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Discussion: NAOC sprint

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 2, 2016 12:31 AM # 
Hammer:
checking out the NAOC web site it appears that the -20 and 21-34 categories are on different courses for the sprint (and middle). Is this a mistake? Reason I ask is that Canada runs these categories together and that's what we are used to.
OC has had these categories together in the sprint for at least five years and
now does so for middle as well.
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Aug 2, 2016 7:18 AM # 
tRicky:
Winning times for junior are shorter for middle distance (20-25 mins versus 30-35 mins for elites) although sprints are the same so that at least should be on the same course.

This is an issue I've always had with setters putting M/W20 and M/W21 on the same courses for MTBO because juniors have always had shorter winning times across all course lengths (including sprints) so it's not feasible to have them on the same course.
Aug 2, 2016 5:09 PM # 
carlch:
I am not the best person to answer this but the Competitive Classes chart in the NAOC bulletin matches the chart in the Orienteering USA rules. See here (page 11)
http://www.us.orienteering.org/sites/default/files...

With that said, I know Canada does things differently including, I think, no M/F-18 classes. But, since this event will be in the US, I think we will be following the US rules. When it is in Canada, I think we follow the Canadian rules.
Aug 2, 2016 7:37 PM # 
GuyO:
IMO, there is nothing in the Rules that precludes the -20 & -21+ classes from being on the same respective middle & sprint courses -- in fact, it should be encouraged.

It was done for the 2015 US Individual Champs -- which also served as both the WOC & JWOC trials -- without the need for Sanctioning Comm approval.
Aug 3, 2016 12:45 AM # 
j-man:
IMO, there is nothing in the Rules that precludes the -20 & -21+ classes from being on the same respective middle & sprint courses -- in fact, it should be encouraged.

This is such a problematic statement, dependent on lots of assumptions, which often aren't true. If, and a big if, you could achieve the recommended winning times for the classes with those course assignments, you could consider other factors. Obviously, there is lots of data about strength and depth of fields in US competitions to help decide if that is likely to be achieved.

And the example cited, unfortunately, argues very much against that course of action. Which elite junior classes came close to their recommended winning times?

If I were on the sanctioning committee, I would have taken something else away from those results altogether.
Aug 5, 2016 2:32 AM # 
robplow:
presumably the reason for wanting 20s/21s on the same course is to be able to compare themselves

given sprint winning time is 12-15min should be no problem to set a course in which both 20 and 21 fall within that interval

for the middle make the 20s course as much as possible exactly the same as the 21s but with a cut off somewhere so that they get the correct winning time
Aug 5, 2016 3:01 AM # 
AZ:
One of the reasons I'd like to have 20s/21s on the same course is that some of our best orienteers are in the 20 category. It would be nice if they could run their own age category and still be eligible for the elite (21) category.

At the Canadian champs almost all the top M20s ran up. Great - but it means that fans lose track of these guys being 'young'. It would be better in several ways if they could win 20 age group and still get a medal in 21

In women's sprint for example it was a bit confusing:

1st - Emma W (20, registered in 21)
2nd - Tori O (21)
3rd Canadian - Darya S (20, registered in 20)

So it was a bit of a game as to what category they ran.
Would be nicer to have:

W21
Emma / Tori / Darya

W20
Emma / Darya / Nicole
Aug 5, 2016 3:13 AM # 
Hammer:
+1 AZ. But extend it to 35-44 as well. The more competition the better. Also worth noting that in the Cdn champs middle Alex B (21 years old) was first and Leif Blake (17) was 2nd but Leif was not given the -20 gold even though -20 and 21-34 on the same course.

Unfortunately it looks like the US is kickin' it big time old skool for NAOC sprint by splitting up juniors and seniors. Hopefully this isn't because of some silly colour course-based ranking system reasoning.
Aug 5, 2016 4:19 AM # 
j-man:
There are lots of good reasons to run the M/F20 and elite categories together but I don't quite follow why winning one category isn't sufficient. Only somewhat tongue in cheek--the kids grow up so fast these days.

Slightly more seriously... given sprint winning time is 12-15min should be no problem to set a course in which both 20 and 21 fall within that interval

I'm not so sure about that. Of the top 10 M/F20s, how many times did they run an A event or higher sprint in the past year within that winning time range? It's not hard to find out...

https://www.orienteeringusa.org/rankings/rank_show...
https://eventor.orienteering.org/Athletes
Aug 5, 2016 4:42 AM # 
tRicky:
One of the reasons I'd like to have 20s/21s on the same course is that some of our best orienteers are in the 20 category. It would be nice if they could run their own age category and still be eligible for the elite (21) category.

Bleh, I've been arguing against this scenario in the Aus scene because with our national league structure, it means the -20s are eligible for both junior AND senior points, meaning I typically end up with zero points after attending league events.

Of the top 10 M/F20s, how many times did they run an A event or higher sprint in the past year within that winning time range?

You only need the winner to run within the winning timeframe...
Aug 5, 2016 4:49 AM # 
j-man:
You only need the winner to run within the winning timeframe...

That mostly doesn't happen in the US either. In any case, US rules are slightly different.
Aug 5, 2016 8:16 AM # 
O-ing:
tRicky - that sounds like you are arguing for smaller fields and less competition.
Wouldn't it be easier to award NOL points further down the list?
Aug 5, 2016 8:22 AM # 
O-ing:
On the broader point Orienteering seems to endemically split and categorise based on age class, so that a Junior who wins a Senior Class doesn't get the win (unless they specifically entered as a Senior)

While some other sports do this as well e.g. Cycling, some don't e.g. Rogaining

It just doesn't seem logical or fair. The winner should be the person with the fastest time on the course (and so on down the list)
Aug 5, 2016 9:31 AM # 
tRicky:
tRicky - that sounds like you are arguing for smaller fields and less competition.

Not at all, it's just weird that at particular events (e.g. sprints and at selected middle distance events), that juniors get both junior and senior points. Juniors are NEVER going to win the senior NOL competition because they'd have to enter the remainder of the events (middle and long) as seniors rather than juniors so why allocate points to them on just one discipline, denying us poor, aging seniors the opportunity to gather what measly points we can? Juniors will run regardless. Getting senior points as well as junior points is not going to be the deciding factor for any of them and in any case, as you've said they are not eligible to actually win the M/W21 competition if entering M/W20.

My post above (partly) referred to the Aus MTBO scene where juniors and seniors have different expected winning times across all disciplines, including sprints, and yet the OA guidelines (only a guide mind you) have them on the same course for at least sprint and middle.

Wouldn't it be easier to award NOL points further down the list?

No, that would unfairly skew points in favour of sprints and we all know that sprint orienteering is not a real sport.

On a related note, I notice how badly I'm lagging in our local XC (MTB) points competition at the moment. Because of the huge points advantage given to 1st/2nd/3rd over the rest of the field, I find that I'm now equal in points to another rider who's done just one event and finished 2nd, despite me having ridden in four events.
Aug 5, 2016 9:35 AM # 
Hammer:
Meeting the winning time often isn't the fault of the athletes but rather a longer course than planned. Jan Erik was 98 seconds over winning time range at Cdn Champs sprint. Is that reason not to merge? No because he still beat the top 21-34 by a whopping 49 seconds! The course was too long but it was probably the best course ever put together on <48 hours notice.

at the Ontario Champs this spring a junior Christian Michelsen won the sprint but he was 116 seconds over winning time range. He was still 77 seconds ahead of the next best Canadian (a Cdn WOC team member). In fact 4 of the top 7 Canadians in that sprint were juniors. At the time of the race the ages of those juniors were 15, 16, 17 and 20.

Three of those four juniors are from my club and I suspect they will be on three different sprint courses at NAOC. So the competition will be reduced. Pity.
Aug 5, 2016 9:40 AM # 
tRicky:
I wouldn't argue against merging the two categories for sprint events given they have the same winning times and our national sprint champs in 2011 had a similar outcome with many juniors beating the seniors (and us never hearing the end of it).

It's the middle distance races where there's a ten minute difference in winning times where courses should be separate (under IOF rules of course, not these crazy US/Can/NZ rules that are flying about).
Aug 5, 2016 3:00 PM # 
carlch:
@ Hammer
This is just my opionion but I believe the course/class structure has nothing at all to do with "some silly color course based ranking system". I also think it has everything to do with OUSA rules. There is even a special rule for NAOC

---A.37.5 The standard Orienteering USA course/class structure shall be used.

Fortunately, the rules do not prevent a junior from entering M/F21 so that is what they should do if they want. I'm even pretty sure the entry system will let them enter different categories on different days.

Or, is this really about the BK and FC cups and you want OUSA to change it's rules so that a high performing junior can potentially contribute to points for both trophies?
Aug 5, 2016 3:41 PM # 
j-man:
Meeting the winning time often isn't the fault of the athletes but rather a longer course than planned.

I agree. Unfortunately, the fact is that out of the 20 ranked sprint results across the top 10 M20s in the US over the past year, only 3 were under 15 minutes. I think the average was around 17:45.

I didn't repeat this exercise for F20s, but I expect the results would be similar.

I didn't repeat it for M21 or F21, but I expect it is a similar situation.

However, the M21 field, proxied by 36 ranked runners, vs. 14 ranked M20s, is deeper. And given the non-normality of orienteering results and sample size issues, I would think you would get divergent distributions if you were setting courses for the top three of the open elite category rather than the top three of a 2 year wide elite junior category.

I'm not a professional statistician, or even an economist, but I know there are some lurking around here.

Sorry to take this thread into an olive/purple/OOB-like discursive rabbit hole.
Aug 5, 2016 8:28 PM # 
Hammer:
@carich, The question isn't about the BK and FC cups directly but rather about a Cdn team selection process. because the courses for juniors and seniors are split for sprint it makes for a tough decision for top Cdn junior sprinters. my comment about ranking was because I know how serious Americans take their course-based ranking system. Glad this has nothing to do with it.
Aug 5, 2016 11:01 PM # 
Jan Erik Naess:
I personally feel that it would help juniors like myself a lot of we were able to run the same course as the seniors (M20 vs M21E) for at least the sprint and middle and then have the option to move up for the long. The reason why I signed up for the M21E in the COCs this year was because there was a lot more competition to compare myself with.

As I was talking to some of the other Canadians at the COCs they really wanted me to run M20 to try and score points to try and help the Juniors win the FC Cup which I know would mean a lot to them. I'm struggling with signing up for M20 though because I'm not going to be able to race against all of the seniors who offer the most competition because of shear size and experience.

If I were able to have the same courses as the seniors I would easily sign up for M20 because then if I had a really good race I could be in the run for qualifying for a WOC spot and also be able to win medals in the M20.

Since I'm feeling that the courses probably won't be changing I am most likely going to end up signing up for M21E which I know will annoy quiet a few people, but I just want the higher level competition; With a good race I would always prefer losing to 5 people by 45 seconds than winning by 3 minutes.

I just thought I'd offer a juniors opinion to it :) I know that many other juniors will still be running M20 and W20.
Aug 6, 2016 1:11 AM # 
GuyO:
@Jan Erik: Will you also be running M21 for the Long?
Aug 6, 2016 1:27 AM # 
AZ:
Just to clarify my thinking...

I am only concerned about "showing off" our M/W20s by shining a spotlight on them. There are several reasons for this, including: for the athlete, to get them used to performing under more stressful conditions (i.e. when they're expected to win and when everyone is watching them); for the young kids, to give them role models and 'heros' who are their own age; for adults, to get them more excited about our top juniors.

All those things kind of happen with the mix, but would be so much better if the athletes could just sign up for M/W20 and not worry about the concerns such as Jan Erik wrote about.

At the same time, they should be eligible for the M21 too.

This has nothing to do with scoring double points in Austrailia or at the NAOC champs. In fact I think that should not be allowed - probably (I haven't really thought about it). It is about the spotlight.
Aug 6, 2016 1:56 AM # 
Nev-Monster:
Good points there Jan Erik. However, you're on the Canadian HPP and the NAOC is an international race, so one would think that your category will be a team decision. At least that's my uneducated guess.
Aug 6, 2016 2:28 AM # 
Jan Erik Naess:
@GuyO
As Nevin said, it will largely be a team decision but I'm personally slanting towards wherever the best and most runners are, distances don't worry me ;-)

@AZ
I think that you have a good point there with maximizing the pressure that can be simulated for the athletes. I find that there are few times when I have the same feeling as when I an running at JWOC and so I've learnt from the past two that I need to figure how to adjust to the pressure, and I've blown up a couple of races from not adjusting properly.

I'm all for more stressful races that teach me about what I need to do for myself to perform as best as I can :-)

@Nev-Monster
That's true. This will be my first NAOC's apart of the HPP so I will need to figure it out with them. I hope that I will be able to do the races that give me the most experience.

My view as a fairly new orienteer about picking races and setting goals is: A medal is a medal, but the knowledge gained carries forward.
i.e. The swiss team only sets technical goals for JWOC, the athletes learn how to perform at top levels for WOC and other senior level races. It's only for the senior races that they set medal goals.
Aug 6, 2016 4:20 AM # 
Atropos:
I have no concerns about the juniors running the same course for the sprint but for the middle and the long it is a particularly hard technical and physical jump at around 17. I have been seeing a fair bit of discouragement in the young athletes who are not yet or may never be elite (but would be perfectly happy to plod around a course and volunteer for years to come). In Canada we do not have the numbers to run a short course and a long course for different categories but it would be nice to find a course/class structure that served both elite and recreational juniors.
Aug 6, 2016 9:22 PM # 
KateK:
I agree with Atropos above!

I also struggle with juniors running up and turning the results for F20 & M20 into a farce. It's hard for the kids rightfully in those categories to feel motivated if their competition keeps leaving and those who win medals as a result may feel as though this was just by default as the rightful competition walked away from the competition.

There needs to be a 3rd answer.
Aug 6, 2016 10:16 PM # 
AZ:
What about having short versions of the 20 & 21 categories? Just those two (well, four since M/W) classes. That would open a big space for less competitive people and allow for some good competition on the short and official course. So, in Canada, we could put them on Course 5 ... so for the Middle we'd have:

C1 - M/W-12
C2 - M/W-14
C3 - M/W-16
C4 - leave that to the venerable classes
C5 - M/W-20S + W/W21S, W55+, W65+, M75+
C6 - W45+, M65+
C7 - M45+, M55+
C8 - W35+
C9 - W20E, W21E, M35+
C10 - M17E, W21E

I note that this is coming from representatives of the junior programs at DGL, FWOC, and GVOC. I think perhaps that is because we are all seeing this big problem more clearly now we have these growing junior programs
Aug 7, 2016 3:05 AM # 
Canadian:
I agree - we need some sort of solution. It's hard when the numbers (of participants) don't warrant more classes.

One thing that I find rather strange is that even when we only have one 21-34 class we insist on calling it 'elite' despite the fact that invariably only a small percentage of the participants are elite.

As a first step towards addressing this issue let's drop the unnecessary and frankly silly E from the age class from all events where there isn't also an A or other class.
Aug 7, 2016 3:17 AM # 
Hammer:
The length, difficulty and format of youth categories at major Noram races is a huge issue in North America. Like AZ says the areas with large kids programs are starting to get lots of 'data' on what youth want and it ain't what we are offering with our current 'product'. But we are bound by rules and a desire to do the sport like Scandinavia does.

anti elites" - sounds very Trump ;-).

equally silly is putting an age range on 21-34when it is actually just an open class.
Aug 7, 2016 3:36 AM # 
Canadian:
equally silly is putting an age range on 21-34 when it is actually just an open class

Totally agree but I thought that might be too radical a change to suggest ;-)
Aug 7, 2016 5:29 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
Watching this discussion from the outside I really don't get why you need different (sprint) course lengths at all?

The most popular sprint series in Oslo is the Oslo City Cup, 5 races over 5 spring weeks, where everyone (400-500) runs exactly the same length. We currently have 3 separate/forked courses, but that is just to make it possible to start everyone in a reasonable time and reduce somewhat the temptation to follow other runners. (In order to maximize the "lots of people running in all directions" pressure we start people every 15(!) seconds.)

The key here is that it really doesn't matter to most orienteers, very young or very old, if they have to spend 20-25 minutes on a course where the H21 class finishes in 14-15 min: This way everyone gets the same amount of orienteering challenges!
Aug 7, 2016 6:26 AM # 
O-ing:
+1. In fact many of the "non-elites" want "value for money", so why not one course?
Aug 7, 2016 8:04 AM # 
tRicky:
The key here is that it really doesn't matter to most orienteers, very young or very old, if they have to spend 20-25 minutes on a course where the H21 class finishes in 14-15 min

You'd get a huge outcry in my state if that were to happen. We've even had some of the older orienteers suggest adding more courses because even the shorter ones are too long for them! Bearing in mind though that 20-25 minutes actually ends up being about 40-45 minutes (yes on a sprint).
Aug 7, 2016 8:24 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
Thanks. Solved one of my organisational problems. I now have a precedent to justify just one course. Will compromise to a hagaby but no more.
Aug 7, 2016 9:18 AM # 
tRicky:
We did used to just have the one course though, back when sprints were popular here with non-orienteers (very good marketing by the organisers). It seemed to work fine.
Aug 7, 2016 9:57 AM # 
AZ:
There are a few reasons to have more than one course - with some arguments for/against most...

1. start window - this is the main reason in my mind. You could do like you say and have forking, but that is pretty much the same as having more than one course ;-) And I imagine all people in the same class should have the same fork, at least for a championship.
2. junior courses - there should be some easy courses for juniors. Mostly the very young.
3. running speed - as I get older and slower my ability to maintain a high running speed over time diminishes. When I run the same course length as an elite I have to slow down. This tends to wreck the fun of a sprint as I now have too much time for decision making. Better for me to run a ahorter course with higher speed and have more challenge.
4. "People running everywhere" - permissions is a big problem for us in Canada and one of the reasons we can get permissions to run in places like Whistler (a very busy pedestrian town) is that we can say that only five people start every minute.

I can see that the Oslo City Cup would be a lot of fun and relatively easy to organize for sure and have no problem with the idea. In fact I think it would be great to run some races in that format. I don't think it saves much effort though - setting five courses isn't really that much work, especially for a sprint.
Aug 7, 2016 1:28 PM # 
j-man:
The key here is that it really doesn't matter to most orienteers, very young or very old, if they have to spend 20-25 minutes on a course where the H21 class finishes in 14-15 min: This way everyone gets the same amount of orienteering challenges!

I imagine there will soon come a time when I can't run a sprint course at the appropriate level of physiological exertion. Somehow, maybe I'll find other ways to justify it -- eg a fun way to explore a foreign city.

But, most of the time the point, and indeed its sine qua non, is the physiological challenge of orienteering at a 3K level of intensity, certainly not 10K.

In the US, I'd aver most people who have done sprints haven't ever approached that frisson of true sprint orienteering.
Aug 7, 2016 6:09 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I went back and checked the first race this spring:

http://eventor.orientering.no/Events/ResultList?ev...

The three regular courses were 2600 to 2900 m long, so the distance spread was actually quite significant. More importantly the senior class is H17 and the next age group is H40, i.e. everyone in the 17-39 range has to run in the same class/course.

The last finishers in D70 and H70 used 43 and 55 minutes.

Terje
Aug 7, 2016 9:53 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
AZ. You missed the issue I am trying to solve. Two days. Four races. Limited number of SI boxes. All the rest of your reasons make sense. This field might only reach 60 or 70 so start window isn't such a problem.
Aug 7, 2016 10:31 PM # 
graeme:
Here in the UK we solved the problem by not having any 17-20 classes at the sprints, they have to run 21E which is a great idea because...
[no, I can't figure it out either].


graeme (Proud COC M35 winner, despite getting whupped by my M17 son james)

This discussion thread is closed.