Becoming an ISI Official

Upcoming Official's Clinics


  • Help support an excellent sport and promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Gain a more thorough understanding of swimming
  • Fulfill your volunteer obligations at club meets
  • Get closer to the action; know what’s happening on deck with the “best seat” in the pool
  • Get mentally and physically engaged during the Meet rather than merely “spectating”
  • Be cooler on deck than in the stands
  • Receive free admission and great hospitality during sessions officiated

Getting Started as a Stroke and Turn Judge

1. Training Clinic:

  • Attend a “New Officials Training Clinic - Stroke and Turn Judge” The Illinois Swimming Officials Committee conducts clinics periodically in various locations. Clinics occur in a classroom setting and include a practical pool session.
  • Sponsor a Club Clinic: If a club has persons interested in becoming officials, to request a clinic at the club’s preferred location, a club representative contacts the officials committee at
  • Participate in a clinic that requires about six hours and includes discussions and a USA Swimming produced video on judging strokes, turns, and relay take exchanges.
  • Look for clinics announced on the Illinois Swimming website and send in registration form in advance.

NOTE: The Illinois Swimming Officials Committee provides a trainer and training materials, including a current Illinois Swimming Training Manual

2. USA Swimming Test: Complete USA Swimming’s on-line, open book test. USA Swimming non-athlete membership is required to take this test.

3. On Deck Training Sessions:

  • A Stroke and Turn Judge training works a minimum of four sessions of at least two different meets with USA Swimming certified officials.
  • A trainee should contact the Meet Referee or Meet Director prior to the meet for permission to attend as a trainee and to ensure one-on-one mentoring.
  • A trainee must attend the pre-meet officials briefing, 45-60 minutes prior to the start of the meet session (or at the time determined by the Meet Referee).

4. Other Expectations

  • Age: Minimum of 18 years
  • Attire: Solid navy blue skirt, shorts or pants, white collared shirt and white shoes
  • Attitude: Positive attitude, willingness to volunteer, and dedication

5. Certification

  • Occurs after successful completion of the Training Clinic, USA Swimming on-line test, and training sessions.
  • Receives USA Swimming “Officials” membership card from Chair, Illinois Swimming Officials Committee

After Certification as a Stroke and Turn Judge

1. On Deck

  • Welcomed and encouraged to volunteer any meet they attend
  • Attend the pre-meet officials briefing, usually starting 45-60 minutes prior to the beginning of each meet session or at the time established by the Meet Referee
  • Accept pool jurisdiction assigned by Meet Referee of his/her designee

2. Annual Recertification

  • Every two years attend an Illinois Swimming Recertification Clinic or take the USA Swimming online Recertification Test.
  • Volunteer at a minimum of ten sessions per year.

3. Promotion

  • Starter: After one year as a certified Stroke and Turn Judge and having volunteered to officiate at least twenty session, an official may seek advancement to the USA Swimming certification as a Starter. Requirements include: attending a Starter Training Clinic; completing the on-line USA Swimming Starter test; and serving as a trainee on-deck for five sessions of at least three different meets.

  • USA Swimming’s three levels of certification:

    • LSC Certification: May officiate LSC level meets, including LSC championships
    • N2- National Certification: May officiate Central Zone or Speedo meets, etc.
    • N3- National Championship Certification: May officiate National Championship meets
  • For the N2 and N3 Certifications, the positions of Stroke and Turn Judge, Starter, and Deck Referee, as well as Chief Judge, Administrative Referee, and Meet Referee are available.

4. Fees

  • Officials Training clinic fee: $35
  • USA Swimming Annual Non-Athlete Member Registration:
    • $60 dollar individual, $100 Family
    • Registration after September 1st is valid through December of the following year.
    • Membership includes:
      • i. USA Swimming insurance
      • ii. USA Swimming Rule Book
    • Some clubs reimburse participants for their training clinics, annual USA Swimming registration fees, and Re-Certification clinics.

For more information, please contact the officials committee at or visit the Illinois Swimming Officials Page