General Idea:

The scorers should stay seated. Runners collect heat results from lane timers and finish judges. Runners order results while delivering them to the scoring table. After processing at scoring table, the scorers provide ordered, clipped results for pickup by the ribbon writers.

Before the Meet Starts:

The coach provides pre-printed sheets with spaces to add opponents’ names. The Crestwood “lead” volunteer should get our clipboard from the Crestwood coach. 

Also, obtain a copy of opponent’s heat sheet. Write-in the opponents’ names and swimming lanes. 

Also, it’s super important for the timers to clearly write in any last minute changes on the time sheets (lane change, swimmer name, event, etc) it can get super confusing and impossible to score if we don’t know who swam what and where.

Filling out the score sheet:

Head scorer receives individual time sheets from runners, compares times, and scores swimmers 1st, 2nd and 3rd. 

Recording scorer writes in times for all first heat swimmers. Write in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and write in a score for each place (see below).

Points are awarded as follows for first heats only:

1st place: 5
2nd place: 3
3rd  place: 1

Points are awarded as follows for relays:

1st place: 5
2nd place: 0
3rd  place: 0

In case the times do not agree with the finish judge or the times are inconsistent, use the finish judge’s placement and your best judgement. 

Tips for Swim Meet Volunteers

Scroll down to see:

"Volunteer Arrival Instructions and Notes"

"Instructions for Timers"

"How to be a Ribbon Writer"

"How to be a Scorer"

"Responsibilities of a Starter​​"


Notes for All Volunteers:

Arrive earlier than the requested arrival time.

Upon arrival, check-in with Lisa Hascup and receive instructions.

Plan to work for the entire meet.

If you are unable to arrive early, find a friend to receive instructions and get started for you. We cannot start until every volunteer is in place.

Notes for Marshalls:

Your job is to line up the swimmers for each heat. Try to stay way, way ahead of the meet.

Heat sheets are provided by Coach Rutter. Bring a pencil for notes.

Be prepared to walk around and manage the swimmers until the last heat.

Notes for Runners, Timers & Finish Judge:

Review “Instructions for Timers” in advance of the meet. (Located below.)

Runners, timers and finish judge must attend the “timers meeting” that is called about 30 minutes before meet time. 

Be prepared to walk on the slippery docks or poolside.

Detailed timer instructions are on the back of the provided clipboards and available at

During natural breaks in the action, the relief timer should rotate in and out of the timer positions to accommodate quick bathroom or water breaks.

Notes for Runners, Scorers, Ribbon Writers:

Usually, two runners work together to collect heat results from the lane timers and finish judge and bring them to the scoring table.

Runners, as you are walking, order the results (1st, 2nd, etc) and clip. Give clipped results to scorers.

Scorers, see "How to be a Scorer". After processing at scoring table, the scorers should order and clip results for pickup by ribbon writers.

Ribbon writers get pick-up pile from scoring table and bring to ribbon table. See "How to be a Ribbon Writer".



To ensure a fair start for all the swimmers while keeping the meet moving along at a constant pace.


Welcome the crowd to Crestwood Lake and then start the races.

Announce the Event:

Since we are a rec league, starter will announce the race by stating the race number or a simple description. For example, say “Boys 7-8 25m Backstroke Heat 1.” When necessary, instruct the timers to move to the finish line side. 

Events for age 5/6 are only 15m so a line will be draped across the lanes. In this case instruct the timers to move to the side dock and instruct the “catching coaches” into the water to receive the swimmers at 15m.

Starting a Race:

On the Starter's command "take your mark", the swimmers shall immediately assume their starting position. (In the forward start, with at least one foot at the front of the block, or, in backstroke and medley relay events, in the backstroke starting position.) When all swimmers are stationary, the Starter shall give the starting signal. 

When a swimmer does not respond promptly to the command “take your mark”, the Starter shall immediately release all swimmers with the command “Stand Up” upon which the swimmers may stand up or step off the blocks. 

Backstroke Starts-The backstroke requires different starting conditions, since the swimmers start the race in the water. The swimmers line up in the water facing the starting end with both hands placed on the gutter or on the starting grips. 

On the Starter's command "take your mark", the swimmers shall immediately assume their starting position. (In the forward start, with at least one foot at the front of the block, or, in backstroke and medley relay events, in the backstroke starting position.

The specifics of using our Bullhorn to Start the Race:

Bullhorn should be in talk mode. (right button)
Project your voice as much as you can!

"Swimmers step up" or "Swimmers step in" (for backstroke)

"Take your mark".
Switch bullhorn to alarm.
Press the trigger.
Switch bullhorn back to talk mode.
Mark the heat off on the clipboard.


False Starts:

A false start is when a swimmer starts the race before the starting signal. This can mean either jumping off the starting blocks too soon, or in the case of backstroke, releasing from the wall before the starting indication.

Sometimes a swimmer falls into the water before starter is sounded. In this case a “step-down” command is given so that the other swimmers can relax while the swimmer that fell in resets. If any of the other swimmers follow into the water, try to stop them by sounding the starter three times. This should get their attention to return to the blocks. (On the bullhorn this would be activating the alarm sound.)


General Idea:

The scoring table gets the results first and computes the scores. The ribbon writers pick up ordered, clipped results from the scoring table. (The scorers should stay seated.) 

Before the Meet Starts:

The home team supplies the ribbons for both teams. The Crestwood “lead” volunteer should get our ribbon box from the Crestwood coach and coordinate with other team. We bring our ribbons to away meets in case the home team runs out.

Who gets a ribbon:

Each 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner from the first heat gets a place ribbon. 

Every child 8 and under also gets a participation ribbon for each race they are in, unless they are getting a place ribbon. Put the times on the participation ribbons.  

Every member of a relay team gets his/her own ribbon.

Writing a Ribbon:

Sometimes ribbon writers write the ribbons for their own swimmers only. Other times, the entire table works together and writes for both teams.

Always write the child's full name, time and circle the stroke/distance. 

Awarding and storing the Earned Ribbons:

Some swimmers will be around at the end of the meet to collect their ribbons. But many ribbons will be left unclaimed. Envelopes with family names or some other system should be used to sort the ribbons for pick up at another time.

Entering results into the laptop:

If there are enough volunteers, a ribbon writer can input the data into the laptop for Coach Kristi. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TIMERS (Lane, Backup and Relief)


All timers, runners and finish judges must attend the timers’ meeting about 30 minutes prior to the start of the meet. You will receive all materials at this time.

2 lane timers (1 from Crestwood / 1 from visiting team) will be assigned to each lane.

1 backup timer will be present from each team

Crestwood will also have a relief timer to enable short breaks.


LISTEN to the starter who will announce the race, stroke and heat

LISTEN for any changes, including combining of heats. 

Timer is responsible to make sure the swimmer is present and in the correct lane. 

If there is a missing or incorrect swimmer or other problem signal the starter. 


Start the watch upon observing the strobe or hearing the sound of the horn if there is no strobe. (Index finger has been shown to be more accurate than the thumb.)

If you miss the start, raise your hand to call for the backup timer.  A replacement watch will be offered by the backup timer. 

Step up for the finish. Stand directly over the assigned lane to observe the finish and stop the watch when ANY part of the swimmer’s body touches the wall.


Make sure you have the correct time sheet prior to race.  Timers may need to write in the correct information, i.e. swimmers name, race or heat. 

Record the other timer’s time first and in the same order on the time sheet.

A “runner” will collect time sheets and deliver to the scoring table.   


At appropriate breaks in the action, the relief timer should step in for the lane or backup timer to accommodate a short break.