Family Volunteer Commitment


When you sign your swimmer(s) up for the Spring Tidalwaves season, you are also joining a wonderful family community and committing to help run the swim team. Our swim meets, which require over one hundred volunteers each, are entirely run by parents.  Parents also organize and lead many fun activities we do as a team throughout the year. This is what makes our community unique and our team so successful! Most families make life-long friendships and find this experience of working with the team incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.

So rewarding in fact, that veteran families are more than happy to show others the ropes.  Training for all volunteer jobs is provided and before long even the most novice volunteer will feel like a swim team pro!  Volunteering to put on the meets for the kids is an exceptional opportunity to teach our kids what team work is all about.

That said, Tidalwaves is a significant family time commitment and we understand that it might not be for everyonePlease take this time commitment (described below) into serious consideration before signing your swimmer(s) up for the team.

Volunteer Requirement

For the Spring season, we expect all families to work a minimum of 18 points worth of volunteer jobs as well as working a shift at the Championship Meet at the end of the season. Additionally, families with a swimmer participating in the All Star Meet must also work at this event. This is consistent for families of all 10 teams in the Marin Swim League.

The volunteer requirement is the same for all families regardless of whether the child or children swim in meets.  There is however, no volunteer commitment associated with the Tadpole program and no volunteer commitment for parents of only high school swimmers (specifically, high school swimmers who also swim with their high school team and join the team mid way through the season).

Volunteer signups are finalized by the end of March. Once the schedules are finalized, it's up to families to find a replacement on their own if they can't work a shift.  We observe a strict  “Late or No Show” policy. Failure to meet the family work obligations will result in a $35/point fine.

Team Jobs

It takes a team to run a swim team! Types of jobs available for the season include, but are not limited to:

  • Timers

  • Snack bar assistants

  • Event planners and executers (e.g. pizza party, 4th of July parade float, pasta feed, etc.)

  • Meet set-up and break-down crews

  • Announcers

  • Ribbons and Awards

  • Hot Chocolate makers for Splash Week

  • Computer desk operators

  • Age group coordinators

  • Judges and starters

  • Gear sales

  • And more!

For descriptions of all jobs, including any experience required, instructions, and the contact info for the job lead, see Job Descriptions. Many of the swim meet jobs, such as timer, ribbons, and snack bar, require no advanced training and you will be taught on the day of your first assignment.  It’s that easy!

You will find a complete list of jobs available for sign up and the dates and times of the jobs, under the Events/Jobs tab. Please note that some of the lead jobs for a season may already be filled before signups open.  

The majority of the available jobs are associated with swim meets. All meet jobs are broken into first half shifts and second half shifts.  Some families like to work the half of the meet that their child is swimming (many younger swimmers only swim the first couple of events) so they can all go home after the child is done swimming, and others prefer to work when their child isn’t swimming so they can more easily enjoy watching their child swim.  

How to Sign Up

Volunteer signups for Spring '18 are open February 21, 2018 through April 1, 2018, and are on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be signed up for all 18 of your points by April 1 or we will assume you are choosing the "Buyout" option. 

To sign up:

  1. Between February 21st and April 1, sign into the Tidalwaves website.
  2. Click the Events/Jobs tab in the horizontal menu at the top of the web page.
  3. In the Event Category drop down, select "Volunteer Jobs". 
  4. Review the four sign up pages that are available: Meet Jobs, Full Season/Lead Jobs, Event Jobs, and Event Lead Jobs.
  5. For each type of job that you want to sign up for:
    1. Click Job Signup for the job type you are interested in. This opens the Job Sign Up page. All jobs of the selected type are listed alphabetically.
    2. Click the checkbox next to an empty slot that you want to sign up for.
    3. Click Sign Up.  A pop-up appears asking for the name and contact information of the family member who will be volunteering. 
    4. Enter the information and click Sign Up again to confirm your choices. 

For example, if you would like to sign up to work three meet jobs and one event job, first enter the Meet Jobs sign up page. Select the three meet jobs on the meet days you would like to work and save those selections. Then enter the Event Jobs sign up page and select the one event job and the date of that job and save that selection. 

Our volunteer coordinator will contact you if there are any problems.

How to Find a Replacement

Until April 1st you can click the Remove Signup button to remove the sign up if you no longer want to work a job.  

After that date, YOU are responsible for finding another volunteer replacement to trade spots if you cannot make the selected volunteer assignment for any reason. 

To find a replacement:

  1. Sign into the Tidalwaves website.
  2. Click the Events/Jobs tab in the horizontal menu at the top of the web page.
  3. In the Event Category drop down, select "Volunteer Jobs". 
  4. Click Job Signup under the category of the job that you want to cancel: Meet Jobs, Full Season/Lead Jobs, Event Jobs, and Event Lead Jobs. You'll be taken to the Job Signup Page.
  5. Find a volunteer to trade with -- if you don't know anyone personally, we recommend picking someone else who has a similar job shift.
    1. From the left navigation menu, click Team Tools > Members Search. Please note that Team Member Search is only accessible when you are logged into the website.
    2. Enter the last name and click Search or click Display ALL to locate the replacement volunteer's contact information. 
    3. Contact the volunteer to see if they'd be willing to trade.
    4. Alternatively, you may also try posting your request to swap shifts on the Tidalwaves facebook page.
  6. Once you've arranged the swap, contact the Volunteer Administrator at volunteers@gowaves.com with that information to make sure everyone gets the correct credit.

How to View Your Job Signups and Check If You Received Credit for Working

All meet day volunteers are required to sign in before their shift. The “Check In” desk for Redwood home meets is usually located at the corner of the main entrance to the pool.  If you do not check in, you won’t get credit towards your volunteer obligation, so be sure to check in!  It is also a good idea to check your account after you sign up for your points and after you work your shift.  See below for step by step instructions.

How do I view the jobs that I have signed up for, and check if I received credit for my jobs worked? 

  1. Sign into the Tidalwaves website.
  2. Click the Events/Jobs tab in the horizontal menu at the top of the web page.
  3. Click the Reports tab in the grey header bar.
  4. Click Job Sign Up Report for My Account.
  5. Enter the dates, for example: 2/9/2018 to 7/15/2018.
  6. Click Search.
  7. Your report is generated.

Volunteer Buyout Option

Of course, we completely understand that there are extenuating circumstances that may prevent a family from fulfilling its volunteer commitment.  Families that absolutely cannot commit time to the team do have the option of paying a $600 Volunteer Buyout fee, which excuses them from all but their All Star and Championship Meet Commitments. 

The overwhelming majority of Tidalwaves families are able to complete the family commitment without difficulty! Our team has jobs that allow working parents, those with small children, and those dealing with other circumstances to participate. While we understand that the Volunteer Buyout may be the only workable option for some families, we strongly encourage those who are able to commit their time to the team. We will happily work with you and do whatever we can to get your kids in the pool, swimming, and having fun with the Tidalwaves!

Family commitment is what makes our community and our team so warm and strong. Neither our team, nor the entire Marin Swim League could exist without the help and commitment of our many families.