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Discussion: Turnout

in: tRicky; tRicky > 2016-07-10

Jul 11, 2016 4:44 AM # 
Weather - beyond your control, but certainly didn't help. The forecast reduced me from "maybe" to "fuck no".

Distance - I have to ask....why bother putting on events 200km from Perth? Have we ever had decent attendance at Wellington? I seem to recall setting the state champs there a few years back and even that exalted status didn't bring more than 35 people down.
Jul 11, 2016 5:01 AM # 
I made it a two day event to try and get people to come for the effort. Seems to work for foot O (i.e. Dryandra, where it's miles away) but not for MTBO.

What are our other options close to Perth?

-Ride at Carinyah (again) where we had 27 & 26 people respectively last year and we're already going to this year
-Goat Farm - which no-one comes to (last event had 20)
-remap Gungin (I don't have time for that right now) where we might struggle with permissions due to the volume of traffic through there
-Banyowla - yeah I gave it a break this year after going there the last two years;
-Langford Park I intentionally didn't use this year in case we needed it for the nationals but we've had both ends of the spectrum there with 108 and ~20;
-Turner Hill we're already going to this year.

Bussell Brook is one of our better maps. I like to rotate venues once in a while otherwise people (me) get bored of the same venues.

I have to ask, why bother putting on events at all when I can expect crap numbers no matter what the conditions? I get complaints about distance when I put on events at Wellington Forest and Bussell Brook - I'm too scared to go back to Margaret River given the pathetic turnout we had in 2014 but seems a shame to waste the 1.5 maps we have there now. I get complaints about the venue (hills) when I use the Goat Farm or Banyowla. I get complaints about indistinct tracks when using Carinyah and Dryandra. What's the point?
Jul 11, 2016 5:16 AM # 
It is a challenge and Turnout has become an issue in MTBO everywhere, inter state and other countries (excluding Europe). One thing we may do, is maybe start introducing MTBO in high schools, apparently it has been done in Victoria. There some other ways such as increasing exposures, mixed events, sponsorship etc. I agree, there is no short term solutions, just long term to bring more and young people to the sport.
Jul 11, 2016 5:24 AM # 
We had at least two dedicated people go all the way back to Perth overnight and come down again the following day! Admittedly one of those was due to a broken bike and he had originally intended camping. Simon went all the way to Manjimup overnight for some reason, even though it's not at all near the venue.
Jul 11, 2016 5:30 AM # 
Well in context of recent attendance, 23 & 20 doesn't seem that different - ~10% less is a pretty good drop-off rate for 10x the distance from Perth.

The events that stand out from the last two years, other than the state champs, are the urban MTBOs:

38 @ Bayswater
30 @ Glen Forrest
47 @ Bibra Lake
34 @ Point Walter

So....oh wait, it's the same conundrum as foot O. Do we compromise "true" orienteering to get attendance, or try to run the events the die-hards want even though attendance continues to drop. Your problem is that you're starting from a much lower base.

What's the point?

You keep asking that question, and yet you (personally) keep driving MTBO in this state. So presumably it's worth it to you, I'm guessing because it's the only way you get 'race' practice?
Jul 11, 2016 5:45 AM # 
Yeah that's the point and it's also the driving force behind me trying to leave the state!

Also we are doing more urban - Ori's organising his Guildford event for later this year but even getting urban areas can be problematic (we ran one of them without permission).

Having said that, I'd hoped for bigger turnouts for the urban events. The 38 at Bayswater last year was only just above the turnout we got for Roleystone (35) a month later where it pissed down all event. Bibra Lake was heavily promoted and still failed to top the attendance we got at, ironically, our last Wellington Dam event (52) in 2014. Yeah so we had a few rogainers attend the Welli event but BL was the same score format, only 200km closer to Perth (and we lost the rogainers to the rogaine on the same day).

Hopefully this year doesn't follow last year's trend where numbers got progressively worse over the season because the Bussell Brook events will be hard to top.
Jul 11, 2016 6:21 AM # 
We did succeed in having one of the lowest MP/DNF rates in recent MTBO history though.

Saturday's two DNFs were due to one of the juniors going out in the rain in just a t-shirt and then freezing (okay so I also went in just a shirt but I'm a bit more attuned to the weather) and Shane not bothering to fix his tyres before he came down and they were apparently already full of thorns before he started.

Sunday's sole DNF was due to Dalto losing interest for whatever reason.
Jul 12, 2016 8:45 AM # 
Could we run a small demo course at one of WAMBA's events?

Incidentally, what is WAMBA's Numbat Cup all about? The events all seem to be in urban areas.
Jul 12, 2016 11:55 AM # 
Cyclo-cross run by the mountain bike Club
Jul 13, 2016 8:21 AM # 
What events does WAMBA run and by "we" do you mean "me"? If only Nick Lethbridge had put that as his tRicky raffle prize!
Jul 13, 2016 10:42 AM # 
Sorry, I realise WAMBA doesn't operate like OAWA. I meant one of the events on the WAMBA calendar. By 'we' I mean OAWA, which probably does boil down to 'you'. It was simply a suggestion to try to create some interest amongst the MTB community, and show them that their fear of the dreaded words 'navigation' and 'orienteering' are unfounded.

Ori's suggestion has merit; Victoria runs a MTBO School championship* each year with about 100 entries. However, we all know what the flow into membership from our school foot O activities is - a big fat zero.

* Guess what - it's a score event!
Jul 13, 2016 10:58 AM # 
We already run MTBO at several events on the WAMBA calendar! There were two just last weekend :-)

I don't know if it's fear rather than just what Tooms previously suggested - you can't go flat out if you have to figure out where you're going too! Easier to just follow arrows.

Looking at the Vic experience, they have very few juniors at their events so I'd be guessing their flow on is similar to ours. Vic Champs had 5 people <17, of which two that I know of were already MTBOers (and also from interstate) so that leaves three who may or may not have come through the school system.

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