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Training to be an official

Officials: YMCA and USA

There is no question that your experience and that of your swimmer(s) will be better if you are on deck and aware of the hard work each child puts in to swimming. Waukee Rays Swim Team needs you, and if your 10 and under child enjoys swimming, you should seriously consider becoming an official.

Who is a Waukee Rays Official?

All officials are volunteers. Traditionally, they are parents of present swimmers who work on deck at swim meets to provide fairness to all in swimming competitions. Officials must attend a training clinic, take and pass a certification test and participate in on-the-job mentoring and work experience. Officials function on deck in the roles of referees, starters, stroke and turn judges and relay takeoff judges.  An official’s certification is good for three years.

Who Should Volunteer?

A swimming official can be anyone over 18 years of age.   Some have been, or are, swimmers themselves.  Many have never been swimmers.  What they have in common is a desire to be involved in working as a team for the betterment of the sport of swimming and a strong sense of fair play. Officials should be on deck for the swimmers; not for themselves.

Recruitment

The team is always looking to recruit new officials. Your participation is valued and needed by swimmers and coaches alike. To learn more about officiating, please contact Art Dinkin at adinkin@dvfin.com.

Why Certify as an Official?

  1. Officials are not only needed, but required, in order to conduct swim meets.
  2. Officials have the “best seat in the house” and the COOLEST!
  3. You will be working with a great group of people.
  4. You get to know parents on other teams.
  5.  High satisfaction, no pay.
  6.  A great way to keep in touch with your child; and share their swim experience.
  7. Best of all, you get to wear white after Labor Day.

Certification

Waukee Rays swimmers attend both YMCA meets and USA Swimming meets during the course of the season (both short and long course seasons). As a dual YMCA/USA team we strive to enthusiastically participate in both cultures. Integration of YMCA officiating with USA requirements has been a progessive learning situation for our team, but an important one. However, first and foremost, we are a YMCA swim team.  It is recommended that all Waukee rays officials be YMCA certified.  In order to conduct our dual meet season, many officials are needed during the season. 

After gaining experience at YMCA dual and invitational meets, it is hoped that YMCA certified officials will consider also training and certifying as USA swimming officials to work at locally run swimming meets.

Certification Requirements

YMCA Official

To become a YMCA official, you must attend a YMCA officials’ certification clinic, take the open book test online, and gain on-deck experience. Recertification is every three years. Waukee Rays officials will mentor all YMCA officials for as long as the new official feels it is necessary. YMCA officials are expected to work a minimum of three meets per season (more if needed) and be available to work championship meets.

USA Swimming Official

To become a USA certified level 1 official, you must complete these five easy steps:

  1. Join USA Swimming as a non-athlete member FORM or online.
  2. Complete the Athlete Protection Training program online
  3. Successfully pass a background check online*
  4. Attend a stroke and turn officials training class and pass online test**
  5. Complete an on-deck apprenticeship program FORM. After final Apprentice session, mail or email completed form to ISI Officials Chair for certification

Already a certified Level 1 YMCA official?  You must complete these four easy steps:

  1. Join USA Swimming as a non-athlete member FORM or online.
  2. Complete the Athlete Protection Training program online
  3. Successfully pass a background check online*
  4. Complete an on-deck apprenticeship program FORM. After session, mail or email completed form to ISI Officials Chair for certification

* New members select Option 1 for $38 and Renewing members select Option 2 for $18. Waukee YMCA will reimburse if you submit a receipt to Shelley Twigg within 30 days.

** Clinics are scheduled throughout the season. Monitor the Waukee Rays TeamUnify site under Meets/Events tab and/or the Iowa USA Swimming site under Events tab. $5 fee to register will be reimbursed by Waukee YMCA if you turn in your receipt to Shelley Twigg within 30 days.

Certification Courses

Whenever the team is notified of YMCA swimming and/or USA Swimming certification clinics, that information is posted on the team website within the News.  Certification clinics are usually held during the fall and again before championship season starting in February. 

Questions? Contact the Program Director 515.987.9996.