Why do we need parent positions/volunteers?
We are members of a summer swim league. While we do charge a registration fee, we are a non-profit organization. Our fees are only intended to cover the cost of equipment and coaches salaries. The board members are also volunteers and do not gain any profit from the registration fees. For parents who are new to the sport, you will soon learn that it takes a large number of volunteers to run a swim meet. And every position is critical to the function of each meet!
What are our policies regarding parent positions?
We require one volunteer from each family to sign up for a position, at every meet. If a family chooses not to volunteer for a position, which you can do, then your swimmers can still participate at practice, but will not be eligible to compete at swim meets. Please understand, we are not trying to be mean, we just don’t have the funds to hire extra help for the meets. This is the only way, without charging a much larger registration fee, we can participate in the Northwest Swim Circuit Meets.
How is this policy enforced?
At meet check-in our volunteer coordinator will be checking in all volunteers. If there is no volunteer checked in for a swimmer, the swimmer cannot be checked in to the meet and will be given a Not Eligible to Swim Card until a volunteer is checked in.
How does the volunteer system work?
Prior to each meet, we will open volunteer registration. We have a great number of positions available. You get to select a position on a first come, first serve basis for each meet.
What about the other team?
When we are at a meet, all teams attending bring volunteers. Each team provides
timers, scorers, Pit Parents, data checkers, judges, etc. The number of parent positions is roughly split between the two teams. This also ensures fairness as we have checks and balances in place to prevent favoritism toward one team or another.
General Volunteer Policies
Team policy requires each family to volunteer at least one shift for each meet.
Both my spouse and I only have one swimmer. Do we both have to volunteer?
Absolutely not, but you are welcome to if you want to go above and beyond the call of duty. During meet sign up, you only need to choose one of you to volunteer.
We have two swimmers on the team, and we have other young children who are not swimming yet, and my spouse has to work on Saturdays. How can I possibly volunteer and still watch our young children?
As you can imagine, you will not be the first family in these situations and many similar combinations on our swim team. We have a couple of different solutions to your dilemma, and depending upon your situation, the volunteer coordinator will absolutely work something out with you. One option is for the attending parent to volunteer as a tent parent and keep your younger child(ren) with you in the pit tent. Other options include opportunities to volunteer for roles that occur before or after the meet such as equipment setup and take down. We also have a few roles that don't require assistance during a meet, but often times they do require a significant amount of time. Regardless of your situation, please contact the volunteer coordinator to work this out.
My spouse and I are going to be gone one weekend, and the kids' grandparents (or babysitter) will be taking the kids to the meet. Do they have to fulfill our volunteer role?
We will, most likely, simply say "have fun" provided you are a family that regularly meets your volunteer commitments. Please email the volunteer coordinator in advance to make sure you are not flagged for failing to meet your volunteer commitment. If you have flexibility on choosing the weekend you will be gone, away meets require a significantly less number of volunteers than home meets. However, if the weekend guardian wants to volunteer, we surely won’t turn them away!
What does "shifts" mean?
Most rolls are divided between first shift (event 1 through event 45) and second shift (event 46 through 87). Obviously the first shift is in the cooler hours of the morning, but you have to be on your toes earlier in the morning and the shift is a little longer than the second shift. Swimmers age six and under finish at the end of event 47. If you only have swimmers age 6 and younger, you will want to sign up to volunteer only for the first shift. Second shift is a bit shorter. Ages 6 and under only have 2 events in the 2nd shift of all meets. However, the second shift will be a bit warmer.