Gator Volunteer Information – How to Get Involved

Dear Gator Families,

       We would like to take a few minutes to discuss the importance of volunteering and encourage every family to do their part to make sure we continue to put on fun and exciting events for our kids.  As you are all aware, we, as parent volunteers are responsible for nearly every aspect of our home swim meets and all of our social events.  The jobs that we ask you to volunteer for range in commitment from season long positions such as all of our volunteer leads to simple weekly jobs such as cleaning up after home meets, hospitality, timing, etc.  We just ask that each family volunteer at least a small portion of your time at each meet you attend to ensure that we put on the best events possible for our kids.

       In response to last season’s evaluations, we have developed this “Volunteer Handbook” to help try and identify the volunteer positions available.  There is a short description summarizing each of the positions, who it’s for and who it’s not for, the benefits of volunteering for each of the positions and then a short description of the commitment required to lead that group of our volunteers.  We’ve also prepared a quick summary chart that should help in identifying jobs that best suit you and your family’s needs.  Some of the positions are available before or after the meets, some of the positions require physical activity, some of the positions require some basic training.  All of that information is summarized in the following table so you can quickly reference which volunteer position would best suit you.

       We can’t stress enough how much we rely on parent volunteers to make our events successful.  As we continue is the SSL, it’s important to demonstrate to the other teams that we really do put on some of the best events in the league.  Granite Bay Gator events should be those that everybody talks about at the end of the season and that can only be accomplished by the participation of every family.  We are counting on you to step up and volunteer and make this the best Granite Bay Gator season ever!

       To remain in good standing for the next season, we are asking each family to volunteer a minimum of 9 hours total at dual meets this season.  This excludes the time trials and Champs.  For the time trials, we are requesting that all families who attend to volunteer.  For Champs, as it is a multi-day event, we are requesting that the families volunteer each day their child competes.  If you have any questions, please forward them to the volunteer coordinator.  

Sincerely,

The Granite Bay Gator Parent Board

Volunteer Job Details

Away Meet Pop-Up Tents

Clerk of the Course

Colorado Timing System

Computers

Floaters

Hospitality

Meet Announcers

Meet Setup

Meet Tear Down

Ready Bench

Socials

Starter

Stroke and Turn

Timers

Away Meet Pop-Up Tents:

Description:  Help transport, setup and tear down away meet tents.  Pick up the tents on Friday during practice time hours and deliver to the meet no later than 6:35 a.m. on the day of the meet.  Return the tents to the GBHS pool following the meet (key will be provided).

Training:  No training required.

Who it’s for:  Somebody willing to spend a few minutes before and after the away meets creating a comfortable environment for all of our swimmers and team parents.

Who it’s not for:  Some physical work required moving the tents and setting up/tearing down so if you don’t want to sweat a little you may want to skip it.

Benefits of the job:  Quite possibly the least time commitment of all positions and you are free during the entire swim meet to watch your swimmer!

Clerk of the Course:

Description:  Each clerk is assigned to four lanes at the starting blocks and confirms each swimmer is in correct heat and lane prior to start of meet.  Communicate to the started that all swimmers are accounted for prior to start of each heat.

Training:  No training required.

Who it’s for: Somebody who is loud enough to be heard in a sometimes loud environment.

Who it’s not for:  If your shy and quiet, let this job pass.

Benefits of the job:  You get to learn all the kids names and it’s in the shade all day.

Colorado Timing System:

Description:  Help setup and run the Colorado Timing System that tracks all swim times during our home meets.

Training:  Training is required to learn to operate the timing system.

Who it’s for:  Somebody willing to spend some time training how to use the system and somebody that would like to regularly volunteer to run the system. 

Who it’s not for:  If you are looking for an easy volunteer commitment this probably isn’t it.

Benefits of the job:  Best seat in the house and includes hospitality so you don’t even have to get out of your seat!

Computers:

Description:  Help setup and run the computer system for tracking all events and times during our home meets.

Training:  Training is required to learn the computer system.

Who it’s for:  Somebody willing to spend some time training how to use the system and somebody that would like to regularly volunteer to work with the computers.  Already having computer skills is a plus.

Who it’s not for:  If you are looking for an easy volunteer commitment this probably isn’t it.

Benefits of the job:  2nd best seat in the house behind the Colorado Timing System and includes hospitality so you don’t even have to get out of your seat!

Floaters:

Description:  You may float around filling in for various jobs where gaps are found, or you may be asked to fill in for sick or missing volunteer in various jobs that do not require extensive training.

Training:  No training required.

Who it’s for:  Anyone who is flexible and likes to try new things!

Who it’s not for:  If you need to be fixed on one position, or you are not willing to experience the thrill of the entire meet, this isn’t for you.

Benefits of the job:  It is very flexible.  You may not even be needed during your shift, or may only be needed for a brief time!

Hospitality:

Description:  Help prepare and serve snacks and drinks to coaches, judges, timers and other volunteers.  Purchase food and supplies to use, and clean up hospitality area and dispose of or store leftover food following the meet.

Training:  No training required.

Who it’s for:  Somebody willing to push a cart full of food and drinks through a crowd of hungry people to hungry volunteers.

Who it’s not for:  There isn’t anybody that can’t work hospitality.

Benefits of the job:  Everybody loves you because you are delivering snacks!

Meet Announcers:

Description:  Announce swim event, heats, and swimmers.  Calling age groups to the ready bench throughout the meet.  General announcements are made throughout the day to make families aware of the vendors and other events around the pool.

Training:  No training required.

Who it’s for:  Somebody with a great “moviephone” voice.

Who it’s not for:  If you are someone who is not comfortable in the spotlight, this may not be your first choice.

Benefits of the job:  Great seat to watch your swimmer.

Meet Setup:

Description:  Help with setting up everything associated with running a swim meet on Friday evening and finalizing setup on Saturday morning at home meets.

Training:  No training required, there are plenty of volunteers who have done this for years and they can lead the way.

Who it’s for:  Somebody willing to set up pop up tents, set up lane lines, set up chairs for timers, set up tables for coaches/judges/ribbons and run cables for timing system, speakers, and starter.

Who it’s not for:  There is a lot of physical work so you have to be willing to sweat a little.

Benefits of the job:  You are done with your volunteering before the meet starts so you can enjoy all of the events and activities.  Plus you are the first one on the pool deck and can pick the prime location for your family tent!

Lead Description:  Responsible for coordinating volunteers prior to meets.  Must be aware of all setup requirements including cabling, lane sponsors, tent locations, table requirements and pool pump equipment.

Meet Tear Down:

Description:  Help with tearing down everything associated with running a swim meet.

Training:  No training required.

Who it’s for:  Somebody willing to tear down pop up tents, pull up lane lines, tear down chairs, tear down tables and remove cables for timing system, speakers, and starter.

Who it’s not for:  There is a lot of physical work so you have to be willing to sweat a little.

Benefits of the job:  We won’t sugar coat this, there aren’t many benefits to this job but the one bright spot is it is one of the least time commitments of all positions.

Ready Bench:

Description:    Organize and check-in all swimmers ages 10 and under from the Gators and visiting team in the Ready Bench staging area.  Walk swimmers to the blocks and ensure they are in the right lane for their races.

Training:  Some basic information of how the swimmers are seated by heats and lanes, and then who is taken first, etc. to the blocks.

Who it’s for:  Somebody willing to make sure that the younger swimmers are assembled and make it to the blocks for their respective heats.  Somebody that can be encouraging to the kids as some of these little guys can be pretty intimidated by the whole event.

Who it’s not for:  Somebody that doesn’t like herding kids… or someone with little patience!

Benefits of the job:  You get to meet all the kids (and probably their parents).  It is only for 10 and under so there is some down time between shifts.

Socials:

Description:  There are a number of social events for our swimmers and their families to encourage team unity outside of the competitive field.  Help coordinate and run any of the number of socials held throughout the season.

Training:  No training required.

Who it’s for:  If you are a party planner, step right up.

Who it’s not for:  As the name implies, you should be a “social” person.

Benefits of the job:  You will be known as the fun parent!

Lead Description:  This can be a bit time consuming at the beginning when you are trying to coordinate venues, volunteers, and dates.  You will be responsible for bringing the “fun” to the event while remaining within budget.  You schedule venues, make sure supplies are ready, and may have to pickup the food to bring to the locations.

Starter:

Description:  Responsible for starting each of the heats and identify false starts.

Training:  On-deck training is required to identify false starts and work the equipment.

Who it’s for:  Someone with precision and ability to identify a false start.  Prior swim experience is very helpful.  Work side by side with meet official who is responsible for athlete safety and fairness.

Who it’s not for:  There is a lot of standing and you may get splashed, so if you like to sit more than stand and like to stay dry in the summer then this is not for you.

Benefits of the job:  This is definitely one of the best locations on the pool.

Lead Description: Train and coordinate meet starters, and attend meet officials meeting prior to the start of the meet.

Stroke and Turn:

Description:  Judge swimmers and determine if proper form is followed in regard to start, swim, finish, etc.  Attend stroke & turn meeting prior to meet. Complete disqualification slips if infraction occurs.

Training:  Annual review of USA videos and rule changes for experienced judges; video review and multiple hours of on-deck training required for trainees. 

Who it’s for:  Someone who as an eye for technique and can be objective.

Who it’s not for:  Somebody that doesn’t have time to get trained and commit to the process. Not ideal if you have an issue with disqualifying  swimmers.

Benefits of the job:  Poolside seats and hospitality, need we say more!

Lead Description: Train and coordinate Stroke and Turn judges and schedule.  Attend SSL meeting prior to start of season and attend meet officials meeting prior to the start of the meet.

Timers:

Description:  Responsible for timing all events.  By far this job requires the most number of volunteers at each and every meet.  Meets can’t run without a sufficient number of timers.

Training:  Minimal training required, normally one time at the start of the season to demonstrate stop watches and the information that must be recorded for each heat.

Who it’s for:  If you enjoy watching the thrill of competition, this is the one for you and yes, you get to wear a stopwatch.  You have literally a front row seat!  You also get snacks delivered by our hospitality volunteers.

Who it’s not for:  If you tend to get distracted easily and don’t like to get your feet wet, you may want to skip this one.

Benefits of the job:  Another great seat in the house, plus hospitality is always at your service.  During those hot summer days you are guaranteed a spot in the shade and there’s nothing like a 15-18 butterfly to get your feet wet!

Lead Description:  Making sure there are sufficient timers signed up for each event, and coordinating with the volunteer check-in to make sure your lists are the same, and that parents have or haven’t checked in.  Confirm that all stopwatches are functioning properly prior to the meet and bring stopwatches to the meet.  Preparing lane assignments and making sure timers are aware of their lane assignments and make it to their respective lanes.  Greet the opposing team’s head timer and coordinate on any logistics/training prior to the start of the meet.  Hold a timer meeting prior to the start of the meet giving final lane assignments and answering any questions from your volunteers.