection
of all the other swimmers who went to the effort to swim properly
in accordance with USA Swimming Rules & Regulations.
- Be consistent – The rules are the same for 6-year
olds and for Olympic medalists.
- Work at a high profile meet – You’ll work with
many experienced, knowledgeable officials in championship conditions.
You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn.
- Evaluate your performance after every session – Did
I do my part to provide safe, fair, and equitable conditions of competition?
“10-4, Mr. Referee!”
The Officials Committee has committed to making radios available at
more meets this year—you may have seen them at the October Open.
There are three reasons for this: 1) To make on-deck communications
more efficient, especially when it comes to communicating disqualifications
in a timely manner; 2) To increase our familiarity with radio procedures
and protocols; and 3) To get our meet procedures in-line with those
of nearby LSCs who use radios at many of their meets. Additional radios
will be purchased this year, and a process is being devised for maintaining
and deploying this equipment. Of course, a plan only works if it’s
implemented consistently. If radios are assigned to your meet, please
make sure they’re used and “cared for” at all sessions.
You Make the Call
In a backstroke event, a swimmer stands up in the middle of the course.
He does not walk or spring off from the pool bottom, but rests and then
resumes swimming. Is there a disqualification?
See the answer at the bottom of this
Did You Know?
The first goggles were made by divers in the 14th Century from polished,
clear tortoise shell. The first rubber goggles, which had heavy glass
lenses, were invented in the 1930s.
Officials / Advancing Officials
We’d like to welcome these new officials—and congratulate
advancing officials—who have recently completed the requirements
for first-time PVS certification in the following positions.
|Stroke & Turn Judge:
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
The Washington, D.C. area is a hotbed of collegiate swimming. At the
crossroads of the ACC, Big East, CAA, Atlantic 10, Patriot League, and
several other conferences, our region boasts some of the East Coast’s
most competitive NCAA swimming. Who are the deck officials for these
meets? Many of the same folks you see on deck at a PVS meet.
The NCAA does not certify officials for swimming. The College
Swimming Officials Association (CSOA - http://www.csoaofficials.com)
maintains a registration process and a certification/testing procedure
for officials interested in working at the collegiate level. The organization
also disseminates news and other relevant information to its members.
For those interested in working college meets, joining CSOA is the first
step. After paying the registration fee, you take the online rules test.
Just like USA Swimming it’s an open-book test, only with a lot
more questions; unlike USA Swimming, it includes questions about diving.
While the rulebooks are getting closer to agreement, there are still
significant differences between USA Swimming and NCAA rules.
After passing the test, you’d contact the people who
assign the officials for the individual colleges to express your interest
in working. That’s where it’s different again—for
regular season meets, all officials are hired by the home team, and
there are no volunteer walk-ons. Steed Edwards does the hiring for several
D.C. colleges (American, Catholic, Georgetown, Howard), Carrie Tupper
does it for Maryland, Mike Rubin for Marymount, Jack Schaeffer for Mary
Washington, and Jack Neill for George Mason. Conference championships
are a bit different—the conference approves and hires the officials.
The NCAA itself does this for national championships. For local area
meets, there can be as few as two officials on deck to as many as ten.
Officials typically serve in multiple roles: Starter/S&T Judge/Relay
Judge, Referee/ S&T Judge/Relay Judge, etc. Collegiate swimming
is exclusively short course and the season runs from October to February,
with separate national championships for Division 1, 2, and 3 schools
College swimming is exciting. The athletes are fast and there’s
a lot of spirit and noise on the deck. It can be a bit more stressful
at times, since coaches’ jobs are often dependent on the won-loss
record. But I highly recommend checking it out, either as an official
or as a spectator. Schedules are posted on each school’s website.
Resolution to ‘You Make
Yes, it is a disqualification. Once the swimmer stands, he is no longer
on his back. The rulebook states “The swimmer shall push off on
his back and continue swimming on the back throughout the race.”
Moreover, a swimmer is not permitted to stand on the bottom during any
stroke other than freestyle.
For all that
you do for Potomac Valley Swimming: