Poolside Officials

Being a poolside official can be an enjoyable and rewarding task. Once a trainee has qualified they become a licensed official which means they can volunteer for any open gala in Britain.

SWIMMING MEETS: THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICIALS

At any swimming gala there are a range of different people involved in running the competition. A key distinction is between technical and non-technical officials. Technical officials are the people in white who are responsible for ensuring that the rules of swimming are upheld and that all swimmers have the opportunity to compete fairly in whatever event they swim. At any gala there are a range of different officials including referee(s), starter, judges (stroke, finish and turns) and timekeepers. There is need for at least 20 officials across the different levels of qualification to run a licensed meet. YOU CANNOT RUN A LICENSED GALA WITHOUT QUALIFIED OFFICIALS.

WHY SHOULD I BECOME AN OFFICIAL?

As a ‘swimming parent’ a lot of time is spent attending swimming galas. Becoming an official gives an insight into how these galas work. It also provides an understanding of rules and why swimmers are sometimes disqualified. You do not have to officiate at other clubs meets if you do not want to. Just your own club if preferred. However, most hosting clubs, if accepting six or more swimmers from a visiting club, can reject entries if that club do not provide any officials for their gala.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING AN OFFICIAL?

Host clubs usually provide lunch and/or breakfast depending on session times. Free entry and programme to the gala. No queuing to gain entry. A friendly, welcoming environment. Remember, officials are normally parent of swimmers past and present. Reasonable expenses are reimbursed if required and refreshment is provided poolside. A bottle of wine is normally given by the host club as a ‘thank you’ for your time.

If you want to know more … Click here

Or alternatively if you’ve read enough and are ready to enter the exciting world of gala officiating … Click here for the application form