Level 1 Junior
Level 2 Intermediate
Level 3 Senior
Level 4 Master

BCSSA Officials - Head Timer

Responsibilities and duties:

The Head Timer plays a vital role in ensuring that valid times are obtained for each competitor.  Their duties include:
  • Be thoroughly familiar with all of the rules pertaining to obtaining valid times.
  • Be familiar with the timing equipment used at the meet [i.e. back-up plungers, types of watches used, how to change the batteries, etc.].
  • Ensure that all of the Timers are competent and that all watches are operating satisfactorily.

Before the Meet:

  • Arrive at least an hour before the meet to check that there are sufficient watches in proper working order. Back-up watches and extra batteries are essential.
  • Sign out the watches, clipboards, heat sheets and pencils or pens to the Lane Timers and Recorders.
  • In conjunction with the Referee or Starter, conduct a test of the timing system prior to the start of the meet. Timers will be told to reset their watches on a pre-arranged signal [such as the Referee's first whistle].
  • Ensure that each lane has the required number of Lane Timers and a Lane Recorder.
  • If any of the timers are inexperienced, the Chief Timer may need to give a brief timing clinic to ensure that all timers are following the correct timing procedure.

During the meet:

  • Supervise all Timers, checking and replacing watches [or Timers] as necessary throughout the meet.
  • Check that the winner of each heat has a valid time. Unless there are problems with watches in other lanes, the Head Timer will normally take a back-up time for the winner of each heat and will normally assign the Assistant Head Timer to take times for the second place finisher of each heat. The times obtained are recorded on the lane timer's sheet with the notation that it is the Chief Timer's time.

Reference: BCSSA Swimming Rule Book p.40

(Source: BCSSA Clinician's Guide)