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Hi Folks. I was wondering if any of you all have any thoughts on things that a marshal can do or shouldn't do.

Not really looking for the basics, but maybe things you've done or seen that worked especially well or didn't work well. Things you would have a new marshal watch out for, gotcha's etc.
 

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I don't think a marshal should disappear in the middle of a test, hand my wife the clipboard, and not come back unless it is something serious.

I don't think a marshal should say to all handlers, "Ya'll just line up in what ever order Ya'll want to run in."
 

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Here are a few things I consider critical.

1: A list of cell phone numbers that include: all stake marshalls, headquarters, hunt test secretary and hunt test committee

2: A sense of humor and a good attitude

3: Ability to distance yourself from the unending list of complaints and problems. Fix those that can be fixed and forget the rest.

4: Typically the marshall is the de facto club representative so when dealing with complaints be sure to use diplomacy first. Carrot before the stick philosophy.

5: The knowledge that multi-stake handlers must run first in order to finish a test in a timely manner. Again you must use diplomacy to make this happen.

6: A shotgun in the truck in case an extra shooter is needed.

7: Repeat #2 10 times.

Hope this helps but it is not even close to a comprehensive list.
Mark Land
 

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Since you asked........We ask our Marshals to:

Get the equipment ready on set-up day.
Meet the judges on set-up day, and provide what they need.
Stick with the same judges all weekend.
Have all equipment on hand to run the stake all weekend.
Know who is delivering flyers and when.
line up the dead birds at 7 am each morning.
Line up running dogs and or assign another responsible person to line marshal.
Move equipment between series with the help of other members or the gallery.
AND put away equipment on Sunday.

Our club is fortunate enough that we have 6 or so dedicated members to handle this. It's a lot of work, but if they do their job everything is smooth.
 

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We like to have 2 marshal per stake. A field marshal and clipboard marshal.

The field marshal takes care of all the semantics in the field. Equipment, bird boys, re-birds etc. They go out with the judges the day before to go over the test and then load the stake trailers.

Clipboards take care of the running order, gallery, judges and re-birds. They run the stake...

Make sure your bird boys, judges and gunners have plenty to drink and eat. Don't let a judge lift a finger. Their job is hard enough. That's what the marshals are for.

An eraser board is a marshals best friend. Saves on being pestered by handlers who want to look at your clip board. Please marshals don't leave your stake unless it's to run a dog. If you do leave your stake leave the job to a knowledgeable person who has some back bone.

START ON TIME!!!! Marshals make the stake roll so get in rolling and keep it rolling in a timely fashion.

Angie
 

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Angie makes a couple of good points. 2 knowledgable people are required to make a stake run smoothly. A dry erase board is the absolute best way to keep the running order.
Mark Land
 

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You may consider this basic but...

Only call the minimum number of dogs to get ready so that you aren't waiting for a dog to come to line. Then, once the you tell a handler to get a dog ready, you should never, ever, under any circumstances put another dog in front of them. Ever. Dogs that need to be worked in to the rotation can wait two more dogs which will equate to about 10-12 minutes.

Easiest thing is to run the dogs that are there in order, knowing that you will need to work in handlers with multiple dogs in multiple stakes. The HT secretary or other club official can be a big help in coordinating where folks with dogs in multiple stakes go first.
 

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Lots of good comments here. Here are my top few - they mostly emphasize things others have already mentioned:

  • Maintain a sense of humor and be approachable
  • Keep a white board with running order and check-off dogs as they are sent to the first holding blind
  • Enjoy yourself, and smile - even in the face of idiots
  • Junior Marshalls should take a minute before the test begins to explain to Junior handlers that there WILL be pros worked into the order to facilitate the flow of all stakes. Dirty looks and back stabs from newbe Junior handlers who don't understand is poor sportsmanship.
  • Don't push handlers to line up so early that they would have to wait for 4 or 5 dogs ahead of them. Dogs get bored and anxious waiting - they run better when they go to work quickly after leaving the truck.
  • Keep a walkie-talkie so that you can be connected to all Marshalls at all stakes.
 

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You may consider this basic but...

.... once the you tell a handler to get a dog ready, you should never, ever, under any circumstances put another dog in front of them. Ever...
Ditto

A big water scenario at a Master stake can take 15+ minutes per dog. I don't want to sit my dog in line for 30-40 minutes because I was asked to get ready and then got bumped.
 

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This is a copy of an e-mail sent to all marshalls at our recent Hunt Test.


*Arrive @ 7:15 each day. Pick-up marshal sheets, clipboards, dry erase board and possibly drink coolers & snacks
*Arrange for test & bye dogs - this responsibility is easy to forget!
*Understand where participants should park and gallery should sit, direct participants as required. We need to ensure that the participants drive and park only in designated areas.
*Do not leave until the test is completely over and ribbons have been passed out to qualifying participants. Verify that all equipment has been returned to headquarters as required.
*Please verify that birdboys/girls return radios and duck-calls.
*Help judges with equipment movement & set-up as required. The attached contact list gives names of individuals that will be available to help you.
*Work with judges to know when re-birding will occur so that you can prepare judges and handlers for upcoming re-birding
*Make sure judges and birdboys/girls have drinks and snacks. Be prepared to provide the number of lunches that will be required for judges, birdboys/girls, marshals & other workers.
*Make sure handlers and dogs are in the holding blinds and a dog is ready to run at all times. Your marshal sheet & attached contact list will help you locate specific handlers in other flights – this is especially important in Junior & Senior
*Dogs should run in assigned order if possible, but you will have to work with handlers running dogs in more than one series. For example, if a professional trainer has dogs in Junior and Master, that pro may come to the Junior test early so that they can run their Junior dogs before they are required to be at Master. Let them run as this will help avoid delays later. Remember, that pro must run their dogs in the running order assigned. In other words, if the pro has dogs # 1, 5 and 9, they must run in that order, they cannot run dog # 9, then 1 and 5.
*Announce callbacks after each series. Judges will announce qualifying participants at ribbon ceremony.

Please call with any questions and again, thanks for agreeing to help us!



Hope this helps, Wally
 

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Just watch Wally run a test. That's all you need to know about marshaling.

First rule of marshaling should be assigning the job to a capable individual or 2 and make sure that they understand what's expected. Many clubs don't take the marshal as seriously as Wally and Angie. The clipboard gets handed to some poor soul who is then quickly abandoned.

Pet peeves - "Who wants to run first?"
"You weren't here so I moved you to the end (even though your number hasn't come up.)"
Does not understand the concept of calling out "X to the line, Y to the blind, Z get ready" in some position proximit to the gallery.
Sits around chatting with buds and not paying attention to needs to rebird, water and drinks for bird boys and judges.
Their dog gets dropped and they drop the clipboard and head home.
 

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Just watch Wally run a test. That's all you need to know about marshaling.

First rule of marshaling should be assigning the job to a capable individual or 2 and make sure that they understand what's expected. Many clubs don't take the marshal as seriously as Wally and Angie. The clipboard gets handed to some poor soul who is then quickly abandoned.

Pet peeves - "Who wants to run first?"
"You weren't here so I moved you to the end (even though your number hasn't come up.)"
Does not understand the concept of calling out "X to the line, Y to the blind, Z get ready" in some position proximit to the gallery.
Sits around chatting with buds and not paying attention to needs to rebird, water and drinks for bird boys and judges.
Their dog gets dropped and they drop the clipboard and head home.
Unfortunately that's the typical scenario at any given hunt test... Makes my blood boil...

How about some organization??? How about giving the event the time and effort that it's warranted???

Good post....

Angie
 

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One word of advice, if you are having trouble with a bird boy go out and find out what is going on. Don't get on the radio and start yell at the kid. Sometimes the kid has a legitimate problem or he doesn't understand what you want. You can also get cross ways with the leader of your group of kids. I like to take the time to do a dry run before we run a test dog. I also like to meet the group before the weekend of the test, it get rid of alot of apprehension. You can also see who your best throwers are.

Good luck
David Wolf
 

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I hope I didn't mislead...our Carolinas Retriever Assoc. club secretery created and sent the e-mail in post #10. I just do what I'm told ;).

Wally
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I agree with other posters:

  • erasable board for the running order. I don't list more than a few dogs at a time, and try to stay in order. As a handler, I find it frustrating when the marshal has 50 dogs on the board and people who are running in multiple stakes aren't allowed to get in to run.
  • two marshals OR a stake's chair to do the work with the field and the judges, and a marshal to marshal. In our area, clubs assign a stake's chair who is responsible for equipment, judges, flyers, dead birds, workers, etc. etc. The marshal takes care of the handlers and the running order, helps get lunches to the field and that sort of thing.
  • two radios; one is on the channel for all the stakes and the other one I put on a channel for people who are running in my flight. If they want to talk to me about the running order they can call me on that channel. Last wkend our event was in rain, wind and cold so people were huddled in their trucks until time to run. I was under a tent with the board and two radios. Overall, it went pretty well.
 

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Just watch Wally run a test. That's all you need to know about marshaling.

First rule of marshaling should be assigning the job to a capable individual or 2 and make sure that they understand what's expected. Many clubs don't take the marshal as seriously as Wally and Angie. The clipboard gets handed to some poor soul who is then quickly abandoned.

Pet peeves - "Who wants to run first?"
"You weren't here so I moved you to the end (even though your number hasn't come up.)"
Does not understand the concept of calling out "X to the line, Y to the blind, Z get ready" in some position proximit to the gallery.
Sits around chatting with buds and not paying attention to needs to rebird, water and drinks for bird boys and judges.
Their dog gets dropped and they drop the clipboard and head home.
Your being humble Bob, I would put you up there with the best of them. There is a huge difference in having a great marshal and a good or average one. I do not think most clubs and marshals have any idea of what the job requires.
 

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I hope I didn't mislead...our Carolinas Retriever Assoc. club secretery created and sent the e-mail in post #10. I just do what I'm told ;).

Wally
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Complement the secretary for the detailed list ...The problem I see with most new marshals ,they don't understand the power they have ....The judge runs the test from the last holding blind to the gunners in the field ..The marshal RUNS it from the last holding blind back through the gallery...You don't have to be a horses behind but a person that can run the show and not be run over by others is a big help....Remember : You can't please everyone all the time ....do the best you can and let the chips fall where they may....Steve S
 

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"Their dog gets dropped and they drop the clipboard and head home."

The first rule of good judging is you never drop the marshal until the end of the event.... Be generous with the call back if possible...Steve S
 
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