Becoming An Administrative Official with USA Swimming & North Carolina Swimming
Thank you, for your interest in becoming an Administrative Official with USA Swimming (USA-S) and North Carolina Swimming (NCS). The success of a well-run swim meets and good competitive results are directly related to good officiating, both on the deck and behind the scenes. The Administrative Official (AO) is a brand new position in officiating, to both USA-S and NCS. But the officiating roles, tasks and procedures assigned to the new AO position are same ones used in most all USA-S sanctioned or approved meets for years. The difference today is, USA-S requires that the individual handling those procedures must be a certified official who has been evaluated and has satisfactory met all the requirements outlined in an LSC ‘s certification program. The required administrative duties cover a number of different dry side responsibilities: preforming timing adjustments, handling positive check-ins, scratches, seeding and disqualifications, reviewing heat sheets, checking results and scoring, but these are only a few tasks for an AO. A big challenge will be coordinating the accuracy of the “information trail” with a number of other key individuals in a timely manner. Below is a brief outline on what is required to become an Administrative Official and guide to help you through your apprenticeship as simply as possible. This outline will cover the costs as well as some of the other benefits to becoming an AO official. All this will be reviewed again in more detail at an Administrative Official Clinic, so take a few moments to look it over, if you may have a few questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. The sport of swimming relies heavy on the spirit of individuals to get involved and step-up in the form of volunteering. Thank you again for taking the first step in becoming an Administrative Official with both USA Swimming and North Carolina Swimming.
Let’s get started on your apprenticeship: The course summary to become an Administrative Official is broke down into two training categories:
(1) Off-Deck Training
(2) On-Deck Training
It is required that every USA-S/NCS Apprentice:
1. Create an account online with USA Swimming
2. Attend a USA-S/NCS approved Administrative Official Clinic
3. Complete open book Administrative Official test online at USA-S
4. Register with both USA Swimming and NCS
5. Pass the Level 2 Background Check
6. Complete the Athlete Protection Training
“NOTE:” Within (60) days from the date of your Administrative Official clinic; (1) you must be registered as a non-athlete member with USA-S/NCS, (2) obtained a Level 2 Background Check, and (3) completed Athlete Protection Training online with USA Swimming. Every apprentice should be fully familiar with the current Administrative Official certification program outlined in the NCS Policies and Procedures. All steps in both categories must be completed and verified prior to an apprentice being certified. We recommend you complete these steps as soon as possible, even prior to attending your Administrative Official clinic.
Let’s go through each of these steps in more detail:
Create Your USA Swimming Account. Creating an online account with USA Swimming is essential, free, and a great first step. You will see later that it links all your registration records (USA-S/NCS registration, Level Two Background Check, Athlete Protection Training) to your apprenticeship. Your USA-S account will help you and the NCS Officials Committee track swim meets that you have officiated, your USA-S online test, evaluations you have completed and other activities. Creating the account is free, easy, and takes only five (5) minutes to complete. USA Swimming’s website is found at (www.usaswimming.org); then check the top right-hand corner; sign-in, create an account. Note: Be careful, create your own username and password that’s exclusively your own, do not use another family member’s, doing so may not correctly link your information/tests.
- Sign up for a USA-S/NCS Administrative Official Clinic. You need to attend an approved USA-S/NCS AO Clinic and to find a clinic, simply go to the North Carolina Swimming website. Under the Officials tab, click on Officials clinics -> find a Administrative Official clinic. Then, click on the clinic sign-up link for the clinic you would like to attend. Once you complete clinic application, you will need to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Training Coordinator will send you a Administrative Official clinic workbook, confirm your registration, and inform you of the name of your Clinician. North Carolina’s Swimming’s website can be found at (www.ncswim.org)
- Complete a open book Administrative Official test online at USA-S. You will need to complete an online, open book test at USA Swimming. It is recommended that this AO test first be downloaded and printed out. You can then take the test at your own pace. A large portion of the test will be reviewed during your clinic and your Clinician can help you with any questions you don’t understand. The remainder of the test is to be completed by the apprentice. The test must be completed with a satisfactorily score of 80% or better. To download the test, go to the USA Swimming website, go under Officials tab, click the Testing and Certification and just follow the directions. Be careful “NOT” to take the Re-certification test for Administrative Official. This test is for an individual who already is a certified official for a number of years. Once you have passed the test, the NCS Training Coordinator will receive notification.
USA-S/NCS Registration. You will need to register with both USA Swimming and North Carolina Swimming as a Non-Athlete member. NOTE: Every apprentice must be registered as a non athlete member with USA Swimming/North Carolina Swimming within 60 days after the date of their AO clinic. You can do this on the North Carolina Swimming website. On the NCS website, look under Registration and click on registration forms and documents. You will need to fill out the NCS Non-Athlete Registration form and either mail it to the NCS Registrar (address is located on the form) or bring it with you to the AO clinic. There is a power-point presentation to help guide you through the process.
Level 2 Background Check. In the interest of protecting all athletes, USA Swimming’s governing body ruled that all individuals who come in contact with any USA-S athletes must pass a Level 2 Background Check. The current cost is $39.00 and is good for (24) months. Some teams may reimburse their officials for the cost of the Level 2 Background check. Please check with your team. The background check is done with an Agency approved by USA Swimming and all information is held confidentially between the applicant and that Agency. You will receive a confirmation email of your application and the results when they are available. USA Swimming and NCS receive only a green light or a yellow light notification, normally within (72) hours from the completed check. This is all completed on the USA Swimming website. After creating an account, sign in and click member resources under the “Officials” tab (currently on the right side — halfway down the page). NOTE: Every apprentice must obtain an Level 2 Background Check within 60 days after the date of their AO clinic.
Athlete Protection Training. Along with the required USA-S background check, USA Swimming’s governing body created Athlete Protection Training. This is a yearly, required course for all individuals who come in contact with any USA-S athlete. This is a 45-minute to an hour tutorial course and is available online at USA Swimming. It is located directly below the Background Check link. It details behavior that is inappropriate within USA-S and methods on how to report misconduct. NOTE: You must be registered with USA-S/NCS and have set up an account in USA Swimming’s database to access Athlete Protection Training. NOTE: Every apprentice must complete Athlete Protection Training within 60 days after the date of their AO clinic.
On-Deck training. You will need to complete a minimum of four (4) sessions at an USA-S/NCS sanctioned or approved swim meet(s). Each session you will work with an Administrative Referee that will help mentor you through the duties of an Administrative Official. They will guide you in the correct method for making timing adjustments, handling positive check-ins, scratches, seeding and disqualifications, reviewing heat sheets, checking results and scoring, etc. Admin Referee may discuss maintaining proper back-ups and ways to create a paper trail for any possible post session or meet corrections that may develop. After satisfactory completing the requirements for an AO certification, you must email your completed on-deck apprentice card to the NCS Training Coordinator. Once the NCS Training Coordinator verifies the requirements and reviews have been met, he/she will certify you as an Administrative Official with USA-S/NCS. After a few weeks, the NCS Training Coordinator will mail you an NCS official name badge.
- Minimum Sessions. You will need to apprentice a minimum of four (4) sessions at a USA-S/NCS sanctioned or approved swim meet(s). Note: Four (4) sessions are a minimum number for NCS certification. Additional sessions may be required for an apprentice to finish and obtain a clear understanding and be proficient as Administrative Official.
Timeline. Most apprenticeships will only take a few weeks to complete but it’s all completed at your own pace. Be aware that there is a USA-S/NCS requirement that a apprentice must have completed their apprenticeship to become a certified USA-S/NCS Administrative Official within 12 months from their clinic date.
Cost. There are some costs in becoming a USAS Official. Some swim teams may reimburse their officials for some or all of these costs so are sure to check with your team’s policy. The current costs (subject to change) include:
2014-2015 USA-S/NCS registration as a Non-Athlete member is $62.00. This amount changes annually, so please check for the correct amount. We recommend completing the registration process as soon as possible, even before attending your Administrative Official clinic. After your USA-S/NCS registration is completed, USA Swimming will send you the current USAS rulebook.
Level 2 Background Check, which is currently $39.
Websites. Please take some time to explore and become familiar with the following websites. Information available on both websites will help you be successful and enjoy working as an official:
USA Swimming: www.usaswimming.org
North Carolina Swimming: www.ncswim.org
Congratulations! That is a brief outline of becoming an Administrative Official with USA-S/NCS. USA Swimming, North Carolina Swimming, your swim club, follow Officials and the swimmers, all thank you for stepping up and advancing to the ranks of officiating.
Thanks again for your volunteerism and commitment to the sport of swimming and athletes in both USA-S and NCS.
North Carolina Swimming Officials Committee