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Volunteering

When your Child Joins the Team, You Join the Team!

Whenever the team hosts a meet, timers, officials, recorders, and general help come from you, the parents/guardians of our swimmers. There may be a need for preparation and selling of food, hospitality for visiting coaches and officials, marshalling, basic clerical work, collection of admission fees and sale of heat sheets, etc. All of this is required work and it is anticipated that at least one adult from each swim family will give of his/her time and talent to facilitate the job for everyone! 
At least one parent/guardian from each swim family on the team is expected to participate on a working committee and/or help at the hosted meets.  We ask that every family volunteer at least 20 hours at swim meets over the course of the year.

We typically host around 12 meets a year, of which two are larger USA Swimming sanctioned invitational meets usually held at the Sonny Werblin Pool on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway.

We attend many other swim meets over the course of the year, some are dual meets and others are large invitational meets or championship meets.  In each case, we will need timers and officials for those meets.

Meets cannot be run without officials.  The results do not count for our swimmers if there are fewer than the minimum number of officials needed to run a meet. We are in dire need of officials at this time. Please see the officials tab for more information.

Why Should You Volunteer.

The simplest reason why you should help is also the most powerful. You should help because your child benefits greatly from the program. The second reason is that our team cannot function without substantial volunteer help. The economics are not there for a full professional staff to do all the things that need doing. As of May 2014, we have one full time coach (Paulo), 10 part-time coaches, some of whom work as little as 7 hours a week, and one volunteer coach (Sharkey, whose Day Job is Aquatics Director at the Geyer Family Y).  

In most volunteer organizations, including swim teams, a very few people do a tremendous amount of work that benefits everyone. This is a bad deal for everyone. That person sooner or later burns out, leaving a big hole to fill. 

What Can You Do?

Volunteer Positions (M) Meet Volunteer, (T) Team Management Volunteer

Team Managers (M)

The Team Managers make sure all volunteer positions are filled for all meets, recruits volunteers as needed and will assign jobs in the absence of an adequate number of volunteers.  They secure stopwatches for away meets and collect concessions proceeds for the Treasurer.  S/he also assists the officials and coaches in making the meets run smoothly.  Two to three Team Managers are needed for each of the four travel teams – Girls A, Girls B, Boys A and Boys B.  For invitationals and championships, the Team Managers will cover 12 & U, 13 & over and 8 & under.  If there is not complete overlap with the travel teams, we would need additional Team Managers.

Roster Group Rep (T)

Liaison between parents, parent board and practice group lead coach. Maintains an open line of communication for questions to the coach from the parents and to parents from coach. Helps organize social activities for the practice group.  Mentors new parents, assists Merchandising Coordinator with distribution of team gear to swimmers if requested, activates e-mail chain for their practice group for special announcements. Practice Group Rep is not the point of contact for personal swimmer and coach issues, those should be discussed with Head Coach Paulo Madeira.

Merchandising Coordinator/Management (T)

This person coordinates the selection, ordering and delivery of team clothing for the swimmers.  Additional volunteers (1-2) assist the Merchandising Coordinator.  This team will also determine whether to set up a Swim Outlet storefront for the team which will offer specific merchandise to the team based on coach and swimmer preferences.  Amy Neigeborn is our current Merchandising Coordinator.

Official (M)

See the Officials Tab on the website.  It is easy to be qualified, and you can work meets when you are available.  Meets cannot take place without an adequate number of officials.  We had some squeakers during the 2013-14 dual meet season where we barely had enough officials.  We need you!

1.  Referee -- Has jurisdiction over the meet and sees that rules are enforced for a fair competition. This position requires certification as an official

2.  Official Coordinator -- This person tracks all Montclair YMCA parent volunteers who have become certified YMCA and USA Swimming officials. They will also coordinate all training and materials for officials

3.  Starter -- Has control over the competitors after they have been assigned by the referee and until a fair start has been achieved. Makes sure that the swimmers are ready and motionless. Uses a device such as a horn to start the race. This position requires certification as an official.

4.  Stroke and Turn Judge -- Observes swimmers to ensure that all strokes and turns are legal. Raises hand to indicate any infractions to the referee. This position requires certification as an official.

5.  Finish Judge -- Observes and records the order that the swimmers finish the race.  The information is used as a backup to the Colorado system and recorded times. This position requires certification as an official.

Timers (M)

1.  Lane Timer -- A lane timer starts and stops a watch and/or presses a button on a lane. By doing so, they provide a time from each timing system they use. A Lane Timer may be asked to operate a watch and button simultaneously.

2.  Backup Timer -- A backup timer starts his/her watch at the start of a heat.  If a lane timer fails to start his/her watch properly the lane timer will signal for the backup timer to come and record the time for their lane assignment. 

3.  Head Lane Timer -- In addition to performing the duties of a Lane Timer, the Head Lane Timer also records the manual watch times from that lane, verifies that the proper swimmers are competing in that lane, and reports if a swimmer delays in touching or misses the touchpad at the finish.

4.  Head Timer -- This person is responsible for all the Lane Timers and Head Lane Timers. The Head Timer is responsible for checking in all timers for the session and assigns alternate timers as needed.  In addition to assuring the Lane Timers are properly briefed prior to each session, the Chief Timer supervises the timers during the session, collects recorded times from the Head Lane Timers, and may start additional watch(es) to be used as a substitute in the event a Lane Timer’s watch fails.

It is each family`s responsibility to obtain a replacement timer for their timing assignment if they cannot time; Head Timers are not responsible for finding replacement timers.

No experience necessary, instructions will be given at a timers meeting before the start of the meet.  Stopwatches will be provided.  Head Timers serving for the first time, should receive instruction from the Official who instructs the Timers.

Note: That at many invitational and Championship meets, swimmers are required to provide their own timer and counter for long distance events, such as the 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free in short course, and 400 free and 400 IM, 800 free and 1500 free in long course meets.

Runner (M)

Takes recorded times from timers and brings them to the scoring table.  No experience necessary.

Colorado Operator (M)

Operates the Colorado Automatic Timing System Console to capture electronic times (times produced when swimmers touch the touch pads.) *Volunteers can learn the process by shadowing a experienced operator for 2 to 3 meets

Colorado Setup/Takedown (M)

(At least two per team) Sets up the Colorado Automatic Timing System equipment (starting system, console, touch pads, and buttons). *Volunteers can learn the process by shadowing an experienced volunteer for 2 to 3 meets

Concessions (M)

Concessions workers are in charge of working the concessions booth or tables at meets.  They keep drinks and foods that need to stay chilled on ice, and sell snacks, drinks, and food to swimmers and parents and sell team merchandise, such as caps, magnets, t-shirts, etc.  Debra Dadic and Catherine Gearst were the 2013-2014 Concessions Coordinators.

Event Coordinators (T)

Event coordinators will be needed for Team Pictures, Swim team social functions (in coordination with Paulo) and any events not coordinated by a Roster Group Rep.  From time to time, social gatherings and special events are offered by the Parents' Association to encourage team bonding between athletes and families. If you have any ideas for appropriate outings in a social setting or would be willing to run a special event, let your Team Manager or Paulo know. 

Nationals Coordinator (T/M)

Orders national team uniforms. Coordinates parent activities (volunteer support, travel, social) for national events. 

Photographer (T/M)

We need at least one parent from each team to capture our kids at parties, swimming, or special events. Try to include everyone from your team in as many digital photos as you can. A digital camera is required.  Jess Michaud and Eric Severson were team photographers during the 2013-2014 swim season.

Equipment (T)

This team ensures that swim team equipment (particularly the Colorado Timing System) is maintained so that it will function properly when needed. This team also assists the coaches and the Executive Board of the Parent Association in making decisions concerning capital improvements and maintenance.  The Equipment Coordinator coordinates the activities of the equipment maintenance volunteers.

Best Time Board Keeper (T)

This person will keep the best time board above the observation deck current.  It is currently out of date.  The Board Keeper will receive the best time reports and make sure that the most recent best times are recorded on the board. 

Meet Fee Administrator (T)

The Meet Fee Administrator is responsible for billing swim families for Meet Fees, book-keeping for Meet Fees and depositing funds received.  This position requires someone with good computer skills and can be done "on ones own time" as management of the Meet Fee account is done behind the scenes.  Mike Leach is our current Meet Fee Administrator.

Swim-a-thon (T)

The swim team participates in up to two fundraisers a year that involve pledges for swimming.  One is the YMCA Annual Campaign Swim Challenge, which raises funds for scholarships so that our entire community can participate in activities at the Y, regardless of ability to pay.  The second is run in certain years and is a Swim-a-Thon to raise funds for the Dolphin Swim Team.  The proceeds are used for the swim team to purchase apparel and equipment, fund social events, and support the teams activities.  Kathleen Brown was the 2014 chair for the YMCA Annual Campaign Swim Challenge.

Sunkissed Invitational Championship Meet Coordinators (T/M)

Each year in late March, early April, swimmers who have achieved qualifying times travel to Charlotte, NC for the Sunkissed Invitational Jr/Sr Championships of the USA, our season closing meet.  The Meet Coordinators work with a committee to choose a theme, design a team t-shirt and other apparel, arrange for the team hotel block, team meals, team pictures, buddies for swimmers and assist the legendary MYM ghost.  Iona Santa Cruz and Liz Ruvo were the 2014 Sunkissed Coordinators.

Annual Banquet (T)

The Annual Banquet is held in May each year.  It is a significant undertaking that requires many volunteers.  In addition to coordinating the banquet and reservations, volunteers are needed to solicit donations for the Basket Auction, prepping the Baskets, to prepare the program, slide shows, etc., etc.  Teresa Olivo was the 2014 Banquet Coordinator.

Publicity (T)

Publicity volunteers prepare press releases to announce upcoming meets and report on the results of meets.  Because of publication deadlines, these volunteers sometimes spend some late Sunday nights pulling together information following a weekend-long meet.  Ideally, we would like to have a publicity volunteer for each of the main communities served by the Montclair Y – Glen Ridge, Cedar Grove, Verona, Bloomfield and Clifton.  Publicity volunteers also work on other ways to promote the team.  Izumi Hara (Koschik) was the 2013-2014 Publicity Coordinator.

Hospitality (M)

At the large invitational swim meets that we host in the summer, we provide snacks, drinks, and food for coaches and officials.  Hospitality workers procure food, snacks and beverages and serve coaches and officials working at those swim meets.

Admissions/Heat Sheet sales (M)

At our large invitational meets in the summer, we charge admission for spectators.  For the duration of the meet, we will need volunteers to work the admission table, selling admission and heat sheets.  The Admission team will also monitor the doors and hand stamps to make sure that entering spectators have paid for their admission.  This is a fund-raiser for us and a good portion of our proceeds come from admission fees and heat sheet sales.

Announcer (M)

The announcer is in charge of making general meet announcements over a microphone at the large invitational swim meets that we host in the summer, such as when warm ups will begin, when the meet starts, where coaches and officials need to meet, and other information that coaches, parents, and swimmers need at a swim meet.