What is a Technical Official (TO)?
Because there are 4 different swimming strokes, there are many rules that need to be followed by swimmers. Our TOs are there to make sure there is an even playing field for all swimmers and so their experience of the sport is enjoyable and satisfying.
For more information on becoming a TO and the TO Development Pathway, check out our TO Development Pathway information booklet, here.
What does a TO do?
There are a variety of roles that TO's can be involved in as part of a swim meet.
Click on the roles below to see what is involved.
- Timekeeper/Chief Timekeeper
- Check Starter
- Clerk of Course (Marshal)
- Inspector of Turns
- Judge of Stroke
- Meet Manager Operator
- AOE Operator / SAT Operator
Timekeepers record the swimmers times either as a back up to the automatic timing system or, where this is not available, as the primary record of that time.
The Chief Timekeeper supervises all timekeepers.
The Check Starter makes sure the swimmers are in the correct event and lane, before lining them up behind the blocks.
The Clerk of Course marks off the swimmers' names when they report for their race, and also records any scratches or 'no shows'.
As the name suggests, the Inspector of Turns is positioned at either end of the pool to ensure that swimmers comply with the relevant rules when starting/finishing the race and turning between laps.
Judges of Stroke walk up and down the side of the pool, following the swimmers, to ensure that the relevant rules for the stroke are being observed. They also assist the Inspector of Turns.
The Meet Manager Operator ensures all results throughout the meet are compiled and recorded accurately by the Meet Manager software.
The Automatic Officiating Equipment (AOE) or Semi-Automatic Timing (SAT) Operators monitor the correct operation of the AOE or SAT system.
The Starter works with the Referee to ensure a fair start and looks for things like movement on the blocks of false starts.
Please Note: For Starter, there are 3 levels of accreditation
The Referee is ultimately responsible for all competition aspects of the swim meet including breaches of the swimming and competition rules, safety of race conditions, protests and appeals. Some Referees may also choose to complete their Multi-Class Referee accreditation and their Open Water Swimming Referee accreditation.
Please Note: For Referee, there are 3 levels of accreditation