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Some of Team Clevedon's' volunteers on Day 3 of Somerset ASA County Championships 2020
Photo Some of Team Clevedon's' volunteers from Day 3 of Somerset ASA County Championships 2020

Somerset ASA Officials are now co-ordinated by Chris Metcalfe who has taken over from Carolyn Cox. Please contact Chris Metcalfe, Swimming Officials Panel Secretary if you have any officiating queries.

Somerset ASA County Championships 2022

Our thanks go to all the Coaches, Team Managers, Meet Management Team, Officials and Volunteers who have  supported our return to championship competition at Millfield in Jan/Feb 2022. 

Thank you also to everyone who supported our rescheduled Development Meet over 30/31 Oct 2021. Level 3 Meets provide opportunities for your Club's Officials to gain practical experience and we issue calls to sign up for sessions they would like to support.

Although we have around 200 qualified officials in Somerset, there is constant turnover and fewer than 100 are active at County level so we do need a constant supply of new officials to maintain our numbers and ensure that competitions can take place. Please encourage adults in your club to become officials.

Requests for Officials

Officials supporting Yeovil Spring Fling Meet over 9/10 Apr 2022 at MillfieldWith a lot of Somerset clubs seeking to license their championships or running Meets, please contact us if you are ever short of officials so we can publicise any opportunities via our website and social media.

A big thank you from Yeovil District Swimming Club to Officials who answered the call and supported the Yeovil Spring Fling Meet over 9/10 Apr 2022 at Millfield, helping meet the licensing requirements.

Guidance for Running Safe Events

View Dec 2021 updated Swim England guidance for all disciplines and competition.

View Dec 2021 Open Meet Licensing Criteria Officials Requirements - effective until 10 March 2022. View Officials Requirements from 11 March 2022 onwards.

Download Criteria for the Training of Officials at Licensed Meets (Apr 2022).

Swim England began issuing licenses for level four single club competitions in time for Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown.Published guidance was followed up with a webinar on 21 April to answer questions on how to plan and stage a meet / gala. View news item.

Swim England has announced an extension to validity of officials licences. View details.


Swim England South West is keen to support its officials in any potential training opportunities and emailed a survey to all levels - from Timekeepers to Referees both licensed and unlicensed who appeared on the latest list of officlals supplied by Swim England Membership - to seek an insight into when its officials may look to return to officiating when competitions were able to restart. View a summary of responses. Those replies have helped formulate this document which is a response in a series of FAQs to all our officials who are current SE members. It also included details of how to register for a Q&A session via Zoom on Thu 10 June 2021.

View Dec 2021 Open Meet Licensing Criteria Officials Requirements - only effective until 10 March 2022 (inclusive).

View Dec 2021 updated Swim England Guidance on the Training of Swimming Officials.

View Dec 2021 Swim England SW Officials and Training Update from Jill Beard, , Regional Officials Training and Development Coordinator, looks forward to welcoming candidates onto Swimming Judge 2 Training Sessions which will be held via Zoom. 

View Swim England earlier update on poolside training as officials return to competition.

Courses and Launch Of Online J1 Training 

Following the reintroduction of a level of competition across the home nations, the British Swimming SOG has published these deadlines for candidates to complete Judge 1 training.

We publicised a South West Region FINA Rules Update CPD onine session for 21 Jul 2021 here (for swimming officials in need of it for their relicensing in 2021).

Please see important Swim England update on 17 July 2020 regarding swimming officials training courses after pools get reopening date. This follows the announcement on 31 Mar 2020 with regard to the extension of the deadline to complete the Judge 1 training course.

View earlier news item for SW briefing documents on the launch of Online J1 Training on 27 Jan 2020 and arrangements for those following the old course*.

Funding opportunity

When this news item was published, Swim England South West was still offering funding for J1 training - please click on the image or download this document for full details which conclude with how to access the voucher you will need.

Anyone who would like to start their training as an official should contact their club volunteer manager / officials co-ordinator in the first instance. Please can club volunteer managers / official co-ordinators let Chris Metcalfe know the name, email and Swim England number of those who would like to sign up to the training. The course is £20 up front, which includes the first license on qualification. Swim England South West will cover the cost of this. 

* Please note that volunteers training to become Swimming Technical Officials are to be given an extension to complete their J1 course due to the coronavirus pandemic to avoid the need to start again with the online course. View details.

We publicised a J2 Course run on 3 July 2019 (7pm to 9pm) at Clevedon Conservative Club.

We always need support to deliver courses for our Young Volunteers. Mentors who have valid safeguarding qualifications are asked to get in touch.

Before anyone can commence training as an official they must be a member of a club or, if that is not appropriate, the Institute of Swimming. 

Remember the minimum age at which the Judge Level 1 course can be started is 15, so it need not be solely the preserve of adults. Indeed, a number of our young volunteers take the J1 course.

Chris Metcalfe and Officials Co-ordinators in other south west counties all hold waiting lists and will arrange courses at regular intervals throughout the year to meet the requests received.  This might either be for groups of people from different clubs or (when numbers are large enough) for a single club. To ensure viable numbers, especially in the smaller Counties, the Coordinators might invite all the clubs in their county to recruit others to attend a course on pre arranged dates several times a year. The Coordinators arrange for approved course tutors to lead every course. To complete every qualification requires theory and, most importantly, mentored poolside practice before final poolside assessments. 

If you have any questions about training opportunities for officials or you want to request training as an individual or club you please get in touch with our county coordinator Chris Metcalfe.
You can also ask any general questions of your Regional Officials Training and Development Coordinator, Jill Beard, by email (beardfamilyuk@icloud.com).

The Officials Exam Framework changed to allow for more practical and assessment based awards. A licensing system was introduced, and has been a requirement since 2012 for all officials at our County Swimming Championships.

The CPD module "Refereeing Swimming – A Beginners Guide", has been designed to provide support and guidance for officials who may be requested to perform the duty of a Referee for small or local run competitions.

Referee Beginner's Guide

Please note that completion of this module will not qualify you as a referee but you will achieve the following learning outcomes:

Recognise and identify the duties of a referee at a swimming competition with regard to:

  1. The role of the referee
  2. The role of the referee with specific reference to Health and Safety
  3. Producing the race result (Manual and AOE)

View the CPD module here.

View the pre-requisites and application process for Referees and Starters who wish to be considered to join the British Swimming Officials’ Development Programme in 2020. Please ensure that you have familiarised yourself with them before applying for training. Applications close Midnight on 3 November 2019.

View Training Notes for those undertaking study towards the British Swimming Referee qualification.

Five candidates from Somerset took their referee exam in 2017/18. Congratulations to Chris Metcalfe, Mike Riggall and Nicky Vause who achieved the very challenging 80+% pass mark required and also passed their final referee practical assessments in 2018. Please note the future costs of referee training (eg entry fees, travel and resource costs) will be met by Swim England South West. 

Can you help?

Swim England South West need Licensed Officials to support their events, in particular the Regional swimming competitions. We publicised a call for its Q4 2021 events here.

Each year, the Secretary SW Region Officials Committee publishes details of swimming, masters, open water and schools competitions which will require officials and also upcoming sessions / CPD you can attend. Without sufficient help, these Meet licenses will be at risk and times not be valid for National Events. 

The Festival of Swimming - South West (Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire 50m) 2021
was held over 24 & 25 July 2021 at Millfield, Street (Licence number: 1SW210159) and delivered and facilitated by Millfield and Team Bath AS (view promotional flyer).

Nicky Vause (Norton Radstock Swimming Club) took over as Regional Officials Secretary from June 2018 and issues requests for officials to support regional events. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

The Para Swimming CPD ran before the Spring Regional Para-Swimming Development Meet on 9 March 2019 at Horfield Pool, Bristol, providing everyone with the opportunity to gain experience at the gala in the afternoon.

Please remember tutors of any officials’ courses where trainees are under 18 will require safeguarding accreditation.

We publicised a survey which was emailed to all timekeepers, trainee Judge 1 and Judge 1 individuals who gained their qualifications in 2018 to ascertain their views and help provide the best support for new volunteers. It was the first time Swim England had sent out a questionnaire to technical officials in a bid to ensure it is offering the highest level of training and development. We hope our officials shared their views and responded.


Thank you to everyone who responded to our call for officials for the 2020 County Swimming Championships. Our Development Meet is always a good practice event for trainee officials.

Congratulations to Simon Lodge who represented Somerset as an Official at the National County Team Championships 2019 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. We also thank Carolyn Cox for officiating at the British Swimming Championships 2019 in Glasgow.

We  have Officials undergoing Referee, J2(S), J2 and J1 training. We congratulate Oliver Pearce (Millfield) and Paul Chillingworth (Street & District) who both passed their assessments to become British Swimming referees in Oct 2021. Our referee candidates have been tutored by Alan Withers and Graham Cockill with support from Jill Beard, Regional Officials Training Co-ordinator. Chris Metcalfe planned a meeting of Referees on 5 May 2021 to discuss future mentoring / training activity.

Our Disciplines

Officials are also required in Artistic Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Para-Swimming and Water Polo. County Technical Secretaries for all disciplines would also be delighted to hear from volunteers who wish to help officiate. 

Artistic Swimming

Judges are also essential for artistic swimming as they allow for competitions to be scored based on the performances in each routine. They are also responsible for marking grade level assessments which is another key element within the competitive development of athletes. Register your interest in the virtual artistic swimming judge exams set to take place in early 2022 - view details.

Open Water

Officials neededOfficials are not only required around the pool but also for Open Water events.

We publicised opportunities to officiate at Open Water Swimming Events in the UK in 2019. Sadly the Swim England South West and Somerset Open Water Championships on Sat 6 July 2019 at Weymouth were cancelled and unable to be rescheduled in 2019. They were also cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid. Please contact a respective event coordinator to register your interest in assisting at an open water event.

More Open Water Officials are needed to support the delivery of Open Water events. No previous experience is necessary but sea legs are an advantage! 
Open Water Officials can have fun in all weathers, ensuring swimmers compete in a safe and fair competition. 
The process to become qualified includes classroom work and practical elements. 

If you are interested in becoming an Open Water official please contact swowofficials@gmail.com.

Swim England South West usually runs a development course for new open water officials. Sadly no-one took advantage in 2018 or 2019 but please register your interest so venues and future training dates can be planned. Four Somerset volunteers attended in 2017.


View World Para-Swimming rules and the World Para Swimming Technical Officials' Operating Manual. (This manual is to assist Technical Officials in regard to officiating when athletes with impairments are competing).

Our Para and Disability Swimming Co-ordinator Kay Willcox and Nicky Vause, South West Officials will also be delighted to hear from anyone interested in becoming an official at Para / Disability Events. Contact details are here.

Water Polo

Mike Coles, County Water Polo Secretary, also organises officials for the Bristol & West Water Polo League and Regional events, so there will always be opportunities for you develop as a Table Official / Referee along the pathway. View contact details.

Stay informed

To receive e-mail updates from British Swimming Officials click here.

Download (modified 5 Dec 2017)


Licensed Meets - Useful Documents:


For a link to past Swimming Officials newsletters and other information available nationally in relation to courses and examinations click here.