Conducting a swim meet requires about 40 parent volunteers. If your swimmer is participating in meets, the Gators need your help. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of roles to be filled and different ways to help. These roles require varying skills and knowledge and each role tends to suit different personalities. Below are brief descriptions of the various volunteer positions necessary to run a swim meet. Observe, ask others and try out a few different roles till you find your favorite.
Meet Officials Requiring Training and Certification
The Referee is the chief official for each swim meet and is the final authority on the interpretation and enforcement of all swimming rules. The Referee’s responsibilities include: inspection of facility to ensure compliance with NVSL requirements; instructions to other officials on their duties during the meet; oversight of the meet to ensure swimmers have a fair and equitable opportunity to compete. The Referee must have excellent knowledge of swimming techniques and NVSL rules. Training and certification are required. Strong leadership, good judgement required.
The Starter is responsible for ensuring that all swimmers are given a fair and equitable start. The Starter calls swimmers to their starting positions; announces the stroke and distance; instructs swimmers to take positions and signals the start. Some knowledge of swimming technique is needed, particularly as related to the start. Training and certification are required.
Stroke and Turn Judges
Once the race has started, the Stroke and Turn Judges are responsible for ensuring that swimmers comply with the rules of swimming. If a Stroke and Turn Judge sees a violation of the rules, he signals the Referee by raising an open hand overhead. A Disqualification (DQ) is recorded on a DQ slip, which the referee reviews and approves. A Stroke and Turn judge must have excellent knowledge of the technical rules of swimming. Training and certification are required.
Meet Officials NOT Requiring Certification
Clerk of the Course
The Clerk of the Course is the "gatekeeper" for all swimmers. The Clerks of Course get the right swimmers to the right lanes, for the right race, at the right time. The Clerks of Course really earn their “pay” during Monday night Developmental Meets, when they must arrange many heats of swimmers efficiently and quickly. While formal training and certification are NOT required, on the job training is highly recommended. On the job training, excellent organizational skills and abundant patience are very much required.
Marshals are responsible for ensuring that Warm-ups are conducted safely and that order and safety are maintained on the deck throughout the meet. Marshals ensure that spectators remain in the viewing area and that no one other than swimmers, coaches and officials are on the deck. Knowledge of swimming rules is not required. Vigilance, a firm but polite demeanor and good people skills are required.
During relays, Relay Takeoff Judges ensure that each swimmer touches the wall prior to the next swimmer in the relay leaving the deck. Often Stroke and Turn Judges or Timers also assume the role of Relay Takeoff Judges. Knowledge of swimming rules is not required.
Timers and Chief Timer
With three Timers required per lane, timing is by far the most “popular” volunteer position. The Timers determine the swimmer's official time and place finish for each race. Accurately starting and stopping a stopwatch, is the primary requirement of a timer. Training is provided at the beginning of every meet by the Chief Timer, who is also responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the recorded times. Knowledge of swimming rules is not required. A great view of the races is best perk of this role.
The cards with the times from each event as well as any disqualification (DQ) slips go to the Data Table, where workers determine the order of finish for each event, score the meet, enter the meet data onto computers and prepare ribbons for the participants. Several people from each team perform these functions to insure that errors are caught before the results are announced. Knowledge of swimming rules is not required. Software training is available from NVSL. On the job training, specialized computer and organizational skills are required.
The Announcer announces upcoming events and results of previous events. Knowledge of swimming rules is not required. Clear speaking voice, good sense of humor and DJ skills encouraged.
Concessions serve several important functions: they are a form of hospitality for visiting teams, a source of nourishment for all and a fund raising vehicle for the Team. Good customer service skills required.
Pool Set Up / Take Down
A team of volunteer parents, senior swimmers and coaches sets up the pool for all home meets. Setting up the pool for a home meet at LHP takes less than an hour with a team of 10-12 people..
Social Events Planning
The Gators schedule a few social activities for the swimmers during the season. Parents are needed to organize and chaperone these events. In the past, these have included movie outings, laser tag, water parks etc.. Without significant parental support, these events will not happen. Please consider offering assistance with one or more of these fun, teambuilding events.