Marshal Brief

Typical Marshal Brief

Please arrive in plenty of time to get to sign on (Kevs Camper/Awning) which is where the marshal brief will be along with all your kit.  We suggest bringing extra fluids and snacks and perhaps a hot flask of tea/coffee/soup.

You’ll be provided with a packed lunch and all the marshal kit you need – Please see below Marshal brief that we’ll also go through again in the morning.

It is very important that you’re prompt with arriving on time as we have a really tight schedule to keep to. Stages will be assigned before the marshal brief.
The Volunteers Marshals Hand Book for the [EXAMPLE] Enduro 2019:

You must be at least 16 years old on the day of the event and be fit and able to carry out your duties.

This briefing will serve as a tool to assist you with your duties. It will explain your role in the overall workings of the event, your responsibilities and give you suggestions on handling situations you are likely to encounter as a course marshal.

Volunteer marshals are extremely important to any event.

Your specific responsibilities will include:

Spectator and rider management.
Ensuring that spectators stay off the course.
Informing riders of accidents and or dangers using the flag system provided.
Making, or reporting any course or tape repairs as soon as possible.
Requesting the medics when required.
Report any incidents, rule infractions or unsportsmanlike behaviour to the stage manager – try to give rider number
Assisting the media in carrying out their jobs in the most professional and safest manner possible. Note they must at no point be located on the course and inside of the tape, this includes
‘B’ Zones are off limits to anyone – marshals, media & medics must not position themselves in B Zones or other unsafe area’s
Helping to clear the course of rubbish, course tape & signage after the event.
If you are injured, feeling unwell or intoxicated in any way, please contact the stage manager and withdraw yourself from volunteering at the event.

We will supply you with the following:

A clean high visibility vest that must be worn at all times on the course.
A radio & if required marshal flags
Transport if required to drop you up the stage and to bring you back down.
Food and drink for the day.
A bin bag to clean your area at the end of the day.

Keep in mind that you will be outdoors for a very long period of time, generally in a hilly environment. Such areas often experience rapid weather changes. Therefore, you should carry a backpack or small bag with everything that you might need, including a jacket, rain gear, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Never lose sight of the fact that in the case of an accident, you can literally hold a rider or spectators life in your hands. With this in mind, we ask you to remain calm and execute your responsibilities with the utmost seriousness.


Introduction – copy of verbal briefing held on the day

Introduce to the head marshal, stage managers and Medics with each of their roles explained.
Your first point of call will be to your stage manager in regards any questions or queries.
Make sure you have all signed in & you have a Hi-Viz Vest, Whistle, Radio, Flags, Bag of food.

Communication: A radio is a great responsibility. [EXAMPLES] Stages 1 will be on Channel 1, Stage 2 on Channel 2 and Stages 3 will be on Channel 3

Radio Rules:

  • If you are talking on the radio – No one else can transmit.
  • Only use the radio for relevant information, unnecessary chat can block the channel (see above) .
  • Put the radio in a position where you can easily hear anyone trying to contact you.
  • Act on any information you receive
  • Wait a second after pressing the “talk” button before speaking, give your stage and marshal position first.
  • Wait again after speaking, give a good gap for a reply
  • Respond to all radio checks and check your radio before heading up the course.
  • You are often the first person to contact medical assistance after a crash. Clearly state “Medic required” after giving your stage and marshal number, before a short description of the incident. Allow good time for the medics to respond and assist in answering their questions
  • Please look after your radio and return it at the end of the day, you will be paid in cash when your radio is returned.
  • Stage managers will have a spare radio

-Weather forecast. [EXAMPLES] Ensure you wear suitable clothing for the days forecast or unexpected changes.

-Hi-Viz Vests must be worn at all times.

-Whistle to be blown (one short blow) for every rider, this audible message allows other riders, spectators and the next marshal to know a rider is on track. H&S Warning, the whistles are loud, only a gentle blow is required – do not damage your hearing.

Flag System:

There is a basic flag system in place for both downhill and Enduro

When waving a flag assure you wave it clearly so the rider can see it – Also when not using the flag assure they cannot be confused as being used.

  • When a rider crashes / has an incident you must first decide whether a flag is needed.  If the track above you is clear and the rider gets straight back up and sets off then no flag is needed.
  • Yellow Flag:  This may be used during practice only and is to slow the riders down if there is an incident in front of you that the riders can negotiate at a very slow speed i.e. walking pace – For example a rider that has crashed but has recovered off the track but still in a potentially vulnerable position. Please note the Yellow Flag must be put away after practice as it will not be used once racing commences.
  • Red Flag, this may be used during practice and racing and is to stop riders for when the track ahead is closed. The usual reason for a track closure is due to a racing incident and a rider blocking the track
  • If you red flag a rider during his race run you should send them to the Stage Manager who will authorise a re-run – When they arrive back at the timing tent we will remove their first start time to calculate their race time.
  • If the red flag during practice looks like it will be up for more than 30 seconds then radio through a “Hold at the start of stage #”. The stage manager will then make the call as to which marshals should display their red flag and possibly hold riders at the start if need be.
  • Once a red flag is raised, continue to manage and observe the riders in your ‘queue’ as other riders on track maybe approaching the ‘traffic jam’ at speed. We would advise where possible to ask riders to pull over to side of the track. It may also be necessary to walk up the hill towards the end of the queue waving your red flag to ensure no riders are shunted from the rear. Before doing so, please ensure the riders at the front are under clear instruction not to ride further down the course until you advise them to do so.

– Photographers Wristbands
Photographers who have presented their PLI and RA to the arena staff will have a wristband. Please allow them slightly more access than spectators, your stage managers will give you details of where they can go.

– Under 16s
All Under 16’s require chaperones, they could be fellow racers or non-racers. Non-races will be identified by the Pink wristband issued at sign on, and attached to the handlebars. Chaperones are allowed on the stages.

Start Marshals – Start procedure. Riders can go 5-30 seconds after the rider in-front, longer gaps can also be used. Use your judgment on the speed of the rider you have just set off and discuss with the next rider. Keep an eye on your Queue length, don’t adversely slow down the event. Start everyone from the same point at least 4M from the timing beacon. 2M range for timing.
Start marshal must also make a visual assessment of the riders helmet, check it is fastened, and that helmet cams are on the top (not underside) of the visor/peak. Alternatively they can be on a manufacturer fixing point – no stuck on mounts on the helmet itself, any doubts at all ask the rider to remove it.

GoPro Rules

– Finish Marshals – keep the finish area clear, riders should keep going well past the finish beacon. 5M range for timing. If the beacon gets hit put it back in the same place, but will still work in a 3M sphere even if on the floor knocked over. Finish marshals do not require flags or a whistle.

-We hold a duty of care for the riders and spectators as well as any trail riders in the area.

-If a rider crashes, usually they take themselves off the track, if they don’t then ready the red flag. Give them chance to move, “Hold at the top of stage #” on the radio – then “Red flag” as soon as the next rider is approaching your position, 1 second or 1 minute later.

-Verbal communication with the rider is key. Ask them what they need from you, you should avoid touching them unless asked. Don’t do anything you are not comfortable with, if you have first aid training and are happy to use it then do so.

-If you have to attend to the rider and leave your marshal post. Inform the stage manager.

-Ensure your safety first. Make sure the track is clear above you and no riders are descending before you step into the track to assist the casualty. You may need to have your back to a crashed rider to red flag the stage and ensure your safety and wait before you attend them more closely. Remember you cant help them if you get injured.

-If the rider can make their way to the side of the track, guide them to a safe area and collect their bike.

-If the rider needs medical assistance, radio medics, stating your marshal point, injury believed to sustained and a quick assessment of the rider and the urgency of the matter.

-If you witness a rider receiving a head impact and suspect the rider may be concussed, please notify the stage manager at the finish line and identify the rider in question.

-Please only refer to riders by their rider number.

-Please be discrete on the radio. Any message relayed can be heard on each marshals and commissaries radio, plus anybody else standing by them.

-Once incident is cleared, inform your Stage manager that the course is clear. Medics to confirm they are in position. Stage manager will authorise track to go live once the course is clear and medics are in position and free to respond

-During racing if a rider leaves the track, they must re-join where they left it. No assistance by spectators or marshals is allowed.

-All spectators and media must stand outside of the tape, that includes ‘B’ zones. Nobody is allowed on the track.

-Do not allow anybody to stand on the outside of a corner or on the downside of the track where a rider may fall. Evidence of broken tape is a warning to stay clear of that area.

-Advise everyone to stand above the track, never below where rider and bikes are much more likely crash or slide into them.

-Spectators crossing the track. Advise them to come to your marshal point then advise them when it is safe to cross.

-Ensure any media or spectators filming that their equipment stays outside of the tape. No action cameras on poles sticking into the track. That includes flashes etc..

-If you spot a piece of track that needs course maintenance. Radio your stage manager and describe what work you believe needs to be carried out.

– Do not allow any rider to push up on the track

-Litter, if you see anyone dropping litter (riders or spectators) please ask them to take their litter away with them and dispose of it sensibly. Alternatively, pick it up and bring back with you.

-Ask dog owners to put any loose dogs on leads and keep on their lead at all times. If you see a dog defecate please ask the owner to pick up and dispose of sensibly.

-Drone aircraft. Drones may only be used with prior consent, today we are expecting [NONE]

-If you need the toilet, or need to leave your position then please contact the stage manager.

-You are more important than the riders. Any abuse will not be tolerated. Let it pass, record the riders details and inform your stage manager. We will always back the marshals. “hold riders at the top” or red flag if you need to, spectators and media have nothing to see if the course is on hold due to their actions

-If you have any problems or concerns, speak to your stage manager, Karen our head marshal or Kev on the day

-Make sure you have all of your marshal kit with you and have a great day!

Any questions?