The Barracuda Swim Club needs parents to volunteer to be officials. Having plenty of officials allows the team to run high quality swim meets, which raises money and keeps our fees low. Even better, you get to support and learn about the sport in which your child is spending so much time and effort participating. Other perks include watching your child race from the deck and free food from our legendary hospitality room. It is easy and you do not have to know anything about swimming to start.
There are two different kinds of swim officials, the Wet Side and the Dry Side. The entry-level position on the Wet Side is the Stroke & Turn Judge. Those are the people dressed in tan bottoms and white tops you see all around the pool raising their arms occasionally. They are the eyes of the Referee in charge of the meet and help make sure the meet is fair, with swimmers following the rules in competition or being disqualified. The entry-level position on the Dry Side is the Administrative Official, and they work the Hy-Tek Computer Operator and Electronic Timing System Operator. They are the people sitting together at the table on the platform. Their job is to use the electronic devices to record and publish the swimmers’ times. Please ask any official or coach if you would like to know more about the officiating positions. You can also become qualified in both later.
It is easy to get started. All you need to do is create an account on USA Swimming and take the appropriate test. Take the Stroke & Turn Judge test for the Wet Side. To be an Administrative Official you need to take four tests: Clerk of Course, Timing Judge, Timer and Admin Official. All of the tests can be found here. The tests are open book--use the rule book--and easy; the test even tells you what part of the rule book to find the answer. Then just forward the results to Mary Franklin, who is in charge of USA Swim Officials in our area, at email@example.com. She will then email you an Apprentice Card so you can get started as an apprentice working a meet. You will be working with and learning from an experienced official.
After your first apprentice session, you have sixty (60) days to take care of the following:
- Register as a non-athlete (this needs to be done first and the form is below)
- Get a Background Check
- Complete Athlete Protection Training
The club pays for your registration and background check and the Athlete Protection Training is free. Send the completed registration form to Andy Slap at firstname.lastname@example.org and the receipt for the background check to Kathy Battista, BSC Administrative Coordinator, at email@example.com.
You now have twelve (12) months to complete your six-apprentice sessions, working at least two different meets (two sessions total at one meet if you are going to be an Administrative Official) and take a clinic. Sessions are usually a few hours and most meets have two sessions a day. You must finish the sessions within twelve months, but just in BSC hosted meets there are fifteen sessions a year. You will also need to take a Stroke & Turn Clinic or Administrative Official Clinic. The Stroke & Turn Clinic is usually about an hour and we try to offer them a few times a year, often at our swim meets. The Administrative Official Clinic can be taken independently using the Power Point presentation below. You will need to print out a Membership Card on your Deck Pass on the USA Swimming site. That is also where you can track all of your activities as an official. Let Mary Franklin know that you have finished all the requirements and are now an official official.
The uniform for officials is tan / khaki bottoms with white shoes and top. The team will buy officials two white official polo shirts and a nametag. You will also get a USA Swimming Rule Book from USA Swimming. There is usually a short meeting of officials, 30-45 minutes before a session, which the Meet Referee will announce.
Thank you for taking the time to become a USA Swimming Official. If you enjoy officiating, after getting some experience you can learn other positions. No matter what position you have as official, though, you are helping the team and your child.
Andy Slap, Officials Chair Barracuda Swim Club: firstname.lastname@example.org or 423.631.1601
Mary Franklin, East Tennessee Representative on Southeastern Swimming Officials Committee: email@example.com
Links to Webpages
USA Swimming How to Become an Official
USA Swimming Officials Home Page
Southeastern Swimming Officials Home Page
Level Two Background Check
Athlete Protection Training
USA Swimming Officials Training Videos
Administrative Official's (AO) Clinic pdf
2019 USA Swimming Rulebook
2020 USA Swimming Non-Athlete Membership Form
The timing and computer systems can be a little confusing at first or after a long period since using them. To help people learn or reacquaint themselves with the systems there is some information about them below. There are also links to Potomac Valley Swimming’s website for official that has wonderful resources, including helpful hints and videos. The Barracudas use the Colorado 6 System (CTS-6) at Freedom hall and the Daktronics Omnisport 2000 at Kingsport Aquatic Center. We currently have Meet Manager version 5.0, but will soon upgrade to 7.0.
Training Materials - Timing System Operator
Training Materials - Computer Operator (Hy-Tek)
Daktronics OmniSport 2000 Timing System
Daktronics OmniSport 2000 Operations Manual
Daktronics OmniSport 2000 Quick Reference Guide
Daktronics OmniSport 2000 Operation Notes
PVS Colorado Time System6 Guide
Colorado Time System6 Sports Loader Manual
Colorado Time System6 Helpful Hints
PVS Meet Manager 5 Training Manual
Hy-Tek Meet Manager 5 Users Manual
Hy-Tek Meet Manager 7 Users Manual