West Dorset Swimming Club

SwimMark Club

Rather than always sitting there for hour after hour watching swimming - many parents and guardians get involved in volunteering - one popular aspect of volunteering is becoming an official. Keith Horn, the club's Volunteer Coordinator explains some of the roles and opportunities that exist. Keith can be contacted via the website. Its really is a lot of fun and you do see more of the swimming !!

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.  Book a course here 

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 16 years and Judge Level 1 must be held. 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.

Starter – Candidates wishing to qualify as a Starter will be required hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and completed a minimum of 20 hours practical post qualification experience. 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 for at least I year with 10 hours of post qualification practical experience at the time of application. They may register to start training aged 19 years but must be 20 years by 30th November in the year of the theory exam.

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.

Brief descriptions of the various roles

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 (J2S): Starts each event, has certain powers of disqualification.

Stroke Judge (J2): 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 (J1): Observes that the swimmers conform to ASA Laws regarding turns and relay take-overs.

Chief Timekeeper: Obtains recorded time from each Timekeeper, and passes to the referee.

Timekeeper: Take and record the time of the swimmer in the lane allotted.