AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

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AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby ambulocetus27 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:01 pm

The SDMC has a regular problem in getting enough people to support events by marshalling. There are some mechanisms in place to try and deal with this by mandating that entrants in certain championships (Speed League, Rally Championship) have to marshal at events in order to qualify for trophies at the end of the season. However, there are two problems: as mentioned this still does not generate enough marshals, and secondly, people tend to leave it to the end of the year, so that no one is available to support events early in the season.

In an ideal world people would be happy to contribute some of their time to support the club in return for the events that it provides for them, however this does not seem to work. Many disciplines like Autotests need a large number of marshals to allow their events to take place, however there is no requirement for the competitors to support any other club events. This would seem an unfair and one way relationship.

I intend to propose some changes to this process at the SDMC AGM and would like to hear other people’s views. You can contribute to the debate on this forum thread.

I suggest that we use the scoring of Chalky White points as a standard way to record peoples support for the club. As well as marshalling this can be used to record other activities such as tyre strapping or ticket selling at Crystal Palace for example. Currently the Speed League requires one full or two half days marshalling to qualify. This equates to at least two Chalky White points.

Proposal 1: Increase the qualification to four Chalky White points, requiring people to do the equivalent of two full days support. This means that there will be more marshals available and also they should start earlier in the season to ensure they can fit their days in.

Proposal 2: Require people in all disciplines to marshal in order to win any trophy.

I realise that some people don’t care about trophies and others really can’t be bothered to do any marshalling, but for the good of the club to allow events to be run, we need to look at these proposals. I welcome any suggestions from other club members on this subject.

Alex
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby Andy Elcomb » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:13 pm

Interesting.
I think one of the main problems with an increased marshalling/otherwise helping requirement is when you are considering "& District" members.
Would it be practical or even possible for someone who doesn't live in the South East to earn those valuable marshalling points?
Yes, of course one can say that if they are going to travel a longish distance to compete, then they could do the same to help, but its not really the same thing is it? The cost of travel is very rarely covered by meal vouchers or similar, so is it fair to ask someone to do their bit more than once if its costing them more?

I'm not saying the proposal is wrong, just putting some points up in the air.

Anyone else?
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby jeffw » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:24 pm

Currently the Speed League is the only championship I compete in that requires marshalling time to qualify for the awards. If I'm honest the imposition of two days marshalling would likely mean I wouldn't bother entering . This is not to say that people shouldn't marshal ( I actually did two days marshalling last year) but to be forced to do it is another matter.

What a lot of championships do is offer bonus points for marshalling and in the case of a number of them you couldn't win without getting the Marshal points (as I found out to my cost last year). This 'carrot' approach would sit better with me than the 'stick' of requiring 2 days.
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby ambulocetus27 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:15 pm

Andy, Jeff,

both good points. Thank you for taking the time to join the debate.

I like the carrot approach - the difficulty is providing an even incentive across all disciplines. I suppose it could be half a class win's worth of points or something similar - would this work for rallying, autotest and sprint ? I certainly intend to take advantage of this in ASEMC this year (worth 12 points compared with 15 for a class win). If only I had done this last year I would have had enough points to win my class (in an unusual season where the top three from last including myself all missed rounds due to accidents). Instead, I came fourth and missed out on any kind of recognition in the awards :-(

One area I would really like to see some suggestions is how to encourage the less committed people to go marshalling. I am sure that Jeff and I would be quite happy to clean the tarmac at North Weald with our tongues if it meant scoring that extra vital point to win the championship. However, the people who only do a few rounds for fun wont be so focussed on winning and so wont go so far to earn points. How can we encourage them to engage ?
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby jeffw » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:40 pm

Not sure I would go as far as you would Alex. The fundamentals are that the Speed League is shrinking which in turns means there are less people who can be 'carrotted' or 'sticked' into marshalling. I don't have the information but I would be surprised if more than 4 or 5 Speed League competitors marshalled to ensure they where eligible. A number of people who did events in the Speed League series would marshal certain events anyway regardless of the competition and a number would not.

So how do you get a shrinking pool of drivers to marshal more....no idea.
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby ambulocetus27 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:09 pm

So that we have the correct statistics to base our decisions on, I can report that of the 23 speed league competitors, 18 qualified by marshalling.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the other disciplines such as autotests who benefit from other people marshalling, but do not make any commitment to the club themselves.
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby jeffw » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:02 pm

How many of the 18 would have marshalled anyway?

Regardless of that, a shrinking pool of competitors means reduced numbers of potential marshals.
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby robhume » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:23 am

I can only reply to what has been said from a personal point of view, but do understand the problem.

Having done lots of sprints and hill climbs around the UK, for me the question is more about quality than quantity of events, and as I don't register for the Speed League, I don't feel guilty about not marshalling.

I only compete at a few events, two or three in the UK and same in France, and I'm not interested in doing lots of events, to gather points for a championship or to collect pots.

I do understand that for an event to take place, marshalls are needed but so too are drivers.

I think to try and impose conditions revolving around marshalling and points or whatever, rather than on a voluntary basis, would not be a good idea.

Perhaps offer double points at the less attractive or badly supported events to try and entice more competitor marshals and for the regular marshals, maybe a couple of tickets fro Crystal Palace.

Unfortunately I can't think of a another solution.
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby alfaholic » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:09 pm

From my point of you I find it wrong that you can win a championship by marshalling points , you don't see Lewis at a wet North Weald getting cold in the hope of getting that one extra point so he can secure the championship. Seems fudge mentally wrong to me , it should be won on merit and ability only, otherwise it looks a bit pot hunting.

As someone who has had a spell successfully chasing championships I know the level of time and commitment it takes and given that yes I usually qualified late in the season if I thought it was worth while. Mercenary ? Yes but I joined the club to race first and foremost.

And now as I work abroad and are more & district member and not chasing trophies just picking and choosing the events I do, would marshalling be high on my agenda no. And this probably goes for a lot of time strapped drivers.

Getting enough marshals out has always been a problem but we usually mange ok, and this is from personal experience of helping Stacey with the auto tests for many years, changing the approach to marshalling will not bring more people out in fact it may put more people off, I would leave it as is myself.

There is a far bigger underlying issue which I banged on about at committee for years of where the club will go over the next 5 and 10 years. We have no strategy and an ageing membership of which a small hardcore carry the majority load . We really should have an overarching plan in place that guides the club encompassing everything we do including cp, rather than just planning a Callander of events on a year by year basis. We should also look at other events like barrel racing etc which are low key and attracting people and see what we could do with new formats. I am sorry but without the CP event 7oaks would be looking somewhat a staid club. We also have no backup plan or alternative event we could run in parallel should CP come to end.
'The reason I do it is because if you do it wrong, it will kill you.
If you think it's too dangerous then go home and cut your lawn and leave us to it.'
- Guy Martin
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Re: AGM proposal - standardise marshalling

Postby ambulocetus27 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:42 pm

Alfaholic (what is your actual name ?), I agree entirely with your points.

The essential problem you identify is the lack of new and younger members getting involved supporting the club, as opposed to just driving in events. I (and I am sure the rest of the committee) would welcome all suggestions to help with this - but we seem to be a bit short on new ideas ?

Alex
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