What is an Official and why are they needed?
Each team is expected to contribute to the pool of certified officials so that the responsibilities are shared across all teams. At each meet, the number of officials expected from each team is based on the number of swimmers competing from each team.USA Swimming keeps records of official times for swimmers who complete events at sanctioned (approved) swim meets. A swim meet must meet several basic guidelines in order to qualify as "official". One of those requirements is the presence of certified volunteer officials. Officials are present at all competitions to implement the technical rules of swimming and to ensure that the competition is fair and equitable to everyone.

Here's an example for a typical meet:

Club Athletes Entered in Session

Trained and Carded Officials Requested

From 1-10 swimmers

(no Officials)

From 11-25 swimmers

1 Official

From 26-50 swimmers

2 Officials

From 51-75 swimmers

3 Officials

From 76-100 swimmers

4 Officials

100 or more swimmers

5 Officials

Types of Officials

  • Stroke and Turn Official
  • Admin Official
  • Meet Referee
  • Starter
  • Chief Judge
  • Assistant Chief Judge 

How Do I Become An Official?

Check out this USA Swimming Officials 2017 Article on how to become a swimming official.


Certified Armada Officials:

  • Prakash Nagpal
  • Lynne Yee
  • Howard Chen
  • Elisabeth Sporer
  • Claire Darzacq
As swimmers inevitably age up and out, we are always happy for parents of younger swimmers to join the ranks of certified Armada Officials.


Benefits and Procedure for Becoming an Official in Pacific Swimming:

Benefits of Becoming an Official

  1. Gain a more thorough understanding of swimming in particular, and sports in general.
  2. Help support a sport that promotes a healthy lifestyle for our children.
  3. Become involved in the meet both mentally and physically rather than merely spectating.
  4. Fulfill volunteer requirements for your club.
  5. Get closer to the competition.
  6. Receive great hospitality.
Getting Started
  1. Attend Training Clinic
    • Attend a Stroke & Turn Training Clinic. The clinic requires approximately 4 hours and includes discussions and a USA Swimming produced video on judging strokes, turns and relay takeoffs. Pacific Swimming conducts clinics throughout the year at various locations. Contact your Zone Officials Chair for the location and date of the next training clinic in your zone. If you want to host a clinic at your club, contact your Zone Officials chair to schedule a date and time.
  2. Get On the Deck Training​
    • New Stroke & Turn judges typically work a minimum of four sessions at a minimum of two different meets, “shadowing” experienced officials. To get on-deck training, report to the officials’ briefing, this is typically about 30 minutes before the start of the meet session. Trainees are welcome at any CBA meet, but generally not at meets such as JO and Far Western.
  3. Register as an Official​
    • Before you can be certified, you must register as a non-athlete member of USA Swimming.
  4. Take USA Swimming Officials Test
    • Complete USA Swimming’s on-line, open book test. You must have a completed USA Swimming non-athlete membership before you can take this test.
  5. Other Expectations/Requirements​​ 
    • Age – Minimum of 18 years old.
    • Attire – Solid navy blue skirt, shorts or pants, white polo shirt with white shoes.
    • Attitude – Positive attitude, willingness to volunteer, and dedication.