OFFICIATING - What's it all about?

For starters it's close to all the action so it really is the best seat in the house!

Vital to competitive swimming are the swim meet officials. They are volunteers.  These roles are necessary to run a swim meet and enable swimmers times to be recorded as official times.  If we do not have enough officials, the meet can proceed however, the times 'won't count'.  

In order for swim meets to run effectively,  we rely on people volunteering their time and skills.  Officials, along with other volunteers, are the backbone of swimming competitions everywhere! 

New Technical Officials are always welcome and there are a variety of different roles that Technical Officials play at swim meets.  For national and regional meets it is mandatory by Swimming New Zealand for poolside technical officials to be police vetted.  For more information click on our Technical Officals/Forms & Guides tab.

We need at least 40 officials to run a swim meet!

If your child is competing you may be required to assist at a swim meet, for at least one session.   For club nights we have a parent roster.  If you are new to the club, timekeeping will be your first step and you will be well supported by experienced parents.  You will also find yourself making new friends quickly through officiating.

We have a technical team who will help get you on the road to becoming a qualified official registered with Swimming Counties Manukau.  Officiating is a great way to be involved in the sport and to support your swimmer.  There is usually a natural progression – Timekeeper, Inspector of Turns, Judge of Stroke, Starter and Referee.  Experience is gained at each stage before voluntary moving on.  Most begin as timekeepers and move on to become Inspectors of Turns (IOTs).  If you are unable to officiate at a meet you have a swimmer at, please ensure that you offer to cover a session at a future meet. If a swimmer is competing in an 800m or 1500m event, they must provide a timekeeper.  Although voluntary, the more help, the more we can spread the load between families and you can choose which meets and sessions you would like to officiate at. This experience will give you an insight into the amount of work required to run a meet. Your assistance is helping your swimmer achieve their goals. Without these volunteers swim meets simply do not operate.

Our PSC Technical Official uniform is black pants, shorts or skirt and a black top.  If you prefer to wear a PSC technical official shirt, these are available to order from our apparel order form and sizing chart page.


We’ve outlined below what each of these roles involves and the quanity required at a swim competition to help you begin your journey of officiating.

Technical Director - sets the event programme, responsible for the health & safety of all participants and pool concourse, oversees the meet and all officials

Referee – responsible for all technical decisions – 1

Starter – signals the start of the race – 1

JOS/Judge of Stroke – walks the length of the pool and checks the legality of the strokes – 4

I.O.T/Inspector of Turns/Turn Judge – checks the touch and turns of the swimmers – 6

Chief timekeeper – ensures that all times are recorded and if a stopwatch doesn’t start takes that swimmers times – 1

Lane timekeepers – 3 times keepers per lane. They take the swimmers time and record all times – 18

Recorder – enters swimmers times and any disqualifications into the Swimming NZ database.  A results report is then circulated via various swimming websites for publication: (club hosting the meet; Take Your Marks; Swimming Counties Manukau) – 1

Announcer – announces the swimmers in the races and DQ’s along with prudent information throughout the meet – 1

Marshall – gets swimmers lined up for their races, before they enter the pool concourse, ensures swimmers are in correct heat/lane order, checks swimwear – 2

Team managers – sends the swimmers to the marshalling area – 2

Refreshment assistants – ensure that all the officials are kept hydrated and sustained – 2