Susquehanna Valley Orienteering
Information for Meet Volunteers

This page contains descriptions of the various jobs filled by volunteers for local meets. Anyone interested in volunteering in any capacity should contact the club president, Brad Whitmore. You can always help at a meet and still have time to run your course. New helpers are always welcome! Don't worry if you think you don't have the knowledge or experience. You can be paired with another club member who will help you learn the job and learn more about orienteering in the process.

Meet Director

-Coordinate with the webmaster. Work with the webmaster to make sure the meet is advertised accurately. Be sure the date, time (if different from the standard time), and location are correct. Add or update driving directions. If known, list courses offered.

-Coordinate with the course setter. This usually involves coordinating the event logistics, such as the locations of the start and finish areas.

-Coordinate with volunteers. Contact club president or secretary at least two weeks before the event for list of club members. Contact members to determine their interest and availability. Coordinate when and where to meet at the event.

-Coordinate with the course setter to make sure someone has water and cups to be placed on course. Make sure water and snacks are provided at finish. (Snacks can be simple and inexpensive - pretzels, cookies, fruit. Save the receipt.)

-Obtain event supplies. Find out who has the meet kit and arrange to pick it up to bring to the event. Supplies include cash box, punch cards, pens, staplers, directional signs, club banner. Make sure enough registration, start, and finish forms are printed for the day of the event. These can be found on the documents section of the website.

-Post road signs. On the morning of the event, place road signs to the event site in accordance with the website driving directions. Road signs are usually hung with attached string. Be sure to confirm that arrows are pointing in the right direction and signs are visible.

-Set up registration, start, and finish areas. Start set-up at least one hour before registration opens. Distribute forms and clipboards.

-During event: Coordinate staff and deal with any problems that arise.

-After event: check that all participants are back safe and sound.

-Event clean-up: Ensure all participants, staff, and supplies are accounted for before leaving the area. Be sure to pick up road signs. Take control flags and extra cups and water with you as well.

-Close out cash box. Count the cash. Return $40 (mostly small bills) to box for change. Keep the remainder; write a personal check to SVO for the amount and mail to the treasurer. If you have any receipts for expenses (water, snacks, etc) reimburse yourself, mark the receipt paid, and include it when mailing to the treasurer.

-Pass along event supplies (kit) to the next event director or course setter. (Sometimes this can be done the day of the event.)

-Generate results and submit to the webmaster ASAP, preferably within 24 hours.

-Submit new membership info and money to the secretary/treasurer.

Course Setter

*** about a month or so before the meet (earlier the better) ***

- Rough draft on paper. Usually start by figuring out the start and finish areas first. The White and Yellow courses often dictate this so generally start with them. Also, often useful to plot out some interesting long legs first and then fill in the advanced courses from these. Repetition of controls makes things easier for local meets (i.e., the green course can be a subset of the red course). At this stage I usually have about 80 % of the controls in mind, and some sites I want to visit before deciding on the rest. Make a rough estimate of length to insure the courses are reasonable. White (1.5 - 3 km), Yellow (2 - 3.5), Orange (3.5 - 5.5), Green (3.5 - 5.5), Red (5.5 - 8), Blue (8 - 12 km).

- Visit all the sites. Leave a small numbered streamer at the exact location where you want to hang the flag. Take notes for the clue sheet (e.g., NE side of 2 meter boulder). I generally rule out 10 - 30 % of the sites based on the actual visit, due to either the feature being poor, or the map being inaccurate (e.g., new house which is not on the map).

*** about 2 - 3 weeks before the meet (earlier the better) ***

- Make new draft of courses (note: may have to make another visit to the woods before finalize this step). If possible, send draft to someone for comments. Also, have someone check your locations in the woods (i.e., "vet" the courses).

- Compute the distances and elevation. Distance is straight line distance, unless they have to go around something unavoidable (e.g., a lake). Elevation is along the "best" route (i.e., somewhat subjective).

- Draft the clue sheet. Get some help making the final clue sheet (i.e., someone with computer program) or do it yourself. Make a master for each course and either draw the courses yourself or get someone to do it for you (contact event director for help at any stage). Also make a master with all the locations on it but not the courses (and a few xerox copies if possible). If you are drawing the courses yourself, leave plenty of time. Don't forget to figure out water locations. These should be controls easy to get to and shared by more than one course if possible (e.g., by roads). Should be water every 2.5 km or so. About 1 gallon per 15 people about right, but depends on how hot, hilly, etc.

*** Day before the meet ***

- Generally place the deep woods controls out the day before, and the ones on trails the morning of the event. Someone else can help with this step (that is one reason you put the streamers out). If possible, have the vetter check the final locations.

*** Day of the meet ***

- The event director should arrange for someone to help you with the control pickup (after the course is clear or 3 hours after the last starter on that course). This is where a couple xerox copies of the master is handy.


- Collect information and map fees from participants
- Issue punch cards, making sure all necessary fields are filled out
- Rent compasses, e-punches if needed; sell whistles and patches
- Make sure participants are aware of any course setter's notes or other special requirements
- Direct beginners to someone who can give them instruction
- Direct participants on where to find start
- Collect membership forms and dues as needed

Start/Finish Crew

- Assign start times at 1-2 minute intervals
- Write start times on both sides of punch card
- Retain punch card stub
- Ensure participants have correct course map
- Start participants at correct time
- Record finish time or DNF as people complete their course
- Check punches if necessary
- Calculate total time and post card stubs at results

Other help needed

-Map Drawing
-Teaching Beginners
-Control Pickup