Page Topics

Meet Entries Committee
Meet Programme Committee
Concessions Committee
Awards Committee
Hospitality Committee
Facilities Committee
    Facility and Equipment Sample Check-List
The Chief Timer and Lane Timers
The Announcer
Publicity Committee


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.

Meet Entries Committee:

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 forms.
  • Entry times must be checked against any applicable time standards for the corresponding event. The computer software has a provision for doing this function.
  • 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.

Meet Programme Committee:

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 sponsor(s), etc.)

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 aid, etc.
  • 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.

Concessions Committee:

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 stand.

Awards Committee:

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.

Hospitality Committee:

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 Committee."

Facilities Committee:

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 Sample Check-List

Pool temperature, chemical balance, and circulation system
Water level
Starting blocks, numbered from right to left facing the course
Pace Clock(s)
Backstroke flags
Lane ropes (including 15-metre reference marks for backstroke, butterfly and freestyle)
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.
Event/Lane/Time/Place scoreboard
A tape recording of the Bahamian and other necessary National Anthems
First-aid kit
Tents or umbrellas and supports for sun and/or rain cover
Safety signs, traffic cones for marshalled warm-up period
Lap counters
Complete toolbox (including tools, tape, wire, screws, etc.)
Extension cords
Trash containers and bags
Electronic timing equipment
Stop watches
Extra batteries
Starter's stand or table
Clipboards and pencils for Timers
Extra toilet tissue
"No Smoking" signs

The Chief Timer and Lane Timers: (CR18.5 and CR18.6)

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.

The Announcer: (CR18.8)

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.

Publicity Committee:

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 conclusion.

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