USA Swimming officiating is all volunteer, all the way through the ranks. The USA-S officials who work the Olympic deck are swim parents who once-upon-a-time picked a volunteer job to help their local club. If you like being right on the deck, watching races, can commit to the idea of neutrality and fairness, are willing to learn from mistakes and like to work with people, you will probably find officiating fun.
Officiating is one of the few volunteer jobs that requires ongoing training as well as a formal commitment to a code of ethics. The first step is attending a 4 hour training clinic. After the clinic, visit the USA-Swimming site to take the open book online test. Finally, apprentice 4 sessions within one year of the clinic where you will shadow stroke & turn judges, ask questions about the rules and get comfortable on deck. Even halfway through the training, the intimidation factor goes way, way down.
ICE has a long tradition of hosting high-quality meets, and we are committed to maintaining a competent and well-trained officials' group. If you choose to pursue training, you are helping ICE maintain that officials' pool, and you increase the ease of our meet hosting. You'll put in training time, and it will be appreciated by every single member of the club.
You'll gain a new perspective and respect for the art and profession of swim coaching. It is a joy and an honor to watch the athletes mature as competitors year after year - we literally stand and watch over swimmers who are our sole responsibility.
If you are interested but not absolutely sure about officiating, try the clinic. It costs $5 (goes to ISI). Post-clinic, if you choose not to continue, you will only have lost 4 hours and $5 – but you’ll walk away with some new knowledge and new things to talk about with your child.