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Volunteer Roles

Each Volunteer Role will have a “Volunteer Lead" who will be responsible for setting up shifts and communicating with volunteers in that area. Descriptions follow:

Announcer — Sets up the broadcast system, becomes familiar with the schedule, announces activities before the start of the meet, and calls events to ready bench during the meet. The announcer & starter work in conjunction with one another to set the pace of the meet. Home meets only.

Clean Up Crew — In charge of putting team & club gear away after home meets and generally cleaning up the club grounds. Home meets only. A good fit for those with several swimmers in the family. At away meets, the Clean Up Crew helps take down the tents and makes sure home area is clean of debris. Items left in our area are brought home to "lost & found" by the clean up crew.

Computer Guru — This computer-savvy person coordinates Wild Orcas entries, navigation of software, merging of information from opposing team (beginning on Thursday of meet week), overseeing heat sheets (prepped and copied for timers, judges, announcer, ready bench, age group parents, and coaches), input of data at meet, & results preparation. 2 Computer Gurus and 2 “Apprentices” each season is optimal.

Concessions — Committee is responsible for pre-meet set up and after-meet breakdown of the concession area. Working in shifts this committee sells & serves yummy Orca treats at home meets. Protection from the sun at home meets is a plus.

Lead(s) will plan and purchase food and drinks ahead of time for the swim meet and will coordinate volunteers for home meets. Committee is in charge of picking up coffee in the morning, ordering delivery of breakfast tacos, and any other concession items. Proceeds should always be counted together with another member and given to treasurer. “Lead” can be co-chaired to split the organizational duties.

Event Board Operator — Operates the electronic board during meets. By keeping the current event & upcoming heat posted he Event-Board Operator assists the Starter & Announcer in efficiently moving the meet timeline. Provided a front row seat at the meet — there is no falling asleep at this table!

Grill Masters — Duties include waking up the grill, preparing, grilling & wrapping the food, and cleaning the grill at the end of the event. “Grilling” is a long-standing Orca social custom and takes place at the top of the stairs in the shade. Grill Master Lead is responsible for coordinating with Concessions Lead(s) in menu choice and procurement of food.

Hospitality — Delivers water/lemonade to thirsty timers, coaches and meet officials unable to easily leave the pool deck. Hospitality volunteers also hand out heat-winner ribbons to each heat winner. These volunteers graciously act as a general “go-fer” for officials and volunteers that cannot leave their posts during the meet. They also help locate 2nd shift volunteers if necessary.

Merchandise — Using season registration spread sheet, these volunteers work with coaches to distribute merchandise to swimmers and families. The Merchandise Lead manages additional orders and handles transaction of money at meets as well as after a few practices.

Orca “Movie Producer” — This audio/visual savvy volunteer prepares a slide show or movie for the end-of-season “Orca Bash.” Photos & video supplied by “Team Shutterbugs.” A bit of consultation with Party Planner (and, Head Coach re: senior swimmers) and you’re on your way — theme & preparation is your purview. This position is not responsible for taking official team photo(s).

Orca Shutterbugs — Orca swimmers & supporters smile for the camera as you seek to “capture” (photos or video) of the spirit & fun of the season. Subjects include: swimmers, parent volunteers, fans, etc. This position is not responsible for taking official team photo(s) unless that is a welcomed task.

Party Planner — Arrangements for the End-of-Season “Orca Bash” are made in consultation with the Team Manager. The Orca Bash Planner assists in securing awards (& any novelties) for end-of-year presentation. Duties also include: coordination of food vendors, senior gifts, and a bit of coordination with Orca “Movie Producer.” Volunteering during swim meets a problem? This is the job for you!

Ready Bench — Organizes and keeps order of swimmers as they move toward the blocks for competition. Helps athletes learn to keep a handle on their heat and lane assignments and aligns swimmers for the race, ultimately making sure swimmers are in their assigned lane. Ready bench folks work in 2-3 hour shifts. Must be willing and able to firmly handle a bit of swimmer excitement and resulting noise (at times likened to herding cats) without being a killjoy.  

Relay Coordinator — Orca relays are computer & Coach generated. This volunteer will assist with relay coordination at the meets. The Relay Coordinator will check in with Age Group Parents to determine whether or not all relay swimmers are in attendance and, if not, to help coordinate with the coaches in charge to make necessary substitutions or scratches.

The Relay Coordinator will be the point person for relay change (or scratch) slips. Age Group Parents will fill out slips as appropriate and deliver to Relay Coordinator who will ensure slips get to the computer desk.

This position is somewhat challenging for all involved when a swimmer suddenly disappears, but the Relay Coordinator is not without support, working closely with the Coaches, Age-Group Coordinator and Age-Group Parents. Knowledge of swimming is helpful.

Ribbons/Awards — Works closely with the computer personnel in coordinating the labeling & sorting of swimmers’ awards. Some organization and time after the meet are required to ensure awards are properly distributed in swimmers’ folders and delivered to pool where swimmers then “excitedly” check their folders. This position does not pass out the on-deck “heat winner” ribbons. This job is often in an air-conditioned room and has less direct connection to on-deck happenings. You’re allowed a break, however, to watch your swimmer race and least at home the observation deck provides the best “birds-eye” view.

Runner — These individuals pick up time sheets from the timers and DQ slips from the judges after each event and make delivery to the computer / scoring volunteers. Runners are also tasked with errands (bringing pencils, stopwatches, delivering messages to others) for timers since timers cannot leave the blocks. You’ll get a few “laps” in and a complete view of the pool as a runner.

Scoring — Scorers determine, by reviewing swimmers' finish times, the order of the finish for an event after all the heats have been swum. Duties include assisting Computer and Ribbons/Awards volunteers for accuracy with results. This job is usually in an air-conditioned room and although has less direct connection to on-deck happenings you’re allowed a break to watch your swimmer race. At least at home meets the observation deck provides the best “birds-eye” view.

Setup — Is in charge of setting up the pool the night prior to a home meet. Duties include setting up timers’ chairs, ready benches, etc. as well as ensuring, by communication with club staff, that diving boards are removed and deep-end filter intake plug is available. Home meets only. This person also helps with tent setup the morning of meets, both home & away.

Spirit Helpers — Volunteers help the Spirit Coordinator with spirit activities (usually on Fridays or end of week) and other events that might present in the season. If you are a creative type or even a creative wannabe, this might be the place for you. Spirit activity ideas are always welcome by the Spirit Lead.

Spirit Lead — This is a non-meet position. This person assists Coach(es) with spirit ideas and season spirit calendar. Coordinates spirit activity volunteers, helps appropriately engage swimmers, coaches & parents in spirit activities. Ideas (to Head Coach or Spirit Lead from any team member) on building team’s winning spirit & Orca pride always appreciated!

Starter — Prior to first meet ensures the starting equipment is in working order. Begins each event by advising swimmers, judges, and timers of the specific event by name, heat number, and/or appropriate stroke or order of strokes. Works with Meet Director & Aquatic Director on any announcements needing to be made regarding the combining of heats or any other meet changes. The starter & announcer work in conjunction with one another to set the pace of the meet. Home meets only, although sometimes used as “fill-in” at away meets.

Stroke & Turn Judge — Competitive swimming experience helpful. These individuals attend a League certification stroke clinic every 2 years to stay current. Judges observe strokes, turns, finishes and relay exchanges to determine if the swimmers are in compliance with the league's competitive rules. Disqualification slips must be completed correctly and initialed by judges in order to track the infraction(s) and to count as valid disqualification.

Tent People — These volunteers, (ideally, at least four) will be responsible for picking up the pop-up tents (shade & rain canopies) from the Wild Orca shed at Westover and transporting them to and from away meets.  Tents are stored in the swim shed, or your garage (whichever is more convenient).

Early arrival at away meets, and communication with age-group parent Coordinator, is a must as tents designate our team area and are set out prior to tarps, blankets, chairs, signs, or any other age-group area “stuff.” There is one tent per each group totaling 12. Usually, once at the meet site, additional friendly Orca bodies pitch in to help set-up & take down tents. The lead Tent Person ultimately sees that age-group equipment (tarps, tents, signs) make it to & from meets and are secured, clean & dry, at the end of the season.

Timer — Timers work in 2 shifts per meet, home & away. Duties include: operating and reading a stopwatch, paying attention to the starter such that a fair & accurate time can be recorded consistently for all swimmers, double-checking swimmer’s name prior to recording on time sheet. If you don’t mind getting splashed once in a while, this is where the front line action is!

Timer Lead & Asst. — Will ensure watches are in working order throughout the season, manage timers’ availability, organize shifts, distribute & reclaim watches at home meets, and standby during the meet with extra watches in case of watch (or timer) malfunction.

Treasurer — In coordination with the Westover Club Bookkeeper, the Wild Orcas Treasurer is responsible for collecting and distributing all monies for the Wild Orca Program. The Treasurer shall keep Wild Orca financial records, prepare a report annually at season’s end, and report annually, or as requested, to the Westover Board.

Webmaster — Web experience is necessary. This person facilitates the presentation of information and helps present the website in a user-friendly way to benefit the Wild Orca program & its members. This person shall work with the Team Manager and Coach in keeping materials up-to-date.

Age-Group Parent — Assigned to a specific age-group (7-8 boys or 11-12 girls, for example) for the entire season and is on duty at every meet, home and away, with an early start. Ideally 2-3 parents help with each age-group. One of the joys of this position is getting to know the swimmers well and one of the challenges at times is likened to “herding cats.”

An Age-group Parent must be one of the first on deck to make sure every swimmer has his event-markings and is ready for warm-up when the coaches call. A double-check is done to ensure that relay swimmers are present, and Relay Coordinator is alerted ASAP regarding any necessary relay fill-ins or changes.

Duties also include: helping swimmers to be responsible by leaving area clean during & upon end of meet, reporting to Age-Group Coordinator or Head Coach any unruly or out of the ordinary (good or bad) behaviors. The Age-group Parent is provided information (meet packets) by the Age-Group Parent Coordinator, receives such communication throughout the season, and is assisted by the Relay Coordinator, Age-Group Coordinator, and Coach with any issues.

Age-Group Parent Coordinator — The Age-Group Coordinator enlists and organizes the Relay Coordinator, and the Age-Group Parent volunteers for each age. Duties include: ensuring age-group parents’ availability for season’s meets and organizing (downloading & running copies) & distributing age-group parent meet packets (entry information) per each meet, home & away.

The Age-Group Coordinator will have the assistance of the Relay Coordinator who works in coordination with the coaches to implement relays.

Meet Director — The Meet Director is responsible for the conduct of the meet. Meet Director works closely with Head Coach early in week on meet details & communications for upcoming meet, initiates communication with visiting team (or responds to hosting team) by Thursday prior to meet. Meet Director will confirm visiting team volunteer base with visiting team Meet Director and will likewise, with feedback from Volunteer Coordinator, confirm Orca volunteer base to away meet host.

The Meet Director will have the help of the Volunteer Coordinator in communicating with all swim meet committee leads to ensure respective committee volunteers are secured for swim meet positions — home & away. Meet Director also confirms with club manager: pool availability, diving boards out of way by Club staff, as well as confirming with appropriate leads that equipment (flags, blocks, watches, PA, computer, starting unit) is in working order and supplies (ribbons, name tags, DQ slips, etc.) are in good supply.

The Meet Director works in consultation with the Head Coach if on-deck swim meet issues arise. Last-minute volunteer replacements will be handled with assistance from the Volunteer Coordinator.

This position is much about communication and being “present” at the meets. A calm cool head prevails in this position, as “energy” and duties ramp up a bit prior to Champs. Communication with League Representative regarding Champs is necessary.

AAL League Representative — Helps represent Westover Wild Orcas in the Austin Aquatic League. The League rep attends NAAL meetings, carries out duties associated with NAAL league position. The League Rep represents the Orcas at meets in any matter that may arise concerning the league (scoring, conduct, etc). This volunteer works closely with the Head Coach, on league issues.

Volunteer Coordinator — After Orca registration is complete, the Volunteer Coordinator shall work with the Team Manager, Meet Director, and Coach in filling positions with parents’ given volunteer choices and as per the needs of the program. This person communicates with swim meet committee leads, by Wednesday or Thursday evening prior to meets, in order to ensure respective committee volunteers are secured for swim meet positions.  Volunteer Coordinator then reports to Meet Director. At meets, the Volunteer Coordinator greets volunteers at check-in, handles name badges, and helps fill gaps as meet progresses. The Volunteer Coordinator also helps when needed to recruit volunteers for other planned Orca activities needing support

Team Manager — The Team Manager is Coach of the Orca parent organization.  This person works closely with the coach, volunteer coordinator, and meet director with the goal of effectively supporting the Orca swim team. Team manager establishes Committee Leads, supports those Leads by helping the Volunteer Organizer organize necessary volunteers to fill out said committees, & ultimately oversees the activities of said committees. The Team Manager is the liaison between Head Coach and Parent Group and is the main communicator to parent volunteers. 

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