OFFICIALS UPDATE #4
In this Issue:
Alcohol on Deck
Some Quick Pointers
Alcohol on Deck
This is a reminder to all that the Midlakes Operating Plan states under section E. Competitive Regulations: 12. There shall be no alcohol in the “zone of competition” which is defined as a distance at least 10 feet away from the edge of the pool. This would also include all officials (Stroke&Turn, Relay Take-off Judges, Starter/Referee, and Timers) who should not partake in any adult beverages until after their shift is over. Please keep this in mind and if there are concerns, please address those to your coach and parent representative.
Another reminder that Midlakes follows Red Cross guidelines related to thunder and lightning storms (typically requiring a 30-minute "all clear" timeframe). While you shouldn't un-necessarily delay restarting a meet (or starting it in the first place), you also don't want to have swimmers waiting to compete. Sometimes a meet will need to be "called" if it gets to late - or if both teams agree, simply ending the meet with as much progress as has been made. Other options include swimming a make-up meet or scheduling a combined meet the following meet day. Whatever the decision, please be sure to have parent representatives and coaches discuss a mutual decision and inform their respective Division Representative.
Some Quick Pointers
Walking the sides of the pool - a Stroke&Turn official has jurisdiction over half of the pool. As part of that, it's important to be sure that you are not stationary in your position but moving to be sure that you can see all of the swimmers in your area. It will be challenging when they separate during the swim, but you'll want to be where you can have the best vantage point, in particular for the turns and finish. And of course, you'll want to mirror the other official - so if the pool configuration limits their ability to walk the entire side of the pool, then you'll need to adjust accordingly (and they to you, as necessary) to walk only as far as each other can.
Raising your hand- as discussed in training, your hand should be raised when you see the infraction (except for relay take-offs). In the same way that the same set of rules apply at our meets, regardless of age, type of swim (exhibition or scoring), or meet (B-meet, A-meet, or champs), the same protocol is followed at all meets too. Coaches, parents, and your fellow officials are counting on you to help provide consistency in our officiating work - doing your part helps us all.
Efficient Starting - The "dance" between the starter and announcer will determine the length of your meet - and the starter sets the pace. It's important for the starter to blow the whistle when the last swimmer is finishing (just about under the backstroke flags). The announcer then does their part in announcing the heat, after which (after all swimmers have completed their swim, giving the timers just enough time to write down times and reset their watches) the starter can blow the long whistle indicating the swimmers should get up on the blocks (or in the water for backstroke). This is also the signal to those swimmers to clear the pool - the starter shouldn't wait for swimmers to exit the pool on their own. If the swimmers don't move quickly enough, additional verbal commands can be given to speed them up and help your meets end on time.
Q1:I saw a swimmer wearing a swim cap with a fin at the top. The opposing team coach asked me to disqualify him, but I didn't because I was not sure if it's a legal cap or not (benefit of the doubt). Is that type of cap OK?
A1:Those type of caps are fine - they are only illegal in high-school swimming. The only time a cap is an issue is if swimmers use a high-school or year-round club cap - which could be turned inside out as long as they are not transparent. We'd encourage swimmers to get a cap from their Midlakes club to remove any issue.
Q2: When can a relay swimmer's order be changed? And how can alternates be used?
A2:Alternates must be listed on the entry and if they swim, it would count towards the limit of total entries a swimmer is allowed. The order of relay swimmers can only be changed before the beginning of the heat in which they swim (per USA Swimming Rules 102.3.7). Any "spur of the moment" changes would be illegal and result in a DQ.
Thanks for your work in support of swimming. If you have any questions, feel free to send them them on!
Midlakes Swim League