High School/Prep School Observation Procedures
The strokes that we observe are Butterfly, Breaststroke, Backstroke, Individual Medley, and the Medley Relay. Within those events we only observe the elements that differ and would merit disqualification in a USA-S meet.
Butterfly - The stacked hands touch at the turns and finish is legal in high school but is a violation in USA Swimming.
- High School rules allow the athlete to be submerged at the turns and finish. This is a violation in USA Swimming.
Breaststroke - The same situation with the stacked hands touch as in Butterfly.
Backstroke - During the turn, kicking and/or gliding following the continuous turning action is allowed during high school swimming. This is a violation in USA Swimming. If a swimmer misses the wall during a backstroke turn in high school they may scull back and touch the wall. Also a violation in USA Swimming.
Individual Medley - We observe all the above for each of the individual strokes within the race.
Medley Relay - Relay times are not observable but the lead-off leg may be used so only the backstroke turn should be observed.
Kinesiology Tape - Although legal in High School with appropriate medical documentation, the use of kinesiology tape is not allowed under any circumstances in USA swimming and would merit disqualification.
Designate one of the observing officials as the lead official. Have that official obtain heat sheets from the meet director. That official will also assign coverage for the observing officials.
Always give preference to the association officials (in this case High School) as to deck positioning. They are the officials for the meet, we are just invited guests.
Observe only those areas where the strokes differ. Just step back from the pool when not observing the above areas.
While actively observing, note on the heat sheet any violations of USA swimming rules only for those areas of the strokes listed above. At the conclusion of the meet the designated lead official should consolidate any notes on the heat sheets and provide an update to the CT Swimming office, the officials chair, and program operations. If everything was clean and there were no violations (very common) they still need to know.
Never raise your hand for something you have observed. Simply note on the heat sheet.
Never discuss with swimmers anything about their strokes.
Never discuss with association officials or coaches anything that you observe pertaining to strokes being swum.
Filing the observation report
Use the following format when filing the observation report within 48 hours of the completion of the meet:
During our observation of the "MEET NAME" on "MEET DATE", as we observed those elements where the USA-S rules do not conform to the governing association rules, the following USA-S disqualifications were observed:
If no disqualifications were observed enter the following:
No disqualifications were observed
or if you had disqualifications to report enter them in the following format:(for example)
Heat 2, Lane 1, 200 yard IM, Jane Smith, (school name), delay initiating backstroke turn
Heat 1, Lane 2, 100 yard Breaststroke, Joe Smith, (school name), stacked hands touch, turn #2