TURN JUDGE #2
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Page Topics

THE MECHANICS OF TURN JUDGING
    FREESTYLE
    BACKSTROKE
    BREASTSTROKE
    BUTTERFLY
    MEDLEY RACES
RELAY TAKEOFF JUDGING
CHIEF TURN JUDGE
DISQUALIFICATION PROCEDURES
AVOIDING POOR JUDGING PRACTICES
ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD OFFICIAL

THE MECHANICS OF TURN JUDGING

All Turn Judges should be seated before the start of each race. All Turn Judges must stand up on the Referee's long whistle, whether there is a swimmer in their lane or not. At the starting end, Turn Judges should move to the edge of the pool and remain standing after the starting signal to observe the first stroke and kick in the breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley events after the swimmer has left the starting platform. At the start, all Turn Judges at the starting end should remain standing until the last swimmer has passed under the backstroke flags, then return to their chairs. All Turn Judges should remain seated during the race. Each Turn Judge should stand up and move to the edge of the pool when the swimmer in his or her lane approaches the backstroke flags on each turn and at the finish. Each Turn Judge should be standing to observe the touch of the swimmer in his or her assigned lane, and should remain standing following the touch and the turn until the swimmer has passed under the backstroke flags. A Turn Judge need not stand for the turn or the finish if there is no swimmer in his or her assigned lane.

At the turning end, all Turn Judges should return to their chairs after the starting signal is given. Each Turn Judge at the turning end should stand up and move to the edge of the pool when the swimmer in his or her lane approaches the backstroke flags. Each Turn Judge should be standing to observe the touch of the swimmer in his or her assigned lane on each turn, and should remain standing following the touch and the turn until the swimmer has passed under the backstroke flags. A Turn Judge at the turning end need not stand for the turn if there is no swimmer in his or her assigned lane.

Stand over, or immediately to the side of, the lanes being judged. Get close enough that the blocks or the end walls do not obstruct your view.

Unless told otherwise by the Referee, judge from the beginning of the last arm stroke on the approach to the wall, the touch, and the push-off, through to the completion of the first arm stroke leaving the wall. (DO NOT judge the turn itself - from the touch to the push-off is a free zone.)

Meet Officials functioning as both Stroke and Turn Judges must walk the sides of the pool and position themselves over the ends of the pool before the first swimmer in their jurisdiction turns. This ensures they cover all aspects of the competition.

The Turn Judges' responsibilities begin after the start. Any action before the start is the Starter's responsibility, or, for relay takeoffs, it may be the Relay Takeoff Judge's responsibility. Each Turn Judge should be alert and observe the starting signal because his or her duties begin immediately after the start.

Swimmers are not permitted to wear or use any device or substance to help their speed or buoyancy during a race. Turn Judges should ensure that swimmers remove all wristwatches and the like, as FINA has deemed them pacing devices. The wearing of jewelry is permissible.

FREESTYLE: Turn Judging Mechanics

  • Watch that the swimmer touches the end wall with some part of the body during the turn.
  • Swimmers may remain underwater on the start and each turn up to the 15-metre mark, at which point, some part of the head must have surfaced.
  • Freestyle swimmers may stand on the bottom of the pool or rest on the lane ropes or sides of the pool without penalty but may not commit any infraction common to all strokes.

BACKSTROKE: Turn Judging Mechanics

  • During the turn, the swimmer may roll over into a freestyle-type turn using a single or double arm pull, if it is part of a CONTINUOUS turning action. Watch that there is no alternating arm pull, extended layout or gliding, or any kicking independent of the CONTINUOUS turning action, after the swimmer has rolled over for the freestyle-type turn.
  • When executing the turn, there must be a touch of the wall with some part of the body. During the push-off at the start and following each turn, watch that the swimmer is on the back upon leaving the wall.
  • Swimmers may remain underwater on the start and each turn up to the 15-metre mark, at which point, some part of the head must have surfaced.

BREASTSTROKE: Turn Judging Mechanics

  • During the touch:
    • Watch that both hands touch simultaneously, but not necessarily on the same plane, especially on the final touch, as dropping a shoulder on each touch is permissible.
  • During the push-off:
    • Watch that the swimmer takes no more than the one allowed arm pull back to the hips and one kick, in that order, while totally submerged, and that the head surfaces before the hands turn inward at the widest part of the second stroke.
    • Watch that the shoulders return to the horizontal plane before the start of the first arm pull after the swimmer has surfaced.
    • Watch that the swimmer does not make a "dolphin kick" or alternating kick while submerged at the start and each turn.

BUTTERFLY: Turn Judging Mechanics

  • On the touch:
    • Watch that the swimmer does not recover the arms underwater to touch.
    • Watch that the touch is made with both hands simultaneously, but not necessarily on the same plane, especially on the final touch, as dropping a shoulder on each touch is permissible.
  • During the push-off:
    • Watch that the shoulders return to the horizontal plane before the start of the first arm pull after the swimmer has surfaced.
    • Watch that the swimmer takes no more than one arm pull while totally submerged which must bring him or her to the water surface.
    • Swimmers may remain underwater on the start and each turn up to the 15-metre mark, at which point, some part of the head must have surfaced.
    • Watch that the legs do not alternate with each other ("flutter kick").

MEDLEY RACES: Turn Judging Mechanics

  • During the turn:
    • Watch that the swimmer makes the approach and touch according to the rules for the incoming stroke.
  • During the push-off:
    • Watch that the swimmer makes the push-off according to the rules for the outgoing stroke.

RELAY TAKEOFF JUDGING

Relay Take-Off Judges stand next to the starting platform so that they can clearly observe the touch of the incoming swimmer and the feet of the outgoing swimmer.

They should watch the feet of the outgoing swimmer until the feet lose contact with the starting platform. The swimmer's feet need not be at the front of the starting platform. A swimmer may be in motion before the incoming touch, if the feet do not leave the starting platform until the incoming swimmer makes the touch (see Technical Swimming Rule TSR9.3 and Competition Rule CR18.3.3).

Look first at the toes of the outgoing swimmer on the starting platform until the feet lose contact with it. Then, look down at the wall for the touch of the incoming swimmer. By then, the hand(s) of the incoming swimmer should still be on the wall or coming off it.

Watch all subsequent swimmer exchanges even if you call a disqualification on the first exchange.

An outgoing swimmer who leaves the starting platform before the incoming swimmer touches may avoid disqualification by returning to the wall and touching before completing the length of the course (see Technical Swimming Rule TSR9.3).

CHIEF TURN JUDGE

At National Championships and large invitational Meets in a 50-metre pool, the BSF recommends the appointment of two Chief Turn Judges, one at each end of the pool. The Chief Turn Judges are placed inconspicuously at the pool corners. The Chief Turn Judge's focus is on the Meet Officials in his or her area, not the swimmers.

When a Turn Judge raises a hand overhead signalling a disqualification, the Chief Turn Judge approaches that Official, asking: (1) What did you see? ; (2) Was it within your jurisdiction? ; (3) What Rule applies?

After the Chief Turn Judge hears the answers from the Turn Judge, he or she reports the infraction to the Referee, using the Turn Judge's terminology. The Chief Turn Judge may recommend acceptance of the disqualification, or ask the Referee for a conference with the Turn Judge if there is a problem concerning an answer received from the Turn Judge. The decision to accept or reject the disqualification is the sole responsibility of the Referee. The Chief Turn Judge simply reports the infraction to the Referee.

If the Referee decides to accept the disqualification, the Chief Turn Judge fills out the Disqualification Report, instructs the Turn Judge to verify all of the information (event, heat and lane numbers and the infraction), and has the Turn Judge sign the Disqualification Report. The Chief Turn Judge delivers the form to the Referee for the Referee's signature.

If the Referee does not accept the disqualification, the Chief Turn Judge tactfully explains the reason for non-acceptance to the Turn Judge who made the call. The Referee may also ask the Chief Turn Judge at the finish end to hold the swimmer until he or she make the decision and then have the Chief Turn Judge explain the disqualification to the swimmer or the coach.

If the Chief Turn Judge excuses a Turn Judge for any reason, the Chief Turn Judge has the responsibility to maintain equal coverage of all lanes at all times. The Chief Turn Judge may assign relief officials to the vacant position, or, assume the vacant position him or herself if necessary.

Chief Turn Judges should write down any problems they saw during the Meet, within their sphere of responsibility, and address them during the officials' debriefing session following the Meet. Referees often ask Chief Turn Judges to evaluate the performance of the Turn Judges. Their observations include the protocols established for the Meet, and the technical aspects of judging. This means educational comments. It means pointing out where improvement in certain areas will help the Turn Judge become more knowledgeable and continue to improve. Everyone on the officiating crew should always be trying to do their best for the swimmers.

DISQUALIFICATION PROCEDURES

The guiding principles for disqualification procedures by Turn Judges are the same as those for Stroke Judges. Click here to review these Disqualification Procedures.

AVOIDING POOR JUDGING PRACTICES

The guiding principles for Turn Judges avoiding poor judging practices are the same as those for Stroke Judges. Click here to review the discussion of Poor Judging Practices on the Stroke Judge's Page.

ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD OFFICIAL

The guiding principles for good officiating attributes by Turn Judges are the same as those for Stroke Judges. Click here to see the list of Attributes on the Stroke Judge's Page.



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