Inspector of Turns (IOT)

The IOT should read, know and understand the swim rules that govern swimming in New Zealand.  You must be fair and make sure that the rules are complied with when making a decision.  If a stroke rule for turning or finishing is broken you must be sure of what you saw.  There is no middle ground, if there is doubt the decision must be in favour of the swimmer at all times.  If you observe an infraction, go straight to the Referee, and advise them of the observed infraction. The Referee will then ask you to write out a DQ.  

There is likely to be an Officials meeting prior to the start of the first session. You are required to attend themeeting.  Position yourself well so you can observe the swimmer, commencing with the beginning of their last stroke into the wall, touching, and to the finish of the first stroke away from the wall except in breaststroke when it shall be the second armstroke. You may be assigned more than one lane to observe if there is a shortage of IOTs.  If this happens and you have the swimmers in your lanes coming into the turn at the same time, concentrate on one swimmer coming into and leaving the wall.  If the event allows, observe the other swimmer on the next turn.  DO NOT try to observe two or more swimmers coming into the turn at the same time.  If you do you may make the wrong call. 

Start End Inspector of Turns

The IOTs, assigned to the start end ofthe pool, begins his/her functions with the Referee’s whistle in butterfly, breaststroke and in the individual medley.  At this stage you should move up to the side of the starting block but approx. 1 to 1.5m behind the swimmer and remain still.  You are now in the correct position to step up to the side of the starting block to inspect the start as soon as the start signal is given.

At the start signal, the IOTs should move up to the end of the pool and observe the start to ensure the swimmer complies with the stroke rules. Your jurisdiction at the start commences at the start and ends with the completion of the first arm stroke except in breaststroke when it shall be the second armstroke. At that stage the Referee and JOS takes over. In backstroke and freestyle there is no need to watch the start. Exception to this is with Back Stroke Starting Ledges. Refer below. TheIOTs at the start end shall also ensure that the swimmers finish their race according to the current rules.  Once standing the IOTs are to remain in position until the conclusion of the race.  If the inspector of turns does not have a swimmer they are to remain seated.  Remain standing until all the swimmers complete the race.  During 800 and 1500m events the IOTs at the start end must count the laps for the swimmer in their lane and they must signal to the swimmer they have two lengths plus 5m to swim. This signal can be either by whistle or bell. Lap counting forms are available from the Control Room Supervisor.  The IOTs may be required to operate a backup button for the swimmer in their lane.

Back Stroke Ledges

These devices can be used for the Back Stroke starts. They are only available at some meets and are the responsibility of the Start End IOTs. Prior to each race,the IOT should place the Ledge into the correct position ensuring the straps are not twisted, are around the roller correctly locked into the pad, and then set the ledge to Zero. If the swimmer does not want the device, the IOT lifts the ledge out of the water and places it on top of the Starting Block. You also do this after the start of each race. At the start of the race, the IOT should stand at the referee’s whistle and move to a position 1-1.5 metres behind the starting block. At the second referee’s whistle, you should move up to beside the starting block to observe that the swimmer has at least one toe of each foot in contact with the wall or the touchpad. When the swimmer has done this, the IOT should lift their head and face the turn end of the pool to indicate to the referee that the swimmer is ready to start.

Turn End Inspector of Turns

All IOTs should stand up at the end of their assigned lane, which will be when the first swimmer passes the 15m mark and remain there until the final swimmer passes the 15m mark after they complete their last turn.  The jurisdiction at the turn end commences at the beginning of the last arm stroke before touching and ending with the completion of the first arm stroke after the turn except in breaststroke when it shall be the second armstroke.  Your role is to ensure the rules of the stroke are complied with.  For 800 and 1500m events the IOTs at the turn end of the pool are responsible for turning the lap counters.  Once the swimmer has turned and is passing the 5 metre flags, commence turning the lap counters to the next number. This allows the swimmers who wish to observe on their way out from the wall to see the number of laps to go. The lap counter should be positioned on the side of the starting block.  The lap counters are not to be held at the water’s edge.  Once the swimmer has completed his last turn the lap counters are to be laid flat or removed from the pool deck.  Lap counters for the next heat should not be put in place until the Referee’s whistle to clear the pool is sounded.