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Meet Director's Path to Tranquility

Meet Director's Path to Tranquility

No workouts here. No meet times listed. In the fifth year as meet director for the team's annual unconventional, quirky, entertaining, winter SCY TROPICAL SPLASH, this documents the path to the 2010 meet - problems and decisions, behind the scenes preparation, and the thought that goes into our local swim meet.

Maybe it's educational, and maybe it's entertaining. Maybe it's irrelevant.

  1. Post Apocalypse

    by , February 11th, 2010 at 11:14 PM (Meet Director's Path to Tranquility)
    "Delay is preferable to error."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Almost a week after the meet, I was acrobatically dancing around the obstacle course on my living room floor, littered with pink flamingoes, lap counters, clipboards, meet tee shirts, coconuts, backstroke flags, and timer cards. That's one of the perks for being a meet director - your house becomes Public Storage.

    Task 1: Attend to labor relations.
    I was grateful to our board president who took on the 'thank you' job this year and wrote a gracious thank you letter naming volunteers and their tasks. But, of course I needed to supply her with all the names and tasks, carefully weeding out those on the labor rolls who took unscheduled leave at meet time.

    Task 2: Keep swimmers in the loop.
    I posted a thank you message on the web site meet page, and announced that the results would be posted within a week. This year, I posted all the meet workers' names (since I had already compiled that list). This message was also sent out by email to all swimmers in the meet, with a mentioned that no-shows who ordered tee shirts would be receiving them in the mail.

    Task 3: Start the online meet scrapbook.
    About three swimmers immediately sent in some photos. In order to encourage more submissions, I needed to get posted up quickly, giving swimmers something to look at while waiting for the results. This task takes some time - receiving photos, and photoshopping them down to size, correcting color and exposure where necessary. This year, we received some entertaining ones - swimmers standing and practicing starts in the snow, martini glass glasses, and grass skirts among the happy shining faces.

    Task 4: Results.
    The pressing concern was to get those final results posted. Swimmers do not know what work goes on in the background, or how much it takes to finalize results. First, a few days of blurry-eyed reviewing 3 times per splash, 672 individual splashes, along with 4 heats of relays and 2 of coconut relays. About 12 errors were found whereby the middle time was not the one that timers submitted. A few races had only two times listed, requiring averaging. This could have resulted from timer fatigue, from sticky stopwatch fingers on the donuts and bagels, or from being in the potty too long. No USMS records this year to worry about processing.

    Next, another few days of eyeball callisthenics ensued - left, right, left, right. A comparison of all the times on the timer cards with those entered in the computer meet database was made to be sure they were entered accurately. Another 5 or so mistakes were corrected. These were minor mistakes this year, and a few altered the order of finishes. Last year a whopper mistake was found: a 1-minute error in a 100-IM time.

    Once the results were done, yours truly webmaster needed to whip up the web site with results. Let's see, pdf files, html web site files, and meet records updated. Then a submission to the USMS Meet Database and our LMSC site was kicked out. J-Rod contacted me to say my online results did not contain the officials' names and certifications. As per our Rule Book, I have always submitted them to our sanctions chair with the 'official' printed results after past meets, but never posted them on the web site results. I noted that most meet results I saw online did not do this (even the Zone SCM championship), and no one in Potomac Valley ever asked them to be posted online. But no problem to post them, so voila!

    Week One Aftermath was complete. Results were up, and it was time to move on to the other apres-meet duties.

    Updated February 12th, 2010 at 01:46 PM by Rnovitske