"Around the Deck" masthead

January, 2013

Happy New Year!
As we turn the calendar to 2013, the PVS Officials Committee would like to thank you for your participation and hard work at swim meets throughout 2012. Your role as a volunteer swim official is essential to our sport. You are actively involved in your child’s swimming program; at the same time you are instrumental in strengthening the sport in the United States. We are truly grateful for your dedication and generous donation of time in support of our athletes.

We wish you health, prosperity, good fortune, and fast times in the New Year!

Upcoming Meets

January 2013

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
5-6 PVS January Distance Meet Lee District Suzanne Marron
5-6 MAKO Winter Invitational GMU Tony Fitz
6 RMSC Frosty Pentathlon
Germantown Tim McIlmail
12-13 Winter Senior Meet Fairland Lynne Gerlach
12-13 Polar Bear 14 & Under Meet
South Run William Deniston
12-13 Green & Orange Bowl Invitational Madeira Stewart Gordon
12-13 Speedo Eastern States Senior Circuit
Washington-Lee HS Chris Palmer
19-20 PVS January Open Audrey Moore Rec Center
Stewart Gordon
Scott Witkin

Randy Bowman
Mark Harris
19-20 Snow Dude Mini Meet Mt. Vernon John Kost
26-27 NCAP Invitational Georgetown Prep Art Davis


Have You Recertified?
Were you due to recertify this year? Many local PVS certifications expired on December 31, 2012. To find your expiration date, go into OTS, the Officials Tracking System on the USA Swimming website, and click “My Certification Card.” Certification is not the same as USA Swimming registration.

To review the recertification requirements, go to the Officials section on the PVS website: http://pvswim.org/official/recertification_requirements.html. There you’ll also find the link to contact the Certification Officer to request your recertification.

Background Check
For those officials who were in “the first wave” of completing the USA Swimming criminal background check in 2011, you will need to renew your background check in January or February of 2013. Check your registration card on OTS for your expiration date. Keep in mind that you are not permitted to work on deck as an official if you do not have a current background check.

The criminal background check is an integral part of USA Swimming’s efforts to foster a safe and positive environment for our athletes. Renewing your Level 2 background check is easy. Simply go to the USA Swimming website (Member Resources > Safe Sport > Screening and Selection). Complete directions can be found at http://usaswimming.org/backgroundcheck. Assuming this is a renewal, you will choose “Option 2: If you need to renew your USA Swimming background check” and follow the prompts. As was the case with the initial screening, a fee is charged by AISS for the background check. Once again, the PVS Board of Directors has generously committed to reimbursing qualified officials who request reimbursement using the form on the PVS website.


Don’t Forget
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.


You Make the Call
There are yellow buoys on each lane line to mark the 15-meter distance but some buoys shift and slide haphazardly up and down the lane lines. The swimmer's head in Lane #6 breaks the water surface at the edge of the buoy in her lane but the marker in Lane #7 is passed. Is this a DQ?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.


Did You Know . . .
In 1961 at the Indoor Nationals at Yale University, the 1500M freestyle final was one of the last major races conducted without lane lines. Avoiding head-on collisions was a part of the race.


Upcoming Clinics

Date Clinic Location Time
January 5
Referee Recert Kings Park Library
9000 Burke Lake Rd.
Burke, VA 22015
10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
January 5
Chief Judge Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library
7584 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
12:00 - 2:00 PM
January 12
Stroke & Turn Georgetown Prep 9:00 - 11:00 AM
January 12
Starter Kings Park Library
9000 Burke Lake Rd.
Burke, VA 22015
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
January 12
Stroke & Turn Kings Park Library
9000 Burke Lake Rd.
Burke, VA 22015
12:30 - 2:30 PM
January 15
Starter MLK Swim Center 7:00 - 9:00 PM
January 29
Stroke & Turn MLK Swim Center 7:00 - 9:00 PM


Diving with the Stars
Fox is taking celebrity reality television to the pool. The network announced a one-time special “Stars in Danger: The High Dive” that pits B-list celebrities against each other in an Olympic-style diving contest. The contestants will compete in a series of Olympic-style dives, including solo high diving and synchronized diving from various heights, Fox said in a statement. The show will be hosted by U.S. Olympic diving medalist Troy Dumais. Contestants include “Jersey Shore” star Jennifer Farley, football star Terrell Owens, former stars of the TV show “Baywatch” David Chokachi and Alexandra Paul, surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm in a 2003 shark attack, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast members Kim and Kyle Richards, and daytime soap opera actor Antonio Sabato Jr.

The contestants will compete in a series of Olympic-style dives, including solo high diving and synchronized diving from several heights, Fox said in a statement. Host Dumais, who competed in four Olympics (2000-2012), won the bronze medal in 3-meter synchronized diving with Kristian Ipsen at the 2012 Summer Games in London.

The two-hour special, which will air on January 9, follows popular reality shows such as “Dancing with the Stars,” and the short-lived “Skating with the Stars,” both on rival ABC.


Questions? Suggestions?
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 Neill.


Staying on Top
If your son or daughter is among the Top 16 when they are 10 years old, shouldn’t they be in the running for a national championship when they turn 18? In fact, quite the opposite is the case. Improvement is not a steady positive slope, especially for swimming prodigies. A study by USA Swimming using the All-Time Top 100 swims in each age group found that only 10 percent of the Top 100 10-and-Unders maintained their status through age 18. Only half of the swimmers among the Top 100 in the 17-18 age group had made any top-100 list when they were younger. “Those winning races at 10 probably won’t be winning races when they are 20,” says John Leonard, the executive director of the American Swimming Coaches Association. “This is one of those things that is obvious to coaches but can be a mystery to parents.”


FINA Magazine Now Online
The latest issue of FINA’s official publication, FINA Aquatics World Magazine, is now available in electronic format here. Enjoy the latest articles on the greatest stars of swimming, diving, synchro, open water swimming, water polo and of the Masters movement by downloading this latest issue of the magazine to your PC, tablet or smartphone.


Resolution to ‘You Make the Call’
No. Placement of distinctive colored floats or markers on every lane line must be uniformly set at the 15-meter distance. However, floats “float” and the swimmer should be given the benefit of the doubt by judging the 15 meter mark by the most generous of all the appropriate floats in the pool.