Becoming a YMCA (and USA) official is a great way to help out the 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!
We will be updating this section as Certification Classes become available, so please check back often. In the meantime, here's some general information:
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 courses 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.
So, think about becoming an official - it's the best seat in the house! Please contact Mike Cannilla at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process or if you have any questions.