A big part of parental involvement comes from those who become certified to be swim officials. USA Swimming Certification qualifies one to officiate at any New Jersey Swimming (USA) meets, various levels of certifications are available, and courses are offered throughout the season. YMCA Certification qualifies one to officiate at YMCA dual meets and other Y sanctioned meets; various levels of certifications, courses are offered throughout the season.
Becoming an official is a great way to help out our team and make every swimmer's experience a better one. It's not difficult to do....and you have a great view of the meet when you're on deck!
SAY Officials Coordinator: Mike Reheis
People taking the class for the first time will have to create an account at the Y Learning and Career Development Center.
Existing officials should already have an account.
Level I YMCA officials are certified as stroke and turn judges, relay take-off judges, and place judges. A 3-4 hour course teaches the rules associated with each stroke and how you identify a disqualification based on those rules, how to judge a relay take-off, how to determine order of finish (as backup to the timing system), and timing (usually for championship meets). Successful completion of an online exam is required for certification, which expires after three years (during which you must have worked 12 sessions for renewal).
Level II YMCA officials are certified as referees, starters, and chief judges. These are the officials who are responsible for starting each race, judging that the start is fair (no false starts), and notifying the swimmers of any disqualifications. A 3-4 hour course teaches the duties of these officials, as well as reviews the facilities and staffing requirements for meets, the rules for swimming the various strokes, swimmer eligibility, and the roles of other officials. Successful completion of an online exam is required for certification, which expires after three years (during which you must have worked 12 sessions for
renewal). If you are a Level I official, you must have been certified for at least one year and worked at least eight sessions in order to become a Level II official.
All these officials are on deck to ensure that everyone is following the rules so the races are fair. You may be a little hesitant about the whole idea of disqualifying someone, but most coaches see officials as valuable assistants in the training process - swimmers may not take their coaches seriously about problems with a stroke or turn, but when they're disqualified for it, they usually start to pay attention. Also, being on deck is one of the best ways to get to know all the swimmers on the team, the other parents who volunteer as officials and timers, and the coaches.
Important Links and Documents:
YMCA Officials Course Information Packet
New Jersey Swimming Officials Certification Requirements
New Jersey Swimming Officials Page
New Jersey Swimming Officials Newsletter - Oct 2019
Timers Briefing for Officials
Meet Log for Officials
Stroke and Turn Briefing for Officials