Marshaling Policy

(Updated 4/11/14)


To make it possible for the club to hold races in Central Park, each racing member must marshal during the racing season which runs from March through November.

Marshals are required by the NYC Parks Department to be stationed on the Central Park course to ensure the safety of racers and other park users. Marshals also serve as ambassadors of the club for those who stop to ask for information.

Marshals are expected to arrive for their duty on a bike or on blades. Please refer to the instructions tab for race day details and read on for some marshaling FAQs.

–CRCA Marshal Director

How often am I expected to marshal?

Each racing member is subject to marshal twice each year, with the following exceptions:

  • Junior members do not marshal
  • Life members do not marshal
  • Donor members do not marshal
  • Certain marshaling activities get double credit (e.g. Grant’s Tomb, Alpine Hill ITT, Orchard Beach Crit)
  • New Cat 5 Men and new Cat 4 Women members who are required to attend one racing skills clinic session before they are eligible to participate in club races will receive one marshal credit upon completion of the session. You will be notified if you must fulfill this requirement and further instructions regarding skill session sign-up process will be provided.


Can I race without signing up to Marshal?

Members must be signed up for their full marshaling requirements for the season in order to be eligible to participate in club races.

Where do I check in for marshaling on race day?

For Central Park races, please sign in for marshaling in the car park along Cat’s Paw Hill (which is north from the boathouse, up the hill on the left).  Sign-in instructions will be provided for races outside of Central Park (e.g Bear Mountain, Alpine Hill, Floyd Bennett Field).

What time should I arrive?

Marshals are expected to sign in with the marshal captain one hour prior to the start of a race. If you are not in the marshal sign-in line 15 minutes before the start, depending on how many marshals and volunteers show up, you may be considered a no-show. All walk-on members who show up to volunteer for credit are accepted only if they have recived the prior approval of the Marshal Director.

Marshals (and/or their substitutes) should print, sign and bring the USA Cycling Volunteer release form to hand in at check-in.

Are new members required to marshal more often?

New members are required to marshal 2 times during their first season. The CRCA Board reserves the right to increase this requirement to 3 times if it determines that additional marshals are required to meet the club’s obligations.

What about the weather — Weather Cancellation?

CRCA races are held rain or shine. Unless there has been prior notice posted on the CRCA site, you are expected to show up to marshal regardless of the weather conditions. You can bring a warm coat, galoshes, an umbrella, and coffee–unlike the guys and gals who are racing that day.

If you show up and the race is canceled, you will receive credit for a marshal date. If you do not show up, you will be suspended. If a race is canceled with prior notice, you remain obligated to fulfill your marshaling duty in the event an alternate date or event is scheduled as a makeup or addition to the calendar.

Where can I find the marshal schedule?

The marshal schedule is published here on the CRCA web site at least one month in advance of any race. If your name appears, you are responsible for marshaling on that date or for furnishing a substitute. You may change a marshal date to another date that is open via the system by logging into the membership area on and using the “Manage Marshal Dates” tab. Keep in mind that the system ‘locks’ 14 days prior to each race to prevent a marshal shortage for the upcoming race, so you will not be able to reschedule your marshal commitment inside of this 2 week window (i.e. if you can’t make it, you will be responsible to find a substitute to fulfill your commitment).

Can I be a pace driver?

Members who have motorcycles can be assigned as pace drivers, which will count as one marshaling date. Indicate on your renewal form if you will be available to serve as a driver. Coordinate any moto pacing dates with Stephen Chang. Contact: stephenkchang[at]


As a courtesy, the week before the race, you will receive an email reminding you of your upcoming marshaling duty. In the event that you do not receive a reminder due to a system failure or for any other reason, you are still responsible for that marshal date.


If you miss a marshal date for any reason you are suspended. The first marshal date you miss must be made up prior to your being allowed to race. In the event that you miss your next marshaling date for any reason, you will be penalized an extra marshaling date. In effect, this means that you will have to marshal twice before you are removed from the suspended list — one time to cover your initial missed date in addition to one extra penalty date. Everyone will still be expected to marshal twice in a season (not including suspensions).

Sub teams should take note that there is an extra incentive for ensuring your team mates are observant of marshaling rules:

As in previous years, any sub team with a member from any CRCA race Category on the Suspended Marshals list will not be able to score Team Cup Points. This applies to the race during which the member failed to marshal and to any future races until the suspension is cleared (i.e., the marshaling duties required to clear the suspension have been completed).

If any sub team has three members on the Suspended marshals List then the whole team will not be allowed to race any CRCA races until such time as all suspensions and extra marshaling duty is cleared.  It is the responsibility of the designated Team Managers to monitor the suspended list, which is published on the CRCA website and updated after each race.

A suspended member is not permitted in club races.

The suspended rider is responsible for making up all of the dates missed and must make arrangements for doing so with the Marshal Director. Unlike previous years, you may not just show up on a morning of a race and volunteer to have a suspension removed without prior approval.

Members on the suspended list at the beginning of a year (for failure to marshal) must marshal twice as many times as often as the number of marshal dates missed in the preceding year (i.e. make up date + penalty for each date missed). You will not be assigned new dates until the prior year’s suspension is made up.

A suspended rider who is inadvertently allowed to enter a club race will forfeit any placing and winnings for that race. Additional penalties, to be determined by the CRCA board, may also be imposed.


You may recruit adult friends or relatives to serve as your replacement. You may swap dates with another member.

You may also pay someone to marshal for you. We publish a list of ‘freelance’ marshals here. The arrangement between you and a paid marshal is a private business matter. The marshal director will not find a substitute for you; you do not have to inform the marshal director when you use a substitute.

Your substitute must give your name and the reason for marshaling (e.g., “getting off suspension”) to the marshal captain in order for you to get credit for marshaling. If you use a substitute for an assigned marshaling date and your substitute does not show, you are suspended. You may use a substitute for getting off suspension. You may race when you use a substitute on an assigned date, or to get off suspension (provided that all of the missed dates are made up). Your substitute must come on a bike or blades.

Your substitute must sign the USA Cycling volunteer release form which can be accessed at :   USA Cycling Volunteer release form

Associate membership

If you do not want the responsibility of marshaling but wish to keep in touch and support the club, renew as an Associate (non-racing) member. Associates enjoy all privileges of a CRCA member, except that they cannot enter club races.


As a member of CRCA, I:

  • Understand that my participation in CRCA races is a privilege that depends both on the ability of the club to put on races and on  my own conduct as a club member
  • Understand CRCA and USAC rules and will follow them
  • Will do my best to fulfill CRCA marshaling duties and to make up any suspensions quickly
  • Will not participate in any large dangerous group rides in city parks
  • Will not ride in the runners lane while racing in city parks nor loiter in that lane after races
  • Will treat other club members, cyclists and officials, and park users in general with respect.