Times recorded by the Automatic Officiating Equipment determine the winner, all places
and the time applicable to
each lane. It may also score the results of each event. The places and times of the Automatic Officiating Equipment
have precedence over the decisions of timekeepers. Referees must be satisfied that the equipment operated correctly
(Technical Swimming Rule TSR10.1.3).
Semi-Automatic Officiating Equipment starts by the same starting equipment as the Automatic Officiating Equipment
but terminates by a timekeeper or Finish Judge depressing a "push-button" at the end of the race. Semi-Automatic
Officiating Equipment times become official times in case of the failure of the Automatic Officiating Equipment
If the Automatic Officiating Equipment and Semi-Automatic Officiating Equipment break down, or the Equipment
clearly failed, or a competitor failed to activate the Equipment, the recordings of the human timers become the official
By TSR10.2.1, three (3) timekeepers must take manual times, and by TSR10.2.2, official manual times will be
determined as follows:
- If two of the three watches record the same time and the third disagrees, the two identical times is the official
- If all three watches disagree, the watch recording the intermediate time is the official time.
- If only two watches are used and if the times recorded do not agree, the average of the two recorded times is the
Referees are responsible for ensuring that the Chief Finish Judge /Timing Equipment Operator, Chief
Recorder/Computer Operator and Chief Timer understand and follow these Rules. This is particularly important should
the touch pads or starting horn malfunction or cease working altogether and the Referee resorts to manual times for
Similarly, the Referee is responsible for ensuring that the Chief Finish Judge/Timing Equipment Operator and Chief
Recorder/Computer Operator have a common policy and understanding of how to deal with the recording of light
touches and backup times from the touch pads and pushbutton(s), based on the timing system in use at the Meet.
The Referee should instruct the Chief Finish Judge/Timing Equipment Operator and Chief Recorder/Computer Operator
on the differences between equipment malfunction/breakdown, operator error, light touches and delayed reactions
depressing the pushbutton(s). Touch pads that fail to register any touches, timing equipment ceasing to function in the
middle of a race or starting horn failure are examples of equipment malfunction or breakdown, requiring the use of
manual times from some or all lanes. Failing to initialize a lane for the start or turning off a lane in the middle of a race
are examples of operator error, requiring the use of backup pushbutton times from that lane. A light touch usually occurs
when the swimmer hits the top of the touch pad and fails to register a time, then touches the pad again, requiring the use
of backup pushbutton times from that lane. No difficulty arises when the swimmer touches the pad in the centre and
registers a time, even if the Lane Timer or Turn Judge was late in depressing the pushbutton. The problem occurs when
the swimmer registers a light touch and the Lane Timer or Turn Judge was late in depressing the pushbutton, requiring
the use of manual times from that lane.
The surface area surrounding a swimming pool for a distance of not less than 1.0 metre on all four of its
sides is called the Pool Deck. The only persons allowed to enter the pool deck area while a sanctioned competition is in
progress are the meet officials, a competitor whose individual or relay event has been called to the start or is already in
progress, such persons as the Referee may permit, and counters as defined in Competition Rule CR10. No spectators or
unauthorized persons are allowed in the pool deck area (see Technical Swimming Rule TSR13.12).
The following conditions apply at all BSF sanctioned competitions:
The competitor is permitted two (2) logos not exceeding 16 sq. cm. each in
area, one of the manufacturer and one of another sponsor, on each article of
Pool Deck Equipment:
Towels and bags may carry two advertisements. Track Suits and Officials' uniforms may carry two advertisements on the
top and two on the trousers or skirt. The logo of the manufacturer may be repeated, but the same name may be used only
once on each article or garment.
Advertising which is disallowed:
- Body advertising of any form.
- Advertising for tobacco or alcohol.
At all BSF sanctioned competitions, the Referee is solely responsible for all issues relating to suitability, taste,
size, location and positioning of any and all advertisements (see Competition Rules CR15.1 - 15.4).
The Referee may disqualify any competitor, coach, official or individual from further attendance at the sanctioned
competition who swears; uses lewd, indecent, profane, abusive or offensive language; acts in an unsportsmanlike
manner; or, conducts himself or herself in a manner likely to embarrass or disgrace any competitor or official
participating in the sanctioned competition (CR21.1).
The Referee is entitled to eject or remove or cause the ejection or removal from the competition site of any person in
breach of Rule CR21.1. The Referee must file a report with the BSF Secretary within Seven (7) days of the conclusion of
the Meet, detailing the circumstances under which a person was disqualified from further attendance, ejected or removed
from a sanctioned competition (CR21.2).
Before the Meet begins, the Referee, Meet Director and Announcer should establish safety procedures for evacuating the
pool or meet venue in case of lightning, fire or other hazards. They should agree on how to handle the announcement and
what the Announcer should say. Similarly, they should agree on how and where the competitors and spectators will exit
the meet venue.
Competition Rule CR18.13 provides that a physician must be present during the competition, or on call. However, the
Referee, Meet Director and Announcer should also find any other persons attending the Meet with experience in CPR
and/or First Aid. If there are medical or physical emergencies, instruct the Announcer to summon one or more of these
persons to provide assistance in the absence of a physician.
By Competition Rule CR10.1.1, competitors in individual events of 400 metres or more (except the individual medley)
for Short Course pools, or 800 metres or more for Long Course pools, may appoint one Counter to call lengths or
indicate lengths by visual sign. The persons acting as Counter should take up position at the end of the course opposite
the starting end (CR10.1.3). One-lap counters may be lowered into the water at the end of the competitor's lane. In the
opinion of the Referee, they cannot physically aid the competitor, interfere with another competitor, or present any safety
hazard. Semi- electronic equipment may be used, including under water display (CR10.2.2). If there is official or counter
error, it is the competitor's responsibility to complete the prescribed distance (CR10.3.1).
If sufficient Turn Judges are present, the Referee should instruct those at the turning end of the pool to carry out the
additional duties of the Counter. The Referee should instruct the Turn Judges to hold the lap-counting cards at an angle
on the edge of the pool deck, NOT in the water. Instruct them to count down to "1" for the last lap.
Clearly, the Referee has multiple duties and responsibilities before, during and after a Meet. Knowing the Rules,
knowing the duties and responsibilities of the other Meet Officials and attending Officials Clinics are all very important
facets of becoming a "good" Referee. Swimmers and Coaches have a right to expect Referees to know the Rules and
interpret them correctly, fairly and courteously. Following the practices and procedures set out in this Manual will make
the Referee more proficient and consistent in the position. Work hard at it. Take officiating seriously and always exercise
good judgment when officiating. Always thank the other members of your officials "team" at the end of every meet.
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