6 & Under and 8 & under Helpers
Parents that help the 6 & unders (girls or boys) or 8 & under (girls or boys) to get behind the blocks and ready to swim. Parents are responsible for lining up the swimmers behind the lanes, turning the heat sheets in to the timers, and making sure that the kids swim in the correct heat and lane. See below for tips. Excellent job for parents of small swimmers. (See below for job instructions)
One person designated head timer will start and stop extra watches. If for some reason a watch fails to start on time, the head timer will be called to that lane to finish the timing for that race. Head timer will also orient all timers before the meet begins, making sure all watches are working properly and all timers know how to work the watches. Will report to the timers meeting approx 15 min prior to the start of the meet.
The runner goes from lane to lane after every approx. 4 events to collect the completed timer lane sheets from the recorder, places them in lane order and then takes the heat sheets to the scorer’s table.
After scoring is completed and places announced, the ribbon workers place labels on the appropriate ribbons and place in bags to be given to the coaches at the end of the meet.
A timer stands at the starting blocks for 50 yds. races, and at the shallow end of the pool for 25 yd races. His/Her job is first verify the name of the swimmer. Next he/she job is to start the stopwatch at the start of the race and stop the stopwatch when the swimmer in his/her lane finishes the race by touching the wall. He/She will then tell the time displayed on the watch to the recorder. If the watch fails to start, hold your stop watch out over the block so the head timer can see that you need a them to finish timing the race. Timers will report to a timers meeting approx. 15 min prior to the start of the meet.
The recorder writes the times displayed on the stopwatches onto the timer lane sheets on the lines provided next to the swimmers name. They then hand to timer lane sheet to the runner when they come around. Will report to the timers meeting approx 15 min prior to the start of the meet.
Note: There are 2 timers for every lane. One of the timers will be designated recorder. Some timers will be relief timers who will give assigned timers a break at some point during the meet. Please limit your break to 5 min. so other’s have the same opportunity.
A trained stroke and turn judge. Must be aware of USA swimming rules. If you are interested in training. Please email Sandy Payne.
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Before the Meet Begins
- Find the other helper for your age / gender group.
- Get the clipboards (there is one clipboard for each gender/age group) from the meet plastic bin. On the clipboard is a line up for the meet for your group for each child.
- Make sure all swimmers on the line up are at the meet. If any are missing, tell the appropriate coach.
- Establish a meeting place for your group where swimmers gather before events. Some families may want to sit at this place throughout the meet.
- Gather your swimmers. If you don’t know a child well enough to recognize him/her during the meet, write her name on her arm (e.g. Go Jenny!). It is recommended that each swimmer’s events are written on their arm also. (e.g. #13 25 Free H1L3 stands for event #13 girl’s 6 and under 25 freestyle, heat 1, lane 3). Ask the child’s parent before writing on child.
During the Meet
Follow the Order of Events when getting your group ready for each event.
Tips for Individual Events
- When they are on 11-12 of the prior event, start taking the swimmers to the block. Helpers take the group over to the blocks, placing each swimmer behind the appropriate block in order by event number and heat.
- Stay there — the children will not be swimming for a few minutes and they need to stay in place. A line of contestants forms behind the block in each lane. This line starts to form for the next event (e.g. backstroke) while the current event (e.g. butterfly) is finishing. Girls always swim the event first, and then the boys do the same event. Heat 1 – Exhibition heats are run before Heat 2 – competition heats. It is possible to have a HEAT 2 and not have a HEAT 1. The girls 6 & under group starts the event followed by boys of the same age, proceeding to the next age group. Note – 6 & Unders only swim Free and Back.
- Helpers: Encourage swimmers, reminding them what they are swimming, help put on cap and goggles and keeping the children in line. Swimmers must stay back from the blocks. The starter needs to be able to tell which swimmers are racing in the current event. Again, it is possible not to have a Heat 1. Listen closely when the starter calls the event to make sure our swimmer swim in the right heat. If a heat 2 swimmer swims with heat 1, their place will not score points for the team.
Tips for Relays
(Additional parent may be needed)
- The second and forth swimmers will start from in the water due to the shallow depth of the pool. They may not enter the water until the first or third swimmer has started. Once the first or third swimmer dive in, the second or forth swimmer will enter the water. They should sit down on the edge and slide into the water. The swimmer needs to keep one hand and one foot on the wall at all times.
- Remind the swimmer not to go until they see the oncoming swimmer’s hand touch the wall. You should not yell GO, even if you are cheering the oncoming swimmer, unless the waiting swimmer freezes after the wall has been touched. We have had parents yell GO to encourage the oncoming swimmer and the waiting swimmer pushes off early and false starts which disqualifies the whole team. Remind the number 2 swimmer is not to go when the starting beep sounds!
- The free relay is all four legs swim freestyle, the medley relay is in this order: First swimmer starts in the water for a backstroke start, second swimmer swims breast stroke, third swimmer butterfly (from blocks), final swimmer free. Remind each swimmer what stroke he or she is swimming in the medley!Please be very careful with relays, they are the most difficult to organize. Since the 8&UN each swim 1 lap of the pool, swimmers will be starting from both ends. The first and third swimmers report to the blocks with one helper and turn in the heat sheet, the second and fourth to the opposite end (same lane!) with another helper.
Order of Events
All meets start with the 200 long freestyle (for older swimmers only). There will be 1 heat of girls and 1 heat of boys. Usually only one relay is swum during the dual meet. The coaches decide which relay will be swum. Both relays are normally swum after the long freestyle. However, technically the coaches have the choice to swim the free relay at the end of the meet in it’s correct place (event number). Check with the coaches if you aren’t sure. If the relay is after the long Free, then get the relay teams together as soon as the meet starts. Girls are always first, then the same event for the boys follows. Girls events are always odd numbered and boys are even. For the relays, get the swimmers in position – Since the 8&UN each swim 1 lap of the pool, swimmers will be starting from both ends. The first and third swimmers need to be at the starting block end of the pool. Second and Forth swimmers need to be at the opposite end of the pool.
(6&UN do not have a relay event. However, a 6&UN may be needed to swim on the 8&UN relay team.)
After the relays are the Freestyle races. All of your young freestyle swimmers should be behind the blocks when the older kids (13-14, 15-18) are swimming their relays — or if the relays are to be swum at the end of the meet, your freestylers need to be there when the long free is being swum. For all events, Heat 1 (exhibition heats) are swum first and should have a yellow colored heat sheet (if being used). Heat 2 (Championship Heat) will have a pink (girls) or blue (boys) heat sheet. (if being used)
The following is the order of events:
#13 Girls 6 & under Free
#14 Boys 6 & under Free
#15 Girls 8 & under Free
#16 Boys 8 & under Free
The younger kids then have a break while the individual medley (IM) is swum. When the 13-14 kids are swimming the IM, have any 6 & UN Backstrokers and 8 & UN Butterfliers go to the blocks.
#33 Girls 6 & under Back
#34 Boys 6 & under Back
#35 Girls 8 & under Fly
#36 Boys 8 & under Fly
6 & UN are now finished. The swimmers may leave if they are not involved in a relay.
When the 11-12 butterfliers are swimming have the 8 & UN Backstrokers go to the blocks.
#45 Girls 8 & under Back
#46 Boys 8 & under Back
As the older (11-12) are swimming the backstroke, have anyone swimming the Breaststroke report to the blocks.
#55 Girls 8 & under Breast
#56 Boys 8 & under Breast
End of Meet
Again, unless the relay is last, the breaststroke is the last event of the meet. Return your clipboards to the Away Meet plastic bin. Remind all your kids to throw away their trash and pick up their area. It will be dark, so remind parents to check carefully for all items. If you find left over goggles, towels etc., pick them up and bring them to the next practice.
Thanks for all your help and do not hesitate to call on the parents of your charges to help with unruly swimmers or misbehaving ones!