FEBRUARY 5, 1998


The meeting was called to order at 7:10. Present were John Hirschmann, Chairman; Arvydas Barzdukas, Lynn Black, Bob Brofft, Marty Cohen, Jim Garner, Boots Hall and Frank Persico.

PVS LSC Workshop

John Hirschmann reported that PVS is planning to hold a workshop on the weekend of April 25 and 26. The overall theme will be "Honoring our Own". A number of PVS former Olympians will be contacted, and invited to participate and conduct sessions. Charly Mallery will be leading the Officiating portion of the program for about 2 hours on Sunday afternoon. The Committee discussed topics that we might suggest be covered.

USS Training Clinics

Hirschmann announced that the applications to attend the Officials Training Clinic in Colorado Springs, May 22-24, 1998 had been received. The PVS Administrative Office had been requested to submit two names, in the hopes we would get one of the bonus slots available. Based on decisions made at the December meeting, Bob Brofft and Thirl Crudup's names were submitted. Jim Garner will be the first alternate if either of these individuals cannot attend.

Hirschmann also announced the bi-annual clinic for LSC Officials Chairs will be held April 24-25 in Lake Placid, NY. He indicated that he expects to be able to attend.

Testing and Certifications

Lynn Black reported receiving an average of 1 to 2 officials tests per week. Boots Hall reported that we certified 54 new officials during calendar 1997, which she indicated is about typical for a year. There are still problems getting people to file their paperwork correctly, submit the correct forms, etc.

Clinic Attendance

Hirschmann provided Committee members with a report on Clinic attendance for 1997-98 to date versus the two prior years The overall number show us slightly ahead of last year, but a little behind that of two years ago.

1997 Junior Olympics

Hirschmann reported that he had received many favorable comments on how smoothly this meet had run. He in particular complimented Marty Cohen, Jim Garner and Arvydas Barzdukas for their roles as Meet, Deck and !2&U Site Referees, respectively.

One challenge remains that is to assure adequate space for the Stroke Judges to walk the side at finals. Various strategies for maintaining a clear path for officials were discussed,. but most involve funding, pool modifications and/or might use up too much deck space.

Referees for PVS Senior Championship Meets

Hirschmann indicated he would be the Meet Referee and Marty Cohen would be the Administrative Referee for the March SC Championship Meet. He also indicated he had two other names who wished to be considered for the July LC Meet. He asked other Committee members to advise him if they wished to be considered.

Club sponsored meets

This competition year has seen a greater volume of club-run meets, using a variety of formats. The Committee discussed the officiating consequences of these meets, particularly whether they are being adequately staffed and officiated. While some reported that club-run meets were quite adequately officiated, several committee members commented on problems which they had observed. Problems identified included the following:

It was agreed that clubs need to better publicize their meets, and seek adequate staffing for these meets. The Committee also expressed the view that club performance in administering and staffing meets ought to be considered in granting sanctions for future meets.

Spring Officials Clinic

The clinic is not yet scheduled. We originally expected that this might be part of the "Honor Your Own" program, but now that national USS speakers are coming, it is no longer appropriate. John Hirschmann indicated that we would organize a Stroke & Turn clinic preferably in early May. No other clinics are currently contemplated, but we would consider others based on estimates of attendance.

The Committee also discussed the pros and cons for Stroke and Turn clinics of having in-water versus video-tape demonstrations of the strokes. The consensus was the ideal situation was the opportunity to do both with the video tape being done first. It was also agreed that both the in- water only and video-tape only clinics have been effective in teaching the differences between legal and illegal strokes.

Rules changes

Jim Garner provided the text of the recently adopted USS rules changes, which were made to conform to the international rules adopted by FINA. These rules become effective on March 6. 1998. This is the 2nd day of the Junior Champs meet, however, the first day consists solely of distance freestyle events. After discussion, we agreed to implement the new rules on March 6th. [Note: It was subsequently clarified that under USS rules, the meet rules are those in effect on the first day of the meet. However, USS invited requests for waivers for meets being held in a 4 day format over the weekend of March 5-8 particularly if the events on March 5 were distance events. PVS submitted a waiver request which was granted. Accordingly, the meet will be swum under the new rules.]

Briefly, the rules changes are as follows:

The rules changes will be widely disseminated to all coaches, nationally certified officials, and club officials chairs by mail, and they are posted on the PVS and USS Web sites as well.

Order of final and consolation final heats

Championship meets with heats and finals will be swum in a different order than previously, beginning with the upcoming Jr. Champs and Sr. Champs meets. Finals having consolation, and/or bonus and consolation heats will be swum from fastest to slowest. The intention is to allow for replacement of empty lanes in any of the heats. Jim Garner presented draft procedures for filling heats. In the event of an empty lane in the final heat, the fastest consolation swimmer will be offered the opportunity to move to finals, and will replace the empty lane without reseeding. The fastest swimmer from the bonus consolation heat (if any) will move up to the consolation heat, and the first alternate will move into the now-vacant lane in the bonus consolation heat. If there is no bonus consolation heat, then the first alternate will move directly into the consolation heat. No reseeding will take place after any of these swimmer moves.

In the event that a swimmer offered the opportunity to move ahead in the above scenario declines to move, then the swimmer with the next fastest time will be offered the opportunity to move up. Thus, swimmers will have the opportunity to move up to fill empty lanes, but will not be required to do so.

Officials rotation

A proposal was made and discussed to forego Stroke & Turn Judge rotation during sessions. It was noted that at Nationals, and at certain other championship meets, officials are posted by the Referee or Chief Judge, then they serve at that post for the entire session. Most of our members felt that it was better to rotate judges in our pools to enable them to have breaks, to preclude being stuck in a location which is very hot or which lacks ventilation, and to give opportunities to judge the meet from a variety of perspectives. We agreed however to leave rotation strategies to the Referee’s discretion, but to discourage too-frequent rotation as it can disrupt the meet — particularly if doing so would either delay the meet or cause a portion of the pool to be uncovered while officials were moving.

Name tags

We discussed adopting a standard name tag after viewing samples of name tags used by OCCS, which have a USS pin, and the official’s name. The Committee agreed to continue to pursue making these available to all certified PVS officials and to determine whether PVS would be able to assist in funding their cost,.

Training materials

We continue to consolidate written officials training materials that Dave Davis had maintained. John Hirschmann and Boots Hall are reviewing Dave’s old files. They will cull the current material, and solicit reviews by other Committee members for suggested updates. Arvydas suggested adding material to document the "customs" of how we expect our meets to be run. These are primarily to document the administrative procedures that constitute good practice, and that will aid new officials in learning how we expect to conduct PVS meets.

Special swimmer accommodations

At JOs, a swimmer was scheduled to swim in the fastest heat of one event and also the first heat of the following event. The coach requested an accommodation to avoid this eventuality. Suggested accommodations included taking an unscheduled break between events, moving the swimmer to an earlier heat in the first event, or moving the swimmer to a later heat in the second event.

Others noted that making a special accommodation could give an unfair advantage to this swimmer, since other swimmers had chosen their meet entries based on the published meet announcement, and there are frequently conflicts between events and schedules that athletes must take into account in selecting their entries. After discussion, the Committee recommended that the importance of conducting the meet in accordance with the published meet announcement be emphasized to all Referees, so that swimmers can rely on the announcement in selecting their entries.

Input at the national level on the proper way to handle this was also sought. Modifications to next year's JO meet announcement to minimize the likelihood of this situation arising may also be made.

Officials Responsibilities

We discussed another situation involving an official who was not comfortable with a decision by the Meet Referee, who then raised this concern with a coach. We agreed this is inappropriate behavior and it would preferable for such concerns to be discussed with the Meet Referee at an appropriate time. If a concern remains unresolved, it should be discussed with the PVS Officials Chairman and/or the Operations Chairman.

Officials "Yield"

As requested at an earlier Officials Committee meeting, Bob Brofft, Tyanna Ertter, and Frank Persico contacted fourteen Starter candidates who had attended the clinics, but had not completed their certification within the past year. This was done in order to discover reasons for the decline in certification completion rate, particularly among Starters. Although there were a variety of reasons cited, several themes were repeated.

John Hirschmann again encouraged Referees to use more than one starter (when they are available), as long as the meet sessions permits each Starter to get approximately an hour of starting experience per session. After discussion, we agreed to consider whether all requirements must be completed within 12 months, or whether we would consider lengthening the period. No decision was reached.

Next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for March 3. 1998 at 7:00 pm at Marty Cohen’s office at INOVA. The primary focus will be on staffing the upcoming Senior Championship meet.