In September 2023, the annual USA Swimming House of Delegates approved Resolution R-9, which required the National Officials Committee to set “the singular standard by which all officials are certified and trained”.   The USAS Certification Guidelines became effective in February 2024, and can be found here: USAS Officials Documents (2/5/24)   Sierra Nevada Swimming has begun to align our processes to the new Guidelines, and the impact for current SN officials and current and future apprentices is summarized here: R-9 Impacts for SN Officials  

Steps to becoming an official

New officials start their certification process as a Stroke & Turn Judge (S&T), an Administrative Official (AO), or the new Junior Stroke & Turn Judge(Jr-S&T).  The general steps for becoming certified for each of the positions are the same. This is the recommended order for becoming an official.

  1. Register as an Official (non-athlete) Member of USA Swimming.
  2. Take Appropriate Clinics/Courses
    • Courses are available now and can be found at
    • All new Officials should take the “Foundations of Officiating” course before any additional courses required for S&T or AO
    • “Stroke and Turn Certification Course” for S&T and Jr S&T
    • AO clinics are held via Zoom and are based on demand, please contact the Officials Chair if you are interested in attending.
    • Over the course of 2024, all clinics will move to on-line self-paced courses with integrated tests offered via USA Swimming University.
  3. Fill out the SN New Official Google Registration Form
    • Completion of this form will ensure that your apprentice certification is added to your USAS Membership, you get the correct on-deck training form and receive any needed updates during training.
  4. Complete the minimum number of required on-deck training sessions
  5. Take the Appropriate USA On-line Exam
  6. Complete the required steps of:
    • Athlete Protection Training (APT)
    • Background Check (BGC)
    • Concussion Protocol Training (CPT)
    • CA Residents need to also complete CANRA
  7. After all the above steps have been completed, email a copy of your completed on-deck apprentice form to the Officials Chair [email protected]

Useful Tips for these Steps:

  • USA Swimming Registration link is provided by your club’s Registrar
  • Links for APT, BGC and CPT can be found here: USAS How to become an Official
  • CANRA (Mandatory Reporting: Understanding Your Responsibility) can be found in the Safe Sport tab of USA Swimming University
  • Registration and Background Check require payment to complete.  All other steps are free of charge.  (Some clubs will reimburse officials for these costs.)

Updated 4/12/24



New 2024 S/T Training Slip (Use this form if training began after 2/1/2024)