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Discussion: Newcomer at the Canadian Champs

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 9, 2017 4:36 PM # 
Great blog post here by someone who's been orienteering for less than a year.
Lots of things for us hard-core orienteers to understand about how our sport looks to newcomers
Aug 9, 2017 4:55 PM # 
This is great! Thanks for sharing, Adrian.
Aug 10, 2017 9:37 AM # 
That is a wonderful post, enthusiastic, but also detailed, accurate and very articulate.
Aug 10, 2017 6:12 PM # 
Out if interest, why do you write your names on the back of the maps? Are they collected in at the end of the race? This wasn't mentioned in the blog.
Aug 10, 2017 6:17 PM # 
Because of the long start window, some competitors could finsh their race before later starters have begun and theoretically share their course map, giving some starters an advantage. To avoid that, officials collect maps at the finish, and maps are again available to competitors once all starters have begun.
Aug 10, 2017 10:53 PM # 
How does "Open 3" translate into US categories? Is "intermediate difficulty and longer distance" more like Orange but longer or Brown but less technical?
Aug 10, 2017 11:23 PM # 
Levitin. I took a quick look at Course 3 for the COC Middle and Long. They look on the technically difficult end of the Orange spectrum. In that terrain it must have been quite a challenge to set technically 'easy' courses.
Course 3 would normally equate to a US Orange course, aka Intermediate (at least by Suncoast Orienteering)
Aug 10, 2017 11:40 PM # 
Course 3 included M-16 / F-16, on par with orange, but the actual courses looked like they were on the tough side; some legs and controls looked to be more of a green level. Lengths were on the shorter side, but the technical difficulty seemed high for orange.
Aug 11, 2017 3:17 PM # 
"Open 3" is one of my pet peeves. Even as a seasoned orienteer I have no idea what it means. It usually refers to the course number (as people have guessed above), but for beginners and people from outside Canada who don't know the course structure, this isn't much help. Not to mention that we have different course structures for different size events.

For the upcoming Alberta Champs (Sept 16/17 in Canmore - don't miss it!) I've recently been using the new Orienteering Canada course guidelines and I'm really impressed. They've mostly made changes so that juniors have several options to progress (from a fast track, to more casual). They've also given actual names to the open courses (such as beginner, intermediate, expert, and so on). Plus they give a Technical Difficulty chart. This should help newcomers a little.
Aug 11, 2017 6:55 PM # 
Since the new OC course guidelines were approved just this past April, did the 2017 ECOCs and COCs use them to any extent, or were they fully "grandfathered" to use the previous guidelines?

I note that the 17-20 classes are split into 17-18 and 19-20; what was the rationale behind reversing the previous decision to merge them?
Aug 13, 2017 11:10 PM # 
I believe the 2017 COCs were run under the 2016 course guidelines because much of the course planning was done prior to the release of the latest guidelines.

I also believe the main reason to split the 17-20 class was to win the Future Champions Cup.

Joking (of course). The reason the groups were combined in the past was in order to create a larger field, since these classes tend to have very few participants. The problem is this creates a large jump in physical and navigational difficulty from the 15-16 age class to the 17-20. Many of the changes in the guidelines were to provide multiple paths for kids as they develop - so there are now more classes, including several "B" classes, recognizing that not all kids are going to want to be in the competitive track at certain times in their development
Aug 14, 2017 12:42 AM # 
It's a silly change.

In the 90's, the typical path of a junior in Canada (probably North America as well) was 15-16, 17-18, then straight to elite. I remember the 19-20 class was lightly participated all across North America.

I imagine more of the same with this new (old) setup. A diluted, redundant, insignificant 19-20 class.

The bottom line is that there are not enough juniors in Canada to support two classes between 17-20...(at least two competitive ones.) What's the motivation to win a class with so few competitors? At least 17-20 strengthens the field.


What was the process in deciding these changes? Were current juniors (elite or otherwise) consulted?

This discussion thread is closed.