Timing at meets
Timing Policy *
All families are required to time at all of the meets their swimmers attend. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding timing.
What is timing? - Timers sit behind the starting side of the pool divided into usually 3 chairs per lane. Each timer has a specific assignment. All three timers press a "pickle" (a small push-button that stops the clock) when the swimmer touches the wall at the end of his/her race. It is important to look over the side of the pool to make sure that you get the exact moment the swimmer touches the wall, to get an accurate time. One of the timers also starts a stopwatch at the beginning of the race and stops it at the end. This timer should watch for the strobe light to begin the race and also watch over the side of the pool for the swimmer to touch at the end of the race. Another timer has a list of swimmers swimming in the lane and checks their names before they start racing and also writes the time from the stopwatch beside their name at the end. Timers are sitting right by the pool and really do have the best view of all the action.
How long do I need to time? - Timing slots are one hour. If needed, we will ask families with more than one swimmer to time one hour for each swimmer entered, since timing obligations are determined by the number of swimmers we have entered in the meet.
Where do I go to time? Timers for the first hour of each session of the meet are asked to find their chairs behind the blocks a few minutes before the start of the session. After this, new timers should come to replace the other Piranha parents each hour. Ask the current timers who the Piranha parents are that need to be replaced.
Why do I need to time? - Swim meets are run by volunteers. The cost of hiring people to run the meet and do simple jobs like timing would be very expensive, and you would end up paying much more to enter a meet. So, we rely on parent volunteers to time. Beside, it is the best place to watch your child perform.
How do you know how many timers we need? - The host team counts the entries from each competing team (including their own) and determines percentage of athletes from each team. The team then determines the number of timers each team must provide based on the percentage of swimmers they have entered in the meet. For example, if VA swimmers equal 20% of the swimmers at the meet, VA must provide 20% of timers. If a meet requires 3 timers for each of 5 lanes being swum per hour (15 timers total) then VA would be asked to provide 3 timers for each hour. Numbers could change at the last minute, and we could need to ask for more timers or we would tell some timers that they are not needed.
What happens if families refuse to time? - We are fortunate to have a fantastic group of parents who realize that timing is crucial and sign up to time. However, once in a while a family will refuse to time. This creates problems because without the appropriate number of timers, the meet cannot move forward. The person who is timing does not get replaced and unfairly has to wait until someone else volunteers. Because of this problem with a few parents, we charge families who refuse to time $15 per swim meet.
Great! How do I sign up? - At this point we do not have a timing coordinator. We want to rely on everyone's volunteer participation. Help us build a team of dedicated and committed swimmers by showing the example.
Thank you for supporting your swimmers by timing at their meets!
* Source Canyons Aquatics