Parent Volunteer Job Descriptions and Helpful Tips

Parent volunteers are at the heart of a successful swim team!


ALL volunteers check in with the Volunteer Coordinator at the Sign In tent with Heat distribution before the start of the meet to confirm your assignment and let us know you are here.


Timers (No prior experience required)

Record each swimmer’s time in an assigned lane using stopwatches. You will be joined by a timer from the other swim team.

  • Timer Meeting 5:00 - Required for all timers, 1st and and 2nd half, to receive any special instructions and training if needed.
  • 1st Half Timers: Check in with Head Timer. Do not leave your post until your 2nd half MIBC time relieves you.
  • 2nd Half Timers: Be ready to relieve1st half timer around event 38 (estimate 6:30/7pm). Listen to PA announcements as to the exact event switch over. It delays the meet (and causes your Volunteer Coordinators unbelievable stress) if you are late for the switch over.
  • If you miss a start (forgot to clear your stopwatch or miss hitting the start button) RAISE YOUR HAND and the Head Timer will come and finish timing your swimmer. Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to the best of us.

10&U / 8&U Swimmer Coordinators (No prior experience required, preference to be a parent of a swimmer in that age group)

Help 8&U or 10&U swimmers be where they need to be for their events.

  • 1st Half Swimmer Coordinators:  Be ready to work before the start of the meet. 
  • You will receive a clipboard with the Heat Sheet highlighted with the events you are responsible for.
  • 2nd Half Swimmer Coordinators: Be ready to take over from the 1st half Coordinators when the Timers switch around event 38 (approximately 6:45pm). Get 1st Half Swimmer Coordinator clipboard and ask for any news or updates.

Helpful Tips (PLEASE READ if you haven’t been a coordinator before!): 

  • 1st Half Coordinators: Assist your swimmer or swimmer parent to take a Sharpie permanent marker and write their events and positions in a list on the inside of the swimmer’s arm for the swimmer and parent volunteers to reference. Ex. Event #51, Lane 2, Heat 3, Butterfly Stroke translates to the following list on the swimmer’s arm.



E (Event)

H (Heat)

L (Lane)

S (Stroke & Distance)




Fly (50)

  • Relays are at the beginning of the meet and at the end. It is important to round up your swimmers early and place them in the correct lanes and in the correct order.  
  • 8&Under Relays: Since they only do one length of the pool, you will need to take swimmers in positions 2 and 4 and place them at the OPPOSITE side of the lane. Swimmers 1 and 3 are at the BLOCKS.
  • Medley Relay: 1st Event of the Meet! Important to line up EARLY. The heat sheets will help you. Stroke Sequence: (1) Back, (2) Breast, (3) Fly, (4) Free.  Ex. Heat sheet will look like this, but names only – you will need to know the positions:

Nina (#1-Back)                   Katie (#2-Breast)

Courtney (#3-Fly)                   Celia (#4-Free)

  • Freestyle Relay:  Near the end of the meet, all swimmers do freestyle.  8&Unders will need to line up according to our example above.
  • During the Meet:  Swimmer Coordinators (and Parents can help), get kids to their lanes and line up according to their heat placements at least 1 EVENT prior to theirs.  Announcer will make “first call” for events to give everyone an audible cue that it’s time to collect goggles and get to their blocks.  By “second call”, swimmers should be at their blocks.
  • Parents can help in the lanes! Make sure the younger and newer swimmers know which stroke they are doing, how many hands to touch the wall when they reach it - TWO for Breast and Fly, ONE hand for Back and Free). You can also help guide them to follow instructions of the Starter in getting up and ready on the block. 8&Unders need the most guidance and it’s greatly appreciated if parents stay nearby to help them.

Runner (No prior experience required)

Works behind the blocks collecting timer sheets for each lane and taking them to data entry.

  • Timer sheets must be collected and organized in lane order (1-8) and sequentially by event
  • Collect DQ sheets from the Officials at each side of the pool.
  • May run the labels from data entry coordinators to the ribbons volunteers.

Ribbons (No prior experience required)

Put labels on ribbons for each event during the meet and separate out ribbons for MIBC and opponent.

  • Distribute Heat Winner ribbons to winner of each heat
  • Give Coaches of both teams their swimmers ribbons at the end of the meet.
  • May help insert ribbons into MIBC swimmers cubbies

Head Timer (Prior experience required)

A trained and seasoned timer who:

  • Helps lead the timer’s meeting at the beginning of the meet, answers question on rules and procedures
  • Helps to assure that all timers are ready to time their assigned lanes
  • Wears 1-2 stop watches and starts them in case a lane timer needs a time for a missed start.

Computer Operators (Training required)

Runs Meet Manager or scoreboard during the meet.  

  • Computer Operator in Training - Shadows the operators to learn the position. 

Starter (Training required)

A Midlakes League trained volunteer who starts each event and judges false starts.


Announcer (Prior experience required)

A specially trained volunteer who announces the current and upcoming events throughout the meet on the PA system.

  • Announcer in Training - Shadows the announcer to learn the position and may announce a portion of the meet.

Officials (Training required)

A Midlakes League trained volunteer who watches each race to make sure swimmers comply with league stroke and turn rules.