"Around the Deck" masthead

April/May, 2012

Long Course Season Begins
There’s a lot to like about long course: No longer do you need to determine “Which end is the girls’ course?” The swimmers have only half as many turns to drench your shoes. And think of the calories you’ll burn while walking the sides! As we reconfigure the pool, the Officials Committee would like to thank you for your generous donation of time and effort on behalf of our athletes throughout the year.

Upcoming Meets

April 2012

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
28-29 Early Bird LC Invitational Fairland Lynne Gerlach
28-29 Spring Sprints Invitational South Run  

May 2012

Date Meet Location Officials Contact
4-6 RMSC Spring LC Invitational KSAC Izumi Horikawa
4 SNOW SC Spring Classic Invitational Claude Moore Mike Ryan
5-6 SNOW LC Classic Invitational Claude Moore Mike Ryan
5-6 Long Course Derby GMU Alan Goldblatt
25-27 Virginia State LC Championships Oak Marr  


Online Tests Unavailable
On Friday, April 13, the online officials certification tests will be deactivated for the annual revisions to bring the test up to date with the 2012 rulebook. Before April 13 continue to use the 2011 edition of the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations when taking the tests. When the tests are activated after May 1, 2012, you will then use the 2012 copy of the rulebook.



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: Referee:
Jennifer Alonso Izumi Horikawa
Juan Alonso  
Bill Bacon Starter:
Branka Bowman Dan Solomich
Brian Boyle  
Peter Cocolis CTS Operator:
Tina Ellerbee Alan Goldblatt
Alan Goldblatt  
Bethany Ming HyTek Operator:
Chris Reed Evie Altman
Karl Stumpf Margaret Schroeder


You Make the Call
An 8-year-old swimmer leaves the pool after 25 yards, believing that he has finished his 50-yard freestyle race. Discovering that he has not swum the correct number of lengths, he enters the pool again to finish. Is this legal or should he be disqualified?
See the answer at the bottom of this newsletter.


Report of Occurrence Form Now Online - by Kurt Thiel, PVS Safety Chair
Referees please add this to your quiver of important stuff:

If you haven’t seen it already; the Report of Occurrence has joined the “modern world” and is now available online: www.usaswimming.org/ROO . The Report of Occurrence can be filled in electronically and submitted all without lifting a pen, or it can be submitted the old-fashioned fax or snail mail way. The beauty of doing it on-line is that it is distributed automatically to all the required players, you (the submitter) get a copy back to serve as your proof of submission. The online version also has buttons for most items to be filled in that provide you detailed instructions if you hover the cursor over them. It was easy to do and worked like a charm in my test submission.


Changes to USA Swimming Rules - by Morgan Hurley
Last September, the USA Swimming House of Delegates adopted several changes to the USA Swimming Rules. A complete listing of these changes can be found on the USA Swimming website. Most of the changes are effective May 1, 2012.

One of the changes has to do with where the starter may stand. Previously, the rule stated that the starter must stand within 10 feet of the starting end of the pool. Effective May 1, the rule now requires that the starter stand “within approximately five meters of the starting end of the pool,” which essentially requires that the starter stand no further than the backstroke flags from the starting end.

Several changes, which are also effective May 1, have to do with the timing rules.

A change to rule 102.24.4.C.1 provides some flexibility regarding timing judging. Previously, one of two things had to occur to indicate a possible malfunction of the primary timing system: the difference between the primary and backup time had to be at least 0.3 seconds or it had to be reported that the athlete missed the touchpad or had a soft touch. Now, the rule states that a difference of “approximately” 0.3 seconds indicates a possible malfunction. Also, a possible malfunction can be indicated if the place judges observe a different order of finish. The impact of this change will be minor, since in most cases the Meet Manager software will be the main indicator of a possible problem (i.e., late or missed pad touch), and Meet Manager still uses a difference of greater than 0.3 seconds to flag a possible malfunction.


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.


How Do Swimmers Qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team?
Here is the basic rundown on how you make the team:

  1. Athletes must qualify for and compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming, held June 25-July 2, at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. If you don’t compete here, you cannot make the Olympic Team in the pool events. Open Water Trials are a separate affair and have already been contested.
  2. Swimmers who finish in the top four of the 100- and 200-meter freestyle at Trials, along with the first-place finishers in all the other events are named to the team first.
  3. A maximum of 26 men and 26 women can be named to the Olympic Team, so provided all the spots have not been filled by the top four finishers in the 100 and 200m free and the first-place finishers in all the rest of the events, the second place finishers in each of the other events may be added to the team.
  4. If, after adding the second-place finishers from each of the other events there is still room on the team, the fifth-place finishers from the 100 and 200m free are added.
  5. If, after adding the fifth-place finishers from the 100m and 200m free there is still room on the team, the sixth-place finishers from the 100m and 200m free are added.

Ever since the Olympic Trials have taken on this format, the top six swimmers in the 100m and 200m free, along with the top two swimmers in each of the other events, have always made the U.S. Olympic Team.

So that’s pretty much what it takes. You must be one of the top two swimmers in your event (or top six in the 100m and 200m free), or it’s back to the drawing board for the next four years.

Some interesting facts:

  • Number of swimmers in USA Swimming: About 250,000.
  • Number of swimmers expected to compete at Trials: About 1,250, or .5 percent of the swimmers who are members of USA Swimming.
  • Number of spots available on the U.S. Olympic Team: 52
  • Maximum percentage of swimmers competing at Trials who can make the Olympic Team: About four percent. That’s the maximum possible percentage. The actual percentage will probably be lower.
  • Maximum percentage of swimmers from USA Swimming who will be named Olympians at Trials: About .02 percent. Again, the actual percentage will probably be lower.


Resolution to ‘You Make the Call’
He should be disqualified. USA Swimming Rules and Regulations states, “...a swimmer must not leave the pool, or walk, or spring from the bottom.”