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Become an Official!

Hosting our own meets requires the time and talents of many volunteers... some of the most important being the officials.  We need at least 6 certified officials per meet.

Why be an official?  The rewards are many -- admiration and respect, great vantage point on the deck, delish food and generous appreciation gifts... and 10 BAAC Team Support Points per year PLUS 2 points/hour of officiating at BAAC-hosted meets!!!

Not a swim expert?... no problem!  The training is thorough, and the officials are a very supportive team.

You choose when you want to volunteer.  Officiate "just" at BAAC meets, or only sessions that your kid swims... or work your way up to the Olympics.  Your choice.

Want to talk to someone first?  Michelle Bouton, Scott Belote, Dave Borden and Chris Jermak are all stroke & turn officials.  Claudia Hall and Megan Hewett are administrative officials... let's chat!

Intrigued? Want to learn more?  Reach out to Michelle Bouton, mlbouton@gmail.com

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More info from the Niagara LSC website:    OFFICIALS

Certification Process for New USA Swimming Officials

First of all, thank you for ‘taking the plunge’ becoming more involved with the sport of competitive swimming and taking the first steps of the USA Swimming Officials certification process. Once certified, I hope that you find the officiating experience as fun and rewarding as I have over the years. The road to certification is a little more involved these days due to athlete protection policies implemented by USA Swimming, but it is not a difficult road and one on which you will learn a great deal and have a lot of fun along the way. Following is the certification process for new Officials along with some other useful information:

Step 1: Attend an Officials Clinic

Step 2: Take and Pass the Online ‘Stroke & Turn/Timer’ Test

Step 3: Become a Non-Athlete Member of USA Swimming

Step 4: Apprentice at Four Swim Meet Sessions

Step 5: Make a Decision

Step 1: Attend an Officials Clinic

All new and recertifying Officials must attend a clinic. For new Officials, a DVD is played that introduces the technical rules of the strokes and relays and provides visual examples of both legal and illegal stroke technique. Clinics are also a great place to ask questions and get answers from other experienced Officials and are conducive to picking up knowledge outside of ‘book learning’. At the end of the clinic, you will receive a ‘USA Swimming Apprentice Official Non-Member Application’ form.

Step 2: Take and Pass the Online ‘Stroke & Turn/Timer’ Test

You must take the online ‘Certification - Stroke & Turn/Timer’ test and score a minimum of 85%. The test can be found on the USA Swimming website (http://usaswimming.org), clicking Member Resources in the top menu and then selecting Officials from the drop down menu. This is an ‘open rule book’ test and there is no time limit in which you have to complete it. You can print, start and stop, save, resume as much as you need to.

Step 3: Become a Non-Athlete Member of USA Swimming

The ‘USA Swimming Apprentice Official Non-Member Application’ form is used to be filled out and submitted to the Niagara LSC Registrar *PRIOR* to your first on-deck apprentice session or you will not be allowed on deck. 

Step 4: Apprentice at Four Swim Meet Sessions

The next requirement is to apprentice (or ‘shadow’) with experienced certified Officials during 4 meet sessions. When apprenticing, you will be on deck watching and learning in a ‘live’ environment. You won’t be able to make any calls, but your mentor will instruct you on proper positioning, give observation tips, and generally introduce you up close and personal to the world of officiating. These sessions CANNOT be distance or otherwise all freestyle sessions.

Important! Remember, you only have a 60 day window to complete your apprentice sessions, so choose when to start wisely as the only way to extend the 60 day window is to become a fully registered non-athlete member of USA Swimming. Go to the Niagara Swimming webpage (http://www.niagaraswim.org/), click Events, and then select the appropriate time period for a list of scheduled meets in your area. Clicking the Meet Info link for a meet will display detailed meet information, including the number of sessions at the meet, to help you decide which meet sessions to apprentice at.

Apprentice Attire:

New Apprentice Officials (brand new Stroke and Turn) shall be attired in the following uniform:

  • White shoes (Crocs and flip-flops are NOT shoes)
  • White socks
  • Navy blue shorts, skirt, or pant (No Jeans)
  • Light blue t-shirt, pullover, or button shirt having no logos
  • Wearing their ‘USA Swimming Non-member’ and ‘Apprentice Official’ cards.

 

Step 5: Make a Decision

By this point, you should have a good idea as to whether officiating swimming is for you or not. If you decide to continue, there are three things that must be done to gain USA Swimming membership as a non-athlete:

  • Fill out the USA Swimming Non-Athlete Registration Application and give it to your club Registration person. The application form can found on the Niagara LSC website (http://niagaraswim.org) under Swim Guide > Membership Forms at the bottom of the page. BAAC pays the fee.
  • Initiate the USA Swimming required background check (link at the top of the page). All coaches and Officials must pass a Level 2 background check prior to membership in USA Swimming being granted. The cost is approximately $40, which comes back to you as 10 BAAC Team Support points.
  • View and pass the ‘Athlete Protection Test (APT)’. This is a free online educational presentation and quiz regarding child abuse that is required for USA Swimming membership.