Learn about various positions available for volunteers:

Volunteer Positions

Volunteer Coordinator:

  • The Volunteer Coordinator assists with identifying volunteer needs for each meet (Home and Away) and helps with the signing-up of volunteers for all required positions.


  • Needed for both home and away meets.
  • While Officials are parent volunteers, training at the league certification clinic is required.

Stroke and Turn Officials:

  • Stroke and Turn Officials observe the swimmers during a heat to ensure that their strokes and turns are legal according to USA Swimming rules.
  • Writes disqualifications (DQ) Slip if the swimmer does not comply with the stroke and/or turn rules.

The Starter:

  • Requires at least 2 years of Stroke and Turn Official experience.
  • Is responsible for ensuring that all swimmers receive a fair and equitable start.
  • The Starter signals the start of the heat by instructing the swimmers to “Take your mark” and gives the starting signal once all swimmers are stationary.

The Referee:

  • Requires at least 2 years of Stroke and Turn Official experience.
  • Has full authority over all officials, enforces all applicable rules, and can decide all questions relating to the actual conduct of the meet.
  • Before each heat, signals the Starter that all Officials are in position, that the course is clear, and the competition can begin.
  • Signs off on all DQ Slips.

Clerk of Course: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • This job is done with a parent from the other team.
  • The Clerk of Course is the heart of the swim meet.
  • This group gets the swimmers lined up for their heats/races and gets them to the right place at the right time.
  • Swimmers report to the clerk prior to their scheduled event to receive a time card with their heat and lane assignment for that event.
  • The children then take their place in proper order for the event.

The Clerk(s):

  • Responsible for all of the paperwork at the meet prior to the swimmer’s event.
  • Seeds each swimmer in each event to a heat and lane according to their submitted entry time.
  • Clerk of Course requires training at the league certification clinic.

The Assistant(s):

  • Gathers the children who are participating in a particular event together using the “Event Cards.” After roll call, the cards are returned to the clerk for seeding.
  • Walks young swimmers to their assigned lane at the start of their event (Mother Hen/Father Rooster).
    Does not require training

Head Timer: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • A Head Timer is an experienced timer that hands out the stopwatches, explains how to use them and acts as a backup timer.
  • The Head Timer starts their watches when the starter horn sounds and looks out at the timers for a raised hand.
  • A timer that raises their hand has a watch failure.
  • The head timer will switch watches with the lane timer.

Lane Timers: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • The timers and recorders make up the largest group of volunteers.
  • In order to commence a meet there must be 3 timers and 1 recorder per lane.
  • Lane timers time the swimmers in their lane, report that time to the recorder, reset their watch, and wait for the next heat to start their watch again.
  • Most parent volunteers start as timers.
  • The only skill or knowledge required is the working of a stopwatch.
  • The most important single statistic at a swim meet is the time a swimmer achieved during their race. This is also the “best seat in the house”- right at the finish!
  • You WILL get wet, especially your feet, so plan accordingly!
  • You will be standing and exposed to the elements the entire time.

Recorders: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • The recorders sit on the deck (chairs provided) and when the Lane Timers report the times write the swimmers times down on cards that will be scored.
  • Cards are delivered by swimmers, timers call the times out after the swimmer completes their event and a Score
  • Card Runner will pick up the cards after it’s filled out.
  • They ensure the right swimmer is in the correct heat and lane before the start.
  • There is one recorder is required per lane (usually seated).
  • This is a good job for a new parent volunteer.

Score Card Runner: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • At the end of each heat/race, one Runner will go along the lanes and collect the swimmers time cards from the Recorder and takes them to the Scoring Table.
  • For 25 meter races, brings cards from the swimmers to the recorder at the beginning of the heat/race.
  • The runner may work with the official to collect DQ Slips before bringing the cards to scoring. This is a good job for a new parent volunteer.

Heat Ribbons: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • Watches the end of each heat to see who has touched the wall first and then make your way to that swimmer and hand them their heat ribbon.
  • If it’s too close to call both swimmers get ribbons.
  • This is especially rewarding with the younger swimmers who LOVE winning these!
  • You will be standing the entire time, walking back and forth.

Scorer/Verifier: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • Once a heat is finished, the Score Card Runner brings the swimmer’s time cards to the Scoring Table. Here the Scorers and Verifiers work together to figure out the official time for each swimmers heat (Scorer) and it is then verified by the Verifier.
  • Each card will have 3 times written on it the scorer determines the final time based on the rules set by PWSL.
  • Scoring will work with the meet officials to collect and validate DQs.
  • When completing an event, the scorers send the events cards to the computer people to enter in the computer.
  • Verifying ensures the computer people did not make any mistakes checking cards against the computer results.
  • Verifiers determine when the event results are official and have them posted for the swimmers to see.
  • Positions require an attention to detail but are easy to learn after a few minutes of training.
    For this position, you will be sitting, and under a cover of some sort…in most cases.

Computer Operator: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • Responsible for electronic meet entries prior to the swim meet and data entry of meet results at the meet.
  • The biggest part of this job is done the week prior to a swim meet; getting all meet entries entered into the computer and printing event cards for the Clerk of Course.
  • After the Scorer/Verifiers are done doing their job, the swimmer’s time cards are then given to the Computer
  • Operator who then enters, or assists with entering, the swimmers times into the computer.
  • The computer automatically determines the place of each swimmer and prints out labels that will be put on the ribbons.
  • You will be seated, under cover the entire time.
  • The computer operator always needs a volunteer or two on the day of the meet to help enter event results.

Ribbon Labelers: Needed for both home and away meets.

  • The job begins later in the meet and usually runs until a little after the swimming ends. After events are run the computer people print out labels for the award ribbons.
  • Ribbon people stick the labels on the correct ribbons, sort then by team and age.
  • Each age group is alphabetized and passed to the coaches.
  • This is as easy as it comes and a great position for those with younger kids.
  • You will sit at a table with other Ribbon Labelers, usually under cover.
  • You will only work periodically throughout your shift.
  • You have a lot more flexibility here to walk away if needed.
  • This is a good job for a new parent volunteer.

Marshall: Needed for home meets only.

  • Controls traffic flow in and around the parking lot before the meet operations begins and during the first part of the meet.
  • Ensures parking spaces reserved for handicapped users, concessions and equipment are not taken by unauthorized users.

Announcer: Needed for home meets only.

  • The Announcer calls out the upcoming events to alert the children to clerk of course.
  • An event timeline is provided and the announcer lets swimmers know when it’s time to line up and where to report.
  • The announcer’s job also entails making special announcements like finding a swimmer for a coach or parent or reporting the meet score.
  • Deck water delivery: Needed for home meets only.
  • Brings water to the on-deck volunteers including lane timers, recorders, and officials.
  • This can be done by an older swimmer.

Apparel Sales: Needed for home meets only.

  • You are responsible for the set-up and clean-up of the apparel area as well as collecting money/making change.
    Concessions: Needed for home meets only.
  • Responsible for the set-up and clean-up of the concession area, preparing food for swimmers/families and collecting money/making change.

Grill Master: Needed for home meets only.

  • Responsible for grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, setting the grills up, and break down/clean-up.
  • This position doesn’t quite run as long as the other shifts, as the grills don’t run quite the entire swim meet.
  • You will be located outside the pool gates and will be fairly busy the entire shift.

Meet Setup and Take–Down: Needed for home meets only.

  • All available families are expected to help.
  • The setup crew sets up all the tents, tables and all other equipment necessary for the meet on the Friday evening before a home meet.
  • The take-down crew is responsible for putting everything back in its proper place and retrieving all trash and storing meet equipment.
  • This means removing lane lines and backstroke flags, returning tables, chairs, and lounges to their
    original spots, and disassembling shade canopies, and picking up all lost and found items.
  • By approximately 12:30pm the pool should be ready to re-open to the public.
  • Three (3) times should be recorded on each swimmer’s time card (3X5)
  • Times are recorded to hundredth of a second
  • Score each event by gender and keep all the time cards for that event and gender together with clothes pin.
  • The Final Official Time is written at the bottom of the time card by the scorer
  • It is the middle of the 3 times


  1. One of the times is more than 0.5 of a second different from the middle time.  If that is the case, that time is eliminated and the remaining 2 times are averaged.
  2. Times are always rounded off to the nearest 1/100th of a second in FAVOR of the SWIMMER.  Eg. If the 2 times are 20.00 and  20.05 the average would be 20.025 – rounded in favor of the swimmer means the official final time would be 20.02.
  3. If only 2 times were recorded the official time is the average of the 2 times rounded in favor or the swimmer.
  • Give the cards you complete to the other scorer to check you have written the correct final official time.  They put red check next to your time if they agree.  If they think the official final time is in error, they show the card to you and you jointly resolve the correct time.
  • DQ slips come in from the Stroke and Turn officials generally after you have scored the time cards for that event.  When the yellow DQ slip comes in it will have the Event #, Heat # and Lane # and reason for DQ.  It should have the team name of the swimmer DQ’d.   (Disqualified for an infraction of technique)  Write DQ in RED on the card and line thru the final time if you already have it figured.  Fold DQ slip and staple DQ slip to back of card.
  • After all the cards for that event by gender are scored with the final official time and checked, put cards in order by seed number on front corner of card and check the Heat Sheet to see that you have all the cards for that event.  Then take cards to computer person who is at far end of baby pool.
  • Computer person enters all the times into the computer for official record.  Computer person will send that event of cards back to Verifier along with the computer printout for that event with the finals times.  Verify that all the times on the computer printed sheet are correct with the cards.  Once you verified the computer personnel entered everything correctly, put check on the sheet by the event and a red P.    That is ready to be posted.  Someone may come by to post for you, if not you will need to take to the posting area which is the fence by the snack bar adjacent to the parking lot.
  • Clerk of Course will bring you cards for the swimmers who do not show, which we call scratches.  Those cards will have a line thru the card diagonally.  Put those NS (no swim) cards in the correct order for the appropriate event.   That helps the computer person with entering the correct times.  You may have to go to Clerk of Course for the “scratches” or NS cards.  They can get slammed there.  All cards are to be accounted for.
  • If you cannot read a time or are uncertain on a DQ go to the Referee with your question.  If I am there you can ask me first.  If there is more than 0.5 seconds different with the times on a card look at the lane that swimmer was in.  If it happens more than 3 times for that lane, notify the Referee that lane is having some timing issues.  The Referee’s job is to instruct timers if needed.
Card Running for Summer Swim Meets


  • Card Runners collect cards after races and take the cards to the scoring table.
  • Card runners need to watch each heat to see how many lanes have swimmers in them so they know how many cards to pick up from recorders at the end of the heat.
  • Generally there are 2 card runners for each shift AND a 3rd card runner, who works only 8& under events and 9—10 fly (25 meter events)


8 and under heats / 9-10 fly (1 lap of 25 meters) 

Before each Race

  • 8&U Card Runner (8&U CR) picks up the time cards from each swimmer in the heat PRIOR to the heat starting, making certain to keep time cards in correct order.
  • 8&U CR starts collecting time cards from swimmers at far end closest to visitors (lane 1) and puts subsequent time cards on top, repeating for each time card.
  • 8&U Card Runner gives that heat of time cards to 1 of 2 Main Card Runners who are waiting about halfway to the starting end, telling Main Card Runner which lanes if any, are empty.
  • The Main Card Runner (MCR) hands out the cards IN PROPER ORDER; top card should go to closest recorder.
  • MCR must look at time cards checking both heat # & lane # and not giving time card to any lane 8&U CR said was empty. NOTE: First few heats of the event may not have a swimmer in each lane.  Swimmers are seeded (placed) in center lanes first (4 & 3), filling lanes as needed to outside lanes (1 and 6)
  • Correctly distribute the time cards by giving the time card for each lane # to the recorder for that lane # (i.e.,  card for lane 6 goes to recorder in lane 6)

After each race

  • When a heat is over, the 2nd MCR who watched heat from the  far end by lane 1, collects a card from EVERY recorder that had a swimmer in the lane in that heat.
  • Put the cards in numerical order by lane # (e.g., 1 to 6 for a full heat; 2 to 4 for a partial heat)
  • Hand the cards to the 1st MCR
    • 1st MCR takes the ENTIRE HEAT to Scoring Table and puts a clothespin on the stack.
  • THIS PROCEDDURE is repeated for all 25 meter events.


9 and up 50 Meter Events and Relays

Before each race

  • 1st MCR should be at far end by lane 1; 2nd MCR should be closest to Starter by lane 6.
  • Both MCRs should check each heat to see how many lanes have swimmers in them.

After each race

  • As soon as a heat is finished, the 2nd MCR should collect a time card from EVERY Recorder who had a swimmer in their lane, starting at lane 1 and putting each subsequent time card on top.
    • 2nd MCR should know how many cards they should have in each heat and make certain to collect a card after EVERY heat from EVERY Recorder who had a swimmer. Do NOT let recorders hold cards after the times are recorded on the swim.
  • 2nd MCR hands full heat of time cards to 1st
  • 1 MCR takes time cards in order to the Scoring Table and puts a clothespin on that stack.


Additional Duty – DQ Slips

  • The 1st MCR should check with Stroke & Turn Officials (people wearing white polo shirts who are located at both ends of the pool) after every few events for yellow DQ slips
    • There are not usually many after freestyle; backstroke will have a few, IM, breast, and fly will have a higher number. Expect more for younger swimmers.
  • Take the yellow DQ slips directly to a Referee for approval.
  • The Referee will usually take DQ slips directly to the scoring table; however, they may ask an MCR to do that.




© 2019 | ScrollMe by AccessPress Themes