Posted in STO

Swimming Technical Officials – About Us

Swimming Technical officials (STOs) are a central part of every swimming event and play an important role in ensuring the events run smoothly, safely and within the sport's regulations. A number of roles exist within officiating, including timekeeper, recorder, Judge 1, Judge 2, Judge 2S, Referee and Automatic Officiating Equipment (AOE) Operator.

There are already hundreds of STOs across the country and with the sport continuing to grow, there are lots more opportunities to get involved.

How do you become a Swimming Technical Official?

If you are aged 14 years or over, with an interest in swimming - or the enthusiasm to learn! - then you have taken the first step to becoming a Swimming Technical Official.

Firstly, you must be a member of Scottish Swimming so you are insured for your activity on poolside. If you are not already a member of a club, click here for details of your nearest club.

The first step on the ladder of officiating is to become a Timekeeper. Your Club Secretary can organise a Timekeeper Assessment through your District STO Convenor. This requires eight people and consists of a lecture followed by practical experience/assessment of timekeeping on the poolside.

Once the assessment is successfully completed you can officiate on the poolside at any event.

Once you have reached the age of 15 then you are eligible to become a Judge 1. Application is made through British Swimming and involves an online instruction and assessment module after which you download a workbook. This is followed by practical training on poolside with a mentor only with no examination at the end of the course. Judge 1 qualifies you to be a Timekeeper and be a Turn Judge.

Once you have completed this you are then eligible to continue to Judge 2 which involves you applying to your District STO Convenor who will advise you of a course start date which will include workshop dates. Material for the course is in the form of a workbook and your Course leader will advise you how this is obtained. The course is in the form of workshops and practical training on poolside with a mentor only with no examination at the end of the course just a final assessment. Judge 2 qualifies you to Judge stroke and finish.

Once you have completed this you are then eligible to continue to Judge 2S (Starter) which is completed in the same manner. Judge 2S qualifies you to start.

The Referee is the next step in the progress and you will be eligible once you are a certificated Starter and have 12 months experience in this role. You may apply at 19 years of age but must be 20 years old on or before examination in November. Training takes almost 1 year and at the end there is a written examination and a final assessment before you are certificated as a Referee.

Your qualifications achieved will allow you to officiate at events throughout Scotland, England and Wales as the courses are the same in all of the home countries.

Training is also available for a Recorder Examination and for AOE Operator which is by assessment. If you would like to find out more information about becoming a swimming technical official, please contact a member of the District’s STO committee.