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Bull-Pen Parents Helpful Hints!

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 parents are given a heat sheet and will use it to line up the swimmers. 

Bullpen 6&U:

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. 

Bullpen (7-8’s, 9-10’s, and 11-12's):

Bullpen parents will be assigned to each gender within each age group. Keep an eye on the "Event Number". Your responsibility will be to line up the swimmers assigned to swim that race and walk them to the staging area (chairs behind diving blocks). Please make sure that these swimmers have their caps and goggles before they head to the blocks.

Helpful Tips

  • 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.

If children are missing, first ask the kids.  They do a good job of knowing who is on the playground, who is in the bathroom, etc.

  • Swimmers should stay under the shaded bullpen tents:

We have asked all Bullpen parents 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 need to have every swimmer to make it to the blocks in time for their events.  If a swimmer is missing, the race will go on and the swimmer will just miss their race.   

Lining Up:

When lining up for an event, line swimmers up in order of swim.  Heat 1 first.  And then lanes 1, 2, 3, etc.

Ask little ones to hold hands while walking to the staging area.  

Remind the swimmers what stroke they are swimming.

  • Heats:

Heats are run from slowest (heat 1) to fastest (last heat). If there are more than 6 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 6 swimmers in a heat, the middle lanes are always filled first as they are considered the fastest lanes. 

  • How far in advance do I need to line up swimmers?

Please keep an eye on the "Event Number" that will be posted near the announcer in the upper clubhouse deck. This will indicate which event you should be lining up. We typically line up several 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 5 heats in advance.

  • Relays:

Freestyle Relay: Place swimmers 1&3 at starting blocks.  Place swimmers 2&4 at the opposite end of the pool on the same lane. Be sure to remind them to wait for their teammate to touch the side of the pool before they dive in!  All swim freestyle.

Medley Relay:  Place swimmers 1 (BACKSTROKE) & 3 (BUTTERFLY) at starting blocks.  Place swimmers 2 (BREAST) & 4 (FREESTYLE) at the opposite end of the pool in the same lane.  Be sure to remind them to wait for their teammate to touch the side of the pool before they dive in!  Remind swimmers what stroke they are swimming. 

*All 200 Relays all swimmers start at the starting blocks.   

  • Individual Medleys (IM's):

The order of IM is Butterfly, Back, Breast, and Freestyle. 

Note the length of IM.  100 or 200.

All IM swimmers start at the starting blocks. 

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