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Volunteer Info/ Job Descriptions:

Listed below is a brief description of the volunteer positions that need to be filled for every meet. None of the jobs are especially difficult and simple training is provided as needed; however, some of the positions do require attending special training sessions and some positions are better suited for our more experienced swim parents (ready bench, for example). If you are brand new to summer league swim team, the jobs of timer, runner, set up, take down, pit parent, ribbons, and concessions are good places to start out volunteering. 


ANNOUNCER: Announces first, second and final calls for each event. Works closely with the starter to keep the meet running smoothly. The announcer will need to anticipate flow based on the number of swimmers, the stroke, the number of lengths to be swum, and the age of the swimmers. Training or previous experience is required for this position. Home meets only. 


STARTER: Starts each event with the announcement of the age and stroke and the words "SWIMMERS TAKE YOUR MARK", pauses to make sure that all swimmers are motionless, and then gives an electronic sound or a blast of a whistle. He/She shall be the sole judge of FALSE STARTS and all false starts shall be restarted. Must attend a training clinic at the beginning of each season in order to volunteer in this position. Home meets only. 


EVENT TURNER: This person is responsible for turning the event numbers electronically, for the judges, lane timers and swimmers to know which is event is up. Home meets only. 


MEET DIRECTOR: Handles issues and works closely with the other team's meet director. This is a board position. Home and away meets. 


HEAD JUDGE: Organizes and briefs the Lane Timers on their duties prior to the meet and is in charge of the lane timers throughout the meet. The head timer has the authority to remove and replace any lane timer, with the approval of the home meet director. Previous experience required for this position. Home meets only. 


EXCHANGE JUDGE: Required for relay events only. One exchange judge from each team shall be positioned at the corners of the pool and be responsible for observing exchanges. Needed for relays only - at both beginning and end of meet. Must attend a training clinic at the beginning of each season in order to volunteer in this position. Home and away meets. 


STROKE JUDGE: This job requires training. You will be watching half of the lanes to match sure each swimmer is doing the strokes correctly. Must attend a training clinic at the beginning of each season in order to volunteer in this position. Home and away meets.


HEAD TIMER: Organizes and briefs the Lane Timers on their duties prior to the meet and is in charge of the lane timers throughout the meet. The head timer has the authority to remove and replace any lane timer, with the approval of the home meet director. Previous experience required for this position. Home meets only. 


LANE TIMERS: Records the swimmer’s time. Each timer is provided a stopwatch and assigned a lane; there are three timers for each lane. All three times are recorded and the middle time becomes the official time. Timers are assigned to work for one half of the meet. This job gives you the best view of the pool and the swimmers during their races. Home and away meets.


HOSPITALITY: Responsible for getting water to all volunteers (timers, judges, runners, etc) as well as coaches. Home meets only unless hosting team doesn't provide water for our team's volunteers and coaches.


PIT PARENT: Supervises the waiting area for a particular age group during meets, marks arms of swimmers with event/heat/lane, distributes event cards for relays, keeps track of swimmers - as best as they reasonably can - between events, and gets swimmers to the ready bench on time with caps and goggles. For most age groups, several parents will share this job. This position is obviously more important for the younger swimmers, and the pit parents for the youngest ages (6 & under and 7-8) are especially critical to the timely start of the meet. This job keeps you with your swimmer during the entire meet. Home and away meets.


HEAD READY BENCH: Responsible for ensuring the ready bench operates efficiently. Conducts morning training with ready bench personnel from both teams. Ensures all volunteers know their assigned ready bench jobs. Previous experience required for this position. Home meets only.


READY BENCH: Key to keeping a meet on schedule. Responsible for working with the other ready bench volunteers in lining up the swimmers by event, heat and lane and getting them to the starting blocks in the correct order and on time. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. This job gives you the chance to see your swimmer immediately before his/her event. This position is not recommended for parents new to a swim team. Home and away meets.


RUNNER: Responsible for obtaining the completed event cards and DQ forms for each race from the timers and judges. The cards and DQ forms are delivered to the scoring table. The job title is very descriptive. Runners should have good tennis shoes that work well on slippery wet surfaces. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. This job keeps you moving around at the poolside and the time passes quickly. Home meets only. 


FLOATER/ ALTERNATE: Replaces any non-certified worker that is not available to fulfill their duties. Must be in constant communication with the Volunteer Coordinator and ready to fill in as needed in any capacity. Home and away meets.


COMPUTER REP: Responsible for entering data from time cards and verifying data entered. With this job, you see the race results before anyone else. Must attend a training clinic at the beginning of each season in order to volunteer in this position. Home and away meets.


SCORING: Marks the official time for each swimmer, records the order of finishes and verifies the computer results. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. With this job, you see the race results before anyone else. Training or previous experience is required for this position. Home and away meets.


HEAT RIBBONS: Determines the winner of each individual event heat and awards that swimmer a heat winner ribbon. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Home meets only. 


RIBBONS: Places labels on ribbons; sorts and files ribbons into swimmer file folder. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. This job keeps you sitting down and out of the sun but may require you to keep working for a short while after the meet is over. Home and away meets.


PHOTOGRAPHER: Responsible for taking photographs at practices, swim meets, and team functions for team publicity purposes, web site, and/or newsletter use. Home and away meets.


CONCESSIONS: Sells concessions and may work the grill. Helps set up and tear down concession stand. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Home meets only.


MERCHANDISE: Sales merchandise during swim meets & other team events. Also helps set up and take down for the merchandise area. Home and away meets.


SET UP/ TAKE DOWN: Sets up the pool area for the swim meet. Moves deck chairs, starting blocks, sets up canopies, announcer stand and ready bench. This position requires time on Friday evenings prior to home meets and either Friday evenings or early Saturday mornings prior to the start of away meets (depending on restrictions of various teams regarding set up times). May also require picking up equipment such as tarps and canopies from Apache Pool to transport them to away meets. During the last few minutes of a meet the crew begins taking down and storing items in preparation for vacating the pool immediately after the meet. Away meets may also require transporting the equipment back to Apache Pool for storage.


VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR: Ensures all positions are filled. Emails volunteers ahead of the meet to remind them of their jobs; checks in volunteers at the start of each meet; coordinates "Relief Workers" where necessary. This is a board position.


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The Tidal Waves Swim Team is a parent run 

non-profit organization.

It will not be possible to hold swim meets without 

all parents doing their part.

Your help and support are required throughout 

the season.  

Thank you! 

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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. 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.

Volunteer FAQ

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 which counts as two shifts. 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 fullfill 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.

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