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Timer Instructions

Timer's Instructions

Getting Started at the Meet

  • It is important that both first and second half timers meet at 7:30 am for the timer's meeting to go over rules & instructions. This meeting will typically be held at the end of the pool that has the starting blocks.
  • Listen for a loudspeaker announcement made around 7:25 am, or else look for a person(s) with stopwatches around their neck.
  • All timers (both first and second half) need to check-in with the Head Timer to make sure everyone is present, or else we will have to find alternate timers. It is very important to keep your full time slot commitment!
  • It is very hard to scramble up parents to time at the last minute.
  • We’ll give the morning timers their stopwatches at that time.
  • First Half Timers (for Pineloch Piranhas Swim Team) start promptly at 8:00am and should be at the starter blocks by 7:55am. You will time through event 39.
  • Second Half Timers start at the beginning of event 40. Please start arriving at the end of event 38; this gives us a little time to transition out the morning timers and explain the rules again if needed. The afternoon timers time through the end of the meet (event 80), usually by 1:00pm. Many times the older kid’s freestyle relay events are combined so the last 10 events go quickly.

Timer's Rules

  1. Children who are not swimming or parents who are not timers or runners should not be in the starting block area. This is for swimmers, timers and runners only! It is very crowded and you don't want to miss a swimmer's start/finish. Please politely ask non-swimmers or non-volunteers to remove themselves from the starter block/ready chair area (or mention it to the Head Timer).
  2. There are three timers per lane: Away meets: Pineloch Piranhas Swim Team has 2 timers in the odd lanes and 1 timer in the even lanes. Home meets: Piranhas has 1 timer in the odd lanes and 2 timers in the even lanes
  3. Listen for the whistle at the beginning of each race, and then listen for the starter, and watch the light flash on the starter equipment. Press the start button when the light flashes not the beep sound. You stop the watch when the swimmer touches the wall. The swimmer MUST touch the wall.
  4. If you miss the start, raise your hand and the Head Timer or the other team's Head Timer will hand you a stopwatch to finish the race. Hand the stopwatch back to the Head Timer upon completion of the race. This happens a lot on the 25-yard swims (1 lap of the pool).
  5. For the younger kids (8 and under)…during the 25-yard races, the timers are positioned at the opposite end of the pool. It is important to listen for the whistle and listen / watch the starter for the start (the light on the starter board) as these races run fast.
  6. When the child comes out of the water (one of the timers should help the little kids out of the water), ask the swimmer their name, and then compare it to the time sheet to ensure a proper match.
  7. The runners will give each lane their swimmer's score time sheet. One timer will be responsible for writing down the times.
  8. For the start of all races, ASK the swimmer their name… make sure it matches your time sheet. Check the time sheets closely to make sure the right swimmer is in the right event, right heat, right lane and also whether it is a 25 yard swim (1 lap), 50 yards (2 laps), 100 yards (4 laps) 200 yards (8 laps) or relay (100 yard relay, each child swims one lap; 200 yard relay, each child swims 2 laps, 400 yard relay, each child swims 4 laps).
  9. IMPORTANT! If you have the wrong time sheet for the wrong heat, wrong lane or wrong swimmer, DO NOT cross out the swimmer’s name and write in a different swimmer’s name/time. Raise hand to have the Head Timer(s) find a Meet Official to stop the meet until the time sheets get straightened out.
  10. All three timer's times per lane will be written on the time sheet. The middle time will be taken as the final score. If a timer misses a race they should raise hand/call immediately for the Head Timer's watch, else write down only two times and the two times will be averaged by the clerk of course (not the timer).
  11. The entire number on the timer must be written down unless the watch goes to the 3rd decimal pointing which point it can be rounded. For example, 50.137 can be written down as 50.14; 50.132 can be written down at 50.13. If you have trouble with rounding just write down all three decimal point numbers. Better safe, than sorry.
  12. It is sometimes easier for the timers to show the person who is writing down the times the numbers on the watch; in other cases the writer likes them called out. Check with whoever is doing the writing what their preference is.
  13. The runner will come by and take the time sheets at the end of the race.
  14. Hit reset on the stopwatch and it clears the time and you are ready for the next race.
  15. Usually the reset button is on the top left of the watch, and the start/stop button is on the top right side of the watch.
  16. The outside lanes tend to be a bit slower (no kids swimming in the lane, especially the older kids) at times so be sure to not get complacent - always look for a swimmer behind you waiting to swim. This is also a good time to practice timing even though you don't have a swimmer, especially if you have never timed before.
  17. Water is provided to all timers FREE. They will have people coming around with drinks.
  18. If you need a break, please raise your hand and either the head timer or the alternate timer will relieve you temporarily. Please return quickly as other timers may need breaks.

Some hints to give the kids before the race (especially the younger children):

  • Two hand touch on the wall for breaststroke and butterfly.
  • Don't dive off the block on a relay until the incoming swimmer touches the wall.
  • Don't hang or drag on the lane ropes.
  • Also, swimmers must exit the water immediately especially on relays and they should not ever swim across lanes to exit the water.