We wish you health, prosperity, good fortune, and fast times in the New Year!
“For purposes of Article 101.2.3, as it relates to what constitutes the initiation of the first arm pull and the allowed single downward butterfly kick, the following applies: After the start and after each turn, any lateral or downward movement of the hands or arms is considered to be the initiation of the first arm pull.”
The full text of this new interpretation can be found on the USA Swimming website.
Did You Know . . .
Spring Championship Meets
All of these meets are “Officials Qualifying Meets,” offering the opportunity for formal evaluation at the N2 level (Juniors, Seniors) and the N2 and N3 levels (Sectionals). You can apply to work and/or be evaluated at the Eastern Zone Southern Sectional meet by completing the application on the Eastern Zone website. Applications to officiate at PVS Juniors and Seniors will be available soon on the PVS website.
When Reporting DQs to the Referee
You Make the Call
Life on a National Championship
This was the fifth time I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected to work at a national championship meet, and the first time I’ve served as a Chief Judge. The experience began with a meeting of the Chief Judges – with two courses in use (one for men, one for women), a total of eight CJs were assigned. During this time we discussed duties and protocols for the meet, and then prepared and tested all the equipment. Planning and preparations continued during the meeting of assigned officials (referees, admin referees, starters, CJs) and during the General Meeting with coaches and other personnel.
The first day of competition began with the Officials’ Briefing. More than 50 officials — some of the most respected and experienced swim officials from across the country, along with a number of “first timers” — assembled to serve as stroke judges or turn judges. After greeting one another and renewing old friendships, the stroke briefing was presented by a member of the CJ team. Ever give a briefing to a roomful of referees? The challenge is to make it complete, accurate, and thoroughly entertaining. Then, after a lengthy discussion of protocol and jurisdictions, we headed for the deck.
The Georgia Tech Aquatic Center was the site of the swimming and diving events for the 1996 Olympics. It is a first class venue with generous deck space, abundant locker room and meeting facilities, and ample seating capacity for spectators. The state-of-the-art setting and the level of competition clearly inspired the athletes. >From the start, we knew this would be a fast meet: during the first night’s Finals, one American record and three meet records were shattered.
At a national championship meet, four stroke judges walk the sides (lead/lag on both sides of the pool). Turn judges normally have one single lane to judge; however, since two pools were used for prelims, staffing dictated that each turn judge had jurisdiction for two lanes. The certified judges also serve as timers, handling watches, buttons, and timer sheets. For relays, one judge watches several lanes from the side of the pool, while each lane has a second judge confirming the takeoffs for that one single lane. While USA Swimming assigns an admin referee, the timing and scoring systems are operated by representatives from Omega Timing and Hy-Tek.
USA Swimming was experimenting with instant replay during this meet. DV Sport, the same company that handles instant replay for college football, set-up a number of underwater cameras and a digital replay system that was supervised by two USA-S officials. No calls were initiated by the replay system, but every DQ called on deck was reviewed by the replay officials. The review typically took less than 30 seconds and the judgment was relayed to deck officials as “Confirmed,” “Overturned,” or “Inconclusive” (in which case the call on the deck stands). Interestingly, only one call was overturned by replay during the course of the meet. After further experimentation, USA Swimming hopes to make a recommendation to FINA on the possible use of instant replay for the 2012 Olympics.
The deck officials were constantly busy but not overwhelmed – even during the medley relay in Finals when we had two DQs and an early take-off in the same heat. This was when the team of CJs came together and calmly worked through the situation. Quickly and without calling undue attention, the team handled each violation appropriately, reporting the details, confirming with the replay officials, notifying the athletes, and completing the paperwork.
By the time the final session concluded, all officials were exhausted, but pleased and proud to have worked with such an extraordinarily knowledgeable and professional deck crew. It proved once again that some of the nicest people you’ll meet are swim officials. Yes, the lodging and travel can be expensive – but I highly recommend working at a national championship meet. You’ll undoubtedly broaden your horizons, sharpen your skills, and return home with wonderful memories.
Resolution to ‘You Make