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Discussion: O-Ringen fun fact

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 23, 2018 6:29 PM # 
It takes 70,000 worker hours to put on O-Ringen. A few years ago it was much more, but they've been working on making it more efficient. They want to get it down further.
Do we track how many hours it takes to put on our events in the USA? Seems like a good idea.
Jul 23, 2018 8:01 PM # 
I track volunteer names & roles in RMOC's event database for local meets (meet director, course setter, course vetter, registration, beginner instruction, starter, e-punch team, control pickup, etc.), but I don't track the specific hours associated with each person / role. We could assign a guesstimated number of hours to each role as a swag.
Jul 23, 2018 9:42 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
For an extreme example I spent around 3-4 hours this spring planning the courses, 2 more hours to print all the maps (24 different courses), 2 hours to hang out the controls, 5-6 hours hosting the event on race day and another hour+ to collect the controls. Finally there was 1-2 hours of work uploading results and LiveLox tracking so about 15-16 total hours.

This was for 350--400 runners with both individual daytime runners and nearly 100 in a mass start relay training with forked courses.

So about 25 runners per hour of volunteer work.

For Svabergsprinten last Saturday I had 80+ competitors, that event took a similar amount of time so just 5 runners/hour of effort.
Jul 24, 2018 1:20 AM # 
I like the idea of striving for reduced organisational hours. But I need to take note myself.
Jul 24, 2018 3:14 AM # 
Terje: Was your event a completely one-person show? How was registration, payment, participant check-in, map distribution, starts, and runner accountability (missing runners) handled? If these aspects required little or no additional personnel or time, how was it done?
Jul 24, 2018 5:40 AM # 
About 20 years ago when I was Treasurer of BAOC, I went through the exercise of calculating the yearly value of our volunteer effort. I have lost all of that data, but I remember it was roughly 20,000 hours annually. I then assigned a modest $15/hour value. The total yearly value of volunteers then being $300,000. Since our annual revenue was about $50,000, it was evident that overwhelmingly the club's largest asset was our volunteers.
Jul 24, 2018 5:57 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I've done ~15 events over the last 5+ years as pure one-man shows, the only help has been that I've usually shanghaied one or two of those who turn up very early and used them to help me setup the tent.

We use, a custom program that uses two EMIT registration units: The first is used to register participants (no pre-registration) so that any returning competitor can be handled with zero typing. The other unit is a clock unit with attached split time printer which is used to handle finishers. The combination gives a running total of total registrants as well as how many are still out.

I normally hand out maps while people register, can tell them to keep it folded until they start or I'll just leave map boxes at the start point.

Payment is always handled on the honor principle, i.e. I just leave an open cash box and tell them to do it themselves. Lately I can also receive electronic transfers via Norwegian cell phones. BTW, over more than 10 years (since I started doing this as a more or less one-person event) that open cash box has always been slightly overfilled by people who skipped getting change except for one single event where two people forgot to pay, so the average is solidly positive.

Over those same 10+ years I have had one missing runner, a lady who knew very well that (a) I was alone, (b) she had passed the final cutoff time, (c) the finish was less than a km away, so after 30 min with no sign of any left-behind gear or anything I decided that she had most probably just forgotten to check in after finishing (something which does happen sometimes). I think I tried to call her but then I decided to go out and collect the controls with the idea that if she was still out there I would probably find her.

While I did that she did return and was extremely angry (in emails) afterwards that I had packed up and left before she came back. "It was her right to stay out on the course as long as she wanted, disregarding any cutoff times, and my responsibility to wait for her however long it took."

She has not been back since then fortunately. :-)
Jul 24, 2018 6:06 AM # 
A VERY fortunate parting of the ways!
Jul 24, 2018 10:47 AM # 
In the UK this would be a worthwhile calculation, because generally there is a crazy number of volunteers. For a summer evening race tonight (100 people on 1 course) they are looking for 14 volunteers in total, over two shifts...

It will have to change anyway as fewer people orienteer, but I'd rather it was done proactively rather than running out of volunteers.
Jul 24, 2018 11:12 AM # 
People need to be on the other side of the volunteer table before mouthing off about taking as long as they want out there. Volunteers just want to get home after a long day spent sorting other people out.

I'm impressed you managed to spend only 3-4 hours setting courses for a forked mass start though!
Jul 24, 2018 12:40 PM # 
Terje is clearly a pro.
Jul 24, 2018 4:18 PM # 
Not to hijack the thread but in the Livelox of Svabergsprinten it looks like some of the guys are swimming. Was that the case?
Jul 24, 2018 8:31 PM # 
Jul 25, 2018 7:18 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
From the invitation: "This is an event where everyone _will_ be wet. You are allowed to swim but it is not required, places where you can wade across is shown on the map."
Jul 25, 2018 2:58 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@tRicky: The forked night race was a 9 km mass start using both the 4 and the 5 km courses from the daytime event, each of those used a half pentagram forking setup, i.e. 5 controls that all are visited twice and 11 combinations.

This resulted in 121 combinations for the 9 k group, so everyone got a unique combo. :-)

The only reason it didn't take significantly longer is that I host events on that map every spring so now I know most of the details that can be used as controls, i.e. no need for a check visit before I hang out the flags/reflexes. I do use CustomMaps, the android app, to verify that I'm at the correct spot, and I download my track for an additional check if I hang out the flags in the morning instead of just two hours before race start.

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