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2017 Officials Guidelines and Responsibilities

ADDENDUM TO HERNDON SWIM LEAGUE RULES 

The Herndon Swim League has adopted the following guidelines, duties and responsibilities for the Deck Officials.  They conform to the United States Swimming requirements for Officials.  

Deck Officials are the REFEREE, STARTER, STROKE and TURN JUDGE, CHIEF TIMER, LANE TIMER, CLERK OF COURSE, and SCORER.  The HSL Rules specify the type and number of officials required to run a meet.  This addendum is meant only to detail the duties and responsibilities of the Deck Officials and establish guidelines under which they are to conduct a League-sanctioned swim meet.

OFFICIATING GUIDELINES

Swimming is foremost to be fun for the athletes and parents.  Officiating at a meet is fun too, and should not be a contest or used in anyway to influence meet results.  We are all involved to help swimmers become better and above all enjoy competitive swimming.  REMEMBER, WE ARE HERE FOR THE SWIMMERS LEARNING, ENJOYMENT, AND FUN. 

The purpose of officiating is to ensure that the rules, which are designed to provide a fair and equitable competitive condition, are applied uniformly and consistently and so no swimmer gains an unfair advantage over another.  Officials do not disqualify swimmers, rather they are there to observe and report the swimmers' infractions of the rules.  IN ALL CASES IF AN INFRACTION IS NOT CLEARLY OBSERVED, MISSED, OR THE OFFICIAL HESITATES OR FAILS TO SIGNAL AN INFRACTION HAS OCCURRED, THE SWIMMER CANNOT BE DISQUALIFIED.  THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT MUST ALWAYS GO TO THE SWIMMER. 

Deck officials are to conduct themselves in an impartial manner.  Their actions are being watched by parents, coaches, and swimmers constantly.  Be relaxed and enjoy the competition, and above all be fair.  Cheer on your swimmers, but remember to be attentive to your official duties.  The following guidelines have been established by the League to help you have fun and be a great official. 

1. Always be in the proper position to make a call or start and stop a watch.
2. Be knowledgeable about the position you are working and the rules of swimming. Attend the workshops and ask questions.
3. Speak positively to swimmers at all times.
4. Be attentive and conduct yourself in an impartial manner when exercising your duties. 
5. Be fair, equitable, and consistent throughout the entire meet.
6. Please set the example by always showing good sportsmanship.
7. Always give the benefit of the doubt to the swimmer.

DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES OF DECK OFFICIALS

 REFEREE

 The REFEREE shall have full authority over all officials and shall assign and instruct them; shall enforce all applicable rules and shall decide all questions relating to the actual conduct of the meet and have full authority over the conduct of the meet; can disqualify a swimmer for any violation of the rules that the REFEREE personally observes; can overrule any other official on a point of rule interpretation, or on a judgment decision only if the REFEREE has personally observed the rule violation.  All meet decisions of the REFEREE are final and will be given to only the Team Representative. Parents, Swimmers, and Coaches are to speak with the Team Representative about meet decisions and results, not with the REFEREE.

The REFEREE before the start of the meet shall: 

1. Check the pool venue making sure the pool is free of obstructions, and the backstroke flags, lane lines, water temperature and condition, and deck are ready for competition.
2. Speak with the Team Representatives to determine if there are any special needs' swimmers, that the order of events is correct, and all swimmers are correctly seeded.
3. Instruct all Stroke and Turn Judges on the individual stroke and relay rules, and expected conduct during the meet.  Remember that the purpose of the rules is to provide fair and equitable conditions for competition.
4. Determine and assign individual Stroke and Turn Judges to a jurisdiction and remind them of the clockwise rotation after each stroke.
5. See that the starting device is working and in the proper position (within ten feet of the start end of the pool, the visual starting signal is clearly visible to all swimmers and timers, and the audible signal can be heard) and the Starter is properly instructed in its use.
6. Designate a Chief Timer who will assign a Head Lane Timer and instruct all Timers on their responsibilities.
7. Conduct or cause to be conducted a timing and starter check.
8. Ensure that the announcement concerning safety and expected conduct is made prior to the first race.  

During the meet the REFEREE shall:

1. Signal the Starter before each race that all officials are in position, that the course is clear, the swimmers are ready, and that the competition can begin.
2. Observe the course making sure officials, parents, and swimmers are conducting themselves appropriately.
3. Review all disqualification slips, making sure the official was in the proper position to make the call, that the rule violation was clearly observed, and that a hand was raised signaling the infraction.
4. Act as a Finish Judge, Take-off Judge, or relief Starter when needed.
5. Ensure that good sportsmanship and friendly competition is observed by swimmers, coaches, and parents. 

STARTER

The STARTER, upon receiving clearance from the Referee assumes full control of swimmers until a fair start has been achieved, directs the swimmers to step into the starting position; after the Referee's whistle, the STARTER instructs the swimmers and directs them to "take their mark";  assure that swimmers immediately assume the starting position by moving one foot forward or a swimmer's toes are under the surface of the water for the backstroke; sounds the start signal; sounds the false start signal and notes the lane number of the false start.

Before the meet begins the STARTER shall:

1. Along with the Referee, Chief Timer, and Lane Timers conduct a test race to ensure all starting equipment and procedures are operating, and that the starting commands and signals can be seen and heard by all Timers.

During the meet the STARTER shall: 

1. Remain in position unless relieved by a relief Starter.
2. Be attentive and impartial in the exercise of their duties and exhibit good sportsmanship.
3. Signal the start of every race by using the proper commands, and signal a false start when a fair and equitable start has not been achieved.

STROKE and TURN JUDGE

The STROKE and TURN JUDGE shall operate on both ends and/or sides of the pool; shall ensure that when turning or finishing the swimmer complies with the turning and finishing rules applicable to the stroke used; shall ensure that the rules relating to the style of swimming designated for the event are being observed within their assigned jurisdiction; shall indicate a violation by raising one hand overhead (if the Judge does not make this signal there shall be no penalty); shall report any violation to the Referee on signed slips detailing the event, the heat number, the lane number, and the infraction.  The STROKE and TURN JUDGE will only report to the Referee. Swimmers, Team Representatives, Coaches, and Parents are not to question these Judges.

Prior to the meet beginning the STOKE and TURN JUDGE shall:

1. Check in with the Referee upon entering the venue.
2. Attend the briefing during which the Referee will instruct all STROKE and TURN JUDGES on the individual stroke and relay rules, and expected conduct during the meet.  Remember that the purpose of the rules is to provide fair and equitable conditions for competition.
3. Report to their assigned jurisdiction five (5) minutes prior to the start of the meet.

During the meet the STROKE and TURN JUDGE shall:

1. Remain in position unless relieved by another Judge or the Referee.
2. Be attentive and impartial in the exercise of their duties and exhibit good sportsmanship.
3. Immediately raise one hand overhead upon seeing an infraction.
4. Complete the required disqualification slip and report it to the Referee.
5. Refer all Team Representative, Coach, other swimmer and Parent questions to the Referee.  The STROKE and TURN JUDGE should speak with the effected swimmer in a positive manner about their infraction, whenever possible.

CHIEF TIMER

The CHIEF TIMER assures the assignments of Lane Timers to lanes and the designation of one Timer on each lane to be the Head Lane Timer; on the starting signal starts a watch(es) on every race the time of which shall be used if a Lane Timer's watch fails; ensure the Timer's watches are clear and ready for the next race; signal the Referee when all Timers are ready; be responsible for delivering all completed time cards to the runner or the Timing Judge at the Scorer's table.

The CHIEF TIMER before the start of the meet shall:

1. Assign Timers to each lane and designate one Timer as the Head Lane Timer.
2. Instruct the Timers to be in position at the start and to have an unobstructed view of the visual starting signal, start their watch at the instant of observing the visual starting signal, stand directly over the assigned lane at the finish to observe the touch, and report their time to the Head Lane Timer.
3. Ensure that the Head Lane Timer understands how to complete the Timing Card.
4. Along with the Referee, Starter, and Lane Timers conduct a test race to ensure all starting procedures are appropriate, that the starting commands and signals can be seen and heard by all Timers, and that the Timer's watches are operating and times are within three (3) tenths of a second of the CHIEF TIMER's time.
5. Report to the finish end of the pool five (5) minutes before the start of the meet and ensure that all Timers report to their assigned lanes five (5) minutes prior to the start of the meet.

During the meet the CHIEF TIMER shall:

1. Remain in position unless relieved by another Judge or the Referee.
2. Be attentive and impartial in the exercise of their duties and exhibit good sportsmanship.
3. Start their watch(es) at the instance of observing the visual starting signal.
4. Respond promptly to a Lane Timer's request for a time, and relieve Timers as needed.
5. Keep swimmers back from the edge of the pool so the Lane Timers can have an unobstructed view of the start and finish of the race.
6. Issue the command "clear your watches" prior to the start of the next race.

LANE TIMER

The LANE TIMER will operate a watch to record the time achieved by the swimmer; shall have an unobstructed view of the visual starting signal and start their watch the instant of observing the visual starting signal; stand directly over the lane at the finish to observe the touch; request a time from the Chief Timer if a watch malfunctions or the start is missed; stop the watch at the instant the touch is observed at the finish (LANE TIMERS are NOT to judge if the swimmer's touch conforms to the rules); report the watch time to the Head Lane Timer for recording; wait for the "clear your watches" command before resetting the watch before the next race.

Before the meet begins the LANE TIME shall:

1. Check in with the Chief Timer upon entering the venue or when requested by the announcer.
2. Along with the Referee, Starter, and Chief Timer conduct a test race to ensure all starting procedures are appropriate, that the starting commands and signals can be seen and heard by all Timers, that the Timer's watches are operating and times are within three (3) tenths of a second of the Chief Timer's time, and that lane assignments are understood.
3. Report to the assigned lane at the finish end of the pool five (5) minutes before the start of the meet.

During the meet the LANE TIMER shall:

1. Remain in position unless relieved by another Timer or Chief Timer.
2. Be attentive and impartial in the exercise of their duties and exhibit good sportsmanship.
3. Start their watch at the instance of observing the visual starting signal.
4. Stop the watch at the instant the swimmer touches the wall at the end of the race, even if the swimmer's touch does not conform to the rules. 
5. Raise your hand or signal the Chief Timer immediately if you miss the start or the watch malfunctions.
6. Report the watch time to the Head Lane Timer.
7. Wait for the command "clear your watches" before resetting the watch for the next race.

CLERK OF COURSE

The Clerk(s) of Course will:

1. Collect, organize and deliver the swimmers to the designated area near the start.
2. Assemble and instruct the competitors as necessary prior to the competition.
3. If the meet is partially or completely deck seeded, deal with check-in and seeding operations.

SCORER

The Scorer(s) will:

1. Record the official times and disqualifications.
2. Determine the official order of finish based on times.
3. Determine the score of the meet.

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