Meet Volunteer Job Descriptions
The following is a detailed list of volunteer jobs at our meets. Thanks to everyone for helping at our meets! Click here to open a printable version of this information.
TIMING: This is the most important job of all. Without timers we can’t run the meet. Timers assure that each swimmer gets the most accurate times possible. They are also our last line of defense to assure that the right swimmer gets the right time by making sure each swimmer swims when and where they are supposed to. You will be trained on deck. It isn’t difficult and there are always two timers per lane so the responsibility averages out. You will be required to attend a timers’ meeting about 15 minutes before the session starts. This meeting is given by a trained USA Swimming Official. They will tell you how to do the job and then ask you to go stand by the lane you will be timing. Timing involves starting the stop watch on the start and stop it on the finish. You will write down the time (or memorize it to write moments later), clear your watch, and be ready to start all over again with the next race.
Timers are expected to time for entire shifts, as designated by the sign up sheets. You will get snacks and drinks and you will also be able to have bathroom breaks. If both parents are at the meet it is helpful for one to time while the other takes care of the swimmer(s). Parents can switch off. This is an easy job for off duty swimmers to do as well as grandparents and other friends.
HEAD TIMER: (1 per session) We need one person per session to make sure the timers have everything they need. The Head Timer will start two watches at the beginning of every race then look over the line of timers. If a timer has a watch malfunction, they will raise their hands and the Head Timer will get a good watch to them immediately. The Head Timer is also in charge of finding replacement timers. This usually involves telling one of our more mobile volunteers to find a replacement for whatever lane needs a break. The Head Timer cannot leave his/her position to track down timers.
RELIEF TIMERS: (2 per session) I have asked for two more timers per session than we need at any given time. These people are responsible to relive the timers for whatever reason. Relief Timers should be on hand so that the Head Timers can find them easily in order to direct them to whatever lane needs a break.
HEAT WINNER AWARD GIVERS: (1 per session) They give out the heat winner awards to the swimmer winning each heat. This person must be able to pay attention to whichever swimmer wins each heat as well as be able to get to that swimmer before they move on. MACS is one of the very few teams which give out heat winner awards. It is one of the reasons that many swimmers like our meets.
CONCESSION HELPERS: (3 per session) Basically you sell the items, take money and re-stock whatever needs restocking. It is important to have more than two at a time so that each concessionaire can go watch their kiddo swim without leaving the stand in a bind.
VEST WEARERS: (3 per warm-up period) This job is very important for safety. We need at least 3 people paying attention to the pool and surrounding deck area DURING WARM-UPS ONLY. Vest wearers are our Safety people. They make sure there is not any running, rough housing and the warm-up procedures are followed. The main point is that swimmers are to enter the pool by first sitting down and then sliding into the water. No jumping or diving allowed except for the lanes designated as “Start” lanes. These are easy to identify. The coaches make funny noises and the swimmers dive off the blocks right one right after each other.
PLEASE NOTE: Vest Wearers only do this job for the hour of warm-ups. If you volunteer for this job it doesn’t mean you are done for the rest of the meet. You can also be a relief timer or something else.
RUNNER/POSTER: (I per session) This is a person who gathers up the timer sheets after each event and takes them to the scorers. They then post the results in the designated areas. The Runner/Poster also serves to relay messages from meet personnel who cannot leave their posts.
PROGRAM SELLER: (1 per session) This person needs to be available at the start of warm-ups to sell the programs. This is a sit down position and lasts until relieved by the next seller. We usually ask that the program sellers be available to man the table all day Saturday and at least the start of Sunday morning. After that the excess programs can be moved to concessions to sell to anyone who needs one.
ANNOUNCER: (1 per session) The announcer lets the audience know what event, and heat we are on as well as making sure to announce the first and last call of each heat. They also make any announcements as needed for information and safety. They need to be ready to announce at the beginning of warm-ups. This position may sit down depending on the venue.
CONSOLE OPERATOR: (2 per session) the console is the machine that interfaces with the touchpads, scoreboard and computer for scoring. The operator has to pay attention to each heat and reset the console after each race. They must take note of race number and turn off any lanes that don’t have swimmers in them. Training is necessary for this position but you can be trained while working alongside an experienced operator. As this is such a focal point of any meet and takes a good bit on concentration we would like to have as many trained operators as possible in order to relive each other during the meet.
SCORER: (1 per session) The Scorer works alongside the Meet Director at the computer. Training is also necessary but can be had alongside a more experienced scorer. The Scorer gets the times from the console and if there is a discrepancy between the touchpads and pickle (button attached to the touchpads), they will consult the timer sheets to verify the correct time. They will print the results, heat sheets for the officials, timer sheets and handle the positive check-in for the longer races.
USA SWIMMING OFFICIALS: These are the people in the white shirts and blue shorts who disqualify the swimmers for infractions. I cannot stress how important this job is to swimming anywhere in the US. These are the people who make sure the kids have a level playing field and that USA Swimming rules are followed. These officials are all volunteers and are asked to work all meets not just the ones that MACS host. They are very dedicated and well thought of in the swimming world. They are also fed for free at meets. Classroom training as well as on deck training is required. Although this is a very rigorous position, most officials I know love it. Most will tell you that they have the best seats in the house to watch swimming.
All of the above happen at the meet itself. We need many helpers before the meet even begins. The following jobs might work for you if you already know that you won’t be able to make the meet.
LOAD UP AT PIER POINT AND TRANSPORT TO POOL: Many volunteers work for several weeks prior to the meet shopping etc.. and the products of their efforts are stored at PP. All of the concession stuff needs to be loaded up and taken to the pool. This usually involves several vans or Suburbans. This usually done the night before the meet in January or the Friday afternoon for the Fall Meet.
SETTING UP THE POOL: Once everything is delivered to the pool, we need to get the venue ready. This involves putting out tables for concessions, programs, coaches and the scoring area. Chairs are needed at every lane and at every table. Signs need to be posted and hazards need to be removed or roped off.
CLEAN UP SUNDAY NIGHT: Many hands make light work is very true for this job. All the tables and chairs need to be returned to whence they came. Trash needs to be picked up, concessions and lost and found need to be loaded up to be taken back to PP and the deck needs to be washed down.
TAKE BACK TO PP: Fewer vans are needed than loading up but several are need to go back to PP to unload the stuff.
FOOD PICK-UP: Depending on what Hospitality requires we need folks to pick up food that has been donated and deliver it to the pool in time for lunch for the coaches and officials.
The following positions are mentioned just to give you an idea of what goes on behind the scenes before the meet even starts.
MEET DIRECTOR: Training and education required to be a Certified Administrative Official with USA Swimming. Works to get everything coordinated as well as work closely with coaches and officials to run the meet in accordance with USA Swimming guidelines. Accepts each team’s entries and works with the Meet Manager software in order to seed the Meet and produce Psych and Heat Sheets. The Entry chair verifies that all swimmers entered are registered with USA Swimming and works with coaches and officials to make sure all times entered are accurate. Chair provides results to all teams as well as to Colorado Swimming.
HOSPITALITY: Works to feed all coaches, officials and full time volunteers. This involves asking for donations of food, coordinating at least 4 meals over a two day meet and providing snacks for timers and other volunteers.
CONCESSIONS: Involves planning, shopping, working closely with Hospitality and transporting food as well as preparing and selling the food items.
PROGRAM COORDINATOR: This person works closely with the Meet Director as well as anyone who sells advertising in order to produce the programs we sell at the meet.
SAFETY MARSHALL: Assures that all hazards in the pool area are marked and that all safety needs are met. The Marshall wears the vest for the entire meet verifying that the physical space is safe and that all swimmers and spectators are following the safety guidelines. This person is also the main go to person for anything that arises that may need attention. They direct the appropriate set up of the pool.
There are countless small jobs that need doing to prepare for any meet. Many of the above tasks can be broken down further. Thank you for volunteering - no job is too small and everyone's help is greatly appreciated! Go MACS!