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. 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. Check in with the volunteer coordinator once you've arrived with your swimmer so we know you're ready to go. 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.
Another option if you're uncertain is to focus on jobs at the Wednesday night home B meets at Lake Marion. 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 let us know. 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 their role in it. You can contact one of the reps to discuss a try-out opportunity if you're interested.
Automation Coordinator: At home meets, this person is primarily responsible for operating computer and team software to prepare meet entry sheets and to record swimmer times and heat scoring. They print ribbon labels, event score sheets and final meet summary. They also prints out the program. At away meets, they assist the host team automation coordinator. Coordination with the Head Coach is required during week.
Scorer/Verifier: They work each meet with the 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. They make sure that 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 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: This role 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: This role requires prior certification through the MCSL. The 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 MCSL rules.
Chief Judge: Certification as a Referee and Stroke and Turn Official is required. The Chief Judge works at the Relay Carnival with the Referee to approve disqualifications at the far end of the pool. The Chief Judge also approves disqualifications at the far end of the pool during B meets.
Other Pool Side Jobs
Pool Set-Up / Clean Up: The pool needs to be ready with shade shelters, tables, sound system, chairs, clerk of course area, and more. 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. The 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. The 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. The 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.
Ribbon Writers: These volunteers are responsible for attaching labels to ribbons during the meet and organizing their distribution to swimmers in specially designated ribbon folders.
Runner: This person is responsible for taking the time sheets from the Head Timer and delivering them to the Automation person after each event. 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 -- and 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 covers other equipment and operational costs with these funds.
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. They ensure 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 direct. If you have a health issue that limits what you can do, by all means let us know.
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.
Griller/Asst. Griller: If you know of someone who has a passion for their grill – this job is for them. They prepare and cook the hot food items at the morning and evening 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 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 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 Coordinator: 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 Coordinator: 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.
Photography: Photos of meets, pep rallies and team artistry in and out of the water help us officially capture the highlights of our season.
Social Media: Part of any community activity these days is getting the word out. We have Facebook & Instagram accounts which are fully integrated with the LM home page. If you're a fan of social media, please help us out.
Morning Team Pancake Breakfasts: Beginning the first week of morning practice, swim team parents organize and host breakfast for all swim team members who attend Wednesday morning practice.