Breaking news for marshals...

MCUI Press Release - Task Force Review

The MCUI (UC), MCI, Sport NI and Irish Sports Council have been meeting in the last few months to review the 2000 Task Force Report. This report was approved in 2001 at the governing body’s Intercentre conference and was compiled to improve safety, rider training, race/practice laps, marshalling, First Aid and operations at Road Race events with a total of 67 recommendations. Motorcycling Ireland and MCUI (UC) Road Race Commission have also been working closely towards a better understanding of joint and common practice at Irelands Road Race events to continually ...

Hutton & Meade - Medical Car

Hutton & Meade in association with Hyundai Ireland handed over the keys to a brand new Hyundai car to the MCI Medical Team for use throughout the 2011 road race season.  Jim Leonard was on hand a the Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club to accept the keys, he thanked Hutton & Meade and the club chief marshal Graham who had organised the deal.  The car will be available to the team for the entire session and will see its first outing at Skerries on the 2nd July 2001 running throught the Killalane.   Jim Leonard Club Medical Co-ordinator.

First on Scene - A great success

A huge thank-you to the MCI Medical Team for a brilliant and informative first on scene training day. It was really well run and a pleasure to take part in.....over 55 people took part in the day training which covered topics ranging from helmet removal to CPR.  I am sure you will join us in thanking the MCI team for giving up their time to ensure we receive the skills we need !  

Marshal Training a huge success !

It was wet and miserable Saturday in March, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm that was present with the team that arrived for the first MCUI accredited marshal training of 2011. A core group of 26 people arrived from as far as Waterford and Galway to take part in the session, which was put together by the Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club. All the participants were delighted to be the first group onboard to support the development of the training of Road Race Marshals in Southern Ireland. The Idea of Marshal Training, and a basic introduction to marshalling, was firs...

Marshaling at motorcycle road races

Motorcycle Road racing is a very exciting sport involving speeds in excess of 160 MPH on some circuits. Racing is run under strictly controlled conditions on roads which have been closed to the public, by means of a road closing order, issued by the local County Council.

The organizing and running of a road race involves competitors and a host of back up services, involving marshals, communication personnel, and medical services including doctors, paramedics and fully equipped ambulances. Road racing could not be run without that large band of volunteers – the marshals. There are various duties to be undertaken, and hence there is a variety of marshal roles to be undertaken.

There is a very definite command structure almost like a military operation, and the marshals are the troops on the ground. Road races in the Republic of Ireland are run under the General Competition Rules (GCRs) of Motorcycling Ireland, which is the governing body of Motorcycle Sport. The person in overall charge of running the event is the Clerk of the Course (COC) and this person is assisted by Stewards from other clubs, who check that the set procedures are followed. The COC has a Team of experienced people who have different duties, specific to their various roles. The second in command is the Assistant Clerk of Course (Asst COC).

When it comes to marshaling the 2 senior people in charge are the Chief Marshal and Chief Flag marshal. The Chief Marshal is the most senior marshal in charge and his job is to appoint Zone marshals, radio operators, crash marshals and crowd control marshals as well as Start / Finish and Dummy grid marshals. The Chief Flag Marshal ensures that all the designated Flag points (signal points) are covered as per a previously drawn up plan.

In order to understand how the various people slot in to the team it is necessary to outline the structure of the Team. The circuit is divided up in to various areas called Zones, and each Zone is under the direction of a Zone marshal. A Zone normally covers 2 or 3 flag points and includes flag marshals, crash marshals, and crowd control marshals.

Zone marshals

The Zone marshal is the person in charge in each zone and reports to the Clerk of the Course, so that the COC is aware of any problems in a particular Zone.

NOTE: Only experienced people are Zone Marshals. Zone marshals are also normally the radio operator for their allocated zone.
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Flag marshals

Flag marshals report to the Zone marshal in charge of their zone. Flag marshals signal to riders to warn them of danger or if a race is to be stopped for any reason. It is a very important job as the flag marshals provide warning to the riders of any danger ahead. Only people who have experience of road racing are allowed to be flag marshals, so if you aspire to this position you need to attend a number of races as part of a marshal team and also have some flag training, before you are appointed a flag marshal.
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Crowd Control marshals

These marshals report to the Zone marshal in charge of their zone. Their duties are to ensure that spectators do not go in to dangerous positions or do anything that could cause danger to themselves or the competitors. Newcomers to marshaling are normally placed with an experienced person, so that on the job training and experience, is built up under supervision.
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Crash marshals

These marshals report to the Zone marshal in charge of their zone. Their duties are to deal with the fallout from a crash or incident. This may involve removing a fallen bike from the road or assisting a rider who has fallen. The zone marshal will decide who does what before the racing starts, so that each marshal knows what their role is beforehand. Newcomers to marshaling are normally placed with an experienced person, so that on the job training and experience is built up under supervision.
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Start and Finish marshals

Marshals are required to grid or supervise the riders so that they are in their correct place on the grid prior to a race. Places are normally allocated based on practice times or their standing in a particular championship. The grid placing information is provided by the Timekeepers, and the grid marshal works from that information. Some marshals like the atmosphere of the start and finish, where there is very specific work to be carried out before each race.
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Dummy grid marshals

Marshals are required to grid or supervise the riders so that they are in their correct place on the grid prior to a race. A Dummy grid is a grid that is not at the start / finish. The riders are placed in their correct position on the dummy grid, so that when they have completed a warm up lap and arrive at the start / finish, they can quickly locate their correct position on the real start / finish grid. The marshals at the dummy grid will check that the riders have a start permit and are at the grid for the correct race. Being a dummy grid marshal requires patience and a clear head, in order to sort out queries in a cool and speedy manner. The information for the placing of riders on the dummy grid is supplied by the Timekeepers.
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Travelling marshals

These consist of experienced ex competitors whose job is to control speed on warm up laps and follow (sweep) the riders on the first lap of practice, or race. They also control the practice speeds for newcomers by leading newcomers for a specific number of laps, whilst the newcomers learn the circuit. They are considered to be the eyes and ears of the COC and take charge of incidents when and if required. They are motorcycle mounted so that they can respond to an incident in a safe and speedy manner. All are first aid trained and several are paramedics. These appointments are made by Motor Cycling Ireland and not by the organizing Clubs.
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Marshal information contributed by Ray Taylor.