Encouraging volunteers

General slalom chatter...rant about the bad, rave about the good
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Steve Holmes
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 11:05 am

Encouraging volunteers

Post by Steve Holmes » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:58 pm

Or how not to encourage me to volunteer in future. Today there was an issue with my daughter’s first run that we wanted to protest (it probably would have been rejected, in in the end her second run was awesome rendering even the improved first run irrelevant). However, I ran off to judge straight after her run, having responded to the recent plea for volunteers I elected to help out rather than race in the vets. My wife is not really au fait with the slalom world, and prioritised getting our 8 year old out of her wet kit over putting in a protest. She missed the 15 minute window by 1 minute and was turned away. They were completely inflexible to the fact that the protest would have been in in seconds had I not been judging, and I was told “tough”.
I realise that rules are rules, but if an event is willing to bend some rules, such as being flexible with running orders, and randomly sticking a K1M in the middle of the K1W, then surely flexibility is allowed on others.
In future I will now weigh up the time taken to get my daughter ready and warmed up, do her run, wait for results and potentially put in a protest and wait for the result before I volunteer to judge.
Rant over!

JoS
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:30 pm

Re: Encouraging volunteers

Post by JoS » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:36 pm

The people you were shouting at were also volunteers.

JoS
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:30 pm

Re: Encouraging volunteers

Post by JoS » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:39 pm

And thinking about it, so was the K1M - he missed his slot because he was himself judging. Then he stayed in wet kit and helped take the course down at the end.

Steve Holmes
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Encouraging volunteers

Post by Steve Holmes » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:45 pm

I am sorry that I came across as angry, and I realise the K1M was judging. However, if boats are slotted in they should go between classes - there were only 7 K1W. And my thanks to him for helping to take the course down at the end, and to all the other volunteers, who are amazing. My point however, that if as a sport we are trying to get more parents volunteering we need more flexibility on issues like this.

Mike Mitchell
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:44 pm

Re: Encouraging volunteers

Post by Mike Mitchell » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:08 pm

I don't now the circumstances, or the event.
But I take it you were at Oughtibridge Div3/4.

So my view is in Prem Slalom if you are 1min late for your published run time, you miss it and the protest has to be in on time.
In div 1 its almost the same but there could be some flexibility. Like you can't get a contact lens in place in time.

But at the lower divisions the Sport needs every paddler and helper it can get, because its desperate for new paddlers.
So yes flexibility should be there and common sense. The starter should work out that if you send a K1M down after a K1L then there is a good chance he will catch the other paddler up [at this level]

Perhaps we need the system they had at the ECA Bratislava. 50 euro for a protest, then No one would bother.

Keep up the good work Volunteers, the sport needs you.

CeeBee
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:12 pm
Location: Falkirk

Re: Encouraging volunteers

Post by CeeBee » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:19 pm

Mistakes are made at all levels of the sport both by paddlers and volunteers. And when organisers are struggling to run an event with insufficient volunteers, people can get fractious - I know I do! We are all human.

Issues are always better going through the chair person of the jury to take a measured response thus avoiding conflict between the organisers and paddlers.

It can be very frustrating for those involved but hopefully these mistakes are few and far between. We've been very unlucky to have had a very officious volunteer in our club who made running events extremely stressful for all those involved as they were an absolute pedant for the rules as they saw them but fortunately they are no longer part of the club and the club are much happier.

WindsorCC
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:22 pm

Re: Encouraging volunteers

Post by WindsorCC » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:11 pm

Mike, I'd agree re some flexibility at div 2 and below. When I've been jury chair/chief judge at div 2 and below I've tried to use it as a teaching/learning experience for paddlers and parents, preparing them for the strict interpretation of the rules/timing etc they'll have to deal with at div 1.

On top of the risk of losing volunteers, there's a real risk of losing paddlers of all ages if they suffer from an overly harsh call, especially if it's without a considerate, understanding explanation to paddler and parents as to why.

Paul.

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