Volunteer Commitment Policy

Volunteer Commitment Virtual Meeting from Fall 2021

Volunteer Commitment Virtual Meeting from Spring 2022

Success Depends on Member Participation

The success of the club depends on its members. One way to help the club thrive is to become directly involved as a Volunteer. Opportunities to participate in the day-to-day activities of our team exist all year long, but the greatest need for volunteers occurs when the Piranhas Swim Club hosts meets.  Hosting meets throughout the year requires over 1800 volunteer hours. As such, Piranhas Swim Club requires its members to staff the various meets it hosts throughout the year. 

Volunteer Requirements:

Each season, all families are required to volunteer at these levels:

- Novice and Age Group Prep: 8 hours per family.

- AG1, AG2, Junior, Senior: 14 hours per family.

See below for high school swimming exceptions.

Beginning April 1, 2019 (modified April 19, 2022), families that do not fulfill their commitment will be charged $25 per hour not worked.

Volunteer hours are most important to the club, and it is the club’s goal to NOT collect any fees at the end of each season. 

Meets are not the only way that club members can volunteer. If you fear you cannot meet your family commitment due to schedule conflicts, sickness, emergencies, etc., contact volunteer coordinators Allison Schmit or Tasya Martin, club president Neal Young or head coach Lucas Baarlaer to discuss other options. We want to help families fulfill their commitments. Remember that siblings, extended family and friends can help you fulfill those commitments.

Any money collected from families that do not fulfill their commitments will be reinvested in the club.

1) In the Fall/Winter & Spring/Summer swimming seasons, the Piranhas Swim Club will host several meets during each season.  Including one weekend invitational and 1-2 weeknight dual/quad meets in the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.

2) All families with swimmers participating in the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer season are required  to fulfill their Family Volunteer Commitment for each season.  Hours will be zeroed out at the end of each fall/winter season and spring/summer season – approximately April 1 and August 1.

  • This is required for all club families regardless of whether or not their swimmer competes in meets.
  • Required hours will be prorated for non-high school families who join mid-season.
  • The only exception to this policy is for families with only high school swimmers who swim half of the club season.   This will only affect the fall/winter short course season.  These families are responsible for half of the volunteer commitment.  For example, a family with only a high school swimmer will be required to complete 7 volunteer hours during the fall/winter short course season.  If a family has a high school swimmer AND another swimmer participating in the club, that family will still be required to complete the full 14 volunteer hours.  Note, during the spring/summer long course season, ALL families are required to complete their FULL amount of volunteer hours.  This is because high school swimming is a fall and winter sport.

3) If you are a Novice only family OR Age Group Prep (meaning you only have novice or age group prep swimmer(s) and no swimmers in Age Group, Jr, or Sr), you are required to complete 8 hours of volunteer time during the season.  

  • For example; these hours can be spread out across the meets we will be hosting during the Fall/Winter Season. We would like to see you volunteer at least once during our weekend invitational. This is a meet that requires the most volunteers over the weekend. 

4) If you are a Seasoned Family and have swimmers in Age Group, Junior or Senior (even if you also have a novice swimmer), you are required to complete 14 hours of volunteer time during the season.  

  • These hours can be spread out across the meets we will be hosting during the season. We would like to see you volunteer at least twice during our weekend invitational. This is a meet that requires the most volunteers over the weekend. 

5) It takes a great deal of manpower to run our meets.   Without the revenue from our volunteer-staffed meets, all dues would need to increase by 30% or more.  Your volunteer hours enable us to keep a cap on our monthly dues while still providing an optimal experience for your swimmer. 


  • If you are unable to help at one of the meets or are unable to fulfill the full commitment, please contact President Neal Young at [email protected]. We have other areas where you can use your volunteer hours.

Meet Volunteer

Look for an email from Team Unify for signup information when Piranhas Swim Club hosts a meet. The email lists the volunteer opportunities and describes how you can volunteer for them.

Below is a list of typical job duties at our hosted meets:



1 per session

You are the voice of the meet! Announces the swimmers and events as they occur, as well as other miscellaneous information.

3+ adults/session

Swimmers love their awards!   Post all results in proper area. Label and distribute awards and time certificates as they are claimed.

Bulkhead Control
2 adults/session
Keep our swimmers safe and our officials sane by providing crowd control for the narrow bulkhead between the pool and diving well.  Direct swimmers to their starting blocks, redirect spectators to the perimeters of the pool deck.

3 adults/session

Be part of the group at the computer table.  Record the results of each event in the computer.  Print results and award labels for the awards group.

3+ adults/session

Everyone needs a snack!  Set up and sell food.  Keep beverages stocked in coolers. Clean up at the end of each shift.

3+ adults/session
Another group at the computer table! Operates the electronic timing system. Training is provided for this position.
2 adults+/session
The first face our guests see! Sell programs, club merchandise and direct guests as needed. Hold lost items for claim.

Head timer
1 per session

On pool deck action!  Make sure each lane has a stopwatch, pencil and race list for the lane. Instruct timers of their duties.  Set watch for each heat and get back up times as  needed by head  table.  Make sure all materials are returned at end of each session.

2 per session

Take care of the coaches and officials for breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverage and snack needs by making sure the Hospitality area is stocked, cleaned and organized.  Occasionally serve people on pool deck.  Use runner to help.

Meet Marshall
3 per session

Keep walkways clear by encouraging guests to camp in cafeteria/hallway.  Check restrooms for empty supplies, request restock from janitor.  Ensure clear emergency lanes around perimeter of pool.  Maintain orderly warm-up & cool down practices in the diving well.  Keep diving boards clear of swimmers.  Direct guests to first aid/emergency assistance.


Order of Finish
2 per session

Be an extra set of eyes for our Officials; observe each race and make a written record of the finishing place of each racer.

Parking Attendant
2 per session
Shared parking makes your job essential! Direct guests to use drop off zones, ensure appropriate vehicles are parked in handicap & meet staff spaces and direct families to approved parking areas.

2 per session

Put some steps on the pedometer! Walk between timing table and timers to get backup times, takes adds and scratches to the timers. Back up to Head Timer as needed.  Runs the results to Awards table. Runs other miscellaneous, necessary errands.

Set Up/Take Down
11 per session
Put the pieces of the puzzle into place! Set up timing equipment, chairs & bleachers on deck, concessions and hospitality equipment, awards space and more.

16 per session

Closest job to the action! Provide back-up times for each swimmer. One person operates a stopwatch and the other person operates an electronic button and records the stopwatch time.


Who are the people in white polo shirts and khaki pants standing at the pool ends during meets? They are the stroke and turn officials. They judge whether the swimmers are performing according to USA Swimming rules. They are volunteers, most of them parents of swimmers.

Why become a stroke and turn official?

  • You help make successful meets for your swimmer and lots of other swimmers.
  • You have the best and often the coolest view. You are close to the action.
  • You come to understand swimming better.

What do I have to know about swimming? Can I still be a stroke and turn judge, if I was not a swimmer?

  • Yes, you can. The instruction and shadow sessions with an experienced stroke and turn judge prepare you.

Are there any costs involved with becoming and Official?

  • There are nominal fees involved in becoming certified as a Stroke & Turn Official.  However, Piranhas Swim Club is proud to support your commitment and will reimburse all costs incurred in the process.
  • Fees:
    • Non-Athlete MSI Membership - $62.00/annually
    • Initial required Background Screen - $19.00 (re-checked every 2 years)

Would I have to disqualify swimmers, if they violated the stroke and turn rules? I do not want to disappoint them.

  • At one time or another, especially in their first meets, nearly all swimmers receive a disqualification. Yes, the swimmer is disappointed, but learns and goes on to swim correctly in the next meet. A disqualification creates an opportunity for the swimmer to learn from the coach.

How do I become a stroke and turn official? You become a stroke and turn official in four steps:

  • Become a non-athlete member of Minnesota Swimming. This step provides insurance for you while you are on deck officiating. See the Minnesota Swimming Web site for registration information and forms.
  • Attend a Minnesota Swimming stroke and turn clinic. These clinics last two hours. A representative of the Minnesota Swimming Officials Committee explains the duties and the protocols. He or she also explains the rules for each stroke and shows a USA Swimming video that presents examples of correct and incorrect form. Clinics are given at irregular intervals. 
  • Take the on line exam on the USA Swimming website. It is open-book and easy to pass. The purpose is to encourage you to study the rules. The rules book is online. You also receive a copy, when you become a non-athlete member of Minnesota Swimming.
  • Shadow for five sessions. Remember that a session is a morning or afternoon period of a meet and not an entire meet. When you go to a meet for a shadow session, you go to the timer’s table, ask for the referee and tell the referee that you want to shadow for stroke and turn. The referee will assign you to work with an experienced stroke and turn official. Usually you will rotate from one official to another during the meet so that you have observations at both the start and turn ends. The experienced stroke and turn official will ask you what you saw and discuss your observations. You will learn to recognize acceptable form and infractions.

When can I shadow? When can I officiate once I have completed my shadow sessions? Just at Piranhas Swim Club hosted meets?

  • You can shadow at any meet, except State Finals meets. Once you have completed your shadow sessions, you can officiate at any meet. You will be welcomed on deck as a volunteer contributing to the success of that meet.

If you are interested in becoming a stroke and turn judge, contact Head Coach Lucas Baarlaer.

Reimbursement for Expenses

To request project funding:

  • Fill out PRNH Funds Request form. If you have an approved budget, skip to reimbursement portion of form.
  • Return to PRNH Treasurer.
  • Piranhas Swim Club Treasurer or Board of Directors will review and approve/decline as dictated by Piranhas Swim Club policy.
  • Requestor is notified of funding status and form is returned.
  • Requestor makes purchase.
  • Requestor fills out reimbursement side and returns form with receipt(s) to Treasurer.
  • Piranhas Swim Club Treasurer pays requestor. Please allow at least 1 week for processing.

To request direct reimbursement:

  • Complete all sections of Reimbursement Request portion of form.
  • Attach all receipts along with a detailed description of the expense.
  • Piranhas Swim Club Treasurer will review and approve/decline as dictated by Piranhas Swim Club policy.
  • Requestor is notified of reimbursement status.
  • Reimbursement check is issued and delivered to Requestor. Please allow at least 1 week for processing.

Download expense reimbursement form: