Technical Officials

Technical Official

Swimming, similar to many other sports, relies heavily on volunteers. Swimming competitions and events are important to the development of our swimmers and without the assistance and guidance of technical officials, these events cannot be run. Becoming a technical official is rewarding and an excellent way to contribute to the sport, spend time with your children, create great friendships and gain professional development.

Technical Officials

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How to become a Technical Offical

  • Where to start
  • Becoming a technical official can be a very rewarding role.  Not only are there opportunities to travel around the country and overseas, you also get to meet loads of great people too! 

    To find out how you can become an official today, please contact your state or territory swimming association from the links below.

  • Available Training
  • Swimming Australia now have eight officiating modules online!  If you are interested in becoming accredited in any of the below positions, click on the links and start learning!  

    Technical Officials Learning

    * Please note, we also have Marshal & Check Starter, Starter and Recorder online training available. Click on the links below to go to each of the training portals or contact your State or Territory Association to get started.

  • Pool Technical Officials Pathway
  • Please note this diagram shows the pool technical official roles that are available.  Technical officials start with General Principles, then can move up through the various roles as they see fit.  

    TO Pool Pathway v2

Technical Official Notices & Resources

  • Calling for nominations for Trials and the National Officiating Assessment Panel
  • 22-Dec-20

    Dear Technical Official,

    You are invited to nominate for:

    • Australian Swimming Trials 2021
    • National Officiating Assessment Panel 2021-23


    Australian Swimming Trials 12-17 June 2021 in Adelaide

    Event details are here. Nominations should be submitted online here and will close Wed 13-Jan 11:45pm AEDT.


    National Officiating Assessment Panel 2021-23

    Full details and an application form are within these downloadable documents. Expressions of interest should be submitted via email by close of business Wed 20-Jan.

    Thank you.

    Ben Ramsden

    Officiating Manager

  • Australian Technical Officials' briefing Tue 24-Nov-20
  • Recording

    Resources mentioned in the meeting


    • Brief Officials for Virtual Short Course
    • Explain interpretation of Butterfly rules of swimming (SW8)
    • Answer officiating questions from the community (please submit in advance via link at bottom of page)


    1. Welcome and introduction (Ben, 5 mins)
    2. Virtual Short Course briefing (Karen, Amie, Liz 30 mins)
    3. Butterfly rules (SW8) interpretation (Karen, Ryan, 30 mins)
    4. Answers to officiating questions pre-submitted (Karen, Ryan, 20 mins)
    5. Conclusions and thanks (Ben, 5 mins)


    • All Technical Officials in Australia, especially those appointed to Virtual Short Course.
    • Technical Managers for that event are requested to attend please.


    • Karen Macleod, Swimming Australia Technical Manager & TSC Member
    • Ryan Arblaster, Swimming Australia TSC and FINA TSC Member
    • Amie Quirk, Swimming Australia General Manager Events
    • Liz Avery, Swimming Australia Events Records & Results Specialist
    • Ben Ramsden, Swimming Australia Officiating Manager


    • ACT/NSW/TAS/VIC: 7:30-9:00pm,
    • NT: 6:00-7:30pm,
    • QLD: 6:30-8:00pm,
    • SA: 7:00-8:30pm,
    • WA: 4:30-6:00pm.


    Online video conference connect via this link here. We recommend you connect a few minutes prior, and allow the Zoom software to download.

    Alternatively dial-in by telephone for audio only: +61 8 7150 1149  or +61 2 8015 6011  or +61 3 7018 2005  or +61 7 3185 3730  or +61 8 6119 3900

    Webinar ID: 870 2663 0911

    Passcode: 322144

    RSVP not required. Please submit questions in advance here by 12noon NSW Thursday 19th. Briefing will be recorded for those unable to attend.

    Ben Ramsden
    Officiating Manager (part-time)

  • Calling for nominations for 2021 national events
  • 05-Nov-20

    Dear Technical Official,

    I am writing to advise you of the Swimming Australia plans for Technical Official appointments to upcoming national events, and to call for nominations to:

    • Australian Open Water Swimming Championships
    • Australian Age Swimming Championships
    • Australian Swimming Championships

    National appointments are valuable and sought after opportunities for Officials to develop and maintain their skills, be recognised at a national level, and create fantastic social and networking opportunities. We very much regret that due to the current pandemic these opportunities are going to be adversely impacted.

    COVID safe event management will significantly affect the delivery of events. It is not certain which State borders will be open around the time of events, and the situation can change at short notice. Swimming Australia has a significant credit for cancelled airline tickets that is linked to named travelers and expires 12 months after the ticket was first booked. Officiating preparations cannot wait for certainty unfortunately, and will be based on assumptions and scenarios. We will continuously monitor the situation and make decisions as required.

    Virtual Short Course 27-29 Nov 2020

    Karen Macleod has been appointed as the National Technical Manager for the meet and Officials are being appointed locally. We will arrange a video workshop for Officials prior to the event. This will be open to all Officials, regardless of whether they are attending Virtual Short Course. Details to follow.

    Eligible Referees and Starters appointed to the meet may optionally be assessed by a local member of the National Officiating Assessment Panel, local COVID requirements permitting. These assessment reports will not be used for future selection purposes.

    Australian Open Water Swimming Championships, 29-31 Jan 2021 (Penrith, NSW)

    All Officials for this event will be sourced from NSW/ACT. A very few Officials from other locations may be accepted if required. We recognise that this will be a major disappointment for many Officials.

    There will not be a FINA School run alongside this event. FINA has currently suspended their School program and we will be working with them to ensure that appropriate education is available and future candidates for FINA list selection are not adversely affected.

    Open Water Technical Official nominations are now invited, and will close on Wed 25-Nov 11:45pm AEDT. All officials regardless of location are welcome to express interest, but note that those based outside NSW/ACT are not likely to be accepted. Nominations should be submitted online here.

    Australian Age, 5-12 April, Australian Championships, 14-18 April (Gold Coast, QLD) and Australian Trials, 12-17 June 2021 (Adelaide, SA)

    Appointments will be based on achieving:

    • Quality officiating service for the events;
    • Local COVID requirements and health and safety of athletes, officials and staff;
    • Minimisation of travel costs by making maximum use of local officials and airline travel credits.

    Australian Age (05-12 Apr) Technical Official nominations are now invited, and will also close on Wed 25-Nov 11:45pm AEDT. Nominations should be submitted online here.

    Australian Championships (14-18 Apr) Technical Official nominations are now invited, and will also close on Wed 25-Nov 11:45pm AEDT. Nominations should be submitted online here.

    Nominations for Trials will open in December.

    We very much regret that this will restrict national officiating opportunities. Although we all recognise that it is to ensure health and safety and minimise risk, I know this will not lessen the disappointment. The Swimming Australia officiating community has traditionally relied on physical events, and I am now exploring opportunities to use the power of digital technology to fill gaps and reach a larger audience. One small step is the publishing of the Swimming Australia Technical Official learner guides online.

    Thank you for your understanding and ongoing and voluntary commitment to our fantastic sport.

    Best regards,

    Ben Ramsden

    Officiating Manager (part-time)

  • FINA List EOI
  • 31-Mar-20 Swimming Australia is today calling for Expressions of Interest for suitably qualified Technical Officials to join the FINA Swimming Officials List No 21 and FINA Open Water Swimming List No 14.


    These lists will be valid from 01-Jan-21 to 31-Dec-24, and will include new certifications as well as the renewed certifications from expiring lists. Please note that:

    • Current FINA TSC members on the expiring lists are not included within Australia’s quota.
    • The maximum age of FINA Technical Officials shall be 65 years when the application is made for the respective list. Accordingly, only applicants born in 1955 or later can be accepted.


    The application and selection process will be managed by the Swimming Australia Technical Swimming Committee in accordance with the FINA List Nomination Process according to this timeline:


    • Expressions of Interest open 31st March – 26th April
    • Shortlist, interviews, recommendations 27th April to 15th May
    • Swimming Australia Board ratification 29th May
    • Finalise and submit all details to FINA by 30th June


    Expressions of Interest should be submitted on the FINA EOI Form and submitted in pdf format to by 11:45pm Australian East Coast time Sunday 26th April 2020. All received applications will be acknowledged. Further information will be sought from shortlisted or successful candidates. Please use the attached form and not the earlier version contained within the policy.


    Queries may be submitted to and we will endeavour to respond within a week. Any relevant updates will be posted on this page.


    Ben Ramsden

    Officiating Manager

  • Rules, By Laws and Policies
  • Gain access to all the swimming rules here

  • State & Territory Contacts
  • State & Territory TSC Contacts

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