Swimming & Diving FAQs
If you are reading this, you are considering becoming a professional official. Congratulations!
You are on your way to joining one of the most rewarding pursuits anywhere. Many of our officials are former athletes who played baseball when they were younger and want to keep up with the game. It’s a great way to give back. Officials are a close-knit fraternity of sorts. Being an umpire allows you to not only work with people who have a common interest, but you will also make some extra money along the way. It’s a great way to stay close to the sport you love and the people who keep it going.
You’ve found the website of the Eastern Officials Association. Our association is the go-to organization for officials in multiple sports, and with organizations at multiple levels in Virginia and North Carolina. Our officials work with community leagues, high schools, and colleges in the region.
The Eastern Officials Association is a non-profit organization representing professional umpires, referees, and officials for baseball, softball, volleyball, football, swimming and diving. We provide training, monitor the efficiency and professionalism of our officials, and we are organized to provide work for our members. Our Executive Board represents the interests of our members and serves the group regionally.
You can read the EOA Constitution as well as the Policies and Procedures by clicking the links provided.
You’ll also need to be able to communicate using email and the internet. Our assignments are posted online and much of our communication is through email. You’ll have to check for assignments regularly, keep up with evaluations, and communicate often.
Novice officials generally start as Stroke and Turn Officials whose job it is to observe the swimmers in their assigned lanes from the beginning of a race through the completion of the race. Stroke and Turn Officials ensure that the strokes, turns and finishes comply with the rules applicable to each stroke. If strokes, turns or finishes are executed in a manner which is out of compliance with the rules, in the spirit of fairness they document information to disqualify a swimmer from a race.
There are many levels of officiating that require different degrees of involvement and time. Stroke and Turn Officials learn the ropes by attending clinics, using self-study materials, and working on deck under the supervision of an experienced official. Those who are interested move up the ladder to serving as a chief judge, then to refereeing and starting–again, learning through a combination of clinics, self-study materials, and on-the-job training.