Lifesaving Sport

The Royal Life Saving Society UK is the National Governing Body for pool-based Lifesaving Sport - a sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Lifesaving Sport is the only sport whose skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes.

As showcased in our new promotional video, Lifesaving Sport is a competitive and dynamic international sport, with a variety of fun and challenging activities that take place in and out of the water at swimming pools and the beach. It is also an important vehicle to engage young people in lifesaving and support drowning prevention. 

Competitions and events can be a great way to engage existing members in Lifesaving Sport and promote Lifesaving Sport to the wider local community.

Recognising these events champions the goal of staging quality competitions and acknowledges the contribution of volunteers. It also helps support the development of programmes and services in Lifesaving Sport.

RLSS UK’s Event Recognition scheme allows event organisers to self-certify that their event complies with RLSS UK event standards.  RLSS UK will make desk-top checks (for example, verification that the referee is qualified and up to date) and reserves the right to make on site checks, to verify standards.

Registering your event as a RLSS UK Recognised Event means results achieved are eligible for submission as National Records-Incentivising athlete participation and supporting talent identification.

RLSS UK has launched the RLSS UK Event Recognition scheme for three key purposes.

  • To support volunteers in running quality events by providing clear guidance and standards.
  • To increase the consistency and quality of events by gaining a commitment from event organisers that the event will be conducted in accordance with RLSS UK rules and policies, in accordance with the relevant event guidelines, and in a fair and safe manner.
  • To enable the recognition and publishing of national records achieved at RLSS UK Recognised Events (enabling the identification and development of talent in Lifesaving Sport).


  • Access to a range of templates to help ensure a successful event.
  • Promotion of your event by RLSS UK, including listing within RLSS UK’s event calendar as a recognised event and social media support.
  • Right to use the “RLSS UK Recognised Event” logo
  • Publication of results on RLSS UK website.
  • RLSS UK recognition and verification of National records achieved at your event (where applicable). Provides peace of mind that your event meets RLSS UK recognised event standards and the linked RLSS UK Member insurance cover terms. RLSS UK Member insurance covers RLSS UK recognised activity (subject to full insurance terms and conditions).


Any event organiser who is recognised by RLSS UK, for example, RLSS UK Region, RLSS UK Branch, RLSS UK Club Member, RLSS UK Individual Member and/ or a collective of these.

Application Process

The event organiser submits an “RLSS UK Recognised Event Application Form” to [email protected] (at least 28 days prior to the start of the competition).

RLSS UK will reply either granting recognition, granting recognition with conditions or withholding recognition.

RLSS UK Recognised event – Criteria

RLSS UK event organisers are required to commit to the following standards:

  • The event will be conducted in accordance with current RLSS UK rules and policies.
  • The event will be run in a fair and safe manner.
  • The standards of competition meet or exceed those set out in the recognised event guidelines.
  • Anti-doping. The competition rules contain the appropriate anti-doping statement i.e. “The anti-doping rules of the Royal Life Saving Society UK are the UK Anti-Doping Rules published by UK Anti-Doping (or its successor), as amended from time to time. Such rules shall take effect and be construed as rules of the Royal Life Saving Society UK”.
  • Facilities and Equipment. All equipment complies with the current ILS specifications (including swimwear). Facilities comply with ILS specifications
  • Times will be recorded/ reported by automatic officiating equipment or by three timekeepers per lane.
  • The appropriate number of appropriately qualified Officials will be used.

All officials should be qualified for their positions either at a Branch, Regional or National level. Branches or clubs may liaise with the RLSS UK Head Office to run suitable official’s training courses. The following table provides the recommended minimum number of officials to conduct an event where National Records can be achieved.



Number required per competition

Per event

Competitor Organiser



Chief Referee

1 (National Level) *


Deputy Referee



Event Director


1 (Can be Deputy Referee)

Lane Judges


1 per two lanes

Finish Judges



Chief Time Keeper





3 per lane **



1(Can be Deputy Referee)

* A National Level Official or a Regional Level Official working with the supervision of a National Level Judge (i.e. A National Level Official performing the role of Deputy Referee).

** Pool Lifesaving Competitions with automatic timing equipment (AOE) should have a chief timekeeper in addition to at least one timekeeper per lane (this covers the three required per lane). 

  • The event organiser must submit results to RLSS UK in a timely manner (within one week of results being confirmed). Results (submitted electronically to [email protected]) must include:
  1. Competition Venue
  2. Competition Date
  3. Competition Referee
  4. Names and Society Numbers for competitors
  5. Results and Times

Results must be signed by a National Official or other qualified official appointed or approved by RLSS UK to confirm facility (including event-specific) standards and equipment specifications comply with event criteria.


Event Recognition Guidance

Event Recognition Application