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SIGNS AND SYMBOLS USED IN HASHING
Marking out a hash course is usually done with either sawdust or flour, though if you use sawdust, try and get hold of "softwood" sawdust. This is lighter in colour, and easier to see. If you use the darker sawdust from hardwoods, it tends to become very difficult to spot when wet and on leaf strewn trails in autumn. One of the more important things to be borne in mind when setting a hash, is that hashing is a social event. If the hashers get too stretched out due to poor course marking, the hash can lose that social and friendly atmosphere. Ideally a course should be laid out in such a way that the FRB's (front running b-----ds) can stretch their legs a little, but the tail enders have no trouble catching up at checks and regroups. This can be achieved with a little forethought, and careful use of the following course markings
Trail check THE CHECK
The first marking you are likely to encounter on a hash is the circle. Marked in either sawdust or flour, this is usually placed at a point where you are faced with a choice of directions to go in. Upon encountering one of these, the FRB's usually take on the job of "Checking out" the direction to go in next.
Kicked out check "KICKED OUT" CHECK
After reaching a check and sorting out which way to go next, a section of the circle is "Kicked Out" adjacent to the future direction the course. This indicates to any trailing hashers which way the rest of the pack went.
Trail Blob THE BLOB
The most used of all the hash markings. They are the main course marker, and are usually placed at intervals of 25 to 50 metres - more often if the terrain is a little confusing (though some Hares prefer it that way). On reaching a CHECK and trying to find out which way to go next, you are looking for three of these in succession. On encountering the first, you shout back to the group; "On one", at the second; "On two" and at the third; "On on". If however the third marking turns out to be a CROSS, (see below) you shout; "On back" to indicate that you've gone the wrong way!
Trail Cross THE CROSS
When checking out which way to go next on a course, if you are going the right way, you will usually encounter three blobs in succession. However, going the wrong way will give you two blobs in a row, followed by the cross. In other words you've gone all that way for nothing (unless of course you're after the exercise).
Regroup REGROUP
Every now and again on a hash you will encounter - if you're a hasher, or you should use - if you're a Hare, the regroup sign. As the name implies, on finding one of these the whole hash stops and waits for all and sundry to catch up before continuing.
Regroup/Check REGROUP/CHECK
You're probably ahead of me on this one. You've reached a point on the course where you need to find out which way to go next, but the hashers have got a little strung out. Solution, the regroup/check marker. A rule that should apply here is that no one starts checking until the hash has regrouped.
Ladies Check LADIES CHECK
There a various reasons why Hares may want to use this sign. Possibly to give the ladies a chance to do a bit of checking (men tend to monopolize this aspect of hashing), or maybe just to be awkward. I'll let you decide. Either way I think the sign is self explanatory, ladies only to check on this occasion.
Check Back CHECK BACK or BACK CHECK (I'm never sure which)
Encountering three little blobs together tells the hasher to retrace their steps back to the last blob they spotted, and look for an alternative route for the hash from that point.
Check Back BACK CHECK or CHECK BACK (Again I'm never sure which)
Same idea as above, only with this marking you retrace your steps back to the last circular check.
Morlaix Arrow MORLAIX ARROW or "FISH HOOK"
This is an entertaining little number, another one of those tricks used to keep the group reasonably well together, whilst letting the FRB's dissipate their testosterone. Upon finding one of these, each hasher then turns around and runs back to the very back of the hash group, they can then run up to the arrow again and repeat the exercise if they've any puff left. Some of the more sadistic hares take great pleasure in placing these on the top of very steep hills.
Hash Halt HASH HALT
Not least of the regular hash signs is that of the hash halt. Apparently not all hash groups do this, but it's certainly an important part of TH3's format. This indicates a part of the hash, usually a half to two-thirds of the way round the course, where everyone stops for some refreshments the hares have thoughtfully tucked away somewhere.
Charlies Run CHARLIES RUN
Some of the more kindly disposed Hares (when the cynical laughter dies down I'll continue...........I'm waiting.......ok, on we go), will sometimes incorporate a "Charlie's Run" this is an alternative route, usually placed after the Hash Halt, that is effectively a short cut back to the finish. It's aimed at those who have youngsters with them, and those that come under the heading of "The more energetically challenged" of the Hashers (and are sometimes referred to as "The knitting circle", I couldn't possibly comment)
OTHER SIGNS
Most of the above are common amongst hash groups. However, generally for reasons of their own, Hares will sometimes introduce a new sign for a particular purpose associated with that hash.
ach hasher then turns around and runs back to the very back of the hash group, they can then run up to the arrow again and repeat the exercise if they've any puff left. Some of the more sadistic hares take great pleasure in placing these on the top of very steep hills. Hash Halt HASH HALT
Not least of the regular hash signs is that of the hash halt. Apparently not all hash groups do this, but it's certainly an important part of TH3's format. This indicates a part of the hash, usually a half to two-thirds of the way round the course, where everyone stops for some refreshments the hares have thoughtfully tucked away somewhere.
Charlies Run CHARLIES RUN
Some of the more kindly disposed Hares (when the cynical laughter dies down I'll continue...........I'm waiting.......ok, on we go), will sometimes incorporate a "Charlie's Run" this is an alternative route, usually placed after the Hash Halt, that is effectively a short cut back to the finish. It's aimed at those who have youngsters with them, and those that come under the heading of "The more energetically challenged" of the Hashers (and are sometimes referred to as "The knitting circle", I couldn't possibly comment)
OTHER SIGNS
Most of the above are common amongst hash groups. However, generally for reasons of their own, Hares will sometimes introduce a new sign for a particular purpose associated with that hash.