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Parent Volunteers

Parent Involvement/ Volunteering:

Summer swim meets are truly family events yet is very reliant on volunteers and the only way a swim meet can take place is with a great deal of family involvement. There are numerous duties that are necessary to ensure our swimmers have a great experience. Unlike other sports where parents are spectators 100% of the time, swim meets require and benefit from parent involvement 100% of the time. Think of it as active spectating! Please, plan to work at 3-4 meets. We only as for a session per meet, which is only half a meet, switching off at the break between the backstroke and breaststroke events. We participate in approximately 8 meets through the summer season, 3 home meets, 3 away meets, 1 relay meet and our team hosts the Championship meet at the end of the season at the College of San Mateo.
In order for all of these meets to run smoothly, we are asking parents for commitment:
  1. Volunteer a minimum 3 dual meets
  2. Volunteer at the relay and championship meets if you have qualifiers. Families are required minimum 1 session during the relay OR the Championship meet
 

VOLUNTEER JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Parent volunteers are an essential part of running a successful swim meet!  All families are required to complete volunteer shifts throughout the regular season, not including two (2) additional shifts required at Championships.  Sign-up for volunteer jobs will be held online through the team website.  Reminder emails will go out to all registered swim families prior to Sign-ups!

There is an opportunity to PRE-SIGN UP for certain volunteer positions because of the nature of the jobs:
Set up/Take down, Stroke and Turn, Colorado, Computers. These jobs require teams and specific, agreed upon coverage.

AGE GROUP PARENT:

  • Two families each sign up for an age group as their responsibility all season. (6U Boys, 6U Girls, 7/8 Boys, or 7/8 Girls)
  • Both families work together to insure all home and away meets are covered, including Champs.  Both families do not have to work all meets together.  They may trade off.
  • Responsible for helping swimmers get to ready bench, writing and distributing relay team slips, and helping parents write event/heat/lane information on swimmers’ arms.
  • Age Group Parents are the main point of contact for swimmers/parents/coaches for their assigned group.  If you are interested in this season-long position, contact volunteer@johnsonranchbarracudas.com
  • Who’s it for:  Families with 6U or 7/8 swimmers that love hanging out with a tent full of kids!  Two families who would like to work together can sign up as a pair for the season!  
  • Who it’s not for:  Parents that want a ‘ neat and quiet tent’.  Parents who do not have 6 & Under or 7/8 swimmers.
  • Benefits of the Job:  NO NEED TO BRING A TENT…IT’S ALREADY SET UP FOR YOU!  You know your job assignment for the whole season…no stress about signing up for shifts or wondering what your shift is at a meet.

ANNOUNCER:

  • On a microphone, announce swim events, heats, and swimmer names at home swim meets.  Also make general announcements and calls for swimmers to report to ready bench.  Must stay in place during the shift.
  • Who it’s for:  Someone with a clear, projecting voice; good with pronunciation; enthusiastic person who enjoys being on a microphone.
  • Who it’s not for:  If you don’t enjoy the spotlight, or have a really quiet voice....this isn’t the job for you!
  • Benefits:  Great seat to see all the events! 

CHECK-IN:

  • Staff the check-in table to check in swimmers before the meet.  Also may check-in parent volunteers.  Produce, distribute, and post the FINAL meet program.  Assist in writing 9 & Under relay slips for morning and afternoon relays and helping age group parents and coaches organize relay teams.
  • Who it’s for:  EARLY FAMILIES!   This job starts earlier than normal shifts.  It is also helpful to know a lot of families.  If you are cheerful and energetic, this is for you!
  • Who it’s not for: If you’re not an early person, or if you tend to run late to meets, this isn’t for you.
  • Benefits:  You always get a great parking spot and tent space, and you get to know a lot of people on the team!

COLORADO OPERATOR & COMPUTER OPERATOR:

  • Colorado Operator works with the timing system during home meets, working closely with the starter and the computer operators to ensure a smooth and efficient meet.  Computer Operator assists the Computer Coordinator in setting up computer operations equipment at home meets and runs the meet manager software during the meet.  The Computer Operator verifies times, processes DQ slips, prints meet results and ribbon labels.
  • These jobs work together as a team and require some training and a certain comfort level working with computers. 
  • Who they are for:  People that LOVE working with computer systems.  We know you’re out there!  Also, people that want to learn.  It’s really not that scary!
  • Who they are not for:  People that are baffled by computer systems.  We know you’re out there, too!  Also, if you have little ones and need flexibility to come and go, this isn’t for you.
  • Benefits:  Seat in the shade for the entire meet.  Great view of all the events!

FLOATER:

  • Essentially on-call for one shift at a swim meet and will be called to fill any position at any time.  Families may only sign up for ONE FLOATER SHIFT PER SEASON.  Must submit cell # for person on-call during morning check-in.
  • These shifts will not be made available online until all other shifts are filled.
  • Who it’s for:  Someone who is flexible!
  • Who it’s not for:  Someone who would like to know exactly what they will be doing prior to the meet.
  • Benefits:  Sometimes you get called, sometimes you don’t!

HOSPITALITY:

  • Prepares and delivers snacks and drinks to volunteers and coaches during home meets.  
  • Who’s it for:  Someone who enjoys food and serving folks!  This is a great job for someone who would rather move around during a shift than sit.
  • Who it’s not for:  Some who would rather sit and doesn’t like being in the sun.  
  • Benefits:  FREE SNACKS!  And you’re well loved…you’re delivering food and drinks!

MEET REFEREE, HEAD TIMER & STARTER:

  • If a swim meet is like a ship, then the Meet Referee is like the captain. The Meet Ref oversees all aspects of the meet to insure a safe, fair, efficiently run meet.  He/She is responsible for making sure the Starter is accurate and consistent and works with the Head Timer to make sure all lane timers are able to record accurate times.  The Meet Ref resolves issues regarding timing, safety, disqualification discrepancies, and more.  The Head Timer keeps Menlo Mavericks stopwatches in good, working order and works with the lane timers to make sure each lane is staffed and timers know their responsibilities.  The Starter works alongside the Meet Ref, calling swimmers to blocks and announcing the start of each race in a very precise and specific manner.
  • Each of these jobs requires specific training.  Training will be provided prior to Time Trials and you must be able to attend Time Trials to sign up as a new trainee.  Prior swim experience is very helpful!
  • Who they are for:  Someone with swim experience and a willingness to go through training process.  Natural leaders out there, this is for you!
  • Who they are not for:  Someone who does not want a lot responsibility or someone completely new to the world of swimming.  These jobs also require a lot of standing for most of the meet.
  • Benefits:  These are the BEST 'SEATS' IN THE HOUSE!  Also, you receive advance sign-ups if you are qualified and commit to train for these jobs.  

RIBBONS:

  • Places computer-generated labels on corresponding award ribbons.  File labeled ribbons in the family file boxes.  
  • First shift volunteers complete ribbons for events through Backstroke.  Second shift completes ribbons for events through Medley Relay.
  • Who it’s for:  Someone who likes to sit and chat, but also enjoys some busy filing work!
  • Who it’s not for:  Someone who wants to watch the whole meet.  The Ribbons table is usually behind the computer tents with a limited view of the pool deck.  
  • Benefits:  Flexibility to step away to watch your swimmer’s events.  Not a stressful or difficult job!

  RUNNER:

  • Collects timing sheets from timers at each lane and delivers to computer team.  Collects and reviews DQ slips from Stroke and Turn Judges and delivers to Meet Referee.  Posts results and provides additional support to computer team.
  • Who it’s for:  Someone who likes to be busy and on their toes!  And someone who likes to be in the know!
  • Who it’s not for:  Someone who doesn’t like to run around a lot.
  • Benefits:  You are essential to the meet and responsible for handling official meet business.  Plus, you burn a few extra calories in the process!

 SET-UP/TAKE DOWN (Home Meets Only):

  • Set-up/Take Down volunteers arrive early before each home meet to set up tents, tables, chairs, equipment, etc. and stay after each home meet to take down tents, tables, equipment and restore pool deck back to it’s original layout. 
  • FAMILIES MAY ONLY SIGN UP FOR ONE (1) SET-UP /TAKE DOWN SHIFT PER MEET.  
  • Who it’s for:  Someone who doesn’t want to have to volunteer during the meet.  Also great for someone who likes physical work!  Set-up is for EARLY RISERS who are reliable and hands-on.
  • Who it’s not for:  Someone who doesn’t like physical work.  This is not for people who want to leave right after the meet….or families with only 6 & under swimmers who are typically finished at the meet early.  
  • Benefits:  You always get a great parking spot and tent space!  Set-up/Take Down is great for parents that just want to relax and watch the meet, or for solo parents who need to attend to kids and want to volunteer before/after the actual meet.  

STROKE & TURN JUDGE:

  • Stands poolside during the meet and observes swimmer’s starts, turns, stroke technique, and finishes to ensure proper, legal technique.  Writes disqualification slips for swimmers who do not have legal technique.  Swimming experience is helpful but not necessary.  Training will be provided prior to Time Trials and you must be able to attend Time Trials to sign up as a new trainee.
  • Stroke and Turn Judges are only required to sign-up for 5 shifts during the season, not including Champs.  They must be able to volunteer as Stroke and Turn at Champs.  
  • Who it’s for:  Anyone who wants to learn more about swimming and wants to be involved on the pool deck during meets.
  • Who it’s not for:  If you might be uncomfortable DQ-ing a swimmer, or you don’t like to stand a lot, or if you need to attend to little ones, this probably won’t work for you.
  • Benefits:  Advance sign-up for these jobs if you commit to attend training.  Lots of on-the-job training, too!

TIMER:

  • Each lane at a swim meet requires 3 timers.  Timers sit at one end of each lane and operate a timing plunger and/or stopwatch.  They watch for the light on the starter and then watch for the swimmer to touch the wall at the finish.  The timer then records each swimmer’s time on a sheet that is collected by the runner.  No experience needed AT ALL.  Seriously, it’s pushing a button!
  • Who it’s for:  Almost everyone!  
  • Who it’s not for:  Someone who isn’t able to sit and stand for an entire shift.  If you need flexibility because you are a solo parent at meets and you have younger swimmers, this may not work for you.  If you don’t want to get a little wet, pass on these shifts.
  • Benefits:  It’s great seat in the shade with a view of all the races and the hospitality crew brings you snacks!  How great is that?  Plus, you get to meet other parents who are timing with you!