Volunteer officials

One way of getting involved in the sport is to volunteer as an official, which not only gets you poolside, but provides an invaluable service. Swim Galas simply cannot be held without volunteer officials.

All these roles involve some sort of training, which is provided by the ASA though the county. The roles are described below, and the amount of training grows with the responsibility of the job. Piranhas pay the ASA the small fee required to cover the costs of the course, so there is no charge to the applicant. Please speak to any member of the committee if you are interested in becoming an official.


This is an introduction into the world of the swimming official. It covers the practical aspects of what is required of a timekeeper by means of a short theory session followed by a practical assessment.

The minimum recommended age for candidates to undertake this training is 14 years, and all need to be registered members of a British Swimming affiliated club.

Judge Level 1

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

The minimum age to start training is 15 years. Candidates will be required to undertake some formal theory instruction and gain practical experience working on the poolside with a mentor. A course workbook is provided for completion after which there will be a practical assessment.

During the practical assessment candidates will be required to answer questions orally. Upon qualification candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 1 on the British Swimming Database and will be encouraged to become a Licensed Official.

Judge Level 2

This is the second level of qualification. It encompasses the role and duties in relation to all aspects of judging and the theoretical role and duties of Starter.

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 with formal instruction, mentored pool side training with workbook followed by a practical assessment.

When qualified, candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 2 on the British Swimming Database.

Judge Level 2S – Starter

Candidates wishing to qualify as a Starter will be required to hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and have completed a minimum of 20 hours post qualification experience as Judge Level 2.

Training will consist of a prescribed number of practical experiences as a Starter before undertaking a formal practical assessment.

Successful candidates will be attributed with the Starter qualification: Judge Level 2S


The minimum age for training is 19yrs providing the candidate is aged 20 years as at 30 November in the year of the theory examination. In addition candidates must have proven 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 in that role at the time of application.

This course contains theoretical instruction and specified practical experiences. It is followed by a formal examination in November after which successful candidates take a final poolside practical assessment leading to qualification as a British Swimming Referee.

Several months have been allocated between registration and the formal examination to enable candidates to undertake all the practical experience required to complete the course as well as the theoretical instruction.

Application forms must be submitted by 31 December of the previous year to allow sufficient time for completion of training in preparation for the November examination.

Benefits of becoming an official

  • It will increase your technical knowledge of competitive swimming
  • By becoming an official you are supporting the swimmers, club and sport
  • Most clubs/events will provide free parking or parking expenses for officials
  • Most clubs/events will provide free entry and lunches for officials
  • Regional and National events will provide overnight accommodation and/or expenses
  • For more information on ASA swimming officials please visit the ASA website by clicking on this link