Becoming an Official
As a parent of a swimmer you have the opportunity to be involved with your child and their sport in various ways. One very instrumental way is by being trained, certified and working as an Official at meets your swimmer participates in. Officials are present at all competitions to implement the technical rules of swimming and to ensure that the competition is fair and equitable to everyone. Click below to read more about:
- How to Become an Official
- Minimum Standards for Becoming an Official
- Background Check Requirement
- Athlete Protection Training
Officials attend clinics, receive training and are certified by USA Swimming. Novice officials generally start as Stroke and Turn Official whose job it is to observe the swimmers in their assigned lanes from the time they take their first arm pull after entering the water or beginning a race through the completion of their race. Stroke and Turn Officials ensure that the strokes, turns and finishes comply with the rules applicable to each stroke. If stroke or finishes are executed in a manner which is out of compliance with the rules, in the spirit of fairness they document information to disqualify a swimmer from a race.
There are many levels of officiating that require different degrees of involvement and time. Stroke and Turn Officials learn the ropes by attending clinics, using self-study materials, and working on deck under the supervision of an experienced official. Those who are interested move up the ladder to serving as a chief judge, then to refereeing and starting -- again, learning through a combination of clinics, self-study materials, and on-the-job training.