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TOPS Volunteer Position Descriptions

TOPS VOLUNTEER POSITION DESCRIPTIONS

PLEASE NOTE: All volunteer positions allow brief breaks when you can observe your swimmer in a race!

Lane Timers:

Timers make sure we have a race time for every swimmer by using a stopwatch and plunger (electronic button timer). Timers work in pairs with one writing down swimmers’ times on the lane sheet. Wear shoes that can get wet – being poolside gets you close to splashy swimmers.  Timers will need to stand for 2+ hours.

Great for:  Being on deck and getting a firsthand view of your child swimming.

Prior experience: None – all timers attend a short timer’s meeting at the beginning of each session.  

Head timer starts two stopwatches for every race in case a lane timer’s watch malfunctions or doesn’t get started on time.  Helps answer lane timer’s questions and issues.  Wear shoes that can get wet – being poolside gets you close to splashy swimmers.  Head timer will need to stand for 2+ hours.

Great for:  Being on deck and getting a firsthand view of your child swimming.

Prior experience: Very little – it is helpful to have timed at least once before, but can be trained on the spot.  Head timer will attend a short timer’s meeting at the beginning of each session to receive instructions. 

 

Runner: 

After each event, the runner picks up the lane timer sheets from each lane and delivers them to the computer operators.  Wear shoes that can get wet – being poolside gets you close to splashy swimmers.  Will stand for most of the session, but there are chances to sit down between events.

Great for:  Being on deck and getting a firsthand view of your child swimming.

Prior Experience: None – a few words of instruction is all that is needed

 

Heat Awards:

Be the first to say Good Swim! to the winner of each race. This volunteer will hand out a bag tag award to each winning swimmer immediately following their race.  Will stand for most of the session, but there are chances to sit down between events.

Great for:  Being on deck and getting a firsthand view of your child swimming.

Prior experience: None – a few words of instruction is all that is needed

 

Positive Check-in / Heat Sheets: 

Be the first volunteer swimmers see when arriving at the facility!  Oversee the positive check-in table where all swimmers highlight their names indicating that they are swimming that day.  Volunteers help swimmers locate their names and answer any questions.   After positive check-in is complete, the volunteer helps as needed at computer table, and then posts heat sheets right before meet starts. Volunteer maybe asked to periodically post final results in the facility during the session.  Seating is available at positive check-in, and volunteers need to arrive about 30 minutes prior to the start of warm-ups. 

Great for: Friendly faces (helping swimmers and parents first check in)

Prior Experience: None – a few words of instruction is all that is needed

 

Set-up:

Do you own a large car, van or truck and like to lift boxes?  Set-up volunteers help us load meet and concessions supplies at the YMCA and take them to the swim pool facility.  Once there volunteers unload supplies and help set-up meet areas (concessions, admissions, computer area, signage, and apparel). 

Great for: Completing their volunteer jobs before the meet starts

Prior Experience: None needed

 

Bull Pen:

Do you like herding cats? Are you patient and unflappable? If so, the bullpen position is for you.  Bull pen volunteers organize the age 8 & under swimmers into their heats and lane positions so that they end up at the correct spot for their race.  Encouraging and positive attitudes are a plus.  Will stand, but seating is available.

Great for: People who like to work with kids, parents of 8 & under swimmers (you are on deck with your child), or parents of older swimmers who think fondly of the years when their swimmers were that young.

Prior Experience: None but helpful

 

Admissions: 

Admission volunteers take entrance money from spectators, answer initial visitors questions (where do we go, where are the bathrooms….), enforce facility policies (no chairs brought into facility, etc.), and direct TOPS volunteers to the sign-in sheet. Volunteers will need to arrive about 30-45 minutes before warm-up starts.  Admissions volunteers can be seated throughout session. 

Great for:  People persons (interacting with the public), and parents with older swimmers who spend most of the meet on deck with their swim friends. 

Prior Experience:  None – a few words of instruction is all that is needed

 

Concessions:

A great spot for all sales and marketing minded family members - help sell food and drink at our concessions stand.  Volunteers will help organize and restock supplies, greet and talk with customers, and handle money transactions.  Will stand for most of the session, but there are chances to sit down as needed.

Great for:  Volunteers with a zest for retail.

Prior Experience:  None needed, but helpful to have some volunteers at each session with experience.

 

Hospitality:

Do you like to throw a good party? These volunteers work with the concessions staff to maintain the officials/coaches’ hospitality room with food and drink.  Good free food keeps our officials and coaches happy which helps keep the meet running smoothly and gives us repeat business!  Periodically during the meet this volunteer will also bring small snacks and water to timers and officials on deck.  Will spend most of their shift in the hospitality room, but can go out on deck easily to see their swimmers compete.  Will stand for most of the session, but there are chances to sit down as needed.

Great for:  Volunteers that like a good food spread

Prior Experience:  None – but concessions experience is helpful.

 

Meet Marshals:

Maintaining order and safety on deck, while sporting fancy yellow vests, describes this volunteer position. Volunteers walk around the deck during sessions, periodically visiting the locker rooms, upper stands, and lower hallway to help maintain an orderly and safe meet. Meet marshals will walk/stand for 2+ hours.

Great for:   Being on deck and getting a firsthand view of your child swimming.

Prior Experience:  None – a few words of instruction is all that is needed

 

Announcer:

For those volunteers who like to hear their voices broadcast across the facility!  This person announces all general meet information as well as event and heat information for each race in a session. Announcer sits up at the computer table and has a great view of the pool.

Great for:  Never miss your child swim – in fact you get to announce the race your child is swimming in and can even tell a few jokes to the crowd during any short delays or pauses in the action. 

Prior Experience:  None needed – there is an announcer’s script that you follow

 

Computer Console Trainee:

Calling on all the computer savvy volunteers, this person works with the computer operator to enter and evaluate all computer data for the meet.  Ideal for volunteers who like working with computers, has a good attention to detail, and likes to be in the mix of all the excitement as we try to get the meet seeded and started on time.  Great seats at the computer table to watch all the swim action.  

Great for:  Be the first to see the official times of your swimmer(s).

Prior Experience:  Trainee:  None needed but helpful.   Operator:  several training sessions + officials training

 

Timing Console Trainee and Operator:

Have the best viewing seats in the house as you monitor the timing console and scoreboard operations during each race and reset it between races. These volunteers coordinate information with the computer operators and head official, and need to have an eye for detail. 

Great for:  Never miss seeing your child swim

Prior Experience:  Trainee – none needed; Operator:  At least 1-2 sessions of prior training

 

Ribbons / Results:

Make a swimmer’s day by being in charge of organizing and labeling award ribbons.  This volunteer will label the different ribbons (1st – 8th place) with the results sticker (event name, swimmer’s name, and time) on the appropriate ribbon and sort ribbons according to teams.  Ribbons for visiting teams are picked up by their coaches at the end of the meet.  This volunteer will also be asked to periodically post results in the facility.  

Great for:  Low stress, seated work, and younger siblings can help sort ribbons or sit with you while you work. 

Prior Experience:  None needed

 

Officials:

These volunteers in the snazzy white shirts and shoes are responsible for ensuring that the rules of swimming are upheld and that all swimmers have the opportunity to compete fairly in the events they swim. At any meet there are a range of different officials including referee(s), starter, judges (stroke, finish and turns) and timekeepers.  Each team needs to have a group of parents who are qualified officials in order for TOPS to run a swim meet.  If you are interested in becoming an official, please tell Coach Joel.

Great for: Gain insight into how swimming meets work, and get a firsthand view of your child swimming.

Prior Experience:  There are a series of training sessions and levels of experience for each official’s position.  Officials can be reimbursed for training expenses. 

 

Meet Clean-Up:

Be a superstar in the eyes of the meet directors by helping clean-up at the end of the meet.  Job requires volunteer to help pack up supplies, take down signage, load equipment and supplies into vehicles, and take them back to the YMCA storage. 

Great for:  Not missing any swim action since your job happens at the end of the meet

Prior Experience: None needed