Long Island Swimming Officials Association  
Serving Long Island Swimmers for over 60 years!  
April 2019
Let's see how this goes ...

Enjoy your off season! Some of us stay sharp by officiating age-group swimming, recreational league swimming, summer country club swimming, open water swimming and club diving. The internet also has endless diving sites.

Thank you,
George Fleckenstein
Six Rules Changes Approved in High School Swimming, Diving
By NFHS on April 23, 2019

Effective with the 2019-20 high school season, a legal finish now requires the competitor to contact either the touchpad or the finish end coinciding with the individual stroke of the race. With this change, swimmers can legally complete a race by touching the finish end (end wall), regardless of whether the touchpad is activated.

This rules revision, which affects the finish of all strokes used in swimming, was one of two swimming and four diving changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee at its March 24-26 meeting in Indianapolis. All recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Rule 8-1-7 now will require swimmers to contact the finish end in the manner prescribed by the individual strokes. Descriptions of the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle finishes in Rule 8-2 state that a legal finish requires contact with either the touchpad or the finish end.

As a result of these changes, a swimmer will no longer be disqualified if the touchpad is not activated in races using automatic-timing systems.

“This change allows for situations in which pools do not have touchpads that stretch the entire width of the lane, or in cases where the touchpad is not activated when the competitor finishes the race,” said Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “In those cases, the competitor legally finishes the race by contacting the finish end.” 

The other major swimming rules change involved the protocol for uniform violations, which involved reorganization of Rule 3-3 to specify the penalty protocol for uniform violations. While the penalties associated with an illegal uniform did not change, a new process for communicating any violations to the competitor was approved.

Effective with the 2019-20 season, when an official discovers a competitor wearing illegal attire specifically dealing with suit coverage as described in Rule 3-3-2, the official shall notify the coach of the competitor to make the attire legal before he or she is eligible to compete – if the uniform violation is observed prior to the start of the heat/dive . If the competitor cannot comply without delaying the start of the heat/dive, the competitor is disqualified from the event/dive and is not eligible for further competition until the attire is made legal.

Previously, the official notified the competitor directly when illegal attire was discovered; now the official will notify the coach of the competitor.  
“The penalty associated with this rule was written to provide clear indication that the coach of the competitor should be notified when a violation of this nature has occurred,” Searcy said. “In the case of suit construction and cap violations, for practicality and concerns over delay of the meet, the officials may communicate with either the competitor or coach.”

Among the four diving rules changes was a change in degree of difficulty in the diving table in Rule 9-4. In a risk-minimization change, the degree of difficulty for back and reverse double somersaults was lowered to match back and reverse 1½ somersaults . This change is consistent with the degree of difficulty assessed to back and reverse dives versus back and reverse somersaults.

In Rule 9-5-6, descriptions of diving positions were adjusted to maintain consistency with national trends. Language has been updated to clarify requirements of the straight, pike, tuck and free positions.

In Rule 9-7-4, the following Note was approved: “In a championship meet, the diving referee may consult with a designated member of the judging panel concerning a possible unsatisfactory dive.”

“The addition of this Note is consistent with the diving referee’s capability of consulting with a designated member of the judging panel concerning a possible failed dive,” Searcy said. “Because of the severity of the penalty and the judging panels seated on opposite sides of the pool or spread out on one side covering 10-12 feet along the side of the pool, providing the option for the referee to consult with another member of the panel to determine if a dive is satisfactory is appropriate.”

Rule 9-1-3 regarding a fulcrum was updated to comply with industry standards. Searcy said the change aligns with current diving board manufacturers’ installation directions.
LISOA Meeting Dates  

March 7,8, 2020 - NY State Boys Swimming and Diving Championships - NCAC

March 2020  - 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...
When judging a dive, five basic elements need to be considered with equal importance before awarding a score.
  • Starting Position: A dive is to be judged once the diver assumes the starting position on the springboard. This may be standing facing the water for forwarding approaches; with the diver’s back to the water at the end of the springboard or platform for backward approaches. Depending on the dive, the diver should be standing straight with the head erect and the arms straight and steady in a position of the diver's choice.
  • The Approach: The diver shall, on front approaches, move to the end of the springboard in a smooth motion showing good form. Using no less than three steps, the diver shall execute a forward hurdle from the last step. A hurdle is the jump to the end of the board and must be executed from one foot. The back approach is characterized by a series of arm swings used to initiate momentum. At no time during the back approach shall the diver’s feet leave the springboard. If the diver begins the approach from the starting position and stops, the diving referee will declare a balk and two points will be deducted from each judge’s score.
  • The Take-Off: After completing the forward approach and hurdle, the take-off should show proper balance and control, and it should initiate the diver into a safe distance from the board. The diver must leave the springboard from both feet.
  • The Flight: The flight of the dive should be smooth and graceful and at no time should the dive move to the left or the right of the springboard; nor shall any part of the diver touch the springboard. During the dive, the body shall be carried in one of the four acceptable positions: tuck, pike, straight, or free.
  • The Entry: The entry into the water, whether it is a head-first or feet-first entry, shall be vertical or as close to vertical as possible. The diver’s body shall be straight, the legs together, and the toes pointed. The arms must be extended over the head and in-line with the body on head-first entries. On feet-first entries, the arms shall be straight and at the diver’s side.
Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. For youth between the ages of 1-14 years old, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, and it ranks fifth for people of all ages in the United States (CDC, 2016). A study commissioned by the USA Swimming Foundation and conducted by the University of Memphis found that nearly 64% of African American children and nearly 45% of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability, compared to 40% of Caucasians. This situation is putting these children at a further risk of drowning due to lack of water safety skill and education.

The good news is that the vast majority of drownings are preventable. A growing body of research provides evidence of a strong link between water safety education and a reduction in drowning deaths. These facts have prompted the American Red Cross to partner with Diversity in Aquatics to advocate for us to participate in International Water Safety Day on May 15.

The goals for this type of engagement are to reduce drowning fatalities by:
·          Bringing awareness and knowledge on how to be safe in and around aquatic areas.
·          Increasing knowledge and awareness to recognize hazardous environments.
·          Encouraging children to communicate the importance of water safety to their communities, family and friends and steps they can take to be safer in and around water.
We hope you will participate in celebrating International Water Safety Day on May 15th.
Section VIII New Three Year Contract Signed - Every Additional Swim Will Be Compensated - No More Two Free Heats. More details next month.
Professionalism - chatting with the coaches

We are professional officials. Our employers (the sections), our association, our fellow officials, the coaches, the swimmers and the spectators expect us to behave in a professional manner. We are expected to perform our jobs competently.

We walk a fine line when dealing with the coaches and swimmers.

Be friendly but not chummy . Spend the same amount of time with each coach - do not chat with one coach endlessly and ignore the other. It will give the impression to the other coach and their swimmers, your partner, and the spectators that you are partial to one team. Friendly to both - chummy to neither - for the one and a half hours of a swim meet.

Even if one coach is a dear friend, during your time working on the deck as an official, please do not appear to be closer to one side. It's a bad look. We are there to be skillful, impartial judges.

After the meet you can catch up with anyone and talk old time. Prior to the meet we are preparing , during the meet we are working and should be limiting our chatter.

Yes, it is a problem in our association. I have heard from more than one official, at least one coach, one athlete director, and one of the sections concerning this topic.

  • The officials said that they have needed to cover some of their partners duties to keep the meet moving because the partner was in a (non-swim meet) conversation with one of the coaches.
  • A coach told me that they lowered an official's rating because the official's excessive chatting slowed down the meet.
  • I discussed with both a complaining athletic director and their section executive director the theory of not assigning officials to the school district where they live (I expressed that we are not opposed to that because we already have that restriction in the other section). The AD was concerned about the impartiality of the officiating at a meet where his swim team was the visiting, away team.

Each of these conversations were different situations, different LISOA members.

Friendly, smiling is ideal - many conversations with one team can appear biased. Many conversations with both teams will slow the meet down.
Coaches Ratings Criteria
They rate us 1-10 on:
1 - Attitude
2 - Rules
3 - Mechanics
4 - Game Control
Lets be friendly, courteous, fair and professional!
They rate us 1-5 on: 
 1- Judgment  
 2- Game Control   
 3- Knowledge of the Rules
 4- Position and Mechanics    

They rate us 0-1 on:
5 - Appearance
6 - Attitude
7- Communication
8- Physical Condition
9- Punctuality
The John Tesh Radio Show
Need A Quick Workout?
Take The Stairs!
Which is better when it comes to exercise: Taking a short walk or climbing a few stairs?

Which is better when it comes to exercise: Taking a short walk or climbing a few stairs?
The answer comes from kinesiology professor Martin Gibala from McMaster University.
He says, they’re both beneficial – but the stairs are better. That’s because it takes more effort to lift your body weight to climb stairs than walking on flat ground. In fact, climbing stairs demands almost twice as much energy per minute as walking on a flat surface… which translates to twice as many calories burned.
Even walking DOWN stairs burns more calories per minute than walking on a flat surface.
Stair climbing is also a better cardiovascular workout than walking, and it’s better at strengthening your muscles – particularly those in your legs and back – which can improve balance.
So if you only have 5 or 10 minutes and you need a quick workout – climb some stairs, even slowly.
Dealing With Seasonal Allergies
Costco Connection April 2019
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is one of the most common ailments. The 2017 National Health Interview Survey reported 7.7 percent of the adult population (close to 20 million people) were told within the past year by a doctor or health care professional that they have hay fever. Hay fever describes the allergic symptoms that occur when the body’s immune system releases chemicals upon exposure to airborne allergens such as pollens, dust, animal dander or feathers. Plants that cause hay fever include trees, grasses and weeds.
Some hay fever symptoms occur immediately after you have been exposed to the allergen. They include:
  • Itchy nose, mouth, eyes, throat or skin.
  • Problems with smell.
  • Runny nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • Watery eyes.
Other hay fever symptoms may occur later:
  • Stuffy nose (nasal congestion).
  • Coughing.
  • Clogged ears.
  • Sore throat.
  • Dark circles under the eyes.
  • Puffiness under the eyes.
  • Fatigue and irritability.
  • Headache.
Exams and tests
Your health care provider may do a physical exam, ask questions about your symptoms and what triggers them, and run blood and skin tests to diagnose your condition.
Prevention and treatment
To prevent and treat symptoms:
• Avoid the allergen whenever possible. Mild allergic rhinitis may be helped by a saline nasal wash to remove mucus from the nose.
• Use prescription and nonprescription medications. Ask your health care provider about antihistamines, nasal corticosteroid sprays, decongestants and other medicines, such as leukotriene inhibitors.
• Try immunotherapy via injection of allergen extracts to adjust and calm your body’s immune response.
The dark web is where your personal information is bought and sold

T he term "dark web" may sound like something from a horror novel or an episode of  The Twilight Zone , but it is real, and can present serious problems for anyone caught in it. In 2017, 16.7 million consumers found themselves victims of identity fraud , says a 2018 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research.

What is the dark web?
The dark web is a hidden network of websites that require special tools to access. It is the "bottom" part of the internet and is not accessible by standard search engines like Google, Bing, Safari and Firefox. Dark web visitors use special software, not generally available, to mask their identities and internet protocol (IP) addresses. It is where criminals buy or sell stolen personal information, including Social Security numbers (SSN), credit and debit card information, driver’s license numbers, medical records and more.

How do identity thieves buy personal information on the dark web?
Through one-time purchases, such as a single SSN; batches of the same types of data, such as credit or debit card numbers; and various types of information bundled together. Think of it as a shopping mall of illicit personal information.

What are the most common pieces of personal information sold on the dark web?
  • Social Security numbers.
  • Payment services logins (e.g., PayPal).
  • Credit or debit card numbers with card verification value (CVV) number.
  • Credit or debit card numbers with bank information.
  • Driver’s license numbers.
  • Diplomas.
  • U.S. passports.
  • General non-financial institution logins.
  • Medical records.

How to protect yourself from the dark web
Stay vigilant about your personal information. Here are some things you can do:
• Monitor all your accounts and statements for any information that doesn’t look right.
• Do a regular credit report check for applications or new accounts you didn’t initiate.
• Change passwords often.
• Sign up with an identity protection service provider to monitor online activity.

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.