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Discussion: Water

in: jennycas; jennycas > 2021-04-04

Apr 14, 2021 5:34 AM # 
might have been useful for washing webs off your face!

Apart from the more usual application.

Are we going to take any action? In retrospect, knowing the terrain and the obvious likelihood of the courses leading to time blowouts, NSW should not have asked for the exemption.

I am speaking as one who didn't experience it, so maybe shouldn't comment, but very happy with my decision to remain at home!
Apr 14, 2021 5:53 AM # 
I should probably consider dewebbing my bike helmet and riding glasses at some point too.
Apr 15, 2021 5:09 AM # 
The rule deviation was that water would only be required for classes with an estimated winning time of 55 minutes or longer on the Sunday.

Number of classes which had an estimated winning time of 55 minutes or longer: 5
Number of classes which had an actual winning time of 55 minutes or longer: 42
Apr 15, 2021 5:24 AM # 
The rule deviation which the carnival organisers weren't actually going to ask for, because they had made the decision not to provide water*, without consulting Orienteering Australia...I argued that it was unconscionable not to provide water to the elite classes on their long race day and managed to get the concession that a single drink control would be put out - but I wasn't told that all courses appeared to have been set to be long races for all classes on that day (even before the organisers became aware that the terrain is now 20% slower than it was 14 years ago. I am going to give the course planners the benefit of the doubt and assume that they figured this out too late to shorten the courses). Eric may like to comment, if he is anywhere nearby, on whether he was truly aiming for a 48-minute winning time for most classes as was advertised in Bulletin 1?

*their argument was subsequently presented to OA as being: that the organisers had decided the only COVID-Safe way to provide water was to have manned drink controls, and then they decided that this would require too many volunteers to be out there all day, and that there was nowhere which could easily be driven to, to place water. I would like to know what the original pre-COVID plan for water placement was!
Apr 15, 2021 5:26 AM # 
Also, in answer to Simmo's question, and as I said to the level 3 controllers' workshop last week: there is no penalty for getting it wrong, apart from censure.

I certainly am not optimistic of the carnival controllers' reports containing a mea culpa.
Apr 15, 2021 5:53 AM # 
Jennycas - sadly so.
Apr 15, 2021 5:58 AM # 
The rules/exceptions seemed to vary over the course of the week.

-We had to print our own CP descriptions for both Easter and the NSW champs to be 'Covid safe' but then these were subsequently provided for the midweek events (they ran out due to the EODs in the Orange sprint so I just used someone else's - definitely not Covid safe!)

-Similarly no splits for the midweek events but we got them for the weekend races (that was more for being a 'low key' event though).

-No EODs allowed for Easter but there were stacks for the midweek events and a few for the NSW champs.

-There was water available at the NSW champs (albeit very late in our long course unless you noticed the cup on the fence corner between our CP 7 & 8; I did not).
Apr 15, 2021 7:38 AM # 
No EoDs during Easter was fairly likely not actually related to COVID19 but a personal preference of one of the major/influential players.
Apr 15, 2021 8:19 AM # 
Well that was the reason given in the bulletin.
Apr 16, 2021 2:39 AM # 
Yes it was.
Apr 16, 2021 4:52 AM # 
Not having EOD since COVID is still standard for us here in SA (and has made it so much easier for event organisers), so I was surprised that it was even offered for the midweek events.

But not having loose descriptions is just silly, given that maps are obviously loose too. I had anticipated that we'd be made to alcohol-gel our hands as part of the pre-start process, and this didn't happen...
Apr 16, 2021 5:21 AM # 
In WA we initially only allowed pre-entries when we restarted but that got dropped fairly early on when it was decided we'd lose a bunch of people (mostly newbies and casuals) who either only decide on the morning whether or not to show up or don't know what Eventor is.
Apr 16, 2021 6:07 AM # 
Using Covid as a reason for only allowing pre-entries only made sense when numbers were restricted and there was a need to control how many people were at the event at any given time. (Of course organisers may want to do it for other reasons).
Apr 16, 2021 7:28 AM # 
Well it does make sense to not have EODs at a big carnival like Easter to avoid problems with having to print extra maps, start lines (we already had issues with all the people who wanted to go off early at the NSW Champs) and having to explain procedures to newbies who turn up on the day when there's too much other stuff for organisers to be worried about.
Apr 16, 2021 8:30 AM # 
I have conflicting views. To have a national event as pre entry only raises the event to an elite status, which as an Aus event it should be. But having been Rego Desk at Easter 2014 and at Aus some previous time, particularly in country/development potential areas EoD particularly for easier courses is a small effort. At Easter 2014 there were 10 maps printed in the selected 4 courses. The start window was very tight and from memory there was a dedicated start line for EoD. Usage was approx 30% and was particularly good for the burgeoning group of youngsters of older and former elites.The greater problem would stem for those newbies who may encounter nav difficulties and need to be found. That is certainly not something the organisers need in a multi-day event. The only strikingly valid reason was the need to monitor potential numbers at any one time and that decision had to be made well out from the event itself.
Decisions are made with multiple contributing factors and in a COVID shadow it is easier to be clear cut and focus on other potential issues.
Apr 16, 2021 2:03 PM # 
At Easter 2019 we had quite a few EODs - 16-20 for each of day 1 of the 3 Days, Australian Sprint, and Middle Champs, 30 for day 2, and 45 for day 3. All starts were after official entries had started. Probably 80% were family members of orienteers, not many newbies. As a vehicle for attracting newcomers, major events probably don't work.
Apr 16, 2021 11:10 PM # 
Not quite in the same vein since orienteering caters for everyone but I'd never attend the national MTB champs because I know for a fact the course is going to be infinitely harder than what I regularly race. Even our state champs back in WA were generally on a harder course (Goat Farm) except last year when it moved to Langford Park (in the rain).
Apr 17, 2021 10:36 PM # 
The original idea behind having enter-on-the-day at major national events was that local publicity might attract curious locals, but very little of that appears to happen from what I've seen.
Apr 18, 2021 6:25 AM # 
very little could be worth it. If you do attract an interested local at a remote location - "Eugowra?" and get them hooked that could be very useful in the future.

Major events are usually on in the holidays, when people have time; they are usually good quality events - more chance of people enjoying the experience (not always the case!) - friends and relatives may travel with the committed and pre-entered competitor.

As a niche sport we should have options open to willing organisers (many won't want the hassle) to attract new people, new volunteers, new organisers.

Preaching only to the converted is a one way downward spiral.
Apr 20, 2021 3:05 AM # 
1- I didn't do well at Easter, but I enjoyed the terrain. A true navigational challenge.
2. I ran with water as suggested by organisers, and was glad I did. It did not slow me down.
3. Attracting new blood to the sport doesn't happen at major events miles from nowhere. Attracting them to somewhere as challenging as Gumble might not be a sensible strategy anyway. A modicum of success is required to spark initial interest.
4. Attracting new organisers from the existing stock of orienteers might require making the task of organisation both simple and appreciated. Making the task complex and subject to censure is a sure means of thinning the ranks of organisers. I feel nothing but gratitude to the organisers of Easter 2021.
Apr 20, 2021 3:15 AM # 
3. Attracting new blood to the sport doesn't happen at major events miles from nowhere.

Correct. There is a young couple turning up to weekday street-O in Melbourne at the moment that one of the old bloods (name withheld for privacy) was trying to convince to come to Renmark this weekend! I instead suggested they come to a local bush event first to see how they go :-)
Apr 20, 2021 6:18 AM # 
3 Incorrect. Quite often orienteers travel to these events with friends or family who aren’t orienteers and are not entered.

Case 1 - at Seldom Seen two weeks ago we parked next to a car where a teenager was sleeping with his cat. Ok maybe he needed his sleep more than going bush.
Case 2 - for many years I travelled to events and were met by my in-laws who were not orienteers and were not entered. They came to meet Cath and visit the countryside. It was literally years of events before they actually tried it and got hooked.
Apr 20, 2021 6:28 AM # 
I'm just saying you're more likely to get new people into the sport by first getting them to somewhere near where they live rather than dragging them halfway across the country. Your cases seem to imply the people in question were at the event for reasons other than orienteering and didn't actually/may never compete.

Another scenario (yes I'm going to drag this back to parkrun) is with parkruns where many people have heard about it but never bother trying it until one starts up within five minutes of their home. People are naturally reluctant to travel to try out the unknown, especially at a large scale event.
Apr 20, 2021 7:27 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
While what O-ing is saying can be correct, for example Tash Keys brother is doing his 1st event at Renmark this weekend, more to do with the fact he lives in Mildura, it still is horses for courses

The Aus Athletic Champs that have been held over the last few days, not only did you have to be registered to enter, you had to qualify as well

Dont burn out new members taking them to the unique events we love, until they have developed there own skills, and are comfortable with trying new areas
Apr 20, 2021 9:18 AM # 
Agree both ways - but a small story. A 13 year old boy went to a midweek event of a carnival - JWOC actually. His first event though father was an orienteer but the child in shared custody situation and had never been to orienteering. Father had entered, son with him, went on first course, saw others same age. Back home and began orienteering within the month..... went on to go to JWOC himself.

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