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Discussion: On sprint traps

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 17, 2016 1:17 PM # 
This post seems to describe why I'm less inclined to enjoy sprints:

I have nothing against sprints - and if I think back, the first time I ran an O course in earnest was at a (forest) sprint. And I like the fast pace, quick decisions, aspect.

I just don't care to be visually challenged to spot a tiny gap or lack thereof. Or to have course setters place controls on the other side of objects that are declared "out of bounds". As an orienteer, my eyes function rather badly.

And the referenced post makes a good point.
Jul 18, 2016 12:12 AM # 
Steve, join my campaign for a 150% scale for M/W45+ The principle is well established in standard orienteering. The (inappropriately named) sprint is ideal for older orienteers whose speed is fading faster than our brains. Potentially they can restore that tantalising feeling of having to hold our speed in check.

For 1:5000 maps, we need 1:3333 or larger. If (as is increasingly the case) 1:4000 is required for 20-somethings, we need at least 1:2666
Jul 18, 2016 9:53 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
The future is print-on-demand:

With a 25-50% surcharge on the entry fee you can get your map at any desired scale (within the maximum paper size that can be handled.)

I've spoken to a lot of senior/veteran orienteers and everyone has agreed that with such an option on the entry form, they would very gladly pay the increased fee in order to get a map scale which they can read easily, bringing back some of the lost fun caused by age-related loss of eyesight.
Jul 18, 2016 5:27 PM # 
No need for increased fee. Just make an option on entry form and change the rules that this is a legitimate way to organize Sprint from M/W +35 onwards.
Jul 18, 2016 6:18 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
The increased fee option is just to make it more likely that a given organizer will actually offer this, if you feel that you can do it without any surcharge, great!

Exactly the same setup should of course be used for forest-O as well:

We're supposed to compete in order to find the best orienteer, not the one with the best eyesight.
Jul 18, 2016 6:39 PM # 
+1 about eyesight.

On an aside, tablet-based orienteering would obviate the need for maps of different scales (and possibly the need for separate compass and epunch). It could conceivably allow orienteers to choose different map colors to accommodate various types of color blindness.
Jul 18, 2016 7:55 PM # 
If eyesight is seriously an issue then perhaps when it is raining the organizers should require everyone to wear glasses as those who have to wear them are definitely at a disadvantage with raindrops coating the lenses compared to the rest of us.
Now how about getting back to Sprint traps. My view is that well placed they can turn mediocre sprint areas in to gems.
Jul 18, 2016 10:18 PM # 
Anyone can get contact lenses.
Jul 18, 2016 11:19 PM # 
Except for all the people who can't.
Jul 18, 2016 11:46 PM # 
Well, some people are blind or unable to walk, too. Let me rephrase that: most people can get contact lenses.

(I can't orienteer without vision correction, but I don't have contact lenses. I just put Rain-X on my glasses.)
Jul 19, 2016 5:06 AM # 
I'm with gordhun, minus 1 to jj. Like a significant min(maj?)ority I can't wear contacts, and I've tried various products on my glasses, including Rain-X and none of them works. Strangely though, when it's raining and I leave my glasses in the car I often orienteer better even though I can't see the map or the terrain :-)
Jul 19, 2016 11:11 AM # 
Simmo. Thats the "Infinite Monkey" theorem at work.
Jul 19, 2016 1:06 PM # 
Mr O-memes:
Halden SK once organized a local long distance championship where you could choose between 1:10.000 and 1:15.000. Almost everyone went for 1:10.000 though
Jul 19, 2016 1:23 PM # 
A proper long race on 1:10 sounds horrible
Jul 19, 2016 2:01 PM # 
J-J is not that much of an authority on presbyopic difficulty with reading tiny map features. He can see the map fine without glasses. He just needs them so he doesn't bump into the trees. At some point (and I am well beyond it) presbyopia results in an inability to see the tiny map features with any reasonable number of diopters.
Jul 19, 2016 2:41 PM # 
Charlie is quite right, my issues are with seeing where I'm going, not with reading the map (although at age 55 I am finally getting to the point where reading a busy 1:15000 without some magnification is challenging). That said, I am and always have been off the opinion that orienteering should not be a test of being able to see the map, and that maps should be printed at a scale where they are legible.

But what's weird here is that I think it's gordhun who is actually taking the opposite stance - I read his post as being sarcastic, and actually meaning that people with eyesight problems just need to suck it up and deal with it.
Jul 19, 2016 4:55 PM # 
It's been a decade since I could read maps without magnification. It really changes the sport for me, as I used to be able to read the map in detail as I ran, which made for a more exciting sport. In Laramie, I tried running with reading glasses, which worked so so. The ground was fuzzy for the ten meters at a time when I'd wear them, but I could still see that there was a bush or log there or whatever, in a kind of impressionistic way. Maps at readable scales certainly help. Thank goodness for inlet printing that makes this feasible. Offset was crisper, but often limited the number of scales available (and the ability to update the map frequently).
Jul 19, 2016 6:38 PM # 
Don't look at the ground through your reading glasses.
Jul 19, 2016 7:50 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I'm H59, I started using protective eyeglasses (no correction) over 20 years ago, after a couple of near-eye accidents, but I did without when it was wet/raining.

My eyesight used to be perfect but when I had to start using reading glasses due to presbyopia, I also slowly became long-sighted, so at this point in time I need about +1 correction for my distance vision and +3 or +3.5 for map reading.

When it rains (or in winter night-O) I use a single +3.25 lens on my right eye.

Getting 1:7500 instead of 1:10K is the difference between "Yes, I can orienteer using all the details on the map!" and "Oh, I wish I had seen that stuff during the race instead of afterwards." :-(
Jul 19, 2016 10:12 PM # 
Gord made an attempt to bring the discussion back to "traps". The gap-that-might-not-be-noticed is one instance, what do we think about it if it is clear and big enough to be seen by all. (I'm attempting to distinguish "see" from "notice".) What do we think about a control on one side of a not-to-be-crossed feature (with the description describing which side)? What do we think about a leg where you can only see one extremely convoluted route, and you spend the whole time worrying whether you've missed something. Is there a limit on terrain complexity that cannot be solved by the majority at running speed?
Jul 19, 2016 11:40 PM # 
Getting 1:7500 instead of 1:10K is the difference between "Yes, I can orienteer using all the details on the map!" and "Oh, I wish I had seen that stuff during the race instead of afterwards." :-(

Jul 19, 2016 11:49 PM # 
"traps". The gap-that-might-not-be-noticed is one instance, what do we think about it if it is clear and big enough to be seen by all.

Given the speed of Sprint, there isn't much time for reading map detail, so areas of extreme complexity might make it unfeasible to read and be sure in the time available. Thus, one orienteer will take the longer sure route around, and another will take the shorter more direct route and hope that s/he didn't miss something. Which one wins the leg depends on the latter. I think that's the scenario that the notion of "trap" is trying to avoid. Sprint is about navigating precisely and making decisions quickly. An interesting set of choices of routes is good for testing this, but a test of who can see quickly whether there are gaps in all the myriad places where buildings or walls get close is less so. It's always seemed to me that the difference between the two is subtle, so I think that it's a topic very worthy of discussion...when is it a "trap", and when is it a three point leg (referring to the system of points for judging Sprint leg quality)?
Jul 20, 2016 12:00 AM # 
(I'm not sure that I have a really solid answer to the question. Gap size is likely a part, though that's ISSOM. For oldies like me, scale affects whether I'll see the gap. (If the map needs 1:4000 for elites to see the gaps et al, then I'll need 1:2000 or 1:2500.) The number of (maybe) gaps might be another. If there are 20 places along the various routes for a leg in which buildings, walls, high fences, plantings or other impassible objects touch or nearly touch each other (and one needs to examine the map carefully to tell which is the or no), then it may be unfeasible to read all of that in the time available. At some point, the amount of time to read exceeds the benefit of reading, and one just needs to go and gamble. The latter is the bad case. Of course, the best will be able to read much faster, and testing map reading is part of the challenge, but at some point (what point?) it becomes unfair (I'd think), probably at the point in which the best cannot read quickly enough and have to gamble. Of course, this notion runs a bit counter to complicated route choice, which surely fundamentally is a good thing. Large gaps are probably quicker to read than the minimum gap size, so maybe it's a matter of limiting the number of small gaps (or non gaps)? Maybe ISSOM should also specify a minimum size of non-gap...a minimum length of contact of two buildings (say) where they touch, even if that means exaggerating, so that the difference between gap and non-gap is clearer, and it's more about deciding which route is faster, and executing the route quickly and without error?
Jul 20, 2016 4:39 AM # 
Time for reading map detail - one of the reasons why the wrongly named sprint is so good for older orienteers is having to keep running speed down to navigating speed. I enjoy finishing with fresh legs but a fried brain:-)
Jul 20, 2016 6:04 AM # 
Like jjcote, without correction I have no problem seeing the detail on a map. I use one contact lens for middle/long, which is a compromise in losing some detail on the map. However, with sprints using one contact lens, I can't see the narrow gaps or narrow blocking walls, which can be crucial. I can also have trouble seeing wide trails with ISSOM because of the way they are shown with two narrow parallel lines. My solution for sprints has been to not use any correction so that I can read the map, and I sacrifice being able to see some of the details of the terrain in front of me.
Jul 20, 2016 11:45 AM # 
The link in the first post high-lighted another good practice: marking questionable uncrossable areas with some kind of tape or barrier. Earlier this year I crossed an "uncrossable" hedge mapped with a thin line of olive green, more or less directly in front of the finish line. I crossed at a place with a physical gap a good 30" wide, consistent with where the line crossed the strip. Some flagging tape across the gap would have helped identify that it was indeed "uncrossable".
Jul 20, 2016 12:09 PM # 
Yes the out of bounds that doesn't look like there's any reason for it is indeed a "trap". N'est-ce pas?
Jul 20, 2016 1:15 PM # 
Vinogradov's article raised a number of issues.

The first example referred to an artificial barrier across a road. To my eyes, sitting at my laptop, it appears relatively easy to spot, but in the race many elite runners did not. I'm assuming this was an intuitive assumption, that the road would not be blocked, rather than an eyesight issue. I'm in favour of artificial barriers, but I support his proposal to make them more easy to notice by use of purple overprint. The barriers are to be used to intensify the route choice problems and not to 'trap' the orienteer.

The second example related to the mapping of olive green and the problem of disqualification that arises when the 'forbidden' nature of the feature is not apparent on the ground. His example was lawn in a park at WOC 11. We had a comparable issue at the British Sprint champs where the park authorities had designated some areas of long grass as uncrossable and were mapped as olive green, while other areas of long grass were crossable. There were too many these to tape so the organizers placed marshalls in the terrain to spot and disqualify those who crossed those areas. There were many disqualifications. It's not a desirable situation. I prefer prevention to punishment. But I'm not sure there is always a feasible solution. In the case of WOC 11, if runners were shown that portion of the map in pre-start, this ought to have been adequate.

I'm in favour of 'traps' where the control is located on one side of an uncrossable fence or wall. However, the uncrossable fence or wall MUST NOT be physically crossable or 'penetrable' and the CDs must make the location clear. (Centre of circle dots are another possibility.)
Jul 20, 2016 2:14 PM # 

I'm a big fan of having the map show what is in the terrain first and foremost. If some areas of long grass (or short grass, or some other ground type) are to be out of bounds for some reason I think it is much better to map them with a purple out of bounds overprint then in olive green. That way the competitor can tell what they should expect to see in the terrain and know that two sections will look the same even though one of them is out of bounds.

As for the larger issue of seeing whether small gaps or passageways are crossable or not... I think the ISSOM is in need of an overhaul. At 1:5000 scale the impassble wall and fence symbols are 0.4mm wide on paper which corresponds to 2m IRL. It's not uncommon in urban environments to see passageways less than 5m wide (often 2-3m even) that need to be divided by an impassable wall to show that you can get through half of it but not the other half. That doesn't leave a lot of room to show the gaps even if you do widen it on the map. I understand the reason for the width of the symbol but I wonder if there are better ways to achieve the same end.
Jul 20, 2016 2:26 PM # 
I don't think overprint would have worked at Olympic Park, or at WOC 11. The areas of olive green were too small.
Jul 20, 2016 2:39 PM # 
The point of marking something olive green is to show that someone doesn't want you running through there. It's not supposed to be about gleefully DQing people who do (prevention first, as Parkino says). To me that means that organizers should err on the side of too much flagging tape. (I think WOC 11 finish area should have been streamered.) We shouldn't be afraid to use plenty of obvious markings to show these things.
Jul 21, 2016 11:32 AM # 
The problem with olive green is that it gives no indication of what it actually is that you're meant to be keeping out of. The terrain is represents could be anything. Where possible, things should be mapped as they appear and then made to be OOB. If there is no way of gaining entrance, like gardens, then olive green is fine.
Jul 21, 2016 11:56 AM # 
Probably the best solution for the WOC 11 finish area would have been mapped open, with magenta OOB, and streamered. Mapped showing what it is, clearly OOB on map and in terrain, and more likely that competitors and spectators stay separated.
Jul 21, 2016 6:43 PM # 
In general, the actual passability shouldn't be in conflict with the mapped passability. If it looks passable, but the map says, "No," then you need streamers or whatever.
Jul 21, 2016 7:10 PM # 
problem with olive green is that it gives no indication of what it actually is
This is a problem. The solution is to clearly map the boundary of the olive green: with a big thick black/green/blue line if there's a very obvious barrier. Then the troublesome olive green symbol without a boundary becomes better defined as a thing you could easily accidentally stray into, but shouldn't.

Note I said "clearly" not "accurately" - there's no need to obsess over whether its a fence or a wall - the meaning of a thick black line with olive inside is very clear.
Jul 21, 2016 10:20 PM # 
The other problem with olive green is that it's a terrible color choice. Back when it was first used (and in ISOM), it was for filling entire neighborhoods, and it meant "these are people's yards, we didn't fieldcheck it and just stay on the streets". The color was picked because it could be made from the existing spot colors (50% green over 100% yellow), and although it's not overly distinguishable from the other colors, you could easily identify it from context.

Now in ISSOM it has been completely perverted to mean a tiny flowerbed or area of mulch or even just grass that brings a disqualification if you stray into it. And some of us can't reliably tell the difference between olive green and other kinds of green, especially in the modern era of erratic printing. Complete fail.
Jul 22, 2016 2:12 AM # 
Agree cedarcreek.

On the tangent again: I used to hate olive green but have come to accept it because of widespread use on sprint maps. I would be glad to assess an alternative. Stripes are not good because in large amounts they over-power the map; small or narrow amounts are subject to odd effects.
Jul 22, 2016 6:17 AM # 
We have at least one guy here who queries the use of olive green as OOB, not because it's difficult to distinguish but because it's apparently not easily discernible as OOB but my theory is that it doesn't matter what colour you use on the map - if people think they can run through the terrain, they will do so regardless of how prominently it is shown.
Jul 22, 2016 8:10 AM # 
I do think that narrow bands of olive green are not especially visible - with hindsight I wonder if something like purple would have been better? As an event adviser I've sometimes done things like ask for a wall which runs alongside a strip of olive green to be marked uncrossable (even though it's physically crossable) because a solid black line is more visible than a thin strip of olive.

I'm also a definite believer in taping areas of olive green which are not obvious on the ground.
Jul 22, 2016 7:06 PM # 
Taping is definitely good, but there's still an issue if you make a route choice, and then get there, see that it's taped, and then think, oh, that's olive, dammit. I'd almost be willing to just attribute the problem to my own colorblindness except that I know the history of that color, and it's a historical accident, not a conscious choice.
Jul 23, 2016 2:21 AM # 
Green for OOB is also difficult to explain to newcomers - it's not distinctive enough to signal don't go there intuitively.
Jul 23, 2016 9:56 AM # 
We need suggestions. Is that half-purple as defined for "construction keep out" any more suitable? Other ideas?
Jul 23, 2016 12:56 PM # 
Purple would definitely be better from my skewed perspective.
Jul 23, 2016 1:01 PM # 
WOC11 - argh! That was super-bogus. I hate to even think about it again ;-( There were hundreds of spectators (and marshals I think) standing in the OOB. How could that area be OOB for the runners if the spectators could go in it?

As for British Sprint - what do you mean about "too much to flag". If that is the case - and the rules say that you must flag it - then was the area even suitable for a Sprint?

We can't expect runners to know exactly where they are on the map - they can either make map reading errors (I've heard some people do that) or they can be using modern techniques of not knowing exactly where you are at the moment ("I'm an orienteer who knows where he'll be in 100m" I think someone pretty good once said).

The point of OOB should be to protect areas we're not supposed to go in. Not arbitrary DQ's. So at British Sprint, if they're trying to protect an area then marking it as OOB on the map is not sufficient - it must be marked in the terrain.
Jul 23, 2016 1:53 PM # 
Completely agree that "We can't expect runners to know exactly where they are on the map"

To me, WOC11 was very clear - the map says "keep off the grass". You didn't need to do detailed finickity mapreading or know exactly where you were to avoid going out of bounds.

British sprint was a bit counterintuitive. Off-trail there were cut lawns, uncut grass (knee-length) and urabn forest. It was the uncut grass which was out of bounds except for a small section approaching/visible from the event centre.

Much as we would like it otherwise, landowners do make access requirements which seem nonsensical to many (now, where did I put that bearspray?)
Jul 23, 2016 3:53 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I think the single worst sprint decision over the last few years was the DSQ of Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg in the Falun EOC:

The map shows a long fence with a couple of openings in it, the runners will approach it diagonally/downhill:

During the race someone opens a 7-8 meter wide gate in that fence, so that you now have an additional opening, and AMHN who don't know exactly where she is (this is a forest sprint) hits that opening and go through it, then she ends up with a DSQ for what was really a mapping error:

Checking the tracking between #2 and #3 you can see that she is running along the hillside, obviously intending to pass over the eastern end of the fence, then as she passes a ski track she suddenly spots the big opening, underneath the line between the controls and takes it.

The main problem imho was that if that opening had been mapped, it would have been the obvious route and it is in fact likely that she gained a few seconds taking it. :-(
Jul 23, 2016 4:34 PM # 
They probably just didn't want to read her name in the results. Would have been there all night.
Jul 24, 2016 10:29 PM # 

Completely disagree. There is so much information for an orienteer of her ability to know where she is before the fence, at the gate, and past it. It's very obvious. A "ruined" fence as would appear on an ISOM map can be drawn as impassable fence on and ISSOM map if the mapper/planner/ruined-fence-owner wish. Obviously a massive lapse in concentration, but she has to be DSQ.

Interesting to see how the use of OOB at control 8...
Jul 25, 2016 12:24 AM # 
To me, this is a good reason to separate descriptive features (there's a fence here, and it's physically crossable, uncrossable, ruined, etc.) in black, brown, yellow, green and blue, from prescriptive features (you must not cross this fence, you must not run along this road, you must stay out of this area) in purple. I think it's bad to blur the two. In theory, every time one crosses a knee-high wire strung between poles, one would need to check whether it's mapped as uncrossable. Purple makes the situation very clear. (This overlaps the olive green ISSOM issue too. Keeping all musts/mustn'ts in purple adds clarity, I think, and lets one independently map what one will see ("how high/obvious is this fence?" "what's the vegetation look like in that out of bounds area that I'll be running near?").
Jul 25, 2016 6:17 AM # 
It's impassable, not uncrossable. You'll make Simmo (un)cross(able) if you keep on with that terminology.
Jul 28, 2016 5:12 AM # 
@Terje "Checking the tracking between #2 and #3"... you can see she made a mistake that almost nobody else did. A race-losing sized mistake. Long before coming to the mapping error. Its a shame that later she found the map was wrong, but there's no way she should displace runners who got it right from the podium.
Jul 28, 2016 7:35 AM # 
I think Terje's point was that her plan changed when she came out to the yellow ski track and saw the opening in the fence. One can speculate whether going left around the fence was in face a race-losing strategy, but it does seem like GPS dot is initially aiming to skirt the fence entirely... It also seems, @Nixon, that the rules should be set in such a way to be fair to all levels of orienteering, not just "An orienteer of her ability." An orienteer of her ability is also a skilled enough mapper to see an open gate and recognize that it is not an impassable fence.

However, that being said, I think the DSQ should stand, for the same reason that Terje mentioned before. She received an unfair advantage which was not evident from the map, and the rest of the field should not be punished for it.
Jul 28, 2016 10:47 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I agree with most of you here, i.e. as I wrote she seems to have gained a few seconds from this mistake instead of losing a few more by taking the wrong route (correct would have gone down/right through the first opening).

The problem I tried to point out is the fact that sprint orienteering as currently practiced can easily DSQ people for behavior which is perfectly OK in a forest race, and some of these errors/mistakes are caused by maps which are close to unreadable.

I actually have a good example myself, from the one and only time I've won a big sprint race:

This was O-Festivalen (the largest race of the year in Norway) a few years ago which took place in the zoo/amusement park near Kristiansand. Part of the course passed through "Kardemomme By", a miniature town based on the Egner book about this fantasy location.

Øyvind Sørlie noted in the comments section that my route from 9 to 10 looks iffy, he is perfectly right: The race took part late in the evening with heavy rains, so it was quite dark. My plan was to leave #9 in a southerly direction but as I left the control I spotted a big track going down and through an open gate in the wall, so I followed this route instead. The location of the gate is directly underneath the control circle so I assumed it was hidden by the overprint.

The key here is that it was only when I zoomed in on the elite gps tracking (with no overprint in this particular spot) that it was possible to figure out that the gate was in fact unmapped: If the control circle had been cut in the same way as on #10 then it might have been readable even for a H55 runner.

Anyway, do you think I should have contacted the organizers a few days later (when I got home and saw the H21E tracking map) and asked to be DSQ'ed?

The split times show that I was running very well at the time, winning the two previous splits, then I dropped a second on this illegal route so I at least didn't gain anything here, and in the end I won the race by 40+ seconds.
Jul 28, 2016 9:11 PM # 
Orienteering should be doable by items readable on the map. The map should depict what an orienteer will see at race speed (this means showing what's actually there, not whether it should be there, or shouldn't be crossed, or whatever), as well as course markings depicting control locations (without obscuring navigationally relevant details), forbidden routes and areas, stiles added for the event, control descriptions, and so forth. For a sprint, it's pretty important to check any gates or gaps that a competitor might see, and depict them (what's actually there, whether open or not) as well as any over-markings for what's forbidden. Forests tend to be a different beast, in that a fallen tree that blocks a reentrant is only likely to force an orienteer a few meters from the route (redwoods excepted). In a sprint especially in an urban environ, a gate can make a big difference relative to winning times.
Jul 29, 2016 12:51 AM # 
Currently planning a sprint championship on a map with 80 gates and a range of regular schedules to unpredictable schedules for those gates. This discussion is increasing my unease.
Jul 29, 2016 4:27 AM # 
Have another map, or a way to make those gates irrelevant?
Jul 29, 2016 4:48 AM # 
Yours is a much harder case. It looks like you still had to run through visible olive, so you couldn't complain if they DQ'ed you. I guess you feel you deserved to win (40+ seconds). I would "play to the whistle" and accept whatever the organisers decided.

Similar things happen in the forest too. At this year British Middle Champs the elite winner climbed over a fence marked with the current ISOM out of bounds red line to run through the field to the finish. He wasn't DQed...
Jul 29, 2016 8:54 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@graeme: No, there was no olive anywhere on my route, if you think you saw something that's an artifact of the printing + my scanning process.

Anyway, the real issue is that I have seen multiple sprint maps which have been drawn exactly according to the ISSOM standard but where it is still effectively impossible to determine if a route is legal or not:

One example I've seen is a narrow staircase where an index contour crosses the stairs exactly in line with the impassable wall/cliff symbols on either side of the opening. The combination of the staircase symbol and the thick brown contour will, with pretty much all available printing processes, lead to something which looks just like the impassable wall on both sides.

With a really good sprint map maker, like Helge Gisholt who did most of the work on the JWOC 2015 sprint map, all such accidental symbol overlaps will be fixed manually by cutting an opening in the contour, but this is not something I as a competitor can depend on. :-(
Jul 29, 2016 9:06 AM # 
@Invis - you aren't using a discarded greyhound track are you?
Jul 29, 2016 12:58 PM # 
Well, luckily I guess ;-), we have almost no sprint terrain in Colorado. But I agree with Terje on the importance of the most important elements, like gaps, being shown clearly and consistently. (If not, then what's the point of organizing a sprint?)
Jul 29, 2016 4:03 PM # 
I've spent an awful lot of time cutting contours across gaps. A lot of people believe its OK to autogenerate a sprint map from a digitised basemap with a light survey. That's fine for a small training event, but once it gets important enough that DQs and protests start flying, the mapper really should make the effort. Remember that typically the ONLY thing the runner wants to know is "can I get through?".
Staircases are also overmapped in my opinion: if it's less than 5 steps it never affects navigation but can obscure a gap. I also tend to take off canopy edges where I'm showing a narrow covered cut-through.
Jul 29, 2016 11:58 PM # 
@tinytoes. Not banned in Vic yet.
@Jim Thinking lots of purple as discussed in this thread.
Jul 30, 2016 12:34 AM # 
Best wishes. Let us know how it goes, as it's an important topic for sprint organizers to deal with, and thus worthy of discussion and lessons learned.
Jul 30, 2016 7:17 AM # 
Maybe Kings Park need to colour the flower beds Olive Green to keep them out!
Jul 30, 2016 7:20 AM # 
Learn to link.
Jul 30, 2016 7:22 AM # 
Works now - go ride a bike
Jul 30, 2016 7:36 AM # 
Fast and accurate. You awake already??
Jul 30, 2016 7:39 AM # 
It's 8:39am. Junior relay starts in 20mins (we won't be there for that). We'll start two hours after that.
Jul 30, 2016 7:42 AM # 
Amazing that Pokemon people have free reign all over the park and yet we cannot get access despite never recording an instance of damage, except that one time that a park ranger caught someone 'with a map' walking through the bush and assumed it was an orienteer.
Jul 30, 2016 1:02 PM # 
'we have almost no sprint terrain in Colorado'; Jim that is a pretty outrageous statement. :-)

Almost anywhere can be used for a satisfactory sprint event - school, college or university campus, city/town centres, parks, zoos, fairgrounds are all suitable urban areas, then you've got parts of larger forest O areas, and you can always use mazes, even if you have to make them up yourself.
Jul 30, 2016 4:32 PM # 
+1 Simmo

Lots of good ski towns as well. Imagine a sprint through Vail Village or Breckinridge or Beaver Creek.
Jul 30, 2016 6:11 PM # 
There have to be great places for sprint maps in Colorado.

Switch these to satellite mode.

Boulder:,+CO/@40....,+CO/@40.... (Although it's a bike park---might be hard to use for foot sprints)

Jul 30, 2016 6:26 PM # 
Pink Socks:
I mentioned this a few years ago on AP, but orienteering would be a great fit for the annual GoPro Mountain Games in Vail.

If I remember correctly, Glen Schorr approached them about orienteering, and it was shot down right away because he was asking about forest orienteering, and they didn't have permission to go off trail or something.

But, orienteering on a sprint map through Vail would be great (and probably better). There'd be more exposure because it's in the village, and it would be right there for people to try.
Jul 30, 2016 7:21 PM # 
At one time for here was an O course at Vail at the top of the gondola at Lions Head during the summer. It was on the top part of the slopes that are actively used for hiking, sightseeing.
Jul 30, 2016 7:25 PM # 
How about the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs?
Jul 30, 2016 9:11 PM # 
Vail: (switch to satellite view),+CO+81657/@...
Jul 30, 2016 9:20 PM # 
I ran an A-meet at Garden of the Gods back in the 80s. Blue (M21) was about 7km, and I would have been in the top three if I hadn't been outside the 3hr cut-off! Maybe you could do a sprint there...
Jul 30, 2016 9:53 PM # 
I believe access has been denied as of several years ago.
Jul 31, 2016 3:28 AM # 
Off trail use is not allowed in various Colorado Springs city parks like Garden of the Gods, sometimes for good reasons.
Jul 31, 2016 6:22 AM # 
Good reasons, such as...?
Jul 31, 2016 6:25 AM # 
Rattle snakes ?
Jul 31, 2016 6:50 AM # 
Pokemon Go players getting in the way?
Jul 31, 2016 8:23 AM # 
Jim, have a look at the World Uni Champs, currently live gps tracking for a sprint set in a pretty nondescript area - proves that almost any bit of urban land can be used.
Jul 31, 2016 8:42 AM # 
Actually, the area before and after the map change is quite complex - some sort of fort.
Jul 31, 2016 12:42 PM # 
Fresh off the AP "WUOC Sprint" thread, which does not need to be poisoned, nevertheless, the substance is certainly appropriate to this discussion-

"Tricky area with some more difficulties thrown in by the organizers. Lots of DQs..."

Will we ever learn, or is this the accepted state of the art?
Jul 31, 2016 2:01 PM # 
Uncle JiM:
12 women DQ'ed, but no men?? Was there one particular trap?
Jul 31, 2016 4:18 PM # 
If memory serves, Graeme, you did not go overtime at that GotG meet, you were DNF (along with 75% of the M21 field). I was proudly overtime, but they waived the time limit.

But on topic, having urban terrain and having urban train that you can get permission to use are two different things. Sandhills might make for a rather different kind of sprint, though, with very little fieldwork required.
Jul 31, 2016 4:52 PM # 
A LOT of people didn't finish at that GotG A-event back in 1988 (or 1989). I did, but was dehydrated and exhausted -- and pretty much stuffed up the next day (at White Ranch).
Jul 31, 2016 6:07 PM # 
July 1, 1989. Best time on the 8.6 km M21A course was 2:01:55, five finishers out of 19. M21B had three finishers out of 16, Guy being the third. Best time on that 6 km course was 1:32:54 by an M35. Temperature was around 100F, a quick glance at the results looks like fewer than half of the starters overall finished. When I found my way out of the toughest spot, where a lot of people were wandering around off the map, part of the key was that I noticed that Guy had just figured it out, and I headed in the same direction.
Aug 1, 2016 1:25 AM # 
I didn't see any "traps" in a quick look at the WUOC mens course. But the castle section seemed to present one of those problems where it takes an age to find ANY way to the control let alone an optimum one. I don't find that fun. Then having exploited the maze, the course used it again and again. But it's dangerous to theorise from afar...
Aug 1, 2016 3:59 AM # 
For major sprints it is expected that the runners will wander around town before the race. Assuming runners had the chance to check out the castle, the course seems fair. Personally, I find it fun to run in these complicated areas and will accept a bit of unfairness for the chance to run in a cool castle..

The "trap" on women's 4-5 illustrates how red striped OOB doesn't work. On 8-9 it is literally impossible to tell whether the west route is legitimate because the gap between OOB red lines is wider than the (possibly) in bounds sidewalk.
Aug 1, 2016 4:10 AM # 
>run in a cool castle..

speaking of which any plans for another Race the Castles
in Scotland?

I walked through a bunch of the Stiring castle race while
on holidays last year wishing I had had a chance to race it.
Aug 1, 2016 4:15 AM # 
@Hammer - since you asked :) ...
There are plans to do Race the Castles again in 2018, in Yorkshire. Still unsure of the format, but probably a week of sprints.
Aug 1, 2016 5:10 AM # 
Getting permission - the experience here in Oz (and I suspect Enzed - gruver will confirm) is that schools and universities are very co-operative, as are smaller country towns and cities, particularly if they are in a tourism 'hotspot'. One of the beauties of sprints is that if the landowner is particularly fussy about no-go areas then the map can be adapted, and if necessary such areas can also be taped off.
Aug 1, 2016 1:30 PM # 
Simmo that looks like an invitation to say, "what about the house of parliament?"
Aug 1, 2016 1:50 PM # 
Yes, that was a good one!
Aug 2, 2016 3:02 AM # 
The "trap" on women's 4-5 illustrates how red striped OOB doesn't work. On 8-9 it is literally impossible to tell whether the west route is legitimate because the gap between OOB red lines is wider than the (possibly) in bounds sidewalk.

I saw a few GPS traces go through that and wondered if DQs would follow. Apparently so. Same thing happened to multiple riders (both men and women) in the 2013 WMTBOC sprint.
Aug 2, 2016 3:56 AM # 
You mean you're NOT allowed to ride between the stripes?
Aug 2, 2016 4:32 AM # 
Not even vineyard stripes.
Aug 2, 2016 6:34 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@graeme: I remember looking at the women's sprint course and being quite happy with the 8-9 route along the sidewalk on the border of the red stripes: If this was the cause for those DSQs then I would agree with you that it is impossible to determine that the route is OOB. :-(
Aug 2, 2016 7:14 AM # 
Weren't the DQs on 4 to 5?
Aug 2, 2016 9:34 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Aug 2, 2016 12:08 PM # 
I thought the 8-9 OOB might be a bit hard to see - clear enough on a screen when you can zoom in but not so clear in the middle of a race perhaps. But if a clip of that section of the maps was made available at the leaders meeting that would help. It might have been to good to make the sidewalk a little wider on the map.

It is often problematic when you have a narrow gap that is NOT OOB that runs NS (as the OOB lines are also NS). You are sort of at the mercy of where the purple lines fall. But actually you can control that - select the OOB are and click 'to graphics' then it becomes a set of individual lines instead of an area and you can then move the lines a little to one side or the other.

Also the problem could be mitigated if the IOF MC played around with an OOB symbol that had slightly thinner purple lines and smaller gap between (but maintaining the white/purple ratio). You have to be careful not to go too far and make it hard to distinguish between the purple screen (714) and the lines (709)
Aug 2, 2016 12:27 PM # 
If only IOF would allow you to do what can be done with vineyards and one directional forests (e.g. pine rows) and orient the direction of the stripes to make it clearer! This can be done in OCAD but is illegal to do so and then you'd probably just end up recreating the issue on another side of the OOB.
Aug 2, 2016 2:08 PM # 
If only IOF would allow you to do something ridiculously sensible like draw a friggin' purple line around the edge of the OOB. But of course that is supposed to mean that the boundary is taped, so can't do anything logical like that. *rolls eyes*
Aug 2, 2016 2:42 PM # 
Seems to me that you could have the purple screen (714) with the use of lines on the outside (as with 709) to indicate whether there are tapes or ground markings in the terrain. The screen makes it pretty easy to mark just a road OOB while clearly leaving the sidewalks legal.
Aug 2, 2016 3:33 PM # 
It is possible to have the stripes in one party of the map point in a different direction than in another part, by creating two symbols. (I'm not saying is a good idea. )
Aug 2, 2016 4:03 PM # 
If only IOF would allow you to do something ridiculously sensible like draw a friggin' purple line around the edge of the OOB. But of course that is supposed to mean that the boundary is taped, so can't do anything logical like that. *rolls eyes*

Umm, oops. I've done exactly that for the Aus long MTBO champs to make it abundantly clear where the OOB ends. There's no physical boundary but I just know there will be upset competitors who won't be able to tell if one particular road alongside another one is OOB or not and I would agree with them, hence why I did it.

It is possible to have the stripes in one party of the map point in a different direction than in another part, by creating two symbols.

No you don't need to create a new symbol. Just use the 'direction of area pattern' feature. ISOM states that the lines must be vertical though.
Aug 2, 2016 4:23 PM # 
A purple dot screen seems more amenable to the need than a line screen. It would be distinctive (a color used only for course markings and out of bounds), and it might overlay OK on other, descriptive symbols (this would need experimentation), letting the orienteer know both what it actually looks like and that it's out of bounds. I think that people get too stuck on ISOM/ISSOM. The latter should change to adapt to needs, not just us adapt to ISOM/ISSOM as an immutable holy writ that can't be rewritten because the printing technology has been lost in the mists of time, and thus the text handled with ever more delicate hands. For World Championships and such, one needs to use ISOM/ISSOM mostly unchanged (though I got Map Committee permission to use purple north lines for a World Cup in unusual terrain that had lots of complicated water and thousands of boulders). But one can (and should, to a degree) experiment in some lesser/local races or trainings, in order to find out what works. Who cares if ISOM and ISSOM specify olive or purple lines oriented to north? Let's find something that works best, and then change ISOM and/or ISSOM to that.

- Radical Jim
Aug 3, 2016 12:26 AM # 
Well it is pretty important to know if there are streamers along the edge of an OOB or not. How else do you suggest you distinguish between the two? If you put a line around an area then the runners/riders can assume they can use the streamers as a distinct feature in the terrain and be sure that so long as they don't cross the streamers they will not be OOB. But if there are no streamers they need to read the map a bit more carefully to avoid entering the OOB. Putting a line a round an area that has no streamers is inviting trouble. People will think to themselves 'all I have to do is run/ride along the edge the of the streamers' but if there are no streamers they will just keep running/riding into the OOB looking for the streamers to stop them. In effect you have tricked them into entering the OOB.

As is so often the case I think changing the rules is not necessarily the answer - no matter what the rules there are situations when there will be ambiguity. The 'solution' is for the mapper and/or course setter to recognise those situations and make small adjustments (like I mentioned above) to make the situation clearer. In the 8-9 case it would not have been that hard to put some streamers along the sidewalk for 50m so you could draw a purple border

Absolutely. IS(S)SOM should adapt to reflect what the best mappers do and they should experiment to find better ways of doing things in smaller races.

Re the purple dot screen (714) it seems to be used these days for temporary structures like tents, cafe canopies, etc as opposed to just general areas that are. The distinction is useful. The advantage of the lines over a dot screen (purple or olive) is that you can see what is underneath - is it green or white or yellow or . . . That is actually a very good thing that I would not want to lose.

You could try allowing the OOB stripes to be oriented in any direction according to necessity/whim but that would need to be well advertised beforehand so that runners know they can no longer rely on the OOB lines as a guide to where north is.
Aug 3, 2016 2:26 AM # 
There is currently three options:
* Boundary is marked (solid line)
* Boundary is marked intermittently (dashed line)
* Boundary is not marked (no line)

Have you *ever* seen an intermittently marked OOB area? What's the point? Either mark it or don't, otherwise it might as well not be marked because the runner obviously can't rely on it.

So why not use a dashed line, or a thinner line, to indicate an unmarked boundary, and then you can use it to disambiguate where the actual edge is. Presumably in these case it's going to be on, or near, a mapped feature - in the 8-9 case, I assume the intention was that runners can run on the footpath, not on the road.

The root cause of the problem is that spaced-line symbols are a crap representation of areas. We've always known it, and as much as everyone hates ISOM 201x at least they recognised it and tried to come up with solutions.
Aug 3, 2016 2:36 AM # 
The root cause of the problem is that spaced-line symbols are a crap representation of areas. We've always known it, and as much as everyone hates ISOM 201x at least they recognised it and tried to come up with solutions.

such as? They changed the specification of the green stripes for low veg - decreasing the space between the lines - but they are still stripes.

Line screens have their problems but there is not much alternative - you have to have them when you need to combine two area symbols eg. Marsh with green/yellow, low vegetation with yellow or OOB with whatever is underneath.

I've seen plenty of examples of dashed lines for OOB edge - it just means there are streamers hanging from trees every m or so. A reasonable enough solution in some circumstances - but I agree that for most cases in a sprint continuous streamers is probably better
Aug 3, 2016 6:02 AM # 
such as?

There was some early suggestions of using stochastic patterns in place of vertical stripes. They weren't well received in the context of green stripe, but they might be useful in this case.

The other obvious solution is the cross-hatch purple symbol currently devoted to 'dangerous' areas - presumably this is a temporarily dangerous area, for all those times when shooting ranges randomly appear in the middle of orienteering maps.

Why we need so many specific variations of 'don't go here' is beyond me. There's five in ISOM - purple lines, purple hatch, dense black stripe, sparse black stripe and olive green...and of course ISSOM adds the purple haze for shits & giggles.
Aug 3, 2016 7:31 AM # 
yeah, but those stochastic patterns (effectively random blobs of green) would still have same problem that in many places the boundary of the area is invisible - ie when the boundary crosses the empty spaces between blobs. I the MC wanted to ditch the dangerous areas cross hatch. Perhaps the vertical stripes could be changed to cross hatch - that would definitely make the boundaries clearer and eliminate the problem of narrow NS gaps.

you forgot the very dark green in ISSOM that makes 7. 8 if you include impassable cliffs. Then there is uncrossable water, marshes. . . (hardly anyone ever uses the black stripes in ISSOM and it is even rare in ISOM - they are hangovers from the past)

In sprints OOB areas are critical so it makes sense that there are several ways to depict them. A hedge looks different to a flower bed, to a cafe terrace, to a 'keep-off-the grass' area, to a pond . . . so it makes good sense to differentiate between them on the map. It makes it easier for the runner to identify the areas and avoid them - which is what we want.
Aug 3, 2016 7:49 AM # 
To my knowledge different map symbols tells you - dont go here + it is a private land or it is dangerous area... These extra info. are sometimes essential for the athlete to know what to expect on the terrain.

What was the initial reason to have 8-9 OOB? Road closed, construction work.... or just to make tricky, less evident route choice? If this was just an idea from the course setter to create unnatural OOB than I suppose athletes should be able to get this information from the distinct map symbol. Sorry Juffy but I see that in this case this could be another general map symbol for - dont go here -
Aug 3, 2016 4:58 PM # 
I've never thought the "hazardous area" officially means "don't go here". The wording in ISOM 2000 is this:

710 Dangerous area: An area presenting danger to the competitor is shown with cross-hatched diagonal lines.

I've used it as a caution to competitors several times (in local events) in places where it was the best route choice. Once it was the only route choice.

If you want it to be out-of-bounds, add a 707 boundary. Interestingly, the 707 boundary seems to be a loophole for the requirement to tape, although it is implied it has to be a real boundary feature, like a fence.

I'm disappointed the 710 symbol seems to be removed from some new map standards. It seems like an important thing to tell a competitor.

I am confused by when to use 710 versus 709.

In the past I used 710 over 709 when it was hazardous and OOB, but I'd always have a solid boundary (taped or not) showing it's OOB and hazardous. Trying to understand ISOM 2000, I'm thinking the intention is the opposite: use 709 OOB whether it's hazardous or not, and 710 when it's something a competitor might pass through without OOB taping.

Say you've got a fenced-in shooting range. I'd fill the fenced in area with 709 and cut a hole in the 709 to show the shooting range arrow and berm. This means it's OOB without taping. In the past I would probably have used 710 without tape.
Aug 4, 2016 12:22 AM # 
A long way from traps...

But the discussion about OOB reminds me that the rules relating to where you may not go are ill-defined at least around here. (I had always thought dangerous=keep out.) AZ is an expert on North American rules, but here the national rules only say "Out-of-bounds or dangerous areas, forbidden routes, line features that shall not be crossed etc., shall be described in the (pre-event) information and marked on the map." And the pre-event information generally says nothing - all sorts of assumptions are made particularly in sprints. I think that the orienteering body regards the mapping specifications as part of its rule body, but the reality is that these are rarely read - even by mappers:-)
Aug 4, 2016 1:18 AM # 
I always assumed the 'dangerous area' symbol was OOB due to the fact it completely obscures any detail that it covers and that, well, it's dangerous! Isn't the whole point of many of the 'impassable feature' symbols (e.g. high wall, high fence, etc) that they may represent a danger for competitors to cross?
Aug 4, 2016 1:32 AM # 
I always assumed the 'dangerous area' symbol was OOB due to the fact it completely obscures any detail that it covers and that, well, it's dangerous!

That would be the obvious assumption, but the spec does not actually say so therefore it is not so. It's like how an uncrossable lake is only uncrossable if
a) you don't cross it,
b) no one gets cross about it, or
c) you're in Canada.
Aug 4, 2016 2:11 AM # 
Canadian rules now align with IOF rules for uncrossable lakes and marshes.
Aug 4, 2016 2:20 AM # 
In that case you should also call them impassable.
Aug 4, 2016 2:44 AM # 
Hahaha...I was just talking shit, Hammer. I love that I guessed right though. :D
Aug 4, 2016 5:39 AM # 
Umm, oops. I've done exactly that for the Aus long MTBO champs to make it abundantly clear where the OOB ends.

I just had another look and it seems I hadn't done that at all (drawn a line around OOB). Maybe I just thought about it and discarded the idea as non-IOF compliant.
Aug 4, 2016 5:55 AM # 
Olive green isn't forbidden to cross in ISOM.
Aug 4, 2016 6:45 AM # 
Is nothing sacred????
Aug 5, 2016 1:17 AM # 
Jagge, "Dangerous area" isn't forbidden to cross in ISOM either. A lawyer could say "well it's just sending a message to take special care." I think it is only when the competition rules say "such and such are forbidden to cross" that it becomes a rule which one must obey.

So the interesting question for me is, what RULE prevents me from crossing a high fence, cliff, lake, olive green in a sprint, if the event information overlooks spelling them out. My country's rules don't seem to have been updated since sprints became popular, heh heh.
Aug 5, 2016 2:21 AM # 
IOF rule 17.2
Aug 5, 2016 3:50 AM # 
Also 2.3 of ISSOM.
Aug 5, 2016 3:58 AM # 
Rob, most events round here are run under national rules not IOF ones. Simmo the notion that competitors should know all the ins and outs of the mapping specifications (plural) is surely fanciful.
Aug 5, 2016 4:01 AM # 
Ignorance is not an excuse.
Aug 5, 2016 4:08 AM # 
Ignorance is clearly a reason though... says he looking at recent election results across the world (Canada excepted).
Aug 5, 2016 4:11 AM # 
You could argue that either way with the choice of Australia's current political parties.
Aug 5, 2016 5:21 AM # 
gruver, elites (at least the successful ones) surely know ISSOM word perfect.

re your earlier post, like me surely you are too old to cross anything higher or wider than 50cm :-)
Aug 5, 2016 5:48 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Aug 5, 2016 6:35 AM # 
Rob, most events round here are run under national rules not IOF ones.

Why would someone from NZ be asking a forum of people not from NZ to explain the NZ rules to him?
Aug 5, 2016 7:18 AM # 
Because talking clarifies thinking, and teases out the truth from the merely customary. My present thinking is that expecting orienteers to know the mapping specifications in detail is unrealistic. Change my mind.
Aug 5, 2016 9:25 AM # 
Just put the impassable feature symbols on your maps in the legend surrounded by a nice purple line (oh the irony!) like we do and say that competitors can't cross or enter these. Of course then you will get competitors complaining because they didn't read the legend.
Aug 5, 2016 10:25 AM # 
no surprise to me that people dont know the mapping specs or the rules - something you have demonstrated very nicely - you seem proud of the fact that you dont know what the rules on OOB are - and you expect someone else to look up the rules for you
Aug 5, 2016 11:43 AM # 
Educate people!
We ask the organizers of (national) sprints to put up these posters.

I'm surprised how even after several years we do this people stand in front of those and discuss - and how they sometimes still ignore it.
Aug 5, 2016 11:55 AM # 
Maybe they are trying to translate it to English.
Aug 5, 2016 11:58 AM # 
Enlargement of that education pdf.

Little bit bigger and we'll have a trap there. You can educate mappers too with that document.
Aug 5, 2016 12:29 PM # 
Over here we try to make would-be competitors aware of both ISSOM and Competition Rules, but how many of them read this sort of stuff.

In my experience, the only Rules the majority of elite competitors are aware of are 27 to 30, and very imperfectly at that, since most don't understand that a complaint process must come before a protest.
Aug 5, 2016 2:57 PM # 
Well, the maptalk nz link above answered my confusion:


17.2 Out-of-bounds or dangerous areas, forbidden routes, line features that shall not be crossed, etc. shall be marked on the map. If necessary, they shall also be marked on the ground. Competitors shall not enter, follow or cross such areas, routes or features.
Aug 5, 2016 4:40 PM # 
Competitors shall not enter, follow or cross such areas, routes or features.

Shall not follow?

You can't use the edge of an OOB as a handrail, as long as you stay on the outside??
Aug 5, 2016 6:21 PM # 
Enter OOB or dangerous areas
Follow forbidden routes
Cross features that are not to be crossed

No problem here.
Aug 6, 2016 8:38 AM # 
So can you cross a forbidden route?
Aug 6, 2016 10:09 AM # 
Generally yes but it may be marked with a crossing point symbol for clarity.
Aug 6, 2016 2:05 PM # 
I would expect that a forbidden route would most often be on the edge of the map, where crossing it wouldn't be an issue. If there's a forbidden route running through a map, that isn't something like a major highway (which would constitute an OOB or dangerous area), then the course planner probably needs to rethink what he's doing.
Aug 6, 2016 8:10 PM # 
At a European sprint event a few years ago there was a railway through the map. The railway was marked forbidden route but there was an at-grade road crossing it, in a very obvious gap between the forbidden route symbols. I assumed this would be a legitimate place to cross. Unfortunately it was blocked by tape and marshalls, forcing a longer detour. Obviously the markings could have been more clear, eg cut the road, use a purple line, or at the very least, position an "X" on the railroad track directly at that point.
Aug 7, 2016 2:35 AM # 
I could see a bicycle path, for instance, being a forbidden route (to avoid conflicts), but legitimately crossable (with care). Calgary had lots of bicycle paths, many going through the midst of parks.
Aug 7, 2016 7:17 AM # 
"Forbidden route" is not a symbol in ISSOM, so you are really not even allowed to use the purple X on a sprint map.
Aug 7, 2016 8:06 AM # 
I could see a bicycle path, for instance, being a forbidden route (to avoid conflicts), but legitimately crossable (with care).

Not here. We don't really have any 'bicycle only' paths because the walkers get upset that they cannot use them so they are all designated PSPs (Principal Shared Paths) and if any conflicts occur, it is always the cyclist's fault.
Aug 8, 2016 1:52 PM # 
Just a few notes on the discussion about OOB areas on the WUOC sprint - as I was there running on the same map (though different courses) later in the day in the spectator event. Some of this is also mentioned in the other thread specifically on the WUOC sprint.
- Visibility for runners: the map was 1:4000 but the intricate hanging garden area (including 8-9) was printed as 1:1500 as a magnified section on the same map. This greatly improved legibility and whilst I am in no way running as fast as the WUOC competitors but had no problem reading the map whilst running - the difficulty was planning the routes and debating in my mind which route was optimal!
- OOB area between 4-5 was clearly there to provide more challenge in planning for the competitors. Apart from being marked on the map, its edges were also marked with s streamer/tape on the ground so anyone trespassing would have rightfully been DQ'd. In fact it made me hesitate as in our courses we did not have that area marked as OOB but as I was approaching I did see the (partially removed) remnants of the tape and slowed down / double checked my map to make sure I wasn't trespassing before I went through.
- OOB area between 8-9: on the enlargement it was a lot clearer and it was also pointed out to the runners in the TL meeting - the OOB area was in fact the main road running through the town, whilst the pedestrian pavement alongside it was in bounds. It was also marked with a tape so should have been perfectly possible to navigate it. In fact I think a larger issue there would have been the number of tourists as this is a popular tourist destination and the walkway there is pretty narrow - on my way up to the upper flat area I did have to slow down to get past some tourists (but to be honest that was the poorer route choice anyway and the route to the left was shorter as well as having less tourists about)

I don't really think the tricky multi-level palace garden area included any real traps though, yet there were many challenges, especially considering that it had an unusually high amount of climb which did drive a few people into oxygen debts hence making more mistakes than they may have otherwise made.
Aug 8, 2016 11:04 PM # 
I think tRicky has provided the best solution to my conundrum - how to convey the rules to the participants, since they vary between different jurisdictions (international, national, local) and between event types (sprint and non). Listing the OOB areas routes and symbols on the map is specific to the event and has a higher chance of being read than our rules and specifications.
Aug 9, 2016 12:33 AM # 
It also illustrates any printing quirks, like if the olive green is a nonstandard shade.
Aug 9, 2016 1:45 AM # 
"Listing the OOB areas routes and symbols on the map"

Really? How often have you ever looked a map over for extra legend symbols instead of the start triangle once you have turned over the map at the start whistle?
Aug 9, 2016 1:55 AM # 
You could also stick it at the pre-start, where runners have to line up before getting their numbers or whatever checked off. This quite often happens with other types of events (particularly MTBO).
Aug 9, 2016 2:01 AM # 
Or have the entire map with start triangle there as per a Swiss O Week we did once upon a time.
Aug 9, 2016 3:19 AM # 
Just show everyone the course and announce the winners before the race to save all the hassle of DQs and complaints/protests. The winner can be judged on who knows the rules the best.
Aug 9, 2016 2:04 PM # 
I've seen that setup where the map with triangle is in the start gantlet several times. I rather like it.

This discussion thread is closed.