Roles of Officials
A rally is a complex event. The Southern Rally can only happen with the efforts of volunteer officials working in unison. The role you choose to take on, from Stage Commander to Road Closure Official, is integral to the running of the event, and it is only as a team that we can achieve what we do. It is important, therefore, that you nominate yourself for a role that suits your particular personality, skills and limitations. Some roles require specific licenses or have age restrictions, which should also be taken into consideration. A brief description of each role and any license and age requirements are set out below. Please note that officials under the age of 16 are unable to work on or adjacent to the competition area, and so cannot be placed on chicanes or Flying Finishes, however can work at Stop Points, and other positions where cars are not traveling at competition speed. A trainee license is available without any previous motorsport experience If you would like to advance your officials license to take on other roles in the future, we may be able to assist with fulfilling CAMS Event Assessment requirements. Contact the officials coordinator before the event, or make a note on your registration, so that you can be placed appropriately, and the necessary paperwork arranged.
A Stage Commander is the most senior official on the stage, and is responsible for ensuring the stage is set up in accordance with the set up notes and that all stage officials are aware of their roles and are in position. A stage commander is also required to be aware of the safety plan as it applies to his/her stage. The role of Stage Commander begins long before the event, as they are asked to assist with collection of officials, and may be required to respond to queries of residents who live on the roads to be closed. The will also be responsible for arranging the collection and return of the equipment required to set up the stage. The stage can take some time to set up, and while some preparations may start the day before, most work is done in the hours prior to the stage start. As some stages start at 9am, stage set up may need to begin quite early in the morning. The Stage Commander is not alone to complete these duties – a Deputy Stage Commander is always appointed, and they always have the willing assistance of the other stage officials. Stage Commanders must hold a Bronze Officials License, and have had prior experience as a Stage Commander or Deputy Stage Commander.
The Flying Finish Officials sit on the finish line, note the competition number of each car as it passes, enter it into the Tag Heuer timing system, record the time and car number for manual backup, and radio the information to the Stop Point, so the officials there can record the times on the competitors road card. Officials in this position need to work quickly and accurately, and be able to keep cool under pressure while continuing to communicate. The cars come past fast, so two officials are posted here to help each other out. Flying Finish Officials must be over 16, but may hold a trainee license if accompanied by an official holding a General license or higher.
A Control Official looks after a point that competitors must pass through and be documented doing so. This may be at the Service Park as Time Control In / Time Control Out, or on stages at either Stop Point, Start Control or Time Control In at a stage start. Competitors are required to arrive at certain places at predefined times, and penalities apply in some cases for arriving late and arriving early. Time Control officials are at these points to “book in” competitors and record the official times, keeping the competitors, and ultimately the whole rally, running on time. Any person over the age of 12 with a trainee license can be a Time Control Official if supervised by an official holding a General license. Start Control Officials are placed on the Start line. They enter the competitor number into the Tag Heuer timing system before the start time and record the car number and the start time. Officials in this position must be over 16, but may hold a trainee license if supervised by an official holding a General license. The Stop Point is at the very end of the stage, approximately 400 metres from the Flying Finish Point. As the name suggests, all competitors must stop here after running the stage. Officials at this point will collect the times for each competitor via radio from the Flying Finish, and record them on the control cards, as well as the competitors “road card”, which needs to be collected and returned to each competitor. It is essential to work quickly at this point, and not let the cars queue up – every car queued means 8 less metres the next car has to stop in. Any person over the age of 16 with a trainee license can be a Stop Point Official if supervised by an official holding a General license.
Road Closure Official
Southern Rally is held on private & public roads, which have been closed for the safe running of the event by the South Australian Police under section 33a of the Road Traffic Act. Where the closed roads join roads that are still open to the public, road closure officials are positioned to assist the public with information. This may consist of alternate routes or road closure times (which will be provided to you), rally protocols (e.g. the public may enter the stage only after the car with the green flashing lights has passed), or general information about the rally, as road closures can become mini spectator points for locals. It helps to have good communication skills in this role. Any person over the age of 16 with a trainee officials license can be a road closure official, if supervised by an official holding a General license.
A number of designated Spectator Points are advertised to the public, and Spectator Marshalls attend these points and ensure that the spectators remain in safe viewing areas. Spectators are obviously interested in the rally, and will often ask questions about the competitors, the cars, and other spectator points they can go to. Spectator Guides will be provided for reference and distribution. Anybody over the age of 12 with a trainee license can be a Spectator Marshall if supervised by an official holding a General license or higher.