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European Forces Swim League (EFSL) Official’s Clinic “EFSL COMPETITIVE SWIMMING”. Neil Higgins – EFSL / NTS Head Official / Referee 2 October 2013. Bottomline - why do we have rules?. To provide fair and equitable conditions of competition. Generalities.

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European Forces Swim League (EFSL) Official’s Clinic “EFSL COMPETITIVE SWIMMING”


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    1. European Forces Swim League (EFSL) Official’s Clinic“EFSL COMPETITIVE SWIMMING” Neil Higgins – EFSL / NTS Head Official / Referee 2 October 2013

    2. Bottomline - why do we have rules? To provide fair and equitable conditions of competition

    3. Generalities • Well run meets and good results are directly related to good officiating • Dress accordingly – black or blue shorts & white collar shirt • Remember that swimmers have worked hard to achieve their success and deserve fair and equitable conditions of competition • Rules have to be applied intelligently at all times, using common sense and good judgment • Fairness to all competitors giving the ‘Benefit of the Doubt’, in every instance, to the swimmer • We are not here to disqualify, but to ensure fair, consistent and equitable decisions • Jewelry & Tattoos Issues & Concerns • Do not be afraid to ask questions • Counters are only permitted to be used in events long distance events (800, 1500m events)

    4. Agenda Basic Concepts – Part 1 Strokes - Part 2 Basic Concepts – Part 3 - DQ procedures - Starter - Referee 4

    5. Basic Concepts Part 1 • Take officiating seriously • Work regularly at the job • Be professional • Know Disabilities

    6. Take officiating seriously and work hard at it • Study the rule book • Uniformly interpret and apply rules • Call violations as you see them • Be fair, equal and consistent • Disregard team affiliation • Exercise good judgment Officials owe the swimmers correctness, fairness, equality and courtesy!

    7. Work regularly at the job • Attend training sessions (Annual Refresher) • Officials need practice • Working regularly builds confidence • Keep up with rule changes and new interpretations • There is no substitute for experience

    8. Be professional in your duties • Fairness and equality to all competitors shall dictate actions • You will get wet….don’t be surprised! • Make decisions quickly and decisively • Avoid coaching swimmers • Refrain from cheering • Admit mistakes if wrong

    9. Disabilities • Judge in accordance with rules - Art 105 • Do not judge a part of the body that is absent or cannot be used • Base your judgment on actual rules, not the swimmers technique

    10. STROKES Part 2 • Freestyle • Backstroke • Breaststroke • Butterfly • Individual Medley • Medley Relay

    11. FREESTYLE • Start - Forward Start • Body Position - No restriction upon body position, except… if submerged at start, turns, head must break the water surface by the 15m mark • Stroke - Any stroke style may be used • Kick- Any kick style may be used • Turn / Finish: • If a swimmer does not touch the wall during a turn, they may return to touch the wallin any manner as long as the length is not completed--sculling back is not mandatory • Any part of the body may touch at each end

    12. BACKSTROKE(1 of 2) • Start • Start in the water with back to the course • Feet or toes may NOT be in or bent over the edge of the gutter • Hands placed on gutter or on the starting grips!! • Body Position • Must swim “on the back”, except for turns • Head must break the water surface by the 15m mark at the start and after every turn • Stroke - Any stroke style may be used • Kick - Any kick style may be used

    13. BACKSTROKE(2 of 2) • Turns: • Upon completion of each length, some part of the swimmer must touch the wall • During the turn, the shoulders may be turned past the vertical toward the breast after which a continuous singlearm pull or a continuous simultaneous double arm pull may be used to execute the turn…..GLIDING IS PROHIBITED!!!! • The swimmer must have returned to a position on the back upon leaving the wall. • Finish: • Upon the finish of the race, the swimmer must touch the wall while on the back • Swimmer may becompletely submerged when finishing!!

    14. BREASTSTROKE(1 of 2) Start – Forward start Body Position: • Must swim “on the breast” • Head must break the water surface before hands turn inward at widest part of second stroke Stroke: • Arms shall move simultaneously and in same horizontal plane, not alternating • The hands shall not be brought back beyond the hip line, except during the first stroke after the start and each turn • The stroke cycle must be one arm stroke and one leg kick in that order • After the start and after each turn, the swimmer may take one arm stroke completely back to the legs • Head must break surface during each “stroke cycle”

    15. BREASTSTROKE(2 of 2) Kick: • Feet turned out • Scissors, flutter or downward butterfly kick NOT permitted with exception Turn: • Touch both hands simultaneously at, above or below water surface • Head may be submerged at turn or finish • Turn any manner however, must be on breast off wall • Submerged: 1st stroke below hipline - OK • 2nd stroke - head breaks surface before hands inward • On Start or at turns the first arm pull must be started prior to commencement of the dolphin kick • A single dolphin kick followed by a Breaststroke kick is permitted while fully submerged • Last stroke - elbows may go above water surface Finish: • Touch wall with both hands simultaneously at, above or below the water surface • Elbows may go above water surface

    16. BUTTERFLY(1 of 2) Start: • Forward start • On breast - Side-kicking allowed under water • <15m submerged before breaking the surface of the water Stroke: • On breast • One or more leg kicks, but only one arm pull under water which must bring swimmer to the surface • Both arms” must be brought forward “over the water" and pulled back simultaneously • Arms may scrape the top of the water as they come forward (may hit waves and create splashes) Turn: • Touch w/both hands simultaneously at, above, or below water surface • Turn in any manner • Head must break the water surface by the 15m mark

    17. BUTTERFLY(2 of 2) Kick: • Legs & feet simultaneously (vertically) - no scissors or breaststroke kick Finish:Touch wall with both hands simultaneously at, above, or below the water surface

    18. INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY • Start: • Forward start • <15m submerged for Butterfly, Back, & Free • Stroke: • Butterfly, Back, Breast, Free order • Same rules apply to stroke being swum • Freestyle cannot be fly, breast, or backstroke • Turn: • Wall must be touched in manner prescribed for finish • by stroke being swum • Backstroke must finish on back • Finish: • Touch wall any manner, any part of the body

    19. MEDLEY RELAY • Back, Breast, Butterfly, Free order • Must surface at 15m mark for strokes • Same rules apply to stroke being swum • Freestyle cannot be fly, breast, or backstroke • No swimmer shall swim more than 1-leg in race • Swimmer other than 1st swimmer shall not start until teammate has concluded his leg (HO/Starter)

    20. EFSL DQ Codes Breaststroke 3A Alternating Kick 3B Non-simultaneous kick 3C Downward butterfly kick 3D Scissors kick / Feet not turned out 3E Hands brought beyond the hipline during stroke 3F Non-simultaneous arms 3G Arms two strokes underwater at start or after turn 3H Arms not in same horizontal plane 3I Elbows recovered “over” water 3J One hand touch 3K No touch 3L Non-simultaneous touch 3M Shoulders not at or past vertical towards breast off the wall 3P Head under for 2 or more strokes 3Q Incomplete stroke cycle other than one pull followed by one kick Relay(BK / BRST / FLY / FR) 61 Stroke Infraction swimmer #1 62 Stroke Infraction swimmer #2 63 Stroke Infraction swimmer #3 64 Stroke Infraction swimmer #4 66 Early take-off swimmer #2 67 Early take-off swimmer #3 68 Early take-off swimmer #4 6P Changed order of swimmers 6Q Not enough swimmers IM 5P Strokes out of sequence – (Fly / Back / Breast / Free) 5Q Freestyle swum as backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly Miscellaneous 7N Swimmer made use of aids 7O False start 7P Declared false start 7Q Did not finish 7R Delay of meet 7S Entered water without permission 7T Interfered with another swimmer 7U Walking on or springing from bottom 7V Standing on bottom 7W Pulling on lane line 7X Finish in wrong lane 7Y Unsportsmanlike conduct Official’s DQ Codes 2013-2014 Butterfly 1A Alternating Kick 1B Kick breaststroke type 1C Scissors kick 1E Non-simultaneous arms 1F Arms underwater recovery 1G Did not bring arms forward “over” water 1J One hand touch 1K No touch 1L Non-simultaneous touch 1M Shoulders not at or past vertical towards breast off the wall 1N Head did not break the surface by 15 meters 1O More than one arm pull under water after start or turn Backstroke 2I No touch at turn 2J Non-continuous turning action 2K Not on back off wall 2L Shoulders past vertical toward breast 2N Head did not break the surface by 15 meters 2P Toes curled over gutter after the start 2Q - Did not finish on back Freestyle 4K No touch on turn 4N Head did not break the surface by 15 meters

    21. Basic Concepts Part 3 • Mental Traps • Disqualifications • DQ Procedure • Starter Miscellaneous • False Starts • Referee • During the Meet • After the Meet

    22. Mental Traps Lead to poor or sloppy judgments! • Twice theory: “I must see it twice.” - No! • We do not disqualify 8&U..…WRONG! • Do not infer or extrapolate • Ugly or unusual is NOT inevitably illegal

    23. Disqualification(1 of 2) • Can be made only by the official in whose Jurisdiction the infraction has been made – See Pool Layout Slide • Disregard the opinion of others and team affiliation • Be sure violation occurred and be prepared to explain it! • If in doubt, give the swimmer the benefit of any doubt! • Unsafe/unsportsmanlike conduct must be reported to the Referee (disciplinary action) • Report swimming across lanes (swimmer must start and finish in the same lane)

    24. Starter HO SOUTHERN DIVISIONALS 2013 Window - Airfield Window - Airfield Marshalling Timers Spectators

    25. Disqualification(2 of 2) • Standing on the pool’s bottom, except freestyle (cannot step, walk or spring) • A swimmer not entered in a race who enters the pool or course before all swimmers have completed the race shall be barred from the next individual event on that day (Referee’s discretion) • Not permissible to wear or use any device or substance to help speed or buoyancy during race (e.g., excessive use of oil or grease)

    26. Disqualification: Relays • No swimmer shall swim more than one leg in any relay • Proper sequence of strokes - Medley relay order: Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle • A swimmer other than the first swimmer shall not start until his teammate has concluded his leg (Dual jurisdiction) • Any relay team member and his/her relay team shall be disqualified from a race if a team member other than the swimmer designated to swim that leg enters the pool in the area where the race is being conducted before all swimmers of all teams have finished the race

    27. Deliberate Delay or Misconduct Any swimmer may be disqualified from an event: • Who delays the start by entering the water • Willfully or deliberately disobeying a command to step on the blocks or to take a starting position • For any other misconduct taking place at the start • The Referee shall disqualify a swimmer who fails to appear at the starting platform ready to swim in time for the initial start of his|her heat. • Such disqualification shall not be charged as a false start.

    28. DQ Procedure  • Call the violation – raise the arm or the DQ is not valid!!! (apply simple test, doubt, mental traps, you can also change your mind after you raise your hand) • Other S&T Official covers down on vacant position • Proceed behind timer (Mark card front in RED with /, DQ. Back: DQ Code, Explanation (if required), Time, Distance when the infraction occurred and initials of the official) • Tell the swimmer (“Good job but you are DQ’ed in this race because..., Go and tell your coach”) • Submit card (to Referee for review / initials) (Some pools use “runners” to submit cards, therefore return card to timers) • Get back to your position immediately

    29. DQ DQ Procedure (Cards) Swimmer: Doug Vaughn ID #: SMIT123456 13 - 14 Boys 100m Breaststroke Event: 39 Heat: 5 Lane: 3 Time 1 Time 2 Time 3 1:29.18 1:27.56 1:28.84

    30. DQ Procedure-Back of card- 3E - Hands below waistline Hipline NAH - Ref MPP – S&T 1315 75m at the turn

    31. Starter One of the most important roles on deck: Ensure all swimmers get a fair start! Preparation: • Review and be familiar with rules and schedule of events. • Familiarize yourself with guidelines and rules for officiating swimmers with disabilities. • Check & be familiar with equipment: whistle, pistol, electronic-starter, false start rope, etc. Electronic strobe signal visible to all manual timers • Find best position for you, and relay take-off judge (if being used) • Warning Signals (Bell Lap) - With the exception of relays, in events 800 Meters or longer (for lead swimmer, not individuals)

    32. False Starts (1 of 3) Procedures: • Any swimmer starting before the starting signal is given shall be disqualified if the Referee independently observes and confirms Starter´s observation that a violation occurred • Swimmers remaining on the starting blocks shall be relieved from their starting positions with the “Stand up” command and may step off the blocks • Should a swimmer fall in and the stand-up command is given,the swimmer may be permitted to swim the event w/the understanding the DQ will be written up • If the starting signal has been given before the disqualification is declared, the race shall continue without recall if the violation occurred, the swimmer or swimmers who have false started shall be disqualified upon completion of the race • Dual confirmation from Starter and Referee – no hand signal given!

    33. False Starts (2 of 3) Procedures: • If the recall signal is activated inadvertently, no swimmer shall be charged with a false start • A swimmer who would otherwise be charged with a false start may be relieved of the charge if the false start was caused by the swimmer´s reaction to the “stand up” command. • Enforcement of the correct starting position is the responsibility of the Starter • Swimmers will be disqualified for “rocking or any slight movement” on the starting blocks after the command – “Take your Mark” • Both the Starter and Referree will confer that a violation has occured before disqualifying a swimmer • Recall procedures must be made prior to the start of the swim meet! • Relay Exchange – both the Starter and Referre (or exchange officials) must watch carefully – See pic

    34. False Starts (3 of 3) (Sigonella Sep 2010) Referee / Starter – DQ or No DQ? Are photos / videos permitted to identify possible violation? NO – Photo appears to be legal exhange however, on deck decision by Ref/Starter will have the final ruling!! End state - both the Referee & Starter will confer that a violation has occured!!

    35. Referee RUNS THE MEET! Know the rules - Use “Common Sense.” • Before the meet - See the meet manager, the administrative referee, the statistician … • Controls pool, configuration, safety, security, equipment, etc… • Brief the Coaches, Meet Director, Timers, Stroke & Turn Judges & Shadows and Starter • Start and STAY on SCHEDULE – families are traveling!! • Referee Solve protests immediately (if possible)

    36. Meet Procedures (1 of 2) Procedures: • Referee shall signal to the swimmers by a short series of whistles • Followed by a long whistle indicating that they should take and maintain their positions on the starting platform, the deck, or in the water • In backstroke and medley relay events: • at the Referee’s first long whistle, the swimmers shall immediately enter the water • Second long whistle shall return without undue delay to the starting position • Referee shall signal with an outstretched arm to the Starter that the swimmers are under the Starter’s control • On the Starter’s command “Take Your Mark”, the swimmers shall immediately assume their starting position, in the forward start, with at least one foot at the front of the starting platform or the deck

    37. Meet Procedures (2 of 2) • Procedures: • Swimmers starting in the water must have at least • one hand in contact with the wall or starting platform • When all swimmers are stationary, the starter shall give the starting signal • One start rule - Do not recall unless it is the Starter’s technical error or outside influence (e.g., air horn in the stands) • Decide on “over the top” starts or not • Dual jurisdiction - (Referee / Starter) • Watch and note false starts (Confer with Head Referee if noted…..Do not raise hand)

    38. During the meet • Attempt to always start ON TIME – teams are travelling! • Always use the same procedure and sequence • If ”over the top start”, at least three heats ready ahead before starting the meet • Swimmers who have finished are to hold the lane dividers away from touch pad. They clear the pool on command by sides • Use heat sheets with names • Recommended notes on heat sheets..… • Time (frequently) • Rotation of Officials • Changes (e.g., combined heats, etc.) • Breaks / Lunch • Empty lanes • Keep an eye on your judges and swimmers

    39. After the meet….. • Thank everyone • AAR / De-brief (if necessary) • If you have shadows, answer their questions • Sign log books • Solve protests if not yet done • See meet manager and statistician • Sign the Official Swim-meet paper work

    40. S&T Official Wayahead • Training annotated in Log Book; maintain your • log-book even after qualified to illustrate how current they are when it comes to working at away meets and CHAMPS • 3 x shadows at a sanctioned EFSL Swim Meet • – get log-book signed • Pass S&T, Starter & Head Official Exams on web-site (open book) • Qualified Head Official grades and submits Team Spreadsheet to Division (s) Head Official & EFSL Referee

    41. QUESTIONS ? • - Video / Swimmer Demonstrations NEIL HIGGINS DSN 626-1769 BB 335-179-6230