As winter weather chills the area, the competition in the pool
is heating up! PVS swimmers of all ages are gearing up for next month’s
championships with a flurry of February meets — can we count on
your help on deck?
Are You Up-To-Date?
A major component of registration is the USA Swimming criminal background
check. All non-athlete members must successfully renew the Level
2 background check prior to it expiring. This is an online process
that starts at www.usaswimming.org/backgroundcheck.
Click on “Initiate a Background Check” and follow the prompts.
Once again, the PVS Board of Directors has generously committed to reimbursing
qualified officials who request reimbursement using the form on the
Later this year most PVS officials will also need to renew
their Athlete Protection Training course. Details on this renewal will
be available soon.
Spring Championship Meets
course season culminates with several championship meets next month,
one of which will afford officials the opportunity to be evaluated for
National certification. 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
Senior Championships will be held March 7-10 at George Mason
University. Officials wishing to work at this meet should submit the
found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 1
for specific deck positions. However, late applications and walk-ins
are also welcome and will be assigned to available positions.
PVS Senior Championships will be an “Officials Qualifying
Meet,” offering the opportunity for formal evaluation at both
the N2 and N3 levels. Any official interested in being evaluated at
this championship meet must apply in advance. Our lead evaluator for
this meet will be Paul Maker. Paul is an experienced official who has
held many leadership positions in USA Swimming.
Concurrent with Senior Champs, PVS
Junior Championships will likewise be held March 7-10 at George
Mason University. Officials wishing to work at this meet should submit
found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 1
for assigned deck positions. This meet is separate from Senior Champs
and is held under a separate sanction, although the finals sessions
will be swum combined with the finals of Senior Champs.
On the following weekend, March 14-17, PVS 14 & Under Junior
Olympic Championships will be held at the University of Maryland. You
must apply no later than March 8 for specific deck positions. Once
again, late applications and walk-ins are welcome and will be assigned
to available positions.
You Make the Call
The Starter gives the command “Take your mark.” The swimmer
in lane 2 takes a stationary position and then dives into the pool before
the starting signal. The Starter intends to give the “Stand”
command, but accidentally presses the starting button and then activates
the recall signal. The race is recalled, but the Starter and Referee
agree that the swimmer in lane 2 clearly started before the starting
signal and should be disqualified for a false start. Is this the correct
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.
USA Swimming Registration
Since 2006, PVS has generously paid the USA Swimming registration renewal
fee for eligible officials. The PVS Officials Committee has recently
clarified the policy regarding eligibility for this benefit. Starting
with 2014 renewals, PVS will pay the USA Swimming registration renewal
for certified officials who work a minimum of 10 sessions at PVS-sanctioned
meets (approved/observed meets are not counted) during the calendar
year, as recorded in OTS. Officials who don’t meet the eligibility
requirements are responsible for payment of the USA Swimming registration
fee, but can consult their club to determine any reimbursement on the
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?
Did You Know . . .
the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, the U.S. men’s
400 meter medley relay consisted of all four 100-meter stroke world
record holders at the time, the only instance this has happened in swimming
history. (Rick Carey, Steve Lundquist, Matt Gribble, Rowdy Gaines)
The Meet Referee is the official who has overall responsibility for
the conduct of the meet. He/she has duties before, during, and after
the meet takes place. Before the meet the Meet Referee is in contact
with the Meet Director and the Officials Chair of the sponsoring club
to review the meet announcement and to ensure that equipment, materials,
and personnel will be available and appropriate for the sessions. During
the competition, the Meet Referee’s role is to ensure safe competition
and consistent application of rules and procedures for all sessions
of the meet. As such, the Meet Referee should present at all sessions
to supervise the officiating team and to make certain that any and all
issues are addressed. After the meet, he/she ensures staffing information
is entered into OTS. It’s an extremely demanding job, but one
that’s absolutely critical and enormously satisfying.
PVS has published Guidelines
for Meet Referees. That document should be reviewed regularly by
all Meet Referees.
2016 Olympic Trials
USA Swimming announced the cities that have submitted official bids
to host the 2016 Olympic Team Trials. A total of six cities will be
reviewed as the potential site for the biggest swimming event in the
country that will select the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team. The cities
in contention are: Greensboro, NC; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL;
Omaha, NE; St. Louis, MO; and San Antonio, TX.
Of the bid cities, only two have previously hosted the event
– Indianapolis and Omaha. Indianapolis hosted Trials in 1952,
1984, 1992, 1996 and 2000, while Omaha played host to the event in 2008
and 2012. The 2012 Olympic Swim Trials saw over 164,000 fans in attendance
and the eight-days of competition were broadcast live on NBC every night.
The selection announcement is expected to be made following
the USA Swimming Board Meeting at the end of April.
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
Where Are They Now?
What are former U.S. Olympic swimmers up to now? Here are a few updates.
- Mark Spitz: Winner of 7 gold
medals at the 1972 Olympic Games, Mark was ranked #33 on ESPN’s
50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century, the only swimmer to make
the list. Today Mark owns a real estate company and is a motivational
speaker living in Los Angeles. He and his wife have two sons, the
younger of whom swims at Stanford University.
- Pablo Morales: Pablo won three
gold and two silver medals in the 1984 and 1992 Games. He co-founded
the swim gear company Finis, and is currently the University of Nebraska’s
head swimming and diving coach.
- Don Schollander: Don won four
gold medals at the 1964 Olympic Games. He is married and has three
adult children. He now lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon and manages his
real estate development firm. His gold medals are on display to the
public at a bank branch location in downtown Lake Oswego.
- Tom Jager: Tom won seven medals
in three Olympic Games. He set the 50-meter freestyle world record
three times during his career, including a 10-year run from 1990-2000.
He is currently the head swimming coach at Washington State University
and is married with two sons, both of whom swim for his club team.
- Rowdy Gaines: Gold medalist
at the 1984 games, Rowdy missed out on his best years due to the 1980
U.S. boycott. Today he is often heard as a TV commentator for swimming
events, and is the chief fundraiser for USA Swimming. Rowdy currently
resides in Lake Mary, FL with his wife and four daughters.
- Mike Barrowman: Potomac Valley’s
own Mike Barrowman won gold in the 200-meter breaststroke in world
record time at the 1992 Games. After the Olympics, Mike took up competitive
flatwater kayaking, competing at the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1995.
He is now a banker and part-time masters swim coach in the Cayman
Next month we’ll follow-up with some of the female Olympians.
Resolution to ‘You Make
No, he should not be disqualified. According to Article 101.1.3C, “If
the recall signal is activated inadvertently, no swimmer shall be charged
with a false start and the Starter shall restart the race upon signal
by the Referee.”