Event Directors Guide

So..... You have volunteered to be an event director...........
(Updated 23 Dec, 2010)

Please read this even if you have directed an event before. Now that we are putting on 40+ events a year it is important that everyone work together to keep things running smoothly.

Here is some important stuff that is often forgotten. This is also in the regular text, but it is here so everyone will still be reading and thinking when they get to it.

  • Clear your parking, start, and finish area, and reserve a pavilion if needed, with the park as soon as you have a rough idea of where the courses are going.
  • Make arrangements to get the equipment set assigned at the event where it is last being used. If you cannot attend that event find someone to pick it up for you.
  • If in doubt about how many maps are needed, contact Ed Scott. A database is maintained to provide good estimates on your printing needs. It is not really a problem if we have to hand draw a half dozen maps for latecomers on the day of the event.
  • Don't waste DVOA funds. We are an orienteering club not a caterer. A few goodies are nice, but no one should expect to have lunch on us.
  • Help the next guy by providing him with the complete equipment kit as you got it. Don't leave part of it in your garage until "later". It's a real problem to open a box on the morning of an event and find it missing some of its key contents.
  • If you used regular punching, be sure Vadim gets the event data for uploading to the site and adding to the club ranking statistics. If you used epunching, make sure someone sends the event file to Sandy Fillebrown. If you want your courses in RouteGadget send the course files to Doug Sevon. Writing a short article for Nancy Sharp to include in a future Briar Patch is a good idea, and fill out an Event Report Form, (a financial accounting) and mail the event proceeds to our Treasurer, John Ort.
  • HAVE FUN. The joy in directing an event is watching everyone having a good time at your event. It's like having a party. Don't wear yourself out so much that you can't enjoy the day. Get lots of help. Do what you can and delegate the rest.


As soon as you said "I will" you made a commitment to about 600 of us and an untold number that our advertising will reach, that there will be an event at a particular place on a particular day. The good news is that the large majority of those same 600 should be there to help you if asked. To be successful, you need to begin some planning as soon as possible.

Start now... Courses. If you donít already have a course setter, start immediately to find one. The event planner or your course setter has probably already put your event in the schedule as Beginners, Score, White through Red, etc. At some locations pavilions have already been secured so your registration area is already determined. As soon as you confirm the status of these arrangements the course design work can begin. It is good for you or your course setter to check verbally with the park about the exact areas you are planning to use for start and finish areas. Better to learn of conflicts now than after the courses are designed. A short walk to start is fine, but finish should be close to parking, especially in cold weather. It is good to decide whether you will be using e-punching or manual punching before the courses are designed since e-punching does provide some design choices that will not work well with manual punching. You must decide which, if any, of the courses you will design, and whom you can ask to do any course design work which you wish to delegate. Be sure both you and your course designer, if you decide to utilize one, are clear on who is responsible for checking the sites selected prior to hanging the control, and who is to hang the controls the day before or day of the event. If you choose to do some course design yourself and it is your first attempt, please review the Course Setter's Guide on this site and recruit a Vetter that is willing to actively support your efforts with periodic reviews and advice. On your first attempt at course design, it is probably best to design courses of the level at which you regularly compete. Don't forget about providing water on the courses. USOF guidelines require a water stop every 2.5 K. Usually two gallons for each course using the control is enough at a local event.

Next... Find your equipment. On the website, under Kit Schedule you can find which equipment set is assigned to your event, where it will be prior to your event and who should get it afterward. Make arrangements to get the equipment. If using E-punch, that equipment is managed by Ron Bortz. It is important for you to get the equipment as soon as possible from the previous user. Please keep the entire kit together. Do not loan out bits and pieces to other club members. Even if what you loan out isn't essential to your event it may be to the next person to use that kit. It is very frustrating on the day of an event to open a box and find some key piece of equipment is missing. Pass it on to the next user. Check with Ed Scott to find the closest source for your map and map bags, and the Map Printing page to see who might be able to print the final courses on your maps.

Step three... recruit your day of event helpers. Fill out the volunteer request form on this site for your event. The best place to recruit workers is at the events held on the weeks before your event. Try to get some new workers, but at the same time have someone with experience at each key location. For Epunch events, recruit an epunch crew, a registration crew, and someone to watch over start and finish. For regular punch events you will need to staff registration, start, and finish. It is best to have at least two people at each spot and two crews, one "early" (10:00 to noon) and one late (noon until closing) Note that registration closes at 1:30, and start about 15 minutes later, but finish can be around until 4:00. It is good to recruit a control pick-up crew ahead of time also. This gives them the option of coming to the event around 1:15, running their course then going out for controls, rather than running early and still being there at dusk getting out of the woods.

Step four... the final week... Crunch time.

By now your courses should be finalized and the control descriptions should be written. There are Macintosh and IBM programs available through the club for control description printing.

Maps need to be printed. There are several people with club printers (see Map Printing for a list) that will print the courses on the maps for you. If you prefer you may hand draw the courses for small events. Don't be afraid to get help if you need it.

Attach the control descriptions to the maps using glue sticks. Don't cover the legend or other important areas of the map with the control descriptions. If in doubt put them on the back.

Check the equipment kit. Download any paperwork such as registration forms, express registration packets etc from the website and make copies if needed. If you are short on consumables like pink cards or map cases, call the manager of the kit that you are using. A stack of pink cards number about 110 to the inch so two inches will do all but the largest of local events. If you need more, someone can bring them the morning of your event.

Plan when the flags and water are going out. Be sure to leave a plastic bag with the water jugs so the person that picks up the jugs after the event has a place to carry all the used cups.

Buy any refreshments that you think are appropriate, but don't over do it. A couple of cookies are nice, but no one should expect to have lunch on us.

Day of the event...Hey everything is done now. You can relax! Actually you should arrive early, set up registration and start so that when your crews arrive they can start to process the mob that we all expected. Make sure all your helpers get to run by recruiting a few extra replacements as the day goes on. The finish won't be busy until later so don't worry about that until everything else is up and running. Spend the rest of the day observing what went right and what went wrong. See if there is any need for improvement the next time. Make sure you have someone to pick up controls at the end of the day. Don't wait to do that job until your car is the only one in the lot. Give the complete kit to the next user. (He is an excellent candidate for control pickup as he has a vested interest in getting all the controls out today)

That evening or within a day or soÖ Wind down, but don't put the paperwork off too long or it will never get done. If he didn't get it the day of the event, send John Ort the proceeds minus any expenses with receipts you are claiming. Fill out the on line event report which gives many of us the data we need to keep track of our future needs. Sandy Fillebrown needs the event file if you used epunching and Vadim Masalkov needs your results if you did not. Nancy Sharp will appreciate a brief story for the Briar Patch. (Be sure to include a list of your helpers)