"Around the Deck" masthead

September/October, 2009
(updated: October 8, 2009)

Welcome to the New Season!
The kids are back in school, and a new season of swimming is upon us. Hopefully, you’re ready to dive in for another season of officiating. Volunteer officials are the lifeblood of Potomac Valley Swimming. Check the schedule below and contact the official-in-charge if you can help. We hope to see you at the Swimposium or at one of the many PVS Officials’ clinics during the months of October and November. And we look forward to seeing you on deck throughout the 2009-10 season!


Upcoming Meets

October 2009

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
3 PVS Swimposium Georgetown Prep  
4 All Freestyle Meet Fairland Lynne Gerlach
9-10 Red & Black Invitational Univ. of Maryland Carrie Tupper
9-11 Pumpkin Invitational Claude Moore Rec Cntr Mike Ryan
10-11 Harvest Moon Herndon Jim Thompson
10-11 Halloween Mini Meet Cub Run Ben Holly
11 All Freestyle Meet
PGS&LC Tim Husson
16-18 RMSC Kickoff Meet MLK Swim Center Donna Considine
16-18 October Open Mt. Vernon
Fairland 1
Fairland 2
Brian Baker
Art Davis
Dan Young
24-25 Speedo Eastern States Senior Circuit #1 PGS&LC John Mason
24-25 MSSC Invitational Senior Meet Fairland Lynne Gerlach
31-1 Fall Gator Mini Meet Washington-Lee HS Ted Berner

2009 Swimposium
The 2009 PVS Swimposium will be held at Georgetown Prep on Saturday, October 3, 2009. It will include tracks for athletes, parents, coaches, officials, and club business management. The athletes track will feature Olympians Rowdy Gaines, Kate Ziegler, and Randall Bal. Our special guest for the officials track is Dan McAllen. Dan is a member of the USA Swimming Officials Committee and a former USA Swimming National Officials Chair. He has been a USA Swimming Official for 29 years and is also a certified official for NCAA and NFHS. He has held many positions on the board of his LSC, including General Chair, Officials Chair, Board of Review Chair and Safety Chair. He has served as Meet Referee for the USA Swimming National Championships five times.

Attendance at the 2009 PVS Swimposium can be used to fulfill the recertification clinic requirement for the Stroke and Turn, Starter, and Referee positions. It cannot be used as an initial certification clinic at any position.


Swimsuit Rules
In July, FINA passed new rules regulating the material and shape of swimsuits. On September, 19, 2009 the USA Swimming House of Delegates voted to adopt the FINA rule effective October 1, 2009. Highlights of this rule include:

  1. Swimsuits for men may not extend above the navel or below the knee, and for women may not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or below the knee;
  2. No zippers or other fastening devices are allowed except for a waist tie on a brief or jammer;
  3. Suits must be of textile material and must not be made of any rubberized type of material such as polyurethane or neoprene.

If the suit meets the above three criteria, it should be assumed to be an approved suit during this interim period. Coaches, officials and swimmers are urged to use common sense in this matter. Please note that we expect FINA will release a comprehensive list of allowable suits in the coming months. When that list becomes available, USA Swimming will immediately make the information available.

Bruce Stratton, Chairman of USA Swimming’s Rules and Regulations Committee, has issued a letter to all members explaining the new rules.


Officials’ E-Mail List
If you are reading this newsletter on the PVS website and did not receive it by email, it could be for one of several reasons: 1) the PVS Officials Committee doesn’t have your address, 2) the address we have is incorrect, or 3) your ISP is blocking the newsletter. If it is one of the first two reasons, you can subscribe yourself by sending a blank email to officials-subscribe@potomacvallyeswimming.org. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription request. Follow the instructions in that email and you will be subscribed.

If you are no longer a PVS official or you do not want to receive the newsletter and other emails from the PVS Officials Committee, you can opt-out by sending a blank email to officials-unsubscribe@potomacvallyeswimming.org. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your unsubscription request. Simply follow the instructions in that email and you will be unsubscribed.


Officials’ Clinics
The Fall schedule of PVS Officials’ clinics has been posted on the website. There are clinics in both Maryland and Virginia for Stroke & Turn Judges, Starters, Referees, Timing System Operators, and Hy-Tek Operators during the month of October. Pre-Registration for the clinics is encouraged, but not required. You can just show up on the date and time of the clinic. Article 102.12.2 of USA Swimming rules states: “All officials acting in the capacity of Referee, Starter, or Stroke and/or Turn Judge at a swimming meet shall be certified in such position by their LSC prior to being assigned to officiate in that capacity.” Attendance at a clinic at least once every two years is a requirement for your certification. Be sure to check the website throughout the year for additional clinics.


You Make the Call
A swimmer in the 500-yard freestyle notifies the deck referee that he will be trying for a 100-yard initial split. After completing the first 100 yards, the swimmer exits the pool. Does the 100-yard split time count?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.


Advanced Hy-Tek Clinic
Back by popular demand, PVS will once again be offering an Advanced Hy-Tek Clinic on November 14, 2009 at the MLK Swim Center in Silver Spring. The exact topics to be covered will be determined by the needs of the class, but the primary focus areas will be running Hy-Tek at a trials/finals championship-level meet and setting up a meet database. The instructors will also be available for questions after the session.


Timing Judge’s Manual
Lanes 3 and 7 both exceed a .30 second difference between the pad time and the button time. A late touch is reported in lane 7, but timers report nothing out the ordinary in lane 3. Could it be a defective pad? A missed touch? A late button? Exactly how do we determine the official time for both lanes 3 and 7? The PVS Timing Judge’s Manual can help. You’ll find it on the PVS website, along with dozens of other helpful training resources. Reviewing these documents on a regular basis can sharpen your skills, regardless of your level of experience.


National Certification
A reminder to officials applying for National Certification (N2 and N3): Don’t forget to add clinics, mentoring experiences, Swimposium participation, etc. in the Activity History area of the online certification application. The requirements for National Certification include continuing education, mentoring and training. These experiences are listed in the Officials Tracking System as “other activities,” and are generally added by the official himself/herself. If you forget to include these activities, your application for N2 or N3 certification will be rejected. You’ve attended the clinics, you’ve helped mentor new officials on deck — make sure you get credit for these activities by adding them to the Officials Tracking System.

As a result of recent revisions to the program, all officials with National Certifications (N2 and N3) expiring on or after June 30, 2008 have had their certification expiration dates extended by one year.


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.


Resolution to ‘You Make the Call’
No, the swimmer left the pool prior to the completion of the race and is disqualified for failing to complete the prescribed distance. Article 102.16.4 A (1) (d) says that an initial split time is considered official only if the swimmer completes the event in compliance with all applicable rules. When a swimmer notifies the referee that he/she will be attempting an initial split, it’s helpful if the referee reminds the swimmer that the entire distance of the race must be legally swum in order to achieve the initial split.