Pathways to becoming a Masters Swimming Australia Official

Masters Swimming Australia has its own courses for accreditation of officials.

These courses allow all of us to learn, or update, our skills and offer a professional and uniform image to our swimmers, and also allows the swimmer to be comfortable with the one system of officiating at MSNSW swim meets.

Both members and non-members can become MSA accredited officials, and courses may be conducted by individual clubs, groups of clubs, or by the NSW Branch.

All officials, other than Timekeepers, must renew their accreditation every 4 years – refer to re-accreditation documents.
Officials already accredited with Swimming Australia (SAL) or overseas organisations can fast track the process – refer to cross-accreditation documents.


Timekeepers operate the timing devices that record the time of the swimmer in the lane assigned to them. Every competitor should complete this basic but most essential of all courses.

Accreditation as a timekeeper is a pre-requisite for each of the following positions.

Chief Timekeepers ensure there are timekeepers for each lane and signals the Referee before the start of a heat to indicate that all timekeepers are ready.

Marshals/Check Starters/Clerks of Course assemble swimmers prior to each event, check their names and allocate swimmers to heats and lanes if the event is not already seeded into heats. They ensure that swimmers proceed to their starting point when needed and sit or stand behind the correct lane and in the right heat.

Starters give the signal to start swimming and has full control of the swimmers from the Referee’s signal and until the race has commenced.

Inspectors of Turns ensure that swimmers comply with all relevant rules when starting, turning, doing relay changeovers and finishing.

Judges of Stroke ensure that the rules relating to the swimming strokes are observed.


Accreditation in each of the above positions is required before training as a Referee.

Referees – the Meet Referee has overriding control of the meet (competition), while the Event Referee has control of the event in progress.


Follow the links in the adjacent menu to see further details of how you can become accredited in any of these positions.

In general, Candidates will be required to:

  • Check that they have completed any pre-requisites for the planned course [see positions above].
  • Pre-read the Candidate notes and the relevant rules for the position.
  • Attend a theoretical course including a role play to review the duties of the position. You will also complete a worksheet which will then be discussed.
  • Demonstrate competency in each of the activities listed on the relevant log sheets under direct supervision at a sanctioned swim meet or as required on the log sheets.
  • Have your log-sheet completed and signed off by each separate official who supervises them (if 4 supervisors then 4 columns are to be completed and signed off).
  • When the candidates have completed all the required competencies, they must pass all their log sheets to the Club Coordinator or Club Secretary who will send them to the NSW Training Coordinator to record and file.
  • Complete demonstration of Competencies within 12 months of doing the course. In the event of extenuating circumstances preventing this, contact the NSW Training Coordinator.

Our course presenters are available to conduct courses at any time that is convenient to all parties. Please complete the online Training Course Request form or email the MSNSW Training Coordinator for further details.


If you have any questions regarding any of the information above, contact: