Types of competitions:
Pool lifesaving competitions
Open water lifesaving competitions
Lifeguard Emergency Response competitions
These types of competitions are featured at community, regional, provincial, national and international championships.
General guidelines, expectations and responsibilities for Officials
At all times, officials must demonstrate the utmost level of courtesy and patience towards competitors, coaches, other officials, volunteers and spectators.
During a competition, officials must fulfill their designated roles and must not distract the competitor with unnecessary communication.
Knowledge of competition standards and rules as well as recognition of infractions or violations of event rules and taking appropriate action in the event of a violation of the event rules.
Consistency and impartiality in assessing all competitors.
Ability to complete appropriate forms in a timely, accurate and legible manner.
An official must remain as close to the action as possible, and be aware of where competitors are at all times without obstructing or impeding competitors progress. Officials must be in the proper position(s) designated for the start and finish of an event.
Officials work together in a team. In order for the officiating team to be successful, it is critical that each official know what he or she is responsible for and to whom.
All officials positions are important. Each one contributes to the smooth functioning of the competition. From the timers to the referees, each person fulfills a role that is important to the competition.
Officials must be cognizant of safety concerns. If a competitor appears to be getting into difficulty, an official needs to know what action should be taken. This includes taking note of the location of host staff, safety officers and emergency assistance in case of an urgent situation.
throughout a competition, officials must be aware of the competition schedule and be punctual for each event.
Officials must always be prepared, which means confirming equipment needed to carry out the job is available and in working order.
Your opinion matters! After the competition, please provide feedback to continue to improve the competition experience.
The Referee is the official with the most authority on deck (also the one with the whistle). They will run the briefing at the beginning of the session to let you know what is expected for the session you have volunteered for.
Timekeepers are located behind the starting blocks of their respective lanes at the start/finish end of the pool. They are responsible for the timing of swimmers using the semi-automatic timing equipment (plungers) and / or watches. In Nova Scotia we use an Ultrak print out watch and generally only need two timers per meet as each timer watches for the finish in each lane - providing two times per lane which are then averaged out for the final time and matched with the finish judges list of placings.
Timers work under the direction of the chief finish judge.
The timer takes the time of the competitors in the lane or area assigned to them in accordance with rules for the event being timeed.
Timers start their watches at the starting signal and stop them when the competitor has completed the race.
In accordance with the rules for the event being timed, timers may be required to record the times on their watches onto a timecard. In some cases, timers may be required to time the duration of an event where there are time limits.
For each event timers must know how many lengths each competitor will be swimming and whether it is a team or individual event.
For the start, place yourself in a location where you can see the starter/light of the starting device.
Start your watch at the sound of the acoustic signal, and if a light signal is in use, at the flash of the light.
Start your watch regardless of if there is a competitor in your area/lane or not.
Track the number of events your competitor has completed so you are ready for the finish.
Meet Manager is the general manager of the entire competition. They have duties before, during and after the meet. They may have a team to share in the responsibilities. The Meet Manager submits the entry information to teams and organises the format of the competition.
To recruit and secure officials and volunteers before the competition.
To prepare officials in advance about the details of the competition.
To support and encourage officials involvement at competitions.
The role of the coach during a competition is to:
Provide one-on-one feedback to the athlete
Be the first and last contact with swimmer before and after their swim (not mom and dad)
Advocate for their swimmer – question disqualifications and follow rules to protest.
The Coach will address any questions/concerns they have to the Referee of the session. They should not approach individual judges.
The Safety Marshal is a trained position designated by Meet Management. Safety Marshals shall:
Be visible by safety vest.
Be situated at each end of the competition pool and when applicable, similarly situated in designated warm-up pools when pre-competition warm-ups are scheduled.
Actively monitor all scheduled warm-up periods.
Ensure participants comply with warm-up safety procedures and report violations to the Referee.
Judgement, tact and confidence is required and therefore the Safety Marshal should ideally be a more experienced official.
Clerk of Course
The Clerk of Course (CoC) is assisted by marshallers and plays a critical role in assisting with the management of the competition. The CoC arranges competitors into their proper heats and lanes prior to a race. While most competitions are are pre-seeded in advance of the meet (by a computer program), the CoC is still required to check-in competitors, collect scratches and re-seed or condense heats as needed.
Inform swimmers of their event, heat and lane assignments by handing out cards or posting heat sheets and updates to heat sheets as required.
Be organized and consistent in the information provided to coaches, swimmers and support staff.
Many of the job functions of the Clerk of Course are completed through Meet Management software such as Hy-tek or Splash therefore not all responsibilities are manual in nature.
Be familiar with the number of heats for each event as well as which lanes are being used. Also familiarise yourself with the number and order of events.
Chief Finish Judge
The key responsibilities of the Chief Finish Judge (CFJ) are to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the official times assigned to EVERY swim. The finish judge visually determines the order of finish for an event.
The official time is determined by the CFJ.
CFJ watches the finish of each event and records the order of those finishing, these are then matched to the time printout from the timers. If there are any errors, disqualifications or non-finishing athletes, the CFJ will note these on the results print out so all results information is accurate.
All rule violations noticed are to be reported to the referee.