There is no question that your experience and that of your swimmer(s) will be better if you are on deck and aware of the hard work each child and their friends puts in to swimming. EST relies on officials year-round in order to provide swimmers the best opportunities to improve times at sanctioned meets and time trials. Our officials work all levels and on a variety of pool decks, and you may be surprised to learn that some of them never swam under the rules of a similar program. EST needs you, and if your 10 and under child enjoys swimming, you should seriously consider becoming an official.
EST reimburses officials for out of pocket expenses for training, the background check, the USA Swimming Non-Athlete registration and the official's first shirt. The team continues to reimburse officials for registration, background checks and advancement training. Officials also receive a $100.00 reduction of the swimmer registration fee on one swimmer. Please note that some of our officials may or may not take the reimbursements from one year to the next and EST handles reimbursements and the thanking of officials who do not seek reimbursement on a more private basis. Their importance to a team that cannot thrive without them is certainly reflected in their work on deck.
Appearances may have you wondering why you always see our crew of officials on the pool deck. First, we want to be there. Second, EST will continue to host a sufficient number of meets to allow any parent volunteering as an official to meet the 10-sessions-per-year requirement to continue as an official. Third, officials truly occupy the best seats in the house, learn more about the sport and enjoy what they do.
EST officials know the growth curve of swimmers and we operate under the principle that every benefit of the doubt goes to the swimmer. Still, there are times when we disqualify swimmers. DQ's are a part of swimming that ALL swimmers experience. It may sound odd, but DQ's are a critical part of the learning and improvement process. DQ's run the spectrum of reasons, but whether the swimmer is brand new or a seasoned state-qualifier and the coaches are trying to adjust things, DQ's happen. Last year, one of EST's best swimmers suffered a few consecutive DQ's as the swimmer worked on the start response off the blocks--weeks later the swimmer was competing at state at a faster pace than before. Parents should not be worried about whether they can raise that hand and DQ a swimmer. It is simply a method of stroke correction and swimmers quickly, very quickly, move on. Do not let this aspect worry you. Once there is a call, the team of officials and coaches actually do quite a good job of letting the swimmer know why the DQ occurred and, with a little new technology, EST's coaches can actually show the swimmer many of the issues in near real-time.
Illinois Swimming Officials' Training Clinics take place in April and May, then again in September and October. EST reimburses officials for their out-of-pocket training, registration, background check and apparel expenses. Don't miss this unique opportunity to understand a great sport and spend time on deck during meets where your child(ren) is/are energized, having fun and performing.
Officials, like coaches, you observe a lot at meets. Please review the "Concussions" page under the "ABOUT" tab on the EST website. You must be logged in to do so. If you are concerned about an athlete concussion, please comply with the EST policies on the matter, communicate with the referee and coaches, and act according to the EST policy and USA Swimming policy which provides that athletes with concussions should not compete.
If you have questions about officiating, please contact Doug Kellerstrass (referee), Mark Daniel (referee), Suzy Harrington (starter, team president), Andrew Morgan (judge), Loraine Walker (judge), Julie Jones (admin judge), Pam Hamil (judge) Lynn Marlot (judge in training), Tracy Vroman (judge in training).
LINK TO ILLINOIS SWIMMING OFFICIALS' PAGE
USA Swimming provides officials as oversight officials to certain IHSA meets. Illinois Swimming is actively involved in this effort so that swimmers' times qualify for USA Swimming. With that said, some of our officials are, or are interested in being, IHSA officials. IHSA officials need to pay attention to the Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act. At a minimum, this requires mandated attention at meets to possible concussions, mandatory training (starting in 2016) as well as administrator record keeping.