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Please explain the Volunteer positions and process - I'm new and feeling lost!

Volunteers are the people that make the meets possible, and their efforts are immensely appreciated. While in a perfect world there would be time and opportunity to have everyone fully and perfectly trained, this is not a perfect world. Therefore, most of the volunteer training occurs on-the-job.

As a general rule, Armada volunteers recognize that newcomers, including newcomers to a particular position, will need additional direction and feedback, and are willing to provide it.

Volunteer positions are as follows:

Announcer: Announces first, second and final calls for each event; plays music during swims; and makes other various announcements throughout the meet such as acknowledging our sponsors, promoting concession and swim shop items, and recognizing record breakers. Works closely with the starter to keep the meet running smoothly, and one of the most high-profile positions during the meet. Assigned to work for one half of the meet, but may need to work the entire meet if other announcers are unavailable. Job perks: You're close to the action and see the entire meet.  Job requirements: You need to closely follow the meet to make sure announcements (especially first, second, and third calls to ready bench) are made in a timely fashion without interfering with the starter's duties.

Concessions: Sells concessions. Helps set up and tear down concession stand. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks: Time flies; you won't get bored. Also, concessions is one of our biggest fundraisers, so thank you for your contribution to our fundraising efforts and to keeping registration fees low. Job requirements: Smiles for the customers, ability to take and fill orders, ability to make change, ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and ability to keep up with where the meet is while working outside the pool.

Cook: Run the grill at concessions. Job perks and job requirements: See "Concessions" above.

Corner Judge: Official who determines whether relay exchanges are done correctly. Required to attend Officials Clinic. Assigned to judge during both sets of relays, at the start and end of the meet. Job perks: Most of the meet you can relax and watch. Job requirements: Must attend officials training clinic; must be present at start and end of meet; must be able to focus on relay exchanges during the necessary times; must be able to stay neutral and make confident calls.

Data Management Assistant: Assists with the management of swimmer data associated with the meet. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks: With this job, you see the race results before anyone else. Job requirements: You will need to concentrate and pay close attention to the progress of the meet and to the data you are entering. It also requires being available before the meet starts (first shift) and staying after the meet is completed (second shift).

Equipment Transport: Picks up equipment such as tarps and canopies from Willow Bend Pool and transports them to away meets. Supervises the setup of canopies for the pit areas. Job perks: The majority of your volunteering is done before and after the meet, so you can sit and enjoy the meet. Job requirements: You’ll need to have a large vehicle and the ability to get to Willow Bend pool the night before a meet to load up and immediately after a meet to unload, as well as strength necessary to carry and load large tarps and canopies.

Heat Winner Ribbons: Distributes ribbons to the winners of each heat. Works one half only. Job perks: You see every race, up close. You make young swimmers happy. Job requirements: This job requires you to pay attention to each heat and will keep you hopping during the meet. It also requires quick judgments about who won the heat and if the heat is close enough to award more than one swimmer a heat winner ribbon.

Meet Setup: Sets up the pool area for the swim meet. Moves deck chairs, starting blocks, sets up canopies, announcer stand and ready bench. Job perks: Works Friday evening before home meets, so meets are more relaxing. Job requirements: This job is more manual labor intensive and requires good physical health.

Parking Attendant: Directs traffic and parking in the parking areas before the start of the meet. Job perks: Once the meet starts, your job is complete. Job requirements: You must arrive at the meet early prior to most arrivals, and you need to be willing to make people unhappy by requiring them to park elsewhere.

Pit Parent: Supervises the waiting area for a particular age group during meets; marks arms of swimmers with event/heat/lane, distributes event cards (when used, usually at away meets if at all), keeps track of swimmers between events, and gets swimmers to the ready bench on time with caps and goggles. For most age groups, several parents will share this job and can break up the meet into shifts as they like. For the younger age groups, this job may also involve making sure the swimmers eat, hydrate, and use the restroom at appropriate times so as not to miss their races. Job perks: If you are assigned to your swimmer's pit, this job keeps you with your swimmer during the whole meet and typically allows you to easily catch their events without being otherwise distracted. Much of the time you are in the shade. Job requirements: With the exception of the 6&U pit parents, this is a full-meet commitment. 6&U pit parents may generally leave after the 6&U Breaststroke event, but should stay to make sure that all 6&U swimmers are checked out. Pit parents should also arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of the recommended team arrival time in order to set up.

Ready Bench: Assists in lining up the swimmers by event, heat, and lane and gets them to the starting blocks in the correct order and on time. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks: This job gives you the chance to see your swimmer immediately before his/her event, and time passes quickly. Job requirements: You must have an audible voice, be organized and able to organize people quickly, and be able to react quickly and effectively to changing circumstances.

Ribbons: Places labels on ribbons; sorts and files ribbons into swimmer file folder. Works second half only. Job perks: This job keeps you sitting down and out of the sun and allows flexibility for you to easily catch your swimmers' races. Job requirements: This job requires you to keep working for a short while after the meet is over.

Runner: Picks up the disqualification forms and time sheets from the judges and timers and delivers them to scorekeepers. During "down time" from DQ slips, work with Meet Director and Concessions to make sure judges, starter, and announcer are well-hydrated. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks: This job keeps you moving around at the poolside and the time passes quickly; you get some of your exercise needs met; and you get a close view of the meet. Job requirements: You must pay attention to the meet, especially the judges at the side of the pool. You also need to wear comfortable shoes and be ready to walk, especially during the young swimmers' breaststroke and butterfly.

Scorekeeping: Verifies the computer results and marks disqualifications. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks and job requirements: See Data Management Assistant above.

Starter: Meet Official who notifies the swimmers of the distance and stroke for each event, starts each heat and calls false starts. Along with Meet Director and Computer Rep, most responsible for smooth running and timely completion of meet. Assigned to work for one half of the meet, or the whole meet if no other starters available. Job perks: Front row view to the entire meet; time flies. Job requirements: Must attend Officials' Clinic. One of the most visible volunteer positions. Must be able to work with Announcer, Computer Rep, Meet Director, timers, judges, coaches, and swimmers to ensure fair starts and adequate meet progress. Attention to the meet is a must. Must be confident in ability to call false starts and alert swimmers that a false start has occurred, or disqualify a swimmer where appropriate.

Stroke & Turn Judge: Meet Official who determines whether the swimmers are performing the strokes and turns correctly and keeps the competition fair. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks: Front row seat to the meet while you work; knowledge of the sport; you get to move around. Job requirements: Required to attend an Officials Clinic prior to the start of the season. Need to be able to focus on the meet, and to make confident calls or non-calls as the need presents itself.

Swim Shop: Sells Swim Shop items. Helps set-up and pack up unsold items. Reconciles inventory and sales to ensure that the funds collected match the number of items sold. Assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks: Flexibility is generally available and catching your swimmers' event/s is typically not difficult. You are in the shade, and may sit if people are not purchasing items. Job requirements: You must be able to handle money and make change, as well as record sales in a simple system (written). It helps to have product knowledge so you can guide people making purchases to the correct product to meet their needs (this is easily learned). You may need to report early for the first shift or stay a little longer after the second shift to help with set up/ wrap up.

Tear Down: Staying after the conclusion of the swim meet to help put things away. Job perks: You're not working during the meet. Job requirements: Must be in good physical health, since this is more manual-labor intensive. Must stay after the meet is over.

Timer: Records the swimmer’s time. Each timer is provided a stopwatch and assigned a lane; there are three timers for each lane. All three times are recorded and the middle time becomes the official time. Timers are assigned to work for one half of the meet. Job perks: This job gives you the best view of the pool and the swimmers during their races. Job requirements: You must be able to focus on the current races, especially the start and finish, and you must be able to work a stopwatch/ other timing equipment.

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