HVOC Event Organising Guidelines

This section contains advice for the key organisers of orienteering events - controller, planner and coordinator. Even for small one-person events there are some things such as safety, and responsibility to the landowner, which cannot be avoided.

The guide has evolved over the 30 years of the club's existence. This format was adopted in 1991, and subsequently loaded onto the internet where changes are made progressively.

Here are the definitions of the various roles which might be involved in an event. They are appropriate for "club events" up to OYs. For a major event, you should consult the NZOF Rules. For park or street or or other small events run by one or two people, interprete these accordingly.

The CONTROLLER (Cont) is in overall charge of the event with responsibility for safety and smooth running as well as course quality. (S)he must be an experienced orienteer and skilled organiser.

Note added May 2001 this includes making sure that obligations to landowners are met: eg no dogs are brought to the event, gates are left as found, etc. Of course safety is even more important. "The buck stops with the controller" and for one or two-person events the organiser must take this responsibility.

The COORDINATOR (Coord) primarily handles on-the-day running of the event; in theatrical terms "Front of House". (S)he must plan and set up the Event Centre and supervise the Helpers, and do some tidying up afterwards. Since 1997, the coordinator has to recruit the helpers too.

The PLANNER (Plan) sets the courses and puts out all control markers and other equipment needed out on the course (drinks, taped routes etc). For maps on OCAD, the planner must arrange for any required updates of the map and printing of enough copies. Most of the work is over by the time the event begins.

The COMMITTEE (Cttee) chooses events and provides the resources of equipment, money and support needed by the organisers.

The PROGRAMME COORDINATOR (Prog) recruits organisers, seeks landowner permission, publishes this guide, and hold copies of previous courses and course planning guides.

The GEAR CUSTODIAN (Gear) holds and keeps in good repair all equipment and consumables except maps.

The MAPPING COORDINATOR (Map) holds the archive of OCAD files from which maps are printed. There are often leftover copies of maps, and there are still some pre-OCAD maps which are held by the MAP STOCKIST.

A HELPER (Help) works on start, finish, results etc but has no responsibilities before or after the day.

The WOA OY COORDINATOR (OYC) keeps and publishes WOA OY scores.

The WHITE BOX is a box of small equipment and consumables held by the Gear Custodian.

The RED BOOKS contain course planning advice and are held by the Programme Coordinator.

The following positions are vacant as at the latest update, so you'll have to work around that:

THE DUTIES Who Also By When
Select event venue, specify style of event. Cttee   -13wks
Obtain permission from owners and check access. Prog   -13wks
Appoint event organisers and get agreement. Prog Cont, Coord, Plan -13wks
Remind the three key organisers to print off this schedule and put actual dates onto it; supply to planner previous master maps, map with ownership boundaries, small stock of maps for planning, Red Book Prog Cont, Coord, Plan -8wks
Choose range of courses req'd (length and difficulty) and decide enough details to attract and get participants there (see below). NB there are WOA rules on OY grades, and recommendations on courses. Plan Cont -8wks
Supply information about event to HVOC Publicity Officer, HVOC Programme Coordinator. The WOA Fixtures Officer needs info by the 15th of each month to meet the newsletter deadline, and it usually arrives in the first week of the next month. Include any non-standard start times (OYs are 10am to 2pm) and info on location, map, terrain, signposted from, range of courses, nature of event, organisers, previous use, successes of previous events, newsworthy items, course closure time. Cont Prog, HVPub, WOAFix -8wks
Read the Red Book and draft courses on paper Plan   -6wks
Visit the venue and confirm permission with the landowners, and discuss potential problems with stock or crops, are any gates so vital they need to be manned. Check for unsuitable areas, e.g. vegetation growth or clearing. Keep the Controller informed. Plan Cont -6wks
Revise courses on paper, checking for length and suitability for competitors. If you are new to planning, consult the Controller for advice. Plan Cont -3wks
Check and revise the courses in the field, concentrating on map accuracy and control siting. Mark sites on the ground with removable tape and note control descriptions. Compile one Controller's Map with all control sites, drinks locations and map corrections on it. Submit to the Controller for vetting a map with descriptions for each course, plus a Controller's Map with all controls on. NB the last weekend you can spend on this is two weekends before. Plan   -2wks
Recruit helpers Coord   -1wk
Vet the courses in the field. Look for suitability for the intended participants as well as fairness (accuracy along all routes as well as all around control). NB the last weekend you can do this is the weekend before, or 2 if you are premarking maps. Sign the Course and Controller's Maps. Everything that is done now must be checked back to these. Cont Plan -1wk
Check the Event Centre site and plan Registration, Start and Finish areas and signposting. Try for a logical flow from parking to registration to corrections to start sheet to start. Plan   -1wk
Contact helpers and allocate times and jobs. Ask them to be on time; late helpers have to start right at the beginning otherwise the early helpers don't get a fair go. Coord Help -1wk
Brief Coordinator on signposts and location of Registration, Start, Finish, and equipment needs (depends mainly on shelter available) Plan Coord -6days
Advise Gear Custodian what equipment will be needed and when. If a trailer is req'd, plan to borrow or hire, and who will tow. Coord Gear -6days
Check availability of control codes and arrange a time to pick up control stands and flags. The gear shed is locked and you will need to make arrangements to get the key. Plan Gear -5days
Allocate control codes, marking on the Controller's Map. Prepare control description sheets. Plan   -5days
Prepare Master Maps for each course and if necessary Corrections maps (several for a big event). Master Maps should have the corrections and the descriptions on them. Plan   -5days
Double check the Master Maps, Corrections maps and Control Description master against the Controller's Map. Cont   -3days
Collect plenty of maps from the Mapping Coordinator; or for OCAD maps arrange for printing. Plan Map -3days
Photocopy control descriptions. Consult old newsletters for numbers on similar events and allow 50% extra. Plan   -2days
Prepare Course Notice, giving number, length, climb, difficulty, estimated winning time, card colour, closure time. Plan   -1day
Pick up controls and flags and drink containers. Sort the controls into order for setting out If you really must, create master clip cards by writing in the code and clipping. (This is not necessary as competitors' cards can be compared with each other, they can't ALL be wrong!!!) Plan Gear -1day
Pick up all equipment except controls and flags from Gear Custodian; check contents of white box, you need to know what is in there. Coord Gear -1day
Set out the Registration area, Start, Finish, Toilets, Results display etc. NB this can be done on the day, but it takes two people who know what they are doing at least two hours where tents are involved. Coord Help -1day
Set out the controls and flags and drinks, if not liable to be stolen or blown away, using the Controller's Map. Plan   -1day
Independently check the control locations and codes. It is acceptable for the controller and planner to set out half each and check each other's; in this case make a second Controller's Map and check it carefully against the first. Cont   -1day
Decide whether to cancel. Events are cancelled for safety, not for comfort. Maybe promotional events where the market would not turn up. Ring 2ZB and quote code B680. (Not done for years, this code may no longer be active.) Cont   -3hrs
Set out signposts so that helpers can find the venue; signs in advance of major turnoffs as well as at the junctions; possibly reinforcement signs if they are a long way apart; "Close Gate" signs (visible if gate inadvertently left open). Coord   -2hrs
Set out any remaining controls and extra drinks if it is very hot. Plan   -1hr
Check remaining controls Cont   -1hr
Give Maps, Course Descriptions, Map Corrections and Course Notice to the Coordinator. Also a Controller's Map for control collection (sealed envelope if necessary!!) Plan Coord -1hr
Set out Master Maps and tape from Start to Master Maps. Plan   -30min
Set out equipment at Registration, Start and Finish. Synchronise clocks, start beeper, put cards and descriptions into the dispenser. Put up Course Notice. Coord Help -30min
Brief and train initial helpers on Registration, Start, Finish and Results. Pay particular attention to their role in helping novices. Coord Help -15min
Satisfy yourself that everything is ready to go, and advise Starter. Cont Help Zero
Supervise helpers, brief and train them as they come on duty. The main problem will be late helpers not back from their courses in time to let the early ones go. On a small event you can compete if you hand over the responsibility to someone else, but not on an OY or above. Coord Help  
Handle complaints, course problems such as controls going missing, injuries and safety threats. Send away people with dogs, get vital gates checked. You should remain free to cope with whatever crops up. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE EVENT CENTRE. Cont    
Receive compliments on the courses. By all means run a course unofficially. Plan    
Check that all competitors and control collectors have returned safely. If not, organise all searching, recording searchers' intended routes and expected return times. Alert police if necessary. STAY AT THE EVENT CENTRE so you can direct operations. Cont    
Arrange collection of controls (hint: cut up the Controller's Map into bits.) You can have collectors standing by a control ready to remove it at the closing time if you are well organised. Supervise packing up of all gear and check that it is all there. Don't forget the roadsigns. Coord    
Call on any sensitive landowners and tell them how well the competitors enjoyed the venue. Advise Programme Coordinator of any difficulties which could affect further use of the property. Plan Prog  
Check results if not done on the day and phone summary (first 3 per grade and anything notable) to WOA Publicity Officer for the dailies. Coord WOAPub +1day
Dry out wet gear. Coord   +1day
Return the gear in a clean, dry and tidy state to the Gear Custodian. Report breakages, losses and anything used up. Leave $50 in the cashbox. Coord Gear +1wk
Return surplus maps to the Mapping Coordinator Coord Map +1wk
Type-up complete results and send with report to WOA Newsletter Editor, plus if it was an OY to all area secretaries and the OY Coordinator. Coord Edit, OYC, Secs +1wk
Send non-member names and addresses from the HV area to the HVOC Newsletter Distributor ( we had a policy of sending them the next newsletter) others to appropriate club secretaries. Coord NL Dist, Secs +1wk
Send income to HVOC Treasurer or bank it yourself and advise date, amount, and whatfor. The club's bank account is 010514 0135615-00, it's ANZ. Coord Treas +1wk
Send expense claims to HVOC Treasurer. Cont, Plan, Coord Treas +1wk
Return Red Book and previous courses supplied to the Programme Coordinator, accompanied by one copy of each Master Map with Descriptions on it, one Corrections Map. Plan Prog +1wk
Contact the Landowners with written thanks, and if appropriate bottle of wine or some such gift. Prog Plan +1wk
Hang onto the clip cards until publication of the results, then discard. Coord   +2mths

This page was written by and updated 22 Nov 02; very limited changes 10 Apr 06.
Back to "About the Club"