|When the Rally Safety Study Group was reconvened by the MSA after the incident on the Network Q Rally of Great Britain, it identified a growing concern among clubs about a shortage of marshals, and recommended a series of actions to try to halt the decline in numbers, several of which have already been put in place :
1) All clubs registered with the MSA have already been sent a new Guideline for the Motor Club Manual on "Finding, briefing and keeping marshals". This pulls together various ideas tried by clubs over the years and the MSA hope that clubs will feed in fresh ideas for incorporation in later editions. The new guideline is also included in the Motor Club Manual which you can either view or download from elsewhere on this website (see "downloadable forms" on the home page).
2) As from 2003, Chief Marshals (where appointed and included by the club on the annual registration form sent to the MSA) will be listed in the MSA Fixtures & Motor Sport Clubs booklet – this should help inter-club liaison over marshals. The marshalling guideline recommends that a club should appoint a Chief Marshal, who should ideally be on the main committee. This of course is not mandatory, but clubs that have done so seem to find that it concentrates the mind and helps the marshalling situation.
3) To help recruitment, posters and leaflets have been developed by the MSA carrying the message "Be at the heart of motor sport… be a marshal", and a small initial supply will be sent to all MSA recognised clubs. The leaflets try to answer some of the basic questions newcomers ask – about age limits, equipment, insurance and so on; both leaflets and posters have space on them for clubs to overprint their own details. The MSA website will reflect the same recruitment message.
4) Over 25,000 copies of the Motorsport Safety Fund (MSF) booklet A pocket guide to marshalling have now been distributed – many overseas – but it is quite detailed for a newcomer to digest. The MSF is therefore preparing a simpler leaflet which folds down to a convenient credit card size and contains basic information on marshalling.
5) The MSF is also preparing a new video called Motorsport Marshalling. This covers personal equipment, handling spectators, marshalling on races, rallies and other events, and also takes a quick look at first aid, use of radios and firefighting. The video will first be shown at a series of training evenings being run by the MSA starting in June 2002 (and where, incidentally, the MSF leaflet referred to above will also be first available). The evenings will cover the basics that marshals need to know and although mainly directed at existing and new rally marshals, there will not be a particularly heavy rally bias and all are welcome
6) Finally, as from the 1 June 2002, rally marshals will be eligible to go onto the MSA National Marshals Register. Full details of the scheme, including a sample of the individual registration forms and details of the grading criteria, have been sent to every MSA motor club. Details of introductory fast-track entry dispensations (available to existing and experienced marshals for a limited period) can be found elsewhere on this page.
The MSA asks every club member to bring all this information to the notice of your club committee as a matter of urgency, and to arrange suitable publicity through your club magazine and website so that all members of the club, especially those who are new or existing rally marshals, can be informed of the changes and be made aware of the opportunity to attend one of the training evenings (listed elsewhere on this page).