Tornadoes Swim Team Timer FAQ's

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LANE TIMING INFORMATION TIMING POLICY All families are required to time one hour for each meet session their swimmers attend. (A two day meet would accrue two hours, one hour each day.)


Why do I need to time? At least two timers per lane are required to ensure your swimmers time is recorded in the event of a “soft touch” where the scoreboard does not record their time. Swim meets are run by volunteers. Timers and officials are volunteer parents. If we had to pay for all the officials and timers the cost of the meet would not be affordable.

This is my swimmers first meet, do I have to time? No, there is a lot to learn the first meet so we do not expect families to time at their first meet.

Where do I go to time? Timers for the first hour of each session of the meet are asked to find their chairs behind the blocks a few minutes before the start of the session. After this, new timers should come to replace the other Tornadoes parents each hour. This will not be announced. It is your responsibility to show up a few minutes before the previous hour shift is completed.

How long do I need to time? The Tornadoes Timing slots are one hour with the goal of each family in attendance participating. Often, the meet will designate two hour timing slots. You will need to remember the hour you signed up for as it will not necessarily be announced that a replacement timer is needed. If needed, we will ask families with more than one swimmer to time one hour for each swimmer entered, since team timing obligations are determined by the number of swimmers we have entered in the meet.

How do you know how many timers we need? Our timer sign-ups are an estimate. The host team counts the entries from each competing team (including their own) and determines percentage of athletes from each team. The team then determines the number of timers each team must provide based on the percentage of swimmers they have entered in the meet. We may need to ask for more timers or we may tell some timers that they are not needed. Be flexible. Remember, by the last meet you attend your timing hours should roughly equal one hour per day of each meet your child swam at.

Where is the timing sign-up form? Each meet director decides how they will organize volunteers. Check in with the clerk of course or meet host volunteer table to determine where the timer sign-up is located. This will often be near the officials table or near the starting blocks taped to the wall. Occasionally, it is an electronic sign-up.

If I volunteer as an official do I have to do timing? No, officials are exempt from timing since they are already working at the meets.

How do I know what lane I will be timing in? Some meets designate a lane or lanes for each team on the sign-up form. Others leave the lane assignment open and it is first come first serve for timing sign ups and you can pick the lane you want to time in. In the instance of first come, first serve, please write “TORNADOES” for one to two timer positions in the same lane for the whole day so our team can be responsible for one lane the whole day. OUR TIMER SIGN-UPS ARE NOT LINKED TO THE MEET HOSTS SIGN UP. THEY ARE A COMMITMENT BY OUR PARENTS OF WHEN THEY WOULD LIKE TO TIME. IT IS EACH PARENT’S JOB TO MAKE SURE THAT THE TIMING SLOT THEY SIGNED UP FOR IS TRANSFERRED TO THE VOLUNTEER SIGN UP AT THE MEET ON THE DAY OF THE MEET. If we have a designated Timer Manager for that meet they can transfer the names and update parents of any changes to their sign-up time, otherwise it is each parent’s responsibility.

I accrued two hours of timing for this meet. Can’t I just do them both at one time? If you are attending both days of a meet, it is best if you time an hour each day. If you do need to do this please choose to time on the day that less swimmers are signed up for to make sure we have all slots covered.

My swimmer is old enough to drive themselves to the meet. Do I still have to come time? Yes, come support your athlete and watch them swim for part of the day. The F5 group can manage their accrued timing sessions in larger blocks if they organize it amongst themselves to ensure good coverage at each meet.

Somebody else is signed up in my slot, do I still need to time? Yes, if there are other timing slots designated as “Tornadoes” you need to fill those instead. Arrive early and sign up early if you have a preferred time. There is no way to ensure you will get a specific time on the day of the meet. If you are an early arrival please try to sign up according to sign ups on our team page. Please be flexible. If all “Tornadoes” timing slots are filled you may be exempt. However, if a relief timer is needed you are obligated to fulfill one hour each session and need to volunteer.

The only slot left is for the last hour of the session and my swimmer is already done by then. Do I have to stay to time? Yes, that is why it is good to check the sign-ups early upon arrival. You can also check the heat sheet to see if we have any swimmers from our team swimming at that time. You may be able to switch shifts with their parent. If you have a swimmer in the last hour of a meet, please volunteer for that shift if they are the only swimmer from our team swimming then.

What do I do if my relief timer does not show up? If you are able to time longer please do so and complete the two hour shift that other teams may be completing until the announcement for relief timers is made. If you cannot stay longer, raise your hand to notify the head Timer that you will need a replacement. Once the announcement is made you may set down the timer between heats and exit the pool deck. The meet will be stopped until a replacement can be found. If your relief timer was from our team you can try to locate that person. If a Tornadoes Timer Manager is on duty you can notify them and ask them to help you find a replacement.

How will I get credit for my timing hours? Record your time in and out at each meet on the team volunteer log after you complete your shift. It is a green folder that the Timing Manager or coaches will have. This is a parent responsibility not the Timing Manager, board member, or coach duty.

What if I can’t time because my swimmer is young and I am the only adult from my family able to attend? We ask that you be creative and find a trusted friend to help ensure your swimmer gets to their events on time. Or look for an hour block of time when your swimmer does not have any events and will be resting. Consider asking extended family to attend a meet with you and try to complete your timing then. If you cannot complete timing at a given meet you can also ask another parent to cover for you and you can do their hours the next meet. If you are doing a swap with another parent please list their name on the timer sign up so we know who will actually do the job.

I can’t find someone to swap with me and I can’t do my timing duties. Now what? You may swap Timing Duties for Locker Room Monitor duties if another parent would rather time than monitor the locker room. You may have to fulfill multiple locker room shifts depending on timing requirement for a given meet. If you swap you need to put “SWAP” and the name of the parent you are swapping with in the sign-up notes for both the meet and locker room job-sign ups.

Do my timing hours count toward my mandatory volunteer hours? No timing hours accrue based on meet attendance and are additional parent duties that apply only at meets. See our membership document.

What happens if families refuse to time? We are fortunate to have a fantastic group of parents who realize that timing is crucial and sign up to time. However, once in a while a family will refuse to time. This creates problems because without the appropriate number of timers, the meet cannot move forward. The person who is timing does not get replaced and unfairly has to wait until someone else volunteers. Because of this problem, we reserve the right to charge families who refuse to time $15 per hour of unfulfilled timing hours.

Great! How do I sign up? When you sign your swimmer up for a meet you can complete a similar process for timing. Click on the “job sign up button” and select the time slot(s) you will cover.

Help us build a team of dedicated and committed swimmers by showing the example.

Thank you for supporting your swimmers by timing at their meets!

Sources: Canyon Aquatics, Speed Aquatics, Victory Aquatics, and original Tornadoes Swim Team content.