Officials Certification Program

U.S. Masters Swimming certifies swimming officials to work USMS sanctioned meets. Officials certification is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. USMS certification is not required for currently certified USA Swimming, NCAA, NFHS (high school), or YMCA officials to work USMS meets. Membership in USMS is recommended, but not required, for certification as a Stroke & Turn or Starter official. USMS membership is required for certification as a USMS Referee. We use the videos and online testing system created by USA Swimming for certification training and testing. You  will need to create an account on the USA Swimming web site in order to take the certification test(s). Additionally, we are using another online testing site for the USMS Officials Supplemental Exam, required for Stroke & Turn and Referee certification and for Recertification at all levels.

How to Become an Official

 

Stroke & Turn Official

  1. On the USA Swimming site review all six (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley, and relays) officiating training videos 
  2. Take and pass (with 80% correct) the  “Certification – Stroke & Turn/Timer”online test. Your results will be emailed to you by USA Swimming. Once you receive them, forward them to officialscertification@usms.org.
  3. Take and pass (with 80% correct) the “USMS Officials Supplemental exam” online test. The test score is shown immediately but no email is sent. Note your score and include it in your email to officialscertification@usms.org forwarding the Stroke & Turn test score.
  4. Your credentials will be emailed to you by the USMS Officials committee upon receipt of your test results.
  5. Certification expires on December 31st of the second year of certification.

Note: Some LMSCs may recommend or require additional steps in the training of their officials. You may wish to contact your LMSC Officials Chair for further information.

Starter

  1. Previously be certified by USMS as a Stroke & Turn Official. There is no minimum length of time as a certified Stroke &Turn Official required before an individual can become a starter.
  2. Review "The Start: Philosophy and Protocol" training video
  3. Take and pass (with 80% correct) the “Certification – Starter” and “Recertification Stroke & Turn/Timer" online tests
  4. Your results will be emailed to you by USA Swimming. Once you receive them, forward them to officialscertification@usms.org. Your credentials will be emailed to you by the USMS Officials committee upon receipt of your test results.
  5. Certification expires on December 31st of the second year of certification.

Note: Certification as a Starter automatically renews your certification as a Stroke & Turn Official.

Referee

  1. Previously certified by USMS as a Stroke & Turn and Starter.
  2. Minimum 4 Sessions as a Starter at USMS meets.
  3. Join and maintain USMS Membership.
  4. Review and study the USMS Referee Self-Training Guide
  5. Take and pass (with 80% correct) three tests:
    1. USA Swimming Referee online test
    2. USA Swimming Timing Judge online test
    3. USMS Supplemental test online test
  6. Referee and Timing Judge Test results are emailed by USA Swimming. Once received, forward them to officialscertification@usms.org. Note: for the USMS Supplemental test the test score is shown immediately but no email is sent.  Note your score and include it in your email to officialscertification@usms.org.
  7. Referee Novice Credentials are emailed from the USMS Officials Committee.  Work with your LMSC Officials Chair for minimum 2 mentored Referee deck sessions at USMS meets.  Once training is complete, the LMSC Officials Chair will request Referee Certification by contacting officialscertification@usms.org.  Based on prior experience, the Novice sessions requirement may be waived by the LMSC Officials Chair or the USMS Officials Committee.
  8. Credentials are emailed by the USMS Officials committee after recommendation is received.
  9. Certification expires on December 31st of the second year of certification.

Note: Certification as a Referee automatically renews your certification as Stroke & Turn and Starter. Some LMSCs may recommend or require additional steps in the training of their officials. You may wish to contact your LMSC Officials Chair for further information.

Recertification

All officials need to keep track of their sessions worked.

Stroke & Turn Official

  • Stroke & Turn Officials who have worked four or more sessions within their current certification period may take the test “Recertification – Stroke & Turn/Timer” on the USA Swimming website and the USMS Supplemental online test for re-certification.
  • Officials who have worked three or less sessions within the current certification period must take the “Certification – Stroke & Turn/Timer” and the USMS Supplemental online test for re-certification.

Starter

  • Starters who have worked 4 or more sessions within their current certification period (minimum of 1 as Starter) may take the tests “Recertification – Starter”, “Re-certification – Stroke &Turn/Timer” on the USA Swimming site and the USMS Supplemental online test for re-certification.
  • Starters who have worked 3 or less sessions within their current certification period must take the “Certification – Starter”, “Re-certification – Stroke & Turn/Timer” and the USMS Supplemental online test for re-certification.
  • NOTE: Recertification at Starter includes Stroke & Turn and Starter.

Referee

  • •Referees who have worked 4 or more sessions within their current certification period (minimum of 1 as Deck or Meet Referee) may take the tests “Recertification – Referee” on the USA Swimming site and the current “USMS Supplemental online test.”
  • •Referees who have worked 3 or less sessions within their current certification period must take the “Certification – Referee”, “Re-certification – Timing Judge” tests on the USA Swimming site and the current “USMS Supplemental online test for re-certification.
  • NOTE: Recertification at Referee includes Stroke & Turn, Starter and Referee.

 Any questions about USMS Officials Certification may be addressed to officialscertification@usms.org.

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