Certification Of New Open Water Swimming Officials

Certification Of New Open Water Swimming Officials

While the sport of open water swimming grows from Scandinavia to the South Pacific, race directors and governing bodies are handling this growth in a variety of ways from a logistical and operational perspective.

In the American state of Ohio, Chip Carrigan has been on the forefront of pushing for standardization and education of open water swimming officials for more than a few years now.

Note: the officially often dress colorfully in order to stand out during a race (see photos on left and below).

In 2009, the Ohio Swimming issued its certification standards for its open water swimming officials who meet the following criteria to become certified:

• Be a member of USA Swimming
• Attend one certification clinic (in spring or fall)
• Pay the annual clinic fee
• Complete the USA Swimming online test posted on USA Swimming’s website with a score of 80% on the open water section.
• Attend the Open Water Officials Clinic (pre-session official briefing)
• Work one sanctioned Open Water Meet

For open water swimming officials who wish to renew their certification, they must meet the following criteria:

• Annually renew their USA Swimming membership
• Pay the annual clinic fee
• Attend a mandatory rules interpretation clinic held annually in spring or fall
• Provide proof on the official’s certification card of working at least one meet as an Open Water Official once every two years.

In its first few years, the new program has been effective in supporting the growth of the sport at the local level with many of the officials moving upwards to officiate at national events and a few on their way to working international competitions.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones