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Thread: Marshall Question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dave Farrar's Avatar
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    Default Marshall Question

    The judging threads have been great. Thanks to those that "have been there and done that." How about a thread on making the FT or HT run smooth? We have all been to events where it was great and other events that were just short of a train wreck. Tips on making great would be appreciated.
    DUCKDAWG'S MAC'S MAGICAL MR. OCTOBER SH -- Reggie

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Peter Balzer's Avatar
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    Marshaling, in my mind is two things, communication and anticipation. Effective communication with workers/throwers, judges, and participants. Anticipation of potential issues, like equipment malfunctions for example or having enough birds/ammo to keep running smoothly.

    Communication can be tough when some of those parties don't know how to communicate with you so you have to ask the right questions or explain something in a different way.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member fishduck's Avatar
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    IMHO marshals duties should be broken into 2 main categories. 1: running order/logistics 2: equipment/flyer shooter and bird boy coordinator.

    1: From a logistics standpoint the one thing that can make or break a test/trial is waiting for handlers. Regardless of the efficiency and excellent time management at the stake, the wheels fall off the bus if the test stops for 2 hours waiting on someone to finish at another stake. When a handler signs up for 3 or more stakes, they MUST run at the beginning of the order then be fast tracked as they arrive at the other stakes. That will mean that they will miss the test dog at the other stakes and may not get time to watch several dogs run. It WILL make the handler unhappy to be rushed but that is the job.

    2: The number one thing that will help a test start on time is having equipment in place the day before. If all the stations, holding blinds, bird dryers are in place it will only take a few minutes to erect a judges tent and distribute birds and workers to the bird stations. A timely start pays huge dividends.

    Equipment can and will malfunction. Be prepared to fix it. With the gas guns you need an extra canister of gas. Using wingers requires zip ties, rubber tubing. It is a good idea to have an extra pouch with rubber and pulleys already attached for WHEN the malfunction occurs. This makes the repair very quick. Carry orange ribbon, blind poles and a machete to remove hazards, cut brush, ect.

    Flyer shooters should be instructed to bring skeet chokes. This is not the time or the place to test the new extra full, long range choke tubes. Bring a shotgun because often the equipment guy will be needed to relieve someone or a shotgun can malfunction.

    Count the birds before a rebird. If there is a short station that can be rebirded between dogs, give them one duck or just a few. Distribute others equally and try to keep up with when a rebird will occur. You should have the ATV/UTV ready and waiting when it happens. It is a nice gesture to let the handlers know when the rebird will occur.

    Instructions to workers will vary based on experience. Avoid dog terminology with the less experienced. For example don't say "throw the duck angled back 45 degrees" instead point out a different colored spot or clump of grass as a target. Demonstrate the way you want the ducks thrown and how to operate the equipment. Pretend you are explaining this to a Kindergartner. This will save hours of frustration. Gas guns and wingers are second nature to the retriever community but can be quantum physics to some of the bird boys.

    Finally, take a little time for yourself. Make sure you take time to air and water your dogs prior to running and don't be in a rush to get to the line. Enjoy the day!!!
    Mark Land

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  6. #4
    Senior Member swliszka's Avatar
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    Mark#3 Excellent post! The marshal makes it run..have radios/cell phones to find/locate wandering contestants and clear with judges the time of the "clock." Be prepared for excuses.

  7. #5
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    We've started making a master list (with cell numbers) of HQ personnel, marshals and helpers for each flight, and hunt committee and getting that to everyone working the day before. That helps when you need Joe Pro to come from Finished C to Seasoned, etc.

  8. #6

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    Bring out extra equipment from trailer to set next series before the move, then go back and tear down previous series. If you have a long move between land and water can save a lot of time.
    Back when Bootheel had more than five of us I would just float between all the stakes helping on moves and next day set up.

  9. #7
    Senior Member EdA's Avatar
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    THE MARSHALL RUNS THE STAKE!!!

    Off the top of my head, its the marshall's job to:

    Make sure the stake has all necessary resources (equipment, birds, drinks, ice, signs, and labor.) loaded and ready to rock when the judges show up. You should be given a list, ahead of time, of what all is needed. Make sure your bird boys know what they are doing BEFORE you put them in the field. In the middle of a test is not the place for someone to learn how to properly throw birds.

    Take the equipment and labor to the test spot. Adjust/place signs as you go. Make sure people drive where they are supposed to.

    Set up the test (place gun stations, verify test throws with the judges, holding blinds, etc...)

    Locate a qualified test dog. After the first series, try to use someone in that stake that was dropped.

    Tell the gallery where to sit.

    Communicate issues/questions from handlers to judges and vice versa.

    Coordinate traffic and in out of the stake if applicable.

    Check people in and line em up.

    Make note of your multi-dog/multi-stake handlers a head of time.

    Keep the dogs coming... call em out LOUD and CLEAR between every dog (#1 to the line, #2 to the holding blind, #3 second holding blind, #4, 5, 6 GET READY!!!)

    Coordinate re-birding with the judges, gun stations, and HANDLERS - very important to let handlers know when your going to rebird... line up the rebird and call out REBIRD as if it were a dog... #1, #2, #3, REBIRD, #4)

    Stay on top of call-backs at the other stakes.

    Stay on top of your multi-dog/multi-stake handlers... keep the other marshalls in the loop as to where those handlers are in your rotation and when they can expect them.

    Try to work lunch in between series.

    Last dog runs... start breaking down the test and picking up gun stations. The test should be picked up and ready to re-locate by the time judges have the call-backs ready.

    Give call backs... LOUD and CLEAR... then do it again for the 8 people that walk up to you. (have a couple extra pens with you)

    Communicate questions/issues from the handlers to the judges.

    Give the callbacks to the other stakes as you can.

    Tell the handlers/gallery whats next and where your moving to.

    Make sure you have the right equipment and labor for the next series and move the whole test.... don't forget to adjust your signs.

    Give the results and hand out ribbons.

    Make sure the event secretary gets the call back sheets.

    Good mashalling is a BIG factor in putting on a smooth event. The marshall is the judges liason, that stake's representation in the event, and the person who makes sure the judges' only job is to judge.


    Author Shayne Mehringer

  10. #8
    Senior Member The Snows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    THE MARSHALL RUNS THE STAKE!!!

    Off the top of my head, its the marshall's job to:

    Make sure the stake has all necessary resources (equipment, birds, drinks, ice, signs, and labor.) loaded and ready to rock when the judges show up. You should be given a list, ahead of time, of what all is needed. Make sure your bird boys know what they are doing BEFORE you put them in the field. In the middle of a test is not the place for someone to learn how to properly throw birds.

    Take the equipment and labor to the test spot. Adjust/place signs as you go. Make sure people drive where they are supposed to.

    Set up the test (place gun stations, verify test throws with the judges, holding blinds, etc...)

    Locate a qualified test dog. After the first series, try to use someone in that stake that was dropped.

    Tell the gallery where to sit.

    Communicate issues/questions from handlers to judges and vice versa.

    Coordinate traffic and in out of the stake if applicable.

    Check people in and line em up.

    Make note of your multi-dog/multi-stake handlers a head of time.

    Keep the dogs coming... call em out LOUD and CLEAR between every dog (#1 to the line, #2 to the holding blind, #3 second holding blind, #4, 5, 6 GET READY!!!)

    Coordinate re-birding with the judges, gun stations, and HANDLERS - very important to let handlers know when your going to rebird... line up the rebird and call out REBIRD as if it were a dog... #1, #2, #3, REBIRD, #4)

    Stay on top of call-backs at the other stakes.

    Stay on top of your multi-dog/multi-stake handlers... keep the other marshalls in the loop as to where those handlers are in your rotation and when they can expect them.

    Try to work lunch in between series.

    Last dog runs... start breaking down the test and picking up gun stations. The test should be picked up and ready to re-locate by the time judges have the call-backs ready.

    Give call backs... LOUD and CLEAR... then do it again for the 8 people that walk up to you. (have a couple extra pens with you)

    Communicate questions/issues from the handlers to the judges.

    Give the callbacks to the other stakes as you can.

    Tell the handlers/gallery whats next and where your moving to.

    Make sure you have the right equipment and labor for the next series and move the whole test.... don't forget to adjust your signs.

    Give the results and hand out ribbons.

    Make sure the event secretary gets the call back sheets.

    Good mashalling is a BIG factor in putting on a smooth event. The marshall is the judges liason, that stake's representation in the event, and the person who makes sure the judges' only job is to judge.


    Author Shayne Mehringer
    WTG Shayne and thanks to Dr Ed for reposting!
    NMH GMH GMHR-V HRCH-UH Dakota Creek's Royal Navigator MH (AKC & CKC)
    HRCH-UH MHR-I Dakota Creek's Royal Gem MH
    HRCH-UH WR Dakota Creek's Wreaking Havoc SH
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    MHR Pine Acre's Dakota Sand Creek SH WCI (2003-2017)

  11. #9
    Senior Member big trax's Avatar
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    So I am new to trials having only ran one derby and one Q. I have run several hunt tests. It seems the expectations are different with each venue I've participated in. I have served as a marshal at both HRC and AKC hunt tests, but never at trials. I assume there is no rule, but my question is regarding the running order.

    My experience:

    HRC- They couldn't care less about what order is printed in the catalog. Marshal's job- get dogs to the line in any order - most understand that pros and folks with dogs in multiple stakes have to be weaved in early.

    AKC- Varies, but most of the time, especially in master tests- by golly we are running the order printed in the catalog. Some marshals do in fact understand that pros have to be worked into the lineup, but clubs usually tell pros to go to the lower stakes first- run all your junior dogs then go to senior then come to master- hope the junior and senior marshals understand the catalog order can't always be followed.

    Field Trials- Again, I've ONLY RAN TWO, so I don't claim to know, but the derby I ran adhered exactly to the running order and instead of starting with dog number 1 in the second series, dog 5 was first and then dog 9 in the third etc so tha dog one, if carried was not running first every time. The running order was placed in the first holding blind for each series- as an am who was lost anyway, I really appreciated it. That said, this was a Friday derby with no other stake running so, I realize that is much easier to deal with from a marshaling perspective. The Q I ran this past weekend did not adhere to the running order. As a matter of fact, dogs were lined up and number written on a board by one of the participants, who was asked to do so by the judges, and then when I guess the person who was supposed to marshal arrived, that order was scrapped and she attempted to run dogs in order...which was impossible due to folks at other stakes.

    Lastly, I ran a master test one weekend and I personally heard one of the judges announce to the marshal and participants after the first series handler's meeting that he wanted the flight to run in the exact order printed in the catalog because he had his sheets prenumbered and "I am not flipping around all over the book trying to find a dog's sheet."

    All that said- serving as marshal ensures that 50% of the crowd is going to hate you for a day or two lol. I'd love it if we could make a rule- dogs are running in order. Period. However, we all know that won't work and the responses to mitigating circumstances are all unique to the individual tasked to solving the problem at hand. When a marshal decides "we are running in order no matter what", we are setting ourselves up for a long wait for a couple of handlers. At the same time, marshals are approached by handlers all the time with requests: "I have a dog in another flight can I go ahead and run?" "Man...I have an 8 hour drive, I need to run so I can get on the road." And then of course SOME marshals, certainly not all, play the buddy system and succumb to the requested order of their favorite pros or running buddies.

    I don't know if there is a viable solution. As I said, a rule would be simple to create: Dogs run in the order printed in the catalog. In reality, it would cause nightmares for all involved.
    "The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail and not his tongue." - Author Unknown

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  12. #10
    Senior Member Centerfield Retrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdA View Post
    THE MARSHALL RUNS THE STAKE!!!

    Off the top of my head, its the marshall's job to:

    Make sure the stake has all necessary resources (equipment, birds, drinks, ice, signs, and labor.) loaded and ready to rock when the judges show up. You should be given a list, ahead of time, of what all is needed. Make sure your bird boys know what they are doing BEFORE you put them in the field. In the middle of a test is not the place for someone to learn how to properly throw birds.

    Take the equipment and labor to the test spot. Adjust/place signs as you go. Make sure people drive where they are supposed to.

    Set up the test (place gun stations, verify test throws with the judges, holding blinds, etc...)

    Locate a qualified test dog. After the first series, try to use someone in that stake that was dropped.

    Tell the gallery where to sit.

    Communicate issues/questions from handlers to judges and vice versa.

    Coordinate traffic and in out of the stake if applicable.

    Check people in and line em up.

    Make note of your multi-dog/multi-stake handlers a head of time.

    Keep the dogs coming... call em out LOUD and CLEAR between every dog (#1 to the line, #2 to the holding blind, #3 second holding blind, #4, 5, 6 GET READY!!!)

    Coordinate re-birding with the judges, gun stations, and HANDLERS - very important to let handlers know when your going to rebird... line up the rebird and call out REBIRD as if it were a dog... #1, #2, #3, REBIRD, #4)

    Stay on top of call-backs at the other stakes.

    Stay on top of your multi-dog/multi-stake handlers... keep the other marshalls in the loop as to where those handlers are in your rotation and when they can expect them.

    Try to work lunch in between series.

    Last dog runs... start breaking down the test and picking up gun stations. The test should be picked up and ready to re-locate by the time judges have the call-backs ready.

    Give call backs... LOUD and CLEAR... then do it again for the 8 people that walk up to you. (have a couple extra pens with you)

    Communicate questions/issues from the handlers to the judges.

    Give the callbacks to the other stakes as you can.

    Tell the handlers/gallery whats next and where your moving to.

    Make sure you have the right equipment and labor for the next series and move the whole test.... don't forget to adjust your signs.

    Give the results and hand out ribbons.

    Make sure the event secretary gets the call back sheets.

    Good mashalling is a BIG factor in putting on a smooth event. The marshall is the judges liason, that stake's representation in the event, and the person who makes sure the judges' only job is to judge.


    Author Shayne Mehringer
    EXCELLENT REPLY...and for all those reasons, you could teach a seminar on how to marshal properly! I cringe when I see someone handed a clipboard and told, "just keep the dogs coming."
    Note to handlers: Help your marshals anyway you can-it IS appreciated, check in when you're supposed to, and be patient when waiting...and waiting...
    Denise Jepson
    Centerfield Retrievers

    Five Star Fielders Choice MH
    Centerfields My-Oh-My MH
    Centerfields Waterfowl Wizard SH
    Autumn's Centerfield Heads Up SH
    Centerfields Goode Times A Bruin


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