Volunteer Race Positions


It takes more than thirty people to run a safe and successful race. This section identifies these positions and provides a brief description of each. More detailed information about the responsibilities of officials and about planning and running a race can be found in the officials training manuals and reference document published on the ACA website under “Officials,” “Course Materials.”

Starter: Gives the correct start signal to each racer and, in collaboration with the timer, ensures the proper start interval between signals.

Assistant Starter: Calls the competitors to the start in their correct order.

Hand Timer (also called Assistant Timers): Operate the stopwatch at the start and finish.

Recorder (also called Assistant Timers): Records the time-of-day data for each start and finish from the stopwatch.

Start Referee: Ensures that the regulations for the start are followed; controls access to the course for inspections; determines late and false starts; manages the start process at the beginning and end of the run and during “Stop-Starts;” reports the names of the competitors who did not start to the referee. The start referee remains at the start from the beginning of the official inspection time until the end of the event. He/she is a non-voting member of the Jury.

Technical Delegate (TD): Has advisory control over pre-race and post-race operation and, together with the other members of the Jury, has complete control over the operation of the race itself. Along with the Jury, he/she has the final decision in all matters of safety and has the authority to cancel, postpone or annul the race if necessary. The TD is the representative of and appointed by the body that has responsibility for the race (i.e., SQA in the case of provincial events, OSZ-NCD in the case of local events.

Chief of Race (COR): Is the chairman of the Race Committee and the “boss” who is responsible for staffing and directing the work of all officials except the TD and the referee. He/she normally chairs the Team Captain‟s meeting, in consultation with the TD, and deals with all technical aspects of the race. The Chief of Race is a member of the Jury.

Referee: Inspects the course immediately after it is set, alone or accompanied by members of the Jury and has the authority to change the course by taking out or adding gates. (The course setter must be informed of changes if he/she was not present during this inspection.); receives the reports of the gate judges, start and finish referees and other officials about any infractions of the rules and gate faults at the end of each run; immediately after each run, checks, signs and posts the “referee‟s report” identifying the competitors who were disqualified, The Referee is appointed by the TD from outside the host organization.

Assistant Referee: Appointed by the TD to assist the referee at speed events.

Chief Gate Judge: Organizes and supervises the work of the gate judges and designates the gates each will supervise; supplies each gate judge with control cards, pencil, start list, etc.; ensures that the numbering and the marking of the gates is done; collects the gate judges’ control cards at the end of each run and delivers them to the referee.

Gate Judges: observe the passage of each competitor through the gates they are assigned; decide whether the passage is correct; when a fault is observed, prepare a proper record of the fault (bib number, gate number, drawing); respond to competitors questions about whether they have committed a fault; make a record of any competitor who leave4s the course and requests a re-run. Gate judges may be asked to perform other duties such as the replacing/repairing poles or flags; helping keep the course clear, etc.

Chief of Course: Directs and supervises the preparation and maintenance of the course, including the start and finish areas. He/she works with the course setters, supervises course maintenance during the race and directs post-race cleanup immediately following the event. He/she needs to know course preparation standards and techniques.

Course Crew: Under the direction of the Chief of Course, replace/repair gate poles; repairs potholes, ruts; berns, and other conditions; sideslip the course;

Finish Referee: Ensures that the regulations for the organisation of the finish and the finish in-run and out-run are followed; responds to requests for re-runs; supervises the finish controller, the timing and the crowd control in the finish area; reports the competitors who did not finish to the referee and informs the Jury of all infringements against the rules. The finish referee remains in the finish from the beginning of the official inspection time until the end of the event. He/she is a non-voting member of the Jury. (ICR 601.3.4)

Finish Controller: Supervision of the section between the last gate and the finish; monitors the proper crossing of the finish line; records the order of finishing of all racers who complete the course.

Chief of Timing (also called Chief of Timing and Calculations): Supervises all electronic and manual timing and results calculations, plans and sets up all timing and communication systems, oversees the starter, timers, recorders, finish controller, announcers, spotters and others.

Timer: Operates the timing equipment and software and ensures that accurate start and finish times are recorded for every competitor; communication with the starter throughout the race.

Assistant Timer: Monitors jury communication for information about “start-stops,” competitors that abandon the course, etc.; observes the course and competitors to identify any irregularities that could affect the accuracy of the timing; and otherwise assists the timer.

Scoreboard Posters: Records the elapsed time for each competitor on the display board.

Announcer: Announces each competitor‟s results as soon as they are available.

Bib Collector: Collects the bibs from each competitor immediately after they complete their last run for the event.

Chief of Administration (also called the Race Secretary): Responsible for all administrative work for the competition, including receipt of registration and preparing the draw; ensures that the official results contain the required information; prepares the minutes of technical, Jury and team captains’ meetings; ensures that the forms for start, finish, timing, calculations, and gate judging are prepared and distributed at the proper time; receives official protests and gives them to those who are concerned; and ensures that results are duplicated and published as quickly as possible after the completion of the competition.


The jury is responsible for all decisions pertaining to the race, for the arbitration of protests and for upholding the rules. The jury members must collaborate closely with the race committee through the Chief of Race. Jury members include: the Technical Delegate (Chairman of the Jury), Chief of Race, Referee, Assistant Referee (for speed events) and two non-voting Jury Advisors ~ the Start Referee and Finish Referee.

The ACA‟s Level II Officials Manual states the Jury‟s general responsibilities are to ensure that the rules are adhered to throughout the race and that the safety of the competitors, officials and spectators is never compromised.

More specifically, the Jury‟s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

1. Ensuring the applicable rules are fairly applied and implemented;

2. Inspecting before and during the race;

3. Supervising of start and finish;

4. When the conditions require it, deciding to cancel, interrupt or postpone a race, change start intervals, or shorten the course;

5. Ruling on all provisional runs and protests; and

6. Approving the methods of timing and calculation.