1. What are the financial commitments?

The club pays the course fee, and also your ASA fee – to be insured to go on poolside.

Whilst you are being mentored you still need to wear ‘whites’ – the club will provide a WSSC Officials white polo shirt at cost price – and you will be given a free one once you have qualified.  If you help at the County Developments or Counties you will be given a Suffolk ASA polo shirt.

You don’t even need a stopwatch – ask Dan – he has some club ones that you can borrow.


  1. How long does the training take?

The course is 3 evenings – usually about a month apart, and the dates are negotiated with everyone on that particular course.  After that, you go along to be mentored at as many galas as you choose to attend.  Each mentoring session should last for about 1 – 1 ½ hours.  You only need to do this at galas that your child is swimming at, but if you choose to go to other local galas to be mentored this of course gets it all done much quicker.

The TK part can be done pretty quickly – the I of T part takes a little longer as there are 4 strokes to cover + relays.


  1. Do I need to take any exams?

After the first session – which is the Time Keeping  - you will do a few mentoring sessions, and as soon as the course leader thinks you are ready you will attend a gala and do the TK Assessment, which consists of timing about 20 races with a qualified TK.  As long as the times are within the range that’s it, done.  

The Inspector of Turns assessment consists of a poolside assessment – the assessor will talk with you whilst you are actually doing the job, and after that you will be taken away to answer some questions about the turns and the role of the Inspector.


  1. Will I need to attend all Galas?

Most officials attend Galas that their child is swimming in, unless you choose to go to others, either to be mentored or just to help. 


  1. Will I have to commit to all sessions at a Gala?

Most attend the sessions their child is swimming, even if it is only 1 session, again, unless you choose to stay longer.


  1. Do I need to take splits in Long Distance events?

Occasionally, but if you are not happy doing this there is always somebody who can help, or do it for you.


  1. Do I disqualify swimmers?

NO!  You simply report to the Referee what you have seen, and it is their decision whether to DQ the swimmer.


  1. What if a coach/parent/swimmer asks me any questions about a decision?

You ask them to speak to the Referee for that race.  You do not discuss any decisions with anybody else.


  1. Do I need a CRB/DBS certificate?

No, you are on poolside as an Official, and not alone with any swimmers.


  1. Will I miss my children swimming?

NO!  In fact you have the best seat in the house!  Most Officials have swimmers in the pool, so if there is any chance of you not seeing your own child, other officials will always try to cover for you, as they are all in the same situation.  The only rule is that you must not cheer or shout for your child if you are there working as an official (children usually hate it when their parents do this anyway).


  1. Where do I sign up!?

Click HERE to contact Fiona Brittain the WSSC Officials organiser