Illinois Swimming
Level 3


Hello parents,

My name is Steve Fidanze, and I am an official with Illinois Swimming. I am also the MMSC official’s coordinator. What does that mean? To me it means that I support MMSC’s current officials in whatever they need, such as remaining certified or getting more training. It also means that I try to help bring new officials into Illinois Swimming. 

Often parents consider becoming an official, but don’t know how to go about it. There is a great deal of information about that on the Illinois Swimming website at this link. I also want to let you know how we help the kids that we are all here to support, and what we get from this. 

Although sometimes you may be upset at an official for making a disqualification call, the coaches are very good at using those as teaching tools. When I am on deck, the attitude that I bring is in helping the kids learn to swim legally. I have actually had coaches tell me they wish the officials would make a call, because the swimmer won’t listen until they get disqualified.

The times for the swims that these kids do are not registered as “official” times with USA Swimming unless there are enough officials present. It can be difficult to get enough officials present to certify a meet, particularly in rural areas. Times have been “lost” because the meet could not be sanctioned because of a lack of officials.

One benefit of being on deck is having access to my own children when they are swimming. Every official will tell you there is nothing better than a wet hug. Another is the friends we all make on deck. I have worked with many great people in this sport.

If you are interested in becoming an official, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. It is difficult to navigate at times without a model to follow, but I can help you navigate the process and be that model. I look forward to hearing from you.


Steve Fidanze