Planner’s Guide

This guide is intended as a checklist for planners. If you notice any amendments or additions, please email.

Timescales are approximate. It is always better to start as soon as possible! You will be surprised how fast time disappears.

Download this as an Excel Spreadsheet here (to follow when agreed)

As soon as you are appointed as Planner
Check about car parking (essential) with Fixtures Secretary / Permissions person / Organiser and advise if there are any problems.
Contact the Fixtures Secretary to get the Generic Planner’s file, the Area Specific Planner’s file, find out who Organiser & Controller are and find out what courses are to be put on (eg if a championship event or similar).
Get the latest OCAD map from the Mapping Officer.
Begin “armchair planning”.  Key document: BOF Rules Appendix B
About 4 months before the event
Check with Fixtures Secretary that permissions to use area have been granted. Ensure permissions are in place before visiting the area (could be trespassing if they are not).
Check event is registered with British Orienteering before on-site planning (an insurance requirement to cover you). The registered event number should be put on the map using the course planning software.
Check with the Permissions Officer / Fixtures Secretary about any arrangements for area access (e.g. if need to inform landowner when on area etc).
Do a preliminary visit to area to check map and “get a feel for the area”.
Liaise with Mapping Officer as necessary regarding any map updates etc.
About 3 months before the event
Agree high-level planning with Organiser – location of parking, registration, start, finish, toilets, string course etc, timings (if not standard, liaise with Team Leaders), map recycling.
Make contact with Controller.  Agree timescales,planning software (usually Purple Pen), control site tagging method etc.
Expect draft information for the event web page (and possibly paper flyer) from the Organiser. Check the information is correct.
Visit area to ‘tag’ control sites with tape.  It’s best to use tag numbers and then convert to actual control site box numbers when all the sites are agreed.  Check with the SI Team Leader which SI control numbers are available for the event (usually 161 upwards, but not always). Try and make tags big enough to be visible for controller.  Red insulation tape is good.
Liaise with Controller over control sites and courses.
Check with the Mapping Officer that map printing arrangements are in place. Usually Paperworks in Harrogate or BML by post. Map printing guidelines are on the website under Club>Policies.
By 1 month before the event
Complete and agree all courses with the Controller.
Send details of courses, lengths, climbs etc to the Organiser for final details.  And any other relevant information (eg dangerous crags, OOBs etc).
Expect the draft Risk Assessment from the Organiser. Add any Risk / Safety issues concerning the courses. The Organiser drafts it and the Controller approves it.
Ensure the Organiser knows the detailed locations of parking, registration,start & finish so that a detailed plan for the event can be produced.
Liaise with Organiser about who will do what on the day (controls, taping dangerous areas, on-the-day information sheet, policy on what-to-do if maps run out [need to agree this with the Controller as well]).
Liaise with SI Officer regarding delivery of the required number of SI boxes in time for putting out the controls.
Estimate the number of maps required.  Take into account any previous Claro or other events in this area, any other events on locally or in neighbouring regions (or major events elsewhere), likely weather, any large parties attending (eg Scouts). Check with Fixtures Secretary. Don’t forget blank maps for the start lanes plus all controls maps for setting out and control collecting.
2-4 weeks to go
Send maps to the printers and agree collection / delivery arrangements.
Print loose control descriptions, ideally on waterproof paper. Fixtures Secretary can supply old maps. Cut and hole punch top centre.
Agree contingency plan in case you run out of maps on day of event. Consider recycling maps (who, how,where), asking competitors to go on other courses, using blank maps & master map etc.
Ensure the Equipment Officer is contactable and check arrangements for collecting equipment.
For a Level B event, organise a jury of appropriately qualified people and ensure they will be available and contactable on the day.
2 weeks to go
Check if gripples (wire security locks) are needed to secure SI boxes (usual for urban and areas with a history of vandalism). Learn how to fix and release them.
Obtain required equipment (stakes, kites, any Out Of Bonds tape, taped route tape, gripples and keys, pin punches (for Level B)) from Equipment Officer.
Send the courses file to the SI Team Lead for loading into the SI software. Either send the Purple Pen file or the .xml output file if you know what you are doing. The SI team lead also needs a .jpg file of the map for RouteGadget and an electronic copy of the All controls map to align courses.
Prepare sequence of control site order for putting out controls. You can set a “dummy” course in Purple pen for this.
Ensure Registration Team Leader has details of all the courses (lengths, climb, number of controls), location for white and yellow maps (registration or start), etc.
Get the SI boxes from the SI Team Leader in time for putting out the controls.
1 week to go
Make a list of likely Claro members to ask for assistance in collecting in controls after event and contact them. Aim for up to 8 – 10 controls max per person.
Inform the Organiser, Registration and Start Team leads of any specific on-the-day information for competitors e.g. safety issues, bad weather restrictions etc.
Agree with Controller timescales for putting out controls and him/her checking them.  Often you will need to put some out the afternoon before event.  If you do, inform the SI Team Lead so he can arrange insurance extension. Put controls for White / Yellow or any in public view on morning of event. On a large / technical area, plan on 6-7 controls per hour.
A few days to go
Collect maps from printer.
Ensure that SI kit is delivered  / collected from SI Officer.
If adverse weather forecast or actually happening, liaise with controller / organiser about possible cancellation, postponement or other measures like cagoules compulsory.  Send any updates to the Publicity officer for the website.
Make a plan for control collecting by choosing groups of controls to be collected in.  Mark them on an all controls map for each collector.
Put out controls. Leave tags in place in case of any vandalism. For a Level B event, hang a pin punch on each control stake as a backup.
On the day
Put out any remaining controls, noting how much daylight you will have.
Ensure any OOBs and taped routes are in place.
Tape any other areas as agreed with Organiser. (Use black & yellow tape for Safety/Out of Bounds)
Ensure that there is a kite on all Finish controls.
Give the maps and loose control descriptions to the Start team.  White (& sometimes Yellow) are usually given out before competitor starts, sometimes at Registration.
Check with Controller that everything is OK so they can confirm that the start can open.
Once it is open, check that everything is OK at start, then wait at Finish for the first finishers and check that there are no problems.
Relax & enjoy the day.  Be available for any issues (e.g. missing controls). Take action if necessary (hopefully not needed) Have a ‘kit’ ready of at least one stake and kite, ready to replace a missing or failed box]. Move between start and finish to get feedback on the courses, but be contactable at all times.
Check with SI team as day progresses to see who is still out to establish when control collecting can start.
Start collecting controls as soon as possible. Brief control collectors that tags should be removed when controls are collected.
SI boxes are usually collected by the SI Team Lead on the day, but if not, count to check they are all in and arrange to return them to the SI Team Lead as soon as possible. The SI Team Lead usually posts results that evening or as soon as possible afterwards.
After the event
Write some short “Planner’s comments” straight away and send to the Publicity Officer to post on the web alongside the results, including any “after event messages”.
Return any equipment to Equipment Officer.
Claim any costs (mileage, printing etc.) from the Treasurer.
Write up any comments for the file – any new advice to future planner. Include a paper copy of each course for the Fixture Secretary’s file.
Return Planner’s files to Fixtures Secretary.
Email any electronic files to Fixtures Secretary i.e. courses and map and the final map file to the Mapping Officer.