Volunteers are our lifeblood. Without them, we can't host meets, so many thanks in advance to all who choose to help out this season.
Not sure which job suits you? The descriptions below may help you decide. Some jobs are needed only for home meets; others are needed at both home and away meets.
Description: Setup helpers arrive at the pool at 7:00 am and help the team manager set up the pool deck, announcer's table, clerk of course, starting block area, snack bar, overhead flags and lane lines.
Benefits: Your job could be finished before the meet even starts, although you may be asked to help move tables or chairs during the meet.
Number: About six people are needed for setup before each home meet.
SNACK BAR (aka Dolphin Diner)
Description: The snack bar workers set up and tear down the snack bar, and prepare and serve food at the snack bar during home meets. Typically at least four volunteers are needed to operate the snack bar during the meet. Jobs include:
- Taco meat preparation: Four volunteers are needed before each home meet to make about 5 lbs. of taco meat each for Dolphin Diner favorite Taco in a Bag. Save receipts for reimbursement.
- Taco in a Bag station: Prepare and serve this Dolphin Diner delicacy.
- Snow cone machine: Prepare and serve snow cones.
- Grillers: Grilling hamburgers and hot dogs begins around 9:30 or 10:00 am. One person is needed to grill; another is needed to prepare buns and wrap the hot dogs and burgers in aluminum foil.
- Sales: Two people are needed to handle payments and dispense drinks, snacks, and hubcap-size doughnuts to hungry customers.
- Cleanup: After the meet, the snack bar workers pack up and clean up. Non-perishable items are stored in the shed, tables are wiped down, coolers are emptied, and the tent is disassembled.
Benefits: Did we mention Taco in a Bag? The food is good, the area is shaded, and volunteers can skip out and watch their swimmers' events (just let the snack bar manager know in advance).
Number: At least four snack bar workers and two grillers at home meets only.
STROKE AND TURN JUDGE
Description: One stroke and turn judge from each team stands poolside during each race and assures that each swimmer is swimming his/her stroke in accordance with the technical specifications of the event. An online training is required for this position. Judges pay particularly close attention to starts/dives, turns, and stroke technique. During relays, they focus on appropriately timed "connections" between the swimmers on each relay team (e.g., that a swimmer doesn't leave the block before the preceding swimmer touches the wall).
It is up to the stroke and turn judges to disqualify (or DQ) swimmers who violate these rules. When a disqualifying movement is spotted, the stroke and turn judges indicate this to the CMSL league official running the meet, usually by raising a hand with an indication of the lane number in which the violation occurred.
At the end of the race, the stroke and turn judge records the DQ on the swimmer's event card and counsels the swimmer (especially older swimmers) about his/her mistake. It's important to remember that the judges are helping the swimmers to learn proper techniques, and to avoid future DQs.
Stroke and turn judges must report to the pool at least a half hour before the start of each meet (8:30 am) to meet with the league official running the meet. Different league officials use different DQ signs, and this and other matters will be covered by the official before the meet begins.
This job can be shared, and since it requires close attention to detail and sustained concentration, we prefer to split it into at least two shifts.
Benefits: You help ensure the fairness of the meet and earn the team manager's gratitude for stepping up. You also acquire technical expertise.
Number: At least two per meet, both home and away.
CLERK OF COURSE
Description: The clerk of course organize the swimmers before their races. Two parents work together, along with clerks from the other team, to ensure that the swimmers:
- Are present at the clerk of course tent prior to their races
- Are lined up in the proper order on the benches/seats under the clerk of course tent
- Are ready to swim their events
- Move appropriately through the rows of seats and to their starting blocks before the race.
The lineup of swimmers is provided to each clerk at the beginning of the meet. The clerks of course also work to combine heats where possible, and to communicate any changes in the schedule to the meet announcer. This helps to keep the meet moving.
The clerks work in teams of two for half of the meet. Their job is important, because it is absolutely essential that the swimmers proceed to the proper lane assignments and swim in the correct event.
Benefits: A shady spot, and clerks of course are in a position to see their children's races.
Number: At least four at each meet, home and away.
Description: Timers use battery-operated stopwatches to time the races. Both teams supply timers, with three timers assigned to each lane. The teams are assigned to alternating lanes (1, 3, 5 or 2, 4, 6). CVST supplies one timer for lanes assigned to our team and two timers for lanes assigned to the opposing team. Timers work half a meet, with the shift change occurring halfway through.
Timers must arrive a half hour before the start of the meet (8:30) for a meeting with the CMSL league official. The official will review the general rules of timing the heats and make sure all of the stopwatches work.
One timer in each lane will also use a clipboard and pre-printed papers to record the times from all three stopwatches. Papers will be collected periodically. This timer should also verify the identity of the swimmer.
Each timer clears his/her watch as the race is being called by the announcer, starts the watch on the "flash" of the starting box (not the horn), checks the watch to see if he/she got a good start, and then stops the watch at the first touch by the swimmer at the end of the race. Backup watches are available for those who don't get a good start on their watch.
Lane assignments and assignment to the first or second half of the meet are determined by the team's head timer on the morning of the race on a first-come/first-served basis.
Benefits: Standing next to a body of water holding a watch is a great way to pass a summer morning, right? Seriously, you never miss a race, it's the most exciting place to be, and the time passes quickly. You're in a great spot to cheer not only for your own children, but also for the swimmers in your lane.
Number: At a six-lane pool like ours, each race requires nine timers from each team. Since we split the meet in half, we need 18 timers for each meet. We supply timers at home and away meets; the number may vary depending on the size of the pool at away meets.
Description: Card runners collect papers from the timers and run them up to the table. They work in pairs, with one runner staying inside the ropes with the timers and swimmers to collect papers, and the other staying outside the cord to make the run to the table.
Benefits: You get plenty of walking in, and never miss a race.
Number: At least four to work in pairs for half the meet each, at home meets only.
Description: The table is where statistics from the races are audited and processed. The time sheets go through several levels of review and audit to ensure accuracy and compliance with league rules. The head table worker from the home team assigns duties and guides the other table workers.
The middle of the three times listed on the time sheet is identified and is usually the swimmer's official time for the race. This information is then submitted to the home team's data input worker at the table and is recorded in the computer.
Several vital reports are generated, including meet results, new team records and labels for ribbons issued to swimmers who place in their events. One table worker is dedicated to pasting labels on team ribbons and assuring they are distributed to swimmers following the meet.
Benefits: You spend the entire meet in the shade and can get away to watch your child's races.
Number: We need at least three table workers at each meet, home and away - two to review, audit, and sort event cards and one to do ribbons.
Description: The announcer opens the meet, introduces each event, calls swimmers to the clerk of course, and relays any other important information (such as whether the Dolphin Diner has run out of Taco in a Bag).
Benefits: Shade, a seat next to the official in the middle of the action, and plenty of talking.
Number: At least one person, preferably two, to allow for half-meet shifts. Home meets only.
HEAT WINNER RIBBON PRESENTER
Description: This volunteer presents the winner of each heat with a ribbon.
Benefits: The heat winners are always glad to see you, especially the little ones!
Number: At least two ribbon presenters are needed at home meets only.
Description: Our home meets include a 50-50 raffle. The winning ticket is typically drawn before the relays begin. The person in charge of raffle sales walks around the pool deck, collecting money and distributing tickets.
Benefits: Plenty of walking, the opportunity to make lots of new friends, and the team manager's gratitude when you bring in lots of cash.
Number: At least one person, preferably two, to allow for half-meet shifts. Home meets only.