How do you avoid them? As someone who's done very little course setting, and even less putting controls out, what are the tips? Or do you just not put controls in pits?
Some basic rules.
Some random advice.
1. Leave much more time than you think you need. While I was working I tended to put my controls out on the previous Sunday. These days I do it mid week. Saturday morning is spent on the golf course. It also means that if you discover that ther eis no locking point or the map is ambiguous, you have time to change the course before printing.
2. So that means do your planning well before the event.
3. Check that the control location makes sense by visiting the nearby features in each direction.
4. Never place controls hidden by scrub etc. Well avoid if at all possible.
5. Don't place in a pit if it encourages the orienteer to jump into the pit. You never know how deep or how secure the pit actually is if the surface breaks.
6. Concentrate on the legs rather than the control sites. Design the long leg first if thats the nature of the terrain.
7. When armchair designing, ask each control if it is really needed. Case in point was the NOL event at Kooyoora set by Jim a few years ago. He was one control stand short so needed to remove a control. I pointed at the last navigation control before the run down the hill to the picnic area. Imagine our surprise when this produced a lot of extra route choice options and it became the leg which decided the winner. Won leg of the year.
For point 1 that could be visit the proposed control sites well in advance and put out tapes. Tapes could go out the weekend before and then put the control out in the morning.
Also if you are training a new course setter perhaps having them assist or shadow and experienced one a couple of time would help. As long as the experienced person doesn't each them bad habits.
The approach with local Bendigo events used to be to try and minimise visits. Its a bit of a trade-off. For events close to town where you have to lock controls, you have to visit the site to see if it can be made secure, or change it, as well as the usual control site suitability check. One could tape and then revisit with control stands later. If you want someone to check the sites for you, this my be necessary. I think its more efficient to put out stands and boxes whilst checking and then amend the map afterwards. That's why the Sunday following a local event is very convenient.
7. When armchair designing, ask each control if it is really needed. Case in point was the NOL event at Kooyoora set by Jim a few years ago. He was one control stand short so needed to remove a control. I pointed at the last navigation control before the run down the hill to the picnic area. Imagine our surprise when this produced a lot of extra route choice options and it became the leg which decided the winner.
I am always questioning myself over this. Some setters think the more controls out, the better, but I am always looking at legs to see whether adding a control would improve it or detract from it and in some instances I even remove controls altogether if it makes the longer leg more challenging. Mind you I've never set a proper bush event and all my setting comes from sprint and MTBO but the theory stands.
If there's an obvious route choice on a long leg, chuck another control in midway to make the obvious route less obvious.