Meet job descriptions
The Announcer sits with or near the Head Referee and is responsible for announcing the current event and heat, primarily so swimmers can gauge when they need to get ready for their events.
To do the job, it is vital that the Announcer keep track of every heat in every event. To do so, the Announcer must have a clear view of the pool and the time board. (At Eagle Park Pool meets, it is important that Marshals help facilitate this by keeping the deck in front of the Announcer’s station clear.)
It is important that the Announcer begin the session with the list of lane assignments, a list of the participating club abbreviations and full names and the session’s event timeline.
Be sure to test the microphone before you begin, so you can be sure the equipment is working and that there is no feedback. Make sure your microphone is off before you speak off-mic. If there is no on-off switch, move the microphone as far away from your mouth as possible, when you speak off-mic.
Announcing events and heats
Throughout the session, Runners will drop off event sheets. Each event sheet lists the swimmers in each heat in that event. It has the number and name of the event at the top. That is followed by the list of heats by number out of the total number of heats in the event.
The list of heats contains the swimmers, their clubs, their best times for that event and their lanes. Meet events usually alternate between boys and girls, and the office will use a blue highlighter on the boys’ events and a pink highlighter on the girls’ events.
The Announcer should keep the event sheets in order. You can compare your event sheets to the event timeline. It is not unusual for events to skip a number. This often happens when no boys in the given age range have registered for the event. If, however, the event timeline shows the missing event, have someone—if possible, a runner—check the office for that event sheet.
It is important that the Announcer have the sheets for at least the first two events before the start of the session and then have sheets for at least two events prior to the event taking place.
The Announcer will announce each heat of each event immediately after the swimmers have entered the water for the heat. (It is important that the announcements not interfere with the competitors or the officials.) You will announce the event number, the event name (which contains the age group and gender of the swimmers and the stroke), and the heat number out of the total heats in the event.
Here is a typical announcement:
“This is Event 6, Boys 8 and under 200-yard backstroke. Now in the water, Heat 1 of 9.”
Don’t worry about being boring or monotonous. Consistent announcements enable swimmers and their families to know what to expect throughout the meet. When you consistently announce the same elements at the same time, swimmers can more accurately gauge when to listen for their events and when to be at the platform for their heats.
The Announcer also announces other important information, including club lane assignments for timers; event results; when afternoon sessions (and warmups) are expected to begin; and other information that officials and the meet director needs to relay to swimmers, coaches and parents.
Priority for announcements
The timer lane assignments are the first announcements that must be made, so the meet can begin on time. After that, the Event and Heat announcements are the priority. No other announcement should interfere with those.
Runners deliver the results to the Announcer. Time permitting, the announcer reads off the names and clubs of the top three swimmers in each division (A, B or C) of each event. (It is a good idea to wait until the long-distance events, 200-meter/200-yard or longer, to read results.)
At long-course meets, you may be asked to announce to timers to move to the other end of the pool for sprints. At short-course meets, you may be asked to announce to swimmers to dive from the bulkhead for 25-yard events. You may be asked to announce to swimmers in long-distance events to have their own timers and counters.
The Meet Director or Marketing Coordinator may also ask the Announcer to mention sponsors. Say for example, “We would like to thank LeverX of Mountain View for sponsoring this event.”
The Announcer may be asked to promote the snack bar and to let coaches know when they may get lunch, ask families to clean up. You may be asked to introduce a singer for the National Anthem.