Technical Officials, along with other volunteers, are the backbone of swimming competitions everywhere! If you are considering become a Technical Official, that is fantastic because the sport needs you – so welcome!

Below we’ve answers some of the frequently asked questions we get about becoming a Technical Official.

  • What is a Technical Official?
  • Technical officials are a group of dedicated volunteers (usually parents of swimmers - or parents of former swimmers that just love the sport and officiating) that administer the rules of swimming at all swim meets, so the competition is fair and equitable for all competitors, as well as provide swimmers the ability to correct any potential issues that may impede their swimming progress, or possibly cause them to get disqualified at a higher level meet (state or national championships - or worse - the Olympics).

    Technical Officials do not disqualify swimmers, swimmers disqualify themselves by not adhering to the rules; officials just adjudicate according to the rules.

    For more information visit our What is a Technical Official page.

  • Who can become an Official?
  • The best part about technical officiating is that anyone can become a Technical Official – irrespective of your background, your gender, your culture, your lifestyle, your ability to swim!!! You don’t need any special skills to begin your technical official journey, just a willingness to help this great sport and a Working With Children card.

    New technical officials are always welcome! If you’re interested, read the information on our website and contact the SNT Technical Manager - Kate Reynolds.

  • Technical Official Roles
  • All swim meets have a variety of roles that are vital to fair and equitable competition. Unfortunately due to the low numbers at local meets there is usually a severe shortage - that is why we need you. The general basic requirements for local meets are to have people fill the following roles:

    • Technical Manager
    • Referee
    • Starter
    • Judge of Stroke
    • Inspector of Turns
    • Meet Manager Operator
    • Timekeepers (Usually filled by parents at local meets)

    For higher level meets you are more likely to have the remaining roles fulfilled:

    • Control Room Supervisor
    • AOE / SAT Operator
    • Chief Inspector of Turns
    • Check Starters
    • Recorder
    • Overhead Camera Operator
    • Help Desk Operators
    • Runner

    For more information on each of these roles, visit our Technical Official Roles page.

  • Where do I start?
  • Once you have read the information about what are technical official is, why they are so important and what the various roles are and the other information provided by SNT and it has peaked your interest, the first step is to contact the SNT Technical Manager so they can guide you and be your mentor through the process. There is a lot of information as well as misinformation about officiating, so having a mentor ready and willing to assist you and provide you with the best guidance will make your venture into officiating much more pleasant and rewarding.

    SNT Technical Manager - Kate Reynolds.

    From here, you can find out more on our Getting Started page.

  • How long does the training take?
  • Each role has a specific online training module that can be taken at your own pace and at a time when you are ready. These modules are self-paced but usually only take approximately 10-20min to complete each.

    There is no pressure to know everything about every role before you begin and there is no expectation that you want to know and perform every role throughout your officiating journey.

    Consultation with the SNT Technical Manager about your expectations is paramount to enjoying you time as an official and being given the best guidance.

    For more information around visit our Training page.

  • Do I need to go to every meet?
  • Absolutely not. Technical Officials are volunteers so you only help out when you are willing and able to assist. Prior to all meets, a request is sent out to all registered technical officials to nominate for the upcoming meet. The decision to attend is completely up to you and if the meet has different sessions, then which session you are able to attend is also completely up to you.


  • Do I need an Ochre Card?
  • You absolutely need an Ochre Card to be a Technical Official in the Northern Territory and it is a requirement across the country to have a valid Working with Children Card in order to officiate at swim meets. Swimming Northern Territory takes the safety of all children and all stakeholders very seriously and having an Ochre card, even if you meet the NT Government exemption requirements is a not negotiable.

    The process is very easy to undertake and can be done through the NT Working with Children webpage.

  • Where can officiating take me?
  • Technical officiating can lead to many incredible opportunities for those people that are dedicated to their journey. However, how far you want to go on your technical official pathway is entirely up to you.

    Many people are happy and content officiating at a club, regional and state level and that can be very rewarding, as they are often seen as being an important person within the community, as well as having the opportunity to visit and officiate at different level of meet and at different locations. On the other hand, if you so desire, there are incredible opportunities to officiate at National and International level meets, seeing the world's best swimmers up close and personal (so close they usually splash you while they are swimming). Officiating at Australian Championships provides a great opportunity to travel and meet other like-minded people.

    Furthermore, Australia has a proud tradition of being one of the leading nations regarding swimming officiating and play an important role in officiating around the globe. Many high ranking officials get a chance to be a part of the World Aquatics Officials List, enabling them to be invited to World, Commonwealth and Olympic Championship events. We even have our Technical Manager, Kate Reynolds on the World Aquatics list. Kate has been lucky enough to officiate at the 2024 World Aquatic Championships in Doha, Qatar.

    As you can see, there are an incredible variety of opportunities becoming a technical official can offer, it all depends on you!!!

    World Aquatics List - Pool

    World Aquatics List - Open Water

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