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Discussion: BK and FC cups

in: Orienteering; General;

Sep 24, 2016 1:06 AM # 
Hey all,
Keeping tabs on the score for the cups after day 1.

FC cup USA 114 Canada 66

Using eligible best 3 people from both 18 and 20 categories

BK cup Canada 123 USA 85
Best three eligible in 21 categories

Can someone double check these scores?
Sep 25, 2016 2:49 AM # 
Update on the cup race

FC cup
Correction from yesterday Canada 79, USA 116

Today in the long: Canada 72, USA 118

Total through two days: Canada- 151, USA-234 Difference in score: 83 points

BK cup:
Correction from yesterday USA with 84.5 with the tie for 10th place Canada 123

Today: Not sure about eligibility on the guys side so there could be a two point difference. Are Will Hawkins, Sergei Ryhkov eligible in the count. Depending on this Graeme Rennie is in 9th, 10th, or 11th.

So the scores from today: USA 48w + 54m= 102, Canada 55w + 48m(+ - 0/1/2)= 103/102/101

Totals for two days: USA 186.5, Canada 226/225/224 Difference: 39.5/38.5/37.5

Please check!! Thanks
Sep 25, 2016 3:37 AM # 
Thanks Erin.

Does anyone else find the FC cup to be missing the mark? This year it is a foregone conclusion since Canada has no athletes in the W18 category, so the US has scored 37 uncontested points in the Middle & 27 in the Long - a total of 64 of the 83 points difference.

This is great if you are cheering for the USA and only care about winning. But as a spectator it is lame, and more importantly it doesn't do anything good for the athletes who aren't really fighting for much. and end up with a hollow victory.

My suggestion to improve things is to make the FC cup only count the most senior of the junior categories. When NAOC is hosted In the US this would be the M/W19-20, in Canada it would be M/W 17-20. Then we are more likely to have a hotly contetsted competition in which we really get to focus on the top Future Champions (one category rather than two) and where the athletes are put into some serious competition that will better prepare them for the future.
Sep 25, 2016 11:27 AM # 
I can see different sides to this. But, if this is really the case--not contesting all junior categories--doesn't it suggest future champions will be hard to find for the Canucks?
Sep 25, 2016 3:47 PM # 
Pretty sure Will and Sergei are NOT eligible.
Sep 25, 2016 4:02 PM # 
@j-man. Well, given that the event is in the USA and only two americans are in the W17-18 long & sprint I think both countries are facing similar issues. But that is really not the point - the point I'm making is that for the athletes that are there (from both countries), they are not getting any value from the FC cup.
Sep 25, 2016 4:23 PM # 
Are those age 17-18 running up a class in -20? Or did they just not come to the North Ams? Or do they not exist? The North Americans seem like an important event for North Americans interested in high level competition, regardless of which country the event is held in. This year's event is not too far from Montréal. I thought that the junior programs in Ottawa, Hamilton, and other Canadian cities were producing hordes of motivated young orienteers?
Sep 25, 2016 5:06 PM # 
Trying desperately to keep this on the topic of the current FC ;-) ....

Our top young orienteers (few as they are, for whatever reasons) have precious few opportunities to race representing their country in high-stakes competitions. When they get to JWOC they aren't as prepared as they could be. The FC Cup is a brilliant idea that addresses this by giving these kids experience running under the pressure of representing their country and the ensuing attention they get - so when they get to JWOC they're not overwhelmed. However, this year's FC cup has not achieved this as well as it could have - it provided athletes with victories for just showing up and failed to generate much attention from anyone because of the lack of competition. So, I'm saying, lets deal with the situation we have (i.e. not tons of young orienteers) and tweak the FC cup rules to better serve them.
Sep 25, 2016 9:42 PM # 
@JimBaker yes we had a couple of athletes running up. Due to Long Term Athlete Development guidelines, our High Performance Program has very few 16-17 year olds (only those that have achieved top results in 17-20) so greater attendance in 17-18 categories is barely within our scope.

I agree with Adrian that there will typically be greater numbers for the host country. Having two junior categories when FC Cup is in the US, greatly favours the US because there is greater numbers and strength in depth. Whereas when the NAOC is in Canada there is only one category and the advantage of being the host country is much less.

Having said all that, I believe the US would have won regardless. Erin has done a fantastic job with the US Jr Program. Hats off and congratulations! It would have been nice if Canada could have at least made it more interesting. If the FC Cup weren't such a foregone conclusion, we likely would have had an easier time convincing the athletes we do have to run their own categories rather than running up.
Sep 25, 2016 9:52 PM # 
+1 shadow
Sep 26, 2016 3:25 AM # 
Guys, I'm not talking about who wins or which country has the advantage under the rules. I'm talking ONLY about what benefit the kids get. And right now they're missing out by having a really lame, preordained competition when they could be getting the excitement and experience of a real battle.

Well, okay, not ONLY about the kids. Also about the enjoyment and engagement we get from spectators - barely any right now because results in the races have virtually no impact on the outcome of the competition.

And how would sponsors and the media regard this competition when they have four categories to consider rather than just two, and when they see that one category has only two entrants.

Lets jazz it up
Sep 26, 2016 3:06 PM # 
+1 AZ
Sep 26, 2016 5:07 PM # 
It is wonderful to see IOF medals and diplomas being awarded to the 21+ and -20 categories. It is also nice to see how many people figured in the BK scoring. In some races the depth of runners for one country pushed the third scorer for the other country to 9th? or 10th? place!

This is a nice article from IOF.
Sep 26, 2016 5:21 PM # 
Over the 24 controls and finish line run for the NAOC sprint the split times for Damian and Will were a tie 8 times, a difference of one second 12 times, a difference of 2 seconds 2 times and 3+ seconds only three times (3, 5, and 9s). Difference at finish was only 3 seconds (it was 2s in 2014).
Sep 26, 2016 5:23 PM # 
Yes, that is some amazing sprinting!
Sep 26, 2016 8:15 PM # 
Why were there so few juniors, even top juniors, at the NAOC?
It is a matter of time and money.
Few high school and even college are orienteers will have parents and schools willing to release then from school time to take the trip across the country to participate. I daresay that a large percentage of the youth participating at NAOC had parents there participating, too.
Few youth have the financial resources to make the trip unless a parent is footing the bill. A family from Florida raised $4130 through a GoFundMe appeal for their trip to NAOC. Without it they would not have been there.
Add to that the difficulty of finding 'in loco parentis' supervision and you have a triple whammy of reasons for disappointing youth numbers at NAOC.
Sep 26, 2016 8:21 PM # 
Well, Yukon has a great junior program thanks to people like theshadow. So, I look forward to a home field advantage in two years.

For everyone else, it will feel like a bit of an away game.
Sep 26, 2016 8:28 PM # 
1) It was glaring how few Canadian Jrs attended a race a few hours from the border. However, of note, Noah Michelsen of DGL provided quality over lack of CANCon quantity by sweeping M18. He's one to watch.

2) If Canada and the US are serious about developing the BK Cup and FC Cup there is a lot of work to be done. Little emphasis on site outside the relay.
Sep 26, 2016 9:57 PM # 
Congratulations to the US on a well deserved FC Cup win! Even if this race weekend was in Canada with Canadian rules (i.e. one 17-20 category and juniors racing on the same course as elites in the middle and sprint) the US would have won handily. Such great depth among the US Junior ranks demonstrates how good a job that the US has done in recruiting and coaching juniors and an equally good job on getting them to this high priority race (funding assistance, motivation, etc.). It also shows how Canada needs to step things up - particularly for getting our top women to these races.

Now having said that it would not have been the pre race weekend foregone conclusion that it was with the "US rules". Canadian men potentially have more depth than the Americans while the Americans have tremendously more depth than Canada in junior women. On any given weekend and the potential for a DSQ (or two) and anybody could have won which I think is what AZ is getting at. And on this weekend the US were the much stronger team (no matter what the rules).

I also find interesting is that all of the NorAm "junior internationals" (i.e. those that have raced at JWOC) chose to run in the 19-20 and/or 21+ categories and not in the 17-18 category. Adding to this, because the Canadian performances at NAOC in -20 and 21+ carried with it selection race implications for WOC and JWOC the likelihood of 17-18 participation was low.

As a coach of a large junior program I certainly wish we had more juniors willing to make the drive and it wasn't without trying. As Meghan mentioned in another thread earlier this summer it is very difficult to get parents to agree to have their kids drive 9-10+ hours to go to a race. Having said that our club only has a few kids (so far) in the 17-20 age group where I would argue racing at NAOC should be a requirement for those planning on racing internationally. DGL had all of those athletes that are currently living in the east at the NAOC. When it was a foregone conclusion that the US would win the FC Cup (because Canada had no women in 17-18) we deliberately moved our top international juniors up categories to assist with the BK Cup chances. We also had some of our younger juniors run up an age group to get experience and also to get extra motivation watching North America's best at a high quality event (and also to get the odd signature and photo opp with Emily Kemp!!!).

To finish I want to re-make the case that it makes absolutely no sense to not have the 17-20 and 21+ categories on the same course for the sprint. They shared the same course for the sprint relay so why not for the individual race. As it was there were three juniors on the podium at the NAOC sprint. Jan Erik Naess (17 years old) was 4th. Michael Laraia (20) was 5th and Emma Waddington (18) was 6th. Looking at min/km 5 NorAm elite men ran under 6min/km in the sprint while 6 NorAm junior men ran under that mark in the sprint. So if Anton (19), Will H (20), Michael S (17) and Christian M (16!) had raced in elite it could have been junior domination outside the top 3 (for now).
Sep 26, 2016 9:58 PM # 
So, I'm not sure what people are expecting, but Team USA juniors showed up and were well organized and coached by Erin Schirm, who had been talking to the team about the event, and encouraging attendance, for many months. The expense is indeed an issue, which is why it was awesome that Peter Gagarin's marathon money paid for local transportation, housing, and entry fees for the team. This also enabled the US juniors to stay together, and bond in person (they meet regularly by phone but it's not the same).
It will be great when we get enough momentum to be able to provide this kind of financial support regularly.
Sep 26, 2016 10:02 PM # 
>1) It was glaring how few Canadian Jrs attended a race a few hours from the border.

Yes total numbers were low but juniors living in Ontario won over half of the gold medals in the junior categories this weekend thanks to some strong performances by OOC, DGL and UKR juniors.
Sep 26, 2016 10:14 PM # 
Glad to hear the marathon money was used for this purpose! I really enjoyed seeing all the great performances this past weekend. (Canadian too, I guess ...)
Sep 27, 2016 6:09 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Over the 24 controls and finish line run for the NAOC sprint the split times for Damian and Will were a tie 8 times, a difference of one second 12 times, a difference of 2 seconds 2 times and 3+ seconds only three times (3, 5, and 9s). Difference at finish was only 3 seconds (it was 2s in 2014).

I'd like to come back to this... Damian and Will had pretty much identical results, yet both have vastly different training environments: (one full-on Euro in Finland, the other in Calgary).

Also both guys were the only ones to beat TG all weekend, so that's pretty amazing.

I'd also like to give props to Team Canada for actually making their own sprint map of campus to prepare for these races. I'd be curious to hear how much that improved the race times, if at all.
Sep 27, 2016 8:44 PM # 
All credit for map making should go to Sir Jeff Teutsch, who did it all for us.

I studied the map for a while the weeks before and compared it to the Google Street view, and then spent about 30 minutes the night before planning a course, using the information from the bulletin and wild theories. I think over the whole course I got 4-5 controls exactly right and maybe 1-2 legs almost dead on. But really, the technical difficulty of the course didn't make intensive pre-preparation particularly beneficial.
Sep 27, 2016 10:26 PM # 
Yeah--similar armchair preparation from non-Canadians would have done little to bridge the gap to Damian and Wil. They didn't crush people because they knew the course... But, rather because they were just beasts compared to the rest of the field. That's what it takes.
Sep 27, 2016 11:16 PM # 
It was glaring how few Canadian Jrs attended a race a few hours from the border.

but Team USA juniors showed up

These comments give a false impression of what happened, especially in W18 class which had, over three races a total of just SEVEN starts - that is 2.33 entrants per race. They were all USA athletes, but it is just as glaring how few USA athletes showed up, IMO.

When it was a foregone conclusion that the US would win the FC Cup

This is the issue that I'm talking about. It was clear the USA would win the FC Cup because they had 2-3 runners in the W18 category and Canada had zero. This meant that even sweeping the other three categories would barely be enough for Canada to put up a challenge for the FC Cup.

There were a lot of great performances by the juniors and what could have been an exciting FC Cup competition, with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, was instead another lame win-just-by-showing-up competition.

There are two obvious solutions to the problem:
1. make sure more kids come. This is hard.
2. only include the most senior of the junior categories in FC Cup. This is easy.

Let's implement the easy solution right now, so that all young North American athletes can benefit from gaining experience representing their country in a real high-stakes competition. And sure, lets keep working on the hard solution too.
Sep 28, 2016 1:14 AM # 
Let's calculate for this past weekend.
Sep 28, 2016 1:16 AM # 
One of the things I thought was cool was having juniors running up in order to experience the next level of competition. I thinks it's a good sign that getting the best orienteering experience for where you are as an athlete was more important than exactly what points would come to each team, in these cases.
Sep 28, 2016 1:50 AM # 
@barb: US juniors (easily) won with the "Canadian rules" as well.
Sep 28, 2016 4:58 AM # 
I thought about just having the 20 categories in the race to make it closer but after the weekend I think that's just a short term solution that does not build long term competitiveness. I think it was pretty cool that the 18 year olds factor in. If they were competing in the 20 categories probably would not make a difference. To me this seems like a positive stepping stone for the juniors coming up who take part. I think it makes a difference when you are a factor. It motivates you to get better. Yes it's going to take time to have full competitive categories but to me That's a worthy goal. NAOC 2020 I hope to have at least 10 USA juniors in both 18 and 20 categories. I would hope that in four years we get to a place nationally that clubs help support get their best juniors to NAOC because it's important and something to take pride in. I want to comend the Canadian juniors for some great racing this weekend. I thought the races were exciting and certainly pushed the US juniors to do better. To me that's what this weekend is about. I can see in 2-4 more years with all the Canadian junior programs started, it being really tough competition and maybe swinging the other way. So not sure one year is enough evidence to conclude there is a bad trend and changes need to be made. After all last time the FC cup was won in the relay and the year before it was a tie.
Sep 28, 2016 9:37 AM # 
Okay Erin, but the point is that even this year none of the results of the juniors, USA or Canadian, really mattered. All that counted was whether or not they showed up and punched all of the controls. I can see how you get excited for the 18 year olds. But I can't see how you can feel quite so good for the top juniors who raced in this format where their results didn't really make a difference. That, at least to me, is a major opportunity lost.

As for the FC Cup being won in the relay last time, well that was in Canada where the 'big' junior age group is one - so clearly the 18 year olds had an impact that year. As for it being a tie four years ago - well in W18 there were still only 3 eligible runners (but that time two of them were Canadian) so we don't really have any indication that using W18 is inspiring more participation.

So in four years from now where will we be? WIth the same rules and 10 USA women running W18 probably. But if Canada doesn't send a decent contingent then once again all the other junior athletes will miss out on a chance to represent their country in a meaningful and rewarding way. And if we do change the rules ... well, for sure there will be meaningful competition no matter what.
Sep 28, 2016 3:08 PM # 
Hey AZ I would caution on your judgment of meaningful. I told the US juniors to imaging the score was tied going into the sprint that regardless of the score they needed to step up their effort. Many of them stepped up. Orienteering is mostly an individual sport were you have to push yourself, this is often the difference at JWOC. This race has a lot of meaning when you take it that way. Its a great chance to practice pushing without blowing up and the US juniors benefited hugely from that and it will make a difference come next summer. The the fact that there was a competition that mattered for National reasons was enough for me as a coach to get the US junior fired up and talking about it. When we left JWOC many of them were asking each other are you going to be at NAOC. At the end of the day for the juniors its about learning the process and learning to compete. Maybe Canada could not win the FC cup this year but who cares, set smaller goals like winning every race, winning the relay get fired up about the things that make a difference. Then at the end no mater what the score there is a sense of accomplishment. I saw a lot of great things from the Canadian juniors this weekend. I also saw it might have been a missed opportunity to learn with the attitude that it does not matter because we can't win the cup. It may be a while before we have a North American Junior win a medal again at JWOC. But you don't go into JWOC thinking I'm not going to race hard because I can't win. You go in trying to do the best you can and reach for your highest goals. If you Treat NAOC like this regardless its a very valuable experience. Even if you are in a category without another country represented try to run faster, try to have a clean race etc. That is valuable. A sense of accomplishment comes from the effort you put in. I think I can say the US junior feel proud of winning this weekend because they put in a serious effort. I could look at the score and say well it was decided before the race but that is not helpful to them getting better. So I understand that maybe some change needs to be made to the format to making it more interesting but its not always the structure that's the problem.
Sep 28, 2016 3:12 PM # 
Nice! +1
Sep 28, 2016 4:02 PM # 
Agree with Erin.

My perspective, for what it's worth, is that development goals should trump performance or medal goals with respect to this competition. From the outset of this admittedly still nascent concept, I was hoping that we would encourage participation--indeed, just showing up. We're all playing the long game here, and we all lose if we are just scraping our butter over too much bread.

If we are talking about 2 or 4 years from now I'd really hope that stakeholders would be thinking about how to develop the quantity and quality of talent in the next generation rather than figuring out how to tweak the rules for window dressing disappointing depth in the pipeline.

I salute Erin, his team, and the Canadians and hope that next time there is a closer competition in both the BK and FC cup races.
Sep 29, 2016 12:04 PM # 
The ONLY thing I'm saying is that when the coaches have to tell the athletes to "imagine the score is tied" in order to effectively simulate high pressure then we haven't done as well as we could in designing the FC Cup. We can in fact make a very simple change to the FC competition to 'make it real'.

Maybe we have different goals. I do not agree with j-man that the goal is to encourage participation - there are other programs for that. I believe the Future Champions is about providing North America's top juniors with real high-stake competition when they are wearing their country's uniform - of shining the spotlight on them and helping them become better orienteers by giving them experience in the limelight.
Sep 29, 2016 12:19 PM # 
I think that efforts are better spent getting ten Canadian and ten American 17 to 18 year olds in each gender to the North Americans. Maybe that's the challenge? From my experience many decades ago, small fields just don't yield real high stakes competition in the same way. And with all the junior programs on both sides of the border, we should be much closer to that. Let's not take our eyes off the prize, and not settle back into the old "everybody run up so that there are more than three in a category". Is there a way to interest or help fund juniors in that trip?
Sep 29, 2016 2:07 PM # 
Yeah, I think the fix is for Canada to show up. If the US Juniors didn't have competition, that would seem to be the reason.
Sep 29, 2016 4:20 PM # 
JB & JJ: +1!
Sep 29, 2016 8:53 PM # 
I agree with Adrian that there will typically be greater numbers for the host country.

Which is why, in 2014, there were 7 US orienteers in F17-20, but only 3 Canadians. Oh, wait, 2014 was in Canada. I think JJ has a point.
Sep 29, 2016 8:57 PM # 
The difficult solution.
Of course the fix is for Canada W18 to show up.
But what if they don't - then we have the same situation

When Jim says "efforts are better spent" it is important to keep in mind that the amount of effort is trivial to change FC Cup rules and pretty much guarantee fierce competition. On the other hand, well, how long have we had the goal to increase participation in the junior categories. So I'd say lots of effort and lots of uncertainty.

Frustrating for me - I'm suggesting an easy, practical solution to what I perceive as a real issue that will have immediate impact to improve the lot of our junior orienteers. But no takers ;-) Oh well, I've never been reknown for my persuassiveness ;-)
Sep 29, 2016 9:23 PM # 
In 2 years, it's a moot point as it will be in Canada and the categories are M17-20 and F17-20. So, the FC is more likely to be closely contested. A longer term fix (for 2020 and beyond) may be for more junior orienteers on both side of the border.

But, there is another issue as to whether or not M17-18 and F17-18 should count toward FC points. That is, do the best 17-18 year olds actually run in that category?

For the women, this year, the answer to that is very clearly no. The top runners in F17-18 were a fair bit slower than the top 3 17-18 year olds running up into F19-20. This is an issue that needs a bit of thought. This is one of the reasons why a combined 17-20 category makes sense. Many (most?) 17-18 year olds actually want to compete with the 19-20 year olds.

This issue is also existent on the Men's side. Looking only at the Middle from this year's NAOC, the top runners in M17-18 are all 15 to 16 years old. The M19-20 category goes (by age): 20, 17, 20, 17, 20, 17, 16, 18, 17, 19, 19, 20, 19. Looks like M19-20 is really M17-20 by athlete choice!
Sep 29, 2016 9:38 PM # 
Perhaps we should look at the question of why we don't have enough kids showing up to NAOC? (and I would say this applies to both countries really)

The M/W-18 categories are theoretically populated primarily by kids who are high school seniors and college freshmen. When NAOC happens in the fall after school has begun and it's a 3-day event on a non-holiday weekend there are obviously going to be quite a number of conflicts.

College freshmen have only just started getting acclimated to the fact that (at least for some) college is a lot more work than high school. High school seniors are ramping up their college visitations and taking ACTs and SATs. Both groups may be also running on their school XC team.

If we want more school kids attending NAOC maybe we should be looking at scheduling it during the summer. I was going to add "or else on the Cdn Thanksgiving / US Columbus Day weekend" but I see it was in fact on that weekend in 2014. Fortunately it will be in summer in 2018 but that seems to be the exception.

If we don't have the collective will to schedule it when kids can get there then yeah, I would have to agree with AZ that maybe the best course is to drop the -18 categories from the scoring. My impression is that scheduling is considered a lower priority than finding a host.
Sep 29, 2016 9:59 PM # 
Orienteering isn't a 2-month-per-year sport. Taking a day or two off school for the biggest competitive event of the year isn't asking too much.
Sep 29, 2016 10:38 PM # 
Is 19-20 hard enough? Does it prepare its participants for JWOC? With green for women, red for men, I suspect that it isn't and doesn't. Maybe the right answer is a harder course for both 19-20 and 17-18 (rather than both in one category). But failing that, maybe a single 17-20 category isn't so bad.

Regarding NAOC in summer:
It's been suggested elsewhere on AP that OUSA should decide (perhaps in conjunction with Canadians) a schedule for major events, and perhaps a regional rotation, and then seek hosts for those events on those dates, rather than waiting for bids to come in. In New England, summer vegetation had a fierce reputation, but good summer orienteering there has been had. It requires scouting, mapping and setting in the summer, the same month of year as the event, and choosing the fraction of terrain that's fine that time of year. In much of the West it's also feasible. I can't speak for other regions (though I have a hunch for some). A summer week of major events (including NAOC) in America may be doable, much as Canada often holds. BTW, why is NAOC still biennial?
Sep 29, 2016 11:41 PM # 
It was difficult enough to get an event together this year, with people from an assortment of clubs. If it were every year, it would be that much worse. If we can get enough orienteering going on this continent to support NAOC annually, from an organizational perspective, that will be great. (Or a commercial operation that can do so and remain solvent.)
Sep 30, 2016 12:15 AM # 
No looking outside NA for parallels? There are 30-odd NZ school-age juniors in Australia as I write. Arrangements have been helped by the host country, which runs an inter-state school contest alongside the all-ages champs. There are also some college age travelling independently, and some younger ones travelling with family. Possibly 60 kids from a country of 4m. There might be some lessons to be learned there, or conditions might be entirely different. I think the existence of several Pseudo-Schirms has something to do with it
Sep 30, 2016 12:27 AM # 
Taking a day or two off school for the biggest competitive event of the year isn't asking too much.

Not disagreeing with you. (And my son did take a day off of school and miss a XC meet when he is the fastest on his team. His coach was very understanding but we know that's not the case everywhere.)

Just looking at it from the perspective of "why aren't more kids showing up?" and theorizing that for this age group maybe the scheduling is an issue. Maybe a poll could be taken of kids who "should have been there" to find out what kept them from coming? 9-hour drive was mentioned above for some.
Sep 30, 2016 1:51 AM # 
Perhaps, similar to gruver''s suggestion, a binational junior training camp culminating in NAOC would help.

In terms of sufficient organizers for a continental championship:
1) why both a national and a continental championship? why ask one weekend who the best is in North America, and then some other weekend who the best is in America? Presumably the latter question can be answered by the former competition? Having one event that serves as both championships increases the chances that the best will be at the Americans and at the North Americans.
2) for American and North American championships, given that these often involve flying and rental cars anyway, I'd possibly support having them done by paid staff, if I could figure out a way for the numbers to work, but sadly I haven't in my various casual musings over the years, and given that volunteer labor needed seems to scale with number of participants (no economies of scale), I can't see a way for it to happen even if numbers increase. But I really hope that someone figures out a way to make it work someday.
Sep 30, 2016 3:00 AM # 
I think that what we're currently doing could accommodate quite a few more participants without much additional work. Course setting is the most work, and with the number of controls we're putting out there, I think we could handle fields several times as large as the ones we're currently getting. (Mapping is more work that course setting, but is a one-time cost that doesn't require any effort at all when you increase the number of participants.)
Oct 2, 2016 6:48 AM # 
While the Sprint Relay was not a factor in determining the FC (or BK) Cup winner this year, I'm trying to finalize the official scoring, but have encountered a stumbling block...

The rules for FC Cup scoring with regard to the Sprint Relay read as follows:

The relay, and there will be just a M-20 relay and a F-20 relay, is scored as for the seniors, i.e., 50 for first team, 30 for second, 20 for third, 10 for fourth.

However, starting in 2014, it became a single, mixed-gender relay, and I have some scoring calcs from then, which seem to indicate that we went to a 70-50-40-30-20-10 scoring scale (but still only scoring the top two teams from each country). Can anybody verify that this change actually took place, OR that we are still using the 50-30-20-10 scale?

Oct 3, 2016 6:09 AM # 
+1 bmay for the purpose of aligning with JWOC it makes sense to just have 20 and under as the age category that counts for the FC Cup. As Brian says, if there are athletes that are 17 that are good enough, they are running 19-20 anyway.
Oct 4, 2016 5:03 PM # 
OUSA has a link to (some) previous NorAm Champions and from this we can see how the oldest age categories has evolved over the years:

1980: 50+
1984: 56+
2004: 70+
2016: 85+

Oct 4, 2016 8:31 PM # 
Some other interesting stats (though I haven't checked the numbers).

2016 NA Champions by country and age group

U18: US=11, CAN=19
19-20: US=5, CAN=1

All Juniors: US=16, CAN=20
Elite: US=1, CAN=5
Masters: US=38.5, CAN=27.5
Total: US=55.5, CAN=52.5
Oct 4, 2016 11:48 PM # 
It's good to see that we're serving and increasing seniors as well as juniors.
Oct 5, 2016 12:15 PM # 
So with Hammer's numbers, Canada dominated this year in junior and elite categories, with the exception of the 19-20 class that US coach Erin Schirm has been focusing on. Canada's HPP and well-populated local junior programs should get some credit here, right? And it would be great to build US strength in both those areas.
Oct 5, 2016 1:03 PM # 
@Hammer Elite: US=1, CAN=5
Is that not the M/F 21 category? Or what do you count as Elite?
Oct 5, 2016 4:00 PM # 
@barb--that's my take, too. Kudos to Erin and kudos to the various Canadian junior programs. Both are so promising.

If barb's Boston efforts have a few more years, the US could have a great 1, 2 punch.
Oct 5, 2016 4:58 PM # 
My take is that the future (as in Future Champions Cup) looks bright for Canadian juniors, with ARK/ARX, and the Ottawa programs, plus YOA, due most of the credit.
Oct 5, 2016 7:29 PM # 
And SoGo in Calgary.

So why can't we start such programs in America? (In addition to, or complement to, what barb is doing in Boston area schools iiuc, Gord, Robin and others are doing in JROTC, scout programs and the interscholastic leagues in Washington, Colorado and elsewhere. )
Oct 5, 2016 8:15 PM # 
We can, we will.
Oct 7, 2016 3:54 PM # 
Agree with Barb there are very easy ways to start these programs. If your your interested in starting one and need help please ask!!
Oct 18, 2016 12:35 AM # 

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