Swim meets require A LOT of parents help to be successful and affordable. While our summer dual meets are FREE, every family is expected to contribute via volunteering at the meets. It truly is a team effort running a meet working together to get the swimmers to their races.
Parent volunteers are needed at both home and away meets. When we travel to our host's pool, we need to provide volunteers for many of the positions needed to run the meet. There are some positions the home team may handle by themselves, like computers and Colorado Timing systems. Aside from those positions that the home team has elected to handle by themselves, we are responsible for helping with our fair share.
Swim meet volunteer positions are divided into two shifts: first shift and second shift. This means that you do not have to volunteer all day and miss watching your child(ren) compete. You can volunteer for for the first shift and/or the second shift. The choice is yours.
It is quite common for one parent to volunteer for the first shift and the other parent volunteer for the second shift. With younger children, this is the model that most parents follow as it allows one parent to monitor and manage the child(ren) while getting to see some of the events.
We have a great structure that helps run meets smoothly. You will receive an email from our AQM President Evey Hahn about volunteer positions for swim meets. Please make sure you do your part and things will run a little more smoothly.
AQM Volunteer Positions
There are many different volunteer positions available during the meet. Some more complex than others. Some positions such as computers and officials require some training.
Timer: Timer is a most popular and often the perfect start for new parents learning about swimming and swim meets. Many of our volunteers start as a timer and, from there, find a volunteer position that matches skills and interests. Timers are responsible for recording the results for swimmers in their respective lanes. Recording of time may include pressing of a timing button for automated timing systems, use of a stopwatch to manually track swimmer's time, and manually documenting the times for swimmers. Timers are provided instruction at the beginning of the swim meet so they understand the protocols for timing swimmers and using the equipment. There are twenty-four (24) timers needed for each shift and the meet can not start unless all timer positions are filled.
Announcer: The announcer uses the public address system to communicate important information to attendees of the swim meet.
Age-Group Parent (AGP): AGPs are there to check swimmer’s events, gather them, and take them to the ready bench or block. This is a big responsibility on meet day. We have 8 age groups. 6 and under, 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12 (4 age group times two, boys and girls). Usually AGP has an EZ up tent with marking. ( i.e. 7/8 girls).
Runners: Runners gather any paperwork from the officials and timers and brings them to the computer desk. They also will post event information and race results as they become available. No special training is needed for this volunteer position and you do need to be willing to “run” around the pool deck during your shift.
Snack Bar/Hospitality: Snack Bar/Hospitality volunteers work at the snack bar selling a variety of food items and drinks to swimmers and parents. These volunteers also bring water and snacks to the timers and officials who are working. Some lifting may be required.
Ready Bench: Ready Bench is in charge of the Ready Bench area. This is where the kids are lined up according to their heat and lane assignments. These volunteers will make sure swimmers are organized by their correct event, heat, and lane assignments before they are escorted to the blocks for their race. The ready bench does get a little chaotic and can be overwhelming for a new volunteer. Only the brave need apply. ;-)
Deck Patrol: Deck Patrol is in charge of making sure the open pool area is being used for warm up and cool down only. We do not have a lifeguard in this area and kids are not allowed to play in the pool. This is a great job for a family with young kids at the meet. You can monitor the pool from your tent on the deck.
Computers and Colorado Time systems: This is a volunteer position that requires training and some commitment. Computer operators and Colorado Time system operators handle the processing of swimmer information for each race and heat. Please contact the AQM directors if you are interested in these positions.
Officials: This is a volunteer position that requires training and some commitment. Meet officials and stroke and turn judges are responsible for managing the meet. Officials make sure that the meet is run in a timely fashion and in alignment with swimming rules and regulations. To be a meet official, special training is required. Please contact the AQM directors if you are interested in these positions.