Duties of Marshals and the rules of a trial.’
Marshals are required on the day of the trial to ensure the smooth running of the event. The number needed depends on many things, i.e. the type of trial, the venue, the size of entry, etc. A marshal's duties are to officiate at each section (or as directed by the Clerk of the Course) and to ensure that each section is clear of vehicles and spectators before a competitor is allowed to attempt the section.
A start marshal must also check the competitor and any passenger are wearing a seat belt (minimum lap strap) and not smoking, and that competing drivers do not passenger other drivers in the sections, and where a vehicle is driven by more than one person to make sure they spread out within the group.
Laying out Trials
Each gate will have a white top on the right and a red top on the left, each denoting the gate number. Occasionally blank canes (other than crossed canes) are used to further define the route which competitors are required to take on a particular section. A vehicle hitting such a blank cane incurs penalties as if it had stopped at that point. To achieve a "zero" a competitor must successfully negotiate the course without stopping, without touching the canes, and without deviating from the section.
When marshalling the finish, you will usually be asked to mark competitors' scorecards. Before marking scorecards, always move the competitor off the section and start the next vehicle, liaise with the other marshals to ensure the correct score is obtained. Mark the card entering the figure scored, written number and sign (i.e. 5, five, F. Bloggs.). Marshals should also collect the scorecards on the last section and if possible total up the scores. Don't chase after competitors, let them come to you.
If any part of a vehicle touches a cane the competitor's score for that section is the number on that cane. As soon as one cane is touched, the driver ceases to compete on that section, i.e. if canes number 7, 4 and 2 are touched, the score for that section is 7.
If the canes are moved by the ground being displaced by the vehicle's wheels this is a clear
If a vehicle stops on a section, the score given is that on the next pair of canes it is approaching, i.e. if the vehicle stops between canes 8 and 7, the score is 7.
If one front hub of a vehicle passes a line between a pair of canes, the whole vehicle is deemed to have passed it, unless the vehicle actually touches that cane.
Competing vehicles are also required to stay within the confines of the section. To enforce this rule, any vehicle straying off the section with all four wheels (over a straight line drawn between two sets of canes, where cross canes are used the straight line of the outside canes are extended to meet the cross canes extending the boundary) will qualify for the score of the cane it is approaching
At no time should all four wheels of the competing vehicle cross the boundary of the course.
Where the route is defined by crossed canes (two canes at one point in an X shape), vehicles must remain on the section side of the crossed canes but need not keep within the line defined by the adjacent numbered canes. However, any vehicle hitting a crossed cane or driving outside it incurs penalties as if the vehicle had stopped at that point
Crossed canes must be placed wherever it appears to the Clerk of the Course that the angle between successive pairs of numbered canes is such that some types of vehicle for which the section is designed will not be able to stay within the confines of the section.
Where the regulations permit a vehicle to have a shunt or shunts. A vehicle shunts by stopping, reversing, stopping and then resuming forward motion.
A shunt may only be used for tight turns and must not be used for a second attempt at mud runs or hills. The Clerk of the Course is to indicate where and if a shunt is permitted, and only the CoC at their discretion may permit vehicles to take more than one shunt in a section.
Each competitor must tell the start marshal the location within the section of the intended shunt(s) before starting the section. This is done by announcing where the leading hub will be when the vehicle stops prior to reversing. For example "shunt between 5 and 4" means that the competitor intends to cease forward motion with the leading hub somewhere between the 5 and 4 canes.
During a shunt all normal rules continue to apply, i.e. the vehicle must remain within the confines of the section and must not come into contact with any cane or they will receive the score of that cane. There is no constraint upon the distance travelled and a vehicle is permitted to cross its own tracks