Bill Hogan trains Swimming Officials in St. Georges (GRN)

Development News

An intermediate-level clinic for swimming officials took place in St. Georges, Grenada from August 27-31, 2012 gathering 33 participants, including technical officials, coaches and some senior swimmers. FINA TSC Member Bill Hogan from Canada was the expert on site.

Participants ranged from beginner technical officials to fairly experienced technical officials who have been referees and starters in continental competitions, one of whom was Omar Hughes, a former Olympic swimmer who swam at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. He is now a fairly experienced starter at the continental level.

The theory part on day 1 was a combination of PowerPoint presentations, slides, group discussions and video presentations. Several topics were covered: organisation of FINA, FINA events and the Olympic Games, and FINA programmes.

This was followed by an introduction to officiating, competition management, the basics of timekeeping and an initial overview of the FINA rules for the four competitive strokes.

On day 2, the topics included the duties of deck officials, where Hogan went into thorough discussions and explanations for all deck positions including the Referee, the Starter, Desk Control, Control Room Supervisor, Clerk of Course, Inspector of Turns, Chief Inspector of Turns, Judges of Stroke, and Timekeeping, both manual, semi-automatic, and automatic timing. 

They then moved on to other areas under the heading of "Officials Decision-Making”, including discussions on the race itself, the start, protests, disqualifications, seeding of heats, and seeding of semi-finals and finals. The evening session was concluded with a “Timekeeper Questionnaire” which all participants worked on some 31 multiple-choice scenarios together with Hogan's guidance.

On day 3, the participants learned about each of the four swimming strokes and watched the “FINA Stroke Video”, which everyone was very interested in as it showed elite swimmers demonstrating legal and illegal strokes in real time. 

Day 4, the final day of the clinic, after reviewing theoretical aspects, everyone headed to the pool for practice. A 4x50m free relay was organised to give officials some practical experience in watching relay takeovers and judging the legality of each takeover. Both officials and swimmers thoroughly enjoyed the evening at the pool, as it was a practical application of the discussions during the week.

(based on Bill Hogan's clinic report)