"Around the Deck" masthead

March, 2009

It’s the Championship Season
March means championships — and lots of them! PVS athletes of all ages have been working hard and gearing-up for these meets all season. There will definitely be some fast times and memorable races this month! We need you to make the meets a success for our swimmers. Championship meets require championship officiating — can we count on your help?


Upcoming Meets

March 2009

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
5-8 PVS Junior Championships MLK Swim Center Donna Considine
12-15 PVS Senior Championships GMU Jim Van Erden
14-15 RMSC Mini Championships Olney Swim Center Scott Witkin
19-22 PVS 14 & U Junior Olympic Championships PGS&LC Scott Robinson
26-29 Speedo Championship Series
Eastern Zone Southern Sectional Meet

Germantown Boots Hall
27-29 MSSC Spring Championships Fairland Lynne Gerlach
27-29 March Madness OakMarr Jim Thompson
28-29 MAKO Spring Invitational GMU Tony Fitz


Spring Championship Meets
Short course season culminates with several championship meets this month. Many of these meets are “Officials Qualifying Meets” (OQM) offering the opportunity for formal evaluation at the N2 level (Seniors, Junior Olympics) and the N2 and N3 levels (Sectionals). Any official interested in being evaluated at these championship meets should apply in advance. 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 get in touch with the Officials Contact Person.

The month begins with PVS Junior Championships, held March 5-8 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Swim Center in Silver Spring. For many of our younger swimmers, this meet will be their first “Prelims and Finals” championship meet, and officials are still needed. Contact Donna Considine to volunteer your services.

PVS Senior Championships will be held March 12-15 at George Mason University in Fairfax. Officials wishing to work at this meet should submit the application found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 5 for specific deck positions. However, late applications and walk-ins are also welcome and will be assigned to available positions.

On the following weekend, March 19-22, PVS 14 & Under Junior Olympic Championships will be held at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, adjacent to FedEx Field. The application to work at this meet can likewise be found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 12 for specific deck positions. Once again, late applications and walk-ins are welcome and will be assigned to available positions.

The Germantown Indoor Swim Center in Montgomery County will be the site of the Eastern Zone Southern Sectional meet, March 26-29. This meet is part of USA Swimming’s Speedo Championship Series, and will feature elite swimmers from several states. This is a terrific opportunity to officiate at a National-level meet that’s close to home. 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. This application must be received by the Eastern Zone Officials Chair no later than February 25 in order for the applicant to be considered for specific assigned positions (Deck Referee, Starter, Chief Judge, Admin Ref). Assigned positions will be notified no later than March 5. Applications for other deck positions will be accepted anytime.


But Wait . . . There’s More
Are your children swimming at the RMSC Mini Championships, MSSC Championships, March Madness, or the MAKO Spring Invitational? We need your help at these meets also. See the schedule above to contact the meet ref.


You Make the Call
In a 200-yard medley relay, the third swimmer (butterfly) misjudges the distance to the wall at the finish of his leg and hits the wall with his head. After the swimmer first hits the wall, the fourth swimmer leaves the block to swim the freestyle leg. The third swimmer then touches with both hands simultaneously. What is the call?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.


Did You Know . . .
At 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)


Why N2 or N3?
Why would you want to attain National certification as an N2 or N3 official?

  • To have the satisfaction that you’re recognized as a highly motivated official who demonstrates superior performance standards on deck.
  • To receive practical constructive feedback regarding your performance from very experienced nationally-recognized officials.
  • To qualify to work at higher level meets. N2 certification recognizes that an official is experienced and has been evaluated as capable of working the position at Sectional, Zone, Grand Prix and similar higher profile meets. N3 certification recognizes that an official has the experience, skills and knowledge to be considered for selection to work at National Championship level meets in the position.
  • To be viewed as a mentor by your fellow officials.
  • To help insure that all swimmers, from novice to Olympian, will have the most professional, most consistent, and fairest officiating possible.

Requirements for progression to N2 and N3 levels in the positions of Stroke and Turn Judge, Chief Judge, Starter, Deck Referee, and Administrative Referee can be found on the USA Swimming website.


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.


What is an Officials Qualifying Meet?
Officials Qualifying Meets are approved by USA Swimming for the evaluation of officials seeking advancement and re-certification at the N2 and N3 levels. They may include Regional, Zone, Sectional, Grand Prix, and other meets which satisfy the criteria set by USA Swimming. Among the criteria: The meet format must include at least 4 sessions with prelims and finals. It must include a broad range of senior events, and it must be expected to attract and include national caliber swimmers (capable of achieving National Championship and Junior Championship qualifying times). National Evaluators must be present during all evaluation sessions. There are requirements for minimum numbers of officials, as well as for the Meet Referee’s qualifications. The meet announcement must contain a notice that the meet has been approved, or application has been made for approval, as an Officials Qualifying Meet as well as information outlining how officials will be considered for evaluation.


Resolution to ‘You Make the Call’
The relay team should be disqualified for a finish violation by the third swimmer. At the finish of the butterfly, the swimmer must touch with two hands simultaneously. There would be no relay take-off violation because the third swimmer did conclude his leg by touching the wall with his head. The finish just wasn’t legal.