The swim meet is the center of all swim team activities and, all meets are run solely by Parent Volunteers.
Q: What needs to be done?
A: Everything except the coaching.
Q: Who needs to do it?
A: Everyone except the coaches.
Meets just will not run if only a few parents work. Besides, many of the jobs to be done offer the best seat in the house to see your child swim, and the others offer flexibility enough that you can stop and take the time to watch when an event of interest is being run.
For those of you that are new to swimming, the next section provides a description of the jobs that need to be done. If you’re new, at first you might pick something that looks easy (timing is a good job because you have a good spot to watch and it’s a relatively uncomplicated job). As you become more familiar, you can get a feel for what other jobs you might like to do and you might even want to take a certification class and become a meet official.
In the following Section, we describe how you can volunteer for meet positions and the requirements for volunteering during the season.
Listed below are the many jobs that need to be done to run a swim meet. Procedures are detailed in the HOW TO VOLUNTEER section below. Getting involved is fun, makes the meet go faster, and fosters team spirit.
Meet Director. Responsible to ensure the meet flows smoothly.
Starter/Announcer. Mans the microphone, starts the race, and keeps swimmers and meet on track. Certification required. May also act as stroke/turn judge.
Stroke/turn judges. Ensure the swimmer is performing the strokes and turns legally. Certification required. 2/4 needed per meet. Also needed for away meets.
Timers. Record the official time for the swimmer on he event card. No skill needed except to push a start/stop button. 3 timers needed per lane. Home team usually responsible for 3 lanes. Back up or relief timers also needed. Approximately 16 needed per meet. Also needed for away meets.
Head timer. Ensures sufficient numbers of timers are present. Ensures each lane has clipboard, pencils and stopwatches. Reports problems to Meet Director.
Clerk of Course. Ensures all swimmers report to their assigned lanes when the event is announced. Combines events, if possible, after coordination with starter/announcer.
Scorers. Keep an accurate record of the cumulative score of the meet. At HOME, records the score. At AWAY meets, sorts the event cards. Score sheets and training provided. 2 scorers and a \relief scorer needed per meet.
Ribbon Writers. Write ribbon labels as events completed. Ribbons and training provided. Soon to have computerized labels. File in team box, time permitting. 2 ribbon writers and a relief needed per meet. Also needed for away meets.
Runners. Gather the event cards from the timers and bring them to the scorer. 3 runners on two shifts needed per meet. Report to Meet Director.
BullPen. Hand out event cards to swimmers to swimmer reporting to the clerk of course. maintains order. 2 volunteers needed per meet. Also needed for away meets.
Split Timers. Record relay split times. Forms provided. 3 timers required. Sit in stands on sidelines. Only needed during relays. Also needed for away meets.
Hospitality. Circulate around the pool with cups of water for the meet officials. 2 volunteers needed.
Concessions. Sell food/drink items at our stand in the lobby. 6 volunteers in shifts needed.
Volunteer Coordinator. Checks volunteer in and find replacements when necessary.
Certification - How to become a YMCA Official
The YMCA provides a short course for parents to get certified to officiate at swim meets.
You must take a class to learn the rules. This is followed by a 100 question take-home test that must be passed with a score of 80% or better. In addition, the St. Louis District requires that all officials apprentice at 4 meets before they may become qalified to officiate at any Championship Meets (District or Area Meets).
In order to get certified, you need to take a training course.
How to Volunteer and Volunteer Requirements
In order to:
1.ensure that all the jobs required to organize and run a meet or event are properly manned and
2. that all families are provided an equal opportunity to support the meet or event.
The following guidelines have been adopted:
* Each swim team family must be eligible to work at the invitational (if they have a swimmer participating) plus
* Each swim team family is required to work at least 3 other team activities (3 meets or a combination of 3 meets and events)
As we stated earlier, the team simply will not run without a great deal of parental involvement. For this reason, and to prevent a few families from having to assume the entire burden ofrunning the whole show, we require that each family work at least three meets or fundraising events during the course of the year. There are lots of opportunities, so this should not represent an undue burden for anyone.
In addition, every family with a swimmer entered into the Invitational, will be required to provide at least one worker at that meet.
The next few sections describe how to sign up, how to keep track of what you’ve signed up for and how the team will handle shortages for a given meet or event.
Sign-ups for team meets and events can be done on forms located on the team bulletin board, by contacting the Volunteer Coordinator, by contacting the Meet Director (for swim meets), or event point of contact for social or fundraising events. Once you have signed up, please make sure you inform the appropriate person listed above to let them know. Also, it is your responsibility to find a replacement for your position if you cannot be there.
Keeping Track of Your Assignments
The volunteer coordinator will post upcoming work assignments on the bulletin board at Lewis & Clark. You may also contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Meet Director, or Event point-of-contact to verify your assignments.
The Volunteer Coordinator will also keep track of who works and when. Families that have not volunteered their fair share may be “drafted” at the event to help out. The bottom line is: It’s in your best interest to figure out what you would like to do and volunteer early. If you don’t, you may be “volunteered” just before or at the event for a task that you weren’t counting on performing!
In those cases where, at the time of sign-up closing, a swim meet or event is short of volunteers – families will be drafted based on:
1. Too many people signed up for a particular job and too few signed up for others
2. Not enough people signed up overall and there are families with swimmers present that have not volunteered for their three events.
For upcoming events, the Volunteer Coordinator or Event point-of-contact will look through their list of volunteers just before the date of the event. For swim meets, if your swimmer is scheduled to be there and you fall into the “low volunteer quotient” group, you’ll probably get a phone call asking for your help.
On the day of the event, the Volunteer Coordinator or Event point-of-contact will be trying to fill in the gaps. You’ll probably see them feverishly running around trying to fill in the blanks on their volunteer lists.
Please remember, if you get a phone call before an event or are approached at an event about volunteering, please try to help. In some cases, we cannot even start the meet without certain positions filled (timers, for example) and a meet that starts late, finishes late. Also, please try to be courteous to the person that approaches you. They’re volunteering their time to do this and they’re just doing their job, so “don’t shoot the messenger.