Parent Resources from USA Swimming

Parent Participation

Irish Aquatics hosts approximately five meets annually, three during the fall/winter season and two during the spring/summer season. On occasion, we also have the privilege of hosting championship meets which require additional support from our membership. The revenue generated from these events helps offset operating costs and is an important part of our annual budget. 

Since all families share in the benefit of the revenue generated from these swim meets, all our families are required to help with the workload involved in running the meets and share the responsibilities associated with it. These requirements apply to all families whether your swimmer swims in the meets or not.

2023-2024 Season Parent Participation Opportunities

Short Course Season

Meet Dates # of Parent
Participants Required
Superstar Invitational October 20-22, 2023 ~140
Tim Welsh Invitational January 5-7, 2024 ~250
Jr Superstar Invitational February 4, 2024 ~80

Indiana Swimming Spring Senior State Championships

This short course season we have the privilege of hosting the Indiana Swimming Senior State Championships March 7-10, 2024. This is a big honor to be the host and is a significant revenue generator for the club. Championship meets require an “all hands-on deck” approach to ensure we run the best meet possible for the athletes.

Meet Dates # of Parent
Participants Required
IN Swimming Senior
State Championships
March 7-10, 2024 ~350

Long Course Season


Meet Dates* # of Parent
Participants Required
May Invitational May 17-19, 2024 ~140
Summer Spectacular June 28-30, 2024 ~140

*Meet dates are tentative and are subject to change.

How many sessions must I participate in throughout the season? 

Based on the number of families in our club as well as the number of parent participants we need to run high quality meets, we have established a minimum number of sessions we require per family. All families are required to participate whether your swimmer swims in the meets or not. 

Season Minimum # of Sessions
Required Per Family
2023-2024 Short Course Season 4 sessions
IN Swimming Senior State Championships TBD*
2024 Long Course Season 2 sessions
*Hosting a championship meet of any kind is a major undertaking. We are actively working on ways to ensure we can successfully put on fantastic swim meets for all participants and staff all roles appropriately. We recognize that many of our families will not have swimmers participating in this championship meet. However, it is safe to assume we will need everyone’s help to put on this meet.
How do I sign up to participate? 

Approximately one month prior to each meet, an email will be sent out to announce that sign-ups are open. All sign-ups will be coordinated and tracked online. Sign-ups for each session are on a first come, first serve basis. Sign-ups will close approximately 10 days prior to the swim meet. Once the sign-up window has closed, you will not be able to remove your name from any shifts you’ve signed up for. 

What happens if I do not sign up to participate or I don’t show up for my assigned shift? 

We want (and need) your help to run outstanding events for our swimmers. We do not want your money; however, we have developed a fee system to help motivate everyone’s participation. 

  • If you do not meet the minimum number of sessions required per family, you will be charged $50 per unfulfilled session. This fee will be charged at the end of the season (short-course: March; long-course: July).

  • If you sign up but fail to show up to work any session, you will be assessed a $100 fine per session.  This “No Show” fee will be immediately charged at the end of the session.

What if I have extenuating circumstances that prevent my household from participating? 

As we’ve stated previously, our goal is to maximize Parent Participation at the club. If you have circumstances that limit your ability to participate, please send an email to

What happens if I know I can’t participate the weekend of an event? 

You are welcome to trade sessions with another family who may have a conflict with a future date. You may also hire a replacement (must meet minimum age requirements) or find a student looking to fulfill community service requirements for a local High School or another organization. 

Can I choose to buy out of my parent participation requirement? 

While our priority is to have your participation, not your money – we do allow families to “Buy Out” of their parent participation requirement. For this season, our “Buy Out” fee is a non-refundable fee of $300. If you are interested in this option, please contact [email protected] to make the necessary payment arrangements. 

Can my child work my shift? 

Anyone working the meet to satisfy a work session must be at least 12 years old. However, certain roles (e.g., Marshall) have different age requirements. 

Can I bring my younger child with me to work my shift? 

USA Swimming regulations do not allow non-swimmers on deck at the meets. Please plan for childcare for your non-swimmers.

What do I do when I arrive for my shift? 

Parent Participants must “sign in” when they arrive at the pool to work. The sign-in table is located at the entrance of Elkhart Aquatic Center. You are responsible for ensuring you are signed in properly to establish arrival time. You will then report to the “head person” or “area chair” to begin and end your volunteer shift. 

What should I plan to wear when I participate?

We request you show your support and wear an Irish Aquatics t-shirt for each of your shifts.  If you don’t have an Irish Aquatics t-shirt, please do your best to wear similar color shirts (blue or green).

Swim Meet Participation Roles and Descriptions

Officials: Officials must be non-athlete members of USA Swimming and have gone through officials training, passed the official’s test, and completed apprentice sessions as required by IN Swimming and USA Swimming. Official positions for the meet are assigned by the Meet Referee. Officials uphold the rules of competition at the meet.  

Lane Timers: Records the swimmer’s time during the swim meet sessions.  Each timer is provided with a stopwatch, clipboard with timing sheets, and assigned a lane to clock the swimmers progress from start to finish.  All times are recorded on the timing sheet that corresponds to the swimmer’s name, event, and heat.  There is a minimum of 1 timer for each lane.

Head Timer: Confirm enough timers in each lane at least 5-10 minutes before start and throughout meet.  Start 2 backup stopwatches at the beginning of each race and trade with timers as needed in the event they have a watch malfunction.  Help keep unnecessary people away from the starting area and maybe asked to train timers.

Runner: Assist in collecting sign-in sheets during warmup and delivering them to the Administrative Official. Coordinate with head timer to pass out stopwatches, clipboards/timing sheets, and confirm required number of timers available.  Collect timing sheets after each event throughout the meet and provide them to the Meet Manager for recording.  This position may also be required to post heat sheets and/or results on the wall for swimmers and spectators.

Meet Manager Operator (Time Verification/Computer Operator):  This person operates the Meet Manager computer software, which receives the times from the timing system for every race. This person is responsible for the verification of the race times, comparing the electronic timing system to the backup times from the lane timers. Typically, an Administrative Official (AO) serves in this role, but if the operator is not, then he/she will work with the AO to be sure that all processes and time rectifications are done within the rules of USA Swimming. This person will also process any scratches before the session starts, seed the meet, create the heat sheets for coaches and officials, and create the lane timer sheets.  The person filling this role must have a thorough understanding of the Meet Manager software (training can be provided).  

Timing Equipment/Computer Operator: Runs the timing console ensuring the equipment is running properly, records the race numbers for each heat, and assures the timing system is reset and ready for the start of each heat/event.

Announcer: Makes various announcements before, during, and after the swim meet to swimmers, parents, volunteers, officials, and coaches.

Deck/Meet Marshals: Ensures the pool area is safe for swimmers, coaches, officials, and volunteers.  Marshals actively monitor hallways, locker room entrances/exits, and the pool deck throughout the venue.  Other responsibilities include confirming only credentialed swimmers, coaches, officials and meet volunteers are allowed on deck along with regular locker room checks.  All Marshals are required to be 18 years or older and wear identifying attire. A Marshal training is provided through USA Swimming. Marshals are required for all meets and report to the Meet Referee if there are any concerns or issues discovered. 

Check-In (Swimmers):  This person will monitor the swimmer check in sheets and make sure that all swimmers check in before they enter the pool deck. This person also serves as crowd control as the check in line tends to be long when the doors open. This person will work with the Runners to get completed sign in sheets to the Meet Manager Operator to complete the scratch process.

Check-In (Volunteers):  This person will greet and check-in anyone who will be assisting with running the meet (coaches, officials, and volunteers).  Checking official credentials, confirming proper sign-in, and helping guide/direct the volunteers is expected.  The Volunteer Check-in role works closely with the Volunteer Coordinator in confirming all volunteer positions have been accounted for.

Hospitality: Ensures the food area is properly stocked, cleaned, and ready for each swim session.  This position will provide food and drink to the coaches, officials, and other volunteer workers during the swim meet.  Utilizing an established budget, the hospitality volunteers may be required to plan and coordinate the required food served that supports the number of volunteer workers.

Awards:  This position requires labeling, sorting, and distributing awards to the respective swimmers and/or swim clubs.  This individual will be provided the award labels by the Meet Manager Operator when results are finalized for events and sorts the awards by team for distribution at the end of the meet.

Clerk of Course:  Organize swimmers into heats and lanes based on the heat sheets.  This individual is critical in keeping a smooth transition from one heat to the next while sending the swimmers to the starting blocks in an organized manner.

Heat Winner:  Determines the winner of each individual event heat and awards the swimmer a heat winner award.  This position may be combined with other positions.

Volunteer Coordinator: Manages the recruitment, organization, and training of many meet volunteers.  A large swim meet may need a committee to manage the volunteer meet worker needs.  This position runs, oversees, the volunteer check-in area at the meet along with the volunteer check-in position.  They will let volunteers know when and where to report, answer questions, and ensure training/problem solving.

Floater:  Fill in for roles as needed, whether for absences or meet needs.  If not needed at the start of the swim meet, you will be considered on-call during the meet.



Running a swim meet takes a great deal of volunteers, but one of the most important volunteer roles is that of the officials. USA Swimming has minimum requirements for the number of officials that must be on duty at all times of the meet for the results to be official. Officials must go through a training course, pass a test, and complete apprentice sessions at meets to become certified. The officials make sure that the meet is run and all swims are done in accordance with the rules of USA Swimming. If you are interested in more information on becoming an official, contact Coach Matt


We have many fundraising activities throughout the year. Some of these support team programming such as the annual bus trip to Munster in December, while others can earn credits toward your family's account to be used for the payment of team dues, meet fees, or anything else you may get charged for over the course of a seaon (swim caps always seem to go missing or break!).

Scrip. IA runs a scrip program through Great Lakes Scrip. This is a program where you order gift cards and pay face value for them, but the retailers give a rebate back to the club. We share this rebate with the ordering family, crediting back 50% to your account while the other 50% goes to the club. 

Fundraising Fee/Raffle: At registration, each family pays a family fundraising fee ($100 for short course season and $50 for long course season). At the end of each season, we hold a raffle, which each family receives tickets for based on the fundraising fee paid. You can choose to enter the tickets for yourself or sell them for $10 apiece to recoup your fundraising fee.

Nelson's Chicken Sale: Each year, we participate in a Nelson's chicken sale fundraiser. Participation is not mandatory, but we highly encourage all team members to assist in selling pre-sale tickets and to help on the day of the sale. In the fall of 2018, we expanded to 2 sites, one in Mishawaka and one in Bremen, and are looking to expand more in the future!

Give-back Nights: We have often run community give-back nights at various local restaurants including Chik-Fil-A, Taphouse on the Edge, Chicory Cafe, and many others. These are a great opportunity to get friends and family involved with our organization by just sharing a meal!