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2,064 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone made a written guide for the Marshal? I am looking for the part of the job that involves identifying and checking in handlers, notifying judges of scratches/no shows, lining up test dog/by dog, lining up dogs, announcing the callbacks, etc...that part of the job. In our area, we have Stake's Chairs who do all of the rebirding, equipment setup, etc. so that is not part of the Marshal job here. I have a couple of people who have volunteered to Marshal and they've never done it before. I'm hoping someone has developed a guide so I don't have to write one :D. Thanks!

1,939 Posts

1,485 Posts
You really do not need a guide. Just make sure who ever has the clip board with the list has common since. Be supprised how many times you don't have that. They only need to have a clip board with the list of handlers/dogs, than the handlers know to check in with them. The biggest is keeping the dogs moving. On AKC not real issue because you run in order. Just need to make sure you have a couple of dogs between the same pro that has a bunch of dogs. On UKC they can run in any order but that should be up to the marshal. I do have a blank running order made up if you would like that you can pm me for it. I use that for the 2nd and 3rd on Master to keep track of call backs and who runs when.

5,252 Posts
I agree with Karen. Marshalling ain't rocket science, but it does take a bit of common sense. And the best marshall in the world will be wasted if you don't have a plan from the test/trial committee to get folks to the various stakes in an efficient manner. The committee has to say this is how its going to be, or you'll end up with everybody at one stake, then everybody at the other and the marshall has no control over any of that. So if the committee does its job, the marshall should just check-em in and call the numbers.

I also like a marshall that has run dogs. Usually if you've run a dog, you've has some DA tell you to get your dog out and then been bumped because of this or that urgent matter. Or one classic Charlie Foxtrot was at an AKC Master test when the marshall told me and evidently about 10 others to get a dog ready, we were next. We all tried to get in that last holding blind at the same time. What a disaster. I have but one rule when I marshall, if I tell a handler to get a dog out and get ready to run in three dogs, they can take it to the bank. No club member, club officer, land owner, marshall from another stake, pro with dogs in other stakes, set up guy, food guy, ... no one but God will be put in front of a handler after I've told to get their dog ready.

Other than that, be flexible, be pleasant but firm, communicate with those waiting to run, communicate with the other stakes

412 Posts
Make sure your Marshal understands how to cross reference Handlers for AKC stakes as presented in an EE catalog, ex: Handler JD is running dog 15 in Master, and dog 10 in Junior, Master takes precedence. Marshal should also time the "test dog" to get an idea of timing for each series (allow and know how to handle "NO BIRDS"). Also, only line up x amount of dogs as conditions permit (think heat exposure in sun, rain, etc.). Every Club has their "OWN" definitions of specific jobs, think of every possible "go wrong" scenario and school your Marshal on that. I feel timing on notifications and knowing where Handlers are located, are very important, as is a smiling face, pleasant attitude and taking no Sh*t from anybody.

2,064 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I should have also said that our clubs use the erasable boards so that makes the Marshal job easier. Thank you for the comments. I will read through what you've provided to see that I have covered it in my write up.

Here is what I have:
Ask your Stake's Chair if there is a
test dog. If he/she has not found one, and if the judges aren't
running a dog they own, ask the attendees if anyone has a test dog. The test
dog should be capable of running at the level under judgment. After the test dog runs the first series, ask the handler if he/she will be available to run as test dog all day. If not, when you do the callbacks see if there is an amateur handler who has been dropped who would like to stay and run test dog in the next series. It is better to have someone who is no longer in competition run a test dog.

Entry Express provides a Marshal's list with the running order. Minor stakes (Derby and
Qualifying) typically start with dog #1. Occasionally in Minor
stakes the judges will provide a rotation. All-age stakes (Open,
Limited, Restricted, Special, Amateur and Owner/Handler Amateur) use
the DOW to assign a starting number and the judges will provide a
rotation. The rotation numbers and any special instructions must be
posted in the first holding blind (the blind closest to the line) and
announced (by you) after the test dog has run and the judges have no
further instructions. Typical instructions that the judges may want
to post in the blind are “dog on mat”, or “handler on mat”, etc. You are the person who posts the information sheet in the first holding blind. I will try and remember to put some big clips with the Marshal equipment for posting in the blinds. You can also duct tape instructions to the blind. Someone in the gallery always has duct tape!

If there isn't a rotation, then the
next test starts with whatever dog is the first dog called back. So,
if Dog #1 is dropped, then start with #2 or whoever is at the stake.
Try to run in order for the dogs that are there. However, if you
have someone who needs to get back to the All-Age, get them run as
soon as possible.

Check with your judges and make sure
they have any scratches. The Field Trial Secretary will note
scratches on your Marshal sheet. If someone does not show up to run,
check to see if the person is at another stake or maybe working in
the field. Let the judges know near the end of the test that dog #
whatever is a no show and note it on the Marshal sheet.

Ask the judges where they would like the gallery. Make sure there isn't any white in the gallery and that the gallery does not interfere with the dog/handler getting to/from the line, and doesn't intefere with the dog while it is running. We want the gallery to be able to watch, but they should never be allowed to stand/sit behind the running dog in a way that might interfere. This is particularly important when the stake has blinds to run. If you have to move the gallery or ask someone to leave the gallery for light clothing or noise, do it as politely and as soon as possible.

Stay behind the handlers as they watch
the test dog, and announce that they are to “check in” with you
as soon as the test dog has run. Make a
“check \” next to the dog number on your Marshal sheet to
denote that the handler is in the area. Some people will want to
sandbag and try to hide from you, so you may have to seek them out.
:) If you look on the reverse side of the Entry Express Marshal
sheet, the name of the handlers are listed and the dogs they are
handling in each stake are listed. The All-Age stakes take
precedence over the Minor stakes. The Chief Marshal does his best to get pros and Amateurs over to the Minor
Stakes to run. If you need someone, call the Marshal for that stake
and let him/her know who you are looking for. Don't demand that
anyone be sent to a Minor stake. Etiquette is that the Minors are
subservient to the All-Age.:) That said, it is the responsibility of
the Chief Marshal to have all stakes run smoothly.

Time a dog or two and see how long the
test takes. It's a good idea to contact the
Marshal of any other stake that is running and let them know how long
the test is taking and how many dogs you have left to run, and who
you are looking for. A land series in the
Derby/Qualifying tends to go pretty fast, so you will want to try and
get everyone over to your stake to run so the judges aren't waiting.
The Minor Stakes' judges do realize they may have to wait, but we try
to keep everything going as fast as we can.

Keep a dog in the first holding blind,
and in the second holding blind as a rule. That way if there is a
no-bird and the handler drops back 3 dogs (typically judges will
either have the dog come right back or drop back 3 dogs), then you
have dogs ready to run. Dropping back 3 dogs; Dog #4 gets a no-bird
and drops back 3 dogs. Dog #4 will run after Dog #7 (#5,
#6, #7 is 3 dogs and then #4 tries again).

If the weather is bad (i.e., hot, rainy, etc.) do whatever you can to minimize the amount of time that handlers have to wait in the holding blinds. Some clubs have enough tents that they can set up a tent for the handlers. If you have your own tent, bring it for yourself. I also bring my own radio and extra batteries so I know I have a radio that works.

If a dog overheats, and you don't have access to cool water then you can use whatever is in the club cooler to cool the dog. Cold pop and water might be all you have to cool a dog in distress.

As soon as the running dog has finished
running and is leaving the line, you can quickly announce the running
order for all to hear. I call out (not yelling, but kind of loud in
direction of the cars/trucks), “#4 to the line, #6 in the blind, #9
and 10 get ready." This helps people know where they are in the
running order. In the Minors, you will end up skipping numbers and
jumping around so don't expect to run in order. The only Stake that
typically runs in order is the Open. I find that calling out the running order in the Derby and Qualifying helps the handlers line up (D/Q are sometimes handlers in training). In the Open and Amateur, the handlers are better at checking the board and I don't call out the running order for those stakes. The only Stake that
typically runs in order is the Open.

Only list about 4 dogs on your erasable
board. That way if a pro or an Amateur comes over to run, that
person can watch a couple of dogs and get their dog ready. Put in
the Pros or Amateurs as soon as you possibly can so they can get back
to the All-Age stakes. If you list too many dogs on your board, and
start bumping people to let someone in, the “bumped people” tend
to get testy!

Once I put a number on the board, I put
a dot in front of it when the dog is in the holding blind, and I
cross through it when the dog is sent for the first bird.

I like to leave all the dog numbers on
the erasable board until we are finished with the test. That way if
the judges want to know how many dogs have run, you can quickly count
them. You can also find out how many birds went out to the stations,
and make note of re-birds on the erasable board so handlers will know
if they are going to have to wait for a rebird. As you get close to
a rebird, notify your Stakes' Chair so he/she can get the birds ready
to go out to the field.

On the left side of the board, I list
the running order, "#5 Heise, #6 Peters, #7 Bruesewitz". Having the name beside the number helps people know who they are running behind, and they will get themselves lined up accordingly. On the right side and in smaller print, I list the location of dog #'s that are at other stakes. For example, I
list “#5 Curtis/Open” which means Wayne Curtis is at the Open and
has Dog #5, “#10 Hayes/Amateur” which means Hayes are at the
Amateur and have dog #10. Organize the board in a manner that suits
you and helps you keep track of everyone.

Once you have a person/dog in the
holding blind and in line to run, you should not bump them (per the
AKC rule book). Some people thinks the rule applies to having their
name on the erasable board, but it really only applies to being in a
holding blind.

As you get towards the end, verify that
you have accounted for all of the dogs. The dogs have either run the
test, were scratches, or were no shows. Mark any additional
scratches and no shows on the Marshal sheet. When the stake is all
done, return your Marshal sheet and all of your other equipment to
the club house. The Field Trial Secretary uses the Marshal
sheet to issue refunds and to verify the official records that go to
the AKC.

Once the judges provide you with the callback sheet, make sure both judges have initialed the sheet and note "Callbacks after land marks" or whatever series has just completed and the number of dogs back. I save all the callback sheets and give them to the Field Trial Secretary along with the Entry Express Marshal sheet. Call the handlers together and slowly announce callbacks. Let the Stake's Chair know how many dogs are back so he/she can get birds ready to go for the next series.

Either the Marshal or the Stake's Chair
will get a head count for lunches. Typically, the lunches arrive between 11 and
noon. There is a stake's cooler up at the line for workers.

Parking--try to keep people on one side of the road, the side closest to the line. The Sheriff will come and visit if cars are parked on both sides, or if people/dogs are walking across the roads. Be careful because the grounds are on a busy blacktop and some people are not happy we are taking up space.

As the Marshal, you are expected to
know everything! Just
try your best to keep smiling. Marshal is one of the most important
and trying positions at the trial. If you can stay calm, it will all
work out :). I will provide you with a list of all workers and cell phone numbers.

9,492 Posts
Has anyone made a written guide for the Marshal? I am looking for the part of the job that involves identifying and checking in handlers, notifying judges of scratches/no shows, lining up test dog/by dog, lining up dogs, announcing the callbacks, etc...that part of the job. In our area, we have Stake's Chairs who do all of the rebirding, equipment setup, etc. so that is not part of the Marshal job here. I have a couple of people who have volunteered to Marshal and they've never done it before. I'm hoping someone has developed a guide so I don't have to write one :D. Thanks!
Charly Hill did one 50 years ago - I'll go thru my FT News & if I can find it will send you a copy -

50 Posts
Judging by your last post Ann I would say you need to Cut, Paste, and Print and your guide is complete. I nave ran in a test you were marshaling and it went great. I was new to the game and pretty nervous. You ran a tight ship wished me luck and all went smooth. Thanks for all the info and good luck next weekend.

2,064 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ann, My wife appreciates all the info!
Actually I am writing it for Marshals at the Derby who have never done the job before. :p Melanie will be with an experienced Marshal who is running a dog in the AM--so she will have a chance to be head marshal!! We are just happy to have her (and you)! The Amateur stake is the hardest one IMO, so Melanie will have baptism by fire. She might get to be by herself on Sunday. By Sunday the numbers are much more manageable, and the job becomes a lot easier. I will be on the grounds on Sunday and can help out too.

2,168 Posts
I willingly got wrangled in to marshaling my first hunt test this weekend.

It is not rocket science, but it was certainly a new experience for me (and I've recently run dogs) . The situation was such that I was unable to read the AKC marshal guide or RTF thread prior to the event. In all, I think things went smoothly, but there were a couple of moments that required some maneuvering and quick thinking. I'm glad I stepped up and did it, but it certainly turned out to be a lot more than just standing there with a clipboard.

1,829 Posts
An inexperinced marshall is probably going to do a better job marshalling than experienced. In my area there is a person who voluntaries to be a marshall all the time. She/He is rude and manipulates the lineup for her/his and friends. He/she is extremely rude and parks car right on the line. It has never helped her/his dog. Inexperienced Marshall won't do this nonsense.

5,025 Posts
From JC/MP manual..................

Marshal Instructions

· Outline equipment / help requirements
· Gallery, traffic and safety (keep line area clear)
· Review instructions to guns and other helpers
· Post the running order: Rotation
· No-birds – after 3 (discuss exceptions)
· Test dogs (have 2 ready)
· Time test dogs to estimate finish time for series
· By-dogs (begin, end, out of dogs?)
· Pick-up dog, quickly available
· Make sure there is no “white” in the gallery
· Sorting of birds (sex, badly damaged, quantity in bags for efficient re-birding)
· Timing: re-birds, gun changes, lunch
¨ Inform handlers of timing

· Allows line viewing opportunities for handlers
· Have next dog to run ready and in blind for after change
· Plan move to next series / clean-up / anticipate equipment / post signs, etc
· Plan lunch – timing, who to feed
· Exchange call backs with other stakes / committee and announce / post
· When / how to call dogs to line (Call number aloud for gallery / post on white board)
· Anticipate missing / cross over handlers / dogs, stay in touch with other stakes / need for by-dogs
· Guns up? Blind planted?
· Enough dead birds to get “rolling”
· Weather radio / wind, check periodically (for next test)
· Be sure all “extra” birds are picked up when a dog fails test
· Review traffic flow to / from line
· Post special instructions to handlers in holding blind
· Post rotation in the blind
· Directions / signs into your stake / out to all other stakes (pick up old signs)
· Locate: food, toilet, local vet, hospital
· Ideally two marshals at each stake
¨ Work line during set up, calling dogs up, taking birds from judge
¨ Getting equipment and workers into the field, line up handlers from gallery and parking area
¨ Keep holding blinds full

· Trash receptacles at the line, in the gallery, and in the parking area
· Police the entire test area before departing
· Find a replacement for a temporary leave of duty
· Notify judges and event secretary of scratches
· All communications (questions, answers, directions) to and from judges go through marshal
· Avoid putting dogs in blind too early if re-birding is lengthy
· Try not to interrupt running order once a dog has reached the holding blind
· Plan / coordinate with other stakes the release / arrival times and running of handler from and to
· Know when and where all stakes are moving, coordinate knowledge with all stakes
· White board / chalk board to display running order
· “Guns up” by radio so guns are ready for next dog before exiting dog delivers
· Keep line clear of people while judges are setting tests
· Coordinate and communicate any special running order instructions form the club

General Instructions to Workers

· Explain importance of their jobs ad what is at stake
· Safety / Comfort: gun safety, ears, eyes, clothing, gloves, chair, gun stand, bug spray, etc.
· Don’t drag bird bag on the ground to and from station – explain scenting confusion
· Radios at all stations:
¨ How to use
¨ Low volume when dog is on line, hunting, etc.
¨ When to / not to communicate

· Keep cell phones turned to silent / vibrate
· Don’t use badly damaged / shot up birds
· Do not change chair / stance positions / white coats (anticipate hot/cold / rain / visibility)
· Special Equipment (launchers, etc… How to use)
· Give same instruction to NEW workers at each gun / worker change
· How / when to notify of bird/equipment shortages
· How / when to help a dog get the bird
¨ Inform judges
¨ Help dog if health or safety is at risk

· Dry run the mechanics at each gun / worker change
· Signaling devices clearly visible?
· No smoking
· Keep birds in bird bag
· Do not swing bird or move
· Do not cock gun until ready to fire
· Importance of “quiet”

Marked Bird Station Instructions

· Safety
¨ Keep checking for clean barrels
¨ Helpers over age 16

· Keep radio with you at all times
· When to clear gun, sit down, retire, re-bird, reload, cock gun, get ready
· Define walking paths: retiring, re-birding, returning to line
· Clean-up (empty shells, etc.)
· Area of fall / no bird
· Even if a dog breaks, still look for signal (Derby / Qualifying, Junior / Senior)
· Scent area with dead bird throws (widely) note day 2 or 3 of trial / test or last series
· Enough poppers, birds, etc. to finish test?
· Keep extra blank shells in pocket
· Don’t leave empty shells at retired throwing spot
· Retired gunner to be hidden from 360 degree view
· Important to shoot / throw immediately on signal, particularly on first bird down
· Use of gun stands

Flyer Station Instructions

· SAFETY! – breaking type guns preferred, etc.
¨ Chamber open, safety on when not shooting
¨ Shot size: 5 – 7 1/2
¨ Keep checking for clean barrels
¨ Helpers over age 16
¨ Clean line of fire – know where others are
¨ Sluicing, danger / fairness?

· # of birds killed to start
· Keep birds quiet / in shade / out of rain – crate covers
· Don’t hold / cramp flyers’ wings
· Ask for 2 shots at each bird
· When to sluice cripples
¨ Don’t shoot / sluice after a dog has left the line or is in the middle of completing a test unless requested to do so

· When to clear guns, sit-down, retire
· Keep radio with you at all times
· How to inform judges of runners, wrong bird, cover change/ unfair situation, badly shot-up birds
· Clean up (empty shells, etc.)
· When to mount guns (avoid head-swinging) – no movement until your turn
· Area of fall / no bird: during set up, watch someone walk the perimeter of desired fall area
· Even if a dog breaks, still look for signal (Derby / Qualifying, Junior / Senior), b safety is primary
· Scent area with dead bird throws (widely) note day 2or 3 of trial / test / last series
· Keep fall area clean of bird wings and other body parts
· Give dead birds to others during re-bird
· Verify ammunition supply (steel vs. lead, size, 3 ½ dram charge, adequate supply)
· Enough birds, shells, etc. to finish test?
· Bird tags?

Blind Planter Station Instructions

· Safety
· Keep radio with you at all times
· Confirm blind is planted
· Define walking paths: blind planting, re-birding, returning to line
· Clean-up
· When to / not to communicate (stay still and hidden)
· Plant all birds breast down / in same place
· Enough birds, etc to finish test?
· Don’t put two blind planters together – avoid talking

5,025 Posts
Marshals equipment check list......

Text Font Line Design Parallel

1,360 Posts
Breck, what you call a Marshall is what we call a stakes chair. Our marshall's line up dogs and the stakes chairs handle all equipment, throwers, and birds.

5,025 Posts
Breck, what you call a Marshall is what we call a stakes chair. Our marshall's line up dogs and the stakes chairs handle all equipment, throwers, and birds.
I'm with you Mike. I didn't want to edit the doc so just copy & pasted a section.

Probably useful info for newbees who might have a clipboard shoved at them to have an overall picture of what will be going on around them.
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