Technical Officials

Technical officials are those hard working ladies and gentlemen who ensure that all our sanctioned swim meets and competitions are run fairly and according to the Rules.  Both members and non-members can become MSA accredited officials, and courses may be conducted by individual clubs, groups of clubs, or by the MSWA Branch.

MSWA offer a variety of Technical Official courses throughout the year.  Please check our Events page for more information on upcoming courses.  These courses are usually FREE to attend and provide you with the skills to assist at swim meets and competitions.


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 MSWA swim meets.

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.

All MSWA technical courses are sanctioned by the MSA National Office and conducted in accordance with the approved curricula. The theory section of each course is presented by the Course Presenter, who is an official with current experience in the position and adult education experience. To strive for national consistency in their delivery, there are Presenter Notes for each course, which are available from the Branch and National Offices. If your club or group wishes to conduct a technical course, complete the Application Form to Conduct a Masters Swimming Australia Technical Course.

Technical Official Pathway

There are seven Technical Courses offered by MSWA, as outlined below.


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 Timekeeper

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.

Marshalls/Check Starters/Clerks of Course

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.

Inspector of Turns

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

Judges of Stroke

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.


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

Click here for more detailed information about Technical Officiating on the MSA website.