Parents Roles & Volunteering
Swim clubs depend on their member families to fill various roles throughout the swim year, and GBSA is no exception. Each GBSA family is expected to contribute their time and talents toward the following club needs:
An adult representative from each family works a minimum of five* sessions out of the ten sessions held during the two home meets, one meet held in mid-November and the other in mid- February. Each home meet has one Friday night session, two Saturday sessions (morning and afternoon) and two Sunday sessions. Each session lasts from 3-5 hours. A list of meet-related volunteer opportunities is listed below. Only those roles fulfilled at GBSA home meets count toward the five sessions, and you may work in several different roles to fulfill the five-session requirement.
Each family contributes $15 per home meet (during team registration) for each swimmer registered with the team. These funds cover our concessions purchases, and must be paid regardless of whether your swimmers are in attendance or not.
GBSA Parent Roles and Volunteer Opportunities
The MEET ENTRY CHAIRPERSON receives and inputs all entries for the meet from all teams, checks entries with MD Swimming to ensure swimmer eligibility, and finalizes the program event/heat/lane information. This role is accomplished prior to both home meets and is the equivalent of working five sessions.
SAFETY MARSHALS have responsibility to keep exits and walkways clear, ensure that swimmers and other children demonstrate proper behavior around the pool area and in the locker rooms and hallways, and ensure non-volunteers and other non-USAS registered individuals do not wander into off-limits areas. The SAFETY DIRECTOR, who coordinates the roles and scheduling of all other Safety Marshals, must be a registered member of USA Swimming.
The VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR(s) ensures coverage for all jobs for the preparation prior to the meet and the successful completion of volunteer jobs during a home meet. This role is accomplished prior to and during both home meets and is the equivalent of working five sessions.
TIMERS absolutely have the best “seats” in the house. Timers time each swim for a single lane during a meet session and record watch times as directed. They are also responsible to ensure that the correct swimmer is up on the blocks at the start of each heat. All timers are shown exactly what they need to do prior to the start of each session. Timer volunteer opportunities are also available at away meets, but do not count toward the fulfillment of GBSA volunteer requirements.
The HEAD TIMER starts two watches at the beginning of every heat as backup in case a timer misses the start of the race, a watch malfunctions, etc.
SETUP/BREAKDOWN VOLUNTEERS set up the computer and timing equipment before and after a home meet. This job takes place on the Friday afternoon before a home meet to assemble and test all the equipment, and a couple of hours are required at the end of the meet on Sunday evening to disassemble and return all equipment to storage. This role is accomplished prior to and after both home meets and is the equivalent of working five sessions.
CONCESSIONS and HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS purchase, transport, set up, and sell food and drink to swimmers, families and other patrons. Free refreshments from the concessions area are provided for coaches and officials, who should show their USA Swimming badge for verification of eligibility. The CONCESSIONS COORDINATOR delegates various roles to other concessions volunteers to ensure a variety of food, snacks, and drinks are available throughout the home meet sessions, and that all is cleaned up after the meet on Sunday evening.
The AWARDS COORDINATOR orders awards prior to the meet, prepares awards during the meet, distributes to coaches at the end of the meet, and receives help from additional AWARDS VOLUNTEERS to complete these tasks.
The role of SWIM OFFICIALS, which includes stroke & turn officials, a meet referee, and a starter, require training and dedication. Training is provided by Maryland Swimming and officials are required to maintain certification by attending occasional clinics and working a minimum number of sessions each year. GBSA covers the annual USA Swimming dues for any parent wishing to volunteer as an official. Like the role of timer, this is another way to ensure a great poolside view of the meet. Parents who become certified MD officials are expected to work as many home meet sessions as they can work into their schedule, and will need to work occasional away meets to maintain certification from year to year.
The PROGRAM COORDINATOR receives all applications for ad space in the GBSA home meet program, ensures all fees are paid in full, and all artwork is prepared prior to the print date. S/he also assembles the program and secures the best possible price for producing the programs and meet sheets for the officials. This role is accomplished prior to both home meets and is the equivalent of working five sessions.
PROGRAM SALES and POSTING OF RESULTS VOLUNTEERS sell programs at the beginning of each session and post results in the hallway outside the pool area as the results are confirmed and printed.
ANNOUNCERS use the Public Address system to announce each upcoming event, broadcast event results, and make special announcements to the spectators and swimmers as needed.
The HEAD CLERK OF COURSE organizes swimmers prior to their event in heat and lane order. CLERK OF COURSE ASSISTANTS lead swimmers from the staging area, through the locker room area, and to the blocks, ensuring an optimal number of swimmers are poolside at any given time. These positions are only needed for 12 & under swimmers, and are therefore only needed for two sessions at each home meet.
COMPUTER OPERATORS work the computer system that records the results of each heat and event. A short training session sometime prior to the meet is required to perform this task.
* Parents whose GBSA swimmers are aged eight and under must work four sessions to fulfill their family’s commitment to the team. If you have at least one swimmer aged nine and up, you are expected to complete the equivalent of five sessions.