We are excited you’ve decided to advance to the Referee position with Illinois Swimming. We hope you enjoy our new online learning program.

We’ve created a short checklist for you, with links, with everything you need to become a Referee.

The training is designed to work in steps, with each building on the last. It is best to do the training in the recommended order of steps to get the full benefit.

This page is the home of the details about each of those steps, and we suggest reading it before getting started.

Prerequisites for Being A Referee

Before training as a referee, you must have been a certified starter official and have completed 20 sessions in that position after completing your training. You must be an AO or complete the training before attending the clinic and become a certified AO prior to being certified as a referee.

You must also be a non-athlete member in good standing, including a background check, Athlete Protection Training, and certification of completion of either the National Federation of High Schools or the Center for Disease Control concussion webinars.

For a comprehensive overview of the requirements see the Illinois Swimming Officials Training and Certification Standards.

Finally, you must submit a letter to the committee from a referee with at least 2 years of experience recommending you for the position. This email should be submitted to the Officials Committee email [email protected].

Online Education Requirements

Before attending the online clinic, there is a self-directed series of educational videos. Shortly after registering for the online learning webinar, you will be sent a link to an online classroom hosted by EdPuzzle (click here for a "how-to" register for EdPuzzle). Once you create an account you will find 2 short videos (they total about 40 minutes in total length). Complete each of the units before you attend the training webinar.

Online Learning Registration and Attendance

Referee online learning takes roughly 3 and one-half hours. It is a live webinar hosted by an experience Illinois Swimming official who will walk you through being a referee. Select any webinar you can attend on the Training Information page.

Whatever training webinar you signed up for, please log in and attend. During this webinar, a senior Illinois Swimming official will guide a conversation through the rules, judging, and certification. This will prepare you for your on-deck training. Bring your questions – they will be answered!

Download these materials prior to the webinar: Referee Training Materials

Technical issues about attending a Zoom Meeting are covered HERE.

If you have any trouble with the webinar please email Tim Krull.

Online Testing

To make sure everyone knows the rules, USA Swimming requires online testing. It is an open book test, and we recommend you print the test and then go back and re-enter the answers. Since it is linked to your USA Swimming online account, the test will be the same when you log back in. It is an open book test, requiring the current USA Swimming Rule Book. You must pass with a score of 80% or better.

On-Deck Training

Once you’ve completed your clinic training and registration requirements, you’re ready to start your on-deck training. You will need to bring a copy of the on-deck training form to be completed by your trainer. The forms are available online here.

On-deck training consists of 6 sessions (with a completed card for each) completed over 4 meets and with at least 3 different trainers who have been certified Referees for a minimum of 24 months. The sessions must be at least three hours in length, all four strokes must be contested and have 25 or more heats. Additionally, your 5th or 6th session must be with a certified trainer.

The complete guidelines are available at Illinois Swimming Officials Training and Certification Standards.

Submit Your Materials for Certification

Once your training sessions are complete and you’ve completed your online test, complete the Certification Requirements Checklist Form for your position and email all required documents/materials to [email protected]. Once processed, you’ll receive an email response when your certification is verified and complete in the system. Then your updated official card will be ready to print! You’re a Referee!


Questions for the Committee? Questions about Officiating? Contact [email protected].

Please allow a few days for a response as the mailbox is staffed by volunteers.