Why become an official?

Flashes Aquatics encourages all parents to consider earning certification in a very rewarding and important volunteer position as a USA Swimming Official. There are no pre-requisites in terms of your time on the team, the age and experience level of your swimmer, or prior swimming participation in your younger years.  Officiating (and many other volunteer positions) enabled us to fully engage with the team parents and coaches, show interest in our swimmer’s activities, and better understand the challenges and successes our kids they met along the way.

The minimum requirements are that you are 18 years or older, are able to pass a background check, pass the training, and volunteer your time in support of the athletes at swim meets.  Similar to office staff, timers, and coaches, officials are mandatory for the conduct of a sanctioned swim meet.

What does it take to become an official?

Step 1: Attend a Clinic: Clinics are offered in the greater Indianapolis area several times a year.  The in-person clinic lasts approximately 3 hours, covering all of the rules and explaining the manner in which the officiating team works together at meets. Also, during the clinic you will watch the USAS video on officiating. The clinic allows for discussion and questions that go beyond the written rules and helps to make better sense of what you have been observing.

Step 2: Testing: Take the online, self-paced, open book test via the USAS website within 45 days of attending the clinic. This test covers all the basics of the swim rules for the four strokes, individual medley, rules for timing, relay take- off, and general conduct of officiating. You may take the test several times without penalty until you achieve the minimum score.  A copy of the USAS rules is also available online, free of charge!

Step 3: Membership in USAS and Indiana Swimming:  Complete a background check and complete an online Athlete Protection education course through USAS.   Once completed, Flashes Aquatics will help you become a non-athlete member of USAS!  Flashes Aquatics will cover the expenses for your background check and USAS membership.

Step 4: On Deck Time: Attend the officials meeting at the next meet, sign up and participate in the practical observation of the rules under instruction with a certified official. The minimum required deck time is four (4) sessions. The on-deck time is your opportunity to observe, build confidence, and demonstrate your ability to correctly observe and interpret the rules of swimming. 

For a full description of the official certification and renewal process, visit Indiana Swimming.

Meet our Flashes Aquatics Officials:

Jessica Boardman - Admin, Starter, Stroke & Turn

Bill Davis - Starter, Stroke & Turn

Mike McWilliams - Stroke & Turn

Trina McWilliams - Starter, Stroke & Turn

Lori Murray - Admin, Starter, Stroke & Turn

Joe Murray - Stroke & Turn

Dave Nadler - Referee

Donna Totten - Stroke & Turn