Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Become a swimming official, look awesome in "whites"!

The Ontario Swimming Officials Association have a great program aimed at increased the number and quality of swim officiating in Ontario. Did you know it takes up to about 40 people to fully staff a session at a swim meet? For those of you who swam at nationals, did you realize those people timing your events were all volunteers? Remember when they had to call for extra timers because there weren't enough of them for the distance events? Imagine putting in all that training time and coming all that way and not being able to swim your race...

That's why it's so important that we begin registering and certifying some of our own team members as swim officials, in order to be able to host our own club swim meets here at the St-Laurent Complex, cover each other's swims at meets hosted by other clubs, and contribute back to the sport. And hey, it's a new skill to learn!

We can also certify friends and family to help us out, so spread the word!

How does it work?

There are different levels of certification, in order to move "up the ladder" you participate in clinics - most of them are online, all are free of charge - and then do a test afterwards. Once you've passed the test, you can begin performing in the role and will  eventually need 2 deck evaluations. For example, if you pass the first clinic, "Level I Timekeeper & Safety Marshall", you can now time events or supervise the warmups in a swim meet. You will need to have 2 deck evaluations done at some point, where a more senior official watches your work and signs an evaluation card stating you've done well. Here is a link to the entire program, in case you're interested in doing more than just timekeeping: click here. We'll be working on this as a group, so no worries, you'll have help going through the process, regardless of how far "up the ladder" you decide to go.

And yep, you get to wear all white. 

What kind of commitment would I have to make?

Well, that depends on you. If you're certified as a Timekeeper or another position, chances are you'll be asked to volunteer your skills at some point. If you're available, great, and if not, let us know you can't make it. 

Here are some of the ways a certified Timekeeper can help out:
   - informally, timing someone's splits during practice
   - at our own official meets, once we start having them
   - at other official meets, such as local invitation meets, provincials 
     or even nationals

I'm interested! So how do I get started?

Email the club inbox, let us know you're ready to rock your "whites".

Go to the following link on the OSOA website:

Select "Register":

Select the following criteria, and then complete the form with your personal info:
   Province: SWIMON
   Region: Eastern
   Club: Masters (Eastern Region)

Once the form is submitted, it goes directly to our Regional Chairperson, who will review and approve it. You'll get an email letting you know it's good to go!

Next, email the club inbox, let us know your registration is done and we'll send you your "Timekeeper & Safety Marshall" enrollment key (clinic password).    

Log in to the online clinic with your enrollment key, read through the material and take the test!

Once you've passed the test, congrats you're now a Level I official! Notify the club inbox and we'll give you further instruction on retrieving your deck evaluation card...

In order to move "up the ladder" and progress to Level II, you'll need to have 2 deck evaluations done for your timing, and take 2 more online clinics: "Strokes & Turns" + 1 more of your choosing. Be sure to notify the club inbox of your selections, and we'll forward you the appropriate enrollment keys.

Here are your other Level II options, exciting, right?

Starter: not online, would be an in-class weekend day course

Recorder Scorer

Hy-Tek Meet Manager is the software program in use for most meets in Canada. This clinic provides information on setting up a meet in Hy-Tek, capturing and publishing results during the meet, generating all required reports at the end of the meet, and electronic dispersal of results to the necessary groups.

Meet Management

As the name states, the Meet Manager manages the meet from its inception through to its final disposition which terminates with filing of results with Swim Direct and the payment of all bills and fees. The Meet Manager oversees all non-deck aspects of the meet.

Open Water Swimming

This course provides officials with an introduction into Open Water Swimming rules and organizing a competition.

Chief Timekeeper

By completing this clinic you will be able to understand and perform the role of Chief Timekeeper.

Chief Judge Electronics

The Chief Judge Electronics primary responsibility is to oversee the operation of any SNC approved Automatic Officiating Equipment, determine if the Automatic Officiating Equipment is in error and advise the referee of any malfunction or light touch. He also will observe the touches of all swimmers and note any cases in which the Automatic Officiating Equipment fails to properly record the touch in which case he will ensure that the Automatic Officiating Equipment is activated manually.

Chief Finish Judge

The primary responsibility of the Chief Finish Judge is to establish the results and order of finish which is sent directly to the referee. Also they shall resolve all decisions relating to the place and time of swimmers and may appoint an Assistant Chief Finish Judge to assist them.

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