What are Bullpen Parents?
Bullpen Parents are the volunteers who watch over the swimmers during the meet, line the swimmers up in the correct event, heat and lane order. They also walk them to the staging area. Bullpen volunteers use a heat sheet to line up the swimmers. It may/may not contain changes that have been made after the heat sheets were printed (there are always last minute changes to the heat sheets so patience and communication is key). Remember to please give the most recent updated Heat Sheet to your 2nd half replacement.
Please write the name/age on the swimmers shoulders with a sharpie if it is not already marked. It is very helpful when you are lining up the swimmers to have the names visible because some of the 6&U are very shy and may not feel comfortable talking to you. Also, make sure their caps (if they are wearing a cap) and goggles are on and in place before they are ready to go to the blocks. Swimmers should be escorted to and from the restrooms and you should ask your swimmers sometime during your shift if anyone needs to need go to the restroom. The 6&U swimmers are done at the end of the 1st half, however, occasionally, there is a 5/6 year old that participates in events during the 2nd half. If this is the case, we will let the Bullpen Parent know.
Bullpen (7-8’s and 9-10’s):
There will be one bullpen parent assigned to each gender within each age group. Keep an eye on the "Staging Event Number". Your responsibility will be to line up the swimmers assigned to swim that race and walk them to the staging area. Please make sure that these swimmers have their caps and goggles before they head to the blocks.
- Get to know the swimmers:
At the beginning of the shift, familiarize yourself with the swimmers and make sure everyone has their events written on their bodies by Event / Heat / Lane so they know what and when they are swimming.
- Swimmers should stay under the shaded bullpen tents:
We have asked all Bullpen Volunteers to remind their swimmers to be on good behavior and to stay in their respective age group areas and not walking around the meet. By keeping swimmers in their age group areas, it makes finding and organizing the swimmers much easier. We would like every swimmer to make it to the blocks in time for their events, however, it is not your responsibility to track down missing swimmers
- Lane Assignments:
Keep in mind that the lane assignments for each team are generally the same but do often change from heat to heat. Fields Club swimmers are not assigned to the same lanes for every event or heat. Lane assignments do often change from heat to heat. Why? We may not have any swimmers in a heat and it may be all opposing team swimmers. We could also have a swimmer only in lane 3 for heat 1, and then lane 2, 4 and 6 for subsequent heats. The swimmers are placed in heats and lanes so that the meet is run in the most efficient manner that makes the best use of the pool lanes so always check the heat sheet.
Heats are run from slowest (heat 1) to fastest (last heat). If there are 10 swimmers in an event, there would be 2 heats. Not every heat will have every lane filled with swimmers. If there are not a full 8 swimmers in a heat, the middle lanes are always filled first as they are considered the fastest lanes. Other pools have fewer lanes than the Fields Club, so that means more heats.
- How far in advance do I need to line up swimmers?
Please keep an eye on the "Staging Event Number" that will be posted near the Staging Area. This will indicate which event you should be lining up. We typically line up about 10 heats in advance. When the second half of the meet starts, the number of heats per event usually gets smaller and the meet progresses much more quickly. You may need to line up swimmers more than 10 heats in advance.