Officiating Swimmers with Disabilities
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Resources to help officials and coaches better serve swimmers with a disability.
Best Practices for Safe Sport with Athletes with Disabilities from USA Swimming
Pamphlet: Guidelines for Officiating Swimmers with a Disability: A Pocket Guide A concise 2 page reference for USA Swimming Officials. Designed to be printed on the front and back of the same paper and used as a tri-fold pamphlet.
Course: Officiating Swimmers with a Disability: Course used to teach officials about officiating swimmers with a disability. (Thank you Colorado Swimming for sharing!) Click for PDF file of course.
- Target Groups for Course and Some Key Responsibilities
- Meet and Deck Referees
- Athletes or athlete representative are required to inform referee of impaired swimmer and request accommodations.
- Meet Referee is the final decision on Disqualifications
- Meet Referee will determine if accommodations can be met and will instruct officials as to the accommodations/modifications.
- Stroke and Turn Officials
- Officials observe swims based on rules. Officials are instructed to become familiar with Article 105.5 (this is encouraged during training of new officials).
- An impaired athlete does not have to inform the referee because they do not want to be officiated under Article 105. This is their choice.
- Senior Coach – Swimmers who are at the High School Level and swim with HS can be a member of club swimming, and impaired swimmers are not always aware of this opportunity.
- Age Group Coach – athletes as this level are wanting to be involved in club sports, are competitive, and are involved with friends.
- Both set of coaches can help athlete be competitive, grow both athletically and socially.
- Can help athletes move to Para if warranted
- Rationale for Course
- Face to face conversation, instruction and discussion is always better. It helps with comprehension and development of programs. It also provides the means to offer support to all affected groups.
- Explanation of what impairments are and different impairments in each group. Provide specific examples.
- Instruct officials on what they should be aware of when observing swims. (Article 105 of USA Swimming Rulebook)
- Show what support staff is and how it looks
- What starting devices are and examples of types
- How modifications look for an impaired swimmer and what happens during observing swims
- How rules are observed and implemented
- How integrating impaired swimmers into clubs affects swimmers