What is an official? 

Officials are volunteer parents who have taken formal training offered through Swim Canada and Swim AB to help run swim competitions. Being an official also sets a great example for your child and keeps you engaged! Officials participate on deck and help in one of many important positions that are needed to put on a great swim meet! Each position requires a different skill set, so there will always be a position that helps you play to your strengths! Officiating at competitions hosted by the Bow Valley Riptides will help contribute to your volunteer commitment listed below. 

Below, please find more information regarding the Officiating policy and what is required of parents year over year.

Officials Training and Certification

The Riptides Swim Club hosts multiple competitive swim meets each season. Home meets are a great experience for all swimmers and their families and, especially for younger swimmers and offer a chance to compete in a familiar venue. Meets are also an excellent fundraising opportunity for the home club.

Officials are an important part of making sure our swimmers have a quality experience in competitive swimming. During local time trials and swim meets the Club would typically require 30 – 40 officials such as timers, stroke and turn judges, a starter, a referree and a meet manager.

Officials’ training and support is provided through a series of online presentations supported by Swim Alberta and on deck mentoring provided by experienced officials.

Recommended Officials Progression for Riptide Parents

First and second year families with swimmers in N1 and N2 – Timer and Safety Marshall

Third year N2 and White Group – Stroke Judge, and Inspector of Turns

Fourth year and up (Red) – Chief Timer, Starter, Recorder, Chief Finish Judge

Fifth year and up ( Red  and Gold) – Meet Manager, Referee

I'd like to help officiate...what next? 

STEP 1: Check that you have an active Swimming Canada officials account and that you are able to login. If you do not have a Swimming Canada officials account and/or you’re unable to login, please email [email protected]  to get this set up. 

STEP 2 (IF YOU ARE NEW TO SWIMMING OFFICIATING): Once you’ve activated your Swim Canada Officials account, you’ll be able use your Swim Canada login to access the  Swimming Canada Education page.  Start by taking the Introduction to Swimming Officiating and Safety Marshal courses. Make sure to finish the entire e-module, so that the system registers the course as completed. 


STEP 3: Print out the  Swim Alberta Officials Certification Card, which can be found under “Resources” on the Swim Alberta website. 

STEP 4: Take your certification card with you to get signed by the referee for your first 2-3 sessions in each new role. 

STEP 5: Once you’ve collected these signatures, scan or photograph the certification card and email it to [email protected] to have these recorded. At that point, you’ll be considered certified for that role, receive related certification points (refer to attached policy), and be able to move up the ladder to higher officiating levels in the future. 

If you have any follow-up questions or are interested in training to run the swim meet office, please email Erika at [email protected].  


Erika Pataki

Bow Valley Riptides Officials Coordinator