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2012 Update #1

2012 Update #1

In this Issue:

Last Chance Official's Training

Meet Meetings

As the Swimmer Turns (and Swims)

Officials Shirts Update

Questions

Last Chance Official's Training

If you didn't have an opportunity to attend the Midlakes Official's Training, you have one last chance to do so.  On Saturday, June 16, from 9am-12noon, one last session will be held at TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge in the upstairs meeting room.  Address: 36005 Southeast Ridge Street  Snoqualmie, WA 98065.  This will be for any official needing training - the first 2 hours are for all, the last hour is for starter/referee.  Grab your coffee on your way and we'll see you there!


Meet Meetings
A number of folks have asked "What topics should be covered in a coaches meeting prior to the meet?" and "What about the officials meeting?"  Here is a suggested outline for each:

Coaches:

Introductions
Expectations - swimmers ready to swim, responding to starter instructions (coaches can help by letting the starter know of any scratches)
Reminder about suits and caps rules
Address in the water starts for shallow-end relays
Confirmation of any special athlete needs (any type of disability concerns)

Officials:

Introductions
Expectations - jurisdiction, walking the sides, processing of DQs
Reminder about raising hand high when making a call
Mindful of the 2 "officiating rules" - "have to SEE it in order to CALL it" and "benefit of the doubt goes to the swimmer"
Review of swimming competition rules (as needed)
How relay take-off judging coverage will work

As the Swimmer Turns (and Swims)
In earlier training sessions, there were a number of questions about what a swimmer can do regarding their turns and what is permissible for wearing of swim caps.

In all races, a touch is required at the turn (2-hand simultaneous for breaststroke and fly, some part of the body for free and back) and for fly, the rules specifically state that the swimmer may turn in any manner, which is also specified for the Individual Medley.  However, in judging the turn for all strokes, it is important to "see" that the other requirements prior to leaving the wall are also in effect - such as not standing on the bottom (except for freestyle, where swimmers can but must not push off the bottom).  While it's sometimes easy to judge and see when swimmers are separated coming into the wall, we want to be fair in judging then swimmers come to the wall close together, so generally, you're only going to be call the blatant rule violations as it relates to the turn.  Basically, once the swimmer has touched legally, transitioned to going the other direction, and then has left the wall legally, it's a valid turn.  You may on rare occasion have a swimmer hook an arm on the wall to adjust their goggles the begin swimming again - this is perfectly OK and not a grounds for a DQ.

Multiple caps may be worn but how many is not defined in the rules - however, they can't wear an "excessive" number as that would aid in their buoyancy.  Many swimmers wear 2 caps - a "skull-fit" cap and then a team cap - which is fine.  Beyond that, a conversation with the coach might be in order to determine if additional caps are really necessary.

Officials Shirts Update
Officials shirts have been ordered and are on their way.  We expect them to be delivered by the end of this week.  As a reminder, because of the ordering timeline and our quick season, we were only able to accommodate those officials who attended the first 3 sessions.  If you have any concerns or questions about this, please let me know.


Questions

Q1:Who takes the Order of Finish, where does this get recorded and who does the reconciliation?  Is that required for every meet?  If a time is faster, but OOF has different order - which time is used?

A1: The order of finish is taken by the starter for every heat of every event.  The starter can simply keep track by writing it down on their starter's heat sheet (where they are noting their starts of each race).  Stroke & Turn does not have jurisdiction to judge OOF and often it's tough to judge.  The only time OOF would be used is if there is a failure of the timing system - in otherwords, there is no time available for that swimmer.  In fact, the rules (in section 102.24 of the rulebook) indicate there should really be 2 judges looking at OOF for situations such as this - but as Midlakes typically doesn't have the personnel to staff this, it should only be used as a last resort to determine a valid time and place for a swimmer.  And it would be the responsibility of the starter/referee.

Q2: Some of the pools in the Midlakes league have a deck that is flush with the water level.  On a couple of occasions when officiating the breaststroke and butterfly, swimmers make the touch with one hand touching the wall and the other hand touching the deck beyond the end of the pool.  Though both hands touch, it's rarely simultaneous.  Because sometimes this is hard to see and, based on the "benefit of the doubt goes to the swimmer", there's no apparent advantage to this turn, should the swimmer be DQ'd.  How should we judge this?

A2:The USA Swimming rules for breaststroke and butterfly state that the touch at the turn and finish shall be simultaneous, but they don't address whether the touch must be on the wall, the deck, or either.  Breaststroke:  At each turn and at the finish of the race, the touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water level.  Butterfly: The touch shall be made with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water surface.  While there is no requirement that they touch "the wall", you'll need to see both hands touch the end simultaneously.  We don't judge based on advantage, we judge based on the rule requirement.  If they don't touch simultaneously, then it is an infraction of the rules and would be a valid DQ.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  If you know of others that would like this information or if you are no longer interested in receiving these, let me know and I'll update the distribution list.


Regards,

Scott Allen
Officials Chair
Midlakes Swim League