"Around the Deck" masthead

February, 2011

February on Deck
As winter weather chills the area, the competition in the pool is heating up! PVS swimmers of all ages are gearing up for next month’s championships with a flurry of February meets — can we count on your help on deck?

Upcoming Meets

February 2011

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
4-6 IM Xtreme Games Takoma Scott Witkin
5-6 Super FISH Bowl Spring Hill Al Meilus
12-13 PM 14 & U JO Qualifier
Cub Run Brian Baker
12-13 CUBU Qualifier Warrenton Donny Shiner
12-13 President's Day Classic Claude Moore Dan Young
13 February Distance Meet Fairland Randy Bowman
13 Munchkin Mania Fairland Randy Bowman
18-20 18 & U Age Group Champs
Lee District Ed Dona
18-20 25th Annual Black History Meet Takoma Al Betts
19-20 Gender Blender Mini Meet MAC Amy Hsu
19-20 RMSC February Qualifier MLK Swim Center Andy Anderson
20 YORK Friendship Meet #2 Madeira  
26-27 MACH Qualifier Madeira Scott Robinson


Are You Up-To-Date?
Please remember that you must be a registered member of USA Swimming for the 2011 calendar year in order to continue working on deck as an official in 2011. A major component of registration this year is the USA Swimming criminal background check. All non-athlete members must successfully complete the new background check process by February 15, 2011. This is an online process that starts at www.usaswimming.org/backgroundcheck. Click on “Initiate a Background Check” and follow the prompts. The PVS Board of Directors has voted to reimburse officials for the cost of the background checks. Details on the reimbursement will be available soon on the PVS website.


Spring Championship Meets
Short course season culminates with several championship meets next month. These meets afford officials the opportunity to be evaluated for National certification. 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 go online and submit an application to officiate.

PVS Senior Championships will be held March 10-13 at George Mason University. Officials wishing to work at this meet should submit the application found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 3 for specific deck positions. However, late applications and walk-ins are also welcome and will be assigned to available positions. Our lead evaluator for this meet will be Pat Lunsford. Pat is a long-time official who has held many leadership positions in USA Swimming. He has served as National Officials Chair, as Program Operations Vice President, as Meet Referee for several National Championships, and was the Starter for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Concurrent with Senior Champs, PVS Junior Championships will likewise be held March 10-13 at George Mason University. Officials wishing to work at this meet should submit the application found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 3 for assigned deck positions. This meet is separate from Senior Champs and is held under a separate sanction, although the finals sessions will be swum combined with the finals of Senior Champs.

On the following weekend, March 17-20, PVS 14 & Under Junior Olympic Championships will be held at Fairland Aquatic Center. The application to work at this meet can likewise be found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than March 10 for specific deck positions. Once again, late applications and walk-ins are welcome and will be assigned to available positions.

PVS Senior Championships and PVS 14 & Under Junior Olympic Championships are “Officials Qualifying Meets,” offering the opportunity for formal evaluation at the N2 level (JOs) and the N2 and N3 levels (Seniors). Any official interested in being evaluated at these championship meets must apply in advance.


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: Stroke & Turn Judge:
Tammy Cole Dean Schroeder
Andrea Cubelo-McKay Margaret Schroeder
Kris Delta Dan Solomich
Rob Doherty Qi Zhang
Chris Jobson Scott Zimmerman
Steve Kenney  
Alex Ly  
Sarah Marshall Starter:
Jessica Moore Tony Rongione
Ray Nash  
Bill Picard  
Karen Popovich Timing Operator:
Carrie Sanidad Richard Gupton


You Make the Call
A breaststroke swimmer moves his hands in a sculling or flipper movement at the end of the first armstroke after the start and also after the turn. Should he be disqualified?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.


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.


Did You Know . . .
Titanic was the first ocean liner to have a swimming pool.


Swimming’s Under-Represented Groups
A study commissioned by USA Swimming and conducted by the University of Memphis exposes some alarming statistics for many of our nation’s children. This study found that nearly 70% of African American children and 58% of Hispanic children have very low or no swimming ability, compared to 40% of Caucasians. The “fear of drowning” was found to be the strongest overall predictor of swimming inability among the variables explored in the study. Surprisingly, financial constraints and access to pools were found to be minor variables. Indeed the research found that many urban African American and Hispanic parents wouldn’t let kids swim even if lessons were free. The study, entitled Constraints Impacting Minority Swimming Participation, surveyed children and parents in cities across the U.S. The complete study and its findings can be viewed at the USA Swimming website.


The Timeline - by Morgan Hurley
One of the capabilities of the Hy Tek software is to generate a timeline for a swim meet. The timeline is an estimate of the times at which events in a session will begin and when the session will end.

Hy-Tek prepares the timeline based on a number of factors. Each heat is estimated to finish within the seed time of the slowest athlete in the heat. Additionally, Hy-Tek uses an estimation of the time from when one heat finishes to when the next heat begins. This time, called the “interval time,” is usually set at 15 or 20 seconds when dive-over starts are used. An additional 15 seconds is usually added for events that use backstroke starts. These interval times are user-adjustable.

Prior to the start of a swim meet, the timeline is used by the meet manager to ensure that the meet can be conducted within the time that the pool is available and that sessions can start at the times advertised in the meet announcement. In some cases, warm-up times or the times when a session will begin may be changed based on the estimated session lengths in the timeline. Positive check-in may be used to minimize the number of open lanes. Any such changes would be communicated to coaches and other meet personnel and posted on www.pvswim.org before the date that the meet begins. Another adjustment that the meet manager might make is to reduce the interval time in the timeline, although it would usually not be reduced to less than 15 seconds.

Where an event is subject to positive check-in, the number of heats in events that are not seeded will be noted with a “u” on the timeline - which stands for “unseeded.” Timelines prepared before events subject to positive check-in have been seeded can be based on the maximum number of heats that could be swum if all entered athletes were swim. Alternatively, a “no-show” factor can be established, e.g., 5%, 10%, etc., based on the number of athletes that are not expected to swim. These are choices that can be made by the Hy-Tek user.

Prior to beginning a session, the deck referee should check the timeline to determine the interval time that was used. (The interval time is printed near the top of the timeline.) The interval time provides a target for the deck referee, although a shorter interval time might be desirable if the session is scheduled to end after the subsequent session’s warm-ups are scheduled to begin. During the meet, the actual times that events start should be marked on the timeline. The referee might perform this task or delegate it to another official such as the starter or the timing system operator.

There are a variety of reasons that a session can get behind the times in the timeline, such as delayed start of a session, equipment malfunctions, or a large number of disqualifications that require the attention of the referee. Tools that are available to the referee to “make-up” time include combining heats that are not full, particularly for longer distance events, or processing disqualifications while a heat of athletes is in the water. In no case should the referee and the starter rush a start before the athletes are ready.

For more information on timelines, see the Hy-Tek User Manual.


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, he should not be disqualified. This is legal provided “the arms shall move simultaneously and in the same horizontal plane without any alternating movement.” A sculling motion of the hands only as part of the armstroke is not considered the beginning of a new stroke.