Register | username: pw: 
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: US JWOC Team trials

in: Orienteering; General

Nov 30, 2015 9:25 PM # 
schirminator:
Hi All
After much deliberation I am pleased to announce that the 2016 JWOC team trials will take place in conjunction with the West Point A meet April 22-24. There will be more details to come as the meet info comes out. The races will be on F20 and M20.

Please note that an athlete trying out for the JWOC team will need to sign the athlete conduct/behavior agreement (if your on the JNT this is taken care of), commit to joining the team for the week of preparation before the races and for the JWOC week, submit a training plan for the time period after team trials up to the JWOC competitions to National coach (if you are on JNT this is taken care of), and commit to any financial obligations that go along with being on the JWOC team.

I would recommend arriving Thursday to get acclimated to the terrain. I will set up a simple training for people to get familiar. Probably in Harriman.

Thanks and looking forward to the competition!!
Advertisement  
Dec 1, 2015 7:32 PM # 
Wyatt:
Erin (& co.) - thanks for figuring this out - the Spring schedule is almost settled...
Dec 2, 2015 2:18 AM # 
Jan Erik Naess:
That's great to hear! Hopefully we can have a training camp as well to make it even more worthwhile to go! I can't wait to go :P
Dec 2, 2015 6:44 AM # 
Matej:
I will not be able to make it to Team Trials if they are held April 22-24, as that date conflicts with my university's final exams. Other students might find it problematic as well; AP exams are also held around this time.
Dec 2, 2015 7:15 AM # 
tRicky:
AP has exams? I'm complaining to Ken about this.
Dec 2, 2015 8:09 AM # 
miclaraia:
AP exams are actually may 2 - may 13
Dec 2, 2015 8:39 AM # 
TrishTash:
There are AP exams???? How do I know if I've passed or failed? Omgzzz
Dec 2, 2015 12:42 PM # 
Rhombus:
My exam period ends on the 23, hopefully I'll have them all scheduled earlier in the week so I can go!
Dec 2, 2015 1:33 PM # 
JanetT:
AP exams
Dec 2, 2015 1:51 PM # 
Hammer:
matej, rhombus: Back in the 80's the Canadian team routinely held a week long training camp in Harriman. Some years it was during University exams. On one occasion I had a Cdn team coach proctor an exam for me and an additional cost. I wrote the exam at the same time as students back at my uni but at a hotel near Harriman during the training camp. If you have a conflict (and feel you can still study while racing and training) get a letter from the national federation and see if the University will allow this.
Dec 2, 2015 6:16 PM # 
sevin:
While AP exams may be 2-13 May...the lead up time to it is quite critical for prep....my teachers would have had a conniption if I missed any time leading up to the exams (and unless things have changed, AP exams can't be proctored off site).
Dec 2, 2015 7:34 PM # 
Matej:
At UC Berkeley, taking a full weekend off a week before finals would put an entire semester's worth of work at risk. Finals here are brutally competitive, and three days (or more) of focusing on something else will take a toll. For academic honesty reasons, it is next to impossible to take exams at times or places other than the official ones.

By scheduling Team Trials at a time that conflicts with APs and finals, we risk forcing students to choose between academics and orienteering.
Dec 2, 2015 9:47 PM # 
miclaraia:
The team trials don't conflict with ap exams if they're a week before. That still leaves 7 days to refocus and prep, which is more than enough if you've done the proper preparation throughout the school year.

I don't know the full details of your UC Berkeley exam schedule, but from the info I can gather off of the public exam schedule it seems like team trials is two weeks ahead of the UC Berkely exam week, which appears to start May 9.

If this still puts a burden on you academically, do you plan on, or have you contacted your advisor, counselor, or the office of the registrar at your school to try and create certain accommodations for your situation?

Many of us have to travel pretty far to make it to the team trials this year, so moving dates around after they've been announced puts a burden on us too.
Dec 3, 2015 2:43 AM # 
tRicky:
which is more than enough if you've done the proper preparation throughout the school year

Hahaha, I don't know what it's like in the US but this just doesn't happen in Aus (well it depends who you are). I knew of so many people who'd go to the first lecture of the year to get the course notes, followed by the last lecture to grill the lecturer on what is in the exam. Then it was a case of cramming. Fools.
Dec 3, 2015 3:40 AM # 
furlong47:
West Point has run the first weekend in May for at least the majority of the past decade. That appears it might interfere with actual testing dates, so be glad it's moved a week earlier. Every school is different so even if the dates are changed it probably affects someone else. You can study on the plane and you can hole up in a hotel room and study all of every day except the few hours spent at the meet. I really doubt everyone studies for 2 solid weeks while only breaking to eat and sleep.

The US has plenty of students who show up to class only to receive the syllabus and take tests. I always found it amusing when the teacher would change the test date and they would put in their appearance a week late.
Dec 3, 2015 3:44 AM # 
tRicky:
I can't really talk though. I drifted along through high school only to not make it into uni due to poor grades. It was only as a mature age uni student that I got serious about it all. I imagine if I went to uni straight from high school, I'd have probably just drifted through that too so in some ways I count myself lucky.
Dec 3, 2015 3:48 AM # 
mikeminium:
I know I'm in a minority, but I feel like the current team trials structure too heavily weights a single weekend of competitions. Particularly for students with that weekend being near the end of the school year. Because that one weekend is so heavily weighted, if you have an inopportunely timed illness or injury, you're done. While the concept of getting all the prospective team members together at one place and time for a head to head competition is appealing, it just doesn't seem like the most fair way to select a team.
Dec 3, 2015 4:01 AM # 
tRicky:
You could push for the concept that Australia is trying to adopt whereby prospective team members have to attend four different events in order to gain selection. This is particularly helpful when they are spread over the course of two months and typically on or around the east coast, so Western Australian candidates would have truckloads of travel to do early in the year.
Dec 3, 2015 3:33 PM # 
fossil:
furlong47: Every school is different...

furlong47: You can study on the plane and you can hole up in a hotel room and study all of every day except the few hours spent at the meet. I really doubt everyone studies for 2 solid weeks while only breaking to eat and sleep.

While pondering your advise and doubts you should probably refer back to statement 1 and perhaps while you're at it you can tell us what Matej is studying?

He did say: At UC Berkeley, taking a full weekend off a week before finals would put an entire semester's worth of work at risk. Finals here are brutally competitive, and three days (or more) of focusing on something else will take a toll.

Is that not good enough for you? I don't know what he's majoring in but yes, some schools/fields are like that.

And Matej, you also wrote: we risk forcing students to choose between academics and orienteering. Frankly it's more than just a risk, it happens all the time. It's just more noticeable when it happens to someone already competing at the national/international level.
Dec 3, 2015 5:32 PM # 
sevin:
My AP exams were a long time ago, but I remember the weeks leading up to the exams literally pulling all-nighters with my classmates at our instructor's house, eating food on the go, studying while waiting in line for the bus, etc. Yes, we had from Aug-May to prep, but the course covered so much (and expects you to know it if you even want to be considered for a 5) that we really were hermits for 3-4 weeks prior to the exam regurgitating our notes from Aug-April.

In comparison, I found my English exams in college so much easier than the AP exams, and I was so well prepared, years later, that I CLEP'ed out of most of the English requirements for my English degree

Anyhow, glad that's not my life anymore, but I do feel for kids having to come from CA to NY and missing group study time.
Dec 3, 2015 5:58 PM # 
fossil:
While the concept of getting all the prospective team members together at one place and time for a head to head competition is appealing, it just doesn't seem like the most fair way to select a team

... a team that will get together with all other teams at one place and time for a head to head competition to determine which are the world champions for the year.

For a WOC/JWOC team it's all about who can best prepare for and execute at the penultimate event. So yeah, a head to head at one place/time is really the best way to select.

The only problem with that is that there are all those extra circumstances that everyone has to face to make it happen. Big country/large travel distances/costs, conflicts with school/job/other commitments, living/training abroad, got injured, etc, etc.
Dec 3, 2015 6:11 PM # 
jjcote:
Maybe academics really are more important. Orienteering is a recreational activity, when you really think about it.
Dec 3, 2015 9:48 PM # 
schirminator:
Hi All,

From these comments, it is my understanding that there is confusion about the selection process. I encourage anyone who has concerns to read the selection process carefully on the OUSA website and direct any specific questions or concerns to me via email.

There is also a petition process that says "you can petition for anything." For example, if you have to miss the races, if you don't have a ranking, if your big thumb was hurt during the team trials etc. Please refer to the "Petition Section" in the Selection Process if you have any further questions and forward any questions or concerns to me via email.
Dec 4, 2015 6:27 AM # 
fletch:
+1 jj. It's a shame to have to choose, but there's many situations it life where you can't have everything you want.
Dec 4, 2015 6:44 AM # 
tRicky:
You're biased though - you have a vested interest in making sure kids turn up to school!
Dec 4, 2015 8:35 AM # 
Hammer:
Many of the best students I've had in my classes and work in my lab have been ones that were also athletes. Very good at time management, setting goals and developing a plan. One of the best was an Olympian. You can't cram your annual training the week before the big the race and shouldn't cram your studying the days before the exam (regardless of what school you go to).
Dec 4, 2015 10:59 AM # 
TrishTash:
My Boss at work has a saying "P's get Degrees" and he says that you have to be time efficient when studying. HDs and 99th percentiles don't get better or higher pay in your current job so only study so much as to obtain a pass, and use the rest of your time to do better stuff like Work. He might have been biased in that regard as I was studying my Masters and working for him at the time...
Dec 4, 2015 12:03 PM # 
tRicky:
More like Ps get jobs - it wasn't my HD's that failed to get me work in the Big 4; it was my Personality (or lack thereof the "right stuff" - I didn't bullshit my way through the interview nearly enough).
Dec 4, 2015 12:18 PM # 
TrishTash:
That's true. I know a perpetually studying girl with consistent HD's and a law degree, with honours and a masters and she still can't get a job - so now she is back to studying. Though now she is studying politics instead of law.
Dec 4, 2015 3:26 PM # 
Geoman:
It is normal for outsiders to not understand the competitive nature of UC Berkeley. Instead of traveling 6000 miles round trip, Matej needs to stay at school and study. Given his O performance in the past few years it would be hard to imagine his team petition being denied.
Dec 4, 2015 4:11 PM # 
graeme:
I went to college to learn stuff. Did I miss the point?
Dec 4, 2015 4:48 PM # 
Nixon:
This is the thread that just keeps on giving!
Dec 4, 2015 7:15 PM # 
Canadian:
Nixon, 'the?' thread that keeps on giving... It seems to me there are a lot of those around.
Dec 4, 2015 7:42 PM # 
Nixon:
Fair point, I'm just more interested in JWOC that late-starts I guess :)
Dec 8, 2015 11:27 PM # 
randy:
It is normal for outsiders to not understand the competitive nature of UC Berkeley..

Yeah, I agree. Schools like Berkeley simply do not exist elsewhere, so us yokels are of course clueless.

But, since Berkeley is so enlightened, no doubt they've also bought into the wisdom of the petition process, as OUSA has.

In fact, I think (but, I may be wrong), that, as a student of Berkeley, you can decide that the logistics, the stress, the competing obligations, the whatever, of finals are just too much, and you can petition an unelected/unaccountable board for a better grade than those who actually show up to take the finals, and, by the wisdom and whim of said unelected/unaccountable board, be moved to a better grade than those who actually showed up for the finals.

No, on second thought, Berkeley isn't that stupid after all.

Ok, a little sardonic humor :) Hopefully taken the right way, But, news flash, JWOC age athletes have obligations this (described) time of year, even if they go to a lowly state school (as I did, and I am quite happy with my education and what I have done with it, thank you very much). (Another news flash -- state schools have finals as well, and most taking them want to do as well as those at Berkeley).

So, schedule the race at a different time when people can show up without whining and petitioning. GNC and Flying Pig are probably fine, especially the former. Yeah, someone is gonna wine no matter what. But, the petition process dodges the most important aspect of orienteering racing, and that is racing under pressure.

JWOC is a set of races under pressure. That is what is being tested. Not only performing the skill of orienteering, but performing it under pressure. Therefore, the qualification process should test the same. It should not be a test of who can blog the best, petition the best, or race the best in non pressure situations, but actually race the best under pressure.

(As an aside, I sent pretty much the same words to the US team list, for pretty much the same reasons, but that post appears to have been censored, at least AFAIK. Hopefully, Ken won't censor this post. I just don't see a problem with the concept of showing up to qualification races, like Olympic athletes have to, but apparently, some people do).
Dec 9, 2015 12:40 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Neither T&F nor marathon nor racewalk qualifiers conflict with finals.
Dec 9, 2015 12:58 AM # 
Tooms:
Exactly.

JWOC is a set of races under pressure. That is what is being tested. Not only performing the skill of orienteering, but performing it under pressure. Therefore, the qualification process should test the same. It should not be a test of who can blog the best, petition the best, or race the best in non pressure situations, but actually race the best under pressure.

(randy)
Dec 9, 2015 10:39 AM # 
Acampbell:
I'm just going to say again here that I don't think anyone that petitions thinks that they are better than anyone else at the Team Trials. I petitioned for WOC 2014 (exams and funding in the way) and knew that it was a BIG risk, that I hadn't proved myself enough to be an automatic choice. That is the risk someone who petitions deals with, one where you probably know you'd be better showing your skills at the TT but for whatever reason cannot make it. It's a hard one and it stinks to train all year and put your selection down to a piece of paper! A petitioner is putting themself at a disadvantage.

Agreed that not everyone is going to be happy about a date, but if the aim of the junior team (or even the senior team) over the last few years is to grow the pool of elite athletes, I think then the selectors should consider that all juniors are students and take that into account when picking a date if at all possible. However, us athletes need to trust the system as well!! If Erin came back to me and said we need it this date because it gets us the best representation of JWOC terrain and is in the right time of year for good training cycles before and after, well then he made the best choice for getting the best team to JWOC and it is up to the athletes to make the choice of if they want on that starting line or not.

A petition claus I think is key when that date might just clash for one or two folk so at least in my mind there is still an outside chance of making the team. Imagine having trained hard coming off your best orienteering year so far and come to Janurary to find out that you can't make the TT because of a final exam? surely there should be something in the rules for this otherwise you risk losing members that have trained hard, unless someone has a different goal for them. but also as said before they pick the petition they go from front runner, to a total unknown.
Dec 9, 2015 10:11 PM # 
j-man:
Randy--why do you think your post to the US Team list would be censored? Is it a moderated list?
Dec 9, 2015 10:25 PM # 
j-man:
As an aside, while I personally am not a fan of the petition mechanism for some of the reasons Randy cites, as well as some other ones which I think are more significant, I'd like to think it is self regulating. I'd think a person who earned their way to WOC by besting the field at a TT, hence "earning" a bearth in a certain sense, might have a higher threshold to endure subpar results at WOC for a longer period of time. After all, who would be circumspect of their right to be there? On the other hand, a less than superbly prepared athlete who was selected somehow and then got to WOC would no longer be able to hide from reality. At a certain point in life, everyone needs to prove themselves. And sometimes reality isn't too pretty. Even the most fervent Pollyanna eventually has to face facts. In light of this, maybe there is still a room for Darwinism to play out. Or maybe I'm also happily deluded. So, maybe the people that go the petition route are a better pool of candidates, all things considered (because of a self selection bias.)
Dec 10, 2015 1:44 AM # 
tRicky:
I presume someone who puts in a petition must have proven themselves somewhere right? It's not like I could put in a petition citing my inability to compete in the US due to distance (not to mention the fact I am not a US citizen and about 18 years too old) and the selection panel says 'Oh well, the petition is nicely worded so we'll let him in'.
Dec 10, 2015 2:41 AM # 
JanetT:
I presume someone who puts in a petition must have proven themselves somewhere, right?

Of course. (There's also a petition procedure for the WOC team....)

Petition details for JWOC team prospects are about halfway down this page, if anyone has an interest: US JWOC team selection criteria.

This discussion thread is closed.