Haney Neptunes Officials

Want to know what it takes to get those fancy pins you see on our badges? Please check out the BCSSA Officials' certification pages, located at www.bcsummerswimming.com/infoOfficials/officialspins.html

Officials' Stoke & Turn reference sheet click here

Officials Training and Certification Program

BCSSA is one of the largest short course summer swimming organizations in North America.  Over the years it has developed a comprehensive training program for the officials who are needed to staff the various positions on the pool deck in order to run a meet.  Some of these officiating positions are obvious to the casual spectator - the referee and starter and the officials judging strokes and turns at the sides and ends of the pool.  Many others are less obvious but just as critical.  The list below constitutes the official functions necessary to staff and run a typical meet:

Position Responsibilities Number needed

Meet Referee

Selects and monitors the officials on the working pool deck


Meet Manager Organizes the preparation, communications, personnel and equipment to conduct the meet and ensure its continuous operation 1

Chief Meet Recorder (CMR)

Collects and tabulates the meet results, adjudicates results as needed and posts results


CMR assistants Prepare and seed events, collect and check results, do computer entry and validation, post intermediate and final results 4-6

Clerk of the Course

Organizes events and individual time cards for swimmers, handles scratches and calls swimmers or alternate for events, distributes cards to swimmers


Session Referee Oversees the entire pool deck and the conduct of the meet for duration of assigned session. Has final authority for all decisions governing the meet. 1

Back-up Referee

As needed, handles issues or responsibilities delegated by Session Referee


Starter Controls and ensures a fair start once the race is passed to Starter's command by Referee 1

Stroke/turn officials

Observe proper execution of the various strokes and turns to ensure a fair and correct race in each stroke


Place Judge Tabulates order of finish of swimmers in race (overrides manual times) 4-6

Lane Recorder

Receives and checks time card for swimmers in assigned lane; enters manual times on card


Lane Timers Start and stop watches at start and finish of race to obtain manual times for swimmer in assigned lane 12-16


Organizes swimmers into their heats or finals and ensures an orderly delivery of swimmers to the blocks for events


Chief Timer Instructs lane timers and provides backup manual times as needed 1

Chief Judge Electronics

Manages electronic timing system to provide accurate electronic time records for each race


Runner Collects place judge slips, time cards and electronic time record for each race for delivery to CMR 1-2


Calls swimmers to clerk of course, announces meet event information and any other public announcements required by Meet Manager or Session Referee


Total Depends on meet and pool size and configuration 44-61


In addition to the above, every successful meet has a large number of ancillary positions which contribute to the efficiency, ambiance and fun of the meet. These positions include the pool equipment set-up and tear-down crews, raffle and swim gear organizers and sales people, concession cooks and staff, deck food volunteers for provision of refreshments to pool deck officials and (for very large meets), security staff.

A large well-run meet can easily require 70-80 people working at any one time to keep the meet running smoothly and on-time.  All of these people require breaks and replacements in order to keep the meet going and allow everyone a chance to enjoy the performances of their own kids.

BCSSA Officials Certification

Training for many of the positions above are obtained directly through on-the-job training at meets and through informal sessions at each club.  BCSSA provides formal clinics and instruction for certain official positions which require more technical training, have higher levels of responsibility or official discretion and/or have the capacity to pronounce disqualifications or judgments on appeals.  These clinics include those for the positions of stroke/turn judge, starter, referee and chief meet recorder.

BCSSA recognizes an official's progression in theoretical and practical proficiency and experience through a certified level system with different coloured pins awarded for attainment of each certification level:

Level Pin Colour Experience or Proficiency Required



Lane Timer/recorder, chief timer, place judge, marshal

Intermediate Red Level 1 + Stroke/turn judge, assistant CMR (crash desk), understanding of Chief Judge Electronics position and Clerk of the Course



Practical and theoretical mastery of any one of : Clerk of the Course, Computer Entry, Chief Meet Recorder, Electronics or Meet Manager and experience at Regional Championships in that position

Senior Lt. Blue ALL Level 2 + at least three (3) of Starter, Referee, Meet Manager or Chief Meet Recorder. Experience in one of these positions at Regional Championships. Completion of an official BCSSA Harassment policy Clinic.



Demonstrated proficiency and competence with all lower level positions, experience at Provincial Championships in a level 3 position, experience in conducting officials' clinics, successful pass of Masters' examination

Competency Assessment and Certification Authority

Level 1 competency assessment and certification is by individual club Director of Officials
Level 2, Specialist and Level 3 assessment and certification conducted by Regional Director of Officials
Level 4 evaluation and certification conducted by BCSSA VP Officials or designate.

This certification program provides recognition for volunteers and officials' proficiency at all levels of experience and a clear path for progression and skills improvement.  Next time you are at a meet take a note of the badges and pins worn by officials on deck and you'll have a better understanding of the amount of time and effort they have invested in contributions to this sport and the quality of competition for all of our young athletes.

If you are interested in learning more about the BCSSA officials' training and certification program contact your club's Director of Officials


Special thanks to the Port Moody Aquarians for the majority of the content on this page!



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