What’s involved in these roles?
At any swimming meet there are a range of different people involved in running the competition. A key distinction is between technical and non-technical officials. Technical official are the people in white who are responsible for ensuring that the rules of swimming are upheld and that all swimmers have the opportunity to compete fairly in whatever events they swim. At any meet there are a range of different officials including referee(s), starter, judges (stroke, finish and turns) and timekeepers. We need at least 20 officials across the different levels of qualification to run a meet!
Why should I become an Official?
As a ‘swimming parent’ you spend a lot of time attending swimming meets. Becoming an official gives you an insight into how swimming meets work, provides you with something to do when son/daughter isn’t swimming and is a great source of free sweeties. From the Club’s perspective, we need a pool of officials inside the club so that we can run our own meets. You do not have to officiate at other club’s meets if you don’t want to. But to become a fully qualified official you will need to have attended at least a couple of other meets (that can be when your child is swimming) to gain a full range of experience.
How do I become an Official?
In order to become an official, you need to attend an induction session and then complete a series of practical sessions (at meets /galas when your child is competing), record experience in a workbook – focusing upon the duties associated with the qualification being worked towards. Apart from the Referee course there are no written exams. There are 4 grades of officials as follows: – (a) Judge level 1; Judge level 2; Judge level 2 & starter and (d) referee. No prior knowledge of swimming rules is assumed at the start of training to become an official. All you need is a clipboard, a stopwatch, a pen and an enthusiasm for swimming. You will be mentored during you first few times as an official so you will fully be supported until you are confident in the role. If you are interested we can arrange for you to work shadow an official at an event to see if you would like to volunteer as an official.