Frequently Asked Questions
updated October 9, 2015
If you have any other questions about the Swim Ontario Strategic Plan or the initiatives discussed here, please contact the Swim Ontario office here. If you have any other questions about Officials in Ontario email email@example.com
When will these initiatives be implemented?
All initiatives, in support of the 2013-2020 strategic plan (see the full plan here) are implemented as required and resources become available. The strategic plan is Swim Ontario’s focus and initiatives in support of the plan are implemented as needed.
Questions about registration of officials from Club Officials Administrators
COA: Why can’t I see my officials when I log into my Meet Manager/ Team Manager / Club Registrar account?
Answer: The official’s section for registration requires a different access than the Meet Manager / Team manager / Club registrar login. An Additional User Access Form is required to access official’s registration.
COA: The system won’t let me register an official that has no certification level. What do I do?
Answer: If the volunteer has been a timer on the deck several times and does not wish to take the Intro to Swimming Officiating then choose Level 1 certification with date September 1, 2015. Do not enter a clinic date for Level 1 Timekeeper. If the official eventually decides to go beyond being a timer they will need to complete the Intro to Swimming Officiating clinic before taking another clinic.
COA: Our officials are getting messages that their account is inactive and they cannot login.
Answer: Verify that the official’s status is PSO Pending. This is the trigger that sends out email login information for an “active” account. Accounts will remain inactive until an invoice is generated and the official’s status changes to PSO Pending. If you accidently “send login info” before generating the invoice, the account will be inactive. NOTE: If you generate an invoice and then delete the invoice, all officials on that invoice will receive the auto-generated email however their accounts will be inactive as their status returns to “Invoice Pending”.
COA: Will we be invoiced for every official we upload through the template Swim Ontario provided?
Answer: No. The COA chooses who will be registered (based on paperwork completed) and therefore who will be invoiced for registration.
COA: Does the certification level change the registration fee?
Answer: No. All officials have a $3.50 registration fee.
COA: Can the official update their officiating info such as clinics and deck evaluations?
Answer: No. The official can only modify their contact information. The COA has the responsibility of modifying an official’s record of officiating.
COA: Are the different online signup software mentioned during the seminar linked to Swimming Canada system and the official’s account?
Answer: No. The COA will need to enter information from the Sign In form into each official’s account and update deck evaluations after swim meets.
COA: My club contacted Swim Ontario to make payment on invoices I generated, however, they are not accepting payment? Why?
Answer: Every official on an invoice must login and complete the registration process by updating their information and adding personal information such as address, phone number, year of birth,etc. They are also required to answer the anti-spam email consent question before they complete the registration process. Once they complete this step, you will see a “green checkmark” by their name indicating they have updated their account. Once all names have a “green checkmark” you will see a “green checkmark” by the invoice which is the trigger to arrange payment for the invoice.
Questions from Meet Managers
MM: I see that my meet has status “region approved”, however, it is no longer visible on the public Swimming Canada site. Where did it go?
Answer: When a meet is first approved by Swim Ontario it will have designation of “region approved”. The meet does disappear from the public site. All provinces have requested from Swimming Canada that a meet remain listed when it does go through this middle step. A final review of meet package and meet sanction fees are required to obtain final sanction. The meet (and event file) will reappear once this final step is completed and status changes to “sanctioned”.
MM: Clubs are having a hard time uploading entries. No one is coming to my meet. Can we accept entries via email?
Answer: Meet Managers are reminded that entries must be processed through the SNC system to ensure all swimmers and coaches are properly registered. At least one coach must be registered in order to upload entries.
MM: Do I need to upload entries for Club Time Trials and/or In House competitions?
Answer: Yes. All entries, including those for competitions that have only one club, must go through the Swimming Canada system and be approved by the host. Failure to upload entries will results in penalties for both offending club and host club. The approval process for entries is necessary for proper analysis of the post meet report.
MM: Clubs are contacting me because the system is indicating that entries have ended even though they are still open. What do I tell them?
Answer: Coaches can still upload entries until the meet manager/entries person closes entries. They simply must click on the meet name and at the top right hand corner they will find the “Upload Entries link”. Swimming Canada will be fixing the “entries ended” feature on public site.
MM: Coaches are contacting me because they cannot find the meet package with the new Swimming Canada site for meet listing. What do I tell them?
Answer: Coaches and Team Managers must click on the name of the meet and then scroll to the bottom of the page past meet details to “resources” where they can download the meet package, download the event file and upload entries.
Questions - Regions
How will the new regions affect my club?
The new regional boundaries called for in the realignment will not have any affect on existing clubs. The boundaries will only be used to guide our future growth and development.
Questions - Swim Ontario Officials Committee
Will there still be Regional Official Representatives? updated
Yes. Swim Ontario and the SOOC have established the role of the RORs within each region which may result in some changes in the 2015/2016 season. The SOOC has met with the Regional Chairs to explain those changes. RORs will be established in the next few months.
Will the Officials Development Plan (ODP) be in effect for 2015/2016? updated
Although the SOOC is reviewing the Officials Development Plan, we understand that COCs and clubs need to have details for the 2015/16 season in preparation for hosting swim meets. There will not be drastic changes to the required number of officials for each club. The changes will come in the procedure for those that require exemptions and the delivery of their strategy for official’s development. For the beginning of the 2015/2016 season, if a Club met the sanctioning requirements for the Officials Development Plan on June 1, 2015, those same privileges will carry to start the season.
Will Regional Official Clinics still be offered in my region?
Swim Ontario will work with each region (and RORs) to determine the requirements for a Regional Officials Clinic and help them to setup these clinics. RORs may contact Nicole Parent, Coordinator - Officials and Competitions Development Services for support and recommendations (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Who do we contact to order officials pins, cards, rule books etc,?
Will Club Officials Chairpersons still exist in 2015/2016? updated
Yes. A communication from Swim Ontario and the SOOC has been sent to COCs that addresses their concerns and help them during this transition. Click here for communication.
There will be an increase in COC responsibilities during this transition year. We recommend that clubs assign two (or more) volunteers to work with the officials depending on the club size and the number of its officials. One person would strictly be the “administrator” of the club’s officials – Club Officials Administrator (COA). They would be responsible for entering and updating information into the Swimming Canada registration database. The other volunteer(s) would be the COC(s) and would be in charge of coordinating club official’s clinics, recruitment of officials and swim meet recruitment/signups. As the Swimming Canada system is developed with additional features, these roles could be merged.
Who will provide support to COCs? updated
A summary of roles and responsibilities and support for COCs and COAs can be found here.
Swim Ontario and the Coordinator – Officials and Competitions Development Services will provide support for the COCs. They can email Nicole Parent at email@example.com or call 416-426-7220.
What other options are available to clubs if the OSOA meet sign-up is not available moving forward? updated
Swimming Canada is working hard to implement these features into their system, however, there will be a gap in this service. Swim Ontario encourages you to use a free online software for volunteer signup called Signup Genius. Many clubs have used this in the past. We encourage all officials to create an account as this will also be a good way of tracking the meets and positions you have worked. If you have never used SignUp Genius please visit www.signupgenius.com for additional details.
As some clubs are currently doing, Team Unify is also an excellent tool to use to get volunteers to signup and also keep track of points.
More details on Signup Genius can be found in the communication to Meet Managers
Swim Ontario can also provide support and templates for signups if needed. Please contact Nicole Parent firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-426-7220.
Can we still offer local official clinics hosted by our Club? How will people register for these clinics? updated
Yes. All clinics will need to be registered with Swim Ontario. Swim Ontario is looking into a means for clubs to advertise their clinics through the Swim Ontario website. Clubs can use the free online software Signup Genius www.signupgenius.com or Team Unify to setup their clinics and provide an easy way for people to register.
A procedure for conducting an in-person clinic will be communicated with Clubs and COCs. Watch for updates to this question.
Who do we contact to order officials pins, cards, rule books etc,?
Who do clubs contact with questions on meet sanctions for 2015/2016?
Meet Managers can contact the Competitions Sanction Coordinator who will provide support during their sanction application. They can email Nicole Parent email@example.com or call 416-426-7220.
Is there a new procedure document for meet sanctions for 2015/2016?
With the centralization of sanctions there will be some minor changes to the Swim Ontario sanctioning procedure found in the Swim Ontario Procedure Document. Swim Ontario is addressing this with the SDC. Once completed, it will be communicated with Club Presidents and Meet Managers.
What is the status of Regional Championship meets for 2015/2016?
Regional directors and their committee will need to determine if they wish to continue to run these events. As long as the meet sanction complies with the Swimming Canada and Swim Ontario Long Term Athlete development strategies and competitions policies, Swim Ontario will consider the meet sanction.
Will the Swimming Officials Online Education website (education.osoa.ca) be supported by Swim Ontario in the 2015/2016 season?
If the OSOA tools are not supported by Swim Ontario - is an alternative recommended, or are clubs free to continue using these tools as long as provided by OSOA (independent from SO)? updated
Swimming Canada has mandated that provincial sections (Swim Ontario) align nationally in the development, education, certification and evaluation of officials. While Swimming Canada is developing that standardized program, before the start of the 2015/2016 season, if material is available through the OSOA website clubs are free to use those resources.
The OSOA resources are available until July 1, 2015 at which point, online clinics will not be available.
Will I have to re-train or re-qualify as an official?
No re-training for existing officials will be required. All current Ontario officials’ certifications are recognized by Swim Ontario.
Which clinic materials will the SOOC use in the 2015/2016 season? updated
Swimming Canada has indicated that educational material will be available this fall. Swim Ontario is preparing handouts and sign-in forms for download for COCs and course conductors. Online clinics will NOT be available for the foreseeable future. We recommend COCs to plan additional in-person clinics during this lag in services. All In-person clinics will need to be registered with Swim Ontario. A more detailed communication will follow with procedures and instructions on how this will be implemented. Watch for updates to the answer to this question.
Do I need to register with Swim Ontario/Swimming Canada? updated
As per SNC registration policy (link here), an official is defined as an individual pursuing officiating certification in order to volunteer qualified officiating services at sanctioned swimming competition. Effective September 1, 2015, the National registration procedure will require all officials who wish to officiate at a competition be registered annually on the Swimming Canada registration site within two weeks (14 days) of commencing activity as an Official. The registration period for officials is September 1 to August 31 of each competitive season.
The clubs will be responsible to register officials on the Swimming Canada registration system.
The National Registration Procedure and Rules for officials can be found here.
What do I do if I am not affiliated with a Club and want to continue to officiate at swim meets or be a learning facilitator and/or mentor for up and coming officials for Swim Ontario? updated
Swim Ontario defines an INDEPENDENT official as a registered official of level 2 or higher who does not have an active swimmer with a club in Ontario, and is not associated with a club as an alumni.
Click here to read the National registration procedure and rules for officials.
An independent official can register on the Swimming Canada registration system by contacting Swim Ontario and the Provincial Officials Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What future services are coming as part of the Swimming Canada Registration system?
The Swimming Canada officials registration system is part of their overall registration system currently in place for swimmers and coaches. Each official, once registered will be assigned a unique Swimming Canada ID (same as swimmers). It will have the ability to store clinics taken, evaluations received and certifications information. Swimming Canada is aware of the services that Ontario officials are accustomed to and are working hard to implement those features.
Has the Swimming Canada registration system been used before? Is it new and untried?
The Swimming Canada registration system has been in place for many years. Club registrars have been using it for years for registrations of swimmers and coaches. The addition of officials, on the part of Swimming Canada, has been tested by each provincial section and has gone “live” in a few provinces. Swim Ontario has provided feedback to Swimming Canada during the testing period and has implemented many of the recommendations. SOOC will be asking certain clubs to test the system in a “soft launch” and make additional recommendations to Swimming Canada before the fall of 2015.
It will be mandatory in September of 2015 to register all officials across Canada that wish to participate in sanctioned club events on the Swimming Canada registration system. The registration of officials will be done through the affiliated clubs or Swim Ontario office for independent officials.
Will the Swimming Officials Registration System (swimmingofficials.com), currently offered through the OSOA website, be supported by Swim Ontario?
No. All officials that wish to officiate at sanctioned Swim Ontario meets will need to be registered on the Swimming Canada/Swim Ontario officials’ registration site as of September 2015.
Will my current course completions be tracked on the new Swimming Canada registration site?
Swim Ontario will recognize all current course completion. It is important to make sure you have your own copy of your Officials Record form in case of gaps. The Swimming Canada registration site will be able to keep a record of your clinics taken, evaluations received and certification dates. It will be important for officials to keep in touch with their COC or the Provincial Officials Administrator for independent officials.
Yes. Evaluators will be supported through Swim Ontario and will need to provide receipts for their expenses.
Will there be funding available for officials to attend National meets and/or gain experience nationally and internationally?
Yes. The SOOC will recommend to Swim Ontario a fair and equitable funding program and special projects for officials that attend National and International meets for experience needed to advance in their official career.
If there is going to be a fee for officials to register, how will this work? Isn't this more of an expense for our parents/volunteers? Why is this necessary? updated
One key insight from the strategic planning process was to obtain a greater understanding of the dramatically varied fees and levies applied to member clubs, and swimmers through competition fees and/or regional levies. Swim Ontario believes it is of the highest importance to have transparency in costs to our swimmers, clubs and families as well as congruent application of fees across the entire province.
FEES – Officials
The costs associated with officials development has also followed the same review and recommendation to harmonize in accordance with our alignment and compliance requirements with Swimming Canada and our Provincial Ministry
Why is an official's fee necessary? NEW
The Provincial Ministry defines a registered member as follows
Swim Ontario charging a fee related to membership of an official ensures that Swim Ontario can now be in compliance with the Ministry's definition of a member and can include these numbers in their funding applications.
Why do officials need to fall under Swim Ontario? Why has the governance structure changed?
Swim Ontario's strategic review has offered many insights aimed at making the delivery of our services more streamlined; more in sync with Swimming Canada’s national plans; compliant with our funders’ requirements; and most importantly, advancements that are to the benefit of all Swim Ontario members.
A significant aspect of Swim Ontario’s evolution is to efficiently integrate with Swimming Canada’s plan for National Registrations and Certifications for both officials (new) and coaches (already exists).
Change (even when called evolution) will typically come with a learning curve and possibly even some growing pains. However, through planning, good two-way communications and the type of collaboration we have always enjoyed with the groups that support swimming in Ontario, we can (all) continue to do a great job for our swimmers.
Are police checks required for Level 4 and 5 officials? updated
Effective September 2015, it is required that all Swim Ontario affiliated clubs adhere to the Screening – Club Personnel Procedure found in the updated Procedure Manual. Level 4 & 5 officials will require Police Records Checks. Clubs are required to collect and keep on file at the club headquarters all Police Records Checks (PRC). As part of the annual membership application process clubs must submit a signed Declaration with a list of names and type of screening check collected to Swim Ontario. Please refer to the Screening – Club Personnel Procedure for additional details.
Level 4 and 5 officials can contact Swim Ontario at email@example.com and request a supporting letter for their Police Record Check. Clubs can also contact SwimOntario for a template to provide to their club personnel. It is recommended that both the letter and the Screening Procedure (link above) be presented at the police department.
With a new officials committee (SOOC) to oversee officials in Ontario, what will become of OSOA?
OSOA as an incorporated entity will need to determine their direction.