Safety - Procedure and policy
Approved by CROC Executive Board 03/01/04
In order to better insure the safety of our club members and event participants, the Columbia River Orienteering
Club (CROC) has established the following safety policy:
1) At event registration:
a. ALL event participants will read and sign a liability waiver form. All participants will provide a legible name,
address, phone number, car license plate number and an emergency contact on their event registration form.
b. All teams will be informed at the registration table of the event time limit. Unless otherwise specified, this will
typically be 3 hours on their course or a 3pm hard deadline for a standard 11am to 1pm start time window. At
this designated cutoff time, teams should discontinue their course and head directly for the finish line. This cutoff
time is especially important at late fall/early spring events, due to an earlier sunset time.
c. A master map of each course will be retained for use by search personnel if required
2) At the event start line:
a. The starter will verify that all needed information has been provided on participants' materials handed to the
b. The starter will also record each team's selected course, number of participants and start time.
c. Each starting team will be reminded of the event cutoff time and told to report to the finish to check out even if
they decide not to otherwise complete their course.
3) At the finish line:
a. The Finish will remain manned until all the starting teams have reported back to the finish, or been otherwise
b. By the designated cutoff time, the finish line official should be able to report all "missing" teams, if any, to the
registrar and event director. At the meet director's discretion, experienced club members who start late due to
volunteering at the event may be given extra time beyond the designated cutoff time to finish their course.
4) Control pickup.
a. Once the finish line official notifies the Event Director that all participants on a course have returned, the controls
for that course may be picked up. Care must be taken that no controls used by another course are removed.
b. Upon expiration of the time, limit, control pickup should begin. Controls should be picked up in the order the
participants followed (unless all participants are accounted for). This should locate any stragglers and move them
along to the finish.
5) Missing teams procedure:
a. All nearby parking facilities should be searched for the car license number listed on the missing team's registration
materials. If a car is found, assume that the team has not yet returned. See section 6 below.
b. If no car is found, call the telephone number(s) listed on the missing team's registration form. If the team can be
located at home or by cell phone, then they are no longer considered missing. Such teams should be reminded of
our finish line policy. All teams must check out at the finish prior to departure.
c. If the team still cannot be found, only then should the emergency contact information be used. The contact may be
able to provide details about the team's plans after the event, additional locations where they can be located, etc.
Avoid alarming the emergency contact - there is no need worry them, as the team has likely left the orienteering
venue, we are simply trying to locate them at this point. (After reasonable efforts and time has passed) ONLY if
there is sufficient uncertainty as to a team's whereabouts (including incomplete registration information leading
to not being able to adequately identify their car nearby) should local authorities be involved. Call 911 and report
the circumstances and nature of the missing party to the police. You may be able to obtain information or help
from the police to better identify which (if any) of nearby cars belong to the missing team based on their name &
address, for example.
6) Search and Rescue:
It is the Event Director's responsibility to determine when sufficient time has passed to initiate a search for a missing team.
Just because their car remains at the orienteering site does not mean a team is still on their course - they may have forgotten
the cutoff deadline/finish reminders and simply be enjoying other portions of the park. Event officials should continue to
monitor the team's parked vehicle(s).
a. One or (preferably) more experienced club members should be sent out on the missing team's course (both
forward and backward) in an attempt to locate the team. If they are found, they must be informed of the cutoff
time and immediately brought back to the finish area. At least one club member (preferably the meet director)
should remain at the finish area to coordinate search and finish efforts.
b. If the missing team is not found after a sufficient search effort, then 911 should be called and a formal search
initiated with the proper authorities involved. Event registration materials should clearly state that the costs of any
official search and rescue or any medical treatment may be borne by the "missing" parties or their heirs. NOTE:
An official on-site search should only be initiated once it has been reasonably determined that the team has not
left the park and cannot be located at home or by their emergency contact.