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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several people have requested more information on our public schedule. At our meeting tonight, we decided that we can give you a little more useful information, but we just don't want to give you any information than you need to make your plans for fuel and tire usage.

Two reasons: First, we don't want spectators sneaking into the woods where we can't look out after them. Second, because of past competitor abuses, we want to keep the security of our course intact.

On the public schedule that's out there, we've given you stage lengths, plus stage and transit totals from service to service. That should allow you to plan your fuel and tire usage for the event. We've given you stage start times and service lengths, so you can figure your lighting and service needs.

We've created a new version of the public schedule that gives you more information about service locations, the counties that each night will be run in, and sunset and twilight times so you can decide when to put on your lights.

Sorry we aren't able to give you all the information that you have asked for.

I've sent a version of this new schedule to our Webmasters so they can post it on the Web site. Someone will post a message here when that happens. Look for the version dated August 18.

Meanwhile, some of the new information on the public schedule:

Sunset is around 8:08 PM. Twilight is around 8:40.

Friday's main service is in Akeley, MN. The rally runs in Hubbard County.

Saturday's main service is in Osage, MN. The rally runs in Clearwater and Becker Counties.

We'll be glad to answer any other questions provided they don't give away the route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
>Mark,
>I suggest it might help with spectotor control if perhaps
>you could make a big deal of telling them where the
>spectator points are, how to get there, what time best to
>arrive.
>
>J.B. Niday
>www.nidayrallysport.com

We've done exactly that. In fact, all workers, competitors and service crews will have copies of the spectator maps for when they come in contact with the public.
 

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Big Jump 800
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Having those to hand out is a GREAT plan... so many times my crew just shrugs their shoulders and points in the general direction of the woods.

But I meant... on your web site... in advance. If I was going to spectate I'd like to plan my weekend somewhat in advance (like we used to for LSPR, for example).

See you Thursday,
J.B.

J.B. Niday
www.nidayrallysport.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
>But I meant... on your web site... in advance. If I was
>going to spectate I'd like to plan my weekend somewhat in
>advance (like we used to for LSPR, for example).

If you were going to spectate I'd be trying to figure out how to sign you up as a worker. We've been using the maps more as a means of promoting specator safety than of promoting spectating. I can't speak for the whole group, but it had never crossed my mind to offer spectating directions to people who would otherwise be potential workers.

Think of it. If we actually had enough workers that everyone could just work one assignment, they could do that and still perhaps see their friends at service or go out and spectate another stage at their own discretion.

I'm not talking anti-spectator. I love spectating. Our sponsors need spectators to see their messages. And the sponsors don't care if those people are working or spectating. But if more of them would sign up to work, they'd get better seats, all the workers would get more free time. With enough spectators-turned-workers, we could have spectator points at every intersection!

From my perspective, that's why we haven't promoted spectating to potential workers. Others may disagree.
 

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don't cut
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>If you were going to spectate I'd be trying to figure out
>how to sign you up as a worker.

Just a thought, but do we really want someone who has maybe never been to a rally, never seen a stage, never had any real experience with the sport out there marshalling? I realize we need all the help we can get, but until someone has seen a car go by at speed, they may not fully appreciate the importance of their job. Sure there are training seminars and whatnot, but does this adequately prepare someone? When Bubba comes up on his four wheeler and insists on going down the stage, is this person going to be able to fully appreciate what could happen?

As a driver I take a "leap of faith" so to speak every time I head down into the stage. I trust the organizer and marshalls have adequately closed and cleared the road. I'm literally trusting my life to these workers. I do this of my own free will, and I'm willing to accept the consequences. I don't want to preclude any potential volunteers from doing so, regardless of experience level. Like I said, we certainly need the help and I appreciate each and every person how spends there precious time so that I can race. But at the same time, I would really prefer that those volunteers at least have some experience or understanding of the sport and what they are getting into.

I don't have a good solution to this. Once again I've thrown out a problem that I don't know how to solve. Bad me! :( Is watching a couple spectator points enuf? Maybe. Should we make them watch a whole rally? I dunno. A buddy system teaming them with more experienced volunteers for an event? The best but difficult due to manpower.

Any thouhts or ideas? Am I overreacting again?


Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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Old Fart
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RE: Recruiting spectators to marshall

Organizor's recruiting people who only want to spectate as workers has been a concern of mine for a while. I don't want to single out Ojibwe, but do we want these people to marshall? I have been a stage captain for a number of years and some people who have been assigned to marshall on my stages have been bigger problems than the locals who spectate.

One year, I had a bunch of kids assigned to me on an unnamed rally. I knew they just wanted a place to drink and spectate. I made sure everyone heard what their responsibilties were and that no alchohol was allowed in the woods. Fearing a problem with this bunch I assigned them to a spot where I was sure there would be no local traffic to control (the road only led back to an earlier section of the stage) After leading them into the stage, I walked back to their car to direct them to a proper parking spot. The driver of the car had a beer between his legs! I grabbed it and poured it out on the ground. He wanted to pick a fight. Fortunately, his buddies reasoned with him and promised that they would control him and make sure the intersection was marshalled properly. Needless to say, I made sure he was never allowed to marshall again!

If we recruit potential spectators, we must be sure that they are willing to do their jobs and are not out to just spectate. We tend to promise them the best spots, but we have to make sure that they realize they have a serious responsibility.

On the other hand, some of the best marshals, I have worked with are locals who originally just came out to watch them racecars. Eventually, someone asked them to marshall and they have been doing it for years. A couple were people I had to "field commission" when my originally assigned marshals did not show up for their second assignment and I was short marshals.

Paul Jaeger KC8YRY
PRIMO Stage Crews
For a Good Time, Call PRIMO!
 

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i believe that there are enough experienced workers in each region so that we could make sure there is one experienced worker at every KEY marshall point. if we had more marshalls we could expand the spectator areas. and as long as there is one good leader at each point things should be under control.

another point to keep in mind is that i have seen firsthand very experienced marshalls do very stupid, yet well intended, things to control spectators. so rookie marshalls dont hold all the cards in that respect.
 
G

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when people start drinking, you can toss any ability to guess what's going to happen out the window.

I was floored at the number of drunks at the last spectator point of Ojibwe last year. Then again, maybe it's a "I'm at my cabin, I'm going to drink" mindset.


I like the farm spectator extravenganza. Everyone can see. The spectators are easy to control. Too bad there aren't more overlook type areas available amidst the trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>Just a thought, but do we really want someone who has maybe
>never been to a rally, never seen a stage, never had any
>real experience with the sport out there marshalling? I
>
>Any thouhts or ideas? Am I overreacting again?

Well, Dennis, you might have missed my point. I was responding to a ProRally Board member who was looking for spectator information, and the context was about posting spectator directions on our Web site, so I was assuming we were talking about "premeditated" spectating. Sure, local citizens might be looking for the info on the Web, but I was talking about the people who would travel to Bemidji with the intent of spectating. Those are the people we need to convert to marshals.

Still, wouldn't it be preferable to have 10 trained, waivered marshals at 10 intersections than to have 100 untrained, unwaivered spectators trying to be controlled by a handful of marshals at one single intersection?

Either the "first degree" spectators don't realize that they get a better place to watch as a marshal, or they think that if they marshal for us they won't get to hang out at service or whatever else they want to do. If enough of them would marshal, we'd only need them once per night, and they could do what they wanted for the rest of the night.

As for the spectators who just show up knowing nothing more than there's a rally going on, we provide directions to corral them into confined areas where we can watch them. Our hope is that when they see how much fun it can be, they'll want to become part of that trained, waivered, sober field of marshals with a better view.
 

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straight at T
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>Well, Dennis, you might have missed my point. I was
>responding to a ProRally Board member who was looking for
>spectator information, and the context was about posting
>spectator directions on our Web site, so I was assuming we
>were talking about "premeditated" spectating. Sure, local
>citizens might be looking for the info on the Web, but I was
>talking about the people who would travel to Bemidji with
>the intent of spectating. Those are the people we need to
>convert to marshals.

However, a significant percentage of those people have no intention of working an event. Some of them will base their trip on whether the spectating opportunities justify the cost of the trip, and the information that they will use to make that decision is that on the website. Currently, there is no information as to where they have to be when to see something - so they have to arrive sometime, go to the HQ, and hope that there is still some information available. If they can get the directions from the web, they can go directly to the spectator locations. Someone who is arriving Friday afternoon might miss a spectator location because they have to run in to Bemidji to be able to find out where and when it is.

Assuming that all people coming to a rally to spectate have the inclination to sign up as a marshal is just a shade unrealistic.

>
>Still, wouldn't it be preferable to have 10 trained,
>waivered marshals at 10 intersections than to have 100
>untrained, unwaivered spectators trying to be controlled by
>a handful of marshals at one single intersection?

Where would you get the trained marshals? They won't come from the 100 untrained spectators. Even if you "trained" 10 of them, you still have 90 untrained ones.

>Either the "first degree" spectators don't realize that they
>get a better place to watch as a marshal,

Which frequently isn't the case - sideroads that need marshalling aren't necessarily good locations to spectate. A properly chosen spectator location is probably a better place than ninety percent of the marshalling locations.

>or they think that
>if they marshal for us they won't get to hang out at service
>or whatever else they want to do.

Like leave after they have seen the top 20 cars, leave if there is a delay...

>If enough of them would
>marshal, we'd only need them once per night, and they could
>do what they wanted for the rest of the night.

>As for the spectators who just show up knowing nothing more
>than there's a rally going on, we provide directions to
>corral them into confined areas where we can watch them.

I hope that is not the sole criteria for choosing spectator locations...

>Our hope is that when they see how much fun it can be,
>they'll want to become part of that trained, waivered, sober
>field of marshals with a better view.

How will they see how much fun it is if you "corral them into confined areas". Ths spectator areas need to be chosen with more criteria than just ease of spectator control (unless the intent is to make it so unpleasant that they won't come back, in which case they certainly won't come back as marshals).

You might get a few who decide to go on to be marshals, but that has always been the case. You won't get the majority of them, so you should think about how you cater for that majority and keep them happy.

Adrian
 

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just another old phart
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This continues to be an interesting discussion that reflects a diverse view of our sport from a number of perspectives. I don?t doubt that everyone?s view here is sincere. However those views certainly seem to offer a wide range of approach to the sport. Mark Larson seems to be convinced that the only way to put on the event is to have it cloaked in as much secrecy as possible. I don?t know whether there is a fundamental difference in the competitors and spectators who participate in Ojibwe as opposed to the relatively close by Sno*Drift and LSPR but the organizers? approach certainly seems to expect a difference. Sno*Drift and LSPR have both made available (even on the website) a comprehensive overview of the rally and even map the stages and their locations. This has been extremely helpful to teams in preparing for the logistics of the event and to spectators in determining how to plan their viewing of the event. I don?t think that there have been any serious negative repercussions through illegal practicing by teams or uncontrollable spectators as a result. Mark (who seems to reflect the Ojibwe opinion) implies that teams will go out and cheat if given the opportunity and that spectators will not be able to be confined.

Adrian (whose response here reads as much more negative than he really is in his approach to the sport), Dennis, Paul and JB seem to reflect on the reality that rallyists and their spectators have different approaches to motorsports than the typical race participant/fan. Those who participate in rallying either through competition or by viewing are much more the enterprising individuals than they are the massed herd willing to go round and round in circles and/or pay their bucks to sit in the stands and as such deserve/need to be treated as adults that are able to responsibly utilize the information provided. Are there exceptions to that? Of course there are, but to penalize the majority in order to control the few is missing the point in my opinion. If rallying holds out as a goal to continue to grow the sport, organizers should be looking for ways to help out the participants/fans, not handcuff them.

Only my opinion of course,

Kent Gardam
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
>This continues to be an interesting discussion that reflects
>a diverse view of our sport from a number of perspectives.
>I don?t doubt that everyone?s view here is sincere. However
>those views certainly seem to offer a wide range of approach
>to the sport. Mark Larson seems to be convinced that the
>only way to put on the event is to have it cloaked in as
>much secrecy as possible. I don?t know whether there is a

Almost, but not quite. Our reality is that we have few places that make good spectator areas (foir many people), but many places that offer great viewing for a only few people. Second, we have trouble getting enough workers to handle any more spectators, so our only hope is to turn some of those spectators into workers.

>uncontrollable spectators as a result. Mark (who seems to
>reflect the Ojibwe opinion) implies that teams will go out
>and cheat if given the opportunity and that spectators will
>not be able to be confined.

Only a few teams have done that, and they've ruined it for the rest of you. Our spectator confinement issues are strictly because of manpower concerns.

>control the few is missing the point in my opinion. If
>rallying holds out as a goal to continue to grow the sport,
>organizers should be looking for ways to help out the
>participants/fans, not handcuff them.

Kent, I miss the days when we could roam anywhere to spectate. At Magnum Opus one year, several of us service crews were able to fit in 6 stages of spectating in between working two services. Boy, was that fun!

The new rules don't allow that, of course, and we're trying to accomodate spectators as best we can given the limited number of places we can handle them and the limited number of workers we have to do so. It's not an issue of attitude as much as logistics.

I wish every corner could be a spectator corner, but until we get a lot more workers, it's not going to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
>Assuming that all people coming to a rally to spectate have
>the inclination to sign up as a marshal is just a shade
>unrealistic.

Until we have enough workers, I can only hope.

>Where would you get the trained marshals? They won't come
>from the 100 untrained spectators. Even if you "trained" 10
>of them, you still have 90 untrained ones.

But, if we could train those 10, we could divide the other 90 into two spectator locations instead of one.

>Which frequently isn't the case - sideroads that need
>marshalling aren't necessarily good locations to spectate. A
>properly chosen spectator location is probably a better
>place than ninety percent of the marshalling locations.

In our case almost every spot is great for the marshals, but few have room to handle 100 spectators.

>>As for the spectators who just show up knowing nothing more
>>than there's a rally going on, we provide directions to
>>corral them into confined areas where we can watch them.
>
>I hope that is not the sole criteria for choosing spectator
>locations...

Let me rephrase that. There are only a few places we can handle large crowds of people, and we provide directions so that anyone who wants to can get to those places.

>How will they see how much fun it is if you "corral them
>into confined areas". Ths spectator areas need to be chosen
>with more criteria than just ease of spectator control
>(unless the intent is to make it so unpleasant that they
>won't come back, in which case they certainly won't come
>back as marshals).

As I said before, our marshal points generally offer better viewing, but only for a few people.

>You might get a few who decide to go on to be marshals, but
>that has always been the case. You won't get the majority of
>them, so you should think about how you cater for that
>majority and keep them happy.

Believe me, Adrian, we have spent many hours discussing this problem and have no good answers. The best solution is for us to get enough workers to have more spectator areas.

I want you all to realize that we do take this seriously and we are very pro-spectator in general, and if we could, we'd have awesome spectating opportunities. Here are some of our challenges:

- Most of our intersections are built up from grade level. You can't stand along the road because of the deep ditches. You often can't stand in the road because it's in the driver's runoff line.

- Most of our intersections don't offer any kind of clearing into which we can place people.

- We are often using every road into the forest for stage roads. There's no way to get spectators in and out.

- We have a limit on some DNR roads of 80 passes. That means we can't use them twice, which means we don't have any spectator areas that work more than once per event. It also means we can't afford to give up a road as a stage road in order to make it a spectator access point.

- We are located 200 miles from any major cities. We don't have the pool of available workers that some events have. Wish we did.

Here's what we do have:

- Dozens of awesome places for a few people to safely watch cars going by at incredible speeds! Our marshals will not be disappointed.

We're getting more workers all the time. This year on Saturday, one team will be finished before service and have the rest of the night off to spectate or anything else. As we get more workers, we'll be able to do that more and more, and to add more spectator areas. Believe me, we want to do exactly that. We love rallying here in Minnesota, and we want everyone else to love it, too.
 

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on the day that caused the new spectator restrictions last year i was marshalling headwaters. because we had enough marshalls and re-used points my spot had cars go through twice and in between the two runs i was able to watch at a very awesome spot. it had elevation change and you could see the cars sweep through 4-5 turns. it remeinded me of a new zealand stage. and it had a hill where about 50-100 maximum people could stand. i will look up my old marshall maps and mention the location when i find it.

and mark isnt kidding just about every marshall point at OFPR is a good place to watch. just not enough room for more than 25-50 spectators.

my spot that day was a fast medium right w/a hill on the inside for peole to stand that was abou 20 feet above the road. the other run through was a awesome 180 w/ a high bank to stand on away from the road that got your eyes above the lights so you werent as blinded by them.
 
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