MBSC Hosted 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 for 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 at least two timers per lane so the responsibility averages out. You will be requested 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 the either 2 or 4 hours a session. You will be fed and watered 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 older swimmers to do as well as grandparents and other friends. If you have your child alone, trade off with a friend. For each day your child swims in a meet, you need to be prepared to time if asked.
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 watched 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 with the help of the announcer. The Head Timer cannot leave his/her position to track down timers.
VEST WEARERS/ MARSHALS: (3 per during warm-up period, 2 during the remaining part of meet) 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, 2 for the rest of the meet at the warm up area. 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.
Volunteer Coordinator: This individual serves as a back up to all volunteers on shift by providing breaks and filling in if a volunteer does not show.
RUNNER/POSTER: (I per session) This person needs comfortable shoes and will be walking during their entire shift. This is a person who gathers up the timer sheets after each event and takes them to the scorers/computer operators. They then post the results and heat/lane postings 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 and announce high point awards. They need to be ready to announce at the beginning of warm-ups. This position sits down during their shift
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 MBSC 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.
SNACK BAR 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.
AWARDS- (2 per session) The meet director or awards committee chair should have already ordered the awards weeks before the meet is held. In the case of hosted invitational or champs meets, the awards/results posting personnel work 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. (2-3) Awards not collected by swimmers should either be forwarded to the swimmer's club coach or representative at the meet or by mail. Generally the meet sheet will indicate how awards are dispersed to swimmers. Ideally, the awards table is located out of the view of the public. A choice can be made to mail awards is the labels are delayed coming from the computer operator.
Computer: Responsible for running the swim meet computer program. Includes, scratches, heat lane assignments and retrieving results from the Colorado system and printing event results. Training on the computer is required; length of training is based on an individual’s understanding of the program and comfort level in operating the computer at a meet. Time estimate: Meet session plus pre-session preparation time and post-session completion of results.
Computer Assistant: Assist Computer person as required including sorting papers, checking results, etc. Should be in training, or already comfortable with computer system. Time estimate: Meet session plus pre-session preparation time and post-session completion of results.
Check-in assistant: Assists meet director at hosted invitational/champs meets only in checking in volunteers (from our team as well as other league teams) and all teams’ coaches. Also, during check-in, volunteer supplies and coaches packets are distributed. Must arrive 20-30 minutes before the called warm-up time. Job is complete shortly after the meet begins. (1) Can be done by awards staff.
Hospitality: Work in the hospitality area to provide meals for coaches and officials between meet sessions. Prepare and deliver food to be served to coaches, officials and volunteers. Time estimate: Varies with meet timing. 2-4 volunteers
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. MBSC gives out heat winner awards sometimes at CVAL Championships. It is one of the reasons that many swimmers like our meets. This job is not always assigned at every MBSC hosted meet.
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 MEET SUPPLIES 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. All of the concession stuff needs to be loaded up and taken to the pool. This usually involves several vans, Suburbans or trucks. This usually done the afternoon before a weekend meet and early in the day of a meet that starts in the afternoon.
SETTING UP THE POOL: Once everything is delivered to the pool, we need to get 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 AT THE END OF THE MEET: 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 MPC and the deck needs to be washed down if needed.
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: Works to get everything coordinated as well as work closely with coaches and officials to run the meet in accordance with USA Swimming guidelines.
ENTRY CHAIR: 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. * This person is usually also the computer operator at the meet.
HOSPITALITY: Works to feed all coaches, officials and full time volunteers. This involves asking for donations of food, preparing 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 and Entry Chair 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 MBSC!