A number of people have questions regarding administrative officials so I'll answer a few of the most common questions here.
USA Swimming has developed a new officiating role, the Administrative Official. This person's job at a meet is to supervise all meet entries, the capture of times, and results output. While the administrative official must be proficient at meet manager, s/he does not have to load entries and can instead review the entries in the program prior to the beginning of the meet.
While the administrative official may be certified at any other officiating role, when performing the role of administrative official s/he may only work in one of the administrative roles.
There is a training program for administrative officials. It begins with certification as an electronic timer, although there is a dispensation to skip electronic timer certification for those who live and compete in areas where electronic timing systems are not used. The training program is listed under training and begins with a clinic from a trainer. Contact the Administrative Official (ET) Chair for more information regarding a dispensation for those in areas without electronic timing.
All Oregon referees are certified as administrative referees and therefore may serve as an administrative official. If a certified referee is serving as the administrative official s/he may not also serve in any other capacity, such as deck referee, during that session; s/he may only work in administrative roles such as operating the ET console, verifying times and operating meet manager.
The administrative official does not to have to be named prior to sanctioning a meet, but every meet must have an administrative official working each session for the times generated in that session to count and be exported to SWIMS.
The club may line up an administrative official prior to a meet, but it is always suggested the club meet personnel discuss this with the meet referee prior to promising roles to any official.
If you have any questions regarding the administrative official feel free to send an email to me or to the Administrative Official (ET) Chair.
Just in from USAS:
"Effective 9/1/13 the APT will always expire on 12/31 of the current registration year. In other words, if the APT is taken September – December, it will expire 12/31 of the following year. If the APT is taken January – August, it will expire on 12/31 of the current year. All existing APT expiration dates have already been changed to 12/31 of the year in which they were originally set to expire. If members are still confused, they can confirm their APT expiration date by logging into their DeckPass account or app."
This means if your APT expiration date on your registration card falls before the end of the year that date has been extended to the end of the year.
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.
As we move into the recertification part of the year please look over the following steps required to renew your officiating status:
If your last name begins with letters A-K, or if you became an official for the first time this year, or if you added a certification this year such as becoming a starter, complete the registration form and send this and payment to the Oregon Swimming office. In addition, all officials must have current background screen (BG) and athlete protection training (APT). The expiration date for your current BG and APT can be found on your current USA Swimming (USAS) registration card and online in your USAS account. If these are not expired you do not need to renew them, however if one or both are near expiration you should consider renewing them now.
If your last name begins with letters M-Z you must completely recertify. Note the rules regarding BG and APT in the paragraph above, if they are nearing expiration you must reneew. Additionally, all officials must complete and send to the Oregon Swimming office a registration form as well as payment. Finally, all judges must send a copy of their prior two years' session count to their Area Officials Chair (AOC). This session count is found on the USAS web under Member Resources>Officials Tracking System>View My History. You can copy the information and past it into an email or capture it and save it in the fashion you like and send to your AOC.
Next, all officials take the appropriate RECERTIFICATION test(s) on the USAS web:
Stroke and Turn judges take the S&T recert test.
Electronic Timers take the Timing Judge recert test; if ET has additional certifications, other than Referee, take all other recertification tests that apply.
Starters take both the Starter recert test.
Referees take only the Referee recert test, regardless of other certifications held.
Hopefully this helps, if you have questions feel free to email me or your AOC.
See you on deck!
Quick note to advise of a change and remind of a couple best practices:
This week the OSI Board agreed to my suggested change to the term limits for the Officials Chair. The standing rule was written making the Officials Chair's term three years with two terms maximum. I believe a two year term with three terms maximum will be easier on future Officials Chairs and proposed this language change. The maximum amount of time a person can serve remains the same, six years, but now a person has the opportunity to step away at two different earlier points if desired.
I was recently advised of a meet where the referee was under a lot of stress, as can sometimes happen at big meets, and allegedly raised his voice to another volunteer (the term used was “yelled”) and I would like to remind all of a couple of things. First, these are swim meets folks, don't stress out over it. Second, it is never okay for a referee, or any other official for that matter, to speak to another person in an unreasonable tone. Enough said about that.
The collaboration between deck referee (DR) and starter was also recently brought up and I was asked to mention the strict procedure we are suppose to be using when reporting a potential false start. Once a potential false start is witnessed by either the DR or starter, that official will circle on the heat sheet the lane where the infraction took place. The next step is the responsibility of the starter; after viewing what s/he believes to be a false start, the DR does nothing until approached by the starter. If the starter does not approach the DR there has been no false start. If the starter believes a false start has taken place, after circling the lane on the heat sheet, the starter approaches the DR and says “I have a potential.” Both parties hold out their heat sheets and compare notes; if both have circled the same lane a false start has been confirmed, and if they have not circled the same lane, or if the referee responds “I have nothing” or something similar, there was no false start. Never should the DR initiate the false start conversation, and never may the confirmation be verbal. Of course after the confirmation process has played out you may discuss what you saw. When you are assigned as a starter or DR its never a bad idea to discuss this process with your partner before the first rotation as a reminder.
That's it for now; next up, long course season.
See you on deck!