Parents Become an Official! 

Do you ever get bored sitting in the stands? Want free food and drinks at a meet? Want a front-row seat where all the action is? Want to get to know more about the sport and its participants? Well then become an official! In order for a swim meet to be held to USA Swimming standards, we must have a certain number of officials on deck. Officials are volunteer parents just like you that come from the host and attending teams. The entry-level positions for officials are the stroke and turn position. As a stroke judge you will walk the sides of the pool and watch the 4 lanes closest to you for any stroke infractions. The turn judge stands at the end of the pool and watches to make sure the turns are done correctly. These positions often rotate and it takes up to 12 people to run a three-day meet.



10. They give you free food and a heat sheet.
 9. You get to help USA swimming grow.
 8. The meets go much faster.
 7. It’s cooler on deck than in the stands and not as crowded either.
 6. You don’t have to decide what to wear to a swim meet.
 5. You meet new and interesting people - across the state and country.
 4. You may be able to deduct travel expenses on your taxes.
 3. You get to see your child swim up close and personal.
 2. You have the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to your child’s swimming efforts.
 1. We need officials for the meets we are hosting, you make it happen.


Join thousands of parents around the country who support their children in competitive swimming by becoming a certified Stroke & Turn Judge.

What is required to become a Stroke & Turn Judge?

1.   Become an Adult non-athlete member of USA Swimming.  You will receive a rule book and other materials related to training.

2.   Attend an officials training clinic.

3.   Take and pass an online open-book test.

4.   Work as a shadow with experienced Judges on deck at 5 sessions of sanctioned competition. 

What is required once you are certified?

1.      To maintain your certification

2.      The dress code is a white shirt and khaki slacks/shorts.

Common Questions:

1.     When will you work?  When you choose to. 

2.     Do you need to know how to swim?   No.

As the swimmers grow and develop, you can too, by choosing to train to become a Starter & then a Referee.  You must be an official for 1 year before you can certify at the next level. 

Please contact Jeff Carpenter at [email protected] 

Officials are present at all competitions to enforce the technical rules of swimming so the competition is fair and equitable. Officials attend clinics, pass a written test and work meets before being certified. All parents are encouraged to get involved with some form of officiating.


Referee: Has overall authority and control of the competition, ensuring that all the rules are followed; assigns and instructs all officials, and decides all questions relating to the conduct of the meet.

Relay Takeoff Judges: Stand beside the starting blocks to observe the relay exchange, ensuring that the feet of the departing swimmer have not lost contact with the block before the incoming swimmer touches the end of the pool.

Turn Judges: Observe the swimmers from each end of the pool and ensure that the turns and finishes comply with the rules applicable to each stroke.

Starter: Assumes control of the swimmers from the Referee, directs them to "take your mark," and sees to it that no swimmer is in motion prior to giving the start signal.

Stroke Judges: Observe the swimmers from both sides of the pool, walking abreast of the swimmers, to ensure that the rules relating to each stroke are being followed. The positions of Stroke Judge and Turn judge may be combined into one position called the Stroke and Turn Judge.

Administrative Official: The “Administrative Official” is one who works directly with the Meet Referee and supervises/directs the following positions on the “dry” side of the meet: Entry and Registration Personnel, Clerk of Course, Timing System Operator, Scoring Personnel, Timing Judge, Meet Management Software (Hy-tek, Touchpad, etc.) Operator