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Discussion: IOF Long-range strategic planning

in: Orienteering; General

Feb 19, 2017 3:50 PM # 
Hi orienteering community,

As the Orienteering USA VP of Competition, I am going to be submitting America's comments to the IOF regarding their long-term strategic planning. We at the board felt it would be better to have a single voice, submitting a summary of comments by our constituents, rather than individual comments, though do feel free to share if you don't want to channel through me.

The IOF FootO Commission is requesting your feedback regarding the attached discussion paper:

The intent of this task is to see if it is possible to create a long-term planning calendar for IOF FootO events. This discussion paper is being distributed to a very wide distribution list of stakeholders and all input is welcomed. Please feel free to comment on all aspects of the discussion paper.

Responses should be forwarded to FootO Commission chairperson Aron Less prior to March 15, 2017 as shown in the document. Please send a copy also to If you are American and want to go through the Orienteering USA channels, please send your responses to me (see my profile for email) or comment here, by February 28th.

Feb 19, 2017 4:03 PM # 
Problem with link...I needed to add a c to the end.
Feb 19, 2017 4:57 PM # 
Possibly fixed. Sorry.
Feb 19, 2017 5:32 PM # 
Works for me now.

This has suggestions for national championship timing as well, and so may tie into those threads.
Feb 20, 2017 2:14 AM # 
My suggestion for an official answer:

"The scheduling of national and regional championship events should be determined by the timing of optimal orienteering conditions (seasonal climate variation) and by land access (avoiding conflicts with tourism, hunting, and other big events), not by an arbitrary schedule of international competition. In a continent with the diverse climate and land access conditions of North America, the optimal time to host regional and national championships varies tremendously across the continent. Restricting those events to one or two particular months greatly reduces or eliminates the opportunity to use certain parts of the continent or to permit all regional clubs the opportunity to host such an event on their finest terrain. There is no need mandate the timing of regional championships relative to the IOF world championship schedule. Therefore the US and Canadian Federations strongly oppose any plan that would restrict regional championships to particular months."
Feb 20, 2017 4:00 AM # 
I read the document as proposing a schedule of IOF events, with two three week periods left available for countries to organize national championships that are guaranteed not to conflict with the IOF events. I don't believe that it intends to mandate national championship dates, at most suggest.

I agree that North American climate is diverse. I don't know how many places can organize an event in neither the first three weeks of May nor the first three weeks of September, though. Yukon and Alaska perhaps. Florida? For many North Americans, conflict with the international schedule may not matter, but for our most serious competitors, it may, so it is worth some thought. Also, in any given year, most of the dates will be empty, as the proposed schedule has allowed for both northern and southern hemisphere World Championships, with two possible periods for each. American schedules are often determined later than IOF schedule, so I suspect that it will be possible to find an empty week or weekend in pretty much any month anyway. The hardest may be summer, but that's currently often the fullest with festival events, WMOC, JWOC and WOC, so no change there.
Feb 23, 2017 3:05 AM # 
Looks like a dynamic approach to me. I think that OUSA should be totally supportive of this IOF long term strategy. Coordination of major events to gain increased media coverage is necessary if Orienteering is to make the step up to a more internationally recognized sport. If the plan works OUSA may see the benefits from this in the future. Any criticism from North America should and will be brushed aside. We are small potatoes in this essentially European sport.

This discussion thread is closed.