QOFL planning timetable
The following timetable contains suggested latest possible deadlines for completing each of the main tasks in planning courses for a QOFL. Actual timings will vary from event to event, but ideally should be earlier.
It is difficult to overstress the importance of deciding on a timetable in advance, and then sticking to it. Mistakes will always happen when planning - the complexity of the jobs involved makes that inevitable - but working under pressure increases the risk. The pressure comes largely through struggling to complete the work in the time available. External sources of pressure - illness, late withdrawal of permission to use part of the area, etc. - can never be predicted. However, they will be easier to cope with if there is 'slack' in the timetable than if the Planner and Controller are already working flat out to be ready in time.
The following are suggested latest possible deadlines for completing each of the main tasks: actual timings will vary from event to event, but ideally should be earlier.
A really essential thing is that the stuff needed for permissions (all controls and risk assessment) gets sent off as soon as possible, at least a couple of months before the event.
As early as possible
Obtain map from club archive – check when last used, when last updated and ask what time of year runnability is shown on map. Visit the area – ideally at same time of year as proposed event to evaluate state of undergrowth at time of event. Agree with Mapper protocol for any map updates you consider necessary throughout planning period. Find out about crossing points, out of bounds areas, projected forestry work and any access restrictions during planning period. Decide on positions of start(s) and finish(es) - influenced by car parking. Decide course lengths – influenced by terrain (runnability & climb) and previous event winning times. Agree number and colour of courses plus approximate course lengths with Controller.
Draft courses planned and sent to the Controller (Purple Pen file plus map file).
All Controls map and Risk Assessment to Permissions Officer (strict deadline).
Controller provides initial comments on draft courses. Advise Controller of method (positioning, tape colour, etc.) for taping control sites
Taping control sites – add control code to tape. If possible, GPS waypoint control sites and take photographs. Rationalise control sites and re-plan (as necessary).
Send updated courses to Controller (plus GPS and photos, if available). Controller checks control sites.
Controller provides feedback, revise courses if necessary. Agree format of Control Descriptions with Controller (written, pictorial, both)
Prepare final maps for printing – see maps for printing. Send final course PDF map files (exported from Purple Pen) to Controller. Controller signs off final course maps and control description files.
Agree number of maps required with Organiser – remember blank maps for start lanes and control collectors. Send Course, including All Controls, PDF files to Printer together with PDF files of Control Descriptions for printing plus number of maps required.
Receive and check maps from printer. Arrange to borrow control stakes, kites, and punches (for SI box backup) from equipment store. Send XML file (PP export) of courses to SI Manager to load to SI system. Agree with SI Manager ‘active time’ for SI boxes (depends on time between boxes activated and event start time). Collect SI boxes from SI manager. Check kites, stakes and SI boxes plus sort to make placement easier. Decide which controls can be placed on the day before the event and which on the day.
Day Before Event
Selected control placement with or without SI box.
On the Day
Place remainder of control markers and SI boxes; arrange that all SI boxes are activated, plus place any taped routes / smiley faces. Place maps at Start. Controller physically checks all control sites and kite positioning. First competitor starts when Controller confirms all OK. Organise control collectors (if not done before event) and ask them to remove tapes as well as control kite. Confirm all controls returned ‘present and correct’.
- Steve Robertson (Dec 2018) with selected updates since