Older Plans: Some things don’t take off. Past proposals: Tech Captains, AlphLabs, N@.

In June and July of 2008, Olympicpedia was held at a Sq. Hill cyber cafe and gaming studio. That business has since closed. We gathered there for a couple of hours in mid-day to pound on Wikipedia and got some computer enrichment. Perhaps the best of times was with the sessions that could be summed up as “supervised Battlefont.”

Other blasts from the past that provide digital dust in a trip down memory lane include a proposal for afterschool activities in 2013. It called for a computer club called Tech Captains. None of the proposals were acted upon at that time and the realm of after-school activities for high school students is still unsettled. The right combination of supervision, challenges, interest and leadership for a successful and thriving program is still a work in progress. Reading Warriors and Robotics work. The hope of grabbing technology, coding, LiveCode, Raspberry Pi and lifeguard / health education is still untested.

A departed friend and giant in the Pittsburgh high-tech community, Ron Morris, was fond of asking the hard questions of entrepreneurs about their past failures. He would say, “Show me your failures.” Without some stumbles, twists and turns along the way, and without the lessons from the School of Hard Knocks, he’d worry greatly.

It is fair to say, the sandbox of failed proposals and ventures within this quest of merging youth and technology in original ways is far from empty. Retooling is part of the process.



The third PDF is a proposal from 2013 that went to AlphaLabs, a state-supported incubator. It did not get funded.


Planning a fun swim and SKWIM meet for Saturday

First City Confab Swim & SKWIM Meet
Saturday, Feb 6, 2016

Hosted at Pittsburgh Obama Academy, corner of East Liberty Blvd and Highland Ave, Pittsburgh, PA.

Invited teams:
Obama Academy, confirmed
Oakland Catholic, confirmed
Central Catholic, confirmed
Pittsburgh Brashear, invited
Pittsburgh Carrick, invited
Pittsburgh Allderdice, invited
Seaton LaSalle, invited
Winchester Thurston, invited
Ellis, invited

Proposed time-line:
8:30 am, Set-up and event sign-in to begin
9:00 am, Warmup for Obama Academy and all other PPS Teams
9:30 am, Warmup for for Oakland/Central and all Catholic schools
9:45 am, Coaches Meeting on Deck, Medley Relay Entries Closed
10:00, Captains and Coaches Meeting on Sportsmanship
10:05, Meet Begins, Event #1.
Break, meeting, estimated at 10:45.
Break, photo, estimated at 11:15.
Pool play for SKWIM, 11:30 to 1:30.
Championship play for SKWIM, 1:30 to 2 pm.
Everyone out of building by 2:30 pm.

Event #1: Mixed Gender 200-yard Medley Relay
Event #2: Girls 100-yard I.M. (fly, back, breast, free)
Event #3: Boys 100-yard I.M. (fly, back, breast, free)
Event #4: Girls 50 free
Event #5: Boys 50 free
Event #6: Girls 50 fly
Event #7: Boys 50 fly
– Relay entries due.
– Break: Participants’ meeting covering SKWIM rules.
Event #8: Mixed Gender 200-yard Free Relay
Event #9: Girls 50 back
Event #10: Boys 50 back
Event #11: Girls 50 breast
Event #12: Boys 50 breast
Event #13: Mixed Gender 100-yard Free Relay
– Break: Remove lane lines and touch pads from pool.
– Huddle: Squads and tournament pool play described.
– Photo: Group photos taken.
– SKWIM Tournament (Counts as a swim down, not an event in the meet.)

Notes for Swim Meet and SKWIM Play:
All swim events are time finals, deck seeded, electronic timed with scoreboard results transcribed to event cards by volunteer timers.
Relays are mixed gender and include four swimmers of any gender. Relay squads can include 1, 2, 3 or 4 swimmers of the same gender. Any combination is okay. Mixed gender relays include participants from the same school team.
Each school team designates relays as A, B, C, D, E, etc. First heat of the event includes “A” relays from each school.
Decisions of seeding of relays and individual events is a determined at the meet.
Only events #4 and #5, 50-free, are eligible for WPIAL qualification times.

Meet scoring:
First place gets as many points as competitors in that event. If 10 people are in the 50 free, first place gets 10 points and last place gets 1 point. Relays are three times the value. If five relays are in an event, first place gets 3 x 5 = 15 points. Second gets 3 x 4 = 12 points, etc.
Each swimmer can enter a maximum of 4 events, no more than 2 individual events. No entries on the number of swimmers per team per event. The SKWIM Tournament is for all swimmers and does not count as as an individual event.
Swimmers fill out individual event cards for each individual swim event. Swimmers also fill out a SKWIM draft card to assist with the post meet tournament team play. Papers will be located at the school in the morning and should be completed before warm-ups and turn into the box at the starters / scoreboard table.
Coaches fill out relay cards.
Events will be seeded on deck. Event cards get a HEAT and LANE assignment. Swimmers pick up their event cards and report to the heat and lane. Listen to the announcer as to when the cards are ready for pickup for each event. After all the races, the swimmer’s time (or relay time if a relay) must be written onto the event card. Read the official time off of the scoreboard. As events are concluded, all cards are submitted to the scorer’s table for tabulation of the results.
Clipboards will be provided for every lane and timers will be needed to assist with the recording of times.
Results will be published the following day. Team results will be reported to the newspapers.

Insights on SKWIM rules:
All squad members wear the same cap. Water polo caps will be provided. Swim caps are okay too, as long as all are in the same color and different from the opponents. Water polo caps can be tied around the neck like a scarf if not worn on the head.
The number of players put into the game at any one time is expected to be 7 per side if playing in all the tank. The number of players per side can be adjusted by tournament director depending upon attendance. For example, in pool play with only a 3-lane pitch, games might be 5-on-5. But in the championships with 6 lanes, games could be announced to be 7-on-7.
Players in the game begin in the water on the wall by the goal/gutter they are defending. Those on the bench sit on a bench ready to substitute at the corner of the pool. Squad sizes should allow for a couple of substitutes. Substitutes okay, especially after a goal. Substitutes can be made on the fly in the corner of the pool when both players are present.
Running clock. Length of periods determined by number of teams in the tournament. Expect to play TWO 5-to-7 minute periods. At half time, teams switch ends. One minute at half-time.
A player can hold the disk for only 3-seconds then a pass or shot must occur. If the player holds the disk longer than allowed, the other team gets the disk. If a tardy shot or pass was made, the goal does not count. The other team gets the disk.
Players can NOT sink the disk. Grab it and lift it. Once a player has the disk, another can not take it. No physical contact with a player.
Contact gets the offender ejected for :30-seconds. Ejection time begins once the player who is ejected gets to the corner of the pool / penalty box. Any excessive contact or flagrant penalty, including trash talking to the official or opponent gets the player a yellow card, game ejection, or red card, a 2-game ejection.
All passes and shots must touch the water before a teammate can touch the disk or the disk can hit the goal gutter. Air-to-air passes and air-to-air shots are illegal and result in a turn-over to the other team.
After a goal, the game continues, much like basketball.
Games will not end in a tie. Sudden death play continues after time expires.
Tournament should include pool play among teams in various pools.
Squads must exit the pool after periods and games quickly. Next game begins 1-minute after the conclusion of the prior game. Teams that are late to the pool and teams that are not wearing caps are penalized.
A player may join another squad after that player’s team is finished with all of the games that day. So, a player who is on the team that gets eliminated from the 7th and 8th place game could join with school mates and play on another team for the championship game, if they welcome that player.


Team 1: Obama A
Team 2: Oakland B
Team 3: Brashear Mixed
Team 4: Pittsburgh Combined

Team 5: Central A
Team 6: Sci-Tech
Team 7: Carrick
Team 8: Allderdice A

Game 1: T1 vs. T2
Game 2: T5 vs T6
Game 3: T3 vs T4
Game 4: T7 vs T8
Game 5: T1 vs T3
Game 6: T5 vs T7
Game 7: T2 vs T4
Game 8: T6 vs T8
Game 9: T1 vs T4
Game 10: T5 vs T8
Game 11: T2 vs T3
Game 12: T6 vs T7

7th place game: 4th in Pool A vs. 4th in Pool B
5th place game: 3rd in Pool A vs. 3rd in Pool B
3rd place game: 2nd in Pool A vs. 2nd in Pool B
1st place game: 1st in Pool A vs. 1st in Pool B

In the example above, given each game has two 5-minute periods, with 1 minute between periods and 1 minute between games, the pool play of 12 games (12 minutes each) is 144 minutes, 2 hours and 24 minutes.
A short break will happen before the finals. Perhaps 5 minutes.
Final games could be longer or shorter in time.
To save time, we could split the pool and play games in only 3 lanes with a lane line divider. Then two games can happen at the same time. One pool could be in lanes 1, 2 and 3 and the other pool in lanes 4, 5 and 6. Then the championship games could be played in the entire 6-lane pool. Of course, double officials would be needed.

Individual Event Card:

Swimmer’s Full Name: ____________________________
Swimmer’s School: _______________________
Swimmer’s Gender: (circle one) girl – or – boy

Individual Event #: ______________
Individual Event Name: ______________

Estimated seed time: ______________

Meet clerk assigns heat and lane for deck seeding:

HEAT #: ________________ LANE #: ___________

FINAL TIME (put in from scoreboard after the race): ______________________
FINAL Place (put in by results coordinator): ________
FINAL Points: (put in by results coordinator): ______

Event #2: Girls 100-yard I.M. (fly, back, breast, free)
Event #3: Boys 100-yard I.M. (fly, back, breast, free)

Event #4: Girls 50 free
Event #5: Boys 50 free

Event #6: Girls 50 fly
Event #7: Boys 50 fly

Event #9: Girls 50 back
Event #10: Boys 50 back

Event #11: Girls 50 breast
Event #12: Boys 50 breast

Mixed Gender Relay Event Card:

Relay School: _______________________ Circle one: TEAM: A, B, C, D, E, F, ____

Event #1 = 200 yard medley relay, any gender – or –
Event #8 = 200 yard free relay, any gender – or –
Event #13 = 100 yard free relay, any gender.

Swimmer’s names:
First: _______________
Second: _______________
Third: _______________
Fourth: _______________

FINAL TIME (put in from scoreboard after the race): ______________________
FINAL Place (put in by results coordinator): ________
FINAL Points: (put in by results coordinator): ______

Looking for kids to come out for some Swim & Water Polo fun on Tuesdays and Fridays

Pittsburgh Invite!

Join new Swim & Water Polo practices.

From: Mark Rauterkus, Swim & Water Polo Coach
Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation & Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Summer Dreamers Academy
Obama Academy, Sci-Tech and U-Prep Varsity Swim Team

To: Students at PPS, Teachers, Parents, Guardians and any possible summer-time employees wishing for jobs as a lifeguard and/or swim instructor

Let’s go to the swim pool for a new, city-wide water polo program.

Learning to swim and then getting a job in the summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor is a big deal and something to celebrate! We are calling for all swimmers and non-swimmers to consider joining us for practices for a new activity. Learn to swim or swim better, stay in shape, grow stronger. You’re encourage to consider these opportunities to make continued progress, new friends and learn new skills in the weeks and months to come with me in some BRAND NEW AQUATIC PROGRAMS just being announced.

All the city’s middle school and high-school students, boys and girls, are invited to Swim & Water Polo practices. We will swim, work a bit on fitness, strokes, and then play and introduce everyone to water games such as water polo and SKWIM. Rookies are welcome. Bring your friends.

Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 pm at PPS Obama Academy.

Corner of East Liberty Blvd and Highland Ave, in East Liberty / Highland Park

Fridays from 5:30 to 7:00 pm – Thelma Lovette YMCA.

2114 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 – YMCA phone = 412-315-0990

First practices on February 2, 2016. An adult needs to sign in the student on the first first practice with the coach and with the YMCA on your first visit there. No charge to join. Bring your suit, goggles if you have them, towel and enthusiasm.

We are also looking for students to sign up for Summer Dreamers in Swim & Water Polo for 2016. Plus, we like to engage junior captains and junior lifeguards for service jobs in the summer with these activities with the BGC.

Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432 = cell

Mark@Bloomfield-Garfield.org Mrauterkus@PghBoe.Net Mark@Rauterkus.com

Feel free to forward elsewhere.

Labor’s Fruits: CLOH.org water polo mural from Conor and Camp Faison

Banner, fit for a parade, a Labor Day Parade, with the PPS Teachers, Learn & Earn Staff, BGC and the ENEC.

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