PSSA Officials

Welcome to the PSSA Officials Webpage!

The purpose of this page is to provide Puget Sound Swimming Association (PSSA) officials with resources that will help each official improve their skills, recruit officials for meets, and provide resources such as stroke training videos and meet forms.

Who are PSSA Officials?

PSSA officials are usually parents of children who are swimming as members of one of the YMCA’s teams that belong to PSSA.   These parents volunteer their time to learn the rules of swimming and then help run the various swim meets. 

Beginning with the 2019 - 2020 Season, PSSA is divided into three divisions with team assigned geographically near each other.  The divisions made-up of swim teams located at the following YMCAs:

  • North - Dale Turner, Mill Creek, Monroe, Northshore, Skagit Valley, and Whatcom.
  • Central - Auburn, West Seattle, Bremerton, Haselwood, and Tom Taylor.
  • South - Gordon, Grays Harbor, Lakewood, Mel Korum, Morgan, and South Sound.

In addition to parents there are other people who become officials because they see the benefits that swimming offers children and who believe in the YMCA’s vision of “Youth Development, Health Living, and Social Responsibility.”

Key contacts for PSSA Officials





Dave Baer

PSSA League Official Commissioner

YMCA Swim Official Trainer

Rules on all league technical competitive questions.

Teaches all YMCA levels

Earl Long

Pacific NW YMCA Regional Officials coordinator & Trainer

Teaches all YMCA Levels

Linda Vicik

YMCA Swim Official Trainer

Teaches all YMCA levels

Chris Fako

YMCA Swim Official Trainer

Teaches all YMCA Levels

Jim Cornforth

YMCA Swim Official Trainer

Teaches all YMCA levels

Roster of officials = This is a list of all the PSSA Officials as of February 18, 2020.  The list is now three pages divided by the new Divisions and is saved in two formats:

Click here for the Excel Version

Click here for the PDF Version

If you have any changes to your information on the Roster of Officials, please email those changes to Earl Long at


There are a number of resources available that can help you become a better official.  These are:

National YMCA Officials websiteThere are many resources on the National YMCA website. Here are several links that you should find particularly helpful:

Information for Officials – This link provides information on how to obtain a YMCA Officials shirt, on-line certification tests and officials classes.

Training Levels – This link describes the three types of officials that are required for swim meets.  These are Level I (Stroke & Turn Judges), Level II (Starter and Referee), and Administrative Officials (ensures the results are accurate and complete).

Official uniform attire and dress code – YMCA officials should dress for swim meets according to the uniform standards described in (Hint - it’s a white shirt, blue bottoms, white socks, ad white shoes):

Officials Requirements for YMCA Meets – For all YMCA meets, at least two officials must be YMCA Certified including one certified as a Level II Official who acts as the Referee:

  • Dual Meets require at least three (3) officials including a Starter, a Referee and an Administrative Official. The Starter and Referee may also serve as Stroke & Turn judges, if necessary.
  • All other meets require at least four (4) officials including a Referee, a Starter (who may also act as a Stroke & Turn judge), a Stroke & Turn judge and an Administrative Official.
  • Any YMCA Level II Certified Official can function as the Administrative Official, but not in that role and another deck role (e.g. the Deck Referee cannot also serve as the Admin Official)
  • USA Swimming Certified Officials may assist with the officiating at such meets, provided that there are at least two YMCA Certified Officials, one of whom is YMCA Level II certified and acts as the Meet Referee. Here is the link to read the USA Swimming/YMCA reciprocal agreement regarding the assistance of USA Swimming officials at YMCA meet.

Record of Meet Experience - PSSA officials should keep a record of the sessions worked at meets.  Click here for the Official’s Meet Log Form.

  • IMPORTANT - In order to qualify to re-certify, an official must have worked at least twelve (12) sessions over the three-year certification period. (A session is defined as either a dual meet, or a session at an invitational or championship meet.) The Official’s Meet Log Form can be used to document the sessions worked. It should be completed for each session and signed by the Referee. It must then be presented to the instructor at the certification clinic.
  • This form will also serve to document sessions worked for purposes of a Level I official qualifying to take the Level II Certification Clinic.

USA Swimming Officials website PSSA follows the same rules of USA Swimming.  Here are some links to resources from the USA Swimming Officials Webpage:

2019 USA Swimming Rule Book  - The rule book is updated annually.  This is the version that will be used in 2019.

The ABC's of Officiating – Advice on “What makes a good official!”

Stroke and Turn Briefing – A summary of the how to judge each stroke.

Link to Novice Training Videos – This links contains videos of each of the strokes.  These are good training videos for all officials.  The videos are in MP4 format.

ATTENTION, the videos may automatically start or you might need to download the videos.  It will depend on your computer or internet settings.  

Guide to Officiating Swimming – Another document that describes to duties for the different official positions.  Includes advice on judging you own child’s swims and judging swimmers with disabilities.  USA Swimming also developed the following descriptions of each of the following positions:

Stroke & Turn

Chief Judge


Deck Referee

Admin Official/Referee

Volunteer Rights – Almost all the people helping run a swim meet are volunteers.  This document offering information on how to treat volunteers.

Referee Protocol and Philosophy – Another tool useful to Level II officials on how to run a swim meet.

Referee Checklist – A list of tasks for a meet referee on how to plan and run a swim meet.  Good tool for Level II officials.

Timers Duties – This is a nice description of the duties of a timer. (Borrowed from the Snake River Swimming Association.)

Forms - Link to applications and administrative forms on USA Swimming website – This links contains a variety of forms that you will find helpful in running a swim meet.  This page contains links to forms used for Relay Take-offs, Positive Check in Sheets, No-Show for Events, and Computer Change forms.

Rule Interpretations – Clarifications regarding the interpretation of swim rules:

9/20/2017:          Medley Rules Change - clarifying stroke transition for the freestyle distance of the medley.

9/8/2015:            Freestyle Medley Relay and Individual Medley Interpretation

11/30/14:            Breaststroke - timing of permissible Butterfly Kick after the start and turns

1/15/14:              Breaststroke and Butterfly Hand Separation

9/14/13:              Interpretation of USA Swimming Article 205.3.1F (4 hour rule)

3/13/12:              Breaststroke rules Interpretation Article 101.2.3

10/2011:             Kineso Taping

The Official Blog – here is the link to the USA Swimming Blog:

Blog Archive - .  Click to see the types of discussions that occur across the county.

One last item! – Helpline

If you even have a question about officiating you can send the question to our helpline email address at

Good luck and we will see you soon on deck!