Organising an Event

Although the Organiser takes overall responsibility for the competition, organising a NOR Level C  event is not as hard as you might suppose. Unlike in many clubs, you will find that a number of the jobs which precede an event will have been done for you. Publicity and permissions will have been arranged by the Fixtures Secretary, and all the equipment you need will have been prepared. Liaise with the event planner for the position of the Start, Finish and Assembly Area.

Before starting, you should read the British Orienteering literature concerning Level C Events events which can be found on the BOF website www.britishorienteering.org.uk.

1. Risk assessment:

A risk assessment must be carried out before every event, but this may have been prepared by the Fixtures Secretary as part of gaining permission for the event. Many NOR areas can be covered by a standard assessment, but it’s up to you to check with the Planner and Controller there are no unforeseen dangers. When completed, the assessment should be agreed by the Controller.

2. Helpers and jobs:

Your biggest job before the event is to find helpers and arrange their jobs. Recently, most organisers have found the majority of their helpers by circulating an email asking for volunteers, but you may have to make some phone calls if numbers are short. The Membership Secretary can supply a list of members with telephone numbers and email addresses. Send the email 2-3 weeks before the event to give yourself time to fill any gaps.

Don’t worry about the SI team; that’s the responsibility of the SI Co-ordinator.

Remember that it’s easier for everyone if there are lots of helpers as each stint will be shorter! Try to organise helpers by putting new faces with someone who’s experienced. Here is a list of the main jobs and the likely manpower needed:

Setting up:
Erect road signs to the event and possibly ‘Runners Crossing’ signs.
Sign route to Start and Finish.
Lay out the Start and Finish.
Erect tents for Registration and SI.
Often, the helpers who do these jobs move on to do others, so are not counted in the total. Get a commitment from some helpers to turn up early!

Entry to car park:
Needs to be manned from about 09.30 (to catch early arrivals), through to 11.30.
Can be a cold job, so maximum stint 2 shifts of 1 hour.
Few arrivals after 11.15.
Return surplus cards and handouts to the registration tent.
Total manpower 2

Car parking
Assess space available and possible problems, and instruct helper(s) accordingly.
Where parking is limited, consider providing a sketch map.
If first few cars placed strategically, rest will often ‘park themselves’.
Total manpower 1-2

Registration and dibber hire:
10.00 – 12.00
NOR use a tent for Registration as it is easier and requires less manpower than using cars.
Refer people without dibbers to Dibber Hire; you need to know the dibber number before they can be registered.
Competitors should have completed their registration forms before coming to the tent. These should be checked, entry fee collected, and control description sheet handed out.
Look out for newcomers and refer them to Enquiries.
Ensure people on Registration know what to charge, and to ask to see competitors’ BOF membership card in order to obtain the £2 discount.
NOR’s current charges for Level C events are outlined on the Fixtures page.
At most events, 2 people are needed on Registration for the busy period, one of whom will take completed registration cards to the SI tent. A further person is needed for dibber hire. After the busy period, 1 person can usually deal with late registrations and dibber hire.
Total manpower 5

Enquiries:
10.00-14.00
Set up a table or a small tent next to Registration.
Helpers here must be experienced for dealing with newcomers.

If many newcomers expected, provide 2 or 3 helpers for the first hour or so, and 1 later.
Handouts etc on general orienteering matters, course choice, Junior League, Membership forms and details of future events should be available.
Total manpower 2-4

Start:
10.30 – 12.30
NOR follow a ‘first come, first go’ start system, and do not allocate start times at Registration.
The Start can then be managed by 2 people.
1 person should stand at the start gate to ‘check’ competitors’ dibbers, making sure they’ve been ‘cleared’, and then direct them into their course lane.
A second person stands at the start line to announce any instructions and to ‘start’ the competitors.
Whenever possible there should be a 2 minute gap between competitors on the same course.
It is important to check that pairs and groups only pick up 1 map unless they’ve paid for an additional one. Otherwise Registration will not know when the number of runners exceeds the map supply! (Guide: 1 description sheet entitles holder to 1 map)
Generally run by 2 teams of 2, but late starts at small events can be run by 1 person.
Total manpower 5

Finish:
The Finish at NOR events is not manned.
Ensure the way to Download is clearly marked with signs and tape.
Control descriptions should include instructions for everyone to report to Download, even if they retire.

Control collection:
A job which is easy to overlook until many possible helpers have already left!
Depending on the size of the area, it requires 4-6 people which may include Planner and Controller.
Total manpower 4-6

3. Equipment:

The club’s equipment is stored at Sprowston. Make arrangements with Equipment Officer, Pat Bedder or Alan (01603 424589) to collect it.

See the Equipment page for a list of items you will need for a Level C event.

4. On the day:

Try to have allocated all the jobs to other people so you are free to organise them and ‘fill in’ if something goes wrong or someone doesn’t turn up!

In summary, specific jobs to do are:

Hang direction signs: This can be a longer job than you might think! Some signs could be put out the day before but they need checking on the morning.

Car parking: Tape off any parking lanes or dangerous objects. Give registration cards and event details for handing out to person manning the entrance.

Put up tents for Registration, SI and Enquiries: Check the team know the registration process and charges. Provide the cash box and float (arranged with the Treasurer). Display course details and position results envelopes and box. Makes sure you put hazard tape round guy ropes and generator.

Transport equipment to Start and Finish and erect it.

Tape routes to the Start and/or Finish.

Check that the Planner has delivered the pre printed maps (Orange to Brown) to the start, and White and Yellow to Registration. Also that he has given description sheets for all courses to Registration.
The club’s equipment is insured, but there are conditions we have to comply with.

Equipment Risk Management Procedures

5. After the event:

Alan & Julia demonstrating how to dry controls

Alan & Julia demonstrating how to dry controls

  • Collect road signs.
  • The last people manning the Start should dismantle the equipment and carry as much of it as possible back to the car park. Check all has been returned and any route signs taken down.
  • Dismantle Finish and route signs (Only after last competitor has returned).
  • Dismantle all tents and pack up equipment.
  • Arrange to transfer money to Treasurer; collect expenses claim from Planner and Controller (and yourself) and make payments.
  • Keep a list of any damaged equipment including SI stakes/holders, and notify Alan Bedder.
  • Organise team for collecting controls.
  • Check all SI equipment has been collected.
  • Collect all litter.
  • Thank the landowner, ensure arrangements are made to pay levies etc. (Usually done by Fixtures Secretary, but check).
  • Arrange to return equipment to Tusting Close.
  • Thank your helpers.
  • Go down the pub or have a cup of tea; you’ll have deserved it!