Long Island Swimming Officials Association  
Serving Long Island Swimmers for over 60 years!  
July 2020
LISOA Vice President Ray Willie had many passions - wine, wood carving, reading (audio books), fencing, and of course his close family - Lotte, their children and grandchildren. He loved traveling the country going to his children and grandchildren's swim meets. He officiated both swimming and track for many years. An award winning wine maker and member of the LI Wine Council, he enjoyed making wine every year, drinking wine and hosting monthly wine tasting dinners. Ray was a veteran and was an instructor for the U.S. Army Special Forces.

I will remember him for his wonderful sense of humor - he was always on my case about something - only half joking; talking with him about his wine as we rode together going to East Hampton swim meets or dinners or other meetings; weekends together on endless USA Swimming pool decks all over Long Island; and enjoying time with him and Lotte at their home and at ours ( trying to get me to enjoy dry wines) . I will miss my friend an colleague.

 Thank you,
George Fleckenstein
NYSPHSAA To Delay Fall Sports Start Date and Cancel Fall Championships

The Officers of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), voted to delay the official start date of the Fall 2020 sports season, cancel the Fall 2020 Regional and State Championships and prepare to implement a condensed season schedule in January 2021 if high school sports remain prohibited throughout 2020 due to COVID-19. This decision comes at the recommendation of the NYSPHSAA COVID-19 Task Force when they convened as a working group for the third time..

“As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on August 24th as originally scheduled,” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA President. “The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible.”

The NYSPHSAA Officers’ decision includes:
Delay Fall sports start date until Monday, September 21st (NYSPHSAA PAUSE)
• Cancel Fall Regional and State Championship events
• Waive seven-day practice rule
• Maintain current practice requirements
• Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests
• Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning workouts.

“We recognize this is challenging for everyone, but the decisions made at the State level are based upon data and statewide infection rates all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID and reopen responsibly,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “At this time, Department of Health guidance presented on July 13th prohibits interscholastic athletics across the state. The Association will continue to follow state guidance and will work collectively with State officials to ensure high school athletics will start up responsibly in the future. As an association, we must be willing to be flexible and continue to explore all options with students’ safety as our main focus,” Zayas concluded.

With regional differences, schools and areas will be impacted differently by the COVID-19 crisis. At the discretion of the NYSPHSAA Officers and authorization from state officials, if the Fall sports seasons are interrupted or impacted by COVID-19 crisis (i.e. state official guidance, school closings, cancellation of high-risk sports, etc.) then a condensed seasons plan will be implemented.

The Condensed Season plan - if the Fall sports seasons are interrupted or impacted by COVID-19 crisis - would entail the following, with the stipulated dates being tentative.
Season I (Winter Sports) Dates: Jan. 4-Mar. 13 (Week 27-36) 10 Weeks *Note: tentative dates Sports: basketball (girls & boys), bowling (girls & boys), gymnastics, ice hockey (girls & boys), indoor track & field (girls & boys), skiing (girls & boys), swimming (boys), *wrestling, *competitive cheer.

The NYSPHSAA Officers have the ability to adjust seasons with the authority granted within the NYSPHSAA Constitution which states: “Article IV, 2: A committee of officers in consultation with the staff shall have the authority to act on all matters not provided for in this constitution and bylaws, and on such emergency business as may arise between regular meetings of the Executive Committee.”
With Safety Measures in Place, Students Need Sports and Performing Arts for Mental and Emotional Wellness
Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director
July 15, 2020

It’s decision time in our nation’s schools. Will the 56 million-plus students in K-12 schools be able to return to the classroom for the first time since March or continue with their distance-learning format from home? And, will the 12 million participants in high school activity programs be able to take the field, court or stage? If only there were clear-cut answers to these questions.

CLICK HERE for the complete article.
Plans to Preserve High School Sports, Performing Arts Continue Amid Pandemic
By Dr. Karissa Niehoff on July 29, 2020

... And unlike most countries, these activities – sports, music, speech, debate, theatre and many others – are cocurricular programs that complete the school-day educational experience. These activities – the other half of education – are vital to the mental and emotional wellness of student participants...

LISOA Meeting Dates  

Wednesday,  September 16  – Rules Interpretation Meeting 7:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday,  October 20  - Pre-Season Meeting

Thursday,  November 12  - Workshop

Monday,  November 23  - Diving Clinic

Tuesday,  December 1  - Relay Carnival, Sect. VIII  NCAC - clinic

Wednesday,  January 6  - Nominating Meeting

Thursday,  January 21  - Annual Meeting

March 15, 2021  - 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. A ttendance at a rules interpretation meeting is required.

Things Every Diving Judge Should Know...
Disqualifications by the diving referee:
  • Diver does not make a sincere attempt to perform the dive;
  • It becomes obvious the dives listed on the diver’s scoresheet are too difficult for the diver to perform;
  • Diver unnecessarily delays in the performance of a dive;
  • Diver behaves in an unsporting manner;
  • Diver fails two dives for any reason

The window for the 2020-2021 NFHS Exam will open on  Saturday August 1st and close on Sunday September 20th . To access the exam site CLICK HERE.

Please remember that you need to achieve at least an 85 in order to pass the exam and to be certified as an officials. If you do not pass please take the exam again as you can take the exam up to 99 times.

In the "SETTINGS", make sure that your Local Association is listed as " Long Island " if you are primary with our association!

For a hard copy of the exam click
The current Rules Book book is essential to complete the annual NFHS 100 question exam.

My annual recommendation to you is to read the book like a novel - from cover to cover . I believe it is a good idea to read the complete book as a refresher. For some of us, we have not officiated swimming for many months, so reading each page will help us get back into the swing.

I use a highlighter for obscure rules that I think one day I might need to know and important rules that I don't know as well, that I want to find easily.

One of the most import functions of our job is to know the swimming and diving rules.
NFHS Swimming & Diving
Points of Emphasis - 2020-21
By NFHS, April 2020

Communication between the Referee and Table
Rules 4-1 and 4-2 establish the meet referee as the head official for all competition with responsibilities and duties that include assignment, instruction and oversight of all other meet officials listed in Rule 4. This role is especially critical in the areas of timing/judging, scoring and determination of results; it requires constant communication between the referee and the individuals responsible for those functions, especially the timing system operator (4-8) and the meet management software operator (4-10). To ensure the meet progresses without unnecessary delays, the referee should be in constant communication with the table throughout the meet. The NFHS Swimming Officials Guidelines Manual lists several items to consider: Prior to the start of the meet the referee should confer with the meet management software operator and timing system operator to be sure they understand their responsibilities related to starts, finishes, registration of the proper number of laps completed and reporting any discrepancies between the pad times and backup times to the referee. Meet management software operators should never adjust any times without being directed to do so by the referee. It is recommended the referee discuss with the meet management software operator his/her role in helping the referee verify that no swimmer has exceeded the individual entry rule. In championship format meets, suggested times to verify entry limitations are: a) prior to the start of preliminaries; (b) after each relay event in both preliminaries and finals; (c) upon completion of the preliminaries, prior to printing results of that session; and (d) upon completion of the finals, prior to printing final meet results.

Establishing the Official Time
A legal finish requires the competitor to contact either the touchpad or the finish end wall (defined in Rule 1-1-1) according to the finish rules pertaining to the stroke being swum. This means that the initial point of contact with the end wall determines the final time for that lane as well as the final results for that heat. The referee must understand the tools that are available to determine that final time: order of finish determined by human finish judges/referee, touchpad, button, watch. When the referee determines that the swimmer's first point of contact at the finish of the race is:
a. the touchpad, that time shall be the official time;
b. the touchpad, but a difference of more than 0.3 seconds between the automatic time and backup time exists (indicates a potential malfunction). The referee determines that such malfunction has occurred, and the backup time for that lane shall be integrated into the results from the other lanes to determine the official order of finish;
c. not the touchpad, the official time shall be the time registered by the backup system for that lane (semi-automatic button or manual watch). 

If other information supports the legitimacy of the human generated time (order of finish, times in other lanes, etc.), that is the official time. The referee is the head official and is responsible for making decisions on matters not specifically covered by the rules and can order that a race be re-swum when there is obvious unfairness, such as a lane line malfunction or a power outage. In the case of a timing malfunction, the referee is expected to utilize other information or data such as his/her order of finish, times on other lanes, etc., to verify the single data point (watch/button) is accurate. Referees have the authority to reject times that are clearly inaccurate and to determine placing without assigning a specific time to a swimmer.  
Diving Entries
The diver entry process for championship meets continues to be a point of concern. Changes to Rules 9-3-3 and 9-3-5 clearly define what constitutes the official entry of a diver. The two-step process for championship meets consists of (1) entering the divers and swimmers into a culminating meet at a time specified by the meet manager (the team entry) and (2) submitting the dive list or scoresheet at a specified time and place. The referee will permit changes in the dive list until 60 minutes prior to the start of the diving competition. The penalty for not submitting a complete diving scoresheet at the specified time and place is disqualification. Divers must be included as part of the team entry to assure compliance with entry limitations (3-2-1); diving is one of the individual events of competition. The state association (or meet host) must publish the required procedure for diving entries for each championship-level meet.

Signals for Officiating Swimmers with Disabilities  
Language and officials signals regarding the inclusion of students with a disability now appear as an appendix in the 2020-21 NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Book. 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. These guidelines are provided to assist state associations in working with schools for the inclusion of students with disabilities. Officials’ training prior to the start of the season should include review of these signals and procedures, and state associations may approve their use upon request without further authorization. Accommodations for students with special needs may be addressed through the rules and policies set forth by a variety of organizations, including Special Olympics, Disabled Sports USA, US Paralympics and USA Swimming. Contact information is provided in the beginning of the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Book. An accommodation may be permitted provided it does not fundamentally alter the sport, heighten risk or place opponents at a disadvantage.
The John Tesh Radio Show
Why We Love Water!
This is why it’s so soothing to be in or near water…

Ever wonder why it’s so soothing to be in or near water – whether it’s the ocean, a pool, or the shower? Here’s what’s going on, according to biologist Dr. Wallace Nichols, author of the book “Blue Mind.”

First: Our brain is wired to want water. After all, more than HALF of our blood and tissues are made up of water. And while we can survive for weeks without food, we won’t last a few days without water! That explains why simply SEEING water triggers our brain to pump out feel-good chemicals, like dopamine, which helps lower our stress.

Being near water can also help us sleep better. A study was conducted in which a group of people either walked for several miles along the coast - or through the countryside. Well, the people who walked by the water slept an average of 47 minutes longer than the inland walkers. And they were more alert in the morning. That may be down to the negative ions in ocean air. They deliver more oxygen to the brain. In fact, those negative ions are even more effective at battling the symptoms of depression than light therapy.

And being near water can even help us form deeper, stronger relationships. In fact, Dr. Nichols says being near water with someone you love can MAGNIFY your bond… because it increases levels of oxytocin, the hormone linked to social bonding and trust-building.

Bottom line: Dr. Nichols says it’s no coincidence that a whopping 80% of the world’s population lives within an hour of a coastline. And when NASA searches for life on other planets, the first thing they look for is water!
The primary role of the official is to ensure fair competition which is conducted in a positive, safe and healthy environment and that actions of the competitors, coaches and other team personnel are in compliance with the rules.

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

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