Becoming a Marshal

All forms of Motorcycle Sport require many key personnel for events to take place and there is a number of ways you can become involved in Motorcycle Sport without competing. These include Observers – Race Marshals (both Off-Road and Road Racing) and Clerk of the Course – Technical Officials – Timekeepers and Event Secretaries.

Off Road Track Marshals

Becoming an Off Road Track Marshal is a great method of being involved in events. From the age of 16 you can become a Marshal at race events around the country. To become a Marshal is very easy with no qualifications required as a briefing will take place at the beginning of each event. Although a Marshal is normally a voluntary position many clubs offer small rewards such as free food, boxes of chocolates/wine and sometimes even a small monetary payment. Motocross Marshals are able to attend organised Marshals Seminars to gain additional experience and join the register of trained Marshals for all types of events from grass roots to Grand Prix. Why not try it, it’s a great way to get even more pleasure out of the event and you will be putting something into the sport for the cost of a few hours of your time.

Road Race Marshal

A Marshal at any Motorsport event is an integral part of the Race Organisation. There is a saying in motorsport which goes something like, “No Marshals, No Racing” and whilst that is true it can also be said about Medics and other key Officials. The bottom line though is that without Marshals or without enough Marshals, a Road Race meeting – whether that be on a short circuit or on the roads cannot start.

“Do marshals just clear up after incidents?” has been a question often asked. That is certainly part of the job but Marshals are there to help prevent incidents in the first place. Observing for machine problems before or during track sessions can prevent an incident from occurring. Machines are flagged-off at most meetings after a marshal has spotted a problem, of which the rider was unaware. Oil leaks are pretty typical; marshals usually spot the smoke before anyone else does. Removing debris from the track, and cleaning spillages before they cause a problem are other examples of preventative marshalling.

Most ACU Road Race Clubs have Marshal Training Days which gives extensive training to all Marshals to enable them to carry out their duties. This training includes all the relevant flag signals, how to use a radio and how to treat casualties at the scene of an incident. There is some basic but essential first aid training which will enable a Marshal to give immediate first aid to a casualty until the arrival of a doctor, which is normally within a minute or two on the instructions of the Clerk of the Course.

When arriving at an event, Marshals need to ensure they are there at least an hour prior to the start of first practice, so they can Sign On and be allocated their place to Marshal for the day. Marshals are not paid but are recompensed in other ways, for example, some Clubs give Marshals ‘Breakfast and/or Lunch’ tokens to grab a bite to eat.

We are sometimes asked by a Marshal on their first meeting, will I be thrown in at the deep end and left on my own?  Definitely  not! At your first meeting the Chief Marshal will make sure that the Marshal in charge of your Team on your section is aware of your inexperience. He or she will keep an eye on you and make sure that you are teamed up with at least a couple of experienced people. The Incident Officer (IO) who is in charge of the team of marshals on your section is aware of your inexperience. He or she will keep an eye on you and make sure that you are teamed up with at least a couple of experienced people. Generally there is a hugely friendly atmosphere at meetings, especially on the campsites (and the circuit bars).

If you would like to become a Marshal and you want to know or ask anything further, please contact ACU Head Office on or ring 01788 566400.

Auto-Cycle Union Ltd.
ACU House, Wood Street, Rugby.
CV21 2YX.
Telephone: 01788 566400