NEW OFFICIALS TRAINING COURSES: Anyone can take the Foundations of Officiating

Mary Redmond

USA Swimming is proud to announce the addition of two Officials training courses to the online educational platform USA Swimming UniversityFoundations of Officiating and Stroke & Turn Certification are video-based modules with interactive features. Both courses are required for new stroke and turn officials. Recertifying stroke and turn officials only need to complete and pass the Stroke & Turn Certification. 

“Through the Keeping Athletes First initiative and the standards established by members, we are excited to launch USA Swimming’s first two Officials Certification courses,” said USA Swimming Managing Director of Sport Development Joel Shinofield. “Like the new coach education courses built by over 300 coaches, for coaches, we have leaned heavily on grassroots officials and members of the National Officials Committee to create these courses.” 

“There was a tremendous collaboration to produce these tutorials,” said National Officials Committee Chair Dana Covington. “Many experts from the grassroots official to the National Officials Committee were utilized to provide input for this project. These tutorials will standardize the didactic portion of an officials training.” 

To help officials learn from other members of the community, both courses feature footage from local clubs across the country. All curriculum is based on training provided at the LSC level and continues to be free for all members.  

In the 30-minute Foundations of Officiating course, new officials will learn:

  • Roles and responsibilities; 
  • What to expect on deck; and 
  • The principles and values of officials.

In the 60-90-minute-long Stroke & Turn Certification, officials will learn:

  • Protocols and procedures for Stroke & Turn officials;
  • Technical stroke, turn, and finish rules for all strokes, individual medley, and relays;
  • Disqualification process; and 
  • How to work with other officials on deck. 

“I am excited for LSC Officials Chairs to view this,” continued Covington. “It offers some great ideas and lays the foundation of what is expected of an official.”

All new officials must take both courses before beginning on-deck training. Courses may be taken in either order. However, we recommend taking the Foundations of Officiating first. The Stroke & Turn Certification must be passed with a test score higher than 80 percent. Upon completion of both courses, in accordance with R-9 rules, new officials must complete at least four on-deck mentor training sessions. Once sessions are completed, evaluation and sign-off from the trainer/certifying officials are required.  

Officials who are recertifying must take the Stroke & Turn Certification only. The exam must be passed with a test score higher than 80 percent.

“I really hope parents, coaches, or athletes watch these videos and have an interest sparked to come and join us on deck as officials,” said Covington. “I believe that officiating is a great way to help raise the next generation of great people through the sport of swimming. There is room for everyone, so come out and give officiating a try!”

View all educational opportunities on USA Swimming University here