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Airienteers, Orienteering in Airedale and Wharfedale and Leeds and Bradford

Regional and National Events - Organiser Guidelines

Last edited: Sat 2 Jan 2021

Useful Documents

EOD Registration FormEOD Registration Form - Cross Country
EOD Registration Form - UrbanEOD Registration Form - Urban events
Risk AssessmentBlank Risk Assessment Form
Map numbers tick list
Event Budget templateGuidance and template for Organisers for setting event budget
Event P&L Summary templatePost-event Income and Expenditure template
Pre-entry guidanceGuidance for organisers for events which use Fabian4 for pre-entries




(previously Levels C & B)

Firstly, obtain the event area file from the Fixtures Secretary. (The old paper file system has fallen into disuse/disrepair. We are attempting to make new electronic files – but your event may be the first to use this system.) It is important for this system to get moving so future organisers have the benefit of your observations.

If this is your first event organising, do not hesitate to ask more experienced organisers for advice. Guy Patterson is particularly knowledgeable regarding Dales Events. Other previous organisers can be identified from the Results pages on the website, or the Fixtures Secretary, Chris Burden, can give you a few names to try.

Permissions for use of the area.

Usually this will already have been achieved.

The people responsible are:-

David Williams – All areas within Bradford and Leeds local government boundaries.

David will email you a month before the event with a request to send brief details of the event to the Area’s Manager

Tony Thornley – All areas owned by the Devonshire Estate in Wharfedale Tony will also deal with Natural England re all areas in the Dales.

Ian Marshall – All landowners covering the Kilnsey map.

Guy Patterson – All other areas in North Yorkshire.

Please check with them about who you need to speak to, if at all, in organising the event.

Check out the Results page on the AIRE website to find all the details of the last event on this area. Note any issues.

Have a look at the range of papers available on the Aire website: Event Resources which can be found in the Information section. No need to re-invent the wheel!

Have a meeting with planner (and controller) to discuss parking, starts and finish. And which courses are to be provided.

For National Events we usually provide the full range of courses, with the exception of :ong Orange. Very Short Green is usually provided for Yorkshire Superleague events.

For Regional Classic Distance Events we usually provide White, Yellow, Orange, Light Green, Short Green, Green, Blue and Brown courses.

For Regional Middle Distance Events also provide a Black Course.

Only provide a Long Orange Course if you are making a determined effort to attract experienced non-orienteering runners.

The planner has responsibility for the start kite and the final control and for everything in between, and also for production of the maps and course descriptions. Everything else comes under the Organiser’s remit. But DELEGATE as much as possible to your team leaders.

Make contact with your team leaders to ensure their availability. If they are unavailable on the day it is their responsibility to recruit a replacement and let you know.

It has become the norm for one of the team leaders to do the main recruiting of volunteers including a team to help the planner collect the controls (and possibly put them out as well). Make sure you know who that person is and that you have a deadline for them to report to you, no later than 3 weeks before the event.

The Future Events List on the “Useful docs” page will tell you which helper group will be active for your event.

The Helper group details can be found in the Members section if the website.

The team leaders are experienced in their roles, and you can delegate to them the details of how they run their part of the event.

They need to know the systems being used, how they fit in with other parts of the organisation and so a meeting of the group may be desirable, going over the arrangements around a month before the event. You may also need to organise a site meeting as well for some of them. At this meeting you need to track the system through from entry to results. A lot of this can be done by email, unless circumstances are particularly problematic.

It is your responsibility to arrange to collect the equipment from the Equipment Officer, currently Ken Patterson. It is best to do this at least 2 weeks before the event to give yourself time to replace or locate, any missing equipment. There are clearly labelled boxes for the Organiser, the Registration Team and the Start team.

It is the Organiser’s responsibility to make arrangements for the equipment for the varies teams to be available at the event.

There are Team Leaders responsible for the following areas:-

1 Pre-entries; This is usually only used for National Events; the ones that may have additional courses such as Short Brown, Short Blue and Short Green. Pre-entries are done via the Internet using the Fabian4 entry system - see guidance download note. This is a role that should be delegated. The Events Resources section has a document outlining how to go about this. When pre-entries close The Pre-entries Organiser will email the file of entries to the SI (Sportident Electronic Timing) Manager for the event.

2 Tent Team: This covers Registration and Enquiries, Download and Results and Results Display.

This team need to know everything about the event, as they deal with enquiries, including displaying any future advertising of Sire events and activities. The enquiry desk is best placed slightly away from the hurly burly of registration.

There is a keybboard available for competitors to use. Place it close to Enquiries.

The tent team have to deal with many of the queries for the event - whereabouts of start, finish, distances, results envelopes (rarely needed these days). Most of these details are best provided in the Final Details.

3 SI Manager The Tent Team also includes the SI Manager, who is a critical person in terms of the whole event. It is his/her responsibility to ensure that the courses and entries are accurately inputted, that download works effectively, and that results are displayed at the event. Most commonly this is done by screen display, and on other occasions by printed results. Please consult with your SI Manager on this. Competitors appreciate frequently updated results, which are best achieved through Computer display.

The SI manager will usually get the results and Routegadget posted on the Internet on the same day as the event. Check with them that this is in hand.

4. Start Team: They will need to be made aware of which courses are on offer, the location of the start(s), and which direction the runners will be setting off in, and any other particular requirements. Discuss with the planner who is best to give this information.

5.String Course: Check that the string course organiser is liaising with the planner about the location of the String Course - if you manage to recruit a string course organiser, in increasingly rare occurrence.

6 Safety and Control Collecting Team: The planner is the team leader for the control collecting, but should not be responsible for volunteer recruitment.

Event Safety is the Organiser’s responsibility. It will be your responsibility to organise any search for missing competitors. There are useful documents regarding event safety and search procedures on the BOF website.

Pre-event liaison is required with the planner. Ensure that they will provide you with All Control maps and spare maps for each course to enable an effective search.

Ensure all team leaders know who is in charge of safety so that any reports of someone in need made to them are directed immediately to the safety officer (normally, although not necessarily, the organiser) The safety officer, or if you run a course, another deputing event official will remain in position throughout the event.

If people are missing, organise a search if they have not returned by a particular time. Use the downloaded BOF report form for any reported incidents which might result in a claim on the BOF insurance - any accidents with damage to persons or property.

For moorland events contact the local moorland search and rescue team not necessarily to have them attend the event but to let them know an event is being held and ascertain how to contact them were there to be a search needed.

7. Event Operations team: This is the Organiser’s team - although there is a team leader to do the recruiting for you. This is the team that does everything not covered above. It can include signposting, parking, toilet placement and supervision, drinks provision, staffing of the Finish, etc. the list is potentially limitless

There will need to be clear liaison between you and the leader of your parking officials, early in the event preparation, regarding the parking arrangements. It may be necessary to collect a parking fee, and will be necessary to hand out registration forms and event information.

If the Finish is very close to the parking/download consider whether or not provision of juice or water is really necessary. If you decide not ,please let competitors know they need to provide their own in the Final Event Details.

In the warmer months you may want to discuss with the planner, early in their preparations, whether an on course drinks point should be established.

Remoter finishes need to be staffed for safety reasons. The Finish official needs to be ready to handle injury enquiries (need accident report forms), missing control reports and, most important, welcome all finishers.

There will need to be mobile phone or radio contact between yourself and the Finish team, (or indeed any other remote team).

Publicity and Event Information Ensure the Fixtures Secretary, currently Chris Burden, has your event details correctly entered on British Orienteering’s Events List and the Aire events list.

Chris Burden has a supply of old flyers that can be adapted for your event, but really this is no longer necessary, as the Fixtures page on the Aire website should contain all relevant information about your event and can be easily printed off. Chris Burden will attempt to design simple flyers for display at events – but this will say little more than the date, venue and level of your event. Arrange for club members to display some copies at other club’s events.

You can of course supply a flyer to the Aire Affairs Editor, currently Wendy Carlyle.

Get Final Details on the website, no later than 5 days before the event. This does not need to be a separate document. Just make sure all the details are up-to date. Chris Burden usually updates all web pages so let him know in good time. If he is unavailable the web manager is Robert Gatenby. Arrange for an EOD (shorter, but relevant) version to be available for Parking Officials to distribute to EOD competitors, if necessary -it rarely is necessary -, along with Registration Forms (downloadable from Information – Event Resources - Useful docs), which competitors can complete before going to Registration. If the Parking team are likely to bestretched the alternative is to position a separate table at Registration with pens and the entry forms.

Registration and Download It is always best if these can be indoors. Often however this facility is not available, in which case you will need to ensure the largest Club Tent is available. This will need to be erected at least 30 minutes before the first competitors arrive, which is usually around 9.30!

Toilets If indoor toilets are available, use them.

Otherwise if portable chemical toilets are needed. Convenience Hire of Oakworth have proved to be reliable and good value. 2 toilets is usually ample for a smaller Regional Event. A rough rule of thumb is add an extra loo for every 100 competitors.

Don’t forget to supply ample spare toilet roll. There may be some in the equipment store.

Signs Someone is needed to put out all road signs, signs in assembly area, signs to help competitors, and their dismantling. It takes much longer than is generally realised - not necessarily a job for the organiser personally.

The Start Team put out any tapes from assembly to the Start. (Please check that they are prepared for this)

The Event Operations Team tape to the Finish if a Tape route is required – check with the planner. This team also sign and tape the route from the Finish to Assembly.

Assembly Lay-out The Organiser’s responsibility; this includes siting of parking, registration/download, Aireport, toilets, (sometimes Junior Squad cakestalls), and results for all events. For larger events it may include shops, caterers, ambulance, mountain rescue.

Clothing Transfer If either start or finish is any distance from the assembly area you may need to provide a clothing transfer or at least dry storage facilities if both are near together. Use marked plastic bags. or preferably ask competitors to supply their own, and have someone allocated to ensure they are moved to finish systematically. Indicate what is happening in final details.

Start There are two start clocks. One is set for pre-start and one for the start line. There is a 4 minute gap between them. For events with no pre-entry only the start line clock is necessary. You need to ensure that the clocks are fully charged before the event. Particular care is necessary to ensure the time is correct if the event is the first after the switch from BST to GMT or vice versa. If you have 2 starts the pre-start clock can be re-programmed as a Start line clock. The SI manager will do this for you.

For events with pre-entry and more than one start you will need to discuss what additional clocks are available with the Equipment Officer.

The start team will have maps for each course in clearly marked baskets or bags. Waterproof maps, the norm, sometimes are hard to separate for competitors in the heat of the race. The start team are best haaving an official available to separate out a single map each time one is taken by a previous competitor on a course.

The SI Manager will provide the Start Team with stakes for the Clear Stations and Starts, and also with the clear, check and start Si units.

Finish The SI Manager will provide 2 finish control boxes and stakes to be placed by the Finish banner which should always be used. It is the Event Operations Team’s job to tape from the last control to Finish, if required. If the Finish is remote from Download you will need an official stationed there who has either phone or radio contact with the Organiser, to alert them re any emergencies.

Drinks It is not customary to provide drinks these days due to environmental concerns about plastric bottles and cups..

If you have a distant finish, or particularly hot weather is predicted, consider providing water at the finish. Some supermarkets will sell very large water bottle containers relatively cheaply to be used with plastic cups. Otherwise tap water in plastic containers is fine.

Volunteer’s Vouchers All volunteers/officials are entitled to a voucher to enter future Aire Events. There is a supply in the organisers box. The Planner, Organiser and Controller should receive 2 vouchers each, as well as their expenses. If the vouchers are not distributed on the day, experience has shown their rightful recipients do not receive them.

Day of the Event timetable :

Street Signs

2 hours before first start

Car Parking

2 hours before first start


1 hour before first start, Portaloos are usually delivered a day or 2 earlier.


1 hour before first start,


1/2 hour before 1st start,


1/2 hour before 1st start


by first start time

Results + computers

1 hour before first start (to input eod entry details)

The Organiser may (should?) have nothing to do while the race is on. Success depends on your ability to delegate effectively. But you, or if you are out on a run, a designated deputy, must be around the assembly area the whole time because you could be needed - queries can arise which only you can answer and you must be on hand if an emergency arises.

So don’t get landed with any last minute jobs - try to get someone else to do them.

Have a mobile phone to hand on the day. Also a list of all other Team Leaders phone Nos.



Permissions: As soon as you have agreed to take on the event check that permissions have been obtained. Check they are in writing because BOF would like a copy for insurance purposes. Read file on the area. Talk to previous organisers and person in AIRE who knows the area best about the area and its potential problems.

A week before the event recheck with prime private landowners that all is well. The planner should have checked out those affected by the courses

Download from BOF Website: Insurance Policy, Accident Report form, Risk Assessment


Team Leaders: check they are geared up for the event.


Meet with Planner and Controller to sort out where start, finish and assembly area are to be, courses to be offered, safety measures and any other details which need fixing early - the details which need to go in the event webpage. Check planner has copy of the up-to-date rules – download from BOF website. The BOF Rules determine which Colour courses have to be provided and advise on course combinations (planner's responsibility).


As soon as you have basic details, (grid references, entry fees for larger events) etc give Fixtures Secretary them so he can update the event on BO and Aire Fixture lists.


Ensure there is an event flyer for Aire Affairs, and distribution at Events..

Consider distributing at events within 50 mile radius two months before event. Leave packs in an obvious place at these events, usually at or near enquiries. Check with BOF fixture list beforehand to work out which events to take them to.


Fix a meeting with team leaders well before the event, or at least discuss the event with them individually. Include controller and planner. Make sure the relevant folks know the location and desired set up for their function.


When necessary clear locations of stalls, loos and organisers tents with appropriate landowners/tenants.


Write to local police about two weeks before the event to let them know what is happening. If you have contact with the PSLG that will do. If there are likely to be problems write much earlier and offer to meet them. If you have contact with the PSLG that will do.


Do you need to let local people know about the event - think about the effect of lots of cars or people passing houses? If yes, remind them a week before the event. Maybe dog walkers and horse riding establishments need a courtesy call or notice?

In areas where there is dog walking or horse riding, put up signs at each access point before the weekend before the weekend of the event. Many dog-walkers/horse riders do their activity at weekends so need to be warned before it and not on the day of the event.


Include note in final details indicating what procedure is being followed for control descriptions. They should be available in the start lanes. Experience shows that pictorial descriptions are adequate for all classes, although often for White, Yellow and Orange courses we use both pictorial and text side by side. Liaise with the planner on this.

White and Yellow course competitors should always collect their maps and descriptions from Registration.

At EOD events there is no real proof of entry for the start team. Trust in competitor’s honesty seems to work adequately.


For the smaller Regional Events AIRE currently charge £10.00 for seniors (£2.00 discount for BOF or YHOA members) £4.00 for Juniors and students. These fees will only be varied if there are significant land access fees. In this case, initially consult with Fixtures Secretary.

At National Events offering the full range of courses it is the Organiser’s responsibility to set a budget and determine entry fees accordingly. The Treasurer, currently Peter Jones, may be able to help you with this task.


Confirm key arrangements in writing, particularly permissions (probably already achieved), bookings of loos and buses if required.


The SI Manager is responsible for getting results published on the web and Routegadget. Check this is in hand. It is always best for this to be achieved on the day of the event. If printed results are required confer with the SI Manager who will print and distribute them.

The SI Manager will take all the entry forms and ensure they are stored for the 5 years that Insurance conditions apply.

Ask for expenses claims from major officials and either pay in cash or ask for treasurer to write a cheque or arrange a bank transfer..

Sort out cash. Do budget. Send budget sheet + copy of levy form to Treasurer + pay in the receipts, minus any expenses you have paid for personally, by bank transfer.

Check on damage to areas straight after event - the planner should have visited the competition area.

Thank private landowners either by visiting and giving them a copy of the map and results or by writing. For key landowners, a bottle of scotch, or a small monetary consideration if none has been requested, may go down well. If any complaint or suggestion of problem visit the area quickly and try to sort out.

Update event file and return to Fixtures Secretary.

Chris Burden 2019

Other Events Resources pages