How do I know when to sign up if I don't know when my kids are swimming?
What does a clerk of course/runner/timer do?
Will someone show me what to do?
All good questions. Some jobs are pool-side and close to the action, others are in the shade and close to the ice box. Some are part of every meet, home or way. Others can be done on your own time, with or without smaller children in tow. There's something for everyone.
Keep in mind, too, that every pool does things a little differently, so it's important (especially for pool-side jobs) that you participate in briefings announced prior to the meet to review procedures and instructions. Home or away, don't show up 5 minutes before the start of the meet and expect to get trained. Check in with the team reps once you've arrived with your swimmer so we can confirm you've showed up for your job. Pay attention to pre-meet announcements for meet officials.
If you are new, the best opportunities to sign up for jobs are the home meets. All home meets have just about every pool-side and concessions job, and will include a significant percentage of the swimmers.
Another option if you're uncertain is to focus on jobs at the Tuesday night home B meets at Lake Marion. Percentage-wise, more swimmers participate in B meets than in the Saturday A meets, particularly in the younger age groups. You'll have the familiarity of the home-pool advantage, and plenty of friends to help you get up to speed, watch your little ones, etc. B meets are a great place to learn the fundamentals of how a swim meet runs, and what each of the jobs entail. It also helps you & your family become part of the summer swim family quickly. While it’s busy, it’s also a lot of fun – especially for our kids, which is why we’re all here.
Two more things about jobs. If you have a special talent to contribute to Lake Marion swimming that none of these jobs captures, let us know. We're open to new ideas. And if you are interested in helping the reps on something we do that could be done better, by all means step on up. Any division of labor that lightens the load and serves the community is worth pursuing!
Announcer: The Announcer works at home meets. The Announcer reads names and events from the program prior to each event. No experience is required, but an effective announcer keeps the pace of meet going without calling too much attention to his/her role in it. We know there is a lot of interest in this job -- contact one of the reps to discuss a try-out opportunity.
Automation Coordinator: At home meets, primarily responsible for operating computer and team software to prepare meet entry sheets and to record swimmer times and heat scoring. Prints ribbon labels, event score sheets and final meet summary. Prints out program. At away meets, assists host team automation coordinator. Active coordination with Head Coach required during week. Contact Lissa Vincent at email@example.com for further information.
Scorer/Verifier: Works each meet with Automation Coordinator at the computer to check timer sheets and final results summaries for accuracy.
Clerk of Course: For both A and B meets, the clerk of course is responsible for checking in swimmers prior to their events. Assures swimmers know which lanes they are swimming in and how to get to the starting area. This is a fast paced, high octane job & only for those who enjoy chaos. It’s a perfect way to get to know the swimmers, but it will keep you on your toes.
Clerk of Course Assistant: The assistant(s) often find the swimmers in the team area and/or escort the swimmers in lane assignment and heat order from the clerk area to the starting end of the pool.
Team Representative(s): The easiest job in summer swimming! Team reps are responsible for managing and coordinating all activities for the swim season.
Lake Marion’s A reps attend monthly MCSL meetings in Rockville from February through July, ensure that key volunteers are in place for all positions, interview and hire the coaching staff, and make decisions as necessary to ensure the team runs efficiently. The reps coordinate major meets (Relay Carnivals and Divisionals) with other reps in the division.
Lake Marion’s B reps meet with other representatives in the B league to ensure a smooth running of B meets, B relays & to agree on some rules to ensure that ALL swimmers have the opportunity to participate in summer swimming.
For both A and B meets, the reps ensure that the necessary preparations, supplies and volunteers are ready at the start of the meet; the A rep also signs official score sheets to certify acceptance of A meet final results. The reps also work and consult with the coaching staff, and pool/MVF staff, on all matters as necessary relating to swim team operations. We are the primary point of contact for all parent concerns.
Our goal as team reps at Lake Marion is to make every family feel part of our team community, whether they are brand new or seasoned veterans. We hope we are successful!
If are interested in becoming or have recently become certified, please let us know.
Stroke and Turn Judge: Requires prior certification through the MCSL, whose clinics cover the legality/basics of each stroke. There are four stroke and turn officials at each meet; two from each team. The Stroke and Turn Officials watch 3 lanes each and make sure the strokes are done legally (eg., did a backstroker swim the entire race on his/her back, is the breaststroker kicking properly, etc.).
Starter: Requires prior certification through the MCSL. Starter is responsible for giving the command to start the race, operating the starting equipment, and assuring (with the referee) that no one false starts.
Referee: Certification is required through MCSL and current certification as a S & T judge is also required. The referee is responsible for running the meet. The referee must approve all swimmer disqualifications and keeps the meet running in a timely fashion. All disputes, rule questions, etc. are handled by the referee; therefore, the referee must be familiar with all applicable USS and MCSL rules.
Chief Judge: Certification as a Referee or Stroke and Turn Official is required. Chief Judge works at the Relay Carnival with the Referee to approve disqualifications at the far end of the pool.
Other Pool Side Jobs
Pool Set-Up / Clean Up: Easier job, but you will have an early start for Home A meets. The pool needs to be ready with shade shelters, tables, sound system, chairs, clerk of course area. A team of 5-6 people can get this done within an hour. MVF allows LM free use of the pool for the summer swim season, their only ask is that we clean up after ourselves & put everything back.
Head Timer: Prior experience as a timer is required but no certification by MCSL is needed. Head Timer is responsible for assuring that all timers have started their watches at the appropriate time and recorded their times accurately, collecting all timesheets after the race, and providing timers with support as needed. Head Timer also starts two extra watches in case they are needed by other timers. (Training is available).
Assistant Head Timer: Prior experience as a timer is required. Assistant Head Timer works with the Head Timer and is responsible for assuring that timers in three lanes have started their watches at the appropriate time and recorded their times accurately, for collecting all time sheets after the race and giving them to the runners, and supporting the timers as needed. (Training is available).
Parking Attendant: For our Home A Meets, we like to reserve lower lot parking for our visiting team. When we host a large meet such as Relays or Divisionals, this role is absolutely critical. Space is always limited & we direct people to the ball field parking lot, Montessori parking lot & other areas where people can leave their cars without being towed. This will take a maximum of 60mins or your time.
Ribbon Writers: Responsible for attaching labels to ribbons during the meet and organizing their distribution to swimmers in specially designated ribbon folders.
Runner: Responsible for taking the time sheets from the Head Timer and delivering to the Automation person after each event. (Same responsibility for A and B meets). It is quite common for older swimmers who aren’t participating in the meet to assume this role for SSL hours.
Timer: There are 3 timers in each lane. The primary responsibility is to start the watch at the start of the race and stop it when the swimmer touches the wall. One of the timers records all three times after each heat and circles the middle time, which becomes the official time for that lane. You get the best seat in the house with this job -- no experience is required.
Concessions are important for the swim team budget, a big part of which contributes to our coaches' salaries. LM swim team also subsidizes the costs of the season-ending banquet for each family with funds raised from concessions, and covers other equipment and operational costs with these funds.
Given the increasing focus on food safety and licensing compliance for swim team concessions, Lake Marion has a focused parent volunteer for this role. We ask that parent volunteers work with our Concessions Manager to comply with food safety requirements, manage our costs and otherwise contribute to the hospitable and friendly environment for which we are known throughout the league.
AND YES, IF YOU ARE WORKING CONCESSIONS, YOU CAN STEP AWAY TO WATCH YOUR CHILD SWIM.
Concessions: This job requires managing concessions area set up, operations and clean-up throughout the meet. Along with a couple of helpers, the manager ensures that tables are set up, food & utensil wash stations established, coolers are filled with ice, sodas and water, and food is prepared and displayed in accordance with food safety standards (most of which are just common sense, by the way). S/he also makes sure that hospitality for timers and officials is prepared and laid out, and that the ice chests by the diving boards remain stocked with water and ice for timers and officials during the meet. S/he ensures that the concessions helpers are on task with prep, sales and re-stock from inventory, and that concessions operates cleanly and efficiently. About 20 minutes before the end of the meet, volunteers can begin cleaning & storing utensils and serving pans, putting away unused and perishable food, and getting ready to break down the concessions area for general pool usage. Other clean-up tasks include draining the coolers of ice and restoring unsold drinks to the storage area, and cleaning off tables and re-storing them in the swim team storage area.
Set-Up, Sales, Prep, Clean-Up. Helpers will wash and cut fruit, restock pans of food, check & refill the coolers with ice and drinks, wrap sandwiches in foil, wash knives & trays and tin foil pans, take money and make change. Please be prepared to help as the leads (see above) direct. If you have a health issue that limits what you can do, by all means let us know; otherwise, don't just park in front of the cash box and wait out the chaos around you -- pitch in!
COSTCO / Sam’s Run: We try to combine shopping for more than one meet/event when we can, but this job involves spending an hour or two stocking up on paper goods, fresh, frozen and packaged foods and most non-drink offerings needed at concessions. We'll equip shoppers with a list of items and quantities and phone numbers to call if you need to clarify while you're in the store. Pool staff will help you unload and store items in the swim team freezers and refrigerators; shopping must be done by 3 pm the day before a meet or event.
Griller/Asst. Griller: LM offers fried egg sandwiches on English muffins with cheese and bacon at home Saturday A meets. If you know of someone who has a passion for their grill – this job is for them. Burgers & hot dogs are also offered at Home B meets & for an early lunch at Home A meets.
Bagels/Donuts Pre-Order, Pick-Up and Delivery: Great jobs for first-timers, but they'll take some planning and dependability is a must. You do the pre-order, pick-up and delivery to the pool;we ask that you remain at the pool for an additional 30-45 minutes to help with set-up for concessions, automation or sportswear as needed.
Ice Runs: Laytonsville VFD kindly accommodate our needs for significant amounts of ice for each home meet.We need people who have a larger sized vehicle to go to the VFD & fill all of our coolers. This usually takes about an hour & is required the morning of a Home B meet or night before a Home A meet.
Officials Hospitality: We like to ensure that the visiting team is fed & watered, as people working a meet are unable to dive our to concessions anytime they want to. LM prides itself of being gracious hosts; this role includes taking water around during the meet, arranging snacks & drinks for half time in the LMCC & clean up.
Social Events/Team Functions
Awards Night: The swim team banquet is the most sought-after ticket of the season and takes place the Sunday after divisionals every year. Held at the LMCC & Gym, awards night celebrates the entirety of swim season with recognition of performance, improvement, spirit and sportsmanship within the swim team community. We need some help setting up our modest decorations, and picking up cakes for dessert, so look for those jobs
Parade Co-ordinator: Every year, LM is asked to assist MVF in the July 4th parade. This is our way of giving back to The Village who graciously allow us use of the pool, lanes & the community center/gym for all functions.
This role is busy, busy, busy the week prior to the parade. then you're done. The more creative of our kids love this activity, but it is work for that small period in time for our volunteer parent. If you love being creative & know how to have some child-like fun with glitter, glue, pens, paper mache & wood - then this is absolutely for you.
Pasta Dinner / Pep Rally Co-ordinator: This is one of the easiest jobs the team has, but is so critical for team spirit.
We need this person to get the LM community center ready for a dinner; setting up tables, chairs etc. Then it's a case of making sure the room is left as we found it at the end of the dinner/pep rally.
This year Coach Mike wants to rally the swimmers after dinner & get some cheers/team spirit going, so we would like to see the room full of people having dinner & then some fun.
Photography / Go Pro: Photos of meets, pep rallies and team artistry in and out of the water have for the last couple of years been beautifully taken primarily by Reggie Arias & Sam Bibb, with help from other parents. This year we’d like to shamelessly copy the Go Pro idea from Clarksburg Village of last year…where snippets of each swim meet would be compiled into a 60-90sec video. Think you’re a Steven Spielberg – let us know.
Social Media: Part of any community activity these days is getting the word out. This year, we've decided that we want to improve the way we communicate with families, especially in today's world of instant access to just about everything. We have Face Book, Twitter & Instagram accounts all of which are fully integrated with the LM home page - but we need someone who is willing to administer these sites & ensure that all people adhere to the rules.
If you're addicted to selfies, tweets & posts - please help us out.
Morning Team Pancake Breakfasts: Beginning the first week of morning practice, swim team parents organize and host a weekly breakfast for all swim team members who attend Wednesday morning practice.