Step-By-Step Guide

As a meet director, you will be responsible for planning and carrying out a meet. Successful meets are the key to the club’s success. But you need not shoulder the entire load: please consider asking one or more of these volunteers to help at your meet. Volunteers frequently tell us that no one calls them and asks for help. Please call them!

  1. Plan location, time, format and courses to be offered

    This information is usually set as part of the schedule, but there may be some details to decide, such as:

    • Start location
    • Score-O format: Mass start, time length, penalty for being late
    • Relay: number of teammates, format
  2. Get permits, padlock keys or combinations or proof of insurance

    Check with the VP of Events to find out what permits or keys you may need. If your meet is in a Municipal park, the VP of Events should have sent a Municipal permit to you. If your meet is on military land (Fossil Creek, Elmendorf, and Pia’s maps), check with the VP of Events for the current participant registration process (it changes from year to year), and then inform the Webmaster and VP of Media, so they can let others know. Meets on Pia’s map will need the Klutina Gate key.

  3. Design the courses

    You can design the courses directly in OCAD, or by printing out a map. Please see the detailed information on good course design and using OCAD. Check the Meet Map Archive to get ideas from previous meets, and try not to make your routes to similar to recent meets

  4. Field check your control placements

    You must field check your proposed control locations because you will find some of the locations you choose will not work well due to mapping problems, vegetation problems, etc. Please read the page on field checking.

  5. Make your maps and prepare clue sheets

    After field checking and making any adjustments to your courses, you need to place the circles on the map and make clue sheets. We recommend that you do it yourself with OCAD. Please see our notes on using OCAD. If you need help, contact the VP of Mapping to find out who is available to help with your maps. Please have your information ready at least several days ahead of the meet!

    Double-check the course maps to make sure they are accurate and readable:

    • Control locations and codes are correct
    • Scale is appropriate
    • Circles, lines, and text do not hide features
  6. Send meet information to the VP of Media and Webmaster for publicity purposes

    Usually the VP of Media will send an email to the list a few days before the meet. If you want to add anything besides the basics that are in the schedule, let the VP of Media (and Webmaster) know at least four days before the meet. Include any changes to the published schedule or details about the format or terrain (muddy, moose, teams).

  7. Vet the courses

    It is extremely important to have your courses checked (vetted). See the page on vetting for various vetting options

  8. Hang the controls

    • Controls for Advanced courses can be hung up to a week before the event
    • Controls visible from trails should be hung just prior to the meet to reduce the risk of having them stolen
    • If controls are hung early, you may need to check them before the meet to make sure they are still there
    • Ideally the feature should be noticed before the control
    • Controls should not be hidden (in a pit)
    • Controls for advanced courses may be hung as low as two feet from the ground
    • Controls for beginner courses should be hung higher so they are visible, but must be low enough so that kids can reach the punch and see the control codes
    • Controls should be tied securely to a tree, stake, fence, etc. Tying them on with many knots or even with wire can help prevent them from being stolen.
    • Be sure that the control code matches the code on the clue sheet
    • Punch a sample punchcard for each course so that you can check the competitors punches, if there is any dispute
  9. Printing Maps And Clue Sheets

    In addition to the topo and course, each map should have:

    • Copyright statement (© Arctic Orienteering Club)
    • Meet name, date, and location
    • Course (e.g., Red, Green)
    • Map scale written in text (e.g., 1:10,000) and a graphic scale bar
    • Legend (for White and Yellow only)
    • Club logo
    • North arrow

    We have a printing account with Great Originals. You need to send them a PDF. If you can’t convert to PDF,consider getting freeware with that ability or send the OCAD file to the VP of Mapping. If you use Great Originals, get a receipt and give it to the Treasurer. Use attendance from last year’s meet at your venue, and recent club meets, and the predicted weather to estimate the number of maps to print.

  10. Get the Meet Equipment

    Contact the VP of Equipment for club equipment, or utilize the Self Serve Equipment Checkout. The VP of Equipment should have stocked the meet boxes, but double check to make sure you have everything:

    Meet Box Contents

    • Blank participation forms on clipboard
    • Sign-up sheets for each of the 5 colored courses on clipboards
    • Punch cards
    • Safety pins
    • Ziploc bags for maps
    • Money jar
    • Key jar
    • Loaner compasses
    • Whistles for sale
    • Bug dope
    • Meet fee sheet
    • Symbol reference sheet
    • Map legends
    • Napkins
    • Garbage bags
    • Promo materials (schedule cards, magnets, free passes, etc)
    • Pens, pencils, and markers
    • String for hanging results
    • Stapler and staples
    • Paper clips, scotch tape, duct tape, scissors, flagging
    • First aid kit
    • Search and rescue kit (instructions, safety vest)

    If something is running low, either buy more and give the receipts to the Treasurer, or tell the VP of Equipment – who keeps extras of many consumables. Check to make sure there are lot of participation forms in the box, especially for the first few meets of the season.

    Other stuff you can borrow from the VP of Equipment

    • Controls
    • Clock with stand, instructions, wall and car chargers
    • Information and safety sign (with dry erase marker)
    • Table(s)
    • Tent/Canopy(s)
    • Water jug and cups
    • Garbage bucket
    • Orienteering club banner
    • Directional signs to starting location
    • Sign board to post additional notices

    Other stuff you will need to have

    • Permit (see VP of events)
    • Proof of insurance (see VP of events)
    • Course maps
    • Clue sheets
    • Score Cards (for Score-Os)
    • Cell phone – for emergencies (the club has Trac phones for loan)
    • Snacks – optional, but expected.
  11. Food and water

    Someone other than the meet director can easily take care of this, but the meet director has to find that person. At a typical meet, there are oranges (cut in eighths), bananas, pretzels, and/or muffins (quartered). There should be trash bags and napkins in the meet box. Be sure to clean up after your meet, so that the land owners will welcome us back the next time.

  12. Finances / expenses / meet fees

    See this link for very detailed instructions on how to handle your expenses, meet fees, etc.

  13. Run the meet

    • Two to four people at the start/finish is best.
    • One table for sign-in, money jar, keys jar; the other table for start lists, maps, control cards, clue sheets.
    • Whistles – everyone needs one. Meet box has them – we sell them for $1 each.
    • Be sure the Safety sign is up and that it indicates the safety bearing and when people are to return, regardless whether they have finished. Generally we want everyone DONE by 9 pm.
    • Be sure to tell people to check-in upon return.
    • Loaner compasses – If someone wants a loaner compass for a meet, please have them leave a driver’s license or car keys in the money box as collateral; we otherwise lose compasses steadily.
    • To help prevent dog bites and fights, please ask people with dogs to keep them on leash and away from the tables in the start/finish area.
  14. Results

    • Hang punch cards at the finish
    • Send results to the Anchorage Daily News (ADN) within 24 hours of your meet. Once the results are more than a day or so old, the ADN may not print them.
    • This link gives the ADN contact information and their requirements in more detail.
    • At the same time, please also email the results to the Webmaster.
    • You can add the meet and set up the courses in RouteGadget using this link.
  15. Pick up the controls

    The meet director should not have to do this, so ask for volunteers, and keep careful track of who is supposed to pick up what and whether or not they have done it.

  16. Return the club equipment

    Return the meet box, canopy, etc. to the VP of Equipment or coordinate the hand-off with the next meet director. Make sure the clock and cell phone get charged.

  17. Give Sign Up Sheets to Treasurer

    Our insurance requires that the names of participants at each event be submitted at the end of the year.  Save your sign up sheets from the meet and give them to the Treasurer the next time you see them.

  18. Fill out the post-meet questionnaire

    Fill out the online questionnaire.  This form collects important statistics to help the club plan future meets.

  19. Add Your Meet Maps to the Archive

    Email PDF (and optionally OCAD) files of your meet maps to the VP of Mapping or the web master so they can be included in our Meet Map Archive.

  20. You are done!

    Thank you for all your hard work. Our club would not exist without our great meet directors!