Who are those people in white shirts and blue shorts?
Those “people” are the parent volunteers and we need lots of them! NVSL requires volunteers to wear a white top and navy bottoms (no jeans). Most youth sports only require three or four parents to run the team, but swimming isn’t like that. You can’t run a swim program without significant parental help. In fact, it takes over 40 parents to time, officiate and score a typical swim meet.
Each family is asked to volunteer 6 times for swim team and 3 times for dive teams. Each family will give a $100 check payable to “Parliament Panthers” at the time of registration. This check is only cashed if you don’t meet your family volunteer requirements. We don’t want your money though, we want your help! Panther families are amazing volunteers and we look forward to the same this year.
In addition to volunteering, every family is asked to donate 2 packs of hot dogs and a 12 pack of soda to the concessions to help get our season started. You can donate any types of hot dogs and soda. Donations can be brought to practice before the first meet and given to the Team Rep.
Below is a list of volunteer positions. Please don’t hesitate to ask about any of these before you sign up for them!
Positions that Require NVSL Training
Referee: The Referee is the chief official for each swim meet. He is responsible for the conduct of the meets and is the final authority on the interpretation and enforcement of all swimming rules. Prior to the start of each race, the referee sounds two or three short blasts to advise the participants to get ready. After the event is announced by the announcer or starter, the Referee sounds one long blast as a signal for swimmers to get into position for the start or to jump feet first into the water for a backstroke event. For Backstroke events, a second long blast is given to bring the swimmers to the wall for the start. When the referee sees that all the swimmers are ready, he extends his arm pointing towards the starter. At this point, the starter takes control. Half Day Training is required by NVSL prior to the season.
Chief Judge: The chief judge is an NVSL referee-certified official who works on the opposite end of the pool from the referee. He or she will control the start for 25 meter events, assess DQ slips from the stroke and turn judges on his/her end of the pool, and recommend approval or disapproval of those DQs to the referee. A chief judge is most often used at large meets (e.g. “B” meets, Relay Carnival, Divisionals) and/or at pools where the physical layout makes movement from one side of the pool to the other difficult or time-consuming. Assistant Referee or “Chief Judge” is provided by the visiting team for B Meets.
Starter: The Starter is responsible for ensuring that all swimmers are given a fair and equitable start. The starter will announce the event and instruct the swimmers to "Take your mark". After all swimmers are ready and still, the starter will start the race, using an electronic starting system. Half day training is required by NVSL prior to the season.
Stroke and Turn Judge: Once the race has started, the Stroke & Turn Judges are responsible for ensuring that all swimmers obey all the rules for the stroke that they are swimming. These people are always at the ends of the pool for starts and finishes. If a Stroke and Turn Judge sees a violation of the rules, he raises his hand to signify that an infraction has occurred. A Disqualification is recorded on a DQ slip, which the referee reviews and approves and forwards copies to the Table workers and the Team Rep. Training is required by NVSL prior to the start of the season.
Positions that do NOT Require Training
Marshalls: These parents are responsible for ensuring that warm-ups are conducted safely and that the order is maintained during the swim meet (e.g. stop horse play, keep parents from getting too close to the pool, etc). They also get to wear a very fashionable orange vest as they conduct their duties.
Announcer: This job involves announcing the event information over a sound system so that spectators can follow the flow of the meet. He/She announces the events and the swimmers as well as providing the names of event winners, the meet score, and other pertinent information. This person also plays music during pauses in swimming and provides relevant information for swimmers and their parents during the meet. The announcer sits at the main table with the other table workers.
Timers: Are the most important people to every swimmer. They are the people who determine each Swimmer’s official time for each race. Being a timer is a good entry level position for new parents to help out in. Some parents have been timers for years and wouldn't want to see a swim meet from any other viewpoint. If you can start and stop a stopwatch, you can be a timer. We'll even provide the stopwatch. There are three timers per lane and all three times are recorded. The middle time is the official time. The Chief Timer collects the time cards from the timers, reviews them for accuracy and completeness, and forwards them on to the table workers. The chief timer gives the command to “clear watches”, signals Referee that Timers are ready for next event and starts 2 watches in case a lane timer’s watch fails to start.
Relay Take-off Judges: During relays, you'll see four Relay Take-off Judges at each end of the pool (two per lane). Their job is to ensure that each swimmer touches the wall prior to the next swimmer in the relay leaving the deck. Each Judge notes on a slip of paper whether each swimmer in his lane left before or after the swimmer in the water touched the wall. Relay Take-off Judges do not raise their hands when they observe an early take-off because a disqualification occurs only if both Relay Take-off Judges observed an early takeoff. Relays are an “A” meet event, so we only need Relay Take-Off Judges at “A” meets. Relay Take-off Judges may also be timers for the first part of the meet.
Clerk of Course: The clerk of course is the “gatekeeper” for all swimmers, and is responsible for getting the right swimmer to the right place at the right time. Other duties include assembling the swimmers in the order of events, holding the swimmers ready on deck, and interfacing with the referee if there is a problem. Two clerks of course are provided by the home team and two are provided by the visiting team. 8 and under swimmers are walked to the start areas and their time cards are given to the Chief Timer.
Table Workers: The time cards from the timers and any disqualification slips go to the table workers who determine the order of finish for each event, score the meet, and prepare ribbons for the participants. We have four table workers: the Place Recorder, Verifier, Data Entry and Ribbons.
- Place Recorder: The place recorder sits at the main table. They receive the cards from the timers and place the cards in order from 1st-6th place per heat. They then hand the cards to the Verifier.
- Verifier: The verifier sits at the main table. They receive the cards from the Place Recorder and double checks that the cards are in the correct order for each heat. They then give the cards to the Data Entry volunteer.
- Data Entry: The Data Entry volunteer manages the team’s database. They produce draft meet sheets, final meet sheets, and other reports as needed. They print time cards for all meets and prepare disks or other information needed for pre-meet and post-meet meetings. They also ensure that results of the dual meets are reported to the league. They are the official scorer of all NVSL meets as of 2013. (The data entry volunteer requires training.)
- Ribbons: After each event, labels will be printed for each Parliament swimmer which will include their name, meet information, race information, their time and place. The volunteer in charge of ribbons places each label on the correct place ribbon. After all of the ribbons are done, the ribbons need to be organized in alphabetical order to be distributed to the swimmers the following practice. This volunteer can sit at the main table but is not required to.
Concessions: The concession area is under the pavilion. The concession volunteers work at the table to sell items. They help with set-up and take-down of the concession area including filling the coolers with drinks and ice, setting up food on the table and putting it away at the end, and emptying the coolers at the end.
Kitchen: The Kitchen volunteers work in the kitchen to make food during the meet to sell at concessions. Some food items include popcorn, instant mac and cheese, soup and keeping hamburgers and hot dogs warm. They will also prepare fruit salad and toppings for hamburgers.
Grill: We grill hamburgers and hot dogs during our meets!
Snow Cone Machine: This volunteer runs the snow cone machine. No need for prior experience!