How to Become an Official


So You Are Interested in Officiating


Officiating is part of the learning process for our athletes.  Officials are volunteers that help run swim meets and maintain the rules and regulations set forth by USA Swimming.  They are a crucial part of the process for athlete development.  This is only to give a brief introduction on how to become a USAS Official.    


First thing you will want to do is become familiar with these two web sites:



Both web sites have information about officiating and the process.   The first, Allegheny Mountain Swimming page there is a tab that is labeled Officials.  It takes you to the officials wed page.  On that page there is a tab there labeled FAQ’s.  It covers the process to begin the steps to officiating. 


After reading the section on how to become an AMS/USA Official, then you will want to go back to the main page for AMS Officials and on the left side click on the area for Officials Forms.  Scroll down to the area labeled APPRENTICE OFFICIALS and print out both the Training Card and Application Form.  Fill out the Application and mail that into the address located at the bottom of the form.  The training card is to be kept with you and carried to your shadowing sessions as you are training.


Remember your application is good for 60 days.  To complete training or shadowing it takes 6 sessions.  The next question is what will I be doing?  Shadowing is learning the protocols and procedures for officiating.  You will be using the rules and regulations to observe swimming competitions and its competitors.  You will want to go to the USA Swimming web site.  From the home page, click on the area in the main bar labeled member resources.  You will see a bunch of stuff in the drop down box. Click on the area listed officials.  You will need a copy of the swimming rule book for the current year.  Scroll down to about mid page and download it.  You can print it out too.  You will  need a copy of this later for the online test.  You will want to familiarize yourself with all the area in blue before your first session.  This will give you an idea on what you are to be looking for while shadowing.  Now you can begin your training for officiating.


What do I do next?  Pick a meet that your child is attending.  Meet Announcements in Allegheny Mountain contains contact information for officials.  They can be found on the AMS web site and the PRA web site.  Contact the officials contact from the announcement and let them you would like to shadow.  This is not mandatory, you can show up and ask the meet referee to shadow.  You will want to be at the location an hour before the session starts.  There is a briefing meeting that officials attend with the meet referee prior to the start of the competition.  Remember to have your training card with you.  You will also need to be dressed in blue pants, shorts, or skirt, a white polo shirt, and white tennis shoes.  Typically you will be there for the entire session, which is around 4 hours of competition, plus the hour early for the meeting.  



Your apprentice training registration is good for 60 days.  When it nears expiration, you will need to get a hold of our team’s registration person to sign you up and a non-athlete member with USA Swimming.  At this time you will need to also do the following.  Go back to the USA Swimming page and click on Member Resources, Officials.  Scroll down to the bottom.  You will need to complete the Athlete Protection certification.  You will also need to complete the Background check for officials.  You may do the member certification at any time.  Once your membership is turned in you can go back to the USA Swimming web site and create a USA Swimming account.  You will need to have this account so that you may proceed with the online testing.  Once you have that membership you may begin your online test for officiating.  After you have completed your shadowing and online test you are a certified official.


If you have any questions please feel free to contact the officials chair that information can be found on the Allegheny Mountain web page.


PRA, does offer a discount for family dues and does cover your USA Membership.  If you require more information please feel free to contact Coach Pete.