Care has been taken to make our on-line officials certification clinics informative. Some terms used in the clinic materials may be confusing or unfamiliar. This glossary is intended to supplement the clinic materials.
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Assistant Chief Timer – Certified SAIL Official, usually from the Visiting Team. Works with the Chief Timer to ensure the timing process is functioning properly.
Assistant Referee – Certified SAIL Official responsible to assist the Referee. In dual or tri meets the Assistant Referee is typically from the “visiting” team.
Championship Swim Meet – Swim meet at the end of each season to celebrate the 17th through 40th fastest swimmers in the league in each individual event and the 9th through 16th fastest relays. This meet has typically been held on a Saturday.
Chief Timer – Certified SAIL Official, typically from the Home Team. Works with the Assistant Chief Timer and is responsible for ensuring the timing process is functioning properly.
Classics Swim Meet – Swim meet at the end of each season to celebrate the 1st through 16th fastest swimmers in the league in each individual event and the 1st through 8th fastest relays. This meet has typically been held on a Sunday.
Deck Referee – Certified SAIL Official that works with the Starter to ensure the swimmers start each race fairly. This position is usually filled by an Official from the Visiting Team.
Dive-Overs – Occur when the heat of swimmers that just finished a race stay in the water while the next heat of swimmers start and “dive-over” the swimmers in the water.
Divisional Swim Meet – Swim meet with all teams in a division represented. Typically five, six or seven teams in a division compete on a Saturday in July. In some of the larger divisions the meet is held on Friday and Saturday. The competition is for two awards; the Metcalf Cup (Total Points) and the Founders Cup (Total Quality Points).
DNF – Did Not Finish. An acronym used as shorthand for when a swimmer does not finish a race.
Dual Swim Meet – Swim meet between two teams. In SAIL, dual meets have traditionally been held on Thursday nights during the summer swim season (Late May, June & early July).
Electronic Timing – Computer assisted timing of the race. Typically at dual meets, handheld electronic watches are started and stopped by Timing Officials. In larger meets, the starting system is connected to a computer to start the timing of a race and each swimmer presses a touch pad (automatic) or Timing Officials press stop buttons (semi-automatic) to stop the timing system.
Entry Card – An event and heat specific, typically blue colored note card with the swimmer’s name, team and lane assignment. The entry card is used by Clerk Of Course and other officials to document and track the swimmer with regards to a specific race, throughout the swim meet.
Event – A specific swimming stroke, by a particular age group and gender over a defined distance. In SAIL, Event 11 is freestyle, performed by 8 & under girls for one length of the pool. This event is often referred to as “Short Free”. There can be many heats of one event.
Field – A reference to all of the swimmers in a specific race or heat.
Gun – A device used to start a race. The starting gun is loaded with blanks and does not shoot live amunition. It is typically not used anymore but may be available as back-up to the modern electronic starting systems used today.
Head Lane Timer – Certified SAIL Official that works with others to capture an accurate time for a specific swim by a swimmer. The Head Lane Timer works to ensure that all watches for a lane are consistently close. If a Recording Timer is not used the Head Lane Timer often is responsible for writing the individual watch times on the swimmers event card (blue card).
Heat – A group of swimmers that will swim at the same time and swim the same stroke(s) the same distance. There can be one or many heats of an event. Like Race.
Home Team - For a dual or tri swim meet, typically the swim team(s) that hosts the Visiting Team(s). At Divisional meets there is no Home Team.
Lane – Each swimming pool is partitioned lengthwise with floating markers. Most neighborhood pools are divided into either five, six or eight lanes.
Lane Timer - Certified SAIL Official that works with others to capture an accurate time for a specific swim by a swimmer. At dual and tri meets, there are typically three timers and possibly a recording timer for each lane.
Legal Touch - A reference to the proper method of finishing a race or turning at the wall during a race for a specific stroke. As an example, at the finish of the Breaststroke a legal touch is when the swimmer touches the wall simultaneously with two hands.
Official(s) – The trained folks that conduct the meet. In SAIL they are all volunteers, nobody is paid and it typically takes at least 40 people working simultaneously to conduct the meet. Most sincerely, thank you very much!
Race – A group of swimmers that will swim at the same time and swim the same stroke(s) the same distance. Like Heat.
Records - Certified SAIL Official and function at swim meets. Records Officials make sure the meet documentation, most importantly watch times are properly processed.
Referee – Certified SAIL Official responsible for the swim meet as it pertains to the officiating of the swim meet and conduct of the swimmers and coaches. The Referee is responsible for ensuring a safe and fair competition. In dual or tri meets the referee is typically from the “home” team.
Relay - Type of race at a swim meet where four swimmers swim a portion of the defined length. There are primarily two types of Relay in SAIL; the Medley Relay and the Free Relay.
Ribbons - Certified SAIL Official and an award given to swimmers. The Ribbons Officials make sure the proper information goes on the proper Ribbon.
Runner - Certified SAIL Official and function at swim meets. Runner Officials make sure documentation is moved efficiently between different functions at a swim meet.
Scratch – Term used when a swimmer entered to swim an event does not swim.
Split Time(s) – Refers to the amount of time a swimmer takes to cover a distance that is less than the total distance for the event. As an example, the amount of time taken by the 1st swimmer of a 200m relay event to swim the 1st 50m.
Starter – Certified SAIL Official responsible for ensuring the swimmers start each race fairly. This position is usually filled by an Official from the Home Team.
Strobe Light – A part of the starting system that creates a bright momentary flash. At the beginning of a race, both an audible noise and visible indication are used to signal the swimmers to start. Also, when manual timing is used, the timers start their stopwatches when they see the strobe light.
Swimmer – SAIL athlete, one of our childeren and the primary reason we all enjoy doing this.
Timer – Certified SAIL Official responsible for correctly controlling a stop watch at a swim meet. Timers are assigned to a lane and time each race that occurs in their lane.
Touch - A reference to the method of finishing a race or turning at the wall during a race.
Tri Swim Meet – Swim meet between three teams. In SAIL, tri-meets have traditionally been held on Thursday nights during the summer swim season and are more typical in Divisions with teams that have fewer numbers of swimmers. This helps the meet officials more easily staff the meet and provides more swimmers to fill the various heats.
Visiting Team - For a dual or tri swim meet, typically the swim team(s) that travel to be hosted by the Home Team. At Divisional meets there is no Home Team.
Whistle – Device used to signal various things to swimmers, officials and spectators. A long whistle is used to signal that a race is about to begin, the Officials should be prepared and the Spectators should be “quiet for the start.”