By clicking our Official's tab you have just completed the most difficult requirement on becoming an OFFICIAL!!

To become an Official, no previous experience is required.  In fact, you don't even have to have a swimming background yourself.  An enjoyment from watching our kids swim competitively is the only prerequisite..... 


To all returning PCY Tigersharks Officials, we sincerely thank you & appreciate your past Officiating at our PCY Swim Meets. This year we’ve decided to enhance communication among the Officials Group through this page.


Here are a few great reasons to become a PCY Swimming Official:

1. Being on deck at swim meets gives you the best "seat " at the meet

2. Learn and understand the subtleties of the sport: stroke technique, meet preparations & procedures

3. Free Heat Sheets

4. Fun way to satisfy PCY Tigersharks Meet Volunteer Requirement

5. Training is self-paced

6. Rewarding way to get involved

7. Opportunity to Officiate at away meets

8. Our "apprentice" approach will give you ample opportunity to partner-on-deck with an experienced  official.  You decide when your ready to Officiate "solo".



Ready to move forward?


It's EASY:


Step 1)

Register yourself on the YMCA Swimming link below:

YMCA Swimming Registration


Step 2)

Take a few minutes to check out some of the YMCA Officials Resources on the YMCA Swimming Site:

YMCA Officials


Step 3)

Review the on-line Official's Certification Test.'s "open-book" and done at your own pace!  

Official's Certification Test is found at the following link:

YMCA Officials

Note: you must attend the YMCA Official's Class prior to taking the on-line certification test.


Step 4)

Attend one informative Official's Clinic that's offered a few times during the year.  

Click on the following link to learn about upcoming YMCA Level I & II YMCA Swim Official's Classes and schedules:

YMCA Swim Official's Class

Click on the link below to register for a specific Y Official Class:


Important: Class Registration is not complete until you receive an email confirmation/receipt for the Class.  Below is a confirmation/receipt sample:



Please email Steve Connock ( if you don't receive the email confirmation/receipt a few days after completing the online Class Registration.


Apprenticing Officials

Apprenticing Level 2 Officials complete 5 Sessions to certify as a YMCA Level 1 Official:

* 2 sessions with a mentor to observe the mentor

* 2 sessions with a mentor in which the Apprentice makes the calls 

* Final Apprentice session whereby the Apprentice officiates "solo" with an evaluation by the Referee or Chief Judge given at the conclusion of the Final Session.


YOU be the "Judge" if you feel you're ready to Officiate independently by the end of your Apprenticing.  The above Apprenticing guidelines are a minimum.  We can easily coordinate a few more Apprentice Sessions to help you feel more comfortable and confident before Officiating independently.  


What sessions can I Apprentice?

Check out our upcoming meets on the PCY Home Page and select the meets/sessions that work best for you email them to Steve Connock  @ 


Need a YMCA Officials Polo Shirt?

Click on the link below for order details:

YMCA Officials Polo Shirt


Didnt't receive your YMCA Official's name badge?

Email Steve Connock directly @


Want to review the YMCA Official's Uniform Standards?

Here you go:

YMCA Official's Uniform

Want more information, or have some specific questions about Officiating?  Email me, Steve Connock directly




Each year USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program recognizes the top performing swim clubs in the nation. Club Excellence recognizes the top 200 highest-performing clubs in the development of their athletes 18 years and younger.  
USA Swimming currently has 2800 teams for which Club Excellence recognizes the top 200.  The top 20 clubs earn Gold level ranking and those rated 21-100 are designated as Silver honorees. The next 100 clubs are recognized at the Bronze level.
PCY earned the #2 Bronze ranking missing the Silver designation by a just a finger-tip touch” !
Making this cut is a reflection of the handwork & dedication of our swimmers and coaches.
Click on the following link to learn more:
…another reason to be ”PCY PROUD” !


Thank you all for volunteering your expertise during the 2017/2018 Short Course Season.
Your extra efforts helped us deliver awesome A Championship and AA Championship Weekends!
Best of luck to those traveling to Zones and Nationala!! 

Our next regional YMCA training event will be on October 10th  for level I, level II and AO original certifications and re-certifications.
Click on the following link for details and registration:
USA-S Fall Clinic 2018

The next USA-S Official’s Clinic for those dual certified Officials will be held on Wednesday, October 10th at 6:00pm @  Dixie High School in Northern Ky with another date option on Saturday, October 13th at 9:00am @  Walnut Hills High School
This Clinic would also be an opportunity to those YMCA Certified Officials interested in becoming dual certified with USA-S. 
Let me know if you’re interested in becoming dual certified and have questions.


Education, Training & Reference


"Da Rules"

Here are a few quick links on "Rules and Regulations:


USA Swimming Rules and Regulations

FINA Medley Interpretation-9/8/15

Breaststroke / Butterfly Separate Hands Interpretation


Here's an interesting History of Rules and Rule Changes in the Sport of Swimming from USA Swimming July 2016:


For FINA there is opportunity to change swimming rules every four years at a FINA Technical Congress. All member federations are invited to submit proposals that are reviewed by the Technical Swimming Committee. The Committee then recommends action to the Bureau. All proposals come to the Congress with a Bureau recommendation. The Congress then votes on the proposals as recommended by the Bureau.

The next Congress is in the summer of 2017 in Budapest. 

Carol Zaleski
FINA, Technical Swimming Chairman



There was a time when three starts could occur before a disqualification. If there was movement, two such starts could be called back and charged on the field but no false start disqualification charged to an individual until the third start. 
This was changed in about 1990 to allow two starts. The first false start was charged on the field with an individual disqualification called on the second start. 

This was the rule until 1998 when it became optional whether to use a one start rule or a two start rule. If one, the individual disqualification would come at the end of the race. If two, the first start would be recalled, charged to the field and the individual disqualification would be made at the completion of the race after the second start. 

The starting rule has now been the same since 2001. Any swimmer starting before the signal shall be disqualified. If the starting signal has been given before the disqualification is declared, the race shall continue with the disqualification at the completion of the race. It is important to note that false start disqualifications must be observed and confirmed by both the Starter and the Referee.

As you might imagine each change was controversial. The convincing point for me was a statement from an Olympic athlete who said: “Many guys play games at the start. They try to distract you or draw you off the blocks. Your first start is the best one. If I could concentrate on my own start and not worry what the guys next to me were doing, that would be great.”


There was a long period of time when a breaststroke swimmer was required to have the head above the “calm surface” of the water throughout the race. As coaches and athletes tried new ways to swim breaststroke, the rule was changed in 1996 to allow some part of the head to break the surface during each cycle of one arm stroke and one leg kick.

The other big breaststroke change came in the kick. In about 1990, we began to see some Breaststroke swimmers use a butterfly kick on the starts, turns and sometimes throughout the race. Television showed this very clearly but it was difficult for the officials to see from the deck level. As a result, rule proposals were submitted to allow butterfly kicking in the breaststroke. All of the proposals failed when they were first submitted to the Congress. Four years later for the 2005 edition of the rules a single butterfly kick was allowed at the start. There have been several changes since that time to clarify the timing of the kick, etc. to the present version allowing a single butterfly kick during the first arm stroke at the start and each turn.



There was a time when there was no restriction on how far an athlete could be underwater. The 15-meter surface requirement came into the rule book for the 1991/1992 rules after some elite athletes were swimming the whole distance underwater. There were several factors in the decision. The audience could not really see the athletes, therefore, it was not very entertaining for the audience or for television viewers. Another reason was the potential danger for young swimmers who held their breath trying to emulate this style. 

Turns - Swimmers used to have to remain on the back until the touch of the wall for the turn. Most used the cross over turn that we often see in the medley. For the 1992 rule book, there was a proposal to allow the backstroke swimmer to turn to the breast to execute the turn. Most of the FINA TSC thought that the purpose was to eliminate the concern as to whether the swimmer actually brushed the wall as he/she turned. After the Congress passed the change, an international coach came to me and asked if I would bring some of the Technical Swimming Committee members to the pool to view turns that his swimmers were trying in anticipation of the rule change. Imagine the surprise when the swimmers turned to the breast quite far from the wall and were able to do a free style type flip turn, completely legally under the new rule. Over the 1992 – 2000 period of rule changes, the backstroke turn rule was adjusted several times to clarify the requirements of the turn.



The butterfly is the newest of the strokes recognized in our sport. It has probably had the fewest changes in the period 1980 to present. There have been changes to allow more latitude in the turn rules for example but no real changes to the stroke or kick. The 1998 rule book introduced the requirement to surface by 15 meters. 

Butterfly events made their entry to the Olympics in 1956 in Melbourne, Australia.



The only real change in freestyle, for obvious reasons, is the requirement to surface by 15 meters.

This appears for the first time in the 1998 FINA rules.


Individual Medley

There have been minimal changes to the Individual Medley over the years. There have been primarily wording changes to make clear that there are to be four different strokes in the event. Recent experiments with turns within the event may spark some change in the rule for the Congress in Budapest in 2017.



The new USA Swimming Official's Training Videos have just been released.

There are 6 videos in the series and you can view them at the link below:


USA Swimming Official's Training Videos


If you prefer, click on the following link to download the videos:


USA Swimming Official's Training Videos "DOWNLOAD"


These videos are a great way to review

all four strokes, relays, and individual medley!


Recent Rules Changes / Interpretation Clarifications


USA-S Announces Rule Clarification effective 4/24/18:

Thoughts from the Chair
Jim Holcomb, Chair National Officials Committee
Recently, I have received a number of emails, and even a few telephone calls, about the underwater recovery in the butterfly and how we officiate the call. 
First the rule (101.3.2), “Both arms must be brought forward simultaneously over the water and pulled back simultaneously under the water throughout the race.” The recovery portion of the butterfly is the “brought forward simultaneously over the water” portion. The questions have been about the entry of the hands during the recovery to start the pull portion of the arm stroke. 
Mostly the question has been, “Can the hands enter the water prior to full arm extension?” That is, can the hands enter the water and extend any distance forward while under the water?
The answer is “probably.” If we are talking about entering the water a few inches short of full arm extension, then the answer is yes. The hands entering the water just short of full arm extension is legal. Of course, it is possible for the hands to re-enter far too soon, which would constitute a disqualification. It is a judgement call (we are called judges after all). However, one of our overarching tenets as swimming officials is that the benefit of the doubt goes to the swimmer, which we must always keep in mind.
Underwater Recovery in Butterfly – Prior to the Touch
Jay Thomas, Chair, Rules and Regulations Committee
Questions sometimes arise regarding what constitutes an underwater recovery in butterfly prior to the touch at the turn and finish. The last sentence of USA Swimming Rule 101.3.2, “Stroke,” governs. “Both arms must be brought forward simultaneously over the water and pulled back simultaneously under the water throughout the race.” The Official Glossary is also relevant to the discussion regarding the definition of the “ARM – That part of the body that extends from the shoulder to the wrist.
With the above language, the official can determine the legality of the following observations.
  1. Just prior to the touch, a swimmer with outstretched arms moves the hands down and back up, and then touches the wall. The rule requires that if the arms are pulled back, they must be recovered over the water. In this case only the hands moved, and not the arm – so this would not be a violation.
  2. Just prior to the touch, a swimmer separates their arms and then moves them back together, and then touches the wall. This swimmer’s arm movements did not constitute a pull and therefore this would not be a violation.
  3. Just prior to the touch, the swimmer’s arms move backwards as if they were beginning a stroke, and are then pushed forward – under the water— and then followed by the touch. Since the swimmer pulled the arms back, by rule, they must then be recovered over the water. This swimmer pushed the arms forward under the water after pulling – that is a violation. The judge should recommend to the Referee that the swimmer be disqualified for performing an underwater recovery.
The key to making the determination that what was observed was an underwater recovery is to understand that the arm being pulled back is what drives the requirement to recover over the water. Judges should consciously think – arms pulled back require arm recovery over the water. As always – if there is any doubt as to what was observed – give the benefit of the doubt to the swimmer.


USA-S Announces Rule Changes effective 5/1/18:


New Rules Effective May 1, 2018
Jay Thomas, Rules and Regulations Committee
At the 2017 USA Swimming House of Delegates Meeting in Dallas, Texas, the House adopted several rules which become effective on May 1, 2018.
  • Rule 101.7.4H – Rules pertaining to Relay Races - “On relays, the second, third and fourth swimmers are prohibited from starting from the top of the adjustable back plate. A swimmer must have at least part of one foot in contact with the starting platform in front of the adjustable back plate during a relay exchange.”
The “why” behind the change – Our rules set a maximum height above the water of the front of the starting block. This distance is 2’5 ½” for Long Course pools and 2’6” for short course pools. Allowing the swimmer to depart from the top of the back plate effectively increases this distance far more than the permitted starting block slope.
The swimmer may have both feet on top of the back plate while preparing for the exchange provided that the last part of the foot to leave the block during the exchange departs from the actual block top in front of the adjustable back plate.
  • Rule 103.14.3 – Starting Platforms - “The top surface of the starting platform shall be not less than 0.50 by 0.50 meters (1 foot 8 inches square) and shall slope not more than 10 degrees from the horizontal. It may have an adjustable setting back plate. The entire surface of the platform shall be faced with permanent non-slip material. Handgrips for the forward start may be installed on the sides of the starting platforms.”
The “why” behind this change – Our rules set the specifications for backstroke starting grips in 103.14.4. The FINA Facility Rules also specify permitted (but not required) grips for forward starts located on the sides of the block top. There are some domestic facilities that are equipped with forward start grips on the block top. Since our rules were silent on these grips, there were occasions where backstroke swimmers used these grips for starts.  
This rule change clarifies that the block top grips are for forward starts. Block top grips may not be used for backstroke starts.
  • Rule 102.24.4.B(4) – Semi Automatic and Manual Timing – “If only one button or watch time is available, the time of that button or watch shall be the time for that timing system unless that time conflicts with other information. If such a conflict exists, the Administrative Official shall gather as much data as possible and determine the time.” (Note: new language is shown for clarity.)
The “why” behind this change – this language was to provide clearer direction to Administrative Officials when determining official time where only one button or watch time (pad missing or invalid) is available. If the available backup time conflicts with available other information such as order of finish, the Administrative Official will use his/her training and depth of experience to determine the time for the swimmer.
As always, should questions arise regarding the application of a rules change – please contact your LSC Official’s Committee Chair.


The DQ Slip Error (AKA "scrivener error").....

Below is our "Official" protocol for handling a DQ Slip Error; though our goal must be to get it right the first time:


Thoughts from the Chair
Jim Holcomb, Chair, National Officials Committee
I’m going to recycle a note from an earlier newsletter, because at the last three meets I worked, this issue came up at each one. The issue––error filling out the DQ slip––aka “scrivener’s error.” A scrivener’s error (aka clerical error) is a typographical error or the unintentional addition or omission of a word, phrase, or figure in writing or copying something on a record. Such an error is made by mistake and should be readily corrected without objection.
At each of these three meets, either a coach or an official (gasp!), brought up the idea that a mistake in filling out the disqualification form should result in the DQ being overturned. The simple answer to that idea is “No.” Clerical errors should be corrected. The DQ slip is informational and is not a binding legal document meant to be filed in the county clerk’s office. If, after vetting the call, the referee determines the DQ call is valid, the swimmer is disqualified. After the vetting process, the slip is filled out to provide information to the swimmer and/or coach. The rulebook gives only slight mention to the DQ slips, saying only “shall report any violations to the Referee on signed slips detailing the event, the heat number, the lane number and the infraction (102.13.3).”
If the slip it filled out incorrectly due to a scrivener’s error, correct the slip. A mistake in filling out the slip does not fall into the “benefit of doubt goes to the swimmer” category. Make the slip correct; the DQ stands.


USA-S Announces Medley Swimming Rule Change 9/17



 Stroke & Turn 2018 Scenarios...excellent review resource.

Click below:

S & T Scenarios 

FINA Announces Adjustment to Butterfly Kick Rule 7/17

Precision on the butterfly rules. From now on, underwater kicking on the side is not allowed;

Click here for details


New Rule for 102.24.4D Adjustment for Malfunction on a Lane

Click here for details


Definition of 202.2.9.I  Deck Changing 

Click here for details


Rule Interpretation for 102.8.1E  The Use of Tape

Click here for details


 FINA Rules Lochte's new underwater Technique Illegal in IM 

Click here for details


Rule Interpretation for 101.3 The Butterfly Kick



Rule: 101.3 Kick — All up and down movements of the legs and feet must be simultaneous. The posi­tion of the legs or the feet need not be on the same level, but they shall not alternate in rela­tion to each other. A scissors or breaststroke kicking movement is not permitted. 



Interpretation from USA swimming:



1.During the butterfly kick, the observation of the ankles crossing may or
may not indicate an alternating kick.



2. If both legs are moving in the same direction (both upward - or both
downward) and the ankles pass each other because of a difference in the
amplitude of the leg movement - that would not be an alternating kick and
there would be no disqualification.



3. An alternating kick requires that the legs move in opposite direction -
one upward while the other is moving downward.  If the ankles cross while
one leg is moving upward and the other downward - that would be an
alternating kick and that would be a violation.



Effective May 1 2016, anyone working in meet manager using USA-S rules should be choosing the FINA rules for timing adjustments bottom right hand corner of set up screen

Click the following for an explanation:

Timing Adjustment Rule Change effective 5/1/2016


Updated DQ Slips as of 9/13/2016

Click here to download



Click on the link below to read a very creative Rules Rhyme :

A Stroke Briefing in Rhyme

By John C. Gagliardo

(With sincerest apologies to Dr. Seuss and real poets everywhere)