So you want to become a Marshal?
That’s Great! Getting started should be simple. Though a combination of factors including opportunity and luck could significantly influence the level of complexity of your experience. The closer you live to a race track or a particular event the easier it is to volunteer, however many… myself included, travel all around the world to marshal. So the only real requirement is having a strong will.
There is not a single global organization that makes you a marshal. (You’d think FIA or FIM would, but NO!) So to get started, depending on where you live, requires you to reach out to the organization that provides marshaling services in your area. For smaller countries like Singapore this means applying to become a marshal for the one big event they host each year: the Singapore GP. However in larger countries like the United States, each race track may have different marshaling bodies working different events. Some organizations provide marshals for multiple tracks or series, while others focus only on their home track. For example Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) provides marshals for many Club and Pro events around the country, while Race Services Inc. (RSI) only operates at Watkins Glen International. Some organizations like United States Auto Club (USAC) operate exclusively at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but also help organize marshals for the Detroit GP on Belle Isle in Michigan and the United States GP at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Typically it will cost you money to join a club to volunteer. Some clubs provide incentives for participation. Some tracks pay their marshals. Some events charge you a fee to volunteer for their event. Depending on the position you would like to volunteer, different organizations may provide different services. For example in New Zealand, the Motor Sport Club would staff flaggers and communicators while RSQKRU would provide recovery personnel at the same event.
So long story short… the best way to get started is to ask yourself what you’d really like to do:
- Is there a race track that you wish to marshal at?
- Is there a specific event you wish to marshal?
- Is there an organization that you wish to marshal with?
Once you have narrowed that down, research who provides marshaling services for the track/event/organization in your neighborhood and how to get in touch with them directly.
After you make contact make sure you take advantage of any training opportunities they offer to qualify as a volunteer. And secure any licensing they offer as it will help you to marshal around your country or the world.
For help on deciding which way to go about volunteering, visit these pages:
If you’re not a fan of reading, you’ll get a great preview to what we do from this old BBC video (2011 vintage):