Volunteer Guidelines

All members of TXLA Swimming groups based at the TSC are required to participate in the volunteer system, even if they do not compete in meets. The reason for this is due to the cost of training at the world-class Texas Swimming Center. Our meets help offset the cost of monthly training for our groups at the TSC. Please read below descriptions of our volunteer requirements, tips, opportunities, and determining your volunteer status.

Tips

Use the following tips to help you get the most out of your volunteering experience and avoid extra fees for unfulfilled volunteer points.

  • Sign up for the Longhorn Aquatics Listserv to receive e-mail updates about volunteer opportunities.
  • Choose a position that suits you best and plan on staying for the whole session. However, be open to changing positions because we may ask you to fill a different slot if there is critical position with no volunteer.
  • Always check in at the front desk when you volunteer.
  • Always check out with the front desk and return badges.
  • Arrive and leave on time.
  • If you must leave early, arrange a back-up yourself. Points cannot be split, so your arrangements will need to be made outside of the system. (Leaving a position early with no backup will result in lost hours.)
  • Arriving more than 15 minutes late results in docked volunteer points. (We reserve the right to give away your shift if you are more than 15 minutes late.)

Opportunities

Following are descriptions of volunteer positions that may be available at TXLA meets. Find a volunteer position below that suits you and log in to your Swim Portal though Active.com to find out what volunteer opportunities are currently available.

  • Officials
  • Clerk of Course
  • Safety Monitor
  • Computer
  • Head Timer
  • Hospitality
  • Timers
  • Runner
  • Awards
  • Ticket Takers (only offered at championship meets)

Officials (Stroke and Turn Judge, Starter, Referee)

Officials must be trained and certified in the USA Swimming process through South Texas Swimming. This is an exciting way to be involved in meets and thoroughly understand the legalities of swimming, and any TXLA parent who officiates at TXLA swim meets gets volunteer credit. Important: a TXLA parent-official needs to document these volunteer sessions by also signing up as an official in Super Meets.

 

Clerk of Course

Must be on deck 30 minutes before warm-ups start

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Read and be very familiar with the meet announcement.
  • Answer questions from coaches and swimmers.
  • Take deck entries.
  • Handle all meet administration. (Each meet may have different administration needs, such as deck entries, positive check-ins, collecting unpaid entry fees, relay entries, and scratches for prelims and finals.)
  • Check out volunteers at the end of each session.

This position requires training.

Safety Monitor

Must be on deck 20 minutes before warm-ups start

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Control access to the pool deck by checking credentials. (Check to make sure all athletes are sanctioned by USA swimming or UT, all coaches have an ACTIVE or USA swim card, officials are in uniform and have valid credentials, volunteers are on the volunteer schedule and have a volunteer badge, and parents visiting the clerk of course have a deck pass.)
  • Do not allow athletes on deck until 15 minutes before warm-up, and only allow coaches, officials, and volunteers on deck as needed/scheduled.
  • Rotate throughout the Texas Swim Center, patrolling and correcting any unsafe behavior of participants and spectators. (There should be no running anywhere, climbing on/over rails, or wet swimmers allowed upstairs.)
  • Follow a predetermined rotation plan, and coordinate with other safety monitors to maximize coverage of the facility.
  • Patrol the pool deck, exits, stairwells, locker rooms, halls, and stands. Focus on safety around the pool, including warm-up safety.
  • Keep handicapped areas clear.
  • Wear a safety vest to improve visibility.
  • Coordinate with other safety monitors so you can see your swimmers perform, and take breaks when needed.

The safety monitor should be familiar with the meet write-up, especially the warm-up procedures. No monitor should remain in one place more than 10 minutes. Patrolling must be constant and active. Monitors should not be on their cell phones or chatting with other volunteers or coaches on deck.

 

Computer

Must be on deck at the start of warm-up

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Run the computer on deck, making changes prior to the start of each session and running Hy-Tek during the meet.
  • Enter all deck entries.
  • Seed deck-seeded events.
  • Print the starter’s book(s).
  • Print lane/timer sheets and deliver them to the head timers.
  • Run the meet in Hy-Tek.
  • Print results and labels for awards.
  • For prelim/finals meets: help with heat sheets for the finals session at the conclusion of prelims.

This position requires training and experience.

Head Timer

Must be on 20 minutes prior to meet start.

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Organize timers’ materials before the meet starts. (Prepare clipboards, watches, pencils, and timer sheets.)
  • Check in each timer as they come to your table, and let the volunteer check-in person know if you are missing timers.
  • Review the procedures with each timer before the meet starts. (Show them how to use the watch, plunger and time sheet, and tell them how to call for bathroom breaks and relief.)
  • Find out who the runner is before the meet starts, and ask the runner to contact the entry desk whenever a relief timer is called. (The entry monitor will give the relief timer a deck pass.)
  • Make sure retiring timers turn in their deck passes, and have them sign out.
  • Ask timers to sign out at the end of the meet.
  • Collect timers’ badges and return them to the entry desk.
  • Collect supplies and forms, and turn in the paperwork and organize the equipment.

Hospitality

Must arrive 15 minutes before the meet starts

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Help head hospitality as needed.
  • Maintain hospitality area and deliver drinks and a snack to volunteers.
  • Serve food to the coaches, officials, and volunteers.
    • Avoid “buffet” service to control serving size and maintain sanitary conditions.
    • Restock food from stores and communicate with the food vendor when stock is low.
    • Periodically take drinks to volunteers who are stationed on deck (timers, clerk of course, directors, and computer and console operators). Serve one snack per session.
    • Wear gloves (provided) and pull long hair back.

Timers

Must arrive 15 minutes before the meet starts

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Provide backup to the timing system by timing swimmers in assigned lane using a stop watch and timing system plunger.
  • Check in with the entry monitor and then the head timer.
  • For each heat, confirm the athlete’s name listed on the timer/lane sheet, start the watch with the light (not the sound), and stop the watch and plunger when the athlete touches the wall at the finish.
  • Record the watch time on the timer/lane sheet.
  • Sign out with the head timer at the end of your session.

Runner

Must be on deck when the meet starts

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Act as the go-between for the computer station and clerk of course.
  • Post results. (Post results on the pool deck and upstairs for parents.)
  • Check in with the clerk of the course.
  • Run errands for meet director.
  • Deliver a copy of results to clerk of course and awards (with award labels).
  • Post heat sheets if events are reseeded.

No training required. As the name implies, this volunteer is on their feet most of the session.

Awards

Arrive as the meet starts

The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Check in with the meet director.
  • Set up the awards table on the second floor balcony at the American Flag end of the pool.
  • Set up pulley system.
  • Get ribbons out of mechanical storage.
  • Organize awards distribution method. (The runner will deliver results and labels for each event.)
  • Label and file awards. (Put labels on the correct ribbons and sort them by team.)
  • At the end of the last day of the meet, deliver the ribbons (in large envelopes sorted by team) to the clerk of course desk for distribution to the coaches.
  • Return the ribbon boxes and supplies to mechanical storage after the meet

No training required. Experience helps.

 

Requirements

In order to meet the volunteer requirement, TXLA members must accrue a certain number of volunteer points each season. The number of volunteer points your family needs to earn is determined by the highest level of training in which your family participates. Find your family’s highest level of training in the chart below to figure out how many volunteer points your family must fulfill each season.

Swimming

Group Short Course Season
September – March
Points Required
Long Course Season
April – July
Points Required
National 40 40
Senior 34 34
AGE & Senior LH 28 28
Longhorns 24 24
Junior Longhorns 13 13

The swimming volunteer seasons run September-March and April-July. Parents must complete the above number of points during each season.

Additional Requirements

  • You can only earn volunteer points by working at TXLA-hosted events. Working at non-TXLA-hosted meets does not count toward the volunteer requirement.
  • Families whose children participate in championship meets hosted by Longhorn Aquatics, such as Junior Nationals, Senior Circuit Championships, and TAGS, are required to volunteer or provide a volunteer for each day their child swims in that level meet, even if the family has already met its point requirements. Failure to comply will result in a $50 fine per day not worked.
  • Volunteer points cannot be credited toward another season.
  • The volunteer period runs from September through July, and families that join TXLA after fall registration are responsible for fulfilling volunteer requirements on a prorated monthly basis. If a family leaves TXLA during the fiscal year, that family is responsible for paying fees for unfulfilled volunteer points on a prorated basis. The fees will appear on the next monthly bill.
  • If you do not fulfill your family’s volunteer requirements, you will be billed a fee for each missing point at $12/ point. Read more about fees.

Your Status

You can track your family’s volunteer points or sign up for volunteer positions through your Active.com Swim Portal.