"Around the Deck" masthead

September/October, 2010

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 one of the many PVS Officials’ clinics during the month of October. And we look forward to seeing you on deck throughout the 2010-11 season!

Volunteers Needed Upcoming Meets

September 2010

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
26 Free For All Takoma  

October 2010

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
2-3 MSSC All Free Fairland Lynne Gerlach
2-3 MAKO Fall Invitational GMU Tony Fitz
8-9 UMD Red & Black Invitational Univ. of MD  
8-10 RMSC Kickoff MLK Donna Considine
9 PEAK All Freestyle Meet PGS&LC  
9-10 Harvest Moon Herndon Jim Thompson
15-17 October Open Lee District
Fairland 1
Fairland 2
Brian Baker
Art Davis
Dan Young
22-24 Snow Pumpkin Invitational
Claude Moore  
23-24 MSSC Fall Senior Meet Fairland Lynne Gerlach
23-24 Speedo Eastern States Senior Circuit PGS&LC  
23-24 CUBU Tri Meet TBD  
23-24 Halloween Mini Meet
30-31 Fall Gator Mini Meet
Washington-Lee H.S.  

Ready to Move Up?

So, you’ve been a Stroke & Turn Judge for about a year now. Are you ready to move up to a bit more responsibility on deck? Have you considered becoming a Starter? Or maybe a certified Chief Judge?
The Stroke & Turn Judge is definitely the most important and crucial position on deck—and we’re all Stroke & Turn Judges. But you gain additional insight and appreciation for this sport when you advance to Starter, Chief Judge, Referee, etc. You also become more versatile and valuable to your club.

For all positions except Referee, when you feel you are ready to advance, you may attend the appropriate clinic and begin to fulfill the requirements for certification in that position. For advancement to Referee, the first steps include nomination by your club’s officials chair or a member of the Officials Committee, as well as an invitation from the Officials Committee.

Complete requirements for advancement to other positions can be found at http://www.pvswim.org/official/certification_requirements.html


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, Chief Judges, Referees, Timing System Operators, and Hy-Tek Operators during the months of September and 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.


Evaluating Our Performance
One way to improve as an official is to honestly evaluate your performance after each session. Did you do your part to provide safe, fair, and equitable conditions of competition? Were you attentive to the participants and respectful to the integrity of the sport? Was your demeanor professional and courteous throughout the session? Did you consistently maintain high standards? What did you learn during the session?

Bill Russell, the legendary center for the Boston Celtics, used to keep his own personal scorecard. He graded himself after every game on a scale from one to one hundred. In his career of more than 1200 games, including a run of eleven championships in thirteen years, he never graded himself higher than 65. It was his constant striving for the highest standards, and recognizing that he could always do better, that made him one of the greatest basketball players ever.


You Make the Call
In a 200-yard freestyle event, a swimmer asks the referee if he can swim the backstroke. The referee replies that he can but that the time can only be used as a freestyle time. At the referee’s long whistle the swimmer enters the water to do a backstroke start. The referee signals to the starter that the field is his and the starter starts the race. Was this correct?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.


Did You Know…?
Did you know that swim fins were invented by Benjamin Franklin? Franklin grew up in Boston near the Charles River, and learned to swim at an early age. Wanting to increase his speed, Franklin devised fins (in the year 1717, according to his journal) that he wore on his hands. Although his original design of wooden fins wasn’t very practical, he set the invention in motion for others to improve upon it. Franklin consistently promoted the health benefits of swimming in his later writings.


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:
Denise Canby Bob Caverly
Brian Edwards Stewart Gordon
Michael Highman  
Anh Lam  
Jodi Beth McCain HyTek Operator:
Mark Murphy Donna Baker
Phyllis Rogers  
Rodney Smith  
Dave West  


National Certification
A reminder that after you have received a successful evaluation at a National Qualifying Meet, you are not automatically re-certified or advanced. There are other requirements that may also need to be met. These include participation in LSC meets, continuing education as an official, mentoring of other officials, National Championship meet experience, depending upon the position and the level of certification sought. Specific requirements can be found on the USA Swimming website. National Certification also requires that you submit the online Application for Certification found within the Officials Tracking System 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.


Chief Judge Certification - by Steed Edwards
We officials all seem to have a good idea of the responsibilities expected of a Referee, Starter, S&T Judge, Colorado Operator, and HyTek Operator. But do all of us know what is expected of a Chief Judge—especially at a national-level meet?

That question has been raised not only in Potomac Valley, but at the national USAS level.

Did you know that the CJs on a national deck are expected to, a) assign the S&T positions on deck, b) do all the stroke briefings , c) ensure that all necessary supplies for the various officials are in place, d) deliver all protocol briefings, e) take all calls from their S&T officials and report them to the Referee, as well as many other tasks?

Well Potomac Valley has taken on the responsibility of defining a process for becoming certified at the CJ position, at least at the LSC level. The process will include the implementation of CJ-specific clinics taught by experienced N3 Chief Judges, plus an evaluation process, including a minimum number of meets to be worked at the LSC level in the position. Successful completion of this process will result in certification at the LSC level as a Chief Judge.

We know that at the LSC level we often do not have a full complement of officials to guarantee a full team (5) of Chief Judges. However, it is important in PVS, as one of the leading LSCs in the country, for our certified Chief Judges to know what the expectations are should they be selected to the position on a national deck. Of course, at our own PVS meets any, or all, of these duties may be requested at any meet.

The process will kick off this Fall/Winter season.


Resolution to ‘You Make the Call’
No, this is not correct. In the freestyle events the forward start must be used.