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Somerset ASA Officials are now co-ordinated by Carolyn Cox following Graham Cockill's many years' service.

2017/18 (vs 2016/17) Activity: 62 (86) new qualifications were gained by our swimming officials, including 21 (50) Timekeepers, 22 (25) Judge Level 1, 14 (10) Judge Level 2, 3 (0) Starter and 2 (1) Referee. Thank you to everyone who has helped with their training.

Although we have 200 qualified officials in Somerset, there is constant turnover and fewer than 100 are active at County level so we 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 - new J1 courses have been run at Backwell, Bridgwater, Street and Weston-super-Mare and Timekeeper and J1 courses arranged for Team Bath AS in June 2018. 

Upcoming Courses

We publicised a FINA Rules Update held on 8 October 2018 (7pm to 9pm) at Healthy Living Zone, Hengrove Park Leisure Centre for those Officials who missed the briefing on 8 January 2018 at Clevedon Town Council Buildings and whose licensing was coming up for renewal. 

Carolyn Cox needs support to deliver a J1 course for our Young Volunteers in Mar / Apr 2019. Presenters / 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.

Carolyn 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 Carolyn Cox.
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 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. Applications were open until midnight 31 October 2017 for Referees and Starters wishing to be considered to join the British Swimming Officials’ Development Programme in 2018.

Can you help?

Officials neededSwim England South West need Licensed Officials to support their events, in particular the Regional swimming competitions.

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. We congratulate Nicky Vause (Norton Radstock Swimming Club) who has now taken over as Regional Officials Secretary from June 2018 and issued an urgent request for officials to support upcoming 2018 events.. Please email swofficialssecretary@gmail.com with any offers to help. Thank you in anticipation of your support.

In 2018 the Para Swimming CPD ran before the Spring Regional Para-Swimming Development Meet on 11 March 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.


Congratulations to Theresa Atal and Paul Chillingworth who will be representing Somerset as Officials at the National County Team Championships 2018 at Ponds Forge, Sheffield on 7 October 2018.

Our referee candidates in 2018 were tutored by Alan Withers and Graham Cockill.

Carolyn Cox will issue a call for officials for the 20919 County Swimming Championships and the 2019 Development Meet which is always a good practice event for trainee officials.

Officials are not only required around the pool but for Open Water events. Swim England South West usually run a development course for new open water officials. Sadly no-one took advantage in 2018 but please register your interest so venues and future training dates can be planned. Four Somerset volunteers attended in 2017:


We publicised opportunities to officiate at the SW Region and Somerset Open Water Championships on Saturday 7 July 2018 and/or the Swim England National Open Water Festival 2018 (29/30 July 2018 at Rother Valley Country Park, Sheffield).

Officials are also required in Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming. County Technical Secretaries for all disciplines would also be delighted to hear from volunteers who wish to help officiate. Our Disability Swimming Co-ordinator Kay Willcox will be delighted to hear from anyone interested in becoming an official at Disability Events. Contact details are here.

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.