Get Involved- Types of Volunteer Positions
The team cannot function without volunteers. It takes over 40 parents to properly run a swim meet. Highlands is extremely lucky to have excellent support from the Club, both staff for set-up and funds for equipment and other requirements, but we need commitments from parental volunteers as well to ensure a smooth season. For many jobs, no experience is required. Please contact the Team Reps to volunteer.
Meet Jobs – No Special Training Required
B Meet Reps
Take responsibility for coordinating with other B Meet reps of teams we compete with and coordinate with Head coach regarding what events swum at B meets and order. This person is just the main point of contact for setting up B meets.
The timers determine each swimmer's official time for each race. Being a timer is a good entry-level position for new parents. If you can start and stop a stopwatch, you can be a timer. We'll even provide the stopwatch & a brief training before each meet. Timers start their watches on the strobe light from the Colorado timing system and stop their watches when the swimmer touches the wall. There are three timers per lane and all three times are recorded. The middle time is the official time. (Chief Timer & Assistant Chief Timer are only appropriate for returning, experienced swim parents.)
Collects time cards from the Chief Timer and DQ slips from the Head Official after each heat and delivers them to The Table.
This volunteer is in charge of the team apparel sales table as well as sorting and distributing merchandise purchased online.
Marshals are responsible for maintaining safe and appropriate conduct by swimmers and spectators throughout the meet. The marshal ensures that warmups are conducted safely and that order is maintained during the warmups. Marshals help keep order on the pool deck during meets by limiting access to the pool deck to appropriate swimmers, coaches and volunteers. Marshals also raise a “Quiet” sign during race starts to keep spectator noise to a minimum so that swimmers can hear the start and are less likely to false start.
Meet Officials -- Experience and/or Training Required
The Announcer has the important responsibility of keeping all parents, officials, coaches and swimmers informed and on schedule throughout the meet via the Public Address System. The announcer sets the tone for the meet by greeting everyone, announcing pre-meet briefings of timers and officials, as well as warm-up times, and announcing each event and heat. During A meets, the announcer also reads out swimmer names, race results, and overall meet results.
Chief Timer/Assistant Chief Timer
At home meets, the Chief Timer collects the time cards from the timers, reviews them for accuracy and completeness, and forwards them on to the table workers. The Chief Timer also conducts a pre-meet briefing for all timers to review the rules and procedures for timers and hand out stopwatches. At away meets, the Assistant Chief Timer assists the opposing team’s Chief Timer in these same functions.
Clerk of the Course
The Clerk of the Course is the "gatekeeper" for all swimmers in our meets. The people who perform this function get the swimmers to the right lanes for the correct race. The clerk of the course makes sure the right swimmer gets to the right place at the right time.
Computer Operator/Data Coordinator & Reader
(NVSL official training required for Data Coordinator)
These volunteers ensure that all of the official race times are recorded accurately into the swim meet software, produce results, scores, and ribbon labels. They also maintain all swimmers’ times for the season, calculate swimmers’ improvement and records, generate meet result reports, and use the swim meet software to prepare meet sheets.
(NVSL official training required)
The Referee is the chief official for each swim meet. The Referee is responsible for the conduct of the meets and is the final authority on the interpretation and enforcement of all swimming rules. Prior to the start of each race, the referee sounds two or three short blasts to advise the participants to get ready. After the event is announced by the announcer or starter, the Referee sounds one long blast as a signal for swimmers to get into position for the start or to jump feet first into the water for a backstroke event. For Backstroke events, a second long blast is given to bring the swimmers to the wall for the start. When the referee sees that all the swimmers are ready, he extends his arm pointing towards the starter. At this point, the starter takes control.
(NVSL official training required)
The Starter is responsible for insuring that all swimmers are given a fair and equitable start. The starter will instruct the swimmers to "Take your mark". After all swimmers are ready and still, the starter will start the race, using a "Colorado System". This system consists of a public address system, a horn, and a strobe light. A race can be recalled only if it was a bad start by the starter (i.e. not all the swimmers were ready) or for a safety reason. This is done using a recall signal on the Colorado system.
Relay Take-off Judges
(NVSL official training required)
During relays, you'll see four Relay Take-off Judges at each end of the pool (two per lane). Their job is to insure that each swimmer touches the wall prior to the next swimmer in the relay leaving the deck. Each Judge notes on a slip of paper whether each swimmer in his lane left before or after the swimmer in the water touched the wall. Relay Take-off Judges do not raise their hands when they observe an early take-off because a disqualification occurs only if both Relay Take-off Judges observed an early takeoff.
Stroke and Turn Judges (NVSL official training required)
Once the race has started, the Stroke & Turn Judges are responsible for insuring that all swimmers obey all the rules for the stroke that they are swimming. These people are always at the ends of the pool, from the start of the race to the finish, closely watching the swimmers in their designated lanes. If a Stroke and Turn Judge sees a violation of the rules, he raises his hand to signify that an infraction has occurred. A Disqualification is recorded on a DQ slip, which the referee reviews and approves and forwards copies to the Table workers and the Team Rep.
Table Workers are often the forgotten officials because their jobs are somewhat offstage. They are critically important to a swim meet; they provide order and cohesiveness during a competition. The following positions are part of “The Table”:
Place Recorder- Resolves discrepancies in the time cards with the Chief Timer or the Referee; record disqualifications (DQs) when received from the Referee; determines the order of finish and writes it on the time cards; checks for NVSL Records and marks the time card appropriately.
Data Entry Assistant- Responsible for calling out names/times so that Head Data Entry can enter them into the database.
Verifier- Receives a copy of the printed results after every one or two events and checks that swimmers’ names, times (if not disqualified), places or disqualification status and teams are correct according to what is on the time cards and attached DQ slips. Also notifies any new League and Team records on the printed Verification sheet for the Announcer’s use.
Awards Clerk- Selects the appropriate ribbons and attaches the correct labels.
The NVSL (Northern Virginia Swim League) Team Representatives fulfill an important role as the main point of contact between our team and the NVSL. They attend pre-season league seeding meetings, handle meet scheduling, hire coaches, serve on the meet seeding committee with the coaches, and represent the team in an official capacity at swim meets. These positions are designated prior to the start of the season.
Social & Special Events – Non-Meet Volunteer Jobs
There are many social events throughout swim season that make the season fun for swimmers and parents. Lots of parent helpers are needed to pick-up & serve food, plan games, and coordinate all the fun & special events. This is a great way for new parents to get involved with swim team.