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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Relays

in: blairtrewin; blairtrewin > 2018-08-26

Aug 26, 2018 9:21 AM # 
I was 13-16 in 1991 but it's unlikely that even if I knew what orienteering was back then that I could have run in the W class.
Aug 26, 2018 9:40 AM # 
Yay for Wallaringa's M21B team of David Simmons (M21E), Susanne & myself! I've just looked up the 1991 results - yes I still have the hard copy booklet - and we came 6th out of 18 finishing teams :)
Aug 26, 2018 12:11 PM # 
Sadly the changing to state based teams proved to be a negative for our club. While we were and still are a strong club we were fortunate to be able to field full teams with maybe 2 teams that happily filled the Mixed category. I know all about this as I was Club Relay coordinator from 1991 onwards (QBIII, NSW, AUS). We knew we were fortunate to almost always have a number divisible by 3 and knowing beforehand who was going to Aus Champs we worked teams through. When the concept of State teams was put forward there was an immediate backlash from 4 fronts : wanted to run with club members, club pride - not interested in State; some perception of elite teams creaming off then the "left overs" were lumped together; not knowing who you'd end up with; not going to pay good money for a "dud" arranged team thrown together the day before due to someone pulling out to go home etc etc. These were the sentiments expressed to me by club members. And to be honest we had done very well in results prior because we were a strong club. I could see the benefits for smaller clubs - certainly. It was requested that we run as a club within the arrangement but that was denied - can see it both ways. As a result a number of people stopped entering Relays because of the above reasons and Relays lost the appeal for many of our club members.
Aug 27, 2018 1:14 AM # 
WA clubs would never benefit from club based teams in the current environment, unless it was held in WA. We can barely field state based teams and never in the middle aged based categories (i.e. 20-45) without older members to fill the gaps.
Aug 27, 2018 2:19 AM # 
Honest comment here. I don't look forward to the relay. I might look forward to a good map with the relay on it, but the event itself isn't a draw card.
Aug 27, 2018 11:30 AM # 
The old system did suit the big clubs (I think Newcastle is the biggest club in Australia, or close to it?), but left a lot of people in smaller clubs out in the cold - for most of my junior years the only way I got to run a relay in anything other than M21B was when I was running for Australia. (Supposedly, one of the triggers for the 1989 Northside Navigators/Majura Macropods merger to form Bushflyers was that Michael and James Derlacki wanted to run relays with me).

Numbers in the relays are typically 70-80% of the individual both now and when it was a club event. (Seems a bit higher this year, perhaps because the relay isn't the last event?).
Aug 27, 2018 12:19 PM # 
Uncle JiM:
Relays are interesting. I travel the world to go to a good relay. Most of the time its Jukola, but I would love to go to Tio, or Night Hawk, or even the 25 Manna, if they were on at a time I could get to Europe, I would go.

But not everyone does. All we need to do is look at the Aus Champs Carnival this year. Nearly 800 people have entered the Saturday, Middle Champs. The next day (Sunday) is the relays. 150 people are going to do something else, even though the race is going to be on a new map, in a unique area. Then come Monday and the Sprint Champs, 100 of those people are going to turn up again, after having the day off Sunday

Little do they know they are missing the best race on the Aussie Calendar, the one time of the year, they can show real support for their teammates, and not just do stuff for themselves
Aug 27, 2018 1:37 PM # 
*support for team mates... therein lies the challenge/problem for some. Comments particularly from less experienced orienteers (not kids) - don't know who my team members are (not team mates), don't want to embarrass myself or let team down if I stuff up, and it is all a bit confronting. For the well seasoned orienteers it is a good experience and some teams have had much success, particularly around the M 35 and up who have stayed together for a number of years. Just got to get over the hurdle - and having very few opportunities within States isn't helping. Best entree in NSW used to be the QBIII Relays where there were categories rather than straight ages. A fun event but still fiercely contested - even moreso that the NSW champs. But sadly both now defunct.
Aug 27, 2018 2:14 PM # 
tt in the change from club to state based teams there was nothing to stop teams being formed by members of the same club. No reason why NOC members couldn't have said 'I prefer to run with my clubmates, thanks'. They still would have qualified as a state-based team.

However, in my experience many orienteers have more in common with people in their age class than they do with much younger (or older) people in their club, and so it's pretty easy to form state-based rather than club-based teams.

I'd also like to say, as a club and state team coordinator that I've introduced many people by putting them in a team with strangers, and they've become great mates thereafter. Too often, people go through their orienteering lives without ever taking the trouble to meet new faces.

I agree with Jim that relays are great events. I've let my team down by mp or injury on several occasions, and had team-mates do the same, but there are never recriminations, just condolences and an attitude of 'there's always next year'.

I really wish more people would embrace relays and other mass start events, rather than being intimidated by them.
Aug 27, 2018 9:54 PM # 
It's a reflection of our times, that people don't see teamwork as a thing. It's all about "me". You just have to look to parliament to see a prime example of that!
Aug 27, 2018 10:17 PM # 
simmo - the request to run as club was put forward and was denied (part of comment Aug 26, 10:11pm). A few years later it became more common that pairs of club members were put in teams together. I also think it's a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B in a lot of the comments you've expressed. I was just passing on comments from people who'd talked to me. It wasn't my opinion. I totally agree with many of your comments. Too often decisions are made, punters react but the reasons for their actions aren't reported back to the base! Good or otherwise.
Aug 27, 2018 11:38 PM # 
Uncle JiM:
We had a similar issue in Bendigo Athletics. There are 4 Athletics Clubs in Bendigo, but we are seen as Bendigo Region by Aths Victoria. For a start, some people wanted to only run for there Club. Not there Region. But those teams weren't our strongest. Over time, people have come around, we all compete for Bendigo Region now, and in the 4 Divisions we compete in on the Aths Vic program, we lead 3, and ars 2nd in the other.

I see my team mates as those in the Region, Yes I have team mates in my Club, but I also have team mates in my Region
Aug 28, 2018 1:27 AM # 
Although I expressed disinterest in the relay format, I am intrigued that 100 are missing a new bush map but going to a school campus map the following day. In your count Jim did you account for people who are doing the relay but not the sprint?
Aug 28, 2018 1:30 AM # 
That would involve using a spreadsheet and some kind of exporting software rather than just looking at total numbers across the three days! Spreadsheets are evil.
Aug 28, 2018 1:44 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
793 entries Middle
653 entries Relay
748 entries Sprint

I don't know if it the same people, or new entries, just going by numbers entered
Aug 28, 2018 1:47 AM # 
As I noted earlier in the thread, the drop-off from middle to relay (18%) is lower than the historical average.
Aug 28, 2018 2:21 AM # 
Actually tricky, a database would be better. Now there you are talking evil.
Aug 28, 2018 12:41 PM # 
What you need is someone with a heap of access to data manipulation software, and the ability to code.
Aug 28, 2018 11:52 PM # 
"Data manipulation software"

It's OK Jayne, you can call it "Excel". The rest of us do. :)
Aug 29, 2018 1:16 AM # 
I would call it Access. Excel doesn't do joins with any grace. But the first need is an easy means of downloading data from Eventor in a useable form. CSV would be an excellent start. In a fit of stupidty I thought "lets answer this question, the analysis is a five minute task". Indeed it could be, but scraping the data manually is a pain in the neck. I was quickly reminded of my last experience of doing this and moved on to one of the other 23 tasks actually on the to do list.
Aug 29, 2018 1:45 AM # 
And I would call it SAS, I'd still have the same issue with the scraping of data though, so might need some python to scrape that. Trying to not distract myself anymore but doing it though.
Aug 29, 2018 2:46 AM # 
So after we've cobbled together this incredibly useful bit of info that Jim has already essentially found an approximate answer to, is someone going to call up all those people and ask why they haven't entered the relays?
Aug 29, 2018 3:26 AM # 
Nope, because we're really happy in SA with having basically equalled the entry numbers which NSW got for the relays last year :)
Aug 29, 2018 3:27 AM # 
What else is there to do in Renmark on a Sunday?
Aug 29, 2018 3:32 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Aug 29, 2018 3:38 AM # 
Haha, think I’ll stick with the relay.
Aug 29, 2018 3:59 AM # 
A distillery or two, a possum parade and the Bert Dix Memorial Park...... Maybe there is something happening in Adelaide.
Aug 29, 2018 4:04 AM # 
I'm sure the schools team will appreciate a trip to the black stump :)
Aug 29, 2018 10:59 AM # 
If anyone does feel like playing with the data, I have the Australian Long Championships results in a standard format for all years (1971-2017), and the relays so far for 1990-2017.
Aug 29, 2018 12:07 PM # 
What do you want to do with it exactly? I can definitely play with it.
Aug 29, 2018 12:14 PM # 
Find out all the people who don't like relays and hunt them down.
Aug 29, 2018 1:24 PM # 
yeah, I think a more qualitative survey might be needed for the hunting.
Aug 29, 2018 10:05 PM # 
tRicky - I am over here.
Re access to data on Eventor-its a totally underutilised resource. I scraped 3 years worth from Victorian bush events and did a bit of exploring. Discovered that attendance peaks at 18 degrees celcius. Built a segmentation of the event attendance in our club that highlighted the very different aspirations of different club members. With a few more years it would be possible to build a stock and flow model of recruitment and "de-cruitment" from the sport. That would provide a useful basis to for deeper qualitative work on retention. But I can't be bothered with the scraping process.
Aug 31, 2018 6:21 AM # 
Is it scraping like butter onto bread? Or poo from a shoe?
Aug 31, 2018 10:47 AM # 
The latter.
Aug 31, 2018 11:39 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Are those historical results (data) online? I thought they were, but can't find them

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