Stroke & Turn Official Certification Process Overview


Thank you for your interest in becoming an official registered with GSC! As an official you can work at swim meets that GSC hosts and others throughout the state that we do not host. Most officials are current or former swim parents. Officials are obviously very important to the running of swim meets, and your efforts are much appreciated by coaches, swimmers, and parents!

The following outlines the steps to become an official in Florida:

1. Attend a stroke & turn official clinic held by a certified clinic instructor (CCI). Clinics are online via Zoom, with the schedule listed on Florida Swimming's website (one per month, held at 8:00 pm on a weekday evening).

Clinics take about an hour and mainly involve the instructor going through the highlights of the clinic packet and answering questions.

A current USA Swimming rulebook is available here; you will receive a hard copy when you complete step 5 below. Don't panic! Stroke & Turn officials need to know only a fraction of the rulebook.

Your full certification as an official must be completed within one year of the clinic you attend.

2. After the clinic, complete and submit the current USA Swimming Apprentice Official Application form to Florida Swimming ([email protected]). This temporary one-time free 60-day apprentice membership complies with Safe Sport Regulations and is effective starting from the first day of apprenticing on deck.

3. TEST: Create a free USA Swimming account at www.usaswimming.org and complete the Stroke & Turn Judge Test. Do not use your child's account or anyone else's—it must be set up with your own user name and password so you are credited with your complete requirements. You must complete the open rulebook test with passing score of 80% as you are already beginning your apprenticeship. This test is recommended to be started soon after the clinic (or can be done before) as it will help you become familiar with the technical rules and their locations in the current year's USA Swimming rulebook.

4. APPRENTICE: Apprentice on deck as soon as possible after completing steps 1–3. You can apprentice at GSC meets or meets hosted by other teams; check with the Meet Referee ahead of time to make sure they are allowing apprentices. Apprentice officials can sign in with the Meet Referee 1 hour prior to any session at any meet sanctioned by Florida Swimming; attend the official's briefing, bring your apprentice form, and be assigned to a certified official mentor. USA Swimming requires on-the-deck apprenticeship with at least two mentors (each who have a minimum of one year certification as a Stroke & Turn Judge) for a minimum of 15 hours, during which time you cannot make a disqualification. You can send your completed apprentice form(s) to [email protected] to forward to Florida Swimming.

Within 60 days of your FIRST apprentice session on deck:

NOTE: It is helpful and timely for you to complete these steps as you are going through your apprentice training of minimum 15 hours on deck with different mentors.

5. Learn about the Officials Tracking System. OTS will show you your complete history, accomplishments, and contributions to the athletes of Florida Swimming and serves as a record if you take your volunteer expenses off on your taxes. More info on the OTS is available at usaswimming.org.

To maintain your certification, you must work a minimum of four (4) sessions per year in Stroke & Turn or higher capacity, maintaining a satisfactory performance and with GSC renewing your USA Swimming non-athlete membership (annual) and background checks (every two years).

Thank you for joining a great team of professional volunteer officials! Without you, the fast growing sport of swimming cannot be successful!