Swim Official FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

 

 

Q

What is the first step to becoming a swim official?

A

Participate in an official clinic, pass the exam and be an apprentice at 4 sessions at a least two swim meets

 

Q

How much does it cost?

A

$80 for everything - class, exam and USA swimming membership. You have to provide your own uniform. Official’s shirts can be purchased at the NJSwimming website for $30-50 depending on the quality. In addition you need dark blue pants and white shoes (athletic shoes). You can also use a white polo shirt you already have one and the same for pants and shoes.

 

Q

What is the time commitment?

A

Your immediate time commitment is the four hour class and the online test, which take about two hours in total (you can split this up at your convenience). After the exam, your time commitment is entirely up to you. Here are the rules:

You have to apprentice four sessions split over two meets to become authorized.  After authorization as a USA swimming official, you need to do five sessions (SC and/or LC) per year to keep your authorization. Again the choices are yours.

 

Q

Am I assigned to attend certain meets or am I able to attend the meets that fit best into my schedule?

A

Normally there are three sessions per meet day. Morning, lunch, afternoon. You can pick the session your child is swimming, you are there anyway. The bonus is you are on deck and have a much better view.

 

Q

If a typical meet is  6 sessions over 2 days, can I choose to officiate at 1 or 2 sessions (say the ones your child is in) or would I need to be present for the whole day (or both days)?

A

You sign up for one session at a time. If you have one child, he/she will normally swim in one session per day but you do not have to officiate both days.

 

Q

How do I sign up for a session?

A

You can email the meet referee in advance which sessions you plan to officiate or you can just show up at the meet. Sign-up papers are normally posted a little before the start of the warm-up for each session. You can even sign up for the pool where your child is competing so you have a front row view if your nerves allow it. 

 

Q

Is it realistic to be able to watch your child swim? It is important to my children (and me too, for that matter).

A

You sign-up to the pool where your child is competing and have a first hand view at the swimmers. In most cases you can be relieved when your child is swimming so you can focus on the cheering.

 

Q

How many times per year would I be expected to officiate?

A

You maintain your USA Swimming official authorization by doing five sessions per year (SC and/or LC).  So if your child does more than two meets a year and you officiate at your child's sessions, you have fulfilled your requirements.

 

Q

Does it take any preparation or organization outside of meets?

A

No, when you have participated in class and passed the exam you are prepared. You just need experience. You will get help from an experienced official when you apprentice. Before each session there is a briefing where the referee goes through each stroke with the help of the participating officials. In addition, assignments are communicated so you know your jurisdiction.

Q

Do I need to be downloading the scoring forms and printing them out?

A

Forms and other information is provided by the chief judge at the meet if you need them, I normally bring my own pen but they are also provided in case you need it.

Q

Are there any parts you would consider stressful or difficult?

A

Officiating is a lot of fun and you get to know other officials in a nice and helpful atmosphere. You are a part of promoting a great sport. You are a volunteer and your contribution is highly appreciated. In addition you promote X-Cel Swimming and make us more visible.

There are a few difficult things to observe in the strokes and turns but as an apprentice you will learn these things. Officials are relieved during the session to take a drink or eat, or go to the bathroom or when you child is swimming if you prefer that.

 

 

Don't See The Answer You Need? Send question to Tage Honore at xcelswim@xcelswimming.org