Officials & Volunteer Positions At a Swim Meet

Are you wondering what all the different officials and volunteer roles mean at a swim meet? Here are some descriptions to help you out.

Runner: The role of the Runner is to collect and deliver important meet paperwork between the referee and electronics booth and the meet announcer. The Runner may also be asked to photocopy and post event results on walls and other related tasks. 

*Experience Needed: None is required for this position and training is provided.

Ribbons/Medals (Office): Role of the office staff is to place labels on ribbons and medals. This person may also be responsible for posting results. 

Experience Needed: No experience required for this position. Training is provided.

Timer: The Timer uses a device to take the finish time of the swimmer’s race. This is one of the simplest jobs at a swim meet and it gives you a great seat to watch all the action. 

*Experience Needed: Little to no experience is required, must complete Level 1 - intro to swimming clinic before the meet.

Hospitality: The hospitality people prepare and serve the food to the coaches and on-deck officials during the meet. Hospitality is a key role since the success of a meet is often gauged by how well-fed the officials and coaches are. 

*Experience Needed: Low.

Marshalling: Marshalling is to organize the swimmers into their groups and lanes before their races. They will keep the participants informed of the order of events. Marshals are very important as they control the pace of the meet.

*Experience Needed: Low to Intermediate level of experience and training can be provided at the meet.

Safety Marshal: The role of the Safety Marshal is to observe the safety of swimmers during the warm-up period and ensure established safety procedures are followed. 

*Experience Needed: Intermediate level of experience is required and must be certified by taking the clinic before the meet.

Stroke and Turn Official: The role of the Stroke and Turn official is to observe the correctness of the stroke and/or turn to ensure that no swimmer gets an unfair advantage.

*Experience Needed: Low to Intermediate levels of experience are required for this position. Taking a clinic before the meet is required.

Electronics: The timing computer operators are responsible for setting up, conducting pre-race testing and running the timing electronics for the meet. The jobs are relatively straightforward and inexperienced operators are always paired up with experienced ones. 

*Experience Needed: Low to Intermediate. Having some computer aptitude and experience is helpful. On deck Training is usually provided on-the job during a meet, simply because that is the time when all the equipment is set up and connected. Taking a clinic before the meet is required.

Recorder Scorer: This is part of the meet Electronics. The Hytek operator imports the swimmer's race times from the timing system into the meet management (Hytek) system. It actually sounds a lot harder than it really is. The Hytek operator makes any final adjustments to the finish times of the swimmers, prepares the list of finish times for each event and publishes times.

*Experience Needed: Intermediate. Taking a clinic before the meet is required.

Clerk-of-Course: The Clerk-of-Course is responsible for making deck entries of swimmers, scratching swimmers from races and entering relay teams. A good understanding of the meet management (Hytek) system is required. 

*Experience Needed: Intermediate. A training clinic is required for this job.

Chief Finish: The Chief Finish Judge works with the Hytek operator to validate the race times and fix any timing discrepancies that may occur. 

Experience Needed: Intermediate. Taking a clinic before the meet is required.​​​​​​​

Chief Timer: The chief timer is responsible for all the Timers, watches and plungers and to provide relief for Timers. *Experience Needed: Intermediate. Taking a clinic before the meet is required.

Starter: The starter starts each race through the activation of the electronic timing system and to  ensure a fair start has occurred. 

*Experience Needed: Intermediate to Advanced level of experience is required to be a starter. Taking a clinic before the meet is required.

Referee: The referee is the most senior official at the meet and is responsible for all the deck officials and the integrity of the meet.

*Experience Needed: Advanced. Years of experience and training courses are required to be a referee.