Officials News Archive - April, 2006
April 20, 2006
The Western Zone Championship meet will be held in Fresno CA from August 8 through August 12, 2006. The application to officiate is posted elsewhere on this site. Please consider working this meet. It is a qualifying meet for N2 and N3 certifications. It might be a bit hot, but it should be great fun. I believe our Oregon athlete contingent would be proud to have a good showing of Oregon officials. The deadline for applying for assigned positions is June 15th, and for general applications is July 31st.
April 2, 2006
Thanks to Howard Jones for this helpful information for Starters and Deck Referees. Howard was recently evaluated for N3 Starter at Spring National Champs in Federal Way. He received the following feedback from J.R. Pooler regarding expectations at National Championship meets:
The expectation is that the Starter will move the microphone to the lips on the long whistle and be fully ready to start speaking when the Deck Referee turns the heat over. Don't wait for the Deck Referee to bring his/her arm up before brining the microphone to the lips.
The expectation for Starters is that they will hold the microphone in one hand, generally holding the cord loosely in the other hand at the Starters side. Omega provides the timing system at National Championship meets and the microphones are much larger than the Colorado system microphones. They are hard to hold in one hand but you just have to deal with it.
The Starter is expected to watch the swimmers in the upcoming heat after watching the just-started swimmers long enough to insure there is no need to recall. The Starter's attention is then diverted to keeping an eye out for problems developing with the next heat, seeing that all the swimmers are moving up behind the blocks, etc. Let the Referee keep the focus on the pool. At the N3 level most Starters are experienced Referees and the tendency is to lapse into Referee mode and focus on the pool. That does not meet expectations for a Starter.
The Deck Referee should turn the heat over to the Starter as soon as the swimmers are on the blocks. The Deck Referee should let the Starter judge when to say "Take Your Mark." There is a tendency for the Deck Referee to wait too long to turn the heat over to the Starter, which in turn forces the Starter to set the swimmers immediately. The lesson for Deck Referees is to resist the temptation to assume the Starter's responsibilities. In other words: let the Starter do his/her job.
1) Starters should raise the microphone to lips on the long whistle, and be ready to take over the heat as soon as the Deck Referee extends his/her arm;
2) Microphone should be held in one hand; the other hand should remain at the side loosely holding the cord;
3) Deck Referees should turn the swimmers over to the Starter as soon as all swimmers are on the block; let the Starter decide when the swimmers are ready to start;
4) After the heat is successfully started, focus on the swimmers in the upcoming heat, watching for problems, and recognizing that all swimmers are ready;
5) Be sure the swimmers are ready to set before giving the command "Take your mark." That is, make sure swimmers are through fidgeting with caps, goggles, etc., then be sure they are set before the start.
We can all benefit from Howard's experience by working on these points at each and every meet we work. I look forward to seeing our Starters and Deck Referees actually adopting these procedures.