NASA Wildcat Aquatics Volunteer Policy 

Volunteer Coordinator: Angie Musick

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. 


Volunteer Positions

Awards: Collect ribbon labels from the admin table after the meet session and attach them to the appropriate place ribbon. Sort and package ribbons into Ziploc bags by team. The Volunteer coordinator will communicate the location of ribbons. Awards are for 12&u only.

Deck Marshal: Sit/stand by table near the locker room to ensure only swimmers, coaches, officials are on the pool deck and swimmers are behaving appropriately. Deck Safety Marshals on duty during the warm up/first hour of each session also sell heat sheets/tickets ($2). You will be provided a money box. The money box should be returned to the concession stand at the end of the shift.

Concession table volunteers: Serve food and drink items. Ernie Singh is the Concessions coordinator and will distribute guidelines to volunteers.

Hospitality: Hospitality provides breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages for coaches and officials, and water for Timers. The Hospitality coordinator will order warm food for delivery, but Hospitality volunteers are needed to support food lay out and to set out additional food and snacks, put more beverages on ice, offer waters to Timers on deck throughout a session.

Heat Winner Prize Distribution: You will hand the winner of each heat (12 & under only) a 'prize' for winning their heat.

Timers: We need MANY parents to support timing from NASA. The host team always tries to cover most of the timing responsibility. Even if you have never timed before, please volunteer and learn the job. Our team will have timing responsibilities at away meets, and each family will be responsible for timing at least once during each season.

  • There will be a timers meeting ~20 min prior to the start of each session in the Northeast corner of the pool (diving well/beach side).
  • Prior to each heat, the timer who is holding the clipboard will ask the swimmer for their name to confirm they are the correct swimmer.
  • Each lane will have two timers who will be responsible for starting watches for each race.
  • At the end of each race, one timer per lane will use a plunger and stop their watch when the swimmer touches the wall.
  • The second timer will also stop their watch when the swimmer touches the wall and then they will record the times that both timers capture.
  • The timer with the clipboard will also check the scoreboard to confirm that the board shows a time for their lane. The time on the board represents the time captured with the touchpad when the swimmer touches the wall. If they do not touch hard enough, then the board will not show a time. If this happens, just put a check in the “soft touch” box next to the time entries.
  • If either timer has a stopwatch malfunction or misses the start of the heat, they should put their hand up and get the attention of the head timer. The head timer starts two watches for every event and will bring one to you to use to capture the end of the race.
  • Remember, there are four ways to capture a swimmer’s time, the touch pad, the plunger and the two timers recorded times. This is done for back-up purposes, so if something happens with one of the times, there will be 2-3 others to use.

Head Timer:

Arrive 30 minute prior to the start of each session to prepare Timer clip boards with 2 watches and a pencil/pen (supplies will be at Timer table). Admin table will provide the timer sheets for each lane after the meet is seeded and these must be attached to each board.

  • Set all watches to timing mode.
  • You will be provided with the names/lane assignments for NASA Timer volunteers. We do not receive the visiting timer names, but will have visiting lane assignments. Check in each timer. Identify yourself a head timer. If timers have not come to check-in, provide the team name and how many timers are missing to the admin desk to make an announcement.
  • As head timer, you will start 2 back-up watches with each race. Timers will be instructed to raise their hand/alert the Head timer if they have a problem starting their watch. You will walk to them and provide them one of your running watches to time the race.


  • Collect the Timer sheet from each lane immediately following each event, and quickly (there is a reason it’s called the runner!) provide to the admin desk. You will place them in order, starting with Lane 1.
  • Periodically take final results sheets from Admin desk and post in results area in foyer [but do not delay collecting Timer sheets].
  • You may be asked to assist Admin officials with other requests, such as making copies of heat sheets before the start of the session.

Bull Pen: Organize the 8&U, 9-10 & 11-12 swimmers by heat and lane before their event.

  • 2 parents will organize the swimmers in the final section of bleachers using the heat sheet to confirm swimmers
  • 1-2 parents will lead the swimmers by heat to the bulk head prior to their event. An official may help with the flow of swimmers onto the bulk head to the blocks.

Bulk Head Manager: Serve as a gate keeper, managing flow of swimmers onto the bulk head for their race.

Deck Coordinator:

  • Arrive to session at beginning of warm-ups.
  • Check that all volunteer needs on deck are prepared for the session, including but not limited to replenishing supplies and ensuring volunteers have arrived to fill their shift.
  • Help to troubleshoot logistical challenges, working with coaches, officials and other volunteers as necessary.
  • Answer questions for volunteers and provide guidance on doing their roles.
  • Help with any volunteer position as a floater to help meet more smoothly.
*This role will ideally have previous knowledge from swimming or helping on deck at swim meets; however, if interested, see the Volunteer Coordinator for training.