TECHNICAL OFFICIALS AND VOLUNTEER HELPERS
A considerable number of people are required to run a successful swimming gala, with both qualified officials and volunteer helpers having important roles to play. The club relies upon the contribution of swimmers’ parents to be able to lay on competitions both within the club and against other clubs.
Hosting a competition at Inspire LSV needs a minimum of 18 officials and 10 helpers; ideally there would be 25 officials and 16 helpers to make the event run as smoothly as possible. The majority of jobs do not require any experience and the club would encourage parents to support the swimmers by volunteering at any level. Officials need to have some training, but this is provided through the club. For competitions licensed at Level 1 or 2, ALL officials are required to be licensed.
Brief descriptions of the various jobs involved in running a competition are given below.
Referee: Has complete control of the competition, the venue and the other officials in all matters of the swimming laws, health and safety and conduct.
Starter: Starts each event, has certain powers of disqualification.
Stroke Judge: Patrols the side of the pool to observe that swimmers conform to the Laws of strokes.
Finish Judge: Stands at the finish of each event to record the finish order, may also act as Turn Judge.
Turn Judge: Observes that the swimmers conform to ASA Laws regarding turns and relay take-overs.
Chief Timekeeper: Obtains recorded time from each Timekeeper, if necessary adjusts them to suit the places with the supervision of the Referee.
Timekeeper: Take and record the time of the swimmer in the lane allotted. This may be adjusted in accordance with ASA. Law to suit the official places, which take precedence over times.
More information on the requirements to be an Official is provided on the Training for Officials section below.
Promoter: Has overall responsibility for the running of the meet and ensuring that License conditions are complied with.
Recorders: Record the places and times from each event, either manually or fromthe electronic timing system. Arrange the Finalists where required.
Announcer: Announce results after they have been recorded, provide safety announcements and any other relevant information. Can also provide running commentary during races.
Warm up Marshalls: Supervise the pool and swimmers during warm up, principally to ensure correct lane rotation and continuity of swimming. Not responsible for coaching.
Whips: Arranges the swimmers in each event into appropriate heats according to the start list and supervise the conduct of competitors.
Runner: Relay start lists to the officials, and results to the Announcer and Medal Table.
Medal Table: On confirmation of results hand out medals to swimmers. May also include signing for receipt of annual trophies.
Refreshments: Provide pre-meet and poolside drinks to officials and helpers. For meets with more than one session, arrange buffet.
Door: Take entry fee from spectators. Potentially also sell meet programmes and/or raffle tickets.
TRAINING FOR OFFICIALS
Timekeeper - This is an introduction into the world of the swimming official. It covers the practical aspects of what is required of a timekeeper by means of a short theory session followed by a practical assessment. The minimum recommended age for candidates to undertake this training is 14 years.
Judge Level 1 - This is the first level of British qualification. It encompasses the role and duties of a Timekeeper, Chief Timekeeper and Inspector of Turns. The minimum age to start training is 15 years. Candidates may undertake some instruction and will be required to complete a course workbook, after which there will be a practical assessment. There is no formal theory examination. However, during the practical assessment candidates will be required to answer questions orally. Upon qualification candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 1 on the British Swimming Database and will be encouraged to become a Licensed Official.
Judge Level 2 - This is the second level of qualification. It encompasses the role and duties in relation to all aspects of judging and the theoretical role and duties of Starter. The minimum age to start training is 15 years. Candidates may undertake some instruction and will be required to complete a course workbook, followed by a practical assessment. As with Level 1 there is no formal theory examination. However, during the practical assessment candidates will be required to answer oral questions. When qualified, candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 2 on the British Swimming Database.
Starter - Candidates wishing to qualify as a Starter will be required hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and be a minimum age of 15 years. Training will consist of a prescribed number of practical experiences as a Starter before undertaking a formal practical assessment. Successful candidates will be attributed with the Starter qualification: Judge Level 2S
Referee - Candidates for this course are required to be qualified at Judge level 2S, and may register to start training aged 17 years but must be 18 years at 30 November in the year of the course. This course contains theoretical instruction and specified practical experiences. It is followed by a formal examination in November after which successful candidates take a final poolside practical assessment leading to qualification as a British Swimming Referee. Several months are allocated between registration and the formal examination to enable candidates to undertake all the practical experience required to complete the course as well as the theoretical instruction.
The importance of insurance
For insurance purposes, all those officiating on poolside at any competition must be registered members of a British Swimming affiliated club or a member of the Institute of Swimming.
Further information is available from British Swimming.
Local information on Officials in Bedfordshire ASA is available.
If you are interested in becoming a swimming official please contact Simon Gee on