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Discussion: NAOC 2016 - In Hanover, NH

in: North American Orienteering Championships 2016 (Sep 23–25 - Hanover, NH, US)

Nov 1, 2014 1:51 PM # 
A recent development has occurred with regard to the NAOC2016 event. There have been a number of groups trying to figure out how they could host this event and one has come through with a venue although there are lots of things that need to be finalized. Dartmouth College has said that they will host this event September 23-25, 2016. The plan is to have the Middle and Long events on the Burnt Mountain map which will be updated completely (using the Lidar data which is available) or on an existing map, the Storrs Pond/Oak Hill map. The sprint and sprint relay will occur on the Dartmouth Campus on Sunday. By this December, there will be a sprint map of half the campus and the other part of the map can be produced, again using existing Lidar. The advantage of using Dartmouth is that they have resources to deal with much of the “on the ground” preparation of the venues such as knowing the resources for tents, EMTs etc. The Head of the Dartmouth Outing Club is interested in increasing their involvement with orienteering for Dartmouth students as well as their business school students.
The technical side of the event is still not organized and we will be working toward finding course setters, vetters, course controllers (it will be a WRE), and meet directors. There are a number of names being floated around for these positions but none are fixed in part because Dartmouth only committed to holding the event a few days ago. The Event Director position may be of a different character in that the head of the Dartmouth Outing Club will be the point person for the “infrastructure” and we will probably have another person who is working on the technical side. The Event Director may be the person who coordinates these two individuals. This will not be a “club” event, as there is no local club that can run an event of this magnitude, although the Dartmouth Outing Club may become an associate member of OUSA so that they would become the technical host. They don’t have the technical expertise to run this event but there are resources in the area that can provide the technical knowhow. We will also be looking for other “outlying” clubs and groups for help and there are some wonderful clubs that typically say, “Oh, our club will take care of the start/finish/whatever.” We will be looking for this kind of support.
The 2012 NAOC was run by DVOA and they put forth a proposal conditional upon sanctioning. That is what the board will be considering at a phone meeting next week. We have no other formal proposal for running this event at the time. While the event is about 23 months away, time is getting short.
Nov 1, 2014 7:32 PM # 
Nov 1, 2014 7:40 PM # 
Looks good.

Time for USA team members to add it to your list of upcoming events. :-)
Nov 1, 2014 8:30 PM # 
Can we quadruple-check with the mapper that they will use ISOM? I only ask because of all the deviations from ISOM mapping and drafting we've seen this fall at events, and I'd hate for that to continue to be the case, for what is arguably the largest event in North America.

I like the approach of not using a traditional club-based meet structure - this could become the start of something big. I hope we find the right people for the right jobs. Autumn is a great time to be in Hanover, I can't wait!
Nov 1, 2014 8:54 PM # 
Yay, East Coast means I can go again :) Thought for sure it would go West this time.
Nov 3, 2014 10:47 PM # 
Hey Alex,

Maybe for the campus sprint map you should be specifying ISSOM!
Nov 3, 2014 11:24 PM # 
Hey Alex.
Great point. Good to bring it up now when there's time to do something about it!

As for the event - this is great news. I'm excited already about the venue and the organizational structure. We are moving more and more to these "cooperative" projects which is not only great for volunteer load but I think will also help spread a lot of experience and knowledge about.
Nov 4, 2014 9:37 PM # 
Really excited to hear this Peter and glad to hear things are moving in the right direction!
Nov 4, 2014 10:16 PM # 
Echoing others, I think this is another really cool sounding collaboration between different parties. We had a very beneficial partnership with the Town of Arnprior to host the 2014 NAOCs and now this for 2016. Super cool to see more different organizations get involved to host these major events which are growing to the point where most single clubs simply don't have the man-power nor expertise to be able to put them on.

What will be the non-orienteering body that co-hosts NAOC 2018?
Nov 4, 2014 11:43 PM # 
One thing about Hanover is that there are not a lot of hotels in town and they can fill up quickly for a major event. And that time of year, fall color season, hotel rooms are not cheap throughout New England. Most of us who prefer hotels will probably end up staying in nearby White River Junction. That is not a good selling point if one goes to the Town of Hanover for sponsorship support.
Dartmouth College advises event planners to get their event on the calendar sooner rather than later so that other event planners know that X number of rooms will not be available for them. So far NAOC 2016 is not on the Dartmouth calendar.
Nov 5, 2014 1:42 AM # 
Technically, Burnt Mtn. is in Lebanon, NH though it is still Dartmouth property. And, there are quite a few accommodation options in Lebanon, West Lebanon and White River Jct. as Gord mentions.
Nov 5, 2014 1:49 AM # 
Selling out every hotel room in your town is probably actually a good thing, not a bad thing.

But, let's see this on the Dartmouth event calendar to know it's official!
Nov 5, 2014 4:17 PM # 
The NAOC 2016 event is not official until the OUSA Board Votes on it. That should happen at our meeting tomorrow night, Thursday. Until that time, it is not official. After the hoped for vote to move forward, we will notify Dartmouth (they know we are trying to approve our end this week) and then also start working on getting firm commitments from volunteers to help with the event. This should all start moving on Friday, I hope.
Nov 5, 2014 5:46 PM # 
This is great to see. Looking forward to it already. I'm glad to see that the sprint relay is listed as an event. I hope that event is here is to stay at NAOC. I'm sure OUSA and OC will discuss this officially but my $0.02 is that the sprint relay should take the best of what DVOA and OOC did for the relay and nail down rules and the race day schedule early. For example, I think that the new mixed format made for a much more exciting relay. Juniors and Seniors on the same course. Up to three (or 4?) teams per country per category. Hosted in a high visibility area (Arnprior was good and Dartmouth campus is ideal for 2016l) makes it the perfect 'end of weekend race'.

Having said that I think that there wasn't enough time for athletes between races this year (not helped by the delayed sprint start). Some thought should go into making the transition between races and making it attractive for people to stay and cheer. DVOA did a better job with the schedule. Maybe the sprint awards can be handed out once the winning teams cross the line in the relay. Big item draw prize that you need to be there to win? Dunno. Also as a spectator I like the idea that the sprint relay is truly only for the national teams and is the final event. Having an open race afterwards and/or mixed teams I found to be a distraction this year and resulted in some odd 'rules/guidelines' on team composition. I liked what DVOA did here. ie., the race is for the best to race and everyone else to watch. On that note I suggest OC and OUSA nail down the rules on team composition. One option is to just make it simple. Have race officials assign 3-4 teams per country in each of junior and senior. Prep SI cards ahead of time in packages so only team names need to be assigned to the SI. Let countries decide up to say one hour before the race starts who is on their team. Let them choose from anybody they want that meets eligibility rules. So race well in the sprint early in the day and maybe you earn your way onto the National team. Having to finalize team composition before sprint results are known isn't ideal. These are just tweaks but it would go a long way to making the spectating even more awesome. See you Hanover in 2016!

@Canadian: re: 2018. The other question is will it be eastern or western Canada.
Nov 5, 2014 6:11 PM # 
Please don't back-load the last day of the schedule. Those of us on the West Coast have to get home. No redeyes going west, and one more day off work is getting expensive.
Nov 5, 2014 6:19 PM # 
Agree with T/D.

If you want maximum attendance and exposure for the sprint relay, I echo an earlier suggestion to do the sprints on the middle day and a single race (middle or long) on the last day. Lots of people did not bother to stick around for the sprint relay at Arnprior because of travel issues. And if you wanted to lengthen the recovery time for athletes, making for an even later start, the attrition would be even worse.
Nov 5, 2014 6:26 PM # 
There are some good points hammered out just above but as to the issue of spectators for the National Teams' relay the extra races, the mass start 'taste of the relay' was simply put in as a carrot to keep some spectators around for the relay.
The OOC organizers were apparently disappointed with the small numbers they saw that stayed around for the relay in 2012 and they wanted to change that. Knowing many orienteers couldn't resist the extra run they threw it in just to keep them around for the relay.
No matter how tight the competition I don't know of many North American orienteers who would delay a trip to Starbucks let alone delay a trip home just to watch even an exciting relay involving some of the best orienteers our continent has ever produced.
However, being the lifetime participants that we are, we will hold up a trip for one more chance to be in tghe forest even it it is for only 15 or 20 minutes.
I think the organizers made the right call on that one.
Nov 5, 2014 6:54 PM # 
Getting that schedule right is very important and is something we could have done far better at this year in Arnprior. We were experimenting a bit on this in the hopes of taking what DVOA did 2 years ago and learning from it as we move towards the relay becoming a more important event and a formal part of the NAOC weekend. I think the move to the mixed sprint relay format was a good one but there were other aspects of it we struggled with.

There were a few factors that we were trying to work out and balance: one was to increase the depth of field to make it more head to head and more interesting without filling the relay with non-elites and slower teams. Another was to get people to stay to watch the race.

Our solution to the first problem was confusing and probably not worth it: we only had one international team and we didn't significantly increase the number of national teams by leaving it to as many teams as could be filled with elite runners.
Our solution to the second problem, adding in the People's Cup Finale race, was also in answer to some people's comments after DVOA's NAOCs that they would have loved to have a chance to race that fourth race as well. I think the People's Cup Finale both worked and didn't. I believe we had about 50 people participate in it, which is cool but not nearly the numbers we were hoping for. This is partially because it wasn't terribly well advertised, partially because it wasn't part of the online registration (we hadn't figure out enough details early enough to include it) and partially because it was just too late on the last day.

I would be interested to hear from others what they thought of the People's Cup Finale.

Our really tight schedule was due to the thinking that the relay needed to be last because only some athletes were racing it so it would be fairest for all the races so people went in to the various races with equally fresh legs - in hindsight maybe that's pointless thinking since athletes can choose to race any given race but so be it. The other factor was the wish to put the elites at the end of the sprint start window so others have a chance to watch them in the park. In Pennsylvania the elites started first for more recovery time but the consequence was that there wasn't as much spectating for the sprint. It seemed to achieve this purpose at the cost of an incredibly tight schedule.

All that said, I suspect the NAOCs are nearing the point were they are too big to cram 4 races into 3 days. If the Sprint and the Relay were on the same day in the middle of the weekend I would purposefully not race both of them. Granted I'm very much a forest specialist but racing a physical race after 3 races in the previous two days is a lot to ask. I would skip the sprint in favour of the relay if I were guaranteed a spot on the relay team. Otherwise I don't know what I'd do.

Would people stay for the whole weekend if there were this kind of schedule:
Friday: late afternoon sprint potentially followed by opening ceremonies (if the organizers are crazy enough to host one)
Saturday: long distance
Sunday: middle distance, banquet
Holiday Monday: Mixed sprint relay for national teams, and spectators' relay race or People's Cup Finale style race

One of the challenges I see is the national teams wanting to select their teams based on the sprint but the organizers struggle with that if the sprint is immediately before the relay. Putting them on different days would solve this particular problem.

All this to say that scheduling an event like this has no easy solution. I wish the next organizers the best of luck figuring out this puzzle and I hope the above information helps.
Nov 5, 2014 11:32 PM # 
Answering Canadian's question about staying, much depends on where the meet is, and what the holiday is. Canadian Thanksgiving is great timing, but most people in the USA are missing a day of work or school for that Monday - and an additional day if they can't get home that night.

The Dartmouth proposal is not a holiday weekend, so I would expect a condensed Fri-Sat-Sun format. In the USA, fall holidays are Labor Day (first Mon in September), Columbus Day (which coincides with CAN Thanksgiving, but is only a holiday for some), Veterans Day (Nov 11) which usually has a Monday holiday for Govt employees but not many others, and Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in Nov), which is a very family oriented holiday in the states. The Fri-Sat-Sun after Thanksgiving presents some interesting possibilities but is pretty late season in much of the country and also prime hunting season which may limit park selection. Plus many families have standing conflicts on that weekend.
Nov 6, 2014 8:30 AM # 
Air travel around (US) Thanksgiving is a nightmare and air fares can be through the roof. Traveling from the West Coast requires either redeye flights or an extra travel day. It's possible to travel west after a meet the same day, but from someplace like New Hampshire, you'd need at least one transfer, so the timing would be tight.

Personally, I'd just take a few extra days of vacation for sight-seeing anyway, so four days vs three of orienteering isn't an issue for me. I'm sure I'm not typical, though.
Nov 6, 2014 2:31 PM # 
The issue isn't asking people to take days off work; for the most important event every two years, they should be able to if they value their participation adequately. The issue is to avoid unnecessary fractionals. One of my employers had a policy that if you miss any time at all, you should take the whole day off; there are many others like it around here. For the Ottawa NAOC, if I wanted to participate in all four races, the required number of days off was 3: Friday, Monday, Tuesday. I am sure that a four-race event can be scheduled so that those who normally have Saturday and Sunday off would only need two more days of vacation.

Or, perhaps, this is going to be much less of an issue by 2016. With the year-per-year aging statistic, the majority of orienteering participants by then may be retired or independently wealthy.
Nov 6, 2014 2:38 PM # 
Also, the days off are pretty precious to our juniors. Here they are only allowed five days per school year for all reasons including illness. So missing 2 or 3 days for a single meet, even a big one, is pretty taxing. Assume they want to make Interscholastics and Nationals, plus if they want to be considered for JWOC they have to make training camps and selection races - those days go pretty quickly.
Nov 6, 2014 2:41 PM # 
Way to early for travel plans but there is a small commuter type airport in Lebanon, NH (LEB) that is 15 min. from Dartmouth. Manchester, NH airport (MHT) is much bigger and about 1:20 away. Boston's Logan International airport (BOS) is 2:10 away and is served by the "Dartmouth Coach" which leaves from Dartmouth every two hours but takes 2:50 to get to BOS because it makes a few stops.
Nov 6, 2014 11:45 PM # 
A big orienteering meet in the US on US Thanksgiving weekend isn't going to happen. The only timing less likely would be Christmas. So don't worry about it.
Nov 7, 2014 1:06 AM # 
As a gov't worker, I can say with authority that Veteran's Day is always on the 11th; it's one of the few holidays not affected by the Monday holiday law.
Nov 7, 2014 3:57 AM # 
It did move to Mondays for 1971-1977 but "Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918" was very persuasive (versus 4th Monday of October).
Nov 7, 2014 4:33 AM # 
@ Mike M - noteworthy points about missed school days!
I really liked the schedule this year. If I had really wanted to get home Monday (to Alaska), I could have done my sprint race then left for Syracuse for a flight home that afternoon. And I think that would be possible for west coasters leaving Hanover. I liked watching the relay after I had run a race - all warmed up and endorphiney and ready to watch and cheer for others. I don't think I would stay around an extra day just to stand around (sleepy) and watch the relay and to do an informal race without results (People's cup), much as I enjoyed them both. (I think there would be fewer people hanging around than having the relay the same day as the sprints.) I also really liked that the relay was the last race that counted for the BK and FC cups; that made the relay all that much more exciting. Because the non-elites could stand around the arena before their sprint races, the elites could have been early sprint starters and just as many non-elites could have watched them in the arena (?). I can't wait for 2016 at Hanover!
Nov 7, 2014 5:12 AM # 
I would have liked to stay for the NAOC relay but, like many others, travel duration and vacation time didn't allow. We had a 10 hour drive home. I arrived back just in time to go to bed (not even unpacking at all) and get a semi-decent amount of sleep before work on Tuesday. While I have a good number of vacation days, I hate to spend one just driving/flying or just catching up on sleep after arriving home very late. (In this case I had already taken off 7 consecutive work days. Any more and those who have to fill in for me probably would have been considering mutiny.)

I did stick around and enjoy the relay at 2012 NAOC, but had less than a 3 hour drive then.
Nov 7, 2014 11:10 AM # 
At the risk of sidetracking the discussion, what I'm reading in this thread is a pretty strong discouragement to ever looking to work in the United States. (I'm particularly struck by what Mike said - do they want kids to come to school when they're sick and spread whatever it is they have to everyone else there?). Certainly the constraints of the working environment in the US (and I guess Canada, to a lesser extent?) make it hard to do things which a lot of other countries take for granted (like running a national championships week including the sprint, middle, long and relay, as well as the national schools championships, as Australia does).

Back to the original point: this certainly sounds like an excellent event concept and I wish the US the best of luck with implementing it.
Nov 7, 2014 12:32 PM # 
Mike's comments about the school policy on missed days "here" refers to the specific area in Ohio where he lives. Such policies are local, and vary in different parts of the USA.

We have had successful week-long events here in the summer, and occasionally in the fall, though the latter have usually been two consecutive weekend meets, with some weekday events in between that are more lightly attended.

Another big difference: Easter weekend is not a popular choice for a large meet around here. Some people will complain if a meet is even scheduled then. We do have some local meets on Easter, typically hosted by people with names like Cohen and Levy and Schapiro.
Nov 7, 2014 1:37 PM # 
Well, yes Blair about the kids. But also the other part. I have 16 years of work experience, and I am looking here at a job offer that has oodles of salary, stock options, and bonuses, and 10 days per year of vacation.

This whole no-vacation thing is the other nail of what makes a Euro government+volunteer driven model impossible in the U.S. We mostly rely on people who are retired or independently wealthy to take on major event organization responsibilities. It took people over 40 years to not understand this point, and they still largely don't.
Nov 7, 2014 3:34 PM # 
The Board approved the holding of the NAOC 2016 at Dartmouth on Sept. 23 -25, 2016. We now have to get down to work on making it happen. We have slots to fill and need volunteers. It will take a village.......
Nov 7, 2014 3:42 PM # 
Let's not forget the US habit of denying low-paid food service workers paid time off for illness - definitely one of the greatest hits of irrational business-friendliness/worker unfriendliness.
Nov 7, 2014 4:31 PM # 
Yay! Thanks to the board for approving this, now let's get advertising!
Nov 7, 2014 5:19 PM # 
Pink Socks:
From the original post:
Dartmouth College has said that they will host this event September 23-25, 2016... The advantage of using Dartmouth is that they have resources to deal with much of the “on the ground” preparation of the venues such as knowing the resources for tents, EMTs etc. The Head of the Dartmouth Outing Club is interested in increasing their involvement with orienteering for Dartmouth students as well as their business school students.

The technical side of the event is still not organized and we will be working toward finding course setters, vetters, course controllers, and meet directors... The Event Director position may be of a different character in that the head of the Dartmouth Outing Club will be the point person for the “infrastructure” and we will probably have another person who is working on the technical side. The Event Director may be the person who coordinates these two individuals.

And now that it's approved:
We now have to get down to work on making it happen. We have slots to fill and need volunteers. It will take a village...

Yay, so it's scheduled!

I guess the next step is to define the volunteer roles we need? How much event direction is Dartmouth responsible for? Is there a point person already identified? I get that Dartmouth isn't capable of making maps, designing/vetting/controlling/setting courses, and SI-specific stuff, but I think most everything else they could handle, depending on how involved they get.

What about the finances? Who pays for the maps and other upfront costs? Who sets the budget, and who keeps any profit?
Nov 7, 2014 8:36 PM # 
A country without vacation - today's article from the BBC

When our (Canadian) company opened an office in Houston I was astonished by two things in particular - everyone called me "Sir" and everyone thought it was a trick of some kind when we offered minimum of 3 weeks paid holiday. I don't think we had anyone leave the company, and it sure made it easy to attract the people we wanted. One of them even came up to Canada for a holiday and helped organize an orienteering event.
Nov 7, 2014 11:19 PM # 
At Blair, one thing that gripes me is how much emphasis the schools here put on "perfect attendance" including big deal awards for "perfect". No excused abscences regardless of how sick you are or how educational the trip or even if you're in the high school band and go to perform at an assembly in the elementary school (or go help the middle school science teacher with her orienteering lesson). Absolutely ridiculous! I don't think there was ever a year when I had perfect attendance but I had a lot of valuable educational experiences outside of school. Some of the problem is school funding / they only get $ from the state for each full seat in a classroom. (end rant)

Congrats to the Dartmouth organization on getting the bid! It sounds like a great plan - and good news to have a firm location and date almost two years ahead.
Nov 8, 2014 12:52 AM # 
Let me just state a few things. First, it was difficult finding any group who was brave enough to put this event on. When the Dartmouth initiative came into view, it was investigated and found to be a place with great potential. Dartmouth can provide the infrastructure and then we provide the technical side. Because the Board only approved it last night, it was not appropriate to get all the ducks in a row, however, there are lots of resources within a 2 hour drive. It will get done. If you want to know what the meet fees will be now, forget it. If you want to know that they will basically be the going rate, the answer is yes. The details are not worked out but there is a plan going forward. There are people who are involved and there are also volunteers talking about helping. We will get this done with style but all the pieces are not in place. If all the pieces are not in place in 2 months, you might be a bit concerned. If they are not in place in 6 months, you should be concerned and then offer to help. It will take a village.
Nov 8, 2014 1:54 AM # 
Pink Socks:
It will get done. If you want to know what the meet fees will be now, forget it. If you want to know that they will basically be the going rate, the answer is yes. The details are not worked out but there is a plan going forward.

Sorry, I didn't intend for my previous comment to be interpreted as being doubting. I'm more curious than anything, especially since my local club has pretty seamlessly integrated a non-orienteer as a hired event director. Granted, NAOC is a few orders of magnitude more complicated, but I'd be interested to hear how much Dartmouth is planning to take on. The partnership might benefit other clubs reaching out to partner with local universities in the future.

I don't doubt that it'll get done and be a great event. I'll come no matter what the prices are.
Nov 8, 2014 5:56 AM # 
@Pink: How much of a primer did the non-O-ing ED need to get up to speed on orienteering community culture?
Nov 8, 2014 6:01 AM # 
Perfect Attendance Awards
Without a doubt, the stupidest idea to ever gain traction in educational circles. Pretty much leaves "ebonics" in the dust...
Nov 8, 2014 7:16 AM # 
My kids missed 1.5 weeks to attend NAOC (and visit family in Ottawa Valley). When my daughter got back to school, having done the homework assigned by her teacher, she was 1 week ahead of her classmates in her Math class!

I am in favour of a world education (including orienteering) and I have never had any difficulty with this from either my kids' teachers or administrators.
Nov 8, 2014 7:18 AM # 
Here they are only allowed five days per school year for all reasons including illness.

So, what do they do to kids who miss more than 5 days of school. Year-before-last, our daughter went to Australia for 3 weeks. Would she have been expelled from school on her return home?
Nov 8, 2014 2:57 PM # 
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
- often attributed to Mark Twain; apparently (according to more correctly attributed to essayist Grant Allen.
Nov 8, 2014 7:16 PM # 
It is ironic that the US's current focus on high stakes testing (of students) is to use the results to rank & judge teachers, schools, districts, and states, but not students. (In nearly all states and schools, those test results are irrelevant to the students.) But students who score high on in-class as well as high stakes tests have their grades lowered by too many absences. [This comment does not reflect SAT, ACT, and AP tests.]
An amusing comment I read recently, "The US has conducted a 50-year experiment proving that test results of 15-year old students are not a good predictor of the economic health of the US."

PS: It's great that planning for NAOC 2016 has begun and the new paradigm is appealing. Planning to be there.
Nov 9, 2014 1:39 AM # 
I'm wondering who we might have in the orienteering world who went to Dartmouth (undergrad or grad)?

So far I know of Ali Crocker, Lex and Pete Bundshuh, Glen Tryson, Meg Parson (current undergrad). Others?

I would think down the road there would be some useful PR opportunities….
Nov 10, 2014 2:22 AM # 
Other Dartmouth Alumni that Orienteer (or did):
Adrian Owens
Jonathan Owens
Tim Derrick (US WOC Team 95 & 97)
Dave Wilhide

I'm sure there are others---Did Linda Taylors daughter go there? did she orienteer?
Nov 10, 2014 2:07 PM # 
I was there for grad school (80-85) and even attended my first A meet in southern NH during that time (although I didn't know what it meant for it to be an A meet).
Nov 11, 2014 1:10 AM # 
Pamela Taylor did orienteer for a while (until motherhood and a relocation took her out of the mainstream), but I have no idea where she went to college.
Nov 11, 2014 12:12 PM # 
My daughter Kathy, although she orienteers seldom.
Nov 11, 2014 6:59 PM # 
Agree with PG about PR. Dartmouth's Alumni Assoc might be impressed and offer support if they know that several alumni are competing.
Nov 12, 2014 9:25 AM # 
Alumni association offer support to the alumni? What a novel concept. Where I come from it is a one-way street in the other direction through the association to the university. But I hope you are right.
Nov 12, 2014 1:41 PM # 
Actually, the concept was just that there might be some PR opportunities, either in local media or an alumni magazine. In both cases, someone with a local connection is more interesting.
Nov 14, 2014 1:07 AM # 
Pamela Taylor went to Dartmouth. Linda, her mom, was a big player in WOC '93.
Nov 16, 2014 9:23 PM # 
Dan Billman (Alaska) is a Dartmouth grad, as is Martha Kennard (WCOC). I'm thinking an article in the Alumni mag might attract a little attention to the sport.
Nov 16, 2014 11:59 PM # 
Let's not forget the US habit of denying low-paid food service workers paid time off for illness - definitely one of the greatest hits of irrational business-friendliness/worker unfriendliness.

Well, having spent a considerable amount of time in Canada, I suppose I could also offer my one-offs,. but tribalism never seems to accomplish much. I imagine if you don't like it around here, feel free to pull out your compass and follow the red arrow.

There are certainly many things that need fixing north of the border.
Nov 17, 2014 6:12 AM # 
Randy, are you really as grumpy and unhappy as you seem to be every time you post to attackpoint?

Seriously, Jon is basically advocating for the well-being of a socially marginalized group and you seem to think he should move back to Canada as a result? This is the appreciation he gets for volunteering (presumably) countless hours as the president of one of the biggest clubs in the US?
Dec 1, 2014 6:48 PM # 
2016 is the 45th anniversary of USOF (now Orienteering USA), and the ~75th anniversary of the first orienteering event at Dartmouth. (OCanada's anniversary announcement on Facebook had me looking to see about OUSA.)
Dec 2, 2014 5:31 AM # 
Thanks Janet. I thought there was some historical connection between Dartmouth and O' in the US but had forgotten that bit about the first event being there.

I stopped in to chat with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine folks today and need to send them some info along with some contacts for the Alums. Hopefully something will happen.
Feb 24, 2015 3:13 PM # 
We are presently working on getting a webpage "up and running" for this event. A few final things need to be done so that it accurately represents what the present plans are. Stay tuned. Oh, and yes, people are working on making this happen but many more volunteers will be neede.
Sep 7, 2016 8:32 PM # 
Just found out that NAOC does get a mention in the lastest edition of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and has prompted a couple alumni to inquire about participating.
Sep 8, 2016 1:57 AM # 
Cool! I hope the answer was a resounding and enthusiastic yes.
Sep 8, 2016 6:42 AM # 
I wrote a comment to that article that I thought there would be recreational courses and gave the link for info.
Sep 12, 2016 8:50 PM # 
On what date will start times be published? Is there anything more definitive that can be said now about the time windows for various classes? I'm particularly interested in knowing whether there is a chance that I would be starting at or before noon in the WRE on Saturday, or if the WRE starts are planned for a bit later.
Sep 12, 2016 10:22 PM # 
I intend to be done with start time assignments soon, certainly by the end of the week, and the updated Bulletin with all pertinent info will be published by then too, I hope (and I'll update the website to add the new info when I get a chance...). Windows are approximately:

12:30-3:15 -ish for the Midddle
10:00-1:00 for the Long
8:00-9:45 for the Sprint

Eric, you are currently slotted on the Long around 11:40 plus or minus a few minutes.

For the WREs, Middle and Sprint starts are in reverse IOF ranking order (highest ranking starting last; remember there are separate lists for M/L and Sprint); for the Long I broke the M/F21 lists into three groups and randomized within those groups (so Thierry's not starting last on Saturday...).

*EDIT: Start times most likely won't be posted until this weekend, perhaps Saturday or Sunday. Bulletin 2 will be posted before the weekend.
Sep 12, 2016 10:39 PM # 
Interesting post above.
Sep 13, 2016 8:30 PM # 
Whoops--I meant to write that I'm particularly interested to know about start times for the Middle on Friday (to plan travel)! But thank you for all the info, Janet. I think it answers my question adequately.
Sep 20, 2016 12:21 AM # 

If the start list for the middle WRE is in reverse iof ranking order there is at least one mistake I have noticed. ??

"For the WREs, Middle and Sprint starts are in reverse IOF ranking order (highest ranking starting last; remember there are separate lists for M/L and Sprint); for the Long I broke the M/F21 lists into three groups"
Sep 20, 2016 1:09 AM # 
D-MAN - instead of expecting Janet to figure out what you are referring to, how about being a little more specific?
Sep 20, 2016 3:28 AM # 
vmeyer-Just wondering if that is how the start list was actually made before I get a little more specific.
Sep 20, 2016 4:17 AM # 
It could be that I transcribed a number wrong (bib numbers are easy to scramble). I'll check it out tomorrow and fix any start times necessary.

Yes, that's how I ordered those lists.
Sep 20, 2016 9:39 PM # 
From Amy Olson, Sr Media Relations at Dartmouth office of Communications"

Rauner Special Collections Library wrote the following post about NAOC and the history of orienteering at Dartmouth:

The newspaper article from that first race is interesting. Would be terrific if as many college students participate this time
Sep 20, 2016 11:42 PM # 
and where are the start times posted ?
Sep 21, 2016 12:06 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Nick, try here at the OUSA event registration page
Sep 21, 2016 1:37 AM # 
Thanks, Jens.

All registrants should have received a message sent around 2:30-3:00 EDT from the EventRegister program to the email address they provided, with lots of information including links to the start times and bulletins. If you read AP and didn't get one, send me an email at the address in my log and I'll forward you my copy.
Sep 21, 2016 1:54 AM # 
Remember to pack your nation's FLAGs! The Sprint Relay will be ever so much more fun if you can wave the flag of the country you are supporting--USA, Canada, other? And then there are cowbells, and other implements for cheering. May the best cheering section win.
Sep 21, 2016 2:29 AM # 
Once were sure we have no further changes (registrars' bane), I'll use EventReg to send start times to the registered email addresses.
Sep 21, 2016 4:06 AM # 
The potential change I spoke to you about on Sunday is no longer under consideration. So don't hold things up waiting for that one. ;-)
Sep 21, 2016 12:20 PM # 
Thanks, Mitch.
Sep 21, 2016 2:25 PM # 
Super rare event at Dartmouth - besides the NAOC!

Check out this:

It's unlikely that you will see another Titan Arum bud/flower - ever!
Sep 21, 2016 3:36 PM # 
Unless you swing by Clint Morse's greenhouse at UConn, that is -- I've seen a couple of them there.
Sep 21, 2016 4:24 PM # 
Bloom interval: ~ 7 years. Does he have several plants? Befriend Clint!
Sep 21, 2016 5:59 PM # 
Yes, Clint has a bunch of them.
Sep 21, 2016 9:32 PM # 
I think we currently have 14, representing 5 distinct clones. Don't anticipate another bloom for a couple years. I will point out however, that the Dartmouth inflorescence is a particularly large one, maybe even nearing record size. It's parent is the current Guinness Record holder..
Sep 21, 2016 10:24 PM # 
...and there have been a couple of opportunities at Cornell in the last few years, too. Does Clint happen to know roughly how many places around the country are currently raising the things?
Sep 21, 2016 11:00 PM # 
Too many to count.. 10-12 years ago there weren't many, but these days many institutional Collections have them. Still don't bloom that often though. Visited the ones at Cornell back in July. And at least two of our more recent acquisitions have Cornell parentage...
Sep 21, 2016 11:37 PM # 
Just took a look at the webcam -- that is a big one! I hope it opens well.
Sep 22, 2016 12:53 PM # 
A nice pre-event article in the Valley News
Sep 23, 2016 1:04 PM # 
Why was the Canadian pavilion doubled booked with a massive group of yelling kids arriving at 8:45?!?! So much for recovering sleep after flying across a continent :(
Sep 23, 2016 1:22 PM # 
The plan is working. mwah-ah-ah
Sep 23, 2016 8:08 PM # 
FYI - The Corpse Flower is opening this evening. They are only open until 7pm tonight. 8am - noon Saturday....
Sep 25, 2016 10:49 PM # 
Many thanks, Peter, for all your work for the past several years and particularly for this NAOC weekend, as proposed by you at the beginning of this thread. Fun to read parts now that it's history.
Sep 26, 2016 12:35 AM # 
What a fun event! I had a blast. Thank you Peter and all the many volunteers who made this event happen. A special thanks to the course setters: Glen Tryson, Alar Ruutopold, and Linda Kohn. The courses all weekend were outstanding and worthy of a championship. Thanks also to Valerie and Ed for creating a wonderful arena feeling at each of the races, despite having to assemble and tear down three separate arenas. Can't wait for Yukon 2018.
Sep 26, 2016 12:42 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
The announcers were great as well!!!
Sep 26, 2016 1:14 AM # 
Fantastic weekend!
Sep 26, 2016 1:41 AM # 
Loved the weekend. The courses and terrain were exceptional.
Sep 26, 2016 11:14 AM # 
My two two boys and I had a great time - thanks to all the organizers and volunteers that made it happen. I second Mr. Wonderful's compliment about the announcer - I made this same comment to my wife when we got home. This was especially true during the Sprint!
Sep 26, 2016 2:24 PM # 
I second all the comments above on how great this weekend was. Already looking forward to Yukon in 2018 - hope I can make it.

It´s also been great to meet so many new and old friends over the two weeks I´ve been here. So special thanks go to all those who have helped me getting around and putting me up in their respective homes and cottages - you know who you are!
Sep 26, 2016 4:42 PM # 
This was truly an exceptional event--one of the best I have attended in North America. From an technical/orienteering perspective (Burnt Mountain!) it can't really get any better.

And the spectacle on Sunday... my heart was doing flip flops! It was so dreamy...

More of this, please.

Thanks to everyone involved. Hopefully the word gets out to the rest of the world that NAOC is the place to be.

On to the Yukon!
Sep 26, 2016 5:24 PM # 
I have to wonder whether that Burnt Mountain map will see much future use. If not, it wouldn't be the first time that an intense map was essentially abandoned because no orienteers live near it. I jokingly suggested to a few people that maybe there could be a Billygoat there in a couple of years, and that idea was met with dread -- although some at the top might love it, the back of the pack would get devoured by that terrain.
Sep 26, 2016 5:31 PM # 
I think the Boulder Dash will be there next year. And I'd go to a Billygoat there in a heartbeat.
Sep 26, 2016 5:42 PM # 
For me, Burnt Mountain is the new Boggs Mountain--a venue that I will go to by default any time it hosts an A event. I'd even go there for a Billygoat (which I don't often attend.)

In terms of accessibility--it is no Middlesex Fells or even Lynn Woods (my model examples of good/great terrain close to a real city), but it is about as far to Boston as Hickory Run (DVOA's only really good terrain) is from Philly (~2 hours).

And it happens to be contiguous to Dartmouth Medical Center with copious parking and biking distance from an outdoors oriented world famous university.

I'd suggest if the problem is that Burnt Mountain suffers from lack of orienteers (same as the FC Cup, apparently), the solution is make more orienteers.
Sep 26, 2016 6:02 PM # 
Boris and j-man would go to a Billygoat there, sure, as would I, but the people who are typically out there for three hours, not so much.

We've had maps of these two forest venues for 13 years, I think. How many events were held there during that time? Get more people from that rural area orienteering? Sounds like a fine idea, but is there a plan for how to do that?

I really really liked Camp Ripley, too.
Sep 26, 2016 6:05 PM # 
> Burnt Mountain is the new Boggs Mountain

The names should now be swapped
Sep 26, 2016 6:27 PM # 
It seems like a good location for a junior or senior training camp. A few good terrains, perhaps campus housing. Or maybe a team trials someday.
Sep 26, 2016 6:40 PM # 
Coincidentally, the Western NH Trail Runners held their "Lost a Lot" trail race at Burnt Mountain (called the "Boston Lot" by locals) a week ago. The race site warns 'As the name implies be careful when you venture off into this 1000 acre area as it is a maze of trails that can easily leave you guessing which way is up!".

And that's if you're on the trails.
Sep 26, 2016 6:55 PM # 
There is some fantastic terrain in New Hampshire, including Burnt Mountain, Harris Center, Bear Brook, and this neat little map called Pawtuckaway.
Sep 26, 2016 7:09 PM # 
I'm not sure if Camp Ripley is a fair comparison.

I call upon Ian Smith to provide a density map of US orienteers, with Camp Ripley and Burnt Mountain indicated. I feel that, at least in the context of diffuse US orienteering, NH is still pretty warm.

I personally don't think mapping out of the way venues is imperiling the growth or visibility of US orienteering.

The unwashed don't really care about the technicality of a venue... but, the current customers do.

We have maps an hour from NYC, in the heart on Manhattan, all around the Bay Area. We could put a map in Times Square and it wouldn't improve uptake, short of, as you noted, a plan.
Sep 26, 2016 7:11 PM # 
Fiat sells Ferraris and Fiats, Chryslers and Dodges. Features, so to speak, are just a small part of differentiation, branding, and ultimately, sales.
Sep 26, 2016 7:44 PM # 
What a great event!
What a unique banquet! Man those Ivy Leaguers eat well. I asked a freshman there if he had yet noticed a condition among the students called "Res Butt".
I had to explain that is when the first year students start eating so much of the unlimited food that by Christmas they have outgrown their jeans and have to spend their days in sweat pants. Problem is critical among freshmen females (at least so I am told),
What a great event and what a great job by Sara Mae Berman putting together those club displays! Thanks for the trip back down memory lane.
Sep 26, 2016 10:56 PM # 
The comparison I'm making is just that Hanover is far enough out of the way for both organizers and potential attendees that I don't expect to see the maps heavily used. (That may be an understatement.)

Ferraris sell for a high price. Can you organize meets at Burnt Mountain and charge enough to justify the effort? You can do it with volume by having a high profile event (this worked for NAOC). Some folks may get scared off, though.
Sep 27, 2016 12:05 AM # 
It should noted that Mark and Barb Dominie played a major roles in making the weekend a success. Mark made, printed and stuffed all 1500+ maps and built most of the stands used in the forest and on campus. He also coordinated all the placement and removal of controls for each day and managed the SI equipment from four different clubs without any mistakes. Barb served as co-registrar for the meet and assisted Mark on all in all of the areas previously mentioned.
Sep 27, 2016 12:21 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Selected highlights for me (by no means exhaustive):

* rocky creek en route to middle model M1 (I love rocky creeks!)

* warmup c near middle start (plus the middle's exciting downhill finish, also a fun course generally)

* the entirety of the long event - terrain, map, course, getting destroyed by Emily going up a dry creek

* diving through a hole to #90 on a patio in the sprint

* spectating the sprint relay. Hammer talked about the potential for non elite performance related comments to overwhelm the comments about elite performances, and I wondered if it was because one only saw glimpses of elites in the forest versus interacting with maps, etc. for much longer, but here at the sprint relay you had a great chance to see them going all out in high drama with great calling by the announcers
Sep 27, 2016 3:27 AM # 
Despite not being able to run, I had a great time this weekend. Good people, great announcing, and the courses and organising seemed impressive. I look forward to running at Burnt Mtn in the dim and distant future!

It seems like a good location for a junior or senior training camp. A few good terrains, perhaps campus housing. Or maybe a team trials someday.

How many students tried the sprint orienteering on Sunday? It's not that hard to add an open course for beginners to a training weekend. Advertising may get a few out. Add in some personal coaching...

Sunday's races had great visibility and I'm sure a boatload of students thought it looked fun.
Sep 27, 2016 3:36 AM # 
As far as the NAOC meet is concerned, I thought it was excellent. Having had a perspective where I could see some of the behind the scenes details, I know that it wasn't without its problems (there are always problems), but when organizers can keep the problems out of view of the participants, they earn my admiration. And that was definitely the case here.
Sep 27, 2016 5:35 PM # 
Kudos to Mark and Barb Dominie for their organizational efforts which resulted in efficient control placement, checking, and return in a timely manner. This is the biggest event I have helped with and I have an increased respect for all those involved in course setting and all that goes with it. Thanks to all of you for your great courses. The same can be said for the other logistical parties: the meet directors Peter Goodwin and Donna Fluegel, Dartmouth liaison Carl Childs and Dartmouth's Brian Kunz who worked tirelessly each day moving equipment and getting anything we needed, Valerie Meyer and Amy for their timing and results, and to Ed Despard for the sharp branding and technical expertise. Appreciation also for Sara Mae and Larry Berman for organizing the club history posters--wish I could have seen them all. I hear Dave Yee took photos. . . I feel honored to have been part of this well-run and well-attended event.
Sep 27, 2016 5:44 PM # 
I also have a suggestion for future Sprint Relays. I would like make it easier for team members and the public to identify team numbers verses leg numbers. I find it hard to instantaneously decipher a bib that says, "2-2, or 1-4, or 4-3" since the single digits can refer to either team number or leg number. Yes, team number is first, but this still opens the possibility for the numbers to be transposed and confusion or even disqualification to result. My suggestion is to have team numbers be double digit, so that it is obvious on the bib for spectators, and on the maps for legs 2, 3 and 4 which competitors have to grab on the run. For example, teams would begin with 10-1, and team 10 members would be 10-1, 10-2, 10-3, and 10-4 and so on for teams 11-99. Any thoughts?
Sep 27, 2016 6:24 PM # 
MJChilds>> Seems like a good suggestion. That oughta be doable.
Sep 27, 2016 10:58 PM # 
Thanks to the organizers for putting on a great set of races, I really enjoyed the maps and courses, would love to race in the terrain again. The weekend seemed like a huge amount of work undertaken by a few number of people. Happy to have been able to help out in the announcers tent again, although Ed kept correcting me when I called it the Announcers Booth a few times. Hopefully he can actually build a booth one of these times....
Sep 27, 2016 11:00 PM # 
Thanks for a fantastic weekend of races. The courses were great and the atmosphere was really fun!
Sep 28, 2016 12:04 AM # 
Great weekend and wonderful event. Wondering if anyone else noticed that starters in many age categories were spread out over the entire 2:30 hour start window. In M65 there were 24 starters. The first at 10:00 AM and the last at 12:30. This means that you have to continue watching results for 3+ hours to find out where you placed in your category. When categories are grouped together in the start window it gives competitors a chance to talk the people in their group at the start and at the finish while watching the results come in. This makes watching the running times on the TV screens together fun. I understand that the registrar in a large meet has to deal with many issues like requests for late starts and that some categories/courses have full windows, but I think the social aspects of the sport are important. In elite categories grouping may produce some following, but I don't think it is an issue in the older categories. M65 could have gone out in the same hour with full two minute intervals for all. This could also help the organizers by getting the older and slower folks out early in the windows so they can pick up sooner. I have been to many large European meets where age groups run together. Just curious as to what others think?
Sep 28, 2016 9:17 AM # 
I second the idea of having grouped starts for age groups when there is more than one age group on the same course. Besides Rick's mentioned social aspect and time having to squint at the results monitors there are the issues of some fellow M 70 competitor more likely being able to tag on to a speedy M 65 guy to get a better result or at some events being distracted by having a shapely young F 55 running along on the same course and ending up with a poorer result.
How do we make age class grouped starts part of the standard procedures?
Sep 28, 2016 11:28 AM # 
For some age groups, provisions for child care would help in allowing grouped starts. Jon and I've been splitting starts for the past 11 years. This really changes how you experience an event, both competitively and as a spectator, and not usually in a good way until your kids become old enough to roam with the pack of O-kids. Child care - or perhaps kid o-related activities, similar to what you find at many ski resorts - would make a great positive impact on our families with young kids as well as facilitate grouped starts.

This past weekend? We brought our childcare with us due to WRE starts...but that's a pretty expensive option to do all the time.
Sep 28, 2016 12:18 PM # 
I'm with Rick & Gord - classes should be grouped together. I think all the reasons have been listed.

One warning though - for smaller classes, especially the kids, it can lead to some really bad grouping where the kids come together into one big pack and then can't split apart. It is no fun for them. So I often use a longer start interval for sparsely populated classes. And for start-window-length considerations will often inter-leave those classes.

Overall though it is the best way to go, I'd say.
Sep 28, 2016 12:55 PM # 
This is one of those issues that is a trade-off. If you want to enforce grouping of classes then you are not going to be able to accommodate all the requests for early starts, late starts and starts near so-and-so. The reasons are myriad - child care & travel arrangements being the big two - and traditionally, at least in the US, registrars have tried to give the competitors what they ask for (unless of course there are WRE rules involved). It would be a big shift to assign start times without considering those requests. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but I would warn event directors that if they are going to go this way, to make it clear up front that this is the case.
Sep 28, 2016 1:04 PM # 
I also don't like spreading people in the same classes all over the place, but I also don't like starting sandwiched between two of my competitors, but I could probably get used to it. However, I chatted briefly with some people on this topic this weekend, and they expressed that they didn't like starting right on top of their competition. Maybe a 4 minute start interval with another class in between?

Assigning start times the way we do is much more work, and I have decided that is one part of the pre-race event which is too stressful, and I don't/won't want to do it anymore.

I agree with Sandy - if an event director goes with this model, then it should be made very clear that this is what is happening, so people can make it part of their decision making process on whether to attend the event.
Sep 28, 2016 1:53 PM # 
When you talk about "the way they do it in Europe", remember that at large meets over there, every class has its own course.

One huge mistake that you don't want to make is to start a bunch of White (or Yellow) kids together in a block with the minimum interval, because it's practically a guarantee that they'll all finish in one big pack. Much more of an issue than it is with elite classes. Spread those kids out!

Some people like having the class together, some don't, but if the decision is made to group them, I see no reason why exceptions can't be made when people make start time requests, e.g. for child care.
Sep 28, 2016 8:57 PM # 
Lost and found items from NAOC are still unclaimed - if any of these items are yours please contact the Registrar for return.

  • Jackets--

    • Blue and silver Toko

    • Gray fleece, medium

  • Gray fleece neck gaiter

  • Black knit cap/toque

  • Silva thumb compass
Sep 29, 2016 12:42 AM # 
Related to jj's point, classes in North American meets cover a much wider range of abilities, mostly one class per age/gender group, compared to classes in large Euro meets which are broken down by ability. Therefore the impact of tight starts on pack formation in NA is more problematic, with an increased probability of people being swept into the medals, especially in younger (under M/F35) classes, where the results are more contentious.
Sep 29, 2016 10:49 PM # 
So there was mention that Burnt Mtn might be used at a future UNO Boulder Dash. Are there dates (or rumours of dates) for that race?
Sep 30, 2016 1:41 AM # 
As an UNO member (a handful of us on AP), I, too, heard that advocated. Keep tuned.
Sep 30, 2016 5:58 PM # 
Seem to remember being positively informed by an UNOer in the know that the BD was there for fall (October) 2017. Maybe I misheard?
Sep 30, 2016 6:53 PM # 
Wherever BD '17 is, I hope it is NOT on Columbus Day weekend -- the Friday of which is reputed to be the 2nd worst driving day in New England (the day before Thanksgiving being the worst).
Oct 1, 2016 4:16 PM # 
Yay driving to O meets!

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