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

Discussion: Team Selection

in: Pink Socks; Pink Socks > 2016-06-07

Jun 7, 2016 5:44 PM # 
It seems like combining these (forest & urban) for a TT score does not make much sense. They are different enough animals that if I were a national coach I would want athletes specializing in urban sprints only and forest races only, not both. The analogy in track would be like having an 800m athlete also run a 10k at the TT (which is insane). There seems to always be this big argument of how orienteering team selection is always a bit subjective and that's the nature of the sport. I think it would make good sense to also include a 5k ("sprinters") or 10k ("foresters") on a track as part of the TT process to evaluate pure athlete fitness. If it's a close call on orienteering ability then you could go with the fitter athlete (based on track performance). If it's a close call on both, then you're still left pulling your hair out trying to decide...
Jun 7, 2016 6:12 PM # 
@Pink: Where are these scores, of which you speak, posted?
Jun 7, 2016 6:13 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I totally agree, and I think we'll see this starting in 2019 with the split WOC format.

Right now, half of the spots are 15 minute Sprint races, and the other half are 60 minute forest races +/- 30 minutes (~30 minutes Middle, ~60 minutes Relay, ~90 minutes Long).

So it'd make sense to have two different Team Trials. One with a couple of forest races for the forest spots. One with a couple of urban races for the sprint spots. If you want to try for both, you're more than welcome. This year, the Boston Sprint Camp is just a week after Team Trials (and very near Connecticut), so logistically, it could have been done.

Since 2019 TT will be forest focused, and 2020 sprint focused, I don't see why we can't start splitting them now.
Jun 7, 2016 6:33 PM # 
Pink Socks:

They aren't. I'm approximating based on what I've heard directly (Eric won TT, Will was 3rd, and just behind 2nd), and using a quickie percent-behind-winner scoring system that CascadeOC uses for our Ultimate-O season, and this corroborates what I've heard (not exactly of course, but it's not way off).

Just looking at the finish placings, the top five spots aren't that complicated really. The same five guys finished 1st-5th in all 3 races, with the exception of Greg and Eric going 5-6 in the Sprint and Greg and Giacomo going 5-6 in the Middle.

Eric would seem the undisputed winner, since he won the Long and Middle decisively. Ross and Will are the next two. Ross won the Sprint, had a good Middle, and a not-as-great Long. Will was the most consistent among all trialers (no wins, but 3 very solid races).

And then Michael is like a Ross-lite: a great Sprint, a good Middle, and a not-as-great Long.

And then Giacomo is like a Will-lite: the exact same Sprint, a decent Middle, and a decent Long.

After that, it's a pretty significant drop to the next guy.

Greg? 5th in the Sprint, 5th in the Middle, and an unfortunate disaster in the Long.

Ken? 7th in the Sprint, 7th in the Middle, and 6th in the Long.

If it's a team of five guys, then it seems pretty obvious who those five are. It's just a matter of who runs what at WOC. If it's a team of four, then I think Giacomo is the one left out (his only claim would be a 1-second advantage over Will in the Sprint).
Jun 7, 2016 6:42 PM # 
A couple notes - Mike is unlikely to go to WOC; he is already going to JWOC and WUOC this summer, and starts college like three days or something after WOC ends.

In chatting with Ross it sounded like his preference is to run the middle, so my guess would be he gets slotted there. I did not talk to Eric about it specifically, but presumably his preference is the Long and Relay.

I also know of one petition on the men's side (there may be more that I'm unaware of) though I probably shouldn't go into specifics.
Jun 7, 2016 7:02 PM # 
Pink Socks:
In chatting with Ross it sounded like his preference is to run the middle, so my guess would be he gets slotted there. I did not talk to Eric about it specifically, but presumably his preference is the Long and Relay.

This seems about right to me. I know that Eric prefers longer, but he also could justifiably pull rank here and say "Hey, I won both the Long and Middle, so I want both, and you also need me in the Relay."

I also know of one petition on the men's side

Yeah, I guess that's where it gets complicated. I still think the 3 locks are Eric, Ross, and Will.
Jun 7, 2016 7:15 PM # 
My sources have indicated that Michael is trying to work something out with U of MN...
Jun 7, 2016 9:33 PM # 
@Frank - There have actually been recent changes in that direction. We as national team members are now strongly encouraged to submit a verified time trial result (any or all of 3, 5, and 10k, if I remember right) so that info can be factored in where appropriate. One example - the WOC selection rules for this year dictate that if you petition you must include a 5k result (with suggested minimum times for men and women) from recent months.

I also agree that a split of urban and forest TTs would make more sense than the current format.
Jun 7, 2016 10:18 PM # 
@Frank urban sprint and forest long distance are different disciplines that require some different skills I agree, but not nearly as different and definitely not requiring mutually exclusive skills as 800m and 10k do.

One can specialize for sure, but just as easily one can work on improving both without much negatives.
Jun 7, 2016 10:24 PM # 
Re: time trials
In Bulgaria there is 12.5km cross country and 5k track TTs, results of which count as one of the data points for the team selection. Speed is important in the forest, but is damn required in the urban sprints when you are going to be racing against guys running mid and low 14 min for 5K :)
Jun 8, 2016 3:18 PM # 
@BigWilly- It's good to know that things are moving in that direction for the team. From a consistency standpoint, having a time trial at the team trials would ensure everyone is running in the same conditions on the same day.

@Nikolay- It's good perspective to see that Bulgaria has something like this in place. After I had posted above I actually had the idea that a longer XC race might be more appropriate for evaluating forest runners. My point about the difference in sprints vs. middle/long is more about the physical conditioning for the races. If you want to physically train for a sprint (throwing aside all of the o-specific training) one would expect to follow a 3k-5k race training plan and training for a long one would probably target a 20k-30k race training plan. There is a significant difference in the physical optimization for these distances. I'm not saying that a sprinter does not benefit from participating/training in forest-O and vice versa (any map time is valuable time), but if athletes are physically conditioning for both then it's kind of like designing the "boat-car". It's a mediocre boat and car but it does both functions.
Jun 9, 2016 1:25 PM # 
I think everyone can agree that two separate trials races (one forest, one urban) make a lot of sense. One of the big issues, however, is that somebody has to host these two events. After watching the stress of just hosting one event, it seems a little crazy. But I fully agree, these are two different skillsets, with a fair amount of overlap, especially in this country, where we don't really have specialists [yet?]. Part of that is the system, because who can afford to BE a specialist, if you want to get picked for any team? Part of that is that we're all pretty slow, on the grand scheme of things. So it doesn't really matter how well we can navigate.
Jun 9, 2016 2:28 PM # 
I remember a retired SWE WOC athlete asking a few of us if Canada was going to send our continental specialists to a WOC in CZ I think. The Canadian response was similar to the Big Lebowski asking about leads.
Jun 9, 2016 3:58 PM # 
Pink Socks:
somebody has to host these two events

Yeah, as an event organizer myself, this is a big hurdle. One thing about splitting in two is that it makes the forest event easier. This past weekend would have been two races instead of three.

Also, could you not piggyback on existing events? Would it be possible to have the US Sprint-O trials at the Vancouver Sprint Camp, for example?

We don't really have specialists [yet?]. Part of that is the system, because who can afford to BE a specialist, if you want to get picked for any team?

This sounds a bit chicken-and-egg here. I think if I remember right, wasn't Will Hubsch angling to be a sprint specialist? I know I've chatted with Will (Enger) and Nevin about getting super fast kids fresh out of college XC programs and turning them into sprinters. One of Cascade's varsity league winners a few years back is a collegiate runner (he also won state XC in high school). He has two years left of NCAA eligibility, and after that, it would be fun to see him get back into orienteering, especially sprints.
Jun 9, 2016 5:41 PM # 
Once WOC starts alternating between forest and urban, wouldn't only one set of TT races be needed each year?
Jun 9, 2016 6:23 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Once WOC starts alternating between forest and urban, wouldn't only one set of TT races be needed each year


But that doesn't solve 2017 and 2018. I mean, sure, the US can continue the status quo for another two years and keep sending "boat cars" to WOC. That's easy.

Do we know how the race spots will be allocated at Forest 2019 and Urban 2020? If the relegation/promotion competitions for the Middle and Long quals are going away, then it's not as important to send the best orienteers for each discipline. Maybe we're content with being Tier 2/3 until then.


Recently, the WOC program was 7 events:
Sprint Qual
Sprint Final
Middle Qual
Middle Final
Long Qual
Long Final

Currently, it's 6:
Sprint Qual
Sprint Final
Middle Final (spots allocated per tier)
Long Final (spots allocated per tier)
Sprint Relay

In 2019, it'll be these 4?
Middle Qual
Middle Final
Long Final (spots allocated per tier?)

In 2020, it'll be these 3?
Sprint Qual
Sprint Final
Sprint Relay

Or are they planning on adding events after the split?
Jun 10, 2016 12:21 AM # 
Unless I'm mistaken, NAOC should provide some early selections for 2017.
Jun 10, 2016 12:43 AM # 
"boat cars" -> "Bone cars"
Here, fixed that for you
Jun 10, 2016 1:05 AM # 
Pink Socks:
Unless I'm mistaken, NAOC should provide some early selections for 2017.

Yes, bonus entries on top of whatever USA or Canada (or Barbados or whoever) already have. I almost see those entries as completely independent of national teams, to be honest. As in, it's theoretically possible for me to win the NAOC middle and earn a spot at WOC 2017, despite never being on the US team.
Jun 10, 2016 1:31 AM # 
Aka what happened in Canada last time
Jun 16, 2016 8:25 PM # 
Split team trials for urban and forest should happen sooner than later.

So should NAOC remain every two years or should it alternate every year between forest and urban just like WOC? And if so is it in the same year but earlier and acts as team trials for US and Canada OR/ is it held in the alternate year in the fall so that a specialist has a big race every year in their forest or urban preference?
Jun 16, 2016 9:02 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I think the NAOC format should mirror the WOC format.

Lately NAOC has been a fall event, so if NAOC continues to give out bonus WOC entries, then it makes sense to have the previous year's NAOC the selection race for those.

2018 NAOC: Forest races, selections for 2019 WOC
2019 NAOC: Sprint races, selections for 2020 WOC


You'd have to have the host country do two in a row, otherwise you'd have one country always host forest, the other always host sprint.

2018 NAOC would be in Canada, but 2019 could be in either. 2020 would be forest races in the US. The deciders probably wouldn't like the format, but I could be up for hosting NAOC at SART 2019 or 2021 if nobody else steps up to do it.
Jun 16, 2016 10:51 PM # 
Yeah I think you are right on how it should be done. i suspect naoc 2018 will be in summer since it is in Yukon. personally I prefer the Autumn NAOC.
Jun 23, 2016 10:19 AM # 
IOF just released info about future of WOC and other major events. Forest WOC country performance remains a qual for next forest WOC long. Regional champion gets position in long final. Euro champs will be SPLIT with format opposite to WOC. other regional champs allowed to do what they prefer.

Urban WOC three races: sprint,mixed sprint relay and knock out race (following in SART footsteps). doesn't appear regional races count as WOC selection.

Will be interesting to see if OUSA and OC decide to follow Europe and split NAOC. If they do it makes sense to have Forest naoc in autumn of even years. Yukon 2018 will be in mid August.

Please login to add a message.