Swimming NSW's quarterly e-newsletter for technical officials
May 2020 edition
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Welcome to the May edition of the
Technical Officials e-newsletter


The annual Technical Official Forum was held on Saturday 23rd May, via online video platform Zoom. This webinar was a great success, with upwards of 90 attendees and plenty of great discussions.
Thank you to our special guest presenters Sarah Connor (Black Dog Institute) and Lydia Dowse (Swimming Australia). Thank you also for the TSC’s attendance, particularly the presentations from Cherry Smith and Graeme Field.
A recording of the entire Forum and further notes are available HERE.
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and many requested more of the same moving forward, even in a non-COVID situation. The format seemed to allow those who wouldn’t normally attend the face-to-face forum meetings, to stay involved, and this was evident in some comments.
Thank you to all of those who provided feedback. All of it will be assessed in depth by the TSC over the coming months. Any further feedback is always welcome – just email Josh Karp.
Click here to watch the full replay of the SNSW 2020 Technical Official Forum.
It was with sadness that the TSC noted the passing of Brian Franklin. Brian was a Life Member of Cronulla and St George, and the TSC would like to extend its sincere condolences to Brian’s family and friends.


Thank you to all Officials who completed EOI for the 2020 TO Development Program.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Development Program cannot continue as planned. The lack of meets in order to gain practical experience and the difficulties with providing face-to-face presentations and mentoring, along with the uncertainly around when “life will return to normal”, has meant the Program will not be held this year.
If you have any questions, or if you are interested in having a one-on-one chat with a mentor or high-level official, please contact Josh Karp


Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the Referee Course is continuing, with the latest webinar lecture held on 13 May. The presentation covered topics such as Positioning, Managing Conflict and Swimwear
Thank you to all those participating in the course and to Cherry Smith for leading the 13 May lecture. The next lecture, also to be held online, will take place on Friday 3 July. The topics that will be covered include Refereeing Form Strokes, Refereeing Relay Events and Mentoring.


From 1 March 2020, in order to improve the standards of officiating at a national level, it has been decided that all Swimming Australia appointed officials are required to complete the following online integrity education courses:

On completion of each course, a digital certificate will be available, which must be uploaded to Swim Central for record-keeping. 

More information


SNSW recently issued guidelines for clubs to restart swimming activity following the release of the Federal Government’s three-step plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions. You can find out all the latest information about the COVID-19 situation, as relevant to swimming, at our dedicated COVID-19: SNSW advice page.

More information about the guidelines


The Swimming NSW Social Media Policy is available within the Safe Sport Framework, found on the Swimming Australia website.
Some excerpts from the policy:
3.5A Social Networking
Swimming Australia acknowledges the enormous value of social networking to promote our Sport and celebrate the achievements and success of the people involved in our Sport. All Participants must conduct themselves appropriately when using social networking. This includes using social networking as an electronic means of engaging with others through private messaging (i.e. WhatsApp and other electronic messaging forums).

When using sites to share information related to our Sport, social media activity including, but not limited to, postings, blogs, status updates and tweets must not contain material which:

  • Has the potential to be offensive, aggressive, defamatory, threatening, discriminatory, obscene, profane, harassing, embarrassing, intimidating, sexually explicit, bullying, hateful, racist, sexist or otherwise inappropriate;
  • Is inaccurate, misleading or fraudulent;
  • Is in breach of the General Code of Conduct or Code of Conduct for dealing with Children and Young People;
  • Is in breach of laws, court orders, undertakings or contracts;
  • Breaches the privacy or confidentiality of others; or
  • Has the potential to derogate from or negatively affect the image, goodwill, name or reputation of Swimming Australia Limited, its Member Associations, our Members or our Sport.

Use of social networking by adults must be in accordance with section 3.6(b) of the Code of Conduct for dealing with Children and Young People (i.e. refraining from private messaging, copying in a parent/guardian and limiting communication to required swimming activity messages, amongst others).

Go to the Safe Sport Framework


SNSW continues to monitor COVID-19 restrictions, particularly in light of recent Federal and State Government announcements regarding the 3-step approach for easing restrictions. Further information will be disseminated as soon as possible, particularly in relation to the 2020 Winter Championship events.


While a few years old, a Sydney Morning Herald interview of John Keppie, the Referee who disqualified Ian Thorpe during the heats of the 400M Freestyle at the 2004 Australian Championships in Sydney, still makes an interesting read. 
Read article
February quiz answer
February question: What do Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly finishes have in common, other than to touch the wall?
Answer: The swimmer is not allowed to be completely submerged (at the finish).
Freestyle – “SW5.3 Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it shall be permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface.”
Backstroke –“SW6.3 Some part of the swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race. It is permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the turn and for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and each turn.”
Butterfly – “SW8.5 …..It shall be permissible for a swimmer to be completely submerged for a distance of not more than 15 metres after the start and each turn. By that point, the head must have broken the surface. The swimmer must remain on the surface until the next turn or finish.”
May question
In a number of close races, as Referee, you place lane 5 as the winner, but the pad times in lane 4 were faster. What can you do to ensure the validity of the results?
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, email Josh Karp
Missed any of our bi-monthly newsletters, or want to revisit something you've seen before? View our past editions.
Don’t forget the SNSW Online “Question and Answer” forum to help you if you have questions about Technical Officiating and training course content. 
"Ask Sam"
And, if you haven't already, remember to join the
Swimming NSW Technical Officials Facebook Group 
to stay up to date with all the latest information.
Important dates
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If you have suggestions about content you'd like to see included in this newsletter email Josh Karp.

Swimming NSW |PO Box 571, Sydney Markets NSW 2129 | T: +61 2 9763 5833 | F: +61 2 9763 5699

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