Behind every successful swim team is a group of parents who raise money or otherwise facilitate the operational aspects of a swim meet; which includes but not limited to, recording meet entries, arranging travel, recording results, officiating at meets, organizing fun activities, publishing newsletters and coordinating team attire. This and much more is accomplished through the UMLY Swim Team Parents Association. (please refer to the By-Laws, which is also listed within the Overview of UMLY Swimming section of the team handbook. Item 4 specifically addressed volunteers
“To provide parental volunteers to assist the professional swim team staff in the running of the competitive swim team program.”)
As the parents of children on the swim team, you are part of this very special organization. The Parents Association is an extension of the UMLY Swim Team that provides important services for the team. Your responsibility to the Swim Team, the swimmers, and the Parents Association is to actively participate in the swim program. Swimming at UMLY is a family sport!
Fortunately at UMLY, we have always been blessed with wonderful parent volunteers who are dedicated to the activities of their children and who selflessly give of themselves to the program.
For those of you who are new to UMLY, we depend on the support of 100% of the parents whose children swim in the program. All swim meets are run completely by parent volunteers. For each home dual-meet, over 22 volunteers are needed. Away meets require more than 10 volunteers. And, for special UMLY hosted championship meets such as the UMLY Mini Meet, UMLY Long Distance Championships, and YMCA PA East District Championships many, many more volunteers are required. Additionally, there are many “behind the scenes” activities that occur peripherally on the day of a swim meet where we can use your talents and time.
Because of the numerous volunteering opportunities that exist, there is something for everyone’s interest and desire. Although some volunteer positions such as officiating require special training and certification, most positions just need your time and talents. Stopwatch timers, place judges, food table people, banquet volunteers, team coordinators, party organizers, timing console operations, and many more are examples of positions that need to be filled. And for those of you who like to organize and manage, consider volunteering as one of our committee chairpersons.
This year we have a need of volunteers for several very specific positions. These include:
Timer. Timers are needed in each lane. The primary responsibility is to start the watch at the start of the race and stop it when the swimmer touches the wall. This time is recorded. You get the best seat in the house with this job. No experience is required.
Announcer.The Announcer works at home meets. The Announcer reads names and events from the program prior to each event. No experience is required but need to keep a quick pace. Time required: The duration of the meet.
Runner.Responsible for taking the time sheets from the Head Timer and delivering to the scorer's table after each event.
Level I and II Certified Officials:
YMCA Swim Official I. Level I Swim Officials are certified to function as Stroke and Turn Judge, Relay Take-off Judge, Place Judge and Timer. Successful completion of a written examination/Online test is required for certification. Minimum age requirement is 21 and must be associated with a YMCA sponsored Swim Team.
YMCA Swim Official II. Level II Swim Officialsare certified to function as Referee, Starter and Chief Judge, as well serve in the role of any Level I Swim Official. Successful completion of a written examination/Online Test is required for certification. Minimum age requirement is 21 and must be associated with a YMCA sponsored Swim Team.
USA Officials Certification. USA Swimming recently changed its requirements for becoming a USA-certified official. Officials that are interested in becoming USA certified, in addition to their YMCA Officials designation should contact Danny Ross for more information.
YMCA Certification is required to perform specific roles at league dual meets, as well as at Districts, States, and Nationals. USA certification is required for officiating at USA swim meets.
Timing System Operation and Support – UMLY home meets are conducted using an electronic timing system. This system is comprised of a scoreboard, timing console, touch pads, manual plungers, and wiring harnesses. Responsibilities related to this system are of three types; set-up, operation, and tear-down. Set-up occurs the evening before a meet. Usually, 2-3 people meet at an agreed time and spend about an hour preparing the equipment for conduct of the meet. Operation occurs at each home dual meet. Usually, there is one operator per meet, and that operator is different than the people that set-up and tear-down. Responsibilities include operation of the timing system during the meet, ensuring the interface with the scoring system is operational, and ensuring that all timing system components are operating correctly. Tear-down is similar to set-up. Usually, 2-3 people meet directly after a meet and disassemble the timing system equipment, ensuring that it is stored correctly. Time required is about an hour. Learning set-up and tear-down procedures requires about an hour. Learning scoreboard operation, requires more training. Classes will be offered in November.
Team Coordinators – Upon establishment of each of the 5 team rosters, two to three team parents per team is needed to coordinate each team’s meet activities. Responsibilities include maintaining the team accessories box, creation and maintenance of a volunteer list for parental volunteers to support team participation in each dual team meet and championship meets, as well as coordination of those volunteers in support of those meets. Coordination of team social events is also helpful.
Districts Volunteer. The District Swim Meet is the largest meet that UMLY hosts. The meet is comprised of four sessions and held over two days at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. For us to be successful in hosting the meet the support of the parents of all District qualifiers is required. Each age group requires one parent to be the volunteer coordinator for all positions for the specific age group session. Support is needed for the hospitality room and meals for all attending coaches, officials, admissions, T-shirt sales, etc.
Fundraising. Expenses paid by UMLY families are directly affected by the effectiveness of team fundraising activities. These activities will be expanded this year and will be run with the purpose of both raising funds and building team cohesion. Coordination of these activities will include definition of activities that meet team requirements, coordination of volunteers to implement those activities, and monitoring the activities when they are implemented.
Meet Hospitality/Concessions Coordination. Coordinate volunteers who will be responsible for the food concession the team provides at each of its home meets. This activity serves the needs of swimmers and guests at each meet as well as generates funds used to defray team expenses.
Coaches/Parent Kickoff Meeting. In late October, we hold a mandatory parent/coaches meeting. We will need volunteers to help coordinate the logistics of the refreshments (parents bring a covered dish) as well as coordinate the distribution of the team materials (family packets, directory, etc).
End of Season Banquet Volunteers. The UMLY Awards Banquet is held at the end of the Winter swim season is held on the first Sunday of May. At this banquet, graduating seniors are honored and each swimmer receives a team trophy or swim gear. One person is required to coordinate planning the event within the budget established by the Board, and others are required to help implement the different facets of it, (e.g. decorations, awards, registration). It is a huge undertaking, but ALWAYS a fun and tear-filled event. We love our UMLY swimmers!
New Family Ambassadors. Each year we have new families joining our extended UMLY Swim Club family. We would like to facilitate new families transition to our swim club by organizing veteran parents to reach out to new parents as a resource for questions, etc. We need someone to coordinate the veteran parents as well as parents to serve as the ambassadors.
Team Apparel. Part of our swim club’s branding and team building is for our swimmers and our parents to proudly wear their UMLY gear at swim meets. We would like help coordinating the design, ordering and distribution of the team gear.
Photography. With the advent of digital media – we would like to count on parents to take pictures at meets, team events, and even a practice or two. The pictures will be used in the end of season slide show, as well as other digital outlets.
Publicity/PR. Each year, we need to keep refreshing our ranks with great kids. This role help build our brand to the non UMLY swim family by coordinating press releases and other PR materials on the great events and the great swimmers coming out of our swim club.
Team Picture Coordinator. Our annual team picture is a highlight for the kids and a lasting momento of the years spent with their swim friends. We need someone to coordinate the picture day. This includes tasks such as: arrange the logistics for the photographer; communicate the date to the families; coordinate the picture with the coaches and distribute the pictures.
Team Party Coordination. Team social events are important for building team spirit. This year, there will be at least one party with that goal, which is the Halloween party focused primarily on our Minis. Examples of prior parties included an end of season party celebrating the completion of another dual meet season. Coordination of these events involves working with the Board to determine a budget, soliciting volunteers to support the events, making logistical arrangements for the events, and supervising their conduct. If possible, a different person will coordinate each event. Team parties are held at UMLY, either in the Carriage House or the Gym.
Please complete the enclosed Volunteer Interest section of the UMLY Team and Directory Info Form if you would like to volunteer for a position. Or feel free to contact any board member or a committee coordinator if you have questions about these or any other opportunities.