No formal swimming event can run without the presence of volunteer swimming officials – those are the people, normally in white, who watch the swimmers to ensure that the rules are followed and that the event is fair to all swimmers.

All Swim England officials must have a formal qualification to ensure that they know the rules of the game and comply with the requirements of the sport. But don’t let that put you off.

The five levels of “official” are Timekeeper, Judge 1, Judge 2, Starter, and then the ultimate level, Referee – this is the person who has ultimate control of the officials and the way a swimming meet is run – they are the person who decides if a swimmer is disqualified and not any other official. Timekeeper and Judge 1 are currently delivered on-line by Swim England.

Obviously, the different disciplines of swimming have different requirements of their officials. So, a straightforward Official at a normal swimming gala will need additional qualifications to judge at an Open Water, Artistic Swimming, or Water Polo event – but they all have one thing in common – to ensure that the participants are competing on an equal footing and that they get the benefit of the doubt.

If you are interested in becoming an Official, to help a club, County, Regional or even National events, then please contact your club or go to the Swim England Website