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Volunteer Information

A successful swim meet takes many parent volunteers. In fact, it takes over 50 parents to time, officiate and score a typical swim meet along with setup, Bluefish Bistro help, and clean up afterwards.  If your child is swimming in a meet,  you need to be involved with the meet in some way.  Please do not be intimidated by signing up initially. Most jobs do not require any previous experience or training. Volunteer official positions require some training, but that training is offered through NVSL for those interested.

NOTE: NVSL rules require that all parent volunteers wear white shirts and navy blue shorts/pants/skirt.

Swim Meet Volunteer Descriptions


If you can start and stop a stopwatch, you can be a timer.  Stopwatches are provided at the meets.  9 timers are provided by each team (3 timers needed per lane for a total of 18). There are three timers per lane and all three times are recorded. Timers start their watches on the strobe light from the starting system and stop their watches when the swimmer touches the wall. The middle time is the official time and is recorded on a card provided.  Before each meet, the chief timer holds a briefing to review procedures.


Broadcast each event, the swimmers, and the results. The announcer, along with the referee, is responsible for keeping the meet moving in a steady fashion. Provided by the home team.

Chief Timer and Assistant Chief Timer

Collects the time cards from the timers, reviews them for accuracy and completeness, and forwards them to the table workers. Chief is provided by the hosting team; assistant provided by the visiting team. Gives command to “clear watches”, signals Referee that Timers are ready for next event and starts 2 watches in case a lane timer’s watch fails to start.

Clerk of Course

Functions as the "gatekeeper" for all swimmers in our meets. The people who perform this function get the swimmers to the right lanes for the correct race. You can't run a race without swimmers, and the clerk of the course makes sure the right swimmer gets to the right place at the right time. Two clerks of course are provided by hosting team and two are provided by the visiting team.  8 and under swimmers are walked to the start areas and their time cards are given to the Chief Timer.


Marshals are stationed strategically around the pool deck and are responsible for crowd control, safety in and out of the pool and pool deck traffic during warm-ups and the meets. Both the home team and away team provide a marshal.

Relay Take-Off Judges

During relays, there are four Relay Take-off Judges (RTOs) at each end of the pool (two per lane) provided by each team for a total of 8 at each meet. Their job is to ensure that each swimmer touches the wall before the next swimmer in the relay leaves the deck.  Only needed for A Meets and Relay Carnivals.  An RTO isually is a timer during the individual events.

Bluefish Bistro Volunteers

Concessions are sold by the hosting team. At Hollin Hills, our concessions stand is called the Bluefish Bistro.  Many volunteers are needed to run the bistro.  Jobs include set up and clean up, as well as selling.   A Bluefish Bistro coordinator is needed for each home meet to manage the concessions, organize purchases, and to organize duties of assigned volunteers. The Bistro is our major source of fund raising!

Table Workers

The time cards from the timers and any DQ slips go to the Table Workers who determine the order of finish for each event, score the meet, and prepare ribbons for the participants. Three (3) people from each team perform these functions to ensure that errors are caught before the results are announced.

Computer Operator

During the swim meets, one or two volunteers enter results into the computer.  


* Position requires NVSL clinic training once every 2 years (please refer to NVSL Officials Clinics tab for dates & locations of this season's clinics).

* Referee

The chief official for each swim meet. He/she is responsible for the conduct of the meets and is the final authority on the interpretation and enforcement of all swimming rules. Prior to the start of each race, the referee sounds four short whistles to advise the participants to get ready. After an event is announced by the announcer or starter, the Referee sounds one long blast as a signal for swimmers to get into position for the start or to jump feet first into the water for a backstroke event. For backstroke events, a second long blast is given to bring the swimmers to the wall for the start. When the referee sees that all the swimmers are ready, he/she extends his/her arm pointing towards the starter. At this point, the starter takes control. Assistant Referee or “Chief Judge” is also provided by the visiting team for B Meets.


Responsible for ensuring that all swimmers are given a fair and equitable start. The Starter will instruct the swimmers to "Take your mark". After all swimmers are ready and still, the starter will start the race using a standard starting system. This system consists of a public address system, a horn, and a strobe light.

*Stroke and Turn Judges

Responsible for ensuring that all swimmers obey all the rules for the stroke that they are swimming once the race has started. These people are always at each end of the pool for starts and finishes. If a Stroke and Turn Judge sees a violation of the rules, he/she raises his/her hand to signify that an infraction has occurred.A Disqualification (DQ) is recorded on a DQ slip, which the referee reviews. The referee then approves and forwards copies to the Table workers and the Team Reps.

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