In this section there is the following information

Introduction to Competitive Swimming

SNZ Parent Code of Conduct

United Parent Protocols

Parent Duties at Competitive Meets

Becoming a Qualified Technical Official

Role of a Meet Manager

Introduction to Competitive Swimming

Welcome to competitive swimming.  Parents and guardians have a very important role in supporting their swimmers, their clubs and the associations.

The following parent handbooks published by Swimming NZ and Auckland Swimming provide a useful introduction to competitive swimming for parents.  We look forward to having you as part of United and to you contributing to your club.

Swimming NZ Parent Handbook

Auckland Swimming Parents Introduction to Swimming

Also, this article How to be an Awesome Swim Parent provides some useful advice and perspectives.

SNZ Parent Code of Conduct

SNZ has the following code of conduct for parents and guardians and United supports this.  A parent or guardian will:

  1. Agree to abide by the Swimming NZ Code of Conduct

  2. Remember that children participate in sport for their enjoyment, not yours

  3. Encourage children to participate, do not force them

  4. Focus on the child’s efforts and performance rather than winning or losing

  5. Encourage children always to compete according to the rules and to settle disagreements without resorting to hostility or violence

  6. Never ridicule or yell at a child for making a mistake or losing a competition

  7. Remember that children learn best by example

  8. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from sporting activities

  9. Respect officials’ decisions and teach children to do likewise

  10. Show appreciation for coaches, officials and administrators

United Parent Protocols

In addition to the Swimming NZ Parent Code of Conduct, United has the following protocols that parents and guardians are expected to follow.

  1. Be a positive role model and set the right example.  Show respect, courtesy and good sportsmanship to others, including other parents, coaches, officials administrators and other teams

  2. Respect the aims and objectives of the club and support your child by:

  1. Allow the coaches to coach.  Unlike many clubs, United allows parents to be poolside during training, subject to their presence not interfering with the training:
  1. Be positive about the club and other members, and be constructive when required. If you have any concerns, these should be addressed to the coach in private or to a member of the committee. 

  2. Get involved and demonstrate teamwork with other club members.  There are many ways that you can get involved and support your swimmer and your club:

Being involved can be very rewarding and is a great way to get to know other team members

  1. Do your fair share at meets.  Meets cannot run without the support the assistance of parents and guardians.  It is United policy that a parent or guardian from each swimming family is available if required to assist at meet that their swimmer is entered into.  This includes arriving at the correct time to assist with these duties. This policy is set out below under Parent Duties at Competitive Meets

  2. Become a qualified technical official. It is the club’s policy that each swimmer’s family will have a qualified technical official over a specified timeframe and that the level of qualification will increase over time. 

  3. Know and follow meet etiquette.  Each meet will have its own rules but some common ones are:

  1. Ensure your swimmer is appropriately nourished for training and at swim meets

  2. Be enthusiastic and supportive. Provide a positive and encouraging environment for your swimmer. Parents should not impose any personal ambitions on their child – a recent article by British Swimming asked the question whether you are a “Pressure Parent”

Parent Duties at Competitive Meets

Most swim meets are managed and officiated (time keeping, Inspector of Turns - IOTs,- administration room, door duties) on a voluntary basis and require the participant clubs to make a number of parents available to do duties at the meet. 

All United parents/guardians are expected to contribute by assisting at meets and our aim is to manage the allocation of these duties in a fair and equitable manner.  It is also important that parents/guardians turn up to these duties at the correct time, which are as follows:

It is also United’s objective that all swimming families will nominate at least one parent/guardian (“Nominated parent”) who is, or will become, a qualified technical official and that the level of qualification is expected to increase progressively over time. 

Having parents/guardians as qualified officials is important to enable United to both host our own swim meets and to also contribute to another club’s swim meets. United’s policy on technical officials is outlined below in Becoming a Qualified Technical Official

Completing the Duty Form

When a United swimmer is entered into a swim meet, their parent/guardian is agreeing that they will be available to assist with managing or officiating at the meet, if required by United.  To assist our Club Handicapper prepare the duty roster for each meet, the parent/guardian of a swimmer who is entered in the meet can complete the Duty Form.  This is a google doc form that enables you to specify which session and role you would prefer to assist at if required.  Completing the Duty Form does not mean you will be rostered on at the meet, but it enables the Club Handicapper to try and accommodate your preferences if you are required to assist. 

The Duty Forms are at this link  and there is a different form for each meet. 

You do not need to have a swimmer entered at a meet to volunteer to assist at a swim meet, and all contributions are greatly appreciated.  In some cases, it may be more convenient for you to volunteer at a meet that your swimmer is not entered in especially if you know you will be unavailable at an upcoming meet.

How will duties be allocated?

Given our policy that all families contribute and assist at competitive meets and that, over time, each family has a qualified technical official, the principles that will be followed when allocating duties at swim meets are:

  1. We will aim for the duties to be allocated fairly and equitably

  2. Duties will be allocated firstly to any unqualified timekeepers

  3. Duties will then be allocated to unqualified IOTs and those requiring duties to ensure that they can meet the requirements to qualify at the next level of technical officials.  This may result in unqualified people being rostered on with a qualified official to learn the required role

  4. Duties will then be allocated to unqualified IOTs who have elected to gain experience in operating the AOD room

  5. Qualified officials who are assisting in other time consuming roles within the club (eg assisting at camps and away meets, certain committee roles) will be less frequently rostered on to duties unless required to meet the next level of qualification or required to meet minimum numbers of duty parents at a meet

  6. Families with more than one swimmer may be expected to do additional duties reflecting the additional swimmer(s)

What if I am away and cannot attend the meet?

We understand that due to a variety of circumstances (such as work or family commitments, illness) it is not always possible for a parent/guardian to attend a meet. Where you have completed the Duty Form or notified the Club Handicapper that you will not be available, the club will endeavor to accommodate your absence provided this does not occur on a regular basis. 

However, if this is not possible and you are rostered on a duty but you are not available to assist, then it is your responsibility to find a replacement for your allocated duty. 

If you are rostered on to assist at a meet and do not attend or find a replacement to do your duty, it generally means that the operation of the meet will be disrupted or delayed, or in a worst case it will not meet Swimming NZ’s requirements to be approved as a qualifying meet.  This is not fair on the swimmers or other families who do turn-up to assist when required and reflects badly on United.  Therefore, if you do not turn-up to do your allocated duty or do not find a suitable replacement, the following penalties may be imposed:

  1. The first time it occurs, the swimmer will be fined $50 and the parent/guardian will be required to do the duty they missed plus an additional duty at subsequent meets

  2. The second time it occurs, the swimmer will be fined $100 and the swimmer may be scratched from that meet and/or not permitted to enter further meets until additional duties as determined by the United Committee have been completed by the parent, guardian and/or caregiver

  3. If this continues then the swimmer’s membership of United may be revoked

Becoming a Qualified Technical Official

The different levels of technical officials are as follows (junior to senior):

The description and requirements for each of these roles is summarised on the Auckland Swimming web site under Technical Booklets

It also includes a useful booklet titled Parents Guide to Officiating  

In addition to these technical official roles, a key component of running a competitive meet is the successful operation of the AOD room.

What is the club’s policy?

It is the club’s objective and policy that each swimmer’s family will have a qualified technical official over a specified timeframe and that the level of qualification will increase over time. 

This is because we need to be able to contribute qualified technical officials to ensure that each competitive swim meet satisfies the Swimming NZ requirements and is therefore a qualifying meet under their regulations.  It also enables United to host swim meets, which in addition to providing opportunities for all swimmers, they can also be effective fund raising opportunities for the club. 

The club’s policy on qualified technical officials is as follows:

  1. Each swimming family is to nominate at least one parent/guardian who is, or will become a qualified technical official (Nominated Parent)

  2. The Nominated Parent is required to become a qualified timekeeper within 12 months of joining United or 30 September 2018, whichever is the later

  3. The Nominated Parent is required to become a qualified IOT within 12 months of becoming a qualified timekeeper

  4. If the Nominated official advises the Club Handicapper that they would like to gain experience working in the AOD room then they have 36 months to become a qualified IOT from the date that they become a qualified timekeeper

Please note that while it is preferred that you become a qualified timekeeper first, it is not necessary to do this before becoming a qualified IOT.  Therefore, if you have had sufficient experience working as an IOT and would like to be assessed for qualification as an IOT, this can be arranged without completing a timekeeping assessment.  To become a qualified JOS you need to be a qualified IOT.

How do I become qualified?

Auckland Swimming regularly assesses officials at swim meets to determine whether they meet the qualification requirements.  If you consider you are ready to be assessed, then please notify the club Handicapper and an assessment at the next available meet will be organized with Auckland Swimming.

Role of a Meet Manager

[To be provided]