Martin County Swimming SWIM MEET JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Please note: Unless otherwise specified, all workers should plan to work the entire session for which they have committed. If your specific job is completed, look for other ways to help out. Session times are estimates and will vary depending on the meet, weather, etc…. Workers should arrive at the time posted, or earlier. Please be on time for your assigned shift so that other volunteers don’t have to cover for you!
Your swimmers and team appreciate your support in making their swim meet “official”. If you have any questions about your position, please ask someone. Chances are they know the answer or have the same question!
Announcer: This is a great job for someone with a strong voice and an ability to pronounce names correctly. You announce the names of the swimmers in each event, make any other necessary announcements, and work with the Referee and Starter to keep the meet moving quickly and smoothly. Not all meets require this job.
Awards/Post Results: The awards/results posting personnel works with the lap-top/scoring person to obtain a copy of the results of each event to post and also to receive labels (usually every 3-4 events) to stick on the medals and ribbons and sort the awards into bags for each team.
Chief/Head (Back-up) Timer: The Chief Timer should have prior timing experience and will help recruit timers (if necessary), and verify that all lanes have timers, working stopwatches and buttons, clipboards, pencils, and heat sheets on which to record times. The CT ensures that all timers attend the Timer Briefing before the upcoming session. During the meet, the Chief Timer starts two manual stopwatches for each heat and observes to see if any lane timer indicates that s/he missed the start. If so, the back-up timer ensures that the “malfunctioning” lane gets a time by temporarily moving a vacant lane timer into that lane or delivering a running stopwatch. The CT will also help with traffic control behind the starting blocks and with supporting/training other timers, when appropriate. Click here for more on timing.
Computer Operator (Scorekeeper): There can be some pressure at the table, and this job requires knowledge of the computer program (Meet Manager) used for the computerized scoring system. Your team leaders will be very happy to show you the ropes and have you apprentice for this essential job.
Concessions/Snack Bar: The snack bar is a great place to work if you're not interested in watching the whole meet. If there are enough workers, you can usually get away briefly to watch your child swim. Concessions are an important fundraiser for the team, as we raise money for awards and other extras this way. You get to interact kids and parents. At most of our meets, concessions also serves as hospitality (see Hospitality below) for volunteers and coaches. Concession workers usually need to arrive approximately one hour before the posted meet warm-up time to prepare coffee and the concession area.
Gateworker: Individuals working the gate arrive at least 30 minutes before the posted warm-up time to collect entrance fees from spectators and to sell heat sheets. Gate workers collect fees throughout the entire session from entering spectators. During the meet, (after the initial rush when the Volunteer Coordinator has left the gate), gateworkers will also check in incoming volunteers and give them a volunteer shirt and name tag.
Grill: The grill expert works with Concession to provide freshly grilled, yummy hamburgers and hot dogs.
Hospitality: Hospitality provides free food and drink for all workers, including visiting coaches, at the meet. This position is especially important for the smooth running of the meet. Hospitality workers bring food and drink to other workers in stationary positions ensuring that they are nourished and hydrated and can continue working without leaving their posts. This is a great job for meeting new people (who are always very glad to see you, unless they are too busy to look up, as is often the case for workers under the starter’s tent!)
Lane Timer: This is the most popular meet job among both new and experienced swim parents, as timers get a much better view of the action! Timing is an easy job, but requires focus on the events being competed, especially at the start and the finish. Timing is also a critical position, as recorded times are used as official times if the electronic timing system malfunctions. Typically, 2-3 timers are assigned to each lane -- one lane timer presses a Martin County Aquatics supplied manual stopwatch at the beginning and end of each race and the other lane timer(s) presses the button/plunger attached to the starting block only at the end of the race and records the stopwatch time (from the manual stopwatch timer). Timers stay seated during the entire meet, except for the last length of each race when they must stand to observe and time the swimmer touching the wall. Timers work under the direction of the Chief Timer or Starter and must attend the Timer Briefing usually held approximately 45 minutes prior to each session. Click here for more on timing.
Pool set-up/Tear down: Each meet requires 3-4 people to ready the pool area for competition. This includes setting up the electronic touch pads and lane lines. This crew must arrive early to home meets and stay about 30 minutes after the end of each home meet.
Runner: The runner takes paper information to various workers at the meet, as needed. Runners stay on the move throughout the meet, so it's great exercise!
Timing System Operator/Console: This job is for someone who likes to play with electronic gizmos. The timing system uses an electronic signal from the starter's device and the touch pads in the pool to determine the swimmers' times and order of finish. This information displays on the scoreboard and feeds into the computer program used by the computer operator (scorekeeper) that keeps track of the official results. This job requires a couple of sessions of on-the-job training, which your team leaders will be very happy to arrange.
Toilet and Locker Room Cleaning during Meet: This is generally the least desirable job of the meet, but if you enjoy making the locker room and toilets sparkle after a long weekend, this is the job for you!
Volunteer Coordinator: Arrives one half hour before posted warm-up time, and checks in volunteers (checks off their arrival on the signup list), and provides them with volunteer shirts and nametags. During the meet, oversees volunteers, coordinates “Relief Workers” if necessary, and troubleshoots (adjusting volunteers to open positions as needed). Notifies meet administration of volunteers who do not fulfill their commitment.
Meet Officials: Meet Officials are generally swim parents who have acquired special training in USA Swimming rules. All officials acting in the capacity of Referee, Starter, Administrative Official, or Stroke and/or Turn Judge at a swimming meet must be certified in such position by Florida Gold Coast Swimming and USA Swimming prior to being assigned to officiate in that capacity. Uncertified trainees may apprentice and perform the duties of such positions when they are under the direct supervision of a certified official. If you are interested in becoming a meet official, please ask your team leaders about upcoming Official’s clinics. You can also visit the USA Swimming website at www.usaswimming.org to learn about the requirements to become an official.
The following official positions are the minimum required to host a swim meet and for swimmers’ times to be official:
Administrative Official: The AO is responsible for the accurate processing of entries and scratches, accurate seeding of preliminary, semi-final and final heats, determination and recording of official times, determination of the official results, and the publication and posting of results and scores.
Referee: The referee runs the events in the meet and oversees all the other meet officials. This is a leadership position that requires experience and a take-charge personality.
Starter: The Starter works with referee to ensure that all swimmers have a fair start.
Stroke & Turn Judge: The judges observe swimmers to determine whether the technical aspects of the swimming stroke are legal. Judges have knowledge of the USA Swimming stroke regulations, and the ability to notify swimmers who have disqualified themselves.