Become an Official – HAWKS NEEDS YOU!

USA Swimming Officials are parent volunteers who are committed to supporting and observing swimming by ensuring fair and equitable competition.  These officials are required in order to have a “legal” sanctioned meet.

HAWKS and Adirondack Swimming are always looking for new volunteers to join the ranks.  Being an official is a great way to serve your club and support swimming.  NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!  As most clubs, we rely on our own parents/guardians/volunteers to provide the majority of officials to oversee our meets. 

See below for more information about being a HAWKS official team member.   Questions contact Kevin Saunders at k[email protected]

HAWKS would like to thank our current officials Kirk Reinhardt, Kevin Saunders, Jane Farrell, Amanda Kenney.

 Frequently Asked Questions / Concerns

 How do I become an official?

  • This is a role that takes training, but the certification process is not overly difficult.
  •  Attend a clinic once a year, which includes classroom discussion, review of an officiating video, and a lot of questions and answers. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the USA Swimming Rule book available online at
  • Take the online, open-book test, once you start can be saved so you can work on it a little at a time, if you wish.
  • Register to become a Non-Athlete Member, complete both a background check and an "Athlete Protection" online course and test that all Officials, Coaches and Meet Directors must take every two years, will all be reimbursed to you by HAWKS.
  • Beyond that, the balance of the training is on-the-job through four apprentice sessions shadowing experienced officials during meets.

I am new to the sport of swimming and don’t know the rules – how can I be an official?

  • Don’t worry! USA and Adirondack Swimming (AD) have a good training program and a great cadre of experienced officials to help you learn the ropes.  Many officials have started just where you are.  You will become well-qualified in no time at all and will gain a better appreciation for the sport along the way.
  • For more information, see the website

Does this count toward my volunteer requirements for the club?

  • Yes, sessions you work at HAWKS meets count toward your club volunteer requirements.

Will there be any cost to me?

  • There is a fee for the USA Swimming non-athlete membership, the registration for the clinic and for the background check, but these costs will all be reimbursed to you by HAWKS.
  • The uniform is blue slacks, skirt, skort or shorts, a white collared shirt and white tennis shoes. HAWKS will provide a uniform allowance.

Why do I need a background check done?

  • USA Swimming has instituted nationwide reforms with the purpose of ensuring the safety and well-being of the children in our care.  As part of that program, all coaches must now pass “enhanced” background checks and all Officials and Meet Directors must pass standard background checks.
  • Results are confidential – only the subject of the check sees the full results.  The officials chair is told only when a person has passed, and can only approve certification when (s) he received the “pass”. 

How big a time commitment is it?

  • Upfront:
    • The clinic is generally 3-4 hours in one session. 
    • Reading and test prep approximately 1-2 hours
    • On-line test approximately 1-2 hours.
    • On-line Athlete Protection course approximately 30 minutes - 1 hour
  • On-going
    • Commit to officiating a minimum of 4 sessions over two meets (6 sessions for starter/refs).
    • Attend a clinic every year.
    • For sessions you are working, be at the pool 45 minutes to an hour prior to the meet starting (show up at the athletes’ warm-up time).
    • Spend a little time staying current on rules and interpretations (maybe 1 hour per month)

Will I ever need to recertify?

  • Yes.  All officials in SCS re-certify every year.
  • To maintain your certification you must:
    • Attend a SCS Officials Clinic and take the USA Swimming on-line Re-certification Test.
    • Stroke/Turn Judges must officiate a minimum of four sessions, at two or more different Meets each year.
    • Starter/Referees must officiate a minimum of six sessions, at two or more different Meets each year.

What are the benefits?

  • If your child is swimming in the meet, you are already there so you might as will help your team out
  • Time passes quicker
  • Best seat in the house

For further information contact Kevin at k[email protected]