Come up with better opinions.
I wonder if national events is really what's lacking. I mean sure, it would be nice for the active people in remote, backwards places like Texas or Arizona to have access to national events that don't require flying or marathon road trips. But it seems to me that a bigger issue is really a lack of a variety of local opportunities, things that appeal to a lot more people than national events and would increase the O opportunities for everybody. Some clubs are pretty good about this, others could probably learn from them.
Maybe the real problem for OUSA to focus on is a complete lack of roller-ski-orienteering in Texas. That or maybe address the various issues related to white squirrels.
Indeed! Hard to imagine a professional auditor leaving such issues out of his initial findings.
Trying to address minority squirrel issues is foolhardy in the present political climate.
Getting back to the main topic, reorganizing the national events in some way is a fine enough thing to do. But they better decide something and move on to other things soon. Ultimately, as Cristina mentioned, I think we have a local crisis. That's probably too strong a word but my point is that our sports survival will not hinge on the US Champs, whatever their format. >99% of people who participate in sports, orienteering, rowing, running, skiing, etc., etc., don't give a hoot about some old persons champs. And a good portion don't care about the elite champs much either. They tune in to these things once every 4 years. The format of the US Champs isn't going to help NTOA stem the loss of both adults and juniors *at all*.
I must confess that while I talk big, my local efforts in orienteering have been lacking lately. I have ideas and opinions, but not the time to do anything about them.
With that, I will get back to planning the first US Roller-ski Orienteering Champs to be held in a DFW mega-mall parking lot on next Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving). There will be a training-wheels division for those new to the sport. And of course there will be a Trail-O version where you stand in one spot on roller skis and begin protesting things you see. We won't set out controls for that but instead proceed directly to protesting.
Spike, I agree with you totally. I just don't understand all the hate on the Classic 2-Day champs. I like something that rewards some consistency & psychological pressure. I also enjoy the SML. Who cares if there are 8 billion people with a champs medal? Is that so awful?
Apparently a large segment of the (vocal) o' society thinks so.
Liked every-other-year WOC a lot.
Who cares if there are 8 billion people with a champs medal? Is that so awful?
I don't think it's a good thing but I also don't think it's all that important in the grand scheme of things. Doesn't affect the local (bigger) issues at all: we need more local events, more local trainings, more local social events, and more roller-ski-trail-O.
I am spoiled with local events almost every weekend (Sept-June), a training series in the summer, and decently close proximity to other clubs, on the rare weekends we don't have something going on. We do seem to be lacking roller-ski-trail-o and I don't think we've ever put on a trail-o event ... but we do most other variations.
I agree, having the local scene be active is very important. We often have a predetermined post-event meet-up spot for eating, sometimes with some kind of deal with the restaurant, and while all the regulars attend, it's also a great chance for newcomers to get to know people in the club.
More scattered thoughts...
I agree that having lots of local orienteering options is more important for the sport than the national event restructuring. But, maybe that's not what the OUSA board is interested in. I think idea may be a "trickle down" model: raise status of national events -> more publicity -> easier marketing -> more marketing -> more orienteeirng -> higher status and so on. Note, I'm not endorsing the "trickle down" model, I'm just hypothesizing that may be some of the idea.
Part of the burden of hosting a national event is the expectation that you'll be publicly criticized on forums like AP. I don't know if OUSA could fix that, but I know that it matters.
I wonder if the disdain for the 2-day champs is a mix of fashion and an argument-based way of discussing things? Maybe SML is like long basketball shorts (or maybe the 2-day champs is long shorts?).
I think OK is also spoiled. I'm not sure how many events we have between OK, PTOC and Fort Leavenworth Adventures, but it seems like we've got plenty of orienteering. We've got maps to train on that are easy to get to (I tend to think of a >20 minute drive to get to a map as a long way). Our terrain isn't good, but I think events and maps are more important than nice terrain that doesn't get used and is far away.
That last statement has significant empirical evidence to support it. If we put on an event at Hawn or S-F, we may get as many as 50 people, but it will probably be half that. Put one on using a crap map in West County, like Queeny, and we'll get a hundred.
Same in Seattle.
In the winter, we'll get 350 to western Washington venues.
Cle Elum? 100
Moses Lake? 40