Hey Folks, hopefully 2014 is off to a great start for you!
Concussion has become a pretty big deal across the Nation. Most of us immediately think of football when concussion is mentioned; the NFL has set aside a huge reserve for future concussion related treatment, and it seems every year we learn of a college or high school football player who is seriously injured after a hard shot to the head.
The fact is though any impact to the head can cause concussion, any sport has the potential for head trauma, and one of the real dangers is no one can see the damage. At the last Oregon Swimming Board meeting we were shocked to learn of two recent cases here locally where swimmers in practice sustained concussion.
Legislation was passed last summer in Oregon, SB 721 or Jenna’s Law, requiring all non-school sports organizations to train its referees annually regarding concussion. Specifically “Each league governing body and each referee governing body shall ensure that the coaches and the referees, respectively, receive annual training to learn how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and how to seek proper medical treatment for a person suspected of having a concussion.” Oregon Swimming falls into this category, as do we as referees within this organization.
This new law became effective Jan 1; unfortunately we only learned of the law recently so our meets held thus far have not abided. Fortunately, many of our coaches are also involved in high school swimming and high schools already mandate concussion training for coaches.
Kudos to Jacki Allender for reaching out to a friend in Ohio where concussion training is mandated and finding a resource we can use so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. NFHS offers a lot of training of all sorts and concussion is one.
Please click here to go to the NFHS site where you will find a free and fast online training course for concussion detection. The training takes about 30 minutes and once completed you are presented with a PDF certificate you can download. Please download this certificate and email it to the office as OSI must be able to furnish proof of completion by referees. Please complete this training as soon as you are able, and if you are referee for a meet coming up soon I hope you will make this a priority.
Thanks for your help and I appreciate your attention to this. Email if you have any questions.
See you on deck!
Questions arise from time to time about National certification, N2 and N3. Detailed information regarding the process can be found on the USA Swimming (USAS) web at Member Resources>Officials Tracking System>Testing & Certification>National Certification.
In a nutshell, to become an N2 official the candidate must have been in position for a year or longer before applying. To become N2 as a chief judge an official must have been S&T for a year or longer. There is no N2 or N3 certification for ET.
Once in position for a year the official must apply for certification (advancement) and work a minimum of four sessions at an Officials Qualifying Meet (OQM). Oregon Swimming typically offers four OQMs each year, in the winter the Senior Championships and 11-14 Championships, and in the summer the 13& Over Championships and Senior Sectionals. After receiving a positive evaluation the official must return to the USAS web to Member Resources>Officials Tracking System>National Certification Application and request advancement in the specific position(s) evaluated.
To become an N3 stroke and turn an official must be N2 in that role for a year or more, then the process is the same as for becoming N2. To become an N3 starter, chief judge, deck referee or administrative referee a person must have worked at a National Championship meet at least once within the past five years. These certifications also require both an initial and a final evaluation.
If you have any questions and can't find the answer on the USA Swimming web send a note to your Area Officials Chair or to me.