From the meet guide:
Sprint distance course time limit is 1 hour. Classic distance course time limit is 3 hours. You must return to the Finish, punch the Finish Control and Download your Ecard within the time limit, whether you complete your course or not."
Is it legitimate (i.e., do the OUSA rules allow it, or even if they do allow it, is it really the right thing to do?) to include the download time in determining whether a competitor is overtime?
I'm not (hopefully) going to have to worry about this myself, although I suppose you never know. (For example, at a local meet recently, I realized at the finish that I forgot to punch one control, so I went back and punched that control and, to make it legitimate, all the subsequent controls.) But it might matter to someone.
Wouldn't it make more sense to have some reasonable *additional* time (say, a half hour, depending on whether the download is near the finish) after one's finish within which to do the download? Another personal anecdote: At a recent national meet where the download was far away from the finish (remote finish a km or two away, and download back at the event center), I absent-mindedly stopped at my car after finishing and before continuing to the download, changed clothes, ate lunch, took a nap, chatted with my fellow orienteers about the course, etc. etc. Then I wandered over to the results, wondered why my time wasn't yet posted, and finally about an hour and a half after I finished, I realized I hadn't downloaded!
OUSA rule A.29.11:
"Competitors completing a course in a time greater than the competition time limit shall be recorded as overtime (OVT) and shall not receive a time or place."
I suppose there is a bit of ambiguity there, but if being lawyerly, I would maintain that "completing a course" happens when you punch in at the finish, and that "competition time" doesn't include time spent walking from the finish to the download station.
Whenever possible, download should be close to the finish and ideally with a chute so that finishers must pass the download station. I would not consider the time from Finish to download as part of the time limit. It might be reasonable, however, to require a drop dead time, e.g. 3PM, after which finishers might be disqualified if they hadn't downloaded. I've worked epunch many times and waited around trying to figure out if a missing runner had forgotten to download.
When I host a one-man event, i.e. no other event organizers at all, I always specify a "latest check in time" like 19:30 or 20:00. If you don't return with your EMIT unit by that time I will consider you to be overtime and start to consider calling emergency services to organize a search operation.
This means that runners who know that they might take a long time need to arrive and start early, but I have no maximum running time.
Meet director here...
Nobody has ever commented on this in the past and perhaps we have just never thought about it since the download is only a few meters from the finish line. This is what we have said traditionally to try to keep kids focused on downloading. If someone goes overtime, we start search and rescue protocols and this can make a lot of unnecessary work for volunteers if it is just because someone wandered off before downloading. Of course, all competitors have the same amount of time in which to complete their courses, as per the rules, and your race time stops when you punch the finish control. You must download before leaving the finish area.
If the download is located where it belongs, just past the finish line, this is basically a non-issue. It's mostly speaking to the need for DNFs to still check in.
IMHO downloading promptly after a course is question of common courtesy and respect for the job that the meet volunteers doing. Meet volunteers are trying to make sure that runners have a fun, fulfilling and safe day in the woods; those who wander off and don't download promptly raise all kinds of unnecessary uncertainties and possibly create additional work (delay of results processing, SAR etc) for the meet crew and others.
I agreee, but I've certainly been to meets where the location of the download station makes it pretty challenging to download promptly. When it's hundreds of meters from the finish, beyond both your car and a table full of snacks...
Yes snacks can get in the way of everything right after the end of a run.
I believe we have maximum course times (excluding the time taken to download) at national level events but at local events, we just have a course closure time so you have until then to finish, regardless of how long it actually takes you.