Volunteering at Swim Meets

It takes 60-75 volunteers to run the swim meets. Per your registration agreement, if your child is swimming, at least one parent is required to volunteer for every meet. For most positions, no experience is necessary and on the job training is provided.  Volunteer positions are typically scheduled in 2 1/2 hour shifts. Many of the jobs put you in a prime spot at the edge of the pool to watch your swimmer.  Positions that aren't right at the edge of the pool are flexible enough for you to take a break to watch your child swim. The Meet Manager handles sign-ups and coordination of volunteers. You may sign-up for positions several weeks before the meet by selecting "Job Signup" under the Makos Meets and Events tab on the Meadowbrook Woods home page on Team Unify. Positions are usually available the morning of the meet so it's never too late to volunteer. Below is a list of the typical volunteer jobs at a swim meet.  

Job Descriptions
Concessions - At all home meets, there is a concession stand organized and staffed by volunteers. You will take orders, serve food, collect money, make change and spend much of your time standing. 

Clerk of Course - This group gets the swimmers lined up for their heats/races based on previous times and gets them to the right place at the right time. The Lead Clerk of Course requires previous experience and a good knowledge of the process.

Officials - Training is required and available. Stroke and Turn - Observe swimmers from sides and ends of pool to ensure that swimmers comply with the rules governing each stroke, turn, finish, and relay exchange. Indicates infractions (DQ) by raising one hand. Starter - calls heat into position and gives the command "Take your mark" and signals the start. Referee - overall authority and control of the competition. Decides all questions relating to the conduct of the meet.

Timers - Timers stand on deck and operate manual stopwatches. There are three timers per lane. After each heat, the timers read off the times to the lane recorder. This job is fun, goes by quickly and is one of the first volunteer jobs to fill up.

Head Timer - Instructs and coordinates the timers. They carry extra watches in case a lane timer has a problem with their watch. The Head Timer starts their watches at the beginning of each race and looks out at the timers for a raised hand. A timer that raises their hand has a watch failure.  The Head Timer will switch watches with the lane timer.

Heat Ribbons - You will stand and watch every race during your shift to see who wins each heat. A heat ribbon is passed out to every heat winner. The swimmer who touches the wall first gets a ribbon.  If it's too close to call both swimmers get ribbons. This job is very rewarding as younger swimmers love winning heat ribbons!

Recorder - Sits at the end of a swim lane and writes the swimmer's times down on cards that will be scored. Recorders also verify that the swimmer that is exiting the pool is the one whose name is on the card. Legible handwriting is required.

Runner - Runners pick up cards from the recorders after each heat and delivers them to the Scorers. The runner may also work with the head official to collect DQ slips and deliver with the cards to the Scorers.

Scorers/Verifiers - After the heat is finished and the Runner delivers the swimmers' time cards, the Scorers and Verifiers work together to figure out the official time for each swimmer. Math skills are helpful, but not mandatory.

Computer - After the Scorers and Verifiers are done. The time cards are given to the Computer Operators to enter results on the computer using the Meet Manager Program. Labels are printed for the place ribbons and results are posted at the meet. 

Ribbons - After the Computer operators print labels for award ribbons, Ribbon volunteers place labels on the correct ribbon and sort by team and age. 

Our team is responsible for returning the pool to its original state after each home meet. Families will be assigned by alphabet/last name. This means removing lane lines; returning tables, chairs, and lounges to their original spots, and picking up and removing all trash and lost & found items. If everybody cleans up around their area and helps move just a few chairs, the job will get done in minutes. When we visit another pool for a swim meet, please be sure to leave the area the way you found it. Pick up all the trash in your area, whether you made it or not. Thank you in advance for helping with clean-up.