Meet Marshal Tips

The top priority at swim meets is keeping swimmers safe. Meet Marshals are on deck to protect athletes and other meet goers. They work from before warm-ups through the end of the session. Safety is the Meet Marshal’s primary concern. Be polite, but firm to ensure a safe environment for all.

Arrive 15 minutes before warm-ups to:

  • Read these instructions and ask questions.
  • Sign in, get safety vest, and station assignment.
  • Meet the Volunteer Coordinator, Meet Referee and Meet Director. Learn who is allowed on deck, in locker rooms, and other areas.

Provide a safe warm-up/down environment

  • No diving or backstroke starts except in controlled one-way sprint lanes.
  • Feet first entry from the ends at all other times.
  • No swimming style or equipment use that poses danger to other swimmers.
  • No congregating in lanes. Swimming only
  • Report too many swimmers in a lane to Meet Referee
  • Monitor warm-up/down areas throughout the meet

Monitor meet areas

  • Regularly walk through halls, lobbies, spectator areas, and other parts of the facility with meet goers.
  • No running, horseplay, bullying, taunting, etc.
  • No deck changing.
  • Respectfully request to see credentials from any adult on deck.
  • Report any suspicious or resistant adults to the Meet Director or Referee.
  • Blood or vomit: Notify lifeguards and stay in the area until addressed.

Monitor locker rooms and changing areas

  • Collaborate with other marshals to conduct a two-adult periodic walkthrough of same-gender locker rooms.
  • Check for use of prohibited recording devices including cell phones.
  • Check for unauthorized adults.
  • Encourage swimmers not to congregate.

Report unsafe areas to Meet Director

  • Unsafe areas might include, electrical hazards, fall hazards like slippery decks, use of glass on deck, blood on deck, or anything you consider to be dangerous.
  • Don’t leave your post without approval from Meet Director or Volunteer Coordinator..

Safe Sport Briefing Sheet: MEET MARSHALS

The USA Swimming Safe Sport program is USA Swimming’s comprehensive abuse prevention program dedicated to creating a healthy and positive environment free from abuse for all its members. Components of the program include, but are not limited to, providing education and training, enforcing policies (such as the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy), rules and best practice guidelines, promoting healthy boundaries and mandatory reporting of violations. As a volunteer, it is important to know, understand and abide by all USA Swimming rules and policies. Here are key things you need to know:

  • The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy prohibits you from having a one- on-one interaction with a minor athlete that is not within an observable and interruptible distance from another adult. In your role you will interact with minor athletes, therefore you are required to abide by this policy in full during your time volunteering.
  • No cameras (including cell phone cameras) or other recording devices are allowed behind the blocks at any time. If you see a camera you should:
    • Inform the camera user of the policy and request the device be put away.
    • Inform the Meet Director of the camera use. Do this even if the camera user puts the camera away when asked.
    • Exception: a credentialed, official meet photographer identified by the Meet Director, announced in the meet announcement and available to all athletes, is allowed behind the blocks after the start.
  • Good sportsmanship is expected at all times.
    • Bullying or taunting is prohibited at all times on deck.
    • If you observe taunting or bullying behaviors:
      • Stop the behavior immediately.
      • Inform the Meet Director or Meet Referee so they can handle the situation.
  • Deck changing is prohibited. If you see someone deck changing, take note of the athlete’s club affiliation, if, any, and inform the Meet Referee or Meet Director.
  • Rubdowns, massages and athletic training modalities are not allowed except by a licensed massage therapist or other certified professional. Coaches cannot perform massages, rubdowns or athletic training modalities – this includes stretching.
    • If you observe a coach performing a massage, rubdown or athletic training modality on an athlete, report this behavior immediately to the Meet Director or the Meet Referee.
  • Swimmers are not allowed to sit on the lap of any non-family member coach or official. If you see this happening, you should:
  • Remind the adult that this is a Code of Conduct violation and ask them to stop.
  • Inform the Meet Director or Meet Referee of the behavior.
  • Only registered coaches, officials, swimmers and meet volunteers are allowed on deck.
    • Non-athlete members, such as coaches and officials, must have a registration card or deck credential. If no identification is produced, escort him/her to the Meet Director.
    • If he/she has no reason/right to be on deck, ask him/her to leave and provide an escort off the deck if necessary. Inform the Meet Director or facility manager if there is any refusal to leave and/or threatening or belligerent behavior.
    • If you see someone who does not appear to belong on deck, ask that person why he/she is on deck and report to the Meet Director or Meet Referee.
  • Red flag behavior is inappropriate or suspicious behaviors. Red Flag behavior can include too much physical contact with athletes, ignoring Safe Sport rules and policies and even behaving as a peer rather than a supervising adult. Trust your intuition. If you notice behaviors, by anyone, that cause you concern, make sure you report it as soon as possible to the Meet Director or Meet Referee, or a designated Safe Sport representative.
  • Key things to remember if you need to report:
    • Take note of the person breaking the rules or crossing a boundary as well as how they are doing so.
    • Look for identifying information of all those involved - listen for a name, look at what they are wearing, such as a team shirt, where they are sitting and/or what race they were swimming.
  • Remember, you have an active role in keeping swimmers at this meet safe. You are not on deck to be a parent, a fan or a coach. Be vigilant in keeping your assigned area safe for all athletes, volunteers and non-athlete members of USA Swimming.
  • Thank you for attending our meet. We want a successful and safe event for all teams, coaches, and athletes. If you have any questions about the meet, please contact us at any time.