Team Info

Welcome New Families!

Welcome to the wonderful world of swimming. Now what?

Get involved! Parents need to fill many volunteer positions to run a swim meet. Your help is needed to insure the team grows and prospers. At times, it will seem as though the swim meet will go on forever. However, if you are involved as a parent volunteer, the time will fly by. Also, you will gain a better understanding of the sport in which your child is involved. There are volunteer positions available for new swim team parents having little or no previous swim team experience. Some of these positions are timers, runners, concessions, score keeping, ribbon writing, and clerk of the course. If you’re interested in filling any of these positions ask any board member or veteran swim team parent for a job description. Rappahannock Swim League offers clinics for those positions that require training. You can find dates and locations of the clinics on the home page.

A Swim meet is structured so that swimmers of similar ages compete against each other. Events are made up of the following swimming strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley (IM), and relays. “Seeding” is the process of placing individual swimmers in “heats” within an event. Seeding of heats is arranged by the swimmers’ times in that event. In other words, your child will be swimming against other children of similar ability.


It takes between 35 and 40 parent volunteers to successfully conduct each swim meet. There are currently about 50 families involved with the Dahlgren Sharks Swim Team.

Volunteering is mandatory. One parent per family is required.

Most volunteers are asked to work one half of each swim meet. Special arrangements are easily made so parents can break free to watch their children compete.

Volunteer sign up sheets for each meet will be available at registration. We require all parents, new and experienced alike, to sign up and help conduct the meets. To handle all the work that must be done at each meet, it is mandatory that at least one parent of each family volunteers at each meet.

Parents interested in a particular volunteer position should sign up early, as the positions are filled on a first come, first served basis. Please remember that successful, efficient meets depend on all parents volunteering throughout the swim season. Please pitch in as best you can!

There is also some work to be done keeping the team running smoothly during the season. Parent volunteers handle data entry, organize fundraising and special events, and other tasks between meets. Many of these volunteer positions are already filled – thank you very much! We will need parent representation at Executive Board meetings. There’s room for you to get involved in many ways.

Volunteer Positions During Meets

Here are the job descriptions for some of the volunteer positions open for every swim meet.

Referee: The individual responsible for the meet. No disqualification is valid until the DQ form is signed by the referee. All disputes are immediately referred to the referee for final resolution.

Starter: The starter issues the starting commands to the swimmers. The equipment used is a strobe light with a horn.

Stroke and Turn Judges: These judges ensure each swimmer executes turns consistent with league rules. In addition, a stroke judge ensures each swimmer’s stroke conforms to the league rules.

Timers: Use stop watches to time individual swimmers in a race. Timers are also responsible for ensuring the correct swimmer is in the correct lane for the event. Remember, if you are using the strobe start system, timers must look for the light, and not listen for the sound of the horn. Timers also record swimmers’ times on cards delivered to the scorers by runners.

Runners: Carry event cards from each swimmer to the timers and from the timer to the score keepers.

Clerk of Course: Assign swimmers to lanes and give them their event cards before each event.

Announcer: Announce events to the crowd during the meet.

Scorers and Checkers: Copy times from event cards into the meet software, check that the times are accurately computed, and print the scores.

Ribbon writers: Put winners’ name labels onto their ribbons.

Clean up: After home meets, ensure we leave the pool and deck clean.

We need all parents to volunteer to ensure successful swim meets for our children. Dahlgren Shark swim meets are a hands-on activity!

Team Rules


  1. To insure a safe environment, all rules of the aquatic center must be followed.
  2. Show respect to all swimmers and coaches.
  3. Listen and follow all coaches’ directions.
  4. DO NOT leave the pool without permission from one of the coaches unless your practice session has ended.
  5. Swimmers are not excused from practice (which means do not leave the deck of the pool area) until dismissed by one of the coaches or a note from a parent indicating that a swimmer must leave early.
  6. DO NOT leave trash lying around (pick up after yourself!) in the locker room, practice area, and during dual meets, both home and away.
  7. Bring healthy snacks and water bottles to practice, especially during the after school practices.