We need you. Key West cannot have a JSL swim team if we do not have a LOT of volunteer help from parents. Hosting a swim meet calls for a LOT of work from a lot of people. Fortunately, it's all very fun and for a good cause! If you're new to it, we'll give you an easy job. And if you've got extenuating circumstances--like a set of toddler twins that need constant attention--we'll leave you alone during the swim meets but ask you to help out in some other ways.
Following is a list of the jobs that our parent volunteers do for us, organized according to experience level:
Easy-Peasy Newbie-Friendly Jobs
There are 3 timers assigned to each lane in a meet, each equipped with two stopwatches; the timers time the swimmer and record the times on the swimmer's card. Timers also verify that the name of the swimmer in the lane matches the name of the swimmer on the card. This is a great volunteer job for newbies and allows a good view of the swimmers, but you will be on your feet the whole time. Typically, a timer will work only one half of the meet. At home meets, we supply two of the three timers in the lane; at away meets, we supply one per lane.
Table workers sit (sit!) in a nice shady (shade!) area. They perform one of three duties: Sorter, Checker, or Ribbons. Sorters organize the time cards and DQ slips by event. The Checker is responsible for making sure official times on the cards match the final results printed by the Computer Operator. The Ribbons volunteers put labels on the backs of the appropriate ribbons. This is a great job for people who prefer to be away from the noise and congestion of the pool deck or prefer to "sit" on the job. Table workers are able to leave the table to watch their swimmers compete. No one works alone in any one position, making it easy to train and take breaks.
These volunteers sit in chairs alongside the pool at the finish line. They record the order in which swimmers finish their event. Sweep judges work in pairs: one judge calls out the order in which the swimmers touch the wall at the finish while the other records the results on a sweeps judge card. These results are used to help the table workers determine results if there is a problem with the time cards. You get a front row seat at the finish line with this position!
Jobs That Require Some Training or Experience
To be a stroke-and-turn judge, you must have some basic knowledge of the four strokes, be willing to attend a two-hour training clinic, and be comfortable disqualifying swimmers when appropriate. You have the best position on deck. We always need additional judges, so if this is something you are interested in, please ask Claire about it! You will shadow a skilled judge until you are comfortable with the position. All new judges must attend the in-person clinic; this year, they are offered on May 21, May 29, and Jun 6 at 7 PM in the Pine Room at Farmington Country Club. Those who have previously attended the clinic need only complete the online training session. Online recertification is required each season unless you have USA certification; contact Claire for a "key" to use the online training system.
The starter is equipped with a starter system, light horn, and megaphone. Starters start each event, call swimmers to the clerk, and make any other necessary announcements. First-time starters are required to attend a two-hour training session; this year, they are offered on May 21, May 29, and Jun 6 at 8:30 PM in the Pine Room at Farmington Country Club.
Clerk of Course
All swimmers report to the Clerk of Course (where the benches are) to receive event cards. Clerks hand out the time cards to swimmers as they report for their event and help them find their designated spot on the bench. The clerk of course area is typically noisy, congested, and hectic as it is full of swimmers, but it is also where you find all the action. If you enjoy being in the "thick of things" this is the job for you. There's a steep learning curve, so if you're interested, consider shadowing an experienced clerk for a while.
The head timer gives instructions, assigns lanes, hands out watches, clipboards and pencils to each timer prior to the start of the meet. During the meet, the head timer starts two backup watches at the beginning of every event, in case a timer missed the start and is in need of a watch. Head timers need to have timer experience and be comfortable in giving instructions to a group. If you've been timing for several years and feel like you could take over as Head Timer, we'd love to have you!
Runners collect the event cards from the timers after each event, along with DQ cards and sweep judge cards and "run" them to the table workers. For 8 and under short events, runners also collect cards from the 8 and under swimmers and "run" them to the timers at the other end of the pool, making sure to keep them in the correct order. There will be a minimum of 3 people working this position at one time and it is best to have an establish "team" of runners who can work together. This is a great position for people who like to be "on the move."
Head Table Worker
Needs to be familiar with all functions at the table (sorter, checker, awards). Head of Table helps set up the table area for home meets only. The head of table oversees the functions at the table, answers questions, and deals with any problems that may arise with the event cards. If you have worked the table for a couple years, this would be a great position to train in, giving you more flexibility at meets. The Head Table Worker is not responsible for "heading" at away meets although some teams appreciate the assistance if needed. Please consider training with one of our skilled head table workers.