QUALITIES OF A "GOOD" REFEREE
LEVELS OF MEETS
NON-CONFORMING WATER TEMPERATURES
The Referee must have learned, acquired and possess a sound swimming judgment. Swimming judgment is based on a
thorough knowledge of the Rules and the reason for the Rules: to ensure fair and equitable conditions of competition and
uniformity in the sport. The Referee must not only support or overrule the decisions of every other Meet Official, but
also judge every phase of the competition. Substituting opinion for rules (no matter how well-intentioned) invites
protests and challenges.
The Referee's understanding of the Swimming Rules; respect for the other Meet Officials; and an understanding for those
who are still gaining knowledge of the sport, contribute to a positive swimming attitude.
ALERT; CALM; COMMUNICATOR; CONFIDENT; DELEGATOR; EXPERIENCED; FAIR; IMPARTIAL;
INTERPERSONALLY SKILLED; KNOWLEDGEABLE; PROACTIVE; PROFESSIONAL; TEAM PLAYER.
In actuality, these qualities apply with equal force to all officiating positions as much as they apply to the Referee.
However, one will not find these qualities stated in any of the Swimming Rules. They are basic, commonsense
characteristics generally found in all persons. All of the listed qualities are necessary to better serve swimming's
customers: the Swimmers, Coaches and other Meet Officials.
Every Referee will have commenced officiating BSF-sanctioned competitions at the club level. This should be done as
frequently as possible, to retain your annual certification and for the experience.
Besides club level meets, the Referee also needs to officiate at one session at the National Championships each year.
This is considered the premiere local meet and being selected to officiate at a Nationals should be considered an
The next levels of officiating will take you outside The Bahamas. The BSF may nominate an experienced and proficient
Referee to officiate at Regional Championships like the CCCAN Swimming Championships or the Caribbean Islands
Swimming Championships, or Junior Championships like the CARIFTA Swimming Championships. Experience gained
at a meet at this level is invaluable and is a virtual prerequisite to officiate at the next highest levels.
A BSF Referee may apply for inclusion on the FINA International Swimming Judges List. He or she must have
officiated at the regional and junior levels and at the Zone Championships level. The Zone Championships for the
Americas is the quadrennial Pan American Games.
Only persons on the FINA Officials Lists can nominate to officiate at the CAC Games, the Commonwealth Games, the
FINA World Long and Short Course Championships, the Pan American Games and the Olympic Games.
Selection to officiate at any of these levels should be considered an honour. The BSF Referee selected not only
represents him or herself but also represents the BSF, The Bahamas and the entire CCCAN region.
Officiating procedures at a National Championship are not much different from a club level meet. The major difference
is that club level meets are usually timed-finals events while the Nationals incorporates timed-finals events within a
preliminaries/finals' format. Consequently, the seeding procedures are different. The Referee should be mindful that
there are 2 alternate swimmers for all finals' heats. If there are scratches or no-shows for a final, the Referee should
ensure that the Announcer notifies the first and/or second alternate (Competition Rule CR9.2.3). Also, there is a greater
need for Turn Judges at each end of the pool.
By National Championship Rule NCR14.6, there must be dual confirmation of a reported infraction: by 2 Stroke
Judges; by a Stroke Judge and a Turn Judge; by a Stroke Judge and the Referee; by a Turn Judge and the Referee; or, by
the Starter and the Referee. These Rules contemplate that 2 judging officials will both observe and agree that an
infraction has occurred. The Referee may uphold or overrule the disqualification.
Referees should strictly apply the notification of withdrawal procedures as laid out at National Championship Rule
NCR9. Particularly note National Championship Rule NCR9.6.1 regarding withdrawal from a final for medical or other
reasons. The first part of the Rule requires that the Referee "be supplied with such medical documentation describing the
nature and extent of the competitor's illness or injury as the Referee considers satisfactory." Referees should ensure that
the documentation received from the swimmer is, in fact, from a medical doctor. The documentation should satisfactorily
detail the nature and extent of the swimmer's injury or illness. This exempts the swimmer from the penalties for
scratching from a final outside the allotted 30-minute time frame.
Minimum Pool Temperature: 25° to 28° Centigrade, or, 78° Fahrenheit (Technical
Swimming Rule TSR13.8).
At the commencement of a meet, the water temperature may not conform to Rule TSR13.8. The Meet Director/Meet
Management Committee and /or Referee may allow the meet to continue. A club or competitor has the right to withdraw
from the meet and claim a refund of the entire entry fee (Competition Rule CR8.3.1).
1 2 3 4 5 Next