💦Meet Volunteering 101💦


💦General Guidelines 

  • Our team does not have a required number of volunteer hours or sessions, and we’d like to keep it that way. But swim meets cannot run without many parent volunteers.
  • We encourage families to volunteer when it works best for them. To that end, the job grid will remain open for signups until the Wednesday prior to each meet. After that, any open jobs will be assigned to families entered in the meet, taking into consideration number of swimmers, event entries, and past volunteerism. 
  • Kids get sick and last minute emergencies happen, but the meet still needs parents to volunteer. Once the job grid closes, usually Wednesday night, your family is responsible for fulfilling your assignment. Please use the member directory in Teamunify to find a replacement. 
  • Check the website as late as possible the night before your assignment to see if there have been any changes. 


💦Distance Sessions: Some meets have a separate distance session for 500 free, 400 IM, 1000 free or 1650 free. Parents are required to time for their own child’s race, or you can find another parent to time in your absence. Timers are not provided during these sessions. 


💦Away Meets 

At almost all “away” meets (hosted by other teams) we will have a few lane timing assignments. These assignments will be posted in Teamunify as soon as we receive the info, usually a few days prior. Please keep checking Teamunify for updates. 


💦JAC Team Hosted Meets (Home Meets)

  • These are our “All Hands On Deck” meets. All parents are expected to volunteer in some capacity.
  • The volunteer grid will be posted to Teamunify at least 1 week prior, and will be updated as the meet entries are finalized. 
  • If your child is swimming in the meet, you will be expected to volunteer, so please sign up for your preferred job/shift early. 
  • Any unfilled jobs will be assigned a few days prior to the meet; based on number of swimmers entered, past volunteerism, and meet needs. 
  • If for any reason you cannot fulfill your job assignment, it is your family’s responsibility to find a replacement or show up to work.


💦Best Meet Jobs for parents new to swimming:

  • Lane Timers: No prior experience necessary, we will teach you everything you need to know! Please see below.
  • Deck Marshals: (Home meets only. No prior experience necessary.) Marshals help keep a safe pool deck and make sure kids are following the rules. Ensure only athletes, coaches, and working volunteers have access to the pool deck. Due to USA Swimming SafeSport rules, the only adults allowed on deck are those actively working. 
  • Deck runner: (Home meets only. No prior experience necessary.) Collect the lane timers sheets after each event and bring them to the office. Halfway through the meet, hand out water to our volunteer timers and officials on deck who are unable to leave their posts.
  • Hospitality Hosts: (Home meets only. No prior experience necessary.) Help set up and monitor the hospitality room for coaches and officials. Our coaches and officials are usually working the entire meet, for multiple sessions/days. The hospitality room offers them a space to take a break and grab some food. As the hospitality host, you will help keep the space tidy and make sure items are stocked up. 
  • Parking Lot Attendants: (Home meets only. No prior experience necessary.) Help keep the flow of traffic moving in the parking lot. Direct cars where to drop off swimmers and find parking. Parking is not allowed in the lot across the street at the farmers market. Cars will be ticketed and towed. Cars may not stop at the front entrance to drop off swimmers as this causes backup. 


⏱️How to Time at Swim Meets⏱️

  • At ALL meets there will be a mandatory timers meeting approximately 30 minutes prior to the session start time. If you are new to timing please let the official know at this meeting and ask any questions then. Officials will not start the meet until all timers are accounted for and lanes are assigned, so please don’t miss this meeting, it will delay the entire meet.  
  • Each lane will have two timers. One will have a stopwatch and clipboard for recording times. The other will have a stopwatch and the plunger/button. 
  • The plunger is only used at the END of each race. 
  • At the start of the race, look towards the Starting Official (the person blowing the whistle). Look for the light strobe box attached to a pole usually to the immediate right of the starter. As soon as you see the light go off for each race you will start your stopwatch. Do not go by the sound, the light is more accurate for timers. 
  • Pay attention to the event that is in the water and know how many laps they are swimming. If unsure, ask your timing partner or the timer in the next lane. 
  • As the swimmer is approaching the wall at the finish, step up to the edge and lean over slightly so that you have a clear view. When ANY part of the swimmer touches the wall you will stop your stopwatch, and press the plunger. 
  • The timer with the clipboard will write down BOTH stopwatch times. Clipboard timer’s time first and second timer's time second, always in the same order. 
  • If you have the clipboard, try to confirm the swimmer's name matches the heat sheet. But please do this in advance, not as they are stepping up on the block. If there is any question or if the heat sheet is blank but a swimmer shows up in your lane, just write “SWIMMER” on the sheet and record the times. The control room officials will figure it out.
  • If something has gone wrong and you won't be able to get a time, raise your hand high and call for the BACKUP. The backup timer will hand you their stopwatch that has already been started and you will finish timing the race. 
  • The designated runner will come around and pick up your heat sheets periodically. 
  • Do not leave your post at any time until either the meet is over or your replacement timer has arrived. If you need to use the bathroom or use your cellphone in an emergency, ask the back up timer to take your place for a few minutes. 
  • Remember to reset your watch after you have recorded your time, and get ready for the next race. 


Want to get more involved with your child’s chosen sport? Become an Official or volunteer for our parent’s planning board. 

  • Officials are a crucial part of every swim meet. To become a certified deck official, you will need to complete a short training class and take an online test through USA swimming. More info can be found here: https://www.usaswimming.org/officials
  • Or reach out to Chris Barry: [email protected]
  • Our Parent Planning Board helps our coaches with all things non-water related! Interested in sharing your special talents to head up a committee or just want to help with special events? Please send an email to [email protected] and let us know your interests!



📨Questions about volunteering?  Please email [email protected]

The Jersey Aquatic Center  -   629 Central Ave  -   New Providence, NJ  -  07974