The league is run by a set of volunteer organisers – they make sure the races run smoothly and safely. Every participant is also asked to marshal for one or two races throughout the league. Marshalling involves asking traffic to stop or slow so that the race can pass through safely.
You can see when you are due to marshal from the league spreadsheet linked on the front page. If you cannot make the date assigned to you, it is your responsibility to arrange a replacement. Use the forum to organise swaps – you can also do this to make sure you get to do the races you want (e.g. the 25TT if you're a good tester).
If you (or your swap) do not show up for your marshalling slot, you will be suspended from the league with immediate effect. You may then reapply to join the league, and it is at the league committee's discretion whether to let people back in or not, and whether conditions may be attached. The league fee will also reapply.
On the Sunday before your marshalling slot, you will receive a text from the organiser to remind you. If you have organised a replacement, reply to let the organiser know the name of your replacement by Monday. However, you must make sure to remind your replacement, and that they show up on the night. The organiser will not track any swaps or changes. Whoever prints and signs the sheet (as long as it's legible) will get the marshalling points.
If you are marshalling yourself, there's no need to reply to the text. Take a note of the number, so if you are running late on the night, you can let the organiser know.
We need to have our marshals in position before we start any racing, so you should turn up about 30mins before race start, so that you have time to get to your location. The organiser will assign you a location on the night. If you can bring a car or motorbike to the race, let the organiser know as well – cars are great for getting to the farthest locations, or as lead car/bike.
When you show up on the night, find the organiser at sign-on – you will need to sign on as a marshal. If it's your first time, let them know, and they can try pair you with a more experienced hand.
Bring a hi-viz vest or jacket if you have one. The organiser will provide you with one if you don't have it, and possibly a flag if needed. Bring a whistle to warn marshals of riders approaching (one blast), or warn riders of danger (continuous blasts).
Familiarise yourself with your assigned location, so you know which the race will pass through. When the lead car passes through, stop traffic well back from the junction. We have no legal right to stop traffic, all we can do is politely ask people if they'd please wait a minute or so while the race passes through. If they are impatient, explain it should only take less than a minute.
All marshals are also reminded to be polite and courteous when dealing with anyone outside the race. Remember residents are dealing with races more than once a fortnight, and can be understandably annoyed. Any aggression or confrontation on our part will only antagonise them further. It's become more of an issue in recent years, and we need to be on our best behaviour.
As a marshal, you'll be standing around doing nothing for 80% of the night. Dress warmly – lycra will not cut it unless it's blazing sunshine. A pair of runners or slip-ons are better than wearing down your cleats.
Other handy things to bring: a broom, for sweeping gravel out of the race line; a stopwatch, if you want to give riders a gap to the break or the bunch in front. If bringing a camera, remember your first priority is keeping the riders safe.
When performing marshalling duties, there are a couple of handy pointers:
- raise and wave flag to signal to warn approaching drivers to slow down
- your other hand should point the riders in the direction of travel. Riders should know the course, so this is not a priority if there are any unusual situations.
- if necessary, warn riders about cars on right after junction by shouting, 'car right', etc.
- if necessary, wave hands up and down to slow down riders. Shout 'slow' or 'steady'.
- if necessary, hold hands above head and wave from X shape to Y shape to stop riders. Shout 'stop', or blow your whistle continuously.
How not to marshall
The noun - a marshal, the person - is spelled with one L.
The verb - to marshall, "s/he is marshalling" - is spelled with two Ls.