NASA Wildcat Aquatics Volunteer Policy

Volunteer Coordinator: Ali Handley

Policy Rationale and Guiding Principles. NASA Wildcat Aquatics, sponsored by the NASA Wildcat Aquatics Booster Club, Inc. (the “Club”) is a volunteer organization that relies on volunteers for every aspect of Club operations other than the coaching and leadership provided by our professional coaching staff to our registered swimmers. Parents are expected to support the Club by volunteering their time to ensure that home meets run smoothly and we are fulfilling our obligations to other swim clubs at away meets. To ensure that the responsibility for these tasks is shared by all families, the following policy is in effect. Please review this policy prior to registering your child for the Club; by registering your child, you are agreeing to abide by this policy.

Home Meets.  Family members of all swimmers on our team are required to volunteer for Home Meets, even if the swimmer is not competing in the Home Meet.  NASA home meets (2-4 meets per year) are fundraisers for our team and, therefore, benefit all swimmers by augmenting the Club budget to keep registration fees as low as possible.  Most meets consist of at least five sessions (Friday evening, and two sessions on Saturday and Sunday).  At our Home Meets, we need volunteers to fill the critical jobs of Officials, Administrative Table, Admissions, Hospitality/Concessions, Timers, Runners, and more.  A family (parent or other family member) is required to volunteer for at least one session of every Home meet in order to cover all of the jobs. Families with multiple swimmers may be asked to volunteer more than one session. After a brief period of voluntary signup, the Volunteer Coordinator will assign tasks to families for Home Meets. Any family that does not meet its obligation as assigned by the Volunteer Coordinator or find a substitute who can meet the obligation will be fined $50.

Away Meets.   Family members of swimmers registered for Away Meets are required to volunteer as Lane Timers. Prior to each Away Meet, the Volunteer Coordinator will create a sign-up sheet for lane timers. The sign-up sheet will generally be posted on the website a few days prior to the meet and an email alert will be sent.   If you have not volunteered and there are spots to fill in a session in which you have a swimmer, the Volunteer Coordinator may assign you to a position (lane timer). 

If your plans change prior to an Away Meet, and you know that your swimmer(s) will not be attending one or more sessions of the meet, please notify the Volunteer Coordinator no later than the Friday a week before the meet that your swimmer(s) will not be attending some or all of the meet sessions.

Missed Commitment Fee.  If you do not fulfill your volunteer obligations at an away meet where your swimmer is registered, you will be fined a $50 Missed Commitment Fee.  All fees will be added to the applicable swimmer account. You will be expected to pay this fine within 30 days of your notification.

If you have volunteered or been assigned to a job at a Home or Away Meet and unexpectedly, your child(ren) cannot attend the meet (sickness, etc.) and you are in contact with the Volunteer Coordinator, an alternate will be asked to step in and cover your timing slot. You will not be assessed a Missed Commitment Fee if your child has to miss the meet due to illness, provided you have been in contact with the Volunteer Coordinator.

Championship Meets.   Obligations for championship meets will be determined and assignments will be allocated once it is clear which swimmers will be going to which championship meets. If your swimmer qualifies for a championship meet, you may be assigned to work at the championship meet. The Volunteer Coordinator will notify parents of tasks for championship meets as soon as feasible after qualifying swimmers are determined.

Officials.  Families where one or both parents are officials at a meet are not required to volunteer in other capacities on behalf of the Club.

What to Expect at the Meet; Volunteer Duration.  Timers are typically assigned to 1 ½-2 hour shifts per meet. Friday evening sessions and qualifying meets (Championship Meets and Away Meets for which swimmers must have qualifying cuts), which may be more sparsely attended may require longer timing shifts. In addition, at Prelim-Final meets, parents of swimmers who make finals may be called upon to time a slot during finals, even if they have timed at an earlier session. We try to avoid such situations, but it is not always possible to accurately predict which swimmers will make it to the finals session and assign timers accordingly. Occasionally, depending upon meet attendance, parents may need to time more than one session of an Away Meet. The Volunteer Coordinator will make every effort to avoid the need for multiple timing shifts during a single meet. Parents with multiple swimmers may expect to be called upon first for extra shifts.

The hours associated with timing and other duties during a meet are based on the actual start time of the applicable meet session. For example, if a session starts at 1:30 pm instead of the estimated start time of 1:00 pm, Volunteer Timers for the first 1.5 hour slot will work until 3:00 pm, and the second volunteer 3:00-4:30 pm, and so on until the end of the meet session.

If a volunteer was assigned to time, but is no longer needed for whatever reason, that volunteer will be considered to have fulfilled their obligation at that meet.

Buy-Out Process for Away Meets. While it is the expectation that parents of each Club swimmer will be actively involved in the Club and fulfill their volunteer obligations as set forth in this Policy, the Board also recognizes that it is not always possible or feasible for families to juggle commitments on multiple fronts. As such, a “buy-out” option will be made available in connection with the registration process (only) for each season, but only with respect to Away Meets. Parents of all swimmers are required to volunteer for Home Meets and for regional, state and other championship meets (“Championship Meets”). If a family opts to elect to buy-out of its obligations for Away Meets for a given swimmer, it will be able to do so only when registering for the season. The Away Meet buy-out fee is $300 per swimmer, with $50 for each additional swimmer up to $450/family.  Again, please note: this does not apply and there is no option to “buy out” of your obligations associated with Home or Championship Meets.