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Starter Certification

Certification Requirements

updated 02/2020

  1. Age - 18 years or older
  2. Prior to beginning training, be certified as a Stroke & Turn Judge for at least one year and have worked a minimum of 15 sessions as a certified Stroke & Turn Judge in USA Swimming sanctioned meets.
  3. Attend a PVS conducted Starter's Clinic prior to beginning training sessions
  4. Be registered as a non-athlete with USA Swimming
  5. Serve on-deck as an apprentice with a PVS certified Starter or Referee at a minimum of six (6) different sessions at a minimum of three different PVS-sanctioned non-Officials Qualifying meets*; however, two of these sessions may be done at USA Swimming sanctioned meets outside PVS if the mentor is a PVS certified starter. Start sufficient heats to allow the Referee or Starter Mentor to evaluate performance at each session and start at least 125 heats overall. The starter apprentice is encouraged to include at least one (1) distance session in their training.
  6. Perform to the satisfaction of the Referee or Starter Mentor and have such performance reported to PVS on the PVS Starter Evaluation Form
  7. Pass the USA Swimming officials tests for Recertifying Stroke & Turn and Certifying Starter with a combined grade of at least 90%.
  8. Starts must be favorably observed at the last training session by a designated PVS evaluator. Prior to setting up the evaluation session, the apprentice must submit the PVS Officials Evaluation Readiness Request Form to the PVS Certification Officer to ensure that all pre-evaluation requirements have been met and receive confirmation back. The evaluation will be recorded on the PVS Starter Evaluation Form.
  9. Complete certification requirement within one year from the date of Starter's clinic.
  10. Certification is good until the December 31 following two years after the date of issuance.

Recertification Requirements

  1. Previously certified by PVS, the YMCA or another USA Swimming Local Swim Committee (LSC) as a Starter
  2. If from another LSC or the YMCA, fulfill all relevant requirements of the PVS Officials' Transfer Policy
  3. Work at least five sessions per year at PVS-sanctioned meets, at least four as a Starter or Referee, and at least one as a Stroke & Turn Judge or Chief Judge. Of the total session worked per year in all positions, a minimum of four must be at PVS-sanctioned non-Officials Qualifying meets.
  4. Attend a PVS conducted Starter's Clinic at least once every two years
  5. Pass once every two years the USA Swimming Starter Recertification Test with a grade of at least 90%.
  6. Maintain valid USA Swimming registration
  7. Submit the online PVS Officials Recertification Request
  8. Recertification is good for two years after the date your prior certification expired. Recertification also renews CJ (if previously certified) and S&T.

* Excludes observed and approved meets, such as high school, college, and masters competitions