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Tent Parent Responsibilities

What to Expect When You’re a Tent Parent

The Tent Parent is responsible for lining up swimmers for their events and escorting them to the Ready Bench; ensuring swimmers return to the tent after they swim their event; escorting swimmers to the bathroom; tracking swimmers as they leave and enter the tent; and ensuring swimmers’ safety while in the tent

*** Being your swimmer’s tent parent is also a great way to get to know their friends and other kids their age. When you volunteer in the same tent every meet, you really start to build relationships with the swimmers. They get to know you, and your expectations & you get to know them. Tent parent is a good volunteer role for parents who may have a younger, non-Hurricane child who needs to tag along, as long as you can manage your own younger sibling along with the duties of being tent parent.


The main responsibility of the Tent Parent is to keep the swimmers in their tent organized, calm and ready to swim when their event is called.

Tent Parents arrive 10 minutes before Swimmer check in. The Swimmer Check in time will be sent via an e-mail from the Meet Director a day or two prior to the meet. It is imperative that you arrive on time.


  1. When you arrive at the meet, find your age group’s tent (boys and girls in the same age group have separate tents, except for the 15- to 17-year-old swimmers who share a tent).
  2. Locate the Volunteer Coordinators’ table. Check in and pick up the following:
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Pencil/pen
  • Clip board with folder containing a list of swimmers and their events.

3. As swimmers arrive, have them form a line to check in. Check off their names on the swimmer list. A Tent Parent will need to write each swimmer’s last name and swim events on the swimmer’s arm for identification.

One Tent Parent should read aloud the swimmer’s event information to another Tent Parent who will write them on the outside of the swimmer’s upper right arm.

Using a black sharpie marker, first write the swimmer’s last name in large letters.

Then underneath write the number of the swimmer’s first event, heat number and lane number, (Position for relays). The format should be [event number] dash [heat number] dash [lane number] – Positon for Relays. Continue with the rest of the swimmer’s events, written one by one down the swimmer’s arm.

For example:





Repeat for all swimmers in the tent.

4. Once you don’t have any more swimmers waiting to check in, look at the list of swimmers and loudly call off the swimmers in the tent the names of any who haven’t checked in. Repeat step 4 above for swimmers who have not yet checked in.

5. If a swimmer is absent at the time of warm up, please let one of the coaches know so they can be scratched from any relays

6. A swim coach will come to the tent and take the swimmers to warm up.


Before the meet starts and throughout the meet, monitor the tent to ensure the swimmers are calm and remain in the tent. Absolutely no horseplay nor ‘active’ play (throwing a ball, throwing a frisbee, gymnastics, etc.) is allowed. Electronic games and devices are allowed, but

  • 6 & Under and 7/8 swimmers are not allowed to go to the restroom on their own. It is easiest to take them in groups. Make periodic announcements to the tent to line up if they need to use the restroom. One Tent Parent should then take the group to the restroom. Wait for all of the swimmers to exit the restroom before bringing them back to the tent as a group. If a swimmer has to use the restroom when a group is not going, then a Tent Parent needs to escort the swimmer to and from the restroom.
  • Older swimmers are allowed to use the restroom, go to concessions, etc. on their own. They need to be instructed to immediately return to the tent when they’re finished.
  • The Hurricanes strongly discourage the swimmers to sit with their parents outside of the tent. It is very easy to lose track of a swimmer’s whereabouts if they are not in the tent, and then they may miss their event. If a parent is insistent that their child sits with them, remind the parent that they are responsible for getting their swimmer to the ready bench in time.
  • When a swimmer is ready to leave the meet. Their parent must check them out with a Tent Parent. Use the swimmer list from your folder as the “check-out list”. Check off their name on the list and have the parent initial that they are taking their child. Refer to the heat sheet to ensure the swimmer does not have any remaining events to swim.


Begin lining up swimmers as soon as you hear a first call for the event from the Announcer. Sometimes the Announcer is difficult to hear due to proximity or noise in the tent, so be aware of the approximate start times for your events (as shown on the heat sheet) and periodically check the current event number at the display board near the pool or check the age group who swims before your next event.

  1. Using your heat sheet, call out the names of swimmers by heat number and lane number, with the lowest heat number first followed by the lowest lane number first in the same heat. The highest heat number with the highest lane number should be last. For example, Heat 1 Lane 1 is first, followed by Heat 1 Lane 2, Heat 1 Lane 3, etc. Then Heat 2 Lane 1, Heat 2 Lane 2, etc.

2. Repeat for all remaining swimmers in the same event.

3. Once all of the swimmers are in line, lead them to the first set of Ready Benches, which are generally in an area somewhat removed from the pool deck. One Tent Parent should lead the swimmers to the Ready Bench while another Tent Parent remains at the tent. The older swimmers only need one Tent Parent to lead them to the Ready Bench.

*** Take your red Mask/show basket with you to the Ready Bench

****COVID CHANGE: For all 12 & under swimmers: Once the tent parent escorts your swimmer to the ready bench, stand out of the way, along the back fence, behind the stools. When your swimmers sit on the stools, collect their masks in a zip lock baggie & place in your red basket. Then walk to the shallow end of the pool. You will meet them at the shallow end after their race to hand their masks out.

You will then guide your swimmers off the pool deck and back to their tent after they have completed their event.

One Tent Parent should remain in the tent to receive swimmers after they have completed their event. Older swimmers will not need this kind of guidance and can return to the tent on their own.



Prior to their last event (for the 6 & Under age group, the majority of the swimmers leave after their backstroke event; for all other age groups, swimmers stay until the freestyle relays at the end of the meet), have the swimmers clean up the tent and put all trash in the trash bag. Have the swimmers collect all of their personal belongings and fold up their chairs. DO NOT take down the tent! Another group of volunteers will do that at the end of the meet.

When swimmers are leaving the meet for the day, they must check out with a Tent Parent. Use the swimmer list from your Folder as the “check-out list”. Check off their name on the list and have the parent initial that they are taking their child. You cannot leave the meet until all of your swimmers have been checked out. .

Return your Clip board, markers, pens, pencils, badges & folder to the Volunteer tent.

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