Happy New Year!
As we turn the calendar to 2011, the PVS Officials Committee
would like to thank you for your participation and hard work at swim
meets throughout 2010. Your role as a volunteer swim official is essential
to our sport. You are actively involved in your child’s swimming
program; at the same time you are instrumental in strengthening the
sport in the United States. We are truly grateful for your dedication
and generous donation of time in support of our athletes.
We wish you health, prosperity, good fortune, and fast times
in the New Year!
If you have served as a PVS official for at least one year and
have worked the minimum number of sessions, or if you have previously
registered for 2011 membership, you may have already received a temporary
USA Swimming registration card for 2011. This card is valid to February
15. By that date, all non-athlete members (which includes officials)
must successfully complete the new background check program. Please
note that the background check program will not be available
until January 10. There are still many details to be worked out
regarding this program, and PVS will keep you informed as new information
is available. Check the PVS
website for the most recent information.
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
Commandments for Sport Parents
- Thou shall not impose thy ambitions on thy child.
- Thou shall be supportive no matter what.
- Thou shall not coach thy child.
- Thou shall only have positive things to say at a competition.
- Thou shall acknowledge thy child’s fears.
- Thou shall not criticize the officials.
- Thou shall honor thy child’s coach.
- Thou shall be loyal and supportive of thy team.
- Thy child shall have goals besides winning.
- Thou shall not expect thy child to become an Olympian.
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:
You Make the Call
An 8-year-old approaches the turn in the 50-yard breaststroke. Prior
to touching, he does a flip turn and pushes off the wall with both feet.
Is this legal?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.
/ Referee Coordination
- Takes deck position which affords an optimal view of the
- Assists in checking starting field for correct number of
athletes in proper lanes.
- Raises microphone upon hearing long whistle and awaits
deck referee’s extended arm.
- When the starting field is ready says “Take Your
Mark” in a calm, conversational voice.
- Completes the start only after all swimmers have assumed
an observable stationary position.
- Notes all empty lanes and informs the Timing Operator.
- If the starter observes that a swimmer started before the
starting signal, he/she notes the lane(s) on the starter’s heat
sheet. The starter should then advise the deck referee of a “possible
- Takes the finish order on starter’s heat sheet (if
another starter is not available).
The Deck Referee:
- Signals “prepare to swim” with the series of
- Checks starting field for correct number of swimmers in
- Sounds long whistle indicating swimmers should take a position
on the blocks, deck, or in the pool. A second long whistle is sounded
on backstroke starts to request swimmers move to the wall and prepare
for the start, sounded when the last head ‘pops up’ so
all athletes can hear it.
- Turns control of the swimmers over to the starter with
an extended arm, after any issues have been resolved.
- Carefully observes the start, noting the lane(s) of any
swimmers who started before the starting signal on the deck referee’s
heat sheet, and then focuses attention on the athletes during their
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
If your son or daughter is among the Top 16 when they are 10
years old, shouldn’t they be in the running for a national championship
when they turn 18? In fact, quite the opposite is the case. Improvement
is not a steady positive slope, especially for swimming prodigies. A
study by USA Swimming using the All-Time Top 100 swims in each
age group found that only 10 percent of the Top 100 10-and-Unders
maintained their status through age 18. Only half of the swimmers among
the Top 100 in the 17-18 age group had made any top-100 list when they
were younger. “Those winning races at 10 probably won’t
be winning races when they are 20,” says John Leonard, the executive
director of the American Swimming Coaches Association. “This is
one of those things that is obvious to coaches but can be a mystery
‘You Make the Call’
No. The swimmer must touch the wall at the end of each length with both
hands simultaneously. The swimmer should be disqualified.