Long Island Swimming Officials Association  
Serving Long Island Swimmers and Divers since 1957 
October 2019
Our November association meeting this year (and maybe each year) will be a workshop.

Typically, a meeting is used to discuss updates and disseminate information. A workshop usually involves some kind of training or skill acquisition. Meetings are used to communicate ideas and information and workshops are used to refine or develop skills

Next month our workshop will emphasize the major aspects of our role as a High School swimming and diving official. The basics of our job as a starter, a referee, the diving referee.

Our session leaders are some of the best minds and presenters in our association. In the future we can delve into more specific topics and maybe even have outside expert presenters. Whatever we feel will be useful for you as an official.

A few members have expressed to me that they missed our annual review of the NFHS exam - where we go over the answer to each question. I agree that it is a helpful, worthwhile exercise and even though it's 100 questions, we will limit our drill to 15 minutes (that's 6 questions per minute).

Thank you,
George Fleckenstein

Most of the dives that we examined and discussed related to "breaking position" - scoring, how to observe, and in which dives it is more apt to occur. Cyna's substantial diving background and use of technology - viewing the dives normal speed and then in slow motion, stopping the tape, drawing lines on the screen - makes the presentation very understandable. The 29 of us that attended learned a lot.
Former LISOA president
Ray Gape passed away


.Ray was a former interscholastic and intercollegiate swimmer (we were on the same high school team in Niagara Falls) who officiated on LI as well as Black River Valley/Utica Rome/Syracuse. He worked the 1995 Diving World Cup and the 1996 Olympic Games as a member of the Diving Secretariat Staff. Ray was in attendance at the State Association meeting in August in Syracuse and spent time congratulating Jim McAllister for his award. The world has lost "a good guy."

Sympathy cards for the Gape family can be sent to his home:
135 Ager Lane, Forestport, NY 13338
In 2015, some traveled to Boston to catch a couple of Red Sox games and do some “touristing.” Here’s a picture taken with the group about to traverse Boston Harbor.
L to R: Frank Dowd, Pete Moeschen, Doug Virkus, Pete Hugo and Ray Gape (yellow cap) .
Officials’ Five Point Program

1. Observe the constitution and bylaws of their local and state officials organization.

2. Attend interpretation meetings and clinics of the local organization each year.

3. Give satisfactory evidence of proficiency in the mechanics of officiating and of competent performance related to the specific sport.

4. Pass the National Federation, State or other approved rules examination.

5. Be listed with the NYSPHSAA, Inc. Executive Director. 
Officiating Ranked as Highest-paying Side Job

If you already have a full-time job, you may be looking for something more. A side job offers the opportunity to earn extra money and new skills.

The following are some of the highest-paying side jobs and where you can get one in Atlanta right now:


Since games and matches are often held in the evenings or on the weekends, you can likely work around a full-time job that has a daytime weekday schedule. You'll need knowledge of a specific sport as well as some additional training to become a referee. Job opportunities include refereeing for high schools, local colleges and  recreational leagues . The  Georgia High School Association hosts camps that help officials of various sports further their knowledge, and you can find job opportunities by  contacting associations .
LISOA Meeting Dates 

Tuesday,  November 12  - Pre-Season Workshop - Robert E. Lupinskie BOCES Center, One Merrick Avenue, Westbury - 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday,  December 3  - Relay Carnival, Sect. VIII  NCAC - clinic - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday,  December 18   - Business Meeting

Thursday,  January 9  - General Meeting

March 2019  - Annual Recognition Dinner Meeting

Active members are required to attend  a minimum of three (3) meetings and/or clinics . As prescribed in Article I of the By-Laws,  attendance at a rules interpretation meeting is required.
Things Every Diving Judge Should Know...
...diving judge’s deductions:

Deficient dives (2 ½ – 4 ½ ) :

The diver partially alters the position of the dive during flight;

A diver enters the water with one or both hands above the shoulders on a dive requiring a feet‐first entry, or with one or both hands below the shoulders on a dive requiring a head‐first entry.

Mandatory ½ – 2‐point deduction:

Not stopping the oscillations of the board just before or after the starting position is
assumed in a back/inward takeoff;

Excessive oscillation during a back/inward takeoff; 

Feet/foot leaving the board prior to a back/inward takeoff (crow hop);

Obviously spreading knees in the tuck position outside the shoulders;

Entering the water to the side of the board;

Twisting manifestly from the board.
for again running or Super Bowl pool! See Chris to choose a box on our chart where your $20.00 could win you $500.00.

Starting in 2021, the state swimming championships will be held in Ithica. We will then have to take a road trip and book an Air BNB to be part of the action.
BUT this year we can participate again from the comfort of Long Island. The pinnacle of the Boys High School Swimming season is in our back yard again.

Please sign-up on the list that we circulate at our meetings to officiate one or both days of the meet.

We need your help to make this final local championship the best one ever and prove to NYS that these championships should come back to Section VIII in three years!

Long Island Swimming Officials Association
Wednesday, November 12, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Bring your test - find out the right answers to the questions that
you got wrong

Breakout sessions:

The swimming dive start is highly linked to overall performance during competition. Let's review our procedures on how to send off the swimmers.

Get all the information that you will need to feel comfortable as the Diving Referee at a dual meet or a championship meet.

From arriving at the school, to signing the score sheet at the end of the meet - a walk through of your role as a successful referee.

Snacks, drinks, prizes  

  Robert E. Lupinskie BOCES Center, One Merrick Avenue, Westbury


Gordon Corsetti is a lacrosse official who played for ten years before realizing he’d much rather ref than play the game. Originally from Atlanta, GA, he now resides in Baltimore, MD and officiates high school and collegiate lacrosse in the Mid-Atlantic region.


The Use of Tape at a Swim Meet
The use of tape is permitted to treat a documented medical condition which allows a competitor to compete, but not to gain an advantage over the remainder of the field. The meet referee must be presented with signed documentation from an appropriate health-care professional before permitting the swimmer to compete. Tape may be used by divers to support the wrists, ankles, etc in a preventable manner without medical documentation .

There are times when an injury to a swimmer occurs onsite. In such cases either the host school medical personnel or the school’s own medical personnel shall provide the necessary medical care which may result in the need for the use of tape.

Situation: A swimmer from Team A cuts his/her foot needing to be treated and taped to allow for further competition in the meet. The swimmer is treated by (a) host school medical personnel or (b) Team A’s medical personnel. The meet referee accepts the treatment and allows the athlete to continue in competition.
Ruling: Correct procedure providing treatment is from appropriate health-care provider onsite.

Situation : A swimmer during the 50 free, jams, breaks or dislocates his/her index finger as he/she finishes the race. The swimmer reports back to the block to compete in the 100 free and now has two fingers taped together to stabilize the injury. The referee allows the swimmer to compete.
Ruling: Legal. Tape may be worn for valid medical reasons to cover a wound or treat an injury.

Situation: During the pre-meet warm up, the referee notices three (3) swimmers from the same team wearing kinesio tape. Swimmer A has a double strip on his/her calf, Swimmer B has a sports tape wrapped around his/her knee and Swimmer C has a compression tape on his/her shoulder. The coach is only able to produce documentation from a health care professional for Swimmer C. The referee asks swimmer A and B to remove their tape.
Ruling : Correct procedure. Competitors shall not wear or use any device to aid their speed, buoyancy or body compression. Tape may only be used to cover a wound or for a documented injury.

Reminder: Preventive taping by divers to support their wrists, ankles, etc requires no medical documentation.

The rule was meant to establish a procedure to follow at the local level to address when and how a competitor may use tape to treat a documented medical condition. Each local school will determine (similar to the evaluation for concussion) who qualifies as their health care professional. This procedure is intended to eliminate the potential for abuse of using tape for reasons other than for medical conditions.

Modified/Junior High Sports Program

Swimming Game Rules:

1. The NFHS Rules of Swimming and Diving shall be followed except as indicated below.

2. A swimmer is permitted one false start before disqualification. The use of the no re-call false start rule shall not be utilized.

3. Swimmers may compete in a maximum of three (3) events. (1 relay and 2 individuals, or 2 relays and 1 individual).

4. The events and their order shall be:
• 200 yd./m. medley relay
• 200 yd./m. freestyle
• 100 yd./m. Individual medley
• 50 yd./m. freestyle
• Diving competition shall consist of (1) voluntary dive (not to exceed 1.8) which shall be done first: week 1-forward group; week 2-back group; week 3-inward group (begin rotation over), and three (3) optional dives: two (2) of the three (3) must be from different groups.
• 50 yd./m. butterfly (optional– 100 yd. butterfly)
• 100 yd./m. freestyle
• 50 yd./m. backstroke (optional– 100 yd. backstroke)
• 50 yd./m. breaststroke (optional – 100 yd. breaststroke)
• 200 yd./m. freestyle relay
Participation in High School Sports Registers First Decline in 30 Years
NFHS September 2019

Participation in high school sports declined in 2018-19 for the first time in 30 years, according to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The 2018-19 total of 7,937,491 participants is a decline of 43,395 from the 2017-18 school year when the number of participants in high school sports reached an all-time record high of 7,980,886. This year’s total – the third-highest ever – consisted of 4,534,758 boys and 3,402,733 girls, according to the figures obtained from the 51-member state high school associations, which includes the District of Columbia. The last decline in sports participation numbers occurred during the 1988-89 school year.

“We know from recent surveys that the number of kids involved in youth sports has been declining, and a decline in the number of public school students has been predicted for a number of years, so we knew our ‘streak’ might end someday,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “The data from this year’s survey serves as a reminder that we have to work even harder in the coming years to involve more students in these vital programs – not only athletics but performing arts programs as well.”

The biggest contributors to the decline were the two longstanding and popular sports of football and basketball. Participation in boys 11-player football declined by 30,829 participants to 1,006,013 – the lowest mark since 1,002,734 in the 1999-2000 school year.

Although the actual number of participants in boys 11-player football dropped for the fifth consecutive year, the number of schools offering the sport remained steady. The survey indicated that 14,247 schools offer 11-player football – an increase of 168 from last year. A comparison of the figures from the past two years indicates that the average number of boys involved in 11-player football on a per-school basis dropped from 73 to 70, which would include freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams.

“The survey certainly confirms that schools are not dropping the sport of football, which is great news,” Niehoff said. “Certainly, we are concerned about the reduction in the number of boys involved in the 11-player game but are thrilled that states are finding other options by starting 6-player or 8-player football in situations where the numbers have declined.

Combined basketball participation was down 23,944 (13,340 girls and 10,604 boys), and the girls basketball total of 399,067 is the lowest since the 1992-93 school year. However, the decrease in girls basketball participation from 430,368 in 2016-17 to 399,067 in 2018-19 is largely attributable to a 25,000 drop in Texas during that two-year period. Dismissing the Texas numbers, girls basketball numbers have been steady in the range of 430,000 for the past seven years.

Four of the top 10 boys sports registered increases in participation, topped by track and field with an additional 5,257 participants. Other top 10 boys sports that added participants last year were soccer (2,715), wrestling (1,877) and tennis (1,163). Among girls top 10 sports, volleyball was the front-runner with an additional 6,225 participants, followed by soccer (3,623) and lacrosse (3,164).

In addition to an increase in girls volleyball and boys wrestling, the sports continued to gain interest across genders. Boys participation in volleyball registered a four percent increase and now has 63,563 participants nationwide, and girls wrestling jumped 27 percent and now has 21,735 participants.

With 1,006,013 participants, 11-player football remains the No. 1 participatory sport for boys in high school by a large margin. Outdoor track and field is No. 2 with 605,354 participants, followed by basketball (540,769), baseball (482,740), soccer (459,077), cross country (269,295), wrestling (247,441), tennis (159,314), golf (143,200) and swimming/diving (136,638). 

Outdoor track and field continues to lead the way for girls with 488,267 participants, followed by volleyball (452,808), basketball (399,067), soccer (394,105), fast-pitch softball (362,038), cross country (219,345), tennis (189,436), swimming/diving (173,088), competitive spirit (161,358) and lacrosse (99,750).

This year’s survey indicated participation by high school students in 70 different sports, as well as 14 adapted sports for students with disabilities. Some of the more popular non-traditional sports were bowling (61,291), weightlifting (29,144), badminton (18,162), flag football (12,154) and archery (10,391). 

The top 10 states by participants remained the same in 2018-19. Texas and California topped the list again with 825,924 and 824,709 participants, respectively, followed by New York (369,266), Ohio (339,158), Illinois (333,838), Pennsylvania (316,429), Florida (308,173), Michigan (292,947), New Jersey (281,058) and Minnesota (240,487). Only Texas, California and Minnesota reported higher figures than the previous year.

The participation survey has been compiled in its current form by the NFHS since 1971 through numbers it receives from its member state associations.

  • Admit when mistakes have been made and correct the mistake according to the NFHS rules. Do not make a decision to “make up” for a poor decision made earlier.
  • Be professional and friendly when interacting with administrators, coaches, athletes, spectators, other officials, etc. Do not socialize with these individuals, as it may give the impression of favoring one team over another.
  • Dress professionally in accordance with state association rules regarding officials uniforms.  Do not wear apparel that promotes any particular team or would call into question impartiality.
  • Maintain control of the meet but remember that all participants want to do their best while having a fun and enjoyable experience.
  • Work a variety of meets. The more experience gained the more comfortable the official will be on deck and the more confident in observation.
  • Neither under‐officiating nor over officiating is desirable.  Officials should never try to determine “why” an athlete may or may not have done something that constitutes an infraction.  If it is observed as an infraction, it is called.  
Swimming and Diving Points of Emphasis - 2019-20
NFHS June 2019

1. Preventing Shallow Water Blackout - The rules for NFHS swimming and diving exist to ensure fair competition in a positive,safe and healthy environment. Consequently, the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Committee recognizes concerns that have been raised over instances of shallow water blackout, which can affect swimmers of all experience levels. Shallow water blackout is a potentially fatal condition that causes a swimmer to lose consciousness while under water. Shallow water blackout can be prevented through education, awareness, and understanding of the dangers of breath-holding. The tips below are provided by Shallow Water Blackout Prevention. For further information, visit shallowwaterblackoutprevention.org.
How to Avoid Shallow Water Blackout
  • Never hyperventilate
  • Never ignore the urge to breathe
  • Never swim alone
  • Never play breath holding games
  • No repetitive underwater lap

2. Suit Coverage – Suit coverage continues to be a focus of administrators, coaches, and officials, and competitors. While the rule itself has not changed, language addressing coverage and the protocol for addressing violations has been reorganized in the rules book. In addition, pre-meet coaches and athlete meetings have been mandated, which is an opportunity for the coach to verify that his/her athletes are properly and legally equipped AND an opportunity for captains/peers to consult with their teammates to assure suits and caps (and jewelry) meet rule guidelines.  It is recommended that coaches address suit coverage with parents and athletes during their pre-season meetings, to specify that suits should be worn as the manufacturer has intended and that athletes purchasing personal suits for competition only obtain suits that comply with NFHS rules regarding appropriate coverage as well as design and decoration.

3. Accommodations for Students with a Disability – Language and officials signals regarding the inclusion of students with a disability have been updated and will be available in the 2019 NFHS Swimming Officials Guidelines Manual. Included are updated images of officials signals for the forward and backstroke start as well as images for modified starting positions. Specific accommodations for visually impaired and hearing-impaired competitors are also provided in this publication.

4. Sub-Varsity Participation – The policy permitting state associations to modify events and distances for non-varsity competition remains in effect. (5-1-1 NOTE 1). States have the authority to shorten/lengthen distances and add other events in non-varsity competition. NFHS playing rules are written specifically for varsity competition. Modifications for levels other than varsity are at the discretion of the state association.

5. Pre-Meet Conference - The mandatory pre-meet conference as applied to championship meets can become problematic in some contexts, particularly in large meets. The pre-meet conference is a time to review meet procedures, special instructions and any unusual pool conditions. A comprehensive list of items to be covered is included in Appendix G of the 2018-19 Swimming Officials Guidelines Manual. State associations may determine an alternative method or methods of communication in situations where the size of the meet makes a pre-meet conference impractical. State associations are encouraged to provide appropriate policy direction for officials and meet administrators in assuring that the stated purposes for this conference are fulfilled and that both coaches and athletes are fully informed and prepared for the ensuing competition.

The purpose and goals of the LISOA and its members shall be to:   
  • Officiate all meets in a competent and professional manner.
  • Have its members actively work to improve interscholastic swimming and diving officiating.
  • Provide a consistent interpretation and administration of interscholastic swimming and diving rules.
  • Service and collaborate with the swimming and diving community for the improvement of swimming and diving.
George Fleckenstein
Vice President:
Ray Willie
Chris Zimmet
Barbara Wendt
Doug Virkus
Larry Wachter
Rules Interpreter:
Bob Kersch
Past President:
Frank Dowd

Charlie Schlegal
George Columbo
Jim McAllister
Dick Atwater
Jack Reilly
Frank Krayer
NYSCSO Distinguished Service Award Members

Bob Kersch (1990)
Stan Adler (1993)
Pete Moeschen (2004)
Mush Masters (2008)
Doug Virkus (2011)
Jim McAllister(2019)