Sample Competition

Please note that the AVA and/or USAE Rule Books are the best resource for REQUIREMENTS. Read them! Much of the information below is simply suggestions based on experience.

Following is a sample schedule for an unrecognized, small vaulting competition:
For this example, assume that the Bay Flyers Club (a club with a couple of years of competition experience) decided at a club meeting just after Nationals to hold a Fest the following summer. The coach feels that the vaulters need additional competition experience and the parents are interested. Do not ask your coach to be involved in event management! They should advise only. Ms. Smith, an enthusiastic parent, calls other clubs in her area to be sure that the selected date will not conflict with any else's plans. At the same time she assesses interest in her event and asks if there are any specific classes in which the other clubs are interested.

Four to six months before the event (of course earlier is better!):

  • Select the Management Team. This does not have to be made up of members of your club only. Ask for help. The club's head coach should advise to the management team. The team should include a representative of the facility or the liaison to the facility. Two to four very enthusiastic, capable parents should be included. The chair should be someone with management experience.
  • Make a Budget. Someone who knows how to run a data base or spread sheet program should be recruited. Ask experienced clubs for a copy of their budget. Ask the AVA for a copy of Nationals budget. You will be able to catch some items of which you may not have thought. Make an estimate of your costs. Make a "best guess" of your income from entries and other sources (food booth or other sales). If you estimate high on costs and low on income, you should be safe.
  • Get Your Club Members Trained. Ask a judge or experienced clerk to hold a clerking/timing clinic. This is a great winter event which could be offered to other clubs in your area. You should have enough of your own club members trained to handle the clerk, timing, gate, announcing, scoring, and judges aides duties. If you do not have enough parents, use older vaulters or ask for help. Discuss how you want to handle scoring. For information about PC scoring, contact Carole Beutler at For information about MAC scoring, contact Marianne Rose at
  • Select the classes you wish to offer. You must consult your coach and survey other clubs. Local interests and styles should be considered. Consider adding a clinic or fun event like a BBQ, swim party, pizza dinner or ice cream social.
  • Inform Vaulting World. Since this event is unrecognized, you do not have to apply to the AVA, but Vaulting World publishes all vaulting events in the calendar on the back page. The sooner you show up on the calendar, the sooner clubs may begin planning to attend.
  • Contact your judge(s): If you wish to use an AVA Recognized Judge, you may not have many choices, so call early!
Two to three months before the event:
  • Send out your Entries. Look at other entries. Some managers may have the entries on disc and can send them to you. You should have your entries in the mail two months before the event. It is important to give the clubs a few weeks to organize their entries and collect money. Your deadline should be at least 3 weeks before the event. This will give you a week or so to make up your preliminary Order of Go to the participating clubs at least a week before the event.
  • Send contracts to your judge(s). The AVA has contract forms. Make a very clear contract with any service provider so that both parties understand the payment/perks/time frame/etc. of the job.
  • Advertise your event. Put up flyers, hand out flyers at other events, call other clubs, put information in "calendar" sections of papers and magazines.
  • Get Sponsors. If you are doing a program for the event, get some advertisers. Try to get donors for items you might need such as food, drinks, flowers, a P.A. system, etc. Try to find sponsors for awards for classes.
  • Order your ribbons. Wait until your entries are in if possible. Otherwise estimate and make sure you have enough. You can use the leftovers for next year.
One month before the event or after the entries are received:
  • Prepare your database. As the entries come in, input the information you will be needing. Depending on what you will be doing with your data base, you should include: Club, Name, Sex, Age, Coach, Horse, Longeur, Class. Contact Carol Beutler at to discuss organizing your entries on a PC, contact Marianne Rose at or Carole Dwinell at to discuss organizing your information on a Mac.
  • Make up your Order of Go. If you need help scheduling, ask for help. This is probably the most crucial part of running a good event. Make sure the final product is clear and easy to read.
  • Review all payments and entries. Have the Office Manager note any unsigned releases, incorrect payments, incorrect entries. Problems should be called to the attention of the respective clubs and dealt with well before the event starts.
  • Prepare your score sheets. Order your score sheets from the AVA or get a master from the AVA and run them yourself. You should confer with your judges if you plan to make a noticeably different score sheet. You will either run labels, hand write all the required data, or run the score sheets with complete information.
  • Finalize your office plans. Please test any programs before your event. Remember - if it can go wrong, it will go wrong! Get some battery driven calculators for emergency use. Make sure your Office Manager understands how to handle the paperwork. Prepare a flow pattern or logistics description of where score sheets come in, where they go next, where they end up. Ask for help!
  • Schedule your workers. Make a chart of jobs which need to be done. Fill in names as your Workers Manager confirms them. Make sure that each person knows what is expected of them. The AVA has many job descriptions. Schedule a few "extras" to cover anyone who doesn't show or begs off. Do not use vaulters as workers unless they are not vaulting that day and they are mature. Ask for help from grandparents, siblings and friends of your vaulting families. Don't hesitate to contact coaches or club managers from participating clubs to ask for help.
  • Start planning your setup. Do you have to build judge's stands or winner's podiums? Do you need to run extra electricity to food service areas? Will your office be able to handle the power needs? Do you need to order footing for your arenas?
One to two weeks before the event:
  • Send out your Order of Go. The more time the clubs have for planning their participation, the happier they will be and the smoother your event will run. It is best to fax or email your Order of Go. If you have a website, post it there and advise your participants via email.
  • Plan your food for the food booth. A proven rule of thumb is - approximately four "meals" per entrant (i.e. if you have 100 vaulters entered, plan to have 250 hamburgers and 150 hot dogs. Contact your club families for donations of cookies or other snacks for sale.
  • Do everything that did not get done already. Everyone take a deep breath and relax. Even the most experienced managers get the pre-competition heebee-jeebies a few days before the event.
One day before the event:
  • Complete all set up. Footing, judges stands, shade, electricity, sound systems, etc.
  • Set up the office. Bring in all paperwork, computers, etc. Set up work surfaces, chairs, etc.
  • Prep arenas and make sure food service areas are cleaned up.
  • Welcome and see to the needs of any horses or vaulters arriving early.
  • Set up and pre-sort ribbons so that the appropriate awards can be easily and quickly transported to the awards area.
The morning of your event:
  • Make the judge(s) tables attractive. A tablecloth and flowers will make the judge(s) feel like honored guests. Make sure each judge has pencils, a pencil sharpener, a bell, stop watch, back-up stop watch, and some scratch paper. Paper weights are useful for any outdoors event.
  • Open the Competition Office for Check-in. Any problems with entries, releases, payments must be solved before the vaulters enters the competition arena.
During your event:
  • The organizing committee or the competition manager should be available at all times to make decision and solve problems. By watching the action, anticipating problems, dealing with confusion or unanticipated activities immediately, the event should run smoothly, safely and provide each vaulter with the opportunity to do their best.

Thanks to Competitions Manager Extraordinaire Marianne Rose for this How To Sample Schedule.