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More officials recommended for swimming and diving meets

By Greg Johnson

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Rules Committee has recommended that all dual, double-dual, triangular and quadrangular meets have a minimum of two, three or four officials to properly observe all competitors equally and enforce playing rules for the 2013-14 season. This is a recommendation and not a mandate.

The committee also recommended that all non-NCAA championship and invitational meets have at least six officials.

Members of the committee said that some regular-season meets in the past were being conducted with only one official. Committee members believe it is difficult for one official to accurately see everything he/she needs to observe during a meet.

Committee members believe that funding could be why some meets have been conducted with one official.

While two has been set as the minimum, committee members discussed the fact that even for dual meets, three or four officials is more ideal. For example, a meet could have a starter, another official posted at the 15-meter mark where swimmers are surfacing and another official could be posted on the other end of the pool to make sure everyone is following the rules in terms of turns and relay exchanges.

The rationale for recommending a minimum of six officials at non-NCAA championship meets centers on workload concerns.

Other swimming and diving rules changes:

  • All heats will become eligible to be scored in double dual, triangular and quadrangular meets. These changes reflect expanded opportunities for entries and scoring.

  • Expanded the use of video review to evaluate the accuracy of relay judging equipment; this includes video review on all takeoffs where both human officials and recording devices are used opposite of the electronic equipment.

  • Approved the certification of the FINA Short Course World Championships, which is held every two years in even numbered years, to count as a bona fide competition that can be used for NCAA qualifying purposes provided a student-athlete is eligible to represent his team at the time of the World Championships.