It Takes a Village To Run a Swim Team!

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Volunteer Information
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Position Descriptions
Officials Training Schedule

Volunteer Position Descriptions

Formal training required
The referee is the chief official for each swim meet. He or she is responsible for the conduct of the meets and is the final authority on the interpretation and enforcement of all swimming rules. Prior to the start of each race, the referee sounds two or three short blasts to advise the participants to get ready. After the event is announced by the announcer or starter, the referee sounds one long blast as a signal for swimmers to get into position for the start or to jump feet first into the water for a backstroke event. For backstroke events, a second long blast is given to bring the swimmers to the wall for the start. When the referee sees that all the swimmers are ready, he extends his arm pointing towards the starter. At this point, the starter takes control.

The starter is responsible for insuring that all swimmers are given a fair and equitable start. The starter will instruct the swimmers to "take your mark." After all swimmers are ready and still, the starter will start the race using a "Colorado System" (so called because it is built by Colorado Timing Systems). This system consists of a public address system, a horn, and a strobe light.
A race can be recalled only if it was a bad start by the starter (i.e. not all the swimmers were ready) or for a safety reason. This is done using a recall signal on the Colorado system (you'll know it when you hear it).

Stroke-and-Turn Judge
Once the race has started, the stroke-and-turn judges are responsible for ensuring that all swimmers obey all the rules for the stroke that they are swimming. These people are always at the ends of the pool for starts and finishes and walk the sides of the pool as best they can within the physical constraints of the pool. If a stroke-and-turn judge sees a violation of the rules, he raises his hand to signify that an infraction has occurred. A disqualification is recorded on a DQ slip, which the referee reviews and approves and forwards copies to the table workers and the team rep.

Data Guru
The data guru keeps custody of the team computer and manages all of the team’s records. In addition to recording times and places earned by swimmers at meets and producing the backs for the ribbons, the data guru works with the coaches and the opposing team in advance of each meet to compile meet entries and print time cards. The data guru also produces reports of meet results and swimmer times to keep the league, coaches, families, and swimmers informed.

Swim team experience required
Chief Timer
The chief timer collects the time cards from the timers (see below), reviews them for accuracy and completeness, and forwards them on to the table workers.

Table Chief
The table chief oversees operations at the scoring table. This includes setting up the table, ensuring sufficient volunteers are present, training new volunteers, and resolving any timecard or DQ issues with the chief timer and the referee. The table chief also often serves as place recorder, working with someone from the other team to check the time cards as they come in and assign places to them.

Clerk of Course
The Clerk of the Course is the "gatekeeper" for all swimmers in our meets. The people who perform this function get the swimmers to the right lanes for the correct race. You can't run a race without swimmers, and the clerk of the course makes sure the right swimmer gets to the right place at the right time.

Team Rep
At a meet, the team rep is the designated recipient of all DQ slips for his team and is the only person with any official standing to challenge any decisions made by the referee. But the team rep’s real job is to serve as manager for the entire team. This includes such things as hiring coaches, coordinating with other teams in the division, managing volunteers, budgeting and finances, equipment maintenance and replacement, etc. The job is usually shared by two or three people.

Concessions Manager
The concessions manager is responsible for planning the concessions for a meet or event. This includes getting and supervising volunteers, shopping for food and supplies, preparing the food, and tracking funds. In years past we have had a single concessions manager, but that is a very big job. We normally divide up the concessions management into A meets, B meets, Friday night and a float, Lasagne Dinner, and Pancake Breakfast, but you may certainly take charge of more than one of these.

No experience required
Timers are the most important people to every swimmer. They are the people who determine each swimmer's official time for each race. Being a timer is a good entry-level position for new parents to help out in. Some parents have been timers for years and wouldn't want to see a swim meet from any other viewpoint. If you can start and stop a stopwatch, you can be a timer. We'll even provide the stopwatch. Timers start their watches on the strobe light from the Colorado system and stop their watches when the swimmer touches the wall. There are three timers per lane and all three times are recorded. The middle time is the official time.

Relay Take-off Judge
During relays, you'll see four relay take-off judges at each end of the pool (two per lane). Their job is to insure that each swimmer touches the wall prior to the next swimmer in the relay leaving the deck. Each judge notes on a slip of paper whether each swimmer in his lane left before or after the swimmer in the water touched the wall. Relay take-off judges do not raise their hands when they observe an early take-off because a disqualification occurs only if both relay take-off judges observed an early takeoff.

Marshals are responsible for ensuring that meets are conducted safely and that order is maintained during the warmups. Duties include insuring that diving starts are used in warmups only when a lane is “one way” away from the starting end, stopping any horse play, and making sure swimmers aren’t hanging on or sitting on the lane lines.

Place Recorder
The time cards from the timers, and any DQ slips, go to the place recorders at the scoring table. They verify that the times were recorded properly and determine the order of finish for each event. Two people from each team perform this function to ensure that errors are caught.

Awards Clerk
The awards clerk sticks ribbon backs onto ribbons and files them. In addition, after each event, the awards clerk serves as verifier, checking the times and places on the time cards against a printout provided by the data guru.

The runner doesn’t literally run, but spends the entire meet shuttling back and forth between the chief timer and the table chief, delivering completed time cards to the scoring table after each event. The runner also checks in periodically with the Clerk of Course and conveys any missing swimmer information to the coaches. On hot days, the runner also brings water to officials, timers, and table workers.

Concessions, Bagel Café, Special Events
The team operates concessions at every home meet and a Bagel Café during morning practices. Concessions serve three functions: they are part of our social life at the pool, they provide a convenient source of sustenance during practices and meets, and they are a key fundraiser that helps us keep our registration fees lower. Concessions staff at meets include grill masters, servers, and cashiers, generally split into two shifts. Bagel Café staff at morning practices serve bagels and other cold items, and also generally split into two shifts. In addition, we put on a pancake breakfast for the team and a lasagne dinner for the whole pool, as well as sometimes running the Friday night concessions at the pool.

Social Activities
Swim team is more than just swimming! We schedule social activities such as tie-dyeing, bowling, movies, and laser tag. A social activities coordinator handles the initial scheduling and logistics. Volunteers are also needed to manage each event, which involves things like getting supplies and accepting and tracking payments; and to provide hands-on assistance at some events, such as tie-dyeing.

Spirit Wear
The team provides T-shirts to all swimmers as well as optional orders of other apparel. The spirit wear coordinator works with the team reps to get the T-shirts ordered and to distribute them to the swimmers.

At the end of the season, the trophy coordinator works with the team reps to select and order the trophies that are handed out at the end-of-season banquet.

Any funds raised in addition to swimmer fees and concessions are used to keep registration fees low, defray costs of social activities, and purchase new equipment and supplies. Anyone is welcome to solicit donations from local businesses or to set up a fundraising event – just coordinate with the team reps. You can solicit sponsorships using our sponsorship letter, which you can download here.