Officials are present at all competitions to implement the technical rules of swimming and to ensure that the competition is fair and equitable. Officials attend clinics, pass written tests, and work meets before being certified. All parents are encouraged to get involved with some form of officiating. If you are interested, contact your club’s officials’ chairperson.
Timekeepers operate timing devices (stopwatches or automatic timing equipment) and record the official time for each swimmer in their lane. Turn judges observe from each end of the pool and ensure that the turns and finishes comply with the rules applicable to each stroke.
Stroke Judges observe from both sides of the pool, walking abreast of the swimmers, to ensure that the rules relating to each stroke are being followed.
Relay Take-off Judges stand beside the starting blocks to observe the relay exchanges, ensuring that the feet of the departing swimmer have not lost contact with the block before the incoming swimmer touches the end of the pool.
The Clerk of Course arranges the swimmers into their proper heats and lanes.
The Starter assumes control of the swimmers from the Referee, directs them to take their mark, and sees that no swimmer is in motion prior to giving the start signal.
The Referee has overall authority and control of the competition, ensuring that all the rules are followed; assigns and instructs all officials and decides all questions relating to the conduct of the meet. Violations of the rules are reported to the Referee, and the rules require that every reasonable effort be made to notify the swimmers or their coaches of the reasons for any dissatisfactions.