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Level 2 Intermediate
Level 3 Senior
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BCSSA Officials - Stroke & Turn Judge

Guiding Principles:

  • Swim meets are for swimmers.
  • Rules and guidelines exist to regulate fair play, and to prevent the unfair advantage of one competitor over another.  The official's responsibility is to see that no competitor gets an unfair advantage by doing something that is prohibited by the rules.
  • A thorough knowledge of the rules and regulations is central to effective officiating, including familiarity with recent rule changes.
  • The swimmer is always the beneficiary of any uncertainty. An action is either acceptable or unacceptable. If any doubt exists the swimmer should get the benefit.
  • An official should be aware of stroke variations that are legal, as well as those that are illegal.
  • Consistency in the application of the rules at all competitions is paramount. A DQ at a minor meet now may save disqualification at an important meet later in the season for the same infraction.

Before the meet:

  • Arrive approximately 1/2 hour before the meet starts.
  • DRESS IN WHITE. Have a rulebook, if possible.
  • Report to the Referee for instructions when you arrive. Usually the Referee will have an officials' meeting prior to every session and will identify the procedures to be followed for the meet.
  • Review the rules that will be pertinent to your assigned zone of responsibility
  • Be familiar with the BCSSA Harassment Policy.

During the meet:

  • Make your presence felt, but not obvious - you should seldom be heard. Your presence should cause swimmers to avoid deliberate rule infractions and provide them with the best possible competitive conditions.
  • Position yourself to provide the best opportunity to observe an infraction. Ripples on the water from movement, light bending in water, and the glare of the sun off the water surface can distort what you see.
  • Focus your attention exclusively on your zone of responsibility whenever any swimmers are in that zone.
  • Report any disqualifications you are about to make to either the Starter or the Referee.
  • Before making a disqualification, ensure that the name, heat and lane on the heat sheet match with what you have written on the time card.
  • In the case of a disqualification, report the infraction to the Referee and he/she will inform the Designated Disqualifying Official (DDO).
  • In case there is a protest, document your observations at the time so that you will be able to testify accurately at a Jury of Appeal.
  • Appeals are part of the process of ensuring a fair race. No official should be offended or become defensive if his/her decisions are questioned or overturned.
  • If unsure about any aspect of officiating, consult with the Referee or other Stroke and Turn officials.  Don't guess.
  • Be receptive to the suggestions and opinions of other officials, but remember that it is your responsibility to make the interpretation.

Reference: BCSSA Swimming Rule Book p. 43-44

(Source: BCSSA Clinician's Guide)