TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More!
Volunteering parents are the core behind a successful competitive swim club. Volunteering can range from team timing chair duties to running our own swim meet. We realize that everyone is busy and many have kids involved in other sports/activities that require similar volunteering efforts. With that being said, we would like to keep parent volunteering hours simple. Swim teams are always assigned team timing chair duties at our monthly swim meets which are filled by our parents. If you would like to help out and assist ULTRA swim club, please ask Mercy (562-417-6251) for details..we can always use the help!
Swim Meets 101
We have a competition offered for every group at least once a month. Be sure to consult the Team Calendar. (Click here for Swim Meet Entry guide/instructions)
Swim Meet: Warm-Up, Check-In, Event Postings, Your Race
- Arrive before the designated warm-up time per your coach
- Check in for your events at the Check-In Table
- Find your team (Look for the ULTRA team canopies) and leave your bags in the designated area
- Find your coach, and you will get instructions for warm-up
- Warm up with your team
- After warm-up, find a spot in the team area. Have snack. Locate and get familiar with the Event Postings. (This is where your swimmer’s event, heat and swimming lane will be listed).
- During the meet, pay attention to the Events & Heats that are announced. Your Heat & Lane assignment is typically posted about 5 events before your race. As soon as you know your lane assignment, see your coach and let her know your Event/Heat/Lane.
Before your Race: Wait behind your assigned lane until your Event/Heat is called. Notify the timers that you are here for Event/Heat/Lane (this is a good double-check that you are in the right spot).
During your Race: The official will blow the whistle – this means walk up and stand behind your starting block. The 2nd long whistle means to step up onto the block. The official will say, “Take your mark.” Go into starting position and hold still. If a swimmer moves, all swimmers will be asked to stand. The official will say, “Take your mark,” again. The BEEP signals you to dive in! When you finish at the wall, your time is recorded.
After your Race: Report to your coach to hear her comments on your race. Warm-down in the designated area (your coach will tell you what to do). Hydrate, have a light snack, get ready for your next event, cheer for your teammates, and HAVE FUN!
Swim Meet: Timing
Timing is mandatory for all parents on our team who have a swimmer signed up for a meet. Without timers, a swim meet will not happen. So we need all of our parents to volunteer to help our swimmers achieve their best times. Usually the time interval for each timing shift runs about 1 hour. Timing shifts vary depending on how long the meet is going to be, how many chairs our team is assigned, and how many parents we have on the pool deck. You don't need to come to a meet if your swimmer has not committed to attend. If you have children swimming in BOTH, morning and afternoon, sessions, you will have time twice.
At swim meets, all teams attending are assigned timing chairs. There are 3 chairs per lane located behind the blocks where the race begins. When the swimmer touches the wall, timers press "pickles" (button connected to automatic timing system) and record the time for the swimmer in their lane for each completed the heat. Before the start of every meet, timing responsibilities are explained by a meet official. In order to run a successful meet for our swimmers, timing is an important responsibility.
Behind each lane, there are 3 timing chairs:
- Chair 1: Responsible for hand timing with a stopwatch and pickle. Make sure you know how to run the watch before the first race. Start the watch at the flash of light which goes off at the start (don’t start at the BEEP). Stop the watch when the swimmer touches the wall. If you miss a start, don’t worry. Immediately raise your hand for a back-up watch, and continue on with the heat. After heat, report your time to Chair 2 to be written on the clipboard.
- Chair 2: Responsible for the clipboard and pickle. There is 1 clipboard per lane that lists the swimmers in your lane by race. Check-in swimmers prior to their heat. If your swimmer isn’t there, call their name (they might be in the wrong lane). Record the stopwatch time in the space provided on the sheet. If there is a DQ (disqualification) the official will make notes on the clipboard. A meet volunteer will deliver and pick up the sheets from time to time.
- Chair 3: Responsible for the pickle. (easiest!)
Be sure to stay at your chair assignment until you are relieved by the next timer. Timing is FUN, and you get the BEST SEAT to watch your swimmer and congratulate him after his race! If you have more timing questions, ask the coach to pair you up with a veteran swim parent, and he can walk you through the process.
Swim Meet: What to Bring
Whenever you are not timing at the meet, you can sit with your swimmer, watch her race, or watch other races, snack, etc. Most of the meets are in outdoor pools, and it might be too cold or too hot depending on the season. Here is a simple checklist of the basic items you should bring to a meet:
- Outdoor folding chairs
- Plenty of dry towels, (usually one per race + warm-up)
- Snacks that are nutritious and easy to digest
- Water or sport drinks
- Games, books, or homework for in between the races.
- Warm jackets, shoes/boots, hat, etc. for cold weather
- Sunscreen for warm weather
- Extra goggles, swim cap, swimsuit (just in case!)
- Sharpie pen/marker (for swimmers to write their event/heat/lane)
It might seem a lot, but it is better to be prepared. You can always leave things in your car and pull them out as the need arises. If you don't have a designated backpack for towels and swim things, you can buy one at the swim meets, or use a duffel bag.
Ultra Swim Club | 13847 Earlham Dr., Whitter, CA. 90602 | 562-417-6251 | 818-472-2093 | firstname.lastname@example.org