Trial Setup & Strike

It wouldn’t be a Nosework Trial without Blue Painter’s Tape

While not an “official” volunteer position, when you sign up to volunteer at an NACSW Nosework trial or event, you’ll be asked if you can arrive early or stay late to help with setup in the morning or to strike afterward.

The tasks required for setup aren’t difficult. You might be asked to tape things with blue (usually) painters tape. Start lines are generally tape lines. And, areas that are “out of play” are also delineated with tape.

You might be asked to hang wide sheets of brown paper or craft paper or newspaper to block site lines. Schools often have lots of windows and during a trial it’s important for competitors (and their dogs) not to see into trail spaces.

You might be asked to place soccer dots or flags of some sort. These frequently are used to mark walking paths and flows.

Sometimes, chairs and other school furniture might need to be moved.

There are often popups and chairs to be positioned. The pop up tents provide a bit of shade for staging handling teams during the trial.

Depending on the type of trial (NW1 or Specialty, or even higher levels) you might be asked to construct boxes. Sometimes just a few and sometimes dozens and dozens.

The host provides lunch and snacks for volunteers, judges, and staff, so you might be asked to help setup and organize that space.

There’s also a registration table and lots of details related to that (badges, numbers, liability forms to be signed, spectator forms to be signed, and so on.)

Some trials also hold fundraising drawings and giveaways so that takes a bit of volunteer efforts.

Things are sometimes forgotten, so you might be asked to run to a store or on some other errand.

And, then, at the end of the day, all these items that have been set up need to be taken down, broken down, and packed up.

It takes a great amount of volunteer hours and effort to run a successful trail. So, offer to help. Show up early and stay late if you can. Stay calm and kind and be of use.

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