Prior to the meet

There is always a timers meeting with the starter. Please attend the meeting. Things specific to the pool and meet will be covered. Different pools can use different equipment to start a race. Some are based on light and sound, others just on sound. Also, head timers for each lane and backup timers will be assigned by the starter at this time. Clipboards will be given to lead timers. The starter will perform a test to make sure all watches function.

Start of each Race

If you are not ready, tell the meet starter to stop until you are! Timers are always allowed to stop the meet to make sure the time is properly recorded for the previous race and they are ready for the next race.

Verify the name of the child. Also check that you have a boys (blue) or girls (pink) card. If the swimmer is a boy and you have a pink card, tell the starter to stop so you can fix it.

Reset your watch. Starter will ask if the timers are ready. If you are not ready, please say so as loudly as needed to get the starter's attention.

Do not delay the meet in order for a swimmer to get to the blocks. It is the coaches job to make sure they are there when the starter stars the race.

Focus on the starter for the race start. The starter will begin each race by saying "Swimmers, take your mark". In the event the starting equipment has both a light and sound, you will start your watch on the sooner of either 1) when you see the light on the starting equipment flash or 2) hear the sound of the starting equipment. If the equipment is only sound (air horn, starters gun, etc.), you will start your watch immediately upon hearing the sound. ** PLEASE BE WATCHING THE STARTER AT THE START OF EACH RACE TO ENSURE AN ACCURATE AND TIMELY START ON YOUR PART. **

During the Race

If you miss the start of the race or your watch malfunctions, call for backup.   The head timer for the meet starts at least two additional watches for each race.  Alert the other timers on your lane, raise your hand and loudly call for backup (you need to get the head timer's attention and he/she may be a few lanes away).  The head timer will bring you a watch and you will stop it at the finish the race.

During a race, do not stop timing or take any action regarding a swimmers stroke, turn, or other aspects of the race. The stroke and turn officials will inform you of any violations AFTER THE RACE which you will write on the card and inform the swimmer as necessary.

Get ready for the finish.

The Finish of the Race

Get in position to see the touch. You must be over the wall watching the swimmer come in and be able to see the touch. Timers are not permitted to bring chairs or other objects to sit. These get in the way of other timers, swimmers, card runners, and stroke & turn officials.

Do not headcatch. It is the job of the swimmer to get a head catcher. Please do not head catch. Many children don't want it.

Stop your watch when ANY part of the swimmer touches the wall.

Report your time to the lead timer by showing them the time on the watch. Do not clear your watch until the head timer has indicated they have recorded your time.

Write down ALL times on the card even if the swimmer is reseeded or disqualified.