Unlike many youth sports, swimming requires a great deal of volunteer participation from athlete families in order for the competitions to occur. Volunteers are needed for such roles as timing, meet set-up/clean-up, awards, officiating, and concessions. Each family of a swimmer is expected to fill 5 volunteer roles during the course of the season. Families of athletes who only participate on the dive team are expected to fill 2 volunteer roles, as there are fewer needs and opportunities at the dive meets. This requirement applies per family, not per swimmer. For example, a family with two swimmers only has to fill 5 jobs, not 10.
Multiple family members can volunteer at the same meet to satisfy the season requirement. Also, all of the jobs allow for the volunteer to watch their athletes compete.
If (and only if) a family does not fulfill all of its required jobs, a volunteer fee will be assessed at the end of the season. For families of swimmers, that fee is $50. For families of athletes who only participate in the dive team, the fee is $20. This is not a prorated fee for partial completion. For example, if a family only completes 3 of its 5 jobs, the entire $50 fee is assessed.
Most of the jobs related to running summer league swim and dive meets require little to no training or prior experience. Examples of the jobs newcomers can easily do are:
- Meet set-up/clean-up - moves equipment and supplies into place
- Timer - uses a stopwatch to time each race and record results
- Runner - collects timer's sheets and delivers them to scorekeeper
- Concessions - staffs snack bar and delivers refreshments to volunteers
- Bullpen - organizes junior swimmers in a special pre-race seating area
- Awards - affixes labels to ribbons and organizes them for coaches to distribute
- Dive meet scorer - records and tallies judges' scores for each diver
Some jobs are more effectively done by volunteers with a little more experience or training, though even these can be easily learned. These jobs include:
- Stroke and turn officials - ensure swim strokes and turns are performed legally
- Starter/announcer - starts each race and makes logistical announcements
- Scoring system operator - inputs times into computer system and prints labels
Family members are encouraged to visit the Events Calendar page to sign up early for the jobs that best suit their schedules and interests.