2012 Update #3
In this Issue:
Officials Shirts Update
The official's job of safety and fairness across the competition includes helping other parents understand the process for conducting a meet. It also might include helping a coach with entries (ensuring the limit of number of entries is observed, no more than the maximum number of exhibition heats) as well as with relay entries. As the Referee/Starter can't be everywhere, a Stroke & Turn official who is being observant would also be a great aide to let the Referee/Starter know about any abnormal entries, especially if you know the swimmers. Don't be shy about providing your observation about such entries to the lead official - and feel free to help your coach consistently and fairly apply the rules in accordance with the rules and the Midlakes Swim Plan.
Also, last minute entry changes and additions should be avoided. Obviously, there are cases where medical issues may make a swimmer unavailable for the meet - but then all entries should be completed before the meet and these would merely be scratches. Entries for relays can certainly be adjusted as long as there are alternates identified on the entry but these should be taken care of well before the event starts (and a good topic to discuss at the coaches meeting, and then any scratches/changes can be communicated to officials at the officials meeting).
One of the duties of the Referee/Starter is to help out other officials, and experienced officials might want to offer their help as well. This is particularly true when dealing with new starters - and maybe those who need to have a little more practice. Like the Stroke & Turn officials where we try to mirror each other on deck, Starters should strive to be consistent both during their shift and with the next shift starter. Listen to each other and make sure that you are inviting swimmers to respond to the start command (not "barking orders"), use the words we discussed in training (don't add or subtract unnecessarily), and don't be too slow or too quick. A nice even pace will help you help the swimmers perform well and get your meet done on time.
Don't forget that starters should be noting the "order of finish" after all races and are responsible, during the medley relay and backstroke events, for the "placement of the feet" whistle (the third whistle) or the verbal command to "place your feet". While we may forget from time to time, don't be offended if another official comes up to give you a "friendly reminder" about these additional duties.
Lots of reports are coming in citing the positive impact of having coach's meetings, official's meetings, and timer's meetings. One big learning experience is that many clubs didn't realize the value of having a plan to process DQ slips (in particular, routing them to the coaches after the starter reviews them, not waiting until the end of the meet). By routing the yellow copy to the coach in a timely manner, they'll be aware of the infraction much sooner, giving them a better opportunity to follow up on the situation while it's fresher in everyone's minds - official, swimmer, and coach.
Officials Shirts Update
Shirts are being delivered this week to club pools. Thanks for your patience as we worked through order processing issues with our vendor.
Q1:In the 50 back, the swimmer approached the wall on his back, flipped over onto his front a bit early, pulled his arms to his side and was kicking in to the wall. Under USA Swimming that would be illegal, but I understand it is allowed in Midlakes. However, when he reached the wall, he grabbed it with both hands, stood up, put both feet against the wall, and pushed off in a normal backstroke start. Is that legal?
A1:The rules allow the swimmer to transition to the breast between the turn-end backstroke flags and the turn-end wall, where they can then do a single or simultaneous double arm pull, after which, in Midlakes, they can glide or kick into the wall and then execute their turn. However, they cannot "recover their arms" over or under the water, and in order to grab the wall (in your description), they would have had to reach their arms forward (or recover) which would be a DQ. If they didn't pull once on the breast (merely left their arms extended), this would likely be a DQ (but also a judgment call) as technically they are then swimming on their breast, which also isn't allowed during backstroke.
Q2: I've seen some swimmers in butterfly do many different things with their arms during their swim. What's the best way to judge the arm motion in butterfly?
A2:. The rule requirement in 101.3.2 says: "...Both arms must be brought forward over the water and pulled back simultaneously." This means that both the forward recovery motion and the pull back BOTH must be simultaneous. Remember that this does not mean symmetrical, and as long as the arms don't enter or hit the water separately, it can still be ugly but legal. The best way to think about it is to consider how a "perfect" butterfly looks - arms start extended out front, pulled back underwater, hands exit the water by the hips leading the arm recovery over the water, then the hands enter the water with the arms setting up for another pull cycle. What is not allowed is a non-simultaneous entry or an "early" entry such as entry of the hands by the head and then a full extension of the arms underwater (as that would then be an underwater recovery DQ). It would be best described as a "gallop" of the arm entry - clearly non-simultaneous.
As always, thanks for all you do. If you have any questions, feel free to send them them on!
Midlakes Swim League