Volunteering at Swim Meets

It takes approximately 75 volunteers to run the swim meets. It is imperative that if your child is swimming at least one parent volunteers for the 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 child swim; spectators usually are not allowed at the edge of the pool. Positions that aren't right at the edge of the pool are flexible enough for you to take a break and watch your child swim. The Volunteer Coordinator handles sign-ups and coordination of the volunteers. You will receive a form to provide your top three choices for volunteer positions, and the volunteer coordinator will provide a list to all parents of volunteers for each meet, along with backups.

Below is a list of the typical volunteer jobs at a swim meet.

Job Descriptions

Announcer - Announces swim events, heats, and swimmer names at home swim meets. Also makes general announcements and calls for swimmers to report to clerk of course. Full meet shift. Must be trained on how to use the PA System.

Concessions - At all home meets, there is a concession stand organized and staffed by volunteers. This is a primary fundraiser for the team!  Concessions will be conducted this year on a volunteer basis. Those parents volunteering to setup and take down concessions will not be required to volunteer for any other roles during the meet. Other parents who volunteer to work concessions during the meet will work in two shifts, first and second. Jobs include griller, cashier (collects money and provides tickets that will be used to purchase food), assisting with packaging of food (hamburgers/hotdogs) and distributing food to customers, replenishing ice and making coffee, etc.

Clerk of Course - Assists the Head Clerk of Course in organizing swimmers from all the participating teams and sends the heats to the start. Half meet shift.

Head Clerk of Course - Organizers all swimmers, prints off and organizes deck cards prior to the meet (based on report from Computer Operator), assigns heat and lane numbers based on swimmer's previous time, and sends the heats to the start. Full meet shift. Requires work prior to the meet.

Computer Data Entry - Assists the Computer Operator during the meet by entering race results into the computer, and printing out and validating event results. While no prior experience is required, this person should be relatively comfortable with basic data entry (entering numbers). Training is available, but not mandatory. Half meet shift.

Computer Operator - The Computer Operator is responsible for creating the meets in the electronic meet software, distributing meet information to parents and coaches (both before and after meets), entering event results, running reports, updating results online, and bringing/setting up/breaking down the computer equipment to/from the meets. Full meet shift. Requires work before and after the meets.

Deck Marshal -  Person that ensures that only official swim personal and swimmers participating in events are on the deck during the meet. Directs family members and friends to our designated spectators area to watch and take pictures of their swimmer(s). Haft meet shift.

8&U Coordinator - Responsible for escorting younger swimmers to clerk of course. There are 2 8&U Coordinators, one for girls and one for boys. 8&U swimmers are instructed to meet at a designated location prior to their event.  Coordinators will complete a roll call of all swimmers and place them in order according to the heat sheet.  Swimmers will then be escorted to Clerk of Course for their event. This is a full meet shift, but coordinators are only responsible for 8&U events. Once they have escorted the swimmers to Clerk of Course their responsibility ends until the next 8&U event.  Coordinators will need a copy of the heat sheet and highlighter to highlight all Seals swimmers’ names in each 8&U event.

Head Timer - Prior timer experience recommended. Head timer is responsible for holding the Timers/Recorders meeting prior to the start of the meet. During the meeting he/she will distribute stopwatches and clipboards to all first shift volunteers. He/she will provide instructions on how to properly use a stopwatch and when to start and stop it. Head Timer will start two stopwatches at the start of every heat as backup for all other timers incase a timer has an issue with his/her timer. Half meet shift.

Heat Ribbons - Hand out heat ribbons to all swimmers that finish first in each heat. Heat ribbons are only handed out for individual events, no relays. Half meet shifts.

Photographer - Takes pictures of all swimmers, coaches, volunteers, etc. during a meet so we can upload images onto our team website. Full meet shift.

Timers - Operate manual stopwatches to take official time for swimmer in the lane. Use 3 timers per lane. A head timer instructs and coordinates the timers. Half meet shift.

Recorder - The Recorder (1 per lane) will record the swimmers' times (as reported by the 3 timers) on the card at the completion of the race. The recorder also ensures that the right swimmer is in the correct heat and lane before the start of the race. Half meet shift.

Ribbons -  Places computer-generated labels on corresponding award ribbons.  File labeled ribbons in the family file boxes.  First shift starts an hour after the start of the meet. Second shift may extend after the end of the meet. Half meet shift.

Head Ribbons - Brings ribbons to the meets. Ensures ribbons are properly filed in family ribbon box. Brings ribbon box to first practice following each meet so swimmers can retrieve their ribbons. Requires work following meets.

Runner - The Runner collects the time cards from the recorders and delivers them to the scorers after each heat. Half meet shift.

Scorer/Verifier - The Scorers/Verifiers receive the time cards from the runners, determine the official time, score and verify the swimmer's times for the meet. They work closely with the Computer Operator. Half meet shift.

Stroke and Turn Officials  - The Stroke and Turn Judges are responsible for ensuring that swimmers comply with the rules governing each stroke, turn, finish, and relay exchange. Indicate infractions (DQ) by raising one hand. This position does require training at the League Certification Clinic for Officials through the Prince William Swim League. Full meet shift.

Referee - The Referee is an official who enforces the rules during the meet. Referees must have at least 2-3 years of experience as a Stroke and Turn Judge.  This position requires training at the League Certification Clinic for Officials through the Prince William Swim League. Full meet shift.

Starter - The Starter is the person that starts the heats during the meet.  They will use the starting system provided by the league.  This position requires training at the League Certification Clinic for Officials through the Prince William Swim League. Full meet shift.

After each meet, our team is responsible for returning the pool to its original state. This means removing the backstroke flags; returning tables, chairs, and lounges to their original spots; 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.