Iowa YMCA Competitive Swimming Officials Page
Important Documents, Forms, Information

          1. Articles and Resources
         2. Interested in Hosting or Running a Certification Class at your YMCA?
         3. Levels of Officials and Certification Requirements
         4. Need Help or Have Questions?
          5. Official Requirements for YMCA Meets
          6. Role of Officials in YMCA Meets
          7. Want to Become A Trainer for YMCA Swim Officials?

 β€‹Articles and Resources

2022 USA Swimming Mini Rule Book - Updated October, 2022

YMCA Swimming Officials Attire/Uniform Standards - Updated September 2012

Record of Meet Experience Form

Interested in Hosting or Running a Certification Class at your YMCA?

Contact one of the Iowa YMCA Trainers to set up a course: 

Jack Ver Helst (Boone) - [email protected]

Mark Robinson (Cedar Rapids) - [email protected]

Chuck Northrup (Dububque) - [email protected]

Dee Norton (Marshalltown) - [email protected]

Sandy Holck (Spencer) - [email protected]

Levels of Officials and Certification Requirements

The YMCA Swim Officials' Certification Program involves two basic levels of certification as well as a 'dry deck' Administrative Official Class.

  1. Level 1 - Certified Officials are trained to take on the roles of a stroke and turn judge, relay take off judge, time and scorer.

  2. Level 2 - Certified Officials are authorized to act as referees, starters and chief judges in addition to any of the Level 1 positions.

  3. The Administrative Officials class is designed as a dry deck program to help the meet referee with any timing system failures or discrepancies in final times.  No prior training is required to take the Admin Officials Class.

All new officials must begin with Level 1 officials.  To be eligible to attend the Level 2 clinic, an official has to have served at least one year as a YMCA certified Level 1 official and worked at least 8 meet sessions as a certified official.  All official candidates for either level must be associated with a recognized YMCA competitive swimming program.  Approval of the Executive Director of the YMCA sponsoring the candidate or his/her designee, is required for any person to take a clinic and become a YMCA Certified Swim Official.

YMCA Swim Officials certifications are valid for 3 years and individual proof of current certification must be available at all meets. 

Individuals re-certify by attending the appropriate YMCA Swim Officials course.  Re-Certification also requires that the official has worked at least 12 sessions on deck as a certified official during the three-year certification period.  Up to one half of the sessions requirement may be satisfied by working on deck as a certified official at USA swim meet.


Need Help or Have Questions?

Iowa YMCA Competitive Swimming Executive Committee Members are here to help answer any questions you have regarding rules and procedures for Iowa YMCA Swim Officials.    

If you have specific question, situation, or just need some feedback, please contact them at:

Jack Ver Helst - [email protected]

Dee Norton - [email protected]

Sandy Holck - [email protected]

​Official Requirements for YMCA Meets

YMCAs are required to have YMCA certified officials to officiate at home and away dual meets. The minimum officials requirements for YMCA meets are:

  • 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)
  • A USA Swimming certified Administrative Official may perform the duties of a YMCA Administrative Official. Updated 11/12/2014.
  • 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.

​Role of Officials in YMCA Meets

YMCA sanctioned meets and national championship meets are conducted in accordance with the USA Swimming technical rules. All other YMCA meets must be conducted in accordance with USA Swimming technical rules in order for the meet and the times achieved therein to be valid for any of the following:

  • Qualification for entry into a YMCA sanctioned meet or YMCA national championship meet
  • National YMCA Top Ten times
  • National YMCA records
  • USA Swimming approval of the meet and entry of the times into the SWIMS database

For a meet to be recognized as a qualifying closed competition meet and a YMCA meet that could be used as a qualifying meet or times from which may be used as qualifying times for YMCA sanctioned and/or national championship competition, it must be officiated by at least two YMCA certified officials, one of whom must be a Level 2 and will be the meet Referee. Beginning in September 2013, USA Swimming rules require the use of an additional official, known as an Administrative Official for all meets. 

Want to Become a Trainer for YMCA Swim Officials?

If you are interested in becoming a trainer for YMCA Swim Officials:


Recently updated Rules and Regulations

Breaststroke and Butterfly Separated Hands Interpretation (Oct 2013)

Breaststroke Kick Rule Change (Nov 2014)

FINA Medley Relay and Individual Medley Interpretation (Sept 2015)

Quick Guide to the USA Swimming Timing Adjustment Rule Change (May 2015)

Interpretation of Therapeutic Elastic Tape (Jun 2016)

Additional Articles and Resources

YMCA Swimming Officials Uniform Ordering Information

"Good Intentions" an Article on Disqualification (A must read for new officials.)

Official Eductiaon and Training Documents