BSL regularly needs officials to host meets and run the consistent and high-quality competitions we have become known for.  Each BSL meet must have certified USA-S certified officials conducting the meet for each swimmer to receive official credit for their swims/times.

A Few Reasons to Become a BSL Official  
Swimming relies heavily on volunteers to work as officials in order to conduct fair and equitable competition for our athletes. BSL needs to grow with the city's capacity for competition.  

In other words, we need your help!  

If you are considering officiating for swimming but are still not quite sure, check out the Top 10 reasons why you should:  

10. You’re at the meet anyway - why not?  

9. Swimming is a family sport that is volunteer intensive.  Officiating counts towards your volunteer requirements at BSL hosted meets.

8. Free food at meets - home and away (Free is good).  

7.  BSL covers USA-S Officials registration (Free is good).  

6.  Being on deck provides a shorter walk for your swimmer(s) to come to you looking for money….  

5. Possible tax deductions when working away meets (Most teams are 501c3. Please consult applicable state & federal tax laws.)  

4. You become more educated and informed on the sport (you DO NOT have to be a current or former swimmer).  

3. You have the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to your child’s swimming efforts.  

2. When you become a USA-S certified official, you are qualified to officiate for Alabama High School Swimming, JSSC Summer League, and ARPA. USA-S also has a reciprocal agreement with the YMCA.  

1. Best seat in the house! (The bleachers get crowded and really aren’t all that comfortable).  


Southeastern Swimming Officials Mission

To develop and conduct mentoring programs to recruit, educate, train and certify USA Swimming officials to provide high quality and consistent officiating for our athletes. 
The goal of having these minimum standards for certification of officials is to set standards, that when applied, will accomplish the following: 
*  ensure a clear and consistent knowledge of the rules 
*  provide sufficient time in training to assure familiarity with all levels of competition 
*  provide opportunity to work on the deck and advance through the certification process 
*  create a foundation from which our officials can readily advance through all levels of USA Swimming
*  ensure professionalism in all aspects of the word “team” while in attendance at a swim event both on and off the deck 
The sessions referred to in the minimum standards should be of duration to assure sufficient time to observe a significant number of swimmers and should contain a complete schedule of events to provide the opportunity to observe all strokes.
     All certified officials must be Registered, have a current Background Check, and have completed
     the Athlete Protection Training. 
Uniform - White polo shirt with sleeves, tucked into khaki shorts, pants or dress for timed finals and prelim portions of a meet;  light blue shirt, tucked into khaki pants or dress for Finals.  Meet Referees may deviate from this dress code for a particular meet as long as all officials at the meet comply with the revised dress code.
Position Min Age Education  and  Training Evaluation  and  Certification Renewal
Stroke & Turn Judge 18 Must pass the USAS Stroke & Turn test prior to apprenticing.   Must  attend  a  stroke  and  turn  clinic.  Must apprentice a  minimum  of  six  (6)  on-deck  training  sessions  in  at  least  two  USAS  sanctioned  meets. We recommend a different colored shirt other than white while apprenticing.   Evaluation  by  trainer  and/or  Meet  Referee.   Certification  approved  and  issued  by  the  Officials  Committee.   Certification  mus t be  completed  within  one  year  of  taking  the  USAS  Stroke  and  Turn  test.    1 - Attend  a  Stroke  &  Turn  clinic  prior to recertification every three years.                                                             
   2 -  Pass  the  S & T  recertification test  after  one  year  and  every  three  years  thereafter.
   3 - Work  a  minimum  of  six  sessions  per  year.
Chief Judge 19 Must  be  an  EXperienced  S & T   Judge. Must  be  a  EXperienced  S & T  Judge. Concurrent  with  recertification  as  Stroke  and  Turn  Official.
Starter 18 Must  have worked a minimum of ten sessions as a  S & T   Judge,  must  attend  a  Starter  clinic  and  must  pass  the  USAS  Starters'  test.   Must  apprentice  for  a  minimum  of  six  (6)  sessions  in  at  least  two  (2)  USAS sanctioned  meets with at least two (2) different mentors. Certification  is  based  upon  the  recommendation  of  the  trainer(s)  and/or  the  Referee(s).   The  certification  is  approved  and  issued  by  the  Officials'  Committee.   1.  Pass  the  Starter  recertification  test after one year and prior to recertification every  three  years.
2 - Attend  a  starter  clinic  prior to recertification (every three years).
 3 - Work  a  minimum  of  six  sessions  per  year,  four  of  which  are  as  a  Starter  or  above.
Admin  Official 18 Must review an administrative official clinic  (AO PowerPoint on web) and must pass the USAS Administrative Official test.  Must apprentice a minimum of two sessions under supervision of an EXperienced  Referee or Experienced AO within 12 months.  Certification is based upon extensive knowledge of the timing system used, meet management software and corrective actions to be applied to timing system errors.  1- Completion of the  Administrative Recertification test  every three years.  
2- Work a minimum of six sessions per year, three of which are as an Administrative Official. 
 3.  An Administrative Official can work as an Assistant Admin at a LSC Championship meet, but not as the lead Admin.
Deck  Referee 21 Must  be  an EXperienced S & T Judge and have completed the following.    Attend a Starter Clinic.     Must pass the Starter Certification test.    Must apprentice as a starter for a minimum of three sessions.   The  Referee apprentice  must  be  familiar  with  the  positions  of  Clerk  of  Course,  Timer,  Timing  Judge,  Meet  Marshal,  S & T  Judge,  Starter,  Announcer, Chief Judge, and  Admin  Official and must pass  ALL  tests within the past 24 months.   The  apprentice  must  attend  a  Referee  clinic  and  apprentice  for  a  minimum  of  eight  (8)  sessions  at  three  sanctioned  meets  with  at  least  two  (2)  different  referees.   At  least  two  (2)  sessions  must  be  as  an  Assistant  Admin  Referee. Certification  is  based  upon  the  recommendation  of  the  Referee  trainers.   The  certification  is  approved  and  issued  by  the  Officials'  Committee. 1 - Attend  a  Referee  clinic  prior  to  recertification  (every  two  years).  
 2 - Pass  the  Referee  recertification  test  prior  to  recertification  every  two  years.
3 - Work  a  minimum  of  six  sessions  per  year,  four  of  which  are  as  a  Referee.
Recertification  as  a  Referee  is  also  based  upon  continued  agreement  of  the  Officials'  Committee.
Meet  Referee  21 Apprentice as a Meet Referee for all sessions of a multiple day meet. The  certification  is  approved  and  issued  by  the  Officials'  Committee  and  the  Officials'  Chair. Renewal  is  concurrent  with  recertification  as  a  Deck  Referee  and  continued  agreement  of  the  Officials'  committee.
Once  initial  training  is  complete  or  when  recertifying,  the  official  must  send  an  email  to  their  Officials'  Committee  member,  attaching  test  results  from  USAS  where  appropriate,  and  in  the body  of  the  email  listing  their  clinic  date  and  approximate number  of  sessions worked each year unless these  are  shown  in  the  OTS.  They  will  then  be  notified  when  their  Certification  card  is  available  online  through  the  OTS.

How to Become an Official

It does not take long to become a USA-S Official!

Step 1:  Fill out a Non-Athlete USAS Registration Form and turn into BSL
Step 2:  Sign Up for an Account on and take the USAS Stroke and Turn online test (don't worry it is open book)
Step 3:  Complete a Level 2 USAS Background Check
Step 4:  Complete USAS Athlete Protection Training
Step 5:  The rest is done on-deck at swim meets!

If you have any questions please contact BSL at [email protected] or [email protected]