An Inclusive, Family-Friendly, Competitive Swim Team in Snohomish County Washington.
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Parent Officials Page

"For the meet to be fair, we need your help"

PNS Officials Page

2017 USA Swimming Rule Book

Meet the meet officials!

We are the folks at the meet standing near the pool wearing white shirts and blue bottoms. SRST Needs all of these officials to volunteer at our hosted meets.

Stroke and Turn Judge The S&T official watches the swimmer on the start, during the swim and/or leaving and coming into the wall on turns. These judges may be on the sides or at the ends of the pool. Officials generally start at this position and as they learn and become more comfortable with watching the swims they may train for the other positions.

Prerequisite:  A short clinic (~3hrs), an open book test on the stroke rules, and a few novice training sessions on deck being mentored by experienced officials.

Chief Judge – The Chief Judge assists the Deck Referee by managing the S&T judges. The CJ vets all disqualifications and ensures that the S&T judges are in the correct positions for the race is not a certified position at most meets. National and International meets have certified CJs.

Prerequisite: Several years of experience as a S&T official. Often they are certified as Starter or Referee.

StarterThe Starter is responsible for a fair race start and, in conjunction with the Deck Referee, records the order of finish.  Starters also assist the deck referee ensuring that the meet runs smoothly. 

Prerequisite:  Minimum one year as a Stroke and Turn Official

Administrative Official: This is a critical person – but one you may never see.  They manage the paperwork of deck entries, lane changes and working with USA swimming to assure that all the paperwork generated prior, during and after the meet is properly done.

Prerequisite:  A short clinic (~3hrs), an open book test on the stroke rules, and a few novice training sessions on deck being mentored by experienced officials.

Deck Referee: The Deck Ref is the person blowing the whistle in various ways prior to the race starting including a “mysterious” waving of their hand at the Starter.  They manage the logistics of possibly getting your swimmer into another heat if they miss a start.


Meet Referee:  The Meet Ref manages the entire meet. At most local meets the Deck Ref is also the Meet Ref. At larger meets their will be a Meet Ref and several Deck Refs. This official requires experience and confidence to make hard decisions.  They are attempting to: follow the rules, be fair to all the kids and to make the meet enjoyable for as many people as possible.  This job is not for everyone.

Prerequisite:  Minimum one year as a starter, long test on the Rule Book and Novice Referee training sessions followed by an official observation.

These are the certifications for local meets.  After one year in each position it is possible to move up and become certified at a national level.  Many choose to never go beyond the local Stroke and Turn level -- which is fine since there is plenty of need at the local level.


  • Cheerful kids:  Without volunteer officials swim meets won’t happen.  Know that you are helping out the greater good of our young athletes.
  • Best seat in the house.  Many officials get to stand right next to local Olympic level swimmers (and contemplate the horror of having to disqualify them!).
  • Free food and beverages during the meet. Often great homecooked food from the host club!
  • Qualifies for your volunteer commitment for the club and could earn a discount on training fees.

Down side:

  • It’s always tough to raise your hand to disqualify a little eight-year-old who’s trying so hard.  Remember this is one of the best lessons they learn in life – take encouragement, they will try all the harder to do it right next time.

If you are interested in learning more or just have questions about what we do, email Coach Ben and he will direct you to a veteran official who can help you get started.