Marshal Howto

Thanks for your interest in marshaling with the LFNS. Here’s some stuff you need to know:

Get a hi-viz vest. You may well be able to borrow one at the start of the skate. Wearing the vest means you are on duty so please behave appropriately whilst wearing it. Remove it when you are not marshalling.

Day-to-day co-ordination is conducted on our online forum, which all marshals should use. We hand-approve all forum registrations, so there may be a delay of a day or so after you register until your access is enabled.

What we do

Our aim is to keep the skate together as a single group. The Lead Marshal (LM) is at the front and the Rear Marshal (RM) is at the back. Most of the other marshals do two jobs: blocking roads so traffic doesn’t enter the skate, and funneling skaters into lanes and around obstacles.

Blocking

Anyhwere traffic can flow into the path of the skate will need blocking. E.g. roads, petrol stations, car parks, hotels, hospitals etc. If in doubt, block.

On multi-lane roads, one marshal is needed per lane. We don’t block oncoming traffic unless the road is so narrow that the skate couldn’t get past on its own side of the road.

When to block

Don’t block until the skate is reasonably close: early blocking holds up traffic for no useful purpose. While you are waiting, indicate (by pointing) to other marshals which way the scout went.

How to block

Face oncoming vehicles, smile, be polite, and thank them.

Funneling

Skaters generally don’t hear instructions. The essence of funneling is to get the skaters to change lanes by forming a wall of marshals in the road to guide the skate where we want it to go.

Difficult drivers

Stay calm. Don’t to touch the vehicle. Don’t swear or resort to abuse even if the driver does.

Expect/signal to be rotated. If you replace a marshal handling a difficult driver, you may find it easier just to block and not engage the driver in conversation.  Don’t take unnecessary risks.

Dealing with other people/skaters

Please don’t argue with other marshals during the skate. You can always discuss things afterwards.

Skaters don’t usually hear instructions, so consider tapping them on the shoulder and pointing. Please don’t argue with members of the public, skaters or drivers.

Emergency vehicles

If an emergency vehicle (with lights and/or siren going) wants to pass the skate, the LM will stop the skate as soon as possible and get skaters off the road. Help to funnel skaters onto the pavement.

Working with the Police

Arguing with the police is bad. If they want they could order the skate to disperse and make problems for us.

Blocking police vehicles is fine, provided they aren’t on an emergency.

If Police ask what we’re doing:

  • We’re having fun. You are not an organiser, you are just a volunteer.
  • Ask them to speak to the LM

If the police stop the skate, only one or two marshals (usually the LM plus another experienced marshal) should speak with them: other marshals should keep the skaters off the road and away from the police.