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Swimming Technical Officials (STO)


Volunteering as a swimming official is very rewarding, you have the knowledge that you are helping your club and ultimately benefiting your child, the swimmer. The amount of hours you give to the club is entirely individual, we are aware that people have many commitments. You are always appreciated by the club and swimmers alike. 

Swimming technical officials are volunteers who are vital to the running of a gala, in fact, galas cannot go ahead without them!

They are a central part of every swimming event and play an important role in ensuring the event runs smoothly, safely and within the sport's regulations.

A number of roles exist within officiating, including timekeeper, recorder, Judge 1, Judge 2, Judge 2S, Referee and Automatic Officiating Equipment (AOE) Operator. 


Most officials are parents of swimmers past and present.


No previous swimming experience or background is necessary to become an official, but if you have an interest in swimming - or the enthusiasm to learn, then you have taken the first step to becoming a Swimming Technical Official!


Here is a sample of the roles you can help with, please see more information here




This is an introduction into the world of the swimming official. To become a timekeeper a local course covers the practical aspects of what is required of a timekeeper by means of a short theory session followed by a poolside practical assessment. The minimum recommended age of candidates for this training is 14 years.


This is the first level of British qualification. It covers the role and duties of a Timekeeper, Chief Timekeeper and Inspector of Turns.

The minimum age to start training is 16 years. Candidates will attend workshops and gain practical experience working on the poolside with a mentor. A course workbook is provided and once confident, a poolside final assessment will qualify you to become Judge 1,  Inspector of Turns

Judge 2

This is the second level of qualification. 

Again, the minimum age to start training is 16 years and candidates must have already qualified as Judge Level 1. The training follows a similar format to that of Judge level 1, workshops, mentored pool side training with workbook followed by a final assessment. On completion you will be qualified to be Judge of Stroke and finish.

Judge 2 Starter

To qualify as a Starter, you must hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and have completed a minimum of 20 hours post qualification experience as Judge Level 2. Training is in the same manner as before with practical experiences as a Starter. This qualifies you to Start a race.


The minimum age for training is 19yrs providing the candidate is aged 20yrs as at 30th November in the year of the theory examination. In addition candidates must have  poolside experience at Judge Level 1 and Judge Level 2 and must also have been qualified as Judge Level 2S for at least 1 year with a minimum of 10 hours post qualification experience. Training takes almost 1 year at the end of which a written examination and a final assessment is undertaken before you are qualified to be a referee.