to the New Season!
The kids are back in school, and a new season of swimming is
upon us. Hopefully, you’re ready to dive in for another season
of officiating. Volunteer officials are the lifeblood of Potomac Valley
Swimming. Check the schedule below and contact the official-in-charge
if you can help. We hope to see you at the Swimposium, or at one of
the many PVS Officials’ clinics during the months of October and
November. And we look forward to seeing you on deck frequently throughout
the 2012-13 season!
The 2012 PVS Swimposium will be held at
High School, in Arlington on Sunday, September 30, 2012. It will
include tracks for athletes, parents, coaches, officials, and club business
management. The athletes track will feature former Olympians Josh Davis,
Ian Crocker, and Christine Magnuson. Our special guest for the officials
track is Jim Sheehan. Jim is a member of the USA Swimming Officials
Committee and a former USA Swimming National Officials Chair. He currently
serves as USA Swimming’s Vice President
for Program Operations. Jim has officiated at numerous prestigious national
and international meets, including the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Attendance at the 2012 PVS Swimposium
can be used to fulfill the recertification clinic requirement for the
Stroke and Turn, Starter, and Referee positions. It cannot be used as
an initial certification clinic at any position. Register for the Swimposium
Fall schedule of PVS
Officials’ clinics has been posted on the website. There are
clinics in both Maryland and Virginia for Stroke & Turn Judges,
Starters, Referees, Timing System Operators, and Hy-Tek Operators during
the months of September, October and November. Pre-registration for
the clinics is encouraged, but not required. You can just show up on
the date and time of the clinic. Article 102.12.2 of USA Swimming rules
states: “All officials acting in the capacity of Referee, Starter,
or Stroke and/or Turn Judge at a swimming meet shall be certified in
such position by their LSC prior to being assigned to officiate in that
capacity.” Attendance at a clinic at least once every two years
is a requirement for your certification. Be sure to check the website
throughout the year for additional clinics.
You Make the Call
A backstroker starts her race and surfaces prior to the 15-meter mark.
She then re-submerges and resurfaces, again prior to the 15-meter mark.
Is this legal?
See the answer at the bottom of this
to Move Up?
So, you’ve been a Stroke & Turn Judge for about a
year now. Are you ready to move up to a bit more responsibility on deck?
Have you considered becoming a Starter? Or maybe a certified Chief Judge?
Or one of the “table positions.” The Stroke & Turn Judge
is definitely the most important and crucial position on deck—and
we’re all Stroke & Turn Judges. But you gain additional insight
and appreciation for this sport when you advance to Starter, Chief Judge,
Referee, CTS Operator, etc. You also become more versatile and valuable
to your club.
For all positions except Referee, when you feel you are ready
to advance, you may attend the appropriate clinic and begin to fulfill
the requirements for certification in that position. For advancement
to Referee, the first steps include nomination by your club’s
officials chair or a member of the Officials Committee, as well as an
invitation from the Officials Committee.
Complete requirements for advancement to other positions can
be found at http://www.pvswim.org/official/certification_requirements.html
Evaluating Our Performance
One way to improve as an official is to honestly evaluate your performance
after each session. Did you do your part to provide safe, fair, and
equitable conditions of competition? Were you attentive to the participants
and respectful to the integrity of the sport? Was your demeanor professional
and courteous throughout the session? Did you consistently maintain
high standards? What did you learn during the session?
Bill Russell, the legendary center for the Boston Celtics,
used to keep his own personal scorecard. He graded himself after every
game on a scale from one to one hundred. In his career of more than
1200 games, including a run of eleven championships in thirteen years,
he never graded himself higher than 65. It was his constant striving
for the highest standards, and identifying the areas where he could
do better, that made him one of the greatest basketball players ever.
Are You a Mentor?
A new season means lots of new officials on deck and lots of opportunities
for experienced officials to serve as mentors. Mentoring plays a significant
role in the training of new officials, helping the trainee in attaining
the skills and confidence needed to become an effective official.
The dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor
or guide” and “a wise, loyal advisor or coach.” The
original Mentor was a character in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.
While Odysseus was fighting the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of
his kingdom to Mentor. Mentor also served as the teacher and advisor
to Odysseus’ son, Telemachus.
The mentoring process is primarily an educational one and is
intended to be a positive experience that will allow officials to grow
in knowledge, experience and enjoyment of swim officiating. Mentors
can bring to life the theoretical concepts presented at clinics, and
can demonstrate practical aspects of officiating.
Most sessions can accommodate several trainees for S&T
Judge, but only very rarely would there be the possibility of multiple
trainees for Referee, Starter, or the table positions at a single session.
The Referee will assign mentors to trainee Stroke & Turn officials
during the stroke briefing. Ideally a mentor should be an experienced
official who has been certified at least one year in the position. The
S&T mentor should begin by reviewing position and
jurisdiction area on deck for that meet. Review and explain the rules
that apply for the various events. Describe what you’re looking
at while the swimmer is approaching and leaving your jurisdiction. Share
with the trainee how you observe without scrutinizing, especially when
there are multiple swimmers in your jurisdiction. Explain any disqualifications
observed and review the proper procedure for reporting DQs. Give constructive
feedback that emphasizes progress and areas for improvement, and always
explain the reason for any suggestion. And always remember that your
trainee is a volunteer, like all of us.
If you are afforded the opportunity to serve as a mentor, please
take the responsibility seriously. And remember to note the experience
in the online Officials Tracking System under “Activity History.”
A reminder to officials applying for National Certification (N2 and
N3): Don’t forget to add clinics, mentoring experiences, Swimposium
participation, etc. in the Activity History area of the online
certification application. The requirements for National Certification
include continuing education, mentoring and training. These experiences
are listed in the Officials Tracking System as “other activities,”
and are generally added by the official himself/herself. If you forget
to include these activities, your application for N2 or N3 certification
will be rejected. You’ve attended the clinics, you’ve helped
mentor new officials on deck — make sure you get credit for these
activities by adding them to the Officials Tracking System.
First for Warmups
Did you ever wonder why we ask the swimmers to step in instead
of dive in during warmups? By stepping in feet first, your child is
significantly reducing his/her chance of being injured or causing an
injury. Although accidents are very rare in swimming, injuries do occur.
The practice of stepping, 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 for warmups.
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
Resolution to ‘You Make
No. Once the head breaks the surface within the 15 meter mark the swimmer
may not resubmerge regardless of the fact that the swimmer resurfaces
again within the 15 meter mark. The rule requires that the swimmer must
break the surface of the water throughout the race except for the start
and turns. Once the head has surfaced, the start or turn has ended,
and the requirement of remaining on the surface throughout the race