October 12, 2020
Although not like any other year, our short course season has begun. Many Ys are participating in virtual sessions where they swim their portion of a meet at their own pool. Attached is some guidance on virtual meets.
A few questions have come up.
Timing systems. You will need to comply with the USA rules as to timing, but that does not mean you need the full set up of touchpads, etc. Use the best system that is available to you. If you are running only manual, then you do need three people timing. That can create a problem with the number of people. Y National has provided some additional suggestions.
One person can time two lanes.
Timers for outside lanes can be standing at the ends on the side (at the corners).
Or you can run with less lanes to reduce the number of timers standing together (sounds inefficient but you may not have that many swimmers per session anyway).
Number of officials. You need three deck officials – ref (acting also as stroke & turn official), starter, and another stroke & turn official. You also need an admin official.
The meet ref must be a YMCA official; the other officials can be USA officials. You can have more officials. The number of officials at one site of a virtual meet does not need to match the number of officials at another site. Each site has to have the minimum, which is not very many as you can see.
Equipment. It is not necessary that each pool in a virtual meet have the same equipment (wedges on blocks or backstroke ledges) unless the host Y’s meet packet says otherwise.
COVID. There is not set protocol. Do what your Y tells you to do, which can be state-specific, county specific, or Y-specific. Limiting the number of people on deck is an obvious step to deck. Running the session with less paper is possible if you use dolphin watches that wirelessly transmit time to the table. The league now has 4 sets available (with a small rental charge designed to offset the cost of repairs). This can eliminate having timers with clipboards and paper. Setting a longer interval between heats keeps swimmers from bunching up behind the blocks. You design what works best at your facility.
Collectively, we can run as good a season as we can, balancing health & safety, fairness and competition.
Regional officials coordinator