Our swimmers rely on all levels of volunteer officials to run their meets - no matter what level of swimmer!  ALL volunteers welcome!



Officiating Clinics

HTAC, as well as other Swim Nova Scotia clubs, hold officiating clinics regularly for the various officiating evels. Upcoming courses will be advertised via email as well as on home page of Swim Nova Scotia (http://www.swimnovascotia.com). If you are looking for a clinic and do not see it below, please contact Mhiran Faraday, HTAC’s Chair of Officials ([email protected]).

Also, if you register for any officiating courses not hosted by HTAC, please email Mhiran Faraday ([email protected]) so that club records can be kept up to date. For information on officiating and the certification process, please visit https://www.swimming.ca/en/resources/officiating/certification/

2022-2023 Officials National Database 

All officials information and progression is kept in the national data base. Please complete the forms shared in your email and submit to Mhiran Faraday in via email ([email protected]). Please note - the Code of Conduct must be completed and signed annually.

Officials registration is needed for the following reasons:

  • Registered officials are covered under Swim Nova Scotia’s General Liability insurance
  • Reporting numbers to the Provincial Government for Funding purposes
  • Reporting numbers to Swimming Canada for sanctioning purposes
  • Reporting numbers to Swim Nova Scotia
  • To assist us in selecting meet hosts during the bidding process
  • To assist in tracking officials through their training/certification pathway process

How does it all work?

Officiating is all volunteer driven locally, provincially and even nationally at the highest ranked swim meets.

Some of you who are new to swimming (and even those of you who’ve been around for a while), may wonder exactly what all the officials do at a meet.

This is a great place to start, then progress through officiating as your child progresses through swimming.

Safety Marshall: Supervises the swimmers during the 45-60 minute warm-up before the start of meet sessions. He/she is responsible to the referee to ensure that swimmers abide by the safety rules. (ie no flutter boards, feet first entry).

Marshall: Marshalls are mostly seen at Nova tech meets.  These meets are designed for our younger and less experienced athletes by providing a dynamic and fun competitive experience.  Marshals provide assistance to the swimmers in finding the right lane, in the right heat, at the right time. Marshalls direct and lead swimmers to their lane. We encourage our older and more experienced swimmers to offer their support to our younger swimmers.

Timers: Individuals who run the stopwatches and obtain and record accurate finish times for the swimmers. There are usually 2 timers per lane. When in use, they use a plunger with electronic timing systems and also check the order of swimmers in a relay. This is the place for parents to start in officiating.

Stroke & Turn: Usually consists of 3-4 individuals located on the ends of the pool and one official on each side the pool. Stroke and turn officials know the rules of swimming and ensure that the swimmer is doing the proper stroke, proper touch and legal turns to ensure that all swimmers have equal advantage.

Recorder/Scorer/Office: The perfect position for anyone who likes computers! Usually 2-3 individuals work in the office receiving and processing results from the Chief Finish Judge and Electronics Operator. Recorder/scorers enter computer data, compile a list of swimmers and their order of finish, post meet entry results, label best time and placing ribbons, and determine award winners and final standings.

Chief Finish Judge: Sits at the side of the pool near the finish line or with the Electronics Operator. This role has been evolving over the past years. His/her primary responsibility is the determination of official placings and ensuring accurate results of a race. The Chief Finish Judge may also be involved with obtaining time sheets from the timers and the electronics operator to calculate/average each swimmers final swim time. This information is forwarded to the recorder/scorer in the office.

Electronics Operator: Seen at meets where there is electronic timing and a scoreboard. At Dalplex, we sometimes have two! One individual “sits in the perch” near the top end of the bleachers and oversees the operation of the scoreboard and automatic officiating equipment for the deep end of the pool. Another sits in the shallow end and oversees the operation of the scoreboard and automatic officiating equipment for the shallow end of the pool. These individuals work very closely with the Recorder/Scorer/Office.

Clerk of Course: Although “extinct” at smaller meets, this individual still plays an important role at larger meets where there are heats and finals. The Clerk is located on the side of the pool deck and ensures that swimmers are “checked in” for their final events and that alternate swimmers are notified should a lane become available.

Chief Timer: The individual with 2 stopwatches! When we are really lucky, we have two or three of them! The Chief Timer runs both of these watches during each heat while maintaining a constant check on the accuracy and efficiency of all timekeepers. He/she is always on hand if a timer needs help and often obtains times on the first and second place finishers of each heat. If any records are set, they’ll be involved!

Starter: Works with the referee to ensure that fair starts are achieved consistently for all swimmers throughout the session. The starter is famous for “Take your mark…” and creates the start with an electronic flash.

Session Referee: “The one with the whistle”. The referee is the general manager of each swim session. He/she ensures that each session is run in a manner that provides conditions for optimum swimmer performance. The referee oversees all other officials and must be knowledgeable about the rules of swimming in order to make fair and consistent decisions.

Meet Manager: Responsible for all the organizational details of the meet (pool rentals, obtaining necessary equipment and supplies, food arrangements, budget preparations, obtaining personnel). The Meet Manager develops the meet package, determines the Head Official, prepares entry lists, oversees the running of the meet, compiles final reports and ensures the issuing of results. A big job but lots of fun!

In all, there are approximately 30-40 officials on deck for each session of a swim meet - twice that for double-ended meets as may be the case with Nova Tech. With a variety of positions to meet individual needs, this is a wonderful way to meet parents from our Club and other Clubs around the province. The pool deck provides a great venue from which to view the meet and the perfect opportunity to become involved in your child’s sport! Hope to see you on deck!

Officiating Levels

The Official Certification System is outlined by Swimming Canada (https://www.swimming.ca/content/uploads/2022/09/Officials-Certification-Pathway-September-2022.pdf)