Officials in synchro

Timekeeper

The role of a timekeeper is to check, and record, the overall times of the routines and of the deck movements. If the time limit for the deck work is exceeded or there is a deviation from the permitted routine time allowance, the timekeeper advises the referee.

There is no training for this role.

Clerk of the course

The role of a clerk of the course is to organise the competitors so that they are ready for their events at the required time. During figure competitions, they ensure that the swimmers are in the correct order to perform their figures.

There is no training for this role.

Scorer

The role of a synchro scorer is to record marks from the judges and make the necessary computations for each routine. There are two levels of synchro scorer – national scorer and chief recorder.

National scorers write down and manipulate all the scores that come in for figures and routines at competitions. They can officiate at any level of domestic competition including the National Age Group Championships and ASA National Championships.

Chief recorders are in charge of scoring at synchronised swimming events. They are trained to manage related computer results systems at national and regional competitions.

Candidates for the one-day national scorer training course and exam must be 16 or older. Chief recorder candidates must have already trained as national scorers.

Judge

Synchro judges are essential for running synchronised swimming competitions as they provide scores based on the performance of each routine. They are also responsible for marking grade level assessments. To reduce the level of subjectivity in scoring, all synchro judges must be expertly-trained. They require a full understanding of FINA and the ASA’s rules and regulations for synchronised swimming competitions.

To maintain their qualification or progress, all judges must officiate at a certain number of grade assessments and competitions.

There are three levels of Judge:

Level 1: Candidates must be 16 years old to take the level 1 judge course. They will be qualified to judge at level 1 and 2 competitions. The course includes:

  • Use of marking scales
  • Develop understanding of basic movements and positions
  • Able to identify Figures in current age groups (12U and 13/14/15)
  • Ethics
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of Free Routines
  • Knowledge of Grade 1 and 2 criteria and assessment criteria

Level 2: Candidates must have been a level 1 judge for at least a year. They will be qualified to judge at regional competitions at the National Age Group Championships. The course includes:

  • In-depth knowledge of Junior Figures (15-18 years)
  • Develop knowledge of rules and penalties
  • Develop knowledge of NVT, difficulty values and application to figures. Application of deductions to figures
  • Exposure to variety of level of figures and scores
  • Knowledge and awareness of Grade 3/4/5 criteria
  • Further analysis of Free Routines – range of level of routines, recognition of difficulty

Level 3: Candidates must have been a level 2 judge for at least a year. They will be qualified to judge at the National Championships. The course includes:

  • Further knowledge about rules, penalties and organisation
  • In-depth knowledge about judging Figures and component parts
  • Further develop knowledge and aptitude regarding judging Free Routines
  • Awareness of Grade 6 criteria
  • In-depth knowledge of technical elements across solos, duets and team

Referee

The role of a synchro referee is to oversee the control of a synchronised swimming competition. The referee makes sure all aspects of the event are run smoothly and follow FINA rules.

All candidates on a referee training course must be a qualified synchro judge, a current ASA member and over 18. The training consists of a five-hour training course and examination. Following completion of the training, a mentor will be appointed to successful candidates to provide support at their first event. After ratification of the results by the ASA Synchronised Swimming Management Group, the qualification will then be added to the Database of Registered Officials.

The qualification as a referee will be valid for four years, subject to attending any refresher/ updating sessions required due to the introduction of new FINA rules over this period. A referee must re-qualify every four years by attending either a judge training course which includes all the new FINA updates or another referee training course.