Meet Entries Committee
Meet Programme Committee
Facility and Equipment Sample Check-List
The Chief Timer and Lane Timers
THE COMMITTEES AND KEY POSITIONS
No one person can successfully execute all the tasks involved in planning and
running a swim meet. A good Meet Director delegates responsibilities to
committees. Committee chairs should be chosen at least 120 days before the
actual meet date. The Meet Director should make plans and assignments for every
aspect of meet operation well in advance, although they will not perform some
functions until the meet.
Good communication between the Meet Director and the committee chairs is
vital. Another meeting should be just before the meet to work out any
last-minute problems. The Meet Director should establish reporting dates and
deadlines for each committee and key position.
After the competition, meet personnel may make observations and suggestions
for future meet improvements. The Meet Director should meet with the committee
chairs and discuss these issues and the overall competition.
This is a three-person committee: one person entering the meet entries on a
computer, one person reading off the meet entries, and one person to put the
meet entries in order and make coffee, rotated among them. Too often, it
devolves into a one-person committee. The meet entries' personnel should be
calm, pay attention to detail and have the time to do the job thoroughly. These
individuals will receive all meet entries, minus the entry fees and surcharges,
and are responsible for checking each entry form carefully. They should mark for
receipt, collate each entry form and check it for the information enumerated
below. (See Appendix 4 for a sample Master Entry Form).
Each entry form must be checked to ensure it contains complete and
accurate information, including each swimmer's name, BSF Swimmer
Registration Number and age group. Each competitor and coach must register
with the BSF. The BSF Assistant Secretary can provide current lists of
registered swimmers. The BSF may impose a fine of up to $500.00 per event against a person signing
a Meet Entry Form showing that they have properly registered a swimmer with the
BSF for participation in a sanctioned meet when, in fact, they have not properly
registered that swimmer.
- They should cross-check computer entries (when used) against the team
- Entry times must be checked against any applicable time standards for the
corresponding event. The computer software has a provision for doing this
- The number of events per swimmer must be checked to confirm that no
swimmer has exceeded the meet entry limitation. If a swimmer has entered too
many events on any day, a notation should be made (either on the check-in
roster or on a separate list). They can notify the swimmer or the coach at
or before the meet of scratching from the excess events.
- A list of any last-minute changes or corrections received from coaches
should be kept.
After checking the entry forms, the person or committee will begin seeding
the entries on computer and preparing heat sheets. Many clubs now use
computerized programs to enter and seed swimmers in a sanctioned meet. The Meet
Director must confirm that the computer program conforms to the seeding and lane
assignment rules of the BSF (see Competition Rule CR9). Please see further in
this article for further information on computerized meets.
When the "Meet Entries Committee" has finished entering and seeding
the meet, they can print out Team Entries Reports or Psych Sheets at least 10
days before the meet, for the coaches to make any changes or corrections. After
making any additional changes or corrections, the committee can print the master
copy of the heat sheets or meet programme.
The "Meet Programme Committee" should receive the master heat
sheets or meet programme, containing all competitors in each event, at least one
week before the meet for copying or printing. The heat sheet or programme is the
schedule for the swim meet; therefore, it is essential that it be accurate and
prepared properly. The cover page should include basic meet information from the
meet invitation or flyer (e.g..: the date(s), BSF Sanction Number, meet
Suggested information to include in the Meet Programme:
- A meet time line based on heat start times.
- The names of people in key positions (e.g..: the Meet Director, Meet or
Session Referee(s), facility's manager, head marshall, etc.).
- The names of deck officials (starters, stoke & turn judges, chief
timers, etc.) and administrative personnel (clerk of course, timing
equipment operators, recorders, finish judges, etc.).
- An acknowledgment of the committee chairs and members who aided in meet
preparation (e.g..: meet entries, meet programme, etc.).
- Special notes (e.g..: parking regulations, press area, etc.).
- The name(s) and telephone number(s) of the person(s) responsible for
"lost and found" and where it is.
- Sponsors' advertisements or acknowledgments.
- A pool and facility map, noting the location of the Clerk of Course, first
- A list of participating teams with the appropriate abbreviations and the
number of swimmers entered.
- The order of events.
- Event records (e.g..: meet, pool, National Age Group, etc.).
- Any applicable National Team or Championship qualifying times standards.
- A mail order form for collectible or commemorative items.
After printing, they must collate the pages of the Meet Programme. The
suggested order for the final Meet programme is: cover page, introductory pages
and event heat pages interspersed with advertising pages. When trying to
calculate the number of meet programmes required for the meet, there are three
main groups to consider. Use two-thirds the total number of swimmers as a guide
when calculating the number of meet programmes to make available for sale. The
meet requires additional programmes or heat sheets, without a cover page or
advertisements if possible, for the head coaches, deck officials, meet
administration desk, awards table, Clerk of Course, Announcer and Meet Director.
Printing a few extra copies is better than running out. Open time trials require
far fewer programmes than age group meets.
The "Concessions Committee" should begin planning early. The chairs
(or co-chairs) should be selected at least 12 to 14 weeks before the meet.
Sometimes, couples serving as co-chairs work very well together. This committee
is responsible for menu planning, shopping, food preparation and staffing the
concession stand during the meet. The Meet Director or a committee member should
check local health regulations regarding the preparation and sale of food.
Soliciting food donations and shopping for advertised specials can save a great
deal of money.
The Concessions Committee may organize the meet concessions or may offer it
to a professional caterer or food preparer for a percentage of sales. The host
club and/or location of a meet will often dictate the stocking of a concession
The Meet Director or "Awards Committee" chair should order the
awards when the club decided to hold the meet. This committee is responsible for
ordering, organizing and presenting the awards. Preparing awards for
distribution takes time; preplanning and organization is essential. Sort the
awards by club into empty soda cartons or trays after each event for
distribution to the swimmers. Awards not collected by swimmers should be
forwarded to the swimmer's club or coach.
This committee is responsible for serving refreshments (soft drinks and
snacks) to meet workers and meet officials. Meet workers and officials work more
efficiently and cooperatively if the host club gives them a snack and
refreshments throughout the day. This committee is also responsible for ensuring
that water is readily available in self-service coolers at various places on the
deck. This is particularly important if they hold the meet in hot, sunny,
weather. This committee works closely with the "Concessions
This should be a bigger committee whose members work closely with the
facility personnel (marshalls, timing equipment operators, etc.). Generally,
these individuals are responsible for transporting or moving meet equipment,
preparing the facility and equipment for the meet, and cleaning up after the
meet. The Meet Director should include the Meet Marshalls (described under
"Safety" in this article) on this committee. The "Facilities Committee"
should establish a "lost and found" area and a first-aid area with
supplies, and is also responsible for meet safety procedures.
Facility and Equipment
Pool temperature, chemical balance, and circulation system
Starting blocks, numbered from right to left facing the course
Lane ropes (including 15-metre reference marks for backstroke, butterfly and
False start rope(s)
Public address system
Starting horn and extra fuses
Tables and chairs for Clerk of Course, Timing, Scoring and Awards
Chairs for Timers, runners, meet officials, finish judges, etc.
A tape recording of the Bahamian and other necessary National Anthems
Tents or umbrellas and supports for sun and/or rain cover
Safety signs, traffic cones for marshalled warm-up period
Complete toolbox (including tools, tape, wire, screws, etc.)
Trash containers and bags
Electronic timing equipment
Starter's stand or table
Clipboards and pencils for Timers
Extra toilet tissue
"No Smoking" signs
Timers are the key volunteers at all swim meets. The purpose of a competitive
meet is for each swimmer to achieve times. Therefore, these workers must be
diligent and dedicated to ensure success.
Another key worker at any meet is the Chief Timer. He or she is responsible
for recruiting both the Timers (two or three per lane) and runners before the
meet, then supervising these people during the meet. The Chief Timer ensures
that all Timers and their watches are functioning properly throughout the meet,
replacing Timers or watches when necessary. The Chief Timer starts his or her
watch for each heat and uses it to replace any watch that malfunctions or did
not start during any given heat. The Chief Timer delivers all times recorded by
the Lane Timers to the meet Recorders.
Runners, often the host club's age group swimmers, shuttle time cards,
results, etc., from station to station during the meet. These workers are
literally "runners." Having one person coordinating all runners to
avoid confusion and lost material is helpful. Courtesy, praise and a small
reward (e.g..: a meet T-shirt) are all that the club or Meet Director needs to
promote dedication in this invaluable group of volunteers.
Meet announcers should be selected with great care. An Announcer should have
a clear, pleasant, voice and must function under pressure in the middle of a
noisy crowd and a demanding Referee. A knowledgeable swim-parent with a pleasing
"radio" voice and a willingness to help is an invaluable asset as an
Announcer. However, the Meet Director must forewarn them to remain impartial.
At most age group meets, the Announcer's function is to state the facts (i.e.:
event, heat, swimmers' names, lane assignments, etc.), not to comment.
Unnecessary comments or announcements merely add to the confusion at such meets.
At Championship meets, however, a talented, well-informed, Announcer can often
add great excitement to the meet by providing background on the final's swimmers
as he or she introduces them at the blocks, and by providing comments during the
swim about split times and potential records.
Admissions personnel distribute or sell meet programmes and collect admission
fees, if any. They should arrive early. Providing some security at larger age
group meets may be necessary.
The "Publicity Committee" should maintain close contact with local
newspapers, radio and television stations, generating as much pre-meet publicity
as possible. This committee is also responsible for distributing, delivering or
sending all meet results to the sports departments of all local newspapers,
radio and television stations. This should be done soon after the meet's
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