Swim Meet Officials
How is a meet officiated and who are the officials?
A swim meet will have a referee who runs the meet, a starter who announces the event and starts the swimmers, multiple stroke and turn judges, a head timer and multiple timers for each lane and computer operators. Officials all wear white shirts with a label “USA Swimming” and their own name tag, and thus, can be differentiated from the volunteer parents on deck. Each official is trained and certified to ensure that USA Swimming recognizes all the meet times.
I see some parents timing the events. Can I do that too?
Sure. Many parents enjoy timing more than sitting in the bleachers. It makes the time go faster, you learn “the ropes” much more rapidly, it allows you to talk with your swimmer, and lets you get to know the other swimmers as well. It is really quite fun and enjoyable!
Being an official looks like fun and I want to help the team by being an official. How do I find out more?
Please communicate your interest to the Head Coach and they will put you in touch with the head referee for the area. In order to become an official you need to (1) register as a non-athlete member of USA Swimming; (2) submit to a background check and complete the Athlete Protection Training Course; (3) take the official stroke-and-turn test; (4) shadow a registered official at a meet for three sessions. Details on each of these steps may be discussed with the head referee or any current official on your team. It is not hard to become an official and a lot of fun to be on deck helping swimmers do their best. Talk to a board member or our president to connect you with an official who is also a parent on our team.
It looks like there is a lot to do to run a swim meet. Can I help?
Yes! Contact the swim team volunteer coordinator for ideas. Additionally, for swim meets that are hosted by MSST, the volunteer coordinator will contact all parents via computer to ask how they wish to volunteer. A second sign up sheet will be provided on MSST's bulletin board at Hamme Pool.