OCTOBER 9, 1997


John Hirschmann, Marty Cohen, Jim Carey, Boots Hall, Jack Mechler, Arvydas Barzdukas, Tyanna Ertter, Frank Persico, and Bob Brofft.

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm.

Officials Committee organization

John Hirschmann advised that he had asked Boots Hall to serve as Vice Chairman of the Officials Committee. He indicated that this would permit prompt guidance to be provided and other essential Committee functions to continue if he is temporarily unavailable. He also sought input from the new Committee members as to the role they would like to play and from prior members regarding any new roles they might like to assume.

Preparations for October 21 meeting at Army-Navy Country Club

John Hirschmann indicated that the program this year would be expanded to involve team’s meet directors and meet equipment managers, as well as the officials chairs. Dick Rankin will be invited to speak, and Thirl Crudup will be invited to discuss the new Operations Division organization. Don Smith will discuss the status of PVS meet support equipment and procedures for using it in meets. Jack Mechler will explain the new operations support committee, and its roles. Boots Hall will remind the group of the officials certification procedures and update rosters of deck officials. Arvidas suggested inviting Greg Long, the PVS athletes representative, to discuss important issues from the swimmers’ perspective.

Clinic presentations

John Hirschmann thanked all clinic presenters from the recent referee, starter, stroke & turn, Hy-tek and Colorado and meet management clinics. The general feedback was that the clinics had been very well received. This includes both those for which the Officials Committee is responsible as well as those that the Operations Support Division (Don Smith) and Meet Management (Jack Mechler) were responsible. For the first time, there were sufficient computers available that each attendee could exercise the software during the Hy-Tek clinic.

Starter evaluations

There was a review and discussion of the new form and procedures for final evaluation of new starters. In addition to the members of the Officials Committee, the Committee agreed the following PVS officials may also serve as evaluators: Kay Cooper, Bob Marquart, Jack Mechler, Al Obuchowski, Don Reidlinger, Jack Schaefer and Don Smith. John Hirschmann will distribute the new starter standards to all evaluators.

Starter evaluators may serve as deck officials while evaluating starters, however, it was recommended that they only work as referee, timing judge or similar positions where they would be in a position to observe the starter. It was emphasized that evaluators should not sign off on bad starter performances. Starters should be encouraged to work at a variety of meets, not just dual or club meets. One member suggested that starters should be required to certify on the Colorado timing system, however the consensus was not to change the current requirements for starter at this time.

Hirschmann also expressed a desire to start working on a similar form to evaluate new referees during their last evaluation session.

Referee Certification Requirements

The criteria for referee final evaluation were amended to require that the evaluator be both a member of the Officials Committee, and a referee for at least one year in order to sign off on referee-trainee final sessions. It was also agreed Referee-trainees should not be accumulating more than three of their six training sessions at dual meets. There was much discussion about how to keep referees current, especially with regard to the electronics function. We may need to schedule an additional Hy-tek/Colorado clinic in the first part of 1998.

PVS Junior Olympic Meet (1997)

Hirschmann reported we are applying to have this meet be a national certification meet again this year. The other meet will be the PVS SC Senior Championship meet in March, 1998. He also invited Committee members to advise him if they wished to be considered to serve as Meet Referee, Admin. Referee or 12&U Site Referee for this meet.

Meet standard operating procedures (SOP)

Arvydas suggested that PVS needs to construct some written guidance on the normal meet procedures. Many of the things he has heard coaches and long time officials claim about “how we do it” lack substantiation in any written manual. Some items suggested for consideration included: topics to cover in referee’s briefing to officials; positive check in procedures; logging DQs; handling of missed heats and reseeds; responsibilities of admin refs; use of recall starters; etc. John Hirschmann requested that committee members submit specific suggestions for topics for such an SOP to him.

Transfering officials

Boots Hall strongly encouraged meet/deck referees to use visiting officials when they are present at our meets. She indicated that on occasion, officials have been turned away. New officials transferring into the LSC may serve in a visiting official status until their prior LSC’s certification expires. They should be encouraged to re- certify using the same procedure required of PVS officials, with the exception that starters require one observed check off session and referees three. Boots presented a written policy statement for transferring officials certification, which was accepted after discussion of whether to require transferring referees to attend the new referees clinic (yes), certify for Hy-tek and Colorado (yes), and work three (rather than six) observed sessions.

Officials test grading

Jim Carey again raised the issue of the cut-off date for submitting officials written tests. After discussion, it was agreed that all tests based on the rule book for year N must be received by the grader no later than August 31 of year N+1, or they will not be graded. Officials should be encouraged to complete and submit their tests in a timely manner, as this is a hard deadline. Tests received after the deadline will be returned to the official ungraded.

New PVS Clubs

John Hirschmann indicated that he had been advised PVS has two new clubs this year. They are: Fairfax Station Swim Club (FSSC), and Georgetown University Swim Team (GUST). Hirschmann reviewed the known changes in club officials chairmen and indicated he was trying to get the clubs having vacancies to fill them prior to the October 21 gathering at ANCC.

Big meet procedures

Jack Mechler indicated that an excellent process was used at Nationals this year to handle exceptional situations, such as the bulkhead breaking during a contest. Several coaches were pre-appointed before the meet to a committee to recommend solutions to significant problems arising during the meet that could affect competition. The referee met with 3 coaches and the meet manager to develop a solution. After discussion, we agreed that this approach should be used at our championship meets. Coaches should be selected in advance, and their names should be announced at the coaches meeting at the start of the meet. It was also suggested that we also appoint an eligibility jury in advance to advise the referee on questions of disputed eligibility to swim.

The Competition Committee has recommended changing the order of swims for finals of our heats and finals meets in the interest of getting more alternates into empty lanes if there are no-shows at finals. (This is permitted by a recently approved change in USS rules.) Beginning with the junior championship meet in March, we will swim fast to slow in finals when multiple final heats are scheduled. If there is an opening in the final heat, the fastest swimmer in the consolation heat will be moved into the open lane without reseeding lanes. The fastest swimmer in the bonus consolation heat will be moved into the now vacant lane in the consolation heat. The first alternate will be moved to the resulting empty lane in the bonus consolation heat. In this "domino" manner, we will ensure that alternates get to swim in the event of no-shows in any of the final heats.

Recall device

It was noted that due to unavailability of a recall pistol at PVS Seniors, an air horn had been used as the recall device for some sessions. Some proposed that this become the preferred recall device over the use of a pistol. After discussion, it was agreed for the present both devices would be acceptable with the understanding after more experience, the policy could be readdressed.

Problems getting timers

The continuing difficulties experienced getting and keeping timers for the meets was discussed. John Hirschmann suggested convening an ad hoc committee of 2 coaches, 2 members of the Meet Management Committee, and 2 members of the Officials Committee to prepare and recommend procedures for getting timers. We were reminded that only one timer per lane is required by the rules when the primary timing system is touch pads. Bob Brofft suggested letting the timers know how often the back up times are actually needed during the timers’ briefing. Jack Mechler suggested that we develop some penalties with real teeth for clubs that host meets but don’t organize or deliver proper meet staffing.

National Convention

John Hirschmann discussed two proposals that were made but not accepted at the national convention, namely that the Eastern Zone appoint a Zone Officials Chair, and that the Eastern Zone USS Board Members and the Zone Officials Chair appoint the Meet Referee for Zone Championship meets. Both proposals were rejected.

He also reported that USS would be holding clinics for both Official Committee Chairman and the traditional clinic for experienced officials to be trained at the national level.

Dave Davis Memorial/Transition

Dave’s considerable contributions to swimming were recognized by USS when they named him as recipient of the Pettigrew Award at this year’s convention. Arvydas indicated that over $7,000 has been received so far in the Dave Davis memorial fund. A decision on use of the funds is being postponed until the family is able to participate.

Separately, John and Boots have obtained from the Davis family the key training material files that Dave had maintained. USS related material was turned over to Don Hart and Boots has the NVSL and high school material that Dave maintained.

PVS web site

We will begin placing some of the PVS Officials training materials on the web site as time and energy permit. After discussion, we agreed to not place the entire officials roster on the web site, as some members expressed concern for publishing officials’ phone numbers, and the exposure to possible harassing phone calls after unpopular judgement calls.

Next meetings

The next committee meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on November 13th. The following committee meeting will be held at 7:00 pm December 9th to staff the JO meet.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 pm