"Around the Deck" masthead

March, 2010

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 2010

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
4-7 PVS Junior Championships MLK Swim Center Donna Considine
11-14 PVS Senior Championships GMU Jack Neill
13-14 RMSC Mini Championships Olney Swim Center Scott Witkin
18-21 PVS 14 & U Junior Olympic Championships Fairland Scott Robinson
25-28 Speedo Championship Series
Eastern Zone Southern Sectional Meet

Germantown Jack Neill
26-28 MSSC Spring Championships Fairland Lynne Gerlach
27-28 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 4-7 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Swim Center in Silver Spring. For many of our 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 11-14 at George Mason University in Fairfax. Officials are still needed for this meet. Those wishing to work at this meet should submit the application found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 4 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 18-21, PVS 14 & Under Junior Olympic Championships will be held at Fairland Aquatic Center in Laurel, MD. Officials are still needed for this meet. The application to work at this meet can be found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 11 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 25-28. 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 March 10 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 17. Applications for other deck positions will be accepted anytime. And… you guessed it… officials are still needed for this meet.


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


Uniform for Championship Meets
The PVS Officials Committee has established a standard uniform for PVS Championship meets: white polo shirt over navy blue shorts, trousers, or skirt for Prelims; light blue oxford shirt over navy blue trousers or skirt for Finals. Please note: this will be the uniform for PVS Senior Championships and PVS Junior Olympic Championships.


Save the Date!
Mark your calendar now for the 2010 PVS Officials Social, April 18 at River Falls in Potomac, MD. All PVS officials and their “significant others” are invited to this informal social event that will recognize PVS officials for their efforts this season. Check your email and the PVS website for more information soon.


You Make the Call
A coach says, “My swimmer is 10 years old and would like to achieve a time in the 200 yard Butterfly, but the event is never offered for 10 year-olds. Can I enter him/her with the 11-12 age group, which does offer the event?” What do you tell the coach?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.


New Officials / Advancing Officials
We’d like to welcome these new officials—and congratulate advancing officials—who have recently completed the requirements for first-time PVS certification in the following positions.

Stroke & Turn Judge: Starter:
Tami Henneman Jason Baltimore (transfer)
Brian Hinkle  
Tim McIlmail  
Yomi Soband HyTek Operator:
Austin St. John Steve Bajorek
Brandon Wales Ronald Hong
Matthew Worrick  


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.


PVS Warm-Up Policy
Potomac Valley Swimming endorses two specific warm-up formats: Assigned warm-ups and Open warm-ups. It’s important for all officials — especially referees — to understand both formats and to enforce the warm-up provisions at all sessions.

Assigned warm-ups are where teams are assigned to specific lanes, for specified periods of time, in proportion to the number of their entries. Open warm-ups are where there are no team lane assignments and lanes are designated for a specific activity for a specified period of time.

During Assigned warm-ups, each team may conduct their own warm-up routine provided that a team certified USA Swimming coach is stationed at the starting block of each lane assigned to the team, and that coach assumes the duties of a Marshal in supervising the warm-up in that lane.

During Open warm-ups, periods are divided equally between general and specific programs. The first half of the of warm-up will be dedicated to general warm-up and the last half of the warm-up will be dedicated to specific warm-up. During the general warm-up, no pace work or sprinting will be permitted. During the specific warm-up, the outside lanes will be designated as pace lanes and lanes 2 & 7 of an eight-lane pool, 2 & 5 of a six-lane pool, etc. will be opened for sprinting. Marshals shall clear the lane of all swimmers before opening the lane for sprinting. All sprint lanes are one-way only and the swimmer must exit at the opposite end of the pool. The use of kickboards, handpaddles, and similar training devices, are not permitted in open warm-ups.

All warm-up periods shall be supervised by the appointed marshals and officials. Coaches shall not permit their athletes to enter the pool until the officials have declared the pool open for warm-up. No entry is permitted across lanes, from the pool side, or from the non-start end.


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’
You should tell the coach “No,” a swimmer many not participate in an age group which does not correspond to his/her age. Article 205.2.4 states “A swimmer must compete in the age group events according to the swimmer’s age.” In addition, any time achieved while swimming in an age group that does not correspond to the swimmer’s age would not be a valid time and would not be eligible for entry into USA Swimming’s SWIMS database.