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How to be an Organiser

A Quantock Orienteers one page guide

Last edited: Thu 16 Nov 2017

There are three officials involved in any orienteering event: Planner, Controller and Organiser.

The Planner and Controller deal with the courses, but the Organiser does everything else

The Organisers job is to:

Check that the event has been advertised correctly

It is worth checking with the planner that the advertised location is where the car parking is, and that the courses will be ready for the advertised start time.

Check with the permissions secretary that landowner permissions are all in place and whether there are any particular requirements, including dog restrictions.

Advise the fixtures secretary well in advance if any advertised details need changing.

Assemble a team of helpers

Decide what helpers you need. At forest league events at any time we need two or three people on registration, including at least one on the computer(s). If possible also have one person on the start, though this may be unnecessary if the start is very near registration.

At most locations you will need someone marshalling the car park

There should be someone on the finish when it is not near to assembly.

To allow helpers to have a run it is normal to operate two shifts, so you need about eight helpers.

Suggest starting getting volunteers about two weeks before the event day. Get a list of helpers with phone numbers and emails from the volunteer coordinator and start asking.

Make sure everyone knows what they need to do and what time they are expected to arrive.
Have the helper list with you on the day.

If you have enough help, you can have a run yourself, but if you do you must have someone responsible to act as your deputy while you are away.

Prepare a risk assessment for the event

Ask the planner if there are any particular risks that need to be dealt with, e.g. road crossings

Read QO first aid, emergency and missing person procedures here.

Read British Orienteering safety requirements, which are contained in Appendix E to the rules.

Complete the Risk Assessment Form and get it agreed and signed by the controller.

Collect the equipment and set up

At forest league events you generally need the following equipment:
  • Tent
  • Tables
  • Laptops, batteries & peripherals
  • Banners
  • Boxes for maps
  • First aid kit
  • Registration forms and pens/pencils
  • A float (about £30 in change)
  • Road signs on the way to the event and at the event entrance
  • Walkie-talkie radios (sometimes)

At a Galoppen event, it is normal to hire a toilet.

You do not have to bring the controls - that is the planner's job.
Putting up signs usually takes an hour, and setting up registration another hour - its best if you have others to help you!

Try to have reception ready about half an hour before the first start.

Check everyone is back and pack up

The planner should arrange for the controls to be collected but the organiser must check that all competitors and helpers have safely returned and that no-one and no equipment is left behind.

Be responsible for the event

You should be someone with a sense of responsibility. You need the common sense to deal calmly and efficiently with any problems that arise. But avoid being a control-freak and let participants enjoy themselves!

If you are concerned about anything, discuss with the other officials or a committee member. You have the authority to cancel the event, for example due to very severe weather.

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Organiser's resources