Technical Officials

We are always in need of new swimming technical officials (STOs) in the club. If you are the parent of a swimmer then you can really help us out here.

Our STO convener is Lynne Duncan. Please contact Lynne for the latest course dates.

Please remember, if Ythan ASC gets the reputation of not providing officials to galas, then the invitations to these galas will dry up and the kids will not be able to compete.

Becoming a Technical Official

Swim meets cannot be held without sufficient Swimming Technical Officials (STOs). Below is a brief summary of how to become a STO. The workbooks linked below explain in detail how it all works. The workshop dates for this year can also be found in the link below.

STOs are generally is positioned around the pool to ensure that strokes, turns and finishes are carried out by the swimmers in line with the FINA rules for swimming.

The competitions we attend are officiated by STOs trained to British Swimming standards. There are two levels of judge.  Progression is normally: timekeeper, judge 1, judge 2, starter and referee.  Other roles include recorder and AOE (timing system) operator.

Becoming a Timekeeper

Becoming a timekeeper is easy.  A 2-3 hour session, usually in an evening takes candidates through the operation of a stop watch at a swim meet, teaches how to calculate a swimmers time from 1, 2 or 3 watches and introduces the FINA swimming rules as they apply to timekeeping. Once completed, candidates become ‘club timekeepers’ and are issued with a timekeeper identity card. This allows candidates to act as timekeepers at most swimming meets. A record of poolside duties form is also issued to those completing the course. The referee will sign this form after each session of timekeeping at a meet and once completed, the candidate becomes a “Scottish Swimming” timekeeper. Becoming a timekeeper is a precursor to becoming a judge 1.

Becoming a Judge

From timekeeper, becoming a judge begins with a 3 hour workshop usually held at Bridge of Don pool on an evening. These are usually held two or three times a year. This workshop introduces candidates to the FINA rules for swimming pertaining to strokes, turns and finishes.

Following the workshop, candidates need to put themselves forward for mentoring sessions at meets to work alongside experienced judges. Again, a record of poolside duties is issued for candidates to collect referee signatures after every mentoring session. Candidates are required to collect a minimum of 3 signatures for each stroke.

During the period that mentoring is taking place, a second and third workshop are attended to deepen the candidates’ knowledge of the rules and what to watch for when judging.

After the workshops and all mentoring is completed, the candidates undergo a final assessment carried out by a qualified referee. Once completed the candidate becomes a qualified judge 1.

The whole process is repeated for judge 2.

See below for links to the workbooks used in judge training where a more detailed explanation of the process is given.


STO Downloads:

Judge 1 Workbook
Judge 2 Workbook
ASA DQ Slips
Judge Assessment Form
Recorder Assessment Form
STO Licence Application
STO Licence Renewal Form
Hytek Meet Manager Course

You can access the FINA swimming rules online HERE.