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​Swim Officials Needed (no experience necessary):

This year, we need 12 people to fill three roles: Stroke and Turn, Starter, and Referee/Head Judge. Being an official satisfies your participation requirements to be on the team. This is a great way to learn what your swimmer needs to do to be successful in their events. Please reach out to Carolyn if you are interested in helping the team in one or more of these critical positions.

Time commitment: 4 half-meet sessions plus an online training session before the season starts. (Certified USA Swimming officials only need to attend training for roles which exceed your USA level). Current estimated training time: 2 hours for first and second year Stroke and Turn, 1-1.5 for more seasoned officials; an additional 1.5 hours for starters/referees, shorter for returning starters/referees.

Stroke and Turn: This is the introductory officiating role, and requires no previous experience. You walk the side of the pool and judge the swimmers according to the stroke rules, calling disqualifications if the swimmer makes an error. Example: in butterfly, the swimmer's feet can’t do a flutter kick like they would in freestyle. The types of mistakes to look for are listed on the DQ slips that you use, and before every meet there is a quick refresher where you can ask questions. Experienced officials will help train and guide you as you learn the role (at a team practice, where you can practice watching the strokes, or at a meet where you can shadow a more experienced official). In addition, if you have a question during the meet, the referee will come help you figure it out. And you get an unobstructed poolside view of all the action!

Starter: This officiating role is for officials who have served at least one season at stroke & turn. As the name implies, the starter cues the swimmers to the blocks, starts the races, and watches to ensure the swimmers complete the race safely, including calling false starts and logging the order of finish.

Referee/Chief Judge: This is the senior officiating role for experienced officials, and involves being in charge of operating the meet. This includes holding the officials and timers meetings before the meet, managing the timeline, speaking with coaches about complaints, answering questions from other officials, and vetting all disqualifications before approving them for data entry. The referee has the final authority over all officiating decisions. Referees must attend a full training session each season.

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Officials Training

Midlakes requires every official to complete at least one course every year. The 2024 Midlakes Officials Training Page has the most up-to-date information and links to sign up for the training.

S&T Certification Clinics: These are for new officials, any official with less than two years of experience, and anyone else who wants a more detailed refresher. This is a two hour clinic that will cover stroke & turn in detail.

Classes dates: May 21, May 29, and June 3 from 6:00-8:00pm on Zoom.

Recertification & Starter/Referee Clinics: These are for experienced officials. The S&T section will be a refresher course. The Starter/Referee section will cover all the details of the roles and running meets. Experienced S&T may sign up for only the S&T section if you do not plan to advance your role. Starters/Referees, whether new or returning, must attend the entire clinic.

Class dates: May 20, May 22, May 30 from 6:00-8:30pm on Zoom

The 2023 Midlakes Officials page also has links to USA Swimming officiating videos which can be used as a reference.

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Carolyn Lesser Head Official

Coordinates all officials, ensuring coverage and skill competency.

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