The Iowa Swim Officials Page 

YMCAs are required to have YMCA certified officials to officiate at home and away dual meets. 
For a meet to be recognized as a qualifying closed competition meet, 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.

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 swimming meets. 


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 situation, question or just need some feedback please contact them at

Jack Ver Helst

Dee Norton

Sandy Holck

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 Standards

YMCA Swimming Officials Uniform Ordering Information

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

2019 USA Swimming Mini Rule Book - Updated

Official Eductiaon and Training Documents

Swim Officials - Meet Tracking Form

Interested in running a Certification Course at your YMCA?  Contact one of the Iowa YMCA Trainers to set-up a course:

Jack Ver Helst - Boone
[email protected]

Dee Norton - Marshalltown
[email protected]

Mark Robinson - Cedar Rapids
[email protected]

Chuck Northrup - Dubuque
[email protected]

Sandy Holck - Spencer
[email protected]

If you are interested in becoming a trainer for YMCA Swim Officials please email [email protected] or click on the following link Requirements to Become an Officials Trainer