The summer swimming season is upon us. Summer swimming is where
most of our kids started with the sport; summer swimming is where many
of us started as officials. It was nearly 25 years ago this summer that
my oldest started swimming. I remember watching in amazement that season
as she quickly learned the four strokes. It took a little longer for
her to master the art of diving into the pool, but by the end of the
summer she could start just like the big kids. That was also the summer
that one of the senior officials recruited me to be a timer. After my
initial resistance, I discovered that I genuinely enjoyed the experience.
The following season, another official invited me to attend the clinic
and become a deck official. That’s how it starts. Maybe you have
a similar story. Never forget that you are the best ambassador for our
ranks. You are the prime agent to recruit new officials. Make it a goal
to recruit at least one new official this summer.
Long course season culminates with several championship meets
in July. As always, championship meets require championship officiating.
While walk-ons are always welcome, it’s 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.
LC Age Group Championships will be held at the University of Maryland
July 11-14. The application
to work at this meet can be found on the PVS website. You must apply
no later than July 4 for specific deck positions.
LC Senior Championships will be held July 18-21 at the University
of Maryland. Officials wishing to work at this meet should submit the
found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than July 11
for specific deck positions. However, late applications and walk-ins
are also welcome and will be assigned to available positions. This meet
will be our only Officials Qualifying Meet of the long course
season, offering the opportunity for formal evaluation at the N2 or
N3 levels. Our lead evaluator for this meet will be Jamy Pfister. Jamy
is a long-time official who has held many leadership positions in USA
Swimming. She is a member of the Rules and Regulations Committee and
currently serves as Eastern Zone Officials Chair. Any official interested
in being evaluated at Senior Champs must apply in advance. Complete
information regarding the National Certification program is available
on the USA
Concurrent with Senior Champs, PVS
LC Junior Championships will likewise be held July 18-21 at
the University of Maryland. Officials wishing to work at this meet should
submit the application
found on the PVS website. You must apply no later than July 5
for assigned deck positions.
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.
It’s Part of the Uniform!
Please remember that your current USA Swimming registration card must
be displayed anytime you’re on deck. It’s an essential part
of the uniform.
for PVS Officials Representative
Since 2007, the PVS Officials have had a voting representative on the
Board of Directors. Mike Rubin is the current representative and his
term expires this year. Mike is eligible for a second term and plans
to run for re-election. If you wish to run for this position as PVS
Officials Representative, please send a brief bio/statement to Tim
Husson no later than July 1.
In early July, all PVS Officials will receive an email containing
a voting token and a link to the online election. Each official is allowed
one vote. The voting will begin on the first day of the PVS LC Age Group
Championships (July 11) and end on the last day of PVS LC Junior/Senior
Championships (July 21). The new term begins on September 1.
Make the Call
A coach is teaching his swimmers to do what he believes is a faster
technique of getting to the wall on the breaststroke finish. He wants
his swimmers, when they are inside of the backstroke flags, to stay
completely under the water and not take any breaths. It takes several
complete cycles while wholly submerged before the swimmers touch. Is
See the answer at the bottom of this
USA Swimming Registration
2006, PVS has generously paid the USA Swimming registration renewal
fee for eligible officials. The PVS Officials Committee has recently
clarified the policy regarding eligibility for this benefit. Starting
with 2014 renewals, PVS will pay the USA Swimming registration renewal
for certified officials who work a minimum of
10 sessions at PVS-sanctioned meets (approved/observed meets
are not counted) during the calendar year, as recorded in OTS. Officials
who don’t meet the eligibility requirements are responsible for
payment of the USA Swimming registration fee, but can consult their
club to determine any reimbursement on the club level.
April, 2010, Potomac Valley Swimming’s Board of Directors adopted
a policy to help protect the safety and privacy of our swimmers: “The
use of equipment capable of taking pictures (eg., cameras, cellular
phones, PDAs, etc.) will be banned behind the starting blocks during
all meets sanctioned by PVS. Use of these devices will not be permitted
behind the blocks during warm up or competition.”
If a violation is noted, the Referee directs the person to put the device
away or leave the deck area immediately behind the starting blocks.
If an athlete is involved, he/she will work through the coach for enforcement.
Enforcement of this restriction does not extend into raised spectator
areas that are directly behind starting blocks. However, officials will
continue prohibiting the use of flash photography from any location
during the time swimmers are on the starting blocks.
The Swimming Scholarship
The athletic scholarship is considered by many parents and swimmers
to be the holy grail of our sport. But have you ever wondered how many
swimming scholarships actually exist? Have you ever wondered what the
odds of receiving one are? CollegeSwimming.com ran the numbers recently.
Here are their findings:
- There are approximately 1,685 men’s and 3,117 women’s
swimming scholarships available. Of those, approximately one-third
are awarded each season (roughly 561 for men and 1,037 for women).
- There are approximately 26,000 male high school seniors
and 32,200 female high school seniors who swim or dive.
- Out of all high school swimmers, one out of every 14.5 will
swim in college and one out of every 13.2 girls will swim in college.
- Scholarships can be divided among multiple swimmers, so
it is difficult to determine the precise percentage of college swimmers
currently receiving a scholarship.
- Only Division I and II schools can offer scholarships. 44%
of all college swimmers swim at a Division III school and therefore
receive no scholarship whatsoever.
Want to learn more about swimming in college? Check out USA
Swimming’s resources at: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=2071&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en
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
You’re Going to a National Meet
Congratulations! You’ve been selected to work at your first National
meet: a National Championship, a Junior National Championship, or a
U.S. Open. What can you expect?
Your acceptance communication likely includes information regarding
hotel recommendations. Generally it’s best to stay at the recommended
hotel—it’s where most of the other officials will be staying.
This hotel is usually close to the pool and has a rate negotiated by
USA Swimming. You probably also received information regarding the uniform,
which can be very different from that worn at a PVS meet.
Get to know the other officials. Some will be very experienced,
others will be first-timers like you, but all will be among the most
dedicated and talented officials in the country. Share ideas and stories;
learn from some of the best. When you introduce yourself, most officials
from other parts of the country will not recognize the initials “PVS.”
My usual speech is “I’m from Potomac Valley Swimming: Washington,
D.C. and its nearby suburbs.” And when socializing, be sure to
change into something other than your deck uniform.
Be on time for all meetings, briefings, and assignments. Prior
to the first session, the officials’ meeting will include a detailed
formal stroke briefing. For subsequent sessions, the briefings will
likely be more low key. Be sure you understand your assignment, your
jurisdiction, and all the protocols in place. Any questions should be
directed to the Chief Judges rather than the Referees.
Enjoy the Hospitality Room, but remember that we share the
space with coaches, staff, and dignitaries. This is not the place to
discuss calls or personalities.
If at all possible, work time trials each day. It’s usually
a short session, and it’s always appreciated.
Expect some fast swimming. Even in these “post-technical
suit” days, records are frequently broken at these meets. And
even though well-known Olympians and other celebrities may be on deck,
it is critical that you focus on your assignment during each heat. There
will be plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere between heats.
It’s absolutely exhilarating to work with some of the
fastest swimmers and finest officials in the country. Enjoy the experience!
Resolution to ‘You Make
No, it’s not legal. During the swim some part of the swimmer’s
head must break the surface of the water at least once during each complete
cycle of one arm stroke and one leg kick. Additionally, at the turn
and finish, the head may be submerged after the last arm pull prior
to the touch, provided it breaks the surface of the water at some point
during any part of the last complete or incomplete cycle preceding the