Notes on Officiating

All Officials Need to Take a Clinic, no Matter Your Experience Level

  • All clinics are posted on the Midlakes Website.
  • The head official may help with training by shadowing/mentoring new officials, or may advise on officiating.  Please ask if you would like to be shadowed, and don’t take offense if receiving comments about your officiating or call.

Midlakes Officials’ Shirts

  • Each club will be receiving five (5) officials’ shirts with the Midlakes Logo.
  • New Maple Hill’s officials will have priority for those shirts. If you are a new official send an e-mail to our volunteer coordinator.  Please include your shirt size and a shirt will be reserved for you.
  • The remaining shirts will be distributed among our returning officials based on need – send an e-mail to our volunteer coordinator if you would like to be considered for one of these shirts.

Staffing Dual Meets

  • Away Meets – Maple Hills will provide two stroke and turn officials for all of our away meets, plus two officials for relay exchanges.  The off-duty stroke and turn official may be one of the relay exchange official.
  • Home Meets – Maple Hills needs two stroke and turn officials, plus two starters, and one meet referee (head official, or assignee), plus two relay exchange officials. 
  • Relay Exchange Officials – Typically, two relay exchange officials will work the medley relays, and two will work the free relays.  However, for home meets, we will have only one official work the free relay; the on-duty turn-end official will have double-duty. 
  • Relay exchange judging is over quickly, requiring 10-minutes of time.  Relay take-off officials are Midlakes-trained and qualified officials and come out of our regular ranks of officials. 
  • There will be a sign-up for all positions (medley and free relays) for each meet.  You may sign up for combinations of stroke-turn and relay-exchanges for each meet.  For example, you may sign up for relay-exchange during the first half, and stroke and turn for the second half.  Likewise, a starter can sign up for relay exchanges on their off-session. 
  • The Maple Hills head official may help where needed, especially at away meets. 
  • Meet Referee- According to the Midlakes By-Laws, the meet referee is from the host team and shall be a USA-Swimming certified official.  If a USA certified official is not available, the starter may serve as the referee.  Alternately, Maple Hills may assign the referee position to a senior official who can fulfill this role.  The referee will have the final say regarding any officiating and timing issues and will work directly with the coaches to resolve any issues.  The referee typically checks all DQ slips and signs them together with the official making the call. 
  • Starter – Needs additional training beyond stroke and turn.  This training is given at the end of the training sessions.  One or two years of stroke and turn officiating is recommended before stepping up to become a starter.

Officials Signing Up Etiquette

  • The Maple Hills officials in aggregate are responsible for fulfilling all officiating needs.  Be ready and willing to sign up more for than the standard number of sessions – especially relay exchanges.
  • Have your Midlakes shirt with you in case we have a no-show.
  • Volunteer to be the extra relay exchange judge if the need arises.
  • Sign-up for the sessions that you can work but not necessarily to the max of your volunteer limit.  Leave opportunities for other officials who may not have yet signed up.
  • Re-visit the sign-up every week.  Sign-up for spots that you can cover in order to cover all positions - even if it means over-volunteering.
  • If something happens where you cannot officiate, be sure that the head official and our volunteer coordinator knows.  Try to find a replacement if you have time.
  • The head official or volunteer coordinator may ask if you can work if we are short-staffed or we have a no-show.

Information on Officiating

  • Highly recommend viewing these videos from  USA swimming.  These are great videos and can be viewed at your convenience.  
  • The clinic will go over the differences between USA swimming rules and Midlakes rules.