A Guide to Blue Fins Officiating

Becoming a Swimming Official can be a very rewarding experience.  As it turns out it is also a necessary one for our swimmers.  All our officials are volunteers from the first time you step onto a deck to a Master Official, and all of these volunteers are needed to run all competitions across Canada.

Your first step to becoming an official is registration.  The registration procedure is similar to the steps take for registering your swimmers.

A link to the process can be found here:  https://www.swimontario.com/page.php?id=2981


The Blue Fins has our own staff to help with this process.

Tracy Harvey is our Club Officials Administrator (COA) and Michael Zuraw is our Club Official’s Chair (COC).  Together they run our officials development program.

For any questions they can be reached at the following emails:

[email protected]    Tracy Harvey

[email protected]          Michael Zuraw



Officials Training

In order to have competent and professional officials at our meets there is a variety of training required.

For a full descripiton of all the officiating levels click here:  https://www.swimontario.com/page.php?id=2986

Education starts with the first clinic:  Intro to Swimming Officiating/Safety Marshal.  These clinks are presented multiple times a year either by our own COC, at Central Region Clinics days for in-person seminars, or online through E-learning modules, or with Webinars.  Check your communication emails for times and places regularly.

Job Shadowing:

For those of you new to the sport of competitive swimming or new to a position on deck Job Shadowing is always available, at our in-house meets as well as at away meets our clubs attends.  Simply email our COC with your request (the position, date and session) and arrangements will be made for you to follow an experience official in the position to gain some experience.



To be a Level I official you need to do the following:

  • Take the Timer/Safety Marshall Clinic
  • Complete 2 successful deck evaluations as a Timer on the deck


To be a Level II official you need to do the following:

  • Take the Strokes and Turns Clinic
  • Complete 2 successful deck evaluations as an Inspector of Turns or Stroke Judge on the deck.
  • Take any ONE of the following clinics:  Chief Timer, Clerk, Starter, Chief Finish Judge, or Meet Manager
  • Complete 2 more successful deck evaluations in ONE of the positions above (the one you took the clinic for).



Officials Development Program

Swim Ontario has mandated that in order to host time trials, in-house competitions, and invitational swim meets the hosting club must comply with a minimum number of officials at each level.  The table below outlines those requirements.  We fall into the first category and have three options to comply with.

As you can see it is important for officials to continue their education and experience on deck to reach higher levels and keep the club in compliance.  Our COC, Michael Zuraw is always available for guidance and mentorship of officials as they progress.  If you are looking to advance, contact Michael and together we will work out a plan for moving up the levels.



Official’s Compliance

As we enter a new time in swimming history there are many new factors to consider, and accompanying paperwork that must be followed:

  • PIPEDA:  Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act
    • This is a consent form required by Swimming Canada in order to collect your personal information and allow reasonable use during your officiating duties.  For example setting up your Official’s Registration.
  • Code of Conduct:  
    • The code of conduct required by Swim Ontario that provides the guidelines for behaviour on the deck and during official duties.  This is separate from our own club’s Code of Conduct, as you may be working at different pools.
  • Rowan’s Law:  
    • This is a document of procedure to cover any and all head injuries during practice or competition.  Each official must be aware off these procedures.
  • Safe Sport:  
    • There are new initiatives being implemented to ensure our athletes can train and compete in a safe environment.  This is mostly focused on coaches however Officials also need to be aware of the procedures in place.  Level IV and V officials will also need to have Police Checks and Offense Declaration forms on file.
  • COVID-19:  
    • As we emerge from the pandemic and get back into the water new protocols are being developed for the safety of everyone in the facility.  At the time of this update, these procedures are still being developed.  Watch your emails and this web site for the latest updates from Swim Ontario and Swimming Canada.