The Fish hosts at about 4 meets per season and is also required to provide Officials from our team for other meets.  It takes at least 25 officials to make each session a success.  While that number will include other teams’ Officials too, it is imperative to have as many Fish parents trained as Officials as possible. 

There are three entry-level officiating positions:

  • A Stroke & Turn Judge observes the swimmers during each race for compliance with the technical rules of swimming. Each stroke has its own technical requirements.  The purpose of calling violations is not to punish swimmers for errors, but to be fair to the other swimmers in the race and to help improve technique.
  • The Computer Operator (also known as Hytek Operator) works alongside the Administrative Official (“AO”) at the computer table near the pool. He/she is responsible for making sure swimmer entries and scratches are accurate; seeding any events that have not been pre-seeded by the Meet Director; recording any Disqualifications; posting the official results to MeetMobile; and producing much of the paperwork used to run the meet, including meet programs and lane timer sheets.  This involves a good amount of data entry but under the supervision of the AO or Meet Referee.
  • The Timing System Operator also works alongside the AO at the computer table.  He/she is responsible for the electronic timing equipment used during PVS meets.  He/she watches each race on the timing system equipment and lets the Referee or Administrative Official know of any system problems that might affect the accuracy of times or if the touchpad fails to record the finish when the swimmer completed the race.     

To get started:

  1. Sign up for and attend a Potomac Valley Swimming (PVS) Clinic.
    1. For Stroke & Turn, the clinics are held online through the PVS website starting at the middle of September. Sign up for the date that works best for you. A list of the clinics can be found here.
    2. For Timing System Operator, the PVS offers a self-paced, online training through their website.  That training can be found at
    3. For Computer Operator (also known as Hytek Operator), the PVS offers a self-paced, online training on their website.  That training can be found at
  2. Follow the instructions from the PVS for registering as an Official found here:
  3. New Officials will:
    1. Fill out the new Official form on the PVS website. 
    2. Then, create an account with USA Swimming by following the instructions here:
  4. Once your USA Swimming account has been created, you will complete the Background Check, Athlete Protection Training, and Concussion training.  Instructions for that is also found on the PVS website. 
  5. Now, you are ready to start your apprentice sessions.  You will need to apprentice at least 5 sessions.  You can sign-up for apprentice sessions by filling out the Google form for Officials that is found on the meet page of each upcoming meet on the Meet Schedule on the PVS website.  Make sure you get your evaluator to fill out the required information on your Evaluation Form after your apprentice session.  A link to each form is provided below.
    1. S&T form-
    2. Timing System Operator form-
    3. Hytek/Computer Operator form-
  6. Prior to your final evaluation session (commonly referred to as the “check-out”), fill out the Readiness Form on the PVS website so that the PVS Certification Officer can ensure you have completed all the requirements and are ready to check-out.  That form is found here
  7. Complete your Final Evaluation Session (aka check-out). There is a list of Officials “approved” by PVS to conduct the check-out sessions for each position.  For your convenience, the Fish Officials Chair, Kimberly Alms, is happy to help arrange a check-out for you.  Just contact her at [email protected] to discuss when and where you are hoping to check-out.
    1. After your check-out, you will submit all paperwork to the PVS by scanning in your Evaluation Form and emailing it to Kelly Rowell at [email protected].
    2. Once your paperwork is submitted, you will receive your PVS name badge in the mail within a few weeks.  You will also receive an email from the PVS stating that you are ready to start volunteering as an Official (versus an apprentice) at meets.

While this might seem a little overwhelming, it is simple once the process is started.  The other Officials are happy to answer questions.  Everyone has gone through the process, so there is a feeling of camaraderie.   If you have any questions or need any help getting started, please reach out to either me or Kimberly Alms.  We are happy to provide guidance and support. 

Thank you very much for your consideration!

Monika Paris

The Fish

Monika Paris Email: [email protected]

Kimberly Alms Email: [email protected]