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Discussion: WOC surprises

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 3, 2021 7:56 AM # 
Here we go. After 2 years. Who are favourites and who are dark horses? I'm interesting to know the most surprise results in WOC history?
Jul 3, 2021 9:05 AM # 
Yuri Omelchenko's middle gold in 1995 would probably be up there (and to the rest of the world - we already knew how good she was - Hanny Allston in the 2006 sprint).
Jul 3, 2021 9:13 AM # 
A Turkish qualifier perhaps (has there been one before?) Sadly, Kacmaz is 2 sec down in a time that would have got through in the other heat.
Jul 3, 2021 9:16 AM # 
Why do Sweden have 4 and Switzerland 5 men?
Jul 3, 2021 9:57 AM # 
Jon X:
@graeme for each discipline there are personal places for the reigning WOC champion and also reigning regional champions (EOC, NAOC, etc). Also a place for the current World Cup leader.
The place is for the athlete not the nation (ie if they don’t take it up then no substitution)
Jul 3, 2021 10:46 AM # 
@graeme Kacmaz has made at least one sprint final before (Estonia or Latvia?), placed very highly in the qualifier, down a bit in the final but still respectable. I'd say it's more a surprise he just missed today - but great to see his team-mate Avci get through into the women's final which I'm sure is a first for Turkey. Does anyone know anything about Eef van Dongen though? I'd say she is the big surprise so far.
Jul 3, 2021 12:15 PM # 
Eef has only been orienteering for a couple of years and only really competing since last year, so is doing amazingly! I’m not surprised though - she’s super smart, fast and dedicated! We’re friends from when we worked together in Switzerland, but she’s been living in Norway and Sweden.
Jul 3, 2021 8:28 PM # 
New country on the block - Zeeland? Neutral did quite well too.
Jul 3, 2021 8:42 PM # 
I assume Neutral is Russians who can't compete for Russia right now, is that right?
Jul 3, 2021 9:56 PM # 
Looking at the participating teams. Nice to see Argentina. Is China absent or DSQed from WOC?
Jul 3, 2021 9:59 PM # 
Speaking of surprises is this the first time the Swiss didn’t get an individual medal in the sprint?
Jul 3, 2021 10:02 PM # 

From WorldOfO's article:

For the Swiss runners, this was a black day. Switzerland has never been without medals at WOC sprint before – this time the Swiss runners did not win medals in either the men’s or the women’s class. Simona Aebersold (4th) and Florian Howald (6th) had the best results.
Jul 3, 2021 10:25 PM # 
I assume that China didn't attend because of travel difficulties; most other non-European countries either aren't there at all or are represented only by Europe-based athletes (the US is one of the few exceptions).
Jul 3, 2021 11:44 PM # 
WMTBOC had no non-European riders at all for the above reason.
Jul 4, 2021 2:26 AM # 
Another surprise for me is the size of the map. ISSOM had always specified A4, and I must admit I had assumed ISSprOM was the same, but sure enough when I checked 3.4 'should not exceed A3'. Hadn't noticed despite reading the whole document several times in the past two years.

Pretty sure they could have fitted the courses on A4 though.
Jul 4, 2021 4:26 AM # 
I noticed a couple of dramas:

I observed one significant error in the Sprint Qualifier from Cecilie Andersen in Women A. She took a route choice off the west edge of the map from 16-17. It appears as if she turned around at the tunnel near control 20. If I got that far, I would have continued and approached from the north. Perhaps it was out of bounds (as it was part of the Final terrain), but it doesn't appear to be marked OOB on the map that was published online.

The other interesting issue was Tove's route choice from 11-12 in the final. In her post race interview she said that she saw a route on her map and expected there to be a path through the arena. But when she arrived it was blocked by the start and finish, so she had to divert up the stairs and along the elevated clearing.
It is probably not the best way, but the map does not appear to show it as out of bounds. My concern would have been my SI Air card turning off if I was too close to the finish. Luckily, Tove was still fast enough to make up all the time that she lost here and still took the win. An amazing athlete!
Jul 4, 2021 5:57 AM # 

Have a look at Josefine Lind’s track for 11-12 !
Jul 4, 2021 7:00 AM # 
Simmo the real benefit of A3 is for vets. Swedish eyesight studies show relative visual performance has dropped to 50% in your 50's, while for you and me its about 25% of those in the prime of life.

Yes hard to believe A3 is needed for elites at standard scale on such made-for-orienteering terrain. The Scandis who claim they started the sport may have been a century behind the 8-ball.
Jul 4, 2021 7:27 AM # 
Bruce - the maps on GPS Seuranta have a thick purple line surrounding the entire map area. That would be ISSprOM symbol:

708 Out-of-bounds boundary (L)
An out-of-bounds boundary shall not be crossed. It shall be used for temporary uncrossable boundaries used for the course setting.

The wording could be better - but still, crossing that purple line is clearly forbidden.

Edit: I just noticed there was no purple line around the final maps but there was around the Q maps.

In any case I always thought that it is an oversight that there is no rule against running 'off the map'. It really should be forbidden - both for fairness and other reasons: you could be getting into dangerous areas, or private property etc etc
Jul 4, 2021 7:34 AM # 
My reading of the map is that it did show a gap between the OOB overprint and the wall in the vicinity of the start/finish, so Tove was well within her rights to expect to be able to run there. I suspect we may have heard more about this had she not won regardless.
Jul 4, 2021 7:48 AM # 

According to the tracking Josefine Lind did run through the start and finish and into the fortress by the finish tunnel.
Jul 4, 2021 10:46 AM # 
@ gruver, we oldies run shorter courses, and even at 1:3000 there'd rarely be a need for an A3 size map for a 12-15 minute run equating to around 2kms at our pace. And most areas with enough detail for a good sprint event are not that large.
Jul 4, 2021 11:55 AM # 
"Pretty sure they could have fitted the courses on A4 though."

They did.

According to the bulletin, the Q maps were A4 and the F maps were B4 (353x250mm).

what you see online is not what the competitors get
Jul 4, 2021 12:32 PM # 
I think that's A3 that Tove is holding.
Jul 4, 2021 12:39 PM # 
No, that is B4
Jul 4, 2021 12:44 PM # 
Anyway - I would far rather see them set the best courses possible rather than compromise them just to fit an arbitrary paper size. It's not hard to fold a piece of paper

And those courses are some of the best international sprint courses I have seen. Required real brains, not just running ability.
Jul 4, 2021 2:57 PM # 
@robplow Agreed. Good courses. It’s hard to know what version of the map was provided to the competitors. The published PDF version at has no purple line at the edge.
Jul 4, 2021 8:04 PM # 
They really were great courses. Tricky without looking too artificial.
Its not unusual for the released maps to be different from those given to the athletes. e.g. the underpasses are meant to be emphasised in purple (Im never convinced about that as an idea, but...).
Jul 4, 2021 10:41 PM # 
Running off a sprint map is likely to end in trouble anyway. You never know what could be there in terms of impassable or forbidden features.
Jul 4, 2021 10:55 PM # 
Not just good courses - also a great choice of terrain that enabled the setting of such challenging courses. There is often a tendency to be conservative and choose bland terrain so as to avoid any possible controversy.

And I really like the fact that wherever possible they used the cliff symbol (with tags) for the castle walls, not the technically correct impassable wall symbol that has no tags. Imagine trying to figure out which way was up and down in those labyrinths without the tags on the walls.

Graeme- do you have some similar castle terrain for sprint WOC in Edinburgh?
Jul 5, 2021 3:11 AM # 
Also worth considering they came up with this race when the sprints were only added (less than?) a year ago, with I imagine at least some restrictions on the setters to get on-site over that period. Or was it still a full proramme WOC when the initial bid for 2021 went in, so at least they would have had potential venues in mind?
Jul 5, 2021 3:57 AM # 
The thread has drifted a bit from Kofols' opener, but returning to one of those questions:

the most surprise results in WOC history?

What about Edgars Bertuks in the middle in Lausanne. While far from an unknown, it's quite a step up from reliable top 10 to champion. (Edit: and yes, Thierry was in the field that day)

And one from deep enough in the history books I actually had to check - Lucie Bo"hm, back when continental runners weren't supposed to win in Nordic terrain
Jul 5, 2021 5:48 AM # 
i got impression sprint had too much weight on seeing and figuring out tunnels correctly. Sure athletes has studied all the tunnels in advance, but still. Makes me wonder what happened to "if underpasses or tunnels etc. are to be used in a competition, they shall be emphasized with the symbol Crossing point (710.1) or Crossing section (710.2)". Anyway, that all makes either courses look not that great or those guidelines look a bit outdated.
Jul 5, 2021 6:15 AM # 
Bulletin 4
page 35:

It gives some examples of underpasses and says: "These multilevel structures are not highlighted by symbol 710.2 Crossing section". [Presumably that decision went through the appropriate process for an exemption to the rules and/or mapping standards.] So the runners were well warned.

It seemed like a good decision to me - there were so many of those little tunnels putting purple around all them was impractical - you would not have been able to tell the difference between the course markings and the "crossing sections".

I really liked the fact that the courses "put . . . weight on seeing and figuring out tunnels correctly". It was a unique challenge rather than the usual generic sprint courses we see that are often primarily runners courses with perhaps one or two really good route choices legs and a few basic left or right route choices.

One of the really big attractions orienteering has for me is that each event is unique - different terrain, diffferent course setters, different challenges; and to be successful you have be able to adapt. Too often sprint courses all look pretty much the same - no matter where you go in the world. It's like orienteering McDonalds - no matter where in the world you go you can get the same Big Mac.
Jul 5, 2021 7:54 AM # 
I agree with different challenges, but as I see it world champs is not the race to introduce such non-standard unique challenges. There is plenty of learned automaticity in play in being good at finding route couces, here parts of learned automated mental processes were made obsoelte or even misleading by a bulletin warning. Maybe great show for spectators, but athletes career at top is pretty limited, world champs every second year means there is not that many chances to run a sprint WOC. I feel sorry for athletes, long race break for covid19 and now still not yet quite a real thing.

But I can imagine some or most see it differently.
Jul 5, 2021 9:08 AM # 
here parts of learned automated mental processes were made obsoelte or even misleading by a bulletin warning.

you saying something in the bulletin was misleading? Exactly what?

I read the bulletins and thought they did a very good job of explaining the mapping of OOB areas and the tunnels.

It is easy to be very theoretical about these things saying things like: "the nature of this course was too different from the 'normal' therefore it was unfair", but I seriously doubt that in practice there are many people who ran who actually think like that. My guess is that the vast majority of runners felt it was an unusual race but a good and fair test of skill.

world champs is not the race to introduce such non-standard unique challenges
I would say that "non-standard unique challenges" are one of the most appealing aspects of orienteering
Jul 5, 2021 9:16 AM # 
I don't understand why they needed the striped underpasses in most of the fortress - you never visited the upper level as a runner. Where you only run on one level, using the grey underpass symbol should be clearer.

To clarify, the map is a good representation of the terrain - but I think that World Championship sprint maps should be tailored to the course, so that things are as unambiguous as possible. I would favour making the map less representative of the terrain as a whole, if it made the leg in question clearer.

I drew a couple of examples:
Jul 5, 2021 9:25 AM # 
Very interesting.

I posted your twitter link to Orienteering Mappers International facebook discussion.

it is always good to hear the thoughts of actual elite runners rather than just has-been mappers
Jul 5, 2021 9:29 AM # 
At this stage (almost 2 years since my last international) I am not sure I can't be described as a 'has-been'. They said that Mark Cavendish was finished though..
Jul 5, 2021 9:44 AM # 
in most of the fortress - you never visited the upper level as a runner

that's only true if you don't make a wrong turn somewhere - which is a very real possibility.

My problem with the way you have used the canopy in your examples is that if you did accidentally end up on the upper level, where you have shown a canopy it would be very confusing indeed making relocation difficult.

I do agree that using the canopy symbol makes the tunnels stand out more but I am concerned about the inconsistency of doing that for some tunnels and not others and as I explained in the previous paragraph.

The use of the multi-level symbol is perhaps a compromise which results in the map being a little harder to read at speed in some places. But is that such a bad thing? I know sprint is primarily about running at high speed but it is still orienteering where an important skill is being able to adjust your speed to the technical challenge. Ie sometimes you need to slow down a fraction to read the map more carefully. In other words you sometimes have to give up a second to read the map better in order to not lose many seconds through misreading the map and missing the best route choice

I certainly do not want to see a sprint where the technical difficulty is so consistently high that no one ever gets to run at full speed, but to me having the occasional spot where the smart runner gains by slowing a tiny bit to better read the map is not a bad thing at all. On the contrary, for me it adds to the challenge and the excitement.

But by all means tell me if I am just an old bloke who no longer understands how things are. Really - I would like to know what you (and other active elites) think.
Jul 5, 2021 9:47 AM # 
I am not sure I can't be described as a 'has-been'

it is all relative - you are far less of a has-been that me and most others reading this.

And obviously you think seriously about the mapping standards and I am very interested to hear your views.
Jul 5, 2021 9:56 AM # 
"world champs is not the race to introduce such non-standard unique challenges"

In a couple of days we will be watching the forest racers take on the Czech sandstone pillars. This is a special terrain type that is completely alien to most nations, and which many runners will have had minimal opportunity to train on due to travel restrictions. Some of the map detail from the selection races is considerably less understandable to me than anything in the Sprint Final. I expect to see big mistakes and at least some of the favourites coming seriously unstuck. Is that unfair? Are we supposed to complain about the poor forest orienteers not getting more of the usual? I don't believe so. Forest races, including WOC, have always made use of the challenges specific to the local terrain - sprints should do the same.

World-level sprints have been getting less and less interesting and the results more and more predictable. Saturday was the first one in years that I found genuinely exciting to watch purely in orienteering terms. I'd really hate for it to be treated as an anomaly or a failed experiment.
Jul 5, 2021 10:19 AM # 
So my take:

if you did accidentally end up on the upper level, where you have shown a canopy it would be very confusing indeed making relocation difficult
If you accidently end up on the upper level around 10-12 or 13 - 14 then you have already made a sizeable mistake. If necessary, tape or block off the area so the runner never reaches the confusing area but I wouldn't alter the map to account for someone ending up somewhere they shouldn't be.

multi-level symbol is perhaps a compromise which results in the map being a little harder to read at speed in some places. But is that such a bad thing?
Fine, no problem with that. What I have issue with is mapping a terrain as multi-level where it isn't. On Saturday the runners only 'saw' one level of the terrain (unless you made a big mistake as above), so why try to represent two levels on the map? We know that mapping multiple levels makes maps harder to read. Fine when we have to understand the levels to navigate the course, not so good when we don't.

Paw: I think the races were fascinating and I like seeing different styles of sprint race - we probably visit alpine style towns/cities too much on the world stage, which are a fun challenge but can be quite similar spectacles - but I do think the map should be tailored to the course to make it as clear as possible for the runners.
Jul 5, 2021 11:16 AM # 
but I wouldn't alter the map to account for someone ending up somewhere they shouldn't be.

I'm afraid that sounds worryingly close to the attitude that a map only needs be accurate along the course (and obvious route choices). But you can't always predict how and where people will 'miss'. The time loss associated with a miss is punishment enough - you should not then be punished extra by having to relocate on a map that is poor or doesn't make sense.

On those courses it is quite conceivable that someone (eg Tove) could make a mistake like I describe, recover quickly and still be in contention for a top placing. I think there are enough places on those courses where a momentary lapse could mean you accidentally end up on the 'upper level' to warrant mapping it as they have.
Jul 5, 2021 11:37 AM # 
The map doesn't only need to be accurate along the course, but the route-choices should be as clear as possible from the map. I don't think you should compromise the readability of the map to account for big mistakes. Especially when there are other options, e.g., taping/fencing off areas which might be confusing. I suggest there are two options:

1) Make the map as readable as possible for the course being run and stop people ending up in places where this might be confusing (by fencing/taping off parts of the upper level).

2) Compromise the readability of the map as it related to the course, because a small percentage of runners might end up confused. In this case, the map better represents the terrain, but not the course being run.

For international events, I would prefer (1), although I realise this is not possible in lower level events. I have previous for wanting stuff which is ambiguous on the map to be taped/fenced in the terrain - I think it can only increase fairness.
Jul 5, 2021 12:47 PM # 
paw, I think you may have got moe wrong, terrain wan't alien or non-standard, mapping was, the non-standard mapping of tunnels. Results are more more predictable when race is fair. By introduce enough luck factor (making best/viable route choice options less clear) results becomes less predictable. Is that what we want?

Brain is used to see some mapping as a viable route. Big part of recocnizing barriers, passages and combinations of those becomes automatic (automacy in sports). Now they just informed in bulleting that there will be no crossing section symbols. That decission makes such automated skills/habits obsolete or even miselading. One can claim it is same for everybody, but still penalizing athletes for their skills is not that great. This is the reason why mapping should be as "big mac" and clear as possible in a champinship race like this. There are other races for introducing spectacular challenges.
Jul 5, 2021 12:55 PM # 
1) Make the map as readable as possible for the course being run and stop people ending up in places where this might be confusing (by fencing/taping off parts of the upper level).

If you start taping off areas that the competitors "should not be in" then you will soon get to the point where it is almost impossible to make a mistake. Why not just tape a continuous 2m wide funnel along all the viable route choices so once you have chosen a route choice there is no chance at all of making a mistake and getting into part of the map you should not be in - in fact no need to navigate at all really. You have to let people make mistakes.

I think in the case of this WOC sprint map the mappers have done an excellent job (as far as one can tell without actually having been in the terrain). The way these tunnels are shown was very clearly explained in the bulletin. Yes those multi level areas are a bit harder to read than what you suggest but I think using those canopies like that have too many down sides. All mapping involves compromises - here there is a slight compromise on readability to give a more consistent overall image of the terrain. Lesser of 2 evils.
Jul 5, 2021 1:04 PM # 
the non-standard mapping of tunnels

In what way is the tunnel mapping non-standard, Jagge?

And you haven't answered my previous question - in what way was the bulletin misleading?
Jul 5, 2021 1:24 PM # 
Nice straw man.

How many tapes/fences do you think I am advocating for? As I said: 'stop people ending up in places where [the map] might be confusing'. If you think that translates to 'a continuous 2m wide funnel along all the viable route choices' then you have a much worse opinion of the map than I do.

In this case, the course was not multi-level but the map was. That is confusing to me (especially when the multi-level symbols show the underpasses with less clarity than if mapped as a single level). Happy to disagree if you think otherwise.
Jul 5, 2021 1:26 PM # 
is't that clear? Standard says there should be crossing point symbol. I did not say bulletin is misleading. Bulletin made the habit/skill of identifying purple crossing points and figuring if there a possible route or not obsolete/misleading. See, purple hints there is passage and makes it easier to automatically consider that option too. The normal half automated skill of picking a route fast may not get trigered same way by just some olive green stripes.
Jul 5, 2021 1:40 PM # 
@robplow, I think you parsed the wording incorrectly: "parts of learned automated mental processes were made obsoelte or even misleading by a bulletin warning".

That can be simplified to:

"automated mental processes were made obsolete", and
"automated mental processes were made misleading"

The bulletin warning is the method by which the competitors were informed that their hard-won automated mental processes would be rendered obsolete due to an exception to the usual mapping standard.

I don't have a strong opinion about this, except that I tend to agree with Kris. The map already was full of temporary fences, so it is not a product that was made to provide a generally useful depiction of the terrain for future use.

I agree that the sprint courses were challenging and interesting. I didn't run either of the sprint races, but my teammates appreciated the challenge. My hat is off to the Czech organizers.
Jul 5, 2021 1:54 PM # 
OK I accept that I misinterpreted Jagge's "misleading" . But if Jagge is saying what you (ebone) say: "the competitors were informed that their hard-won automated mental processes would be rendered obsolete" I would say that paints a picture of athletes who are mentally inflexible. I tend to think the opposite - the best orienteers are highly flexible and adaptable and those are traits that should be rewarded. Mental agility is a key part of orienteering - it's not hammer throwing.
Jul 5, 2021 2:11 PM # 
Jagge: You say your issue is with the map rather than the terrain - specifically the lack of purple highlighting of the tunnels. As has been pointed out, that would be near impossible to read, especially with the course criss-crossing such a small area. I don't believe covering the map in purple lines - some denoting tunnels and others connecting control circles - solves the automaticity problem, and I think the organisers did what they could to keep the map readable without deviating from the rules (beyond in the ways explained in the bulletin). I appreciate there are different views on how this could best have been achieved...

What you are really saying is that if the combination of mapping standards and terrain don't produce something that is instantly clear and understandable at a glance then it is not suitable for competition. I fundamentally disagree. Again, I refer you to forest orienteering - do you honestly expect anyone to run leg 11-12 on this course without hesitation?

With reference to "penalizing athletes for their skills", I was always taught as a junior that a core skill in orienteering was learning to slow down where I couldn't interpret the map with confidence. Indeed, I would argue it is a higher level skill than the rapid reading of barriers and crossing points. If running too many generic and relatively simple sprint courses has blunted it for some competitors then that is their problem and no one else's.
Jul 5, 2021 2:15 PM # 
Nice straw man.

Well, sure the 2m funnel idea was an obvious exaggeration - just trying to make the point in a humorous way that if you start trying to tape off too many areas it soon becomes ridiculous.

And looking at the final courses, if you taped every access to the "upper layer" so that no runner ever got near to a place where the canopy symbol was used instead of the multi-level, you really would be significantly reducing the chance of anyone making errors. And making a huge amount of extra work and expense for the organisers.

I would generally agree with you that many international sprints would have benefited from dubious/confusing areas being taped off. I just don't agree in this case.
Jul 5, 2021 2:30 PM # 
Three extra fences/tapes in this area (on the red lines) and another two in the southern section. Hardly a huge extra effort or cost for the organiser (consider how many fences they had out already). Also they don't affect navigation at all, they just stop people reaching the dead end areas where the map might be confusing.

**Edit - I have realised there would also be a fourth tape, south of control 12.
Jul 5, 2021 2:47 PM # 
I do want to reiterate that I think the organisers did a good job - they were challenging courses and interesting/exciting races. My point is that we could see exactly the same courses (with the same challenges, interest and excitement) with a much less complicated map. If I were competing, that is what I would have wanted.
Jul 5, 2021 2:47 PM # 
I dont' think they give hammer to javelin throwers in olympics and and say the best are able to adapt. They have rules and athletes are supposed to adapt withing the frame of rules. Rules say tunnels are marked with crossing section purple. People seem to dislike purple (for obvious legibility reasons), so more often tunnels are mapped as grey canopy. Both ok and something we can expect athletes to adapt to. But they used olive geen stripes instead. I see that as something runners should not need to adapt to.

Kris has excellent snippets.
Jul 5, 2021 2:54 PM # 
"consider how many fences they had out already" exactly - maybe they were already close to their limit. Anymore could have been the straw that broke the camel's back . . . or that last wafer thin mint:

So that southern red line (and the extra olive green) severely limits the possible time loss if a runner mistakenly ran into that area compared with the actual map.

But quite apart from that, I actually find the use of canopies on your map highly confusing. I think the actual map is much easier to understand - more intuitive. To me canopies are a structure - a building - with no wall but a roof. Looking at your map I would expect to be seeing passageways with metal, maybe concrete, roofs - certainly not tunnels. Using canopies for the top of tunnels, that are just grass in most cases, is really counterintuitive to me. As a mapper I don't think it would ever have occurred to me to map them that way, until I read this thread.
Jul 5, 2021 3:05 PM # 
paw, the whole course looks quite challenging. But it's terrain and course thats challenging. I don't think they made mapping violations to make it even more challenging. Sure there is something not quite against standard, but I don't think strictly followitg standard would have made it significanly easier to find controls or see the best route choices. At least not anything like the tunnel mapped with just olive green stripes.
Jul 5, 2021 3:08 PM # 
Grey canopy is used for underpasses through buildings all the time - which is what this is. Sure the buildings have grass on the roof, but from the runners level (i.e., ground level) it is seen as an underpass through a building.

I have made several maps and it has never occurred to me to map what is on the roof of the main running level.
Jul 5, 2021 3:23 PM # 
Maybe I should rename thread to WOC maps surprises
Jul 5, 2021 3:47 PM # 
Well, Kris - we are just going to have to disagree on this one.

At least I am not one of those old timers who thinks sprint should just be done away with. I just read this thread on Swedish

here's a google translation of the initial post - hilarious!

In the name of honesty, how many similarities are there between so-called "sprint orienteering" and orienteering? What happened to forest orienteering? Should not orienteering be characterized by "self-chosen route in unknown terrain"? That's hardly what I would describe sprint as. And shouldn't orienteering be a tough sport? A sport that should mean that you alone subdue nature under tough conditions. A nature experience. But sprint is just athletics under a another name. An easy course in singlet and shorts on paved streets, and so short that it does not even have time to be difficult. Let the track athletes do that. Let's get rid of sprint discipline. It has nothing to do with orienteering.
Jul 5, 2021 4:02 PM # 
No problem - and apologies to kofols and others for hijacking this thread!
Jul 5, 2021 4:17 PM # 
the most surprise results in WOC history
Minna K. and woc long 2011 was pretty big surprise.
Jul 5, 2021 5:01 PM # 
WOC surprises:

Kris Jones not being part of the GBR team in 2021
Jul 5, 2021 5:01 PM # 
In general orienteering folks are used to manage/solve surprises :) reading whole debate about maps it gives me a question? How woc surprise results are connected with map surprises?
Jul 5, 2021 5:24 PM # 
Jagge: I think you've misread my point entirely. Both the Drabovna selection race and the Sprint Final are sufficiently complex to penalise heavily those who rely on automated mapreading skills and fail to slow down sufficiently where necessary. Both, in my opinion, are great courses that test a range of orienteering skills within the relevant discipline. I don't know or care whether the Drabovna map adheres rigidly to ISOM standards, so long as it does as good a job as possible of representing the terrain in a readable manner. It sounds as though you agree with this view.

The issues with the Sprint Final are down to the limitations and different possible interpretations of the mapping standard, and the organisers have tried to deal with these as best they can. As Kris and robplow have demonstrated, there is probably no solution that would satisfy everyone in terms of representing the terrain unambiguously. One must assume that different options were tested with a view to keeping the map/courses readable and minimising the ambiguities, and the best (or least worst) one chosen. The organisers took a decision and informed competitors of the details in the bulletin, including the non-standard elements. You clearly feel deviation from the standard in this case to be unacceptable and unfair, but to me it seems reasonable enough and worth it to have challenging courses that forced people out of their comfort zone. Mapping standards shouldn't control what makes a good course.

I especially take issue with your mention of a "luck factor" in this context (post at 13.47). Choosing the wrong route in these circumstances is not luck, but failure to adjust technique to a specific situation whose details have been communicated in advance. The post robplow refers to may be overstating things but it speaks to the same idea, that you can prepare sufficiently thoroughly for a race that winning boils down to a combination of running speed and pattern recognition, and any unexpected additional challenge becomes a perceived unfairness to be protested against.

To get back to the WOC Surprises theme, WorldofO describes GBR's Alice Leake as "the big surprise" of the Women's final. Alice does a lot of longer (30min+) urban races which are a lot more common in GBR than most other nations. They also tend to have a wider variety of urban terrain than a sprint (as they cover a larger area), and there is often local variation in mapping styles and conventions. All of which may have been good preparation for Saturday.
Jul 5, 2021 5:46 PM # 
and the organisers have tried to deal with these as best they can

I guess this is the part I disagree with. Testing a olive green striped tunnel symbol, first time ever anywhere, and doing that without crossing section symbol, and also as part of the best route choice, in WOC sprint, is a failure. Somewhere, we can't know who and why such new a gimmick was why pushed though here. Anyway, that's why I can't agree with people claiming it was just great course setting. But I can live with others thinking olive tunnels are just great mapping and WOC is the place to try new tricks for the first time.
Jul 5, 2021 8:10 PM # 
1) Make the map as readable as possible for the course being run and stop people ending up in places where this might be confusing (by fencing/taping off parts of the upper level).,

It's an interesting question whether you should redo the map after the courses are planned. Obviously it would be ridiculous to block off all but the optimum route "for clarity": so where do you draw the line? As a planner, I'd be unhappy having a note in the bulletin which told the athletes that the course doesn't visit the upper level. Or even worse be told that I couldn't use two-level section.

It maybe unique, that in the final course no sensible route choice goes over the top of a tunnel (unlike the qualifier, which in Kris' scheme would need to be mapped differently on the approach to the last control). So although I agree with Kris that grey would have worked well for this particular course, I can see why the organisers didn't (think to?) do it.
Jul 5, 2021 8:33 PM # 
Last one on this, I promise!

Jagge: The striped tunnel symbol has been used before, for example here north of control 6*. The use of olive green rather than yellow stripes on the WOC map is correct in this context ("if upper level is covered by other surface, that symbol shall occur with the same pattern"). OK it hasn't been used very much, but the fact that there's been a pandemic happening for most of the period since the new standard was issued is hardly the organisers' fault!

* Yes, I know the tunnel entrances are marked with crossing symbols but I don't think that makes much difference (and the one at the NW end looks to be misplaced).
Jul 5, 2021 9:30 PM # 
I couldn't find any tunnels with olive green OOB color stripes on that map.
Jul 5, 2021 9:32 PM # 
Seems to me ...

1) We have a mapping standard that deals with multilevel structures. Tunnels, using short-dash symbol, was used quite appropriately. (No need to go using canopies for what are actually tunnels.) Alternating diagonal lines of white/colour is in the spec and was used appropriately (including yellow, green, olive-green as the upper-level colour). The use of the "bridge" symbol and the entrance to each tunnel really helps see where the tunnels are (not sure if this is standard or not).
The map looks quite good to me.

2) Surely the participating orienteers knew where the race was going to be held and knew that tunnels would feature in the courses. Good preparation would involve training/racing in terrain with tunnels and other multilevel structures. Preparation for WOC has always involved trying to prepare for the specific challenges that would be anticipated in that type of terrain, especially if there are features unlike the terrain that you "normally" run in.

3) The spec also says (as pointed out by Jagge), that the purple crossing section 710.2 SHALL be used. Somewhat odd that the organizers (presumbably with IOF approval) decided not to do this. I suspect it would have made the map a mess of purple and significantly reduced legibility. Still, going against the "rules" is always a questionable thing to do. Better to work toward changing the rules for the future.

4) The requirement to use the purple crossing section is itself kind of odd, an implicit indication that the mapping spec isn't good enough perhaps? It would be even better if the inelegant solution, i.e., purple crossing sections, wasn't required. Further, the idea that you change the map (by adding purple) if the tunnels are "to be used in competition" is odd ... what's the point of mapping anything if not to use in competition? Clearly, the use of 710.2 is a crutch, and it would be better if it wasn't required.

5) Placing purple crossing sections along each tunnel may have made competitors feel like they wouldn't be allowed to cross over top, which wouldn't have been the intent. Maybe there was a desire to avoid this effect of using 710.2. Not sure if competitors generally know they are allowed to cross a 0.35 mm purple line but not allowed to cross a 1.0 mm purple line.
Jul 6, 2021 12:24 AM # 
I'm with paw on the striped olive green - it's is entirely consistent with the definition of:

501.2 Paved area in multilevel structures (A)
Part of a multilevel structure which can be passed at two levels. The angle of the pattern is approximately 45° to the direction of the axis of the paved area.
Colour: brown 30% or 50%, white (If upper level is covered by other surface,
that symbol shall occur with the same pattern).

(I bolded the relevant section)

It may not have been seen much before but that doesn't mean it is wrong. Perhaps since 501.2 is a relatively new symbol and the use of it with olive green is unusual, in Bulletin 4:

on p38]

They gave a very clear example of this usage. That seems like they were making sure no one would be confused by this relatively rare (but by no means illegal) usage.
Jul 6, 2021 2:54 AM # 
Let's get rid of sprint discipline. It has nothing to do with orienteering.

Maybe we should get rid of every sport that someone doesn't like but then that wouldn't leave much or maybe it would be easier to do away with old timers too set in their ways instead.
Jul 6, 2021 3:33 AM # 
Re "the use of the "bridge" symbol at the entrance to each tunnel" looks problematic to me. It looks like a cliff - a thick black line with tags and "blocks" the entrance. I can imagine that I at least would have major issues misinterpreting that as an impassable barrier in the heat of a fast sprint race.
Jul 6, 2021 4:37 AM # 
I "silently" watch these various threads about the sport since I started doing it again almost four years ago. "Dibbers" , Urban and Sprint never existed when I stopped Orienteering in 1990. I'm no expert in the mapping rules of the sport, but in my opinion all those "new" things I've mentioned above are fantastic. And I'm Fat and Old, but not a Swede.
NB. Disclaimer...I read Kris's AP avidly. Biggest upset ....Steven Hale.....
Jul 6, 2021 4:59 AM # 
If you're going beyond winners, the British almost-gold in the 1993 relay definitely belongs in that list, and Steve Hale's run that day is certainly one of the great performances in WOC history. (Stephen Palmer's third leg to put them in range wasn't exactly shabby, either).
Jul 6, 2021 5:23 AM # 
Stephen Palmer once said "you know you're having a good run 'cos you run around the trees the right way." Everyone looked at each other like he was a loon. (He'd just told us ten minutes earlier that a Swedish band called Roxette were going to be massive, so we all had reason to believe he was a loon. Plas Y Brenin '89). There's not a terrain run goes by when I don't think of those words.
Jul 6, 2021 6:19 AM # 
Can someone explain how athletes prepare to Woc terrain in '60 - '70 & '80. Did they study old maps, train in similar terrains, was location and terrain description mentioned in the bulletin, etc? How many information was official and did anyone make a complaint about breaking any rule to get better results?
Jul 6, 2021 7:19 AM # 
In the 1980s (taking 1985 as an example, but I think it was fairly standard), the WOC venues weren't made public until the day before the event, with very large areas being embargoed (for 1985 I think it was any forested area in the state of Victoria which wasn't on an existing orienteering map - noting that in the 1980s it was still the norm that a WOC would be held on previously unused terrain). On the other hand, the organisers would publish significant numbers of training maps in relevant terrain and it was normal for teams to spend some time (sometimes weeks) in the region ahead of WOC.
Jul 6, 2021 8:15 AM # 
Not sure if competitors generally know they are allowed to cross a 0.35 mm purple line but not allowed to cross a 1.0 mm purple line.

Control rings and lines are 0.35 mm purple lines. Runners cross them all the time, so they know pretty well it is allowed cross such lines.

Here is map with quckly photoshoped crossing section symbols:
Jul 6, 2021 9:29 AM # 
In Jagge's example above, remember that there is a map flip at 18 - so there are fewer purple lines on the competition map. I don't think that this is overly cluttered with purple lines but can understand that some might think it is (and I think it is hard to know for sure without seeing the map on paper).

I understand the confusion around olive green stripes. The specification describes this type of mapping for: 'Part of a multilevel structure which can be passed at two levels' but olive green is impassable. How can something be mapped as 'passed at two levels', yet be impassable on one of those levels? The same would apply for the dark green near control 10. I don't think this is an appropriate use of the mapping standard as written.

My frustration is not how you should represent multi-level features on the map - that is always going to be difficult. My frustration is that these are not multi-level features (according to the runners view), yet they are mapped as such. The third principle (of three) in the specification is that The main ‘running’ level of multilevel structures should be represented.

Graeme - I don't think it is particularly contentious to suggest that the map should be revisited after the courses have been planned (not for WOC at least). I also wouldn't suggest that you would have to include anything in the bulletin which suggested which level was to be used. If you wanted to, you could include something along the lines of: 'The area features multi-level structures. Where only one level is visited by the courses, only this level is represented on the map (example). Where both levels may be visited by the courses, they are represented according to the specification (example)'. Nothing given away to the competitors prior to the event.
Jul 6, 2021 9:55 AM # 
A problem with Jagge's purple lines is that they obscure walls not mapped with the cliff symbol (so that's a + for the cliff symbol :).
Jul 6, 2021 10:50 AM # 
My quick sketch is just a quick sketch. Purple lines should not be placed on top of those walls.

I wonder should retaining walls in sprint maps be mapped as walls (not cliffs) but with some brown tags. LIke this black tags could be reserved for some kind of new tunnel entrance symbol design. Tunnel entrance is not a bridge.
Jul 6, 2021 10:56 AM # 
Is anyone paying for live services? Is it working well? Please surprise me.
Jul 6, 2021 12:34 PM # 
Surprise me more and convince me that buying the live TV service is worth even that modest price when the live GPS tracking is so good.
Jul 6, 2021 5:00 PM # 
Paying to support things that we value is good. A 6 euro fee for one event seems pretty reasonable to me.
Jul 6, 2021 5:03 PM # 
Thanks Jagge. That is cleaner and less cluttered than I was expecting. Given that the map spec says purple lines "shall" be drawn, I remain surprised that they didn't do that. That said, I do think that it would be even better if we had a map spec that didn't require extra purple lines to be drawn on to properly represent the terrain.
Jul 6, 2021 6:24 PM # 
I paid for the MSR. Money well spent, excellent commentary although the race for gold was a little dull. I think TV would give a better idea of the sprint terrain too.
Jul 6, 2021 6:27 PM # 
6Euro seemed like a great deal to me. Great coverage and the graphics of the comparison of route choices and the point of view cameras at the start were some of the best I've seen. Really showed how tough this terrain was.
Jul 6, 2021 6:33 PM # 
I tried.... must have been trying to get an account in the wrong place, never got the confirmation e-mail (not in Spam either)... so stopped fiddling and reverted to Live Results and GPS tracking only :(
Jul 6, 2021 6:36 PM # 
Out of several years of paying for IOF webTV coverage of big races, this has felt the smoothest so far, with almost no glitches (knock on wood!). Money well spent.
Jul 6, 2021 10:05 PM # 
Biggest surprise at WOC so far for me was no Euro Flop by Tove when finishing the middle distance. That must be a first! ;-)
Jul 6, 2021 10:48 PM # 
Hammer< Euro?
Jul 7, 2021 12:54 AM # 
Coverage definitely worth the price of admission. I've had no difficulty either with the transaction (despite that I think they're using the same 3rd party platform that gave me a lot of frustration last time) or 'transmission'. As for the actual coverage, I think the production team have taken yet another big step forward with some new tricks (especially in the pre-race course analysis), though maybe still learning how best to use them. And a real positive surprise, Mansplain Merz seems to have finally learned that actually listening to Catherine Betts from time to time rather than 'correcting' everything she says, or just talking over the top, improves the quality of the commentary.
Jul 7, 2021 2:55 AM # 
"the organisers would publish significant numbers of training maps in relevant terrain and it was normal for teams to spend some time (sometimes weeks) in the region ahead of WOC."

Could this approach be possible today as a rule? If organizers select all relevant terrains as embargoed area teams would have no choice to run camps 1-2 years in advance of WOC. Same opportunity for all teams to train on relevant WOC terrains ahead of WOC. What would be pros and cons from today perspective?
Jul 7, 2021 2:57 AM # 
Euro flop
Jul 7, 2021 6:52 AM # 
Thanks for the feedback about the live coverage, all.
Jul 7, 2021 5:52 PM # 
Looking back at the discussion we had on here after EOC, it was a great to see more of the map on screen in the WOC Sprint Relay coverage, including some nice spiltscreens.

I have to admit that I'm not sold on the 3D-aerial-photo-fade-to-map thing. Looks a bit gimmicky and doesn't really add much.

The drone footage at the MIddle was great. It would be good to supplement it with a line of text on screen telling who we're looking at and where they're going, as we generally seem to get for the in-forest cameras.
Jul 7, 2021 6:58 PM # 
@Kris I don't think it is particularly contentious to suggest that the map should be revisited after the courses have been planned (not for WOC at least)
I'm certainly a fan of modifying the map to fit the course; especially in the case where the map shows and open field and the ground is all the arena paraphernalia (Hello Tove!). But I can also tell you it is contentious with some SEAs...
Jul 7, 2021 7:40 PM # 
Agree with enjoying the coverage and well worth paying for!!! Have very much enjoyed the course preview and all the work on the graphics. Had non-orienteering friends over while watching sprint relay and they seemed to have understood things a lot better after the course preview and the fade from an Ariel to map image.
For the middle would be interesting how much all the drones and camera equipment was noticeable to the runners. I remember WOC 2019 a few times you found the wires before the control!
Jul 7, 2021 8:13 PM # 
Kris, Graeme

ISSprOM more or less says the map should be revisited after the courses have been planned:

To achieve fairness, it is necessary for mapmakers and course planners to collaborate more closely than for other disciplines.

That is on page 1
Jul 7, 2021 11:06 PM # 
Yes, exactly. That sentence was there already in ISSOM. The first time I got vetoed from making the unused upper level grey was 2010. Not that I'm bitter (much).
Jul 8, 2021 8:02 AM # 
To answer gruver re value of the broadcast, all the events appear to be scheduled at later times than at previous WOCs, which means it's not worth paying for people in Australia & NZ, unless you're prepared to watch in the early hours of the morning.

For example, the estimated finish times for Relay tonight are 1805 and 2005, ie around 2am and 4am in Eastern Australia, or 4am and 6am in NZ. The Middle Finals finished at 1833 and 1959, and the Long is expected to finish at 1735 and 1950.
Jul 8, 2021 9:13 AM # 
I would watch if we had prospects, and it was going to work. Others have perhaps thought I was concerned about the information and entertainment value, but I was actually thinking of a number of reports from people who paid and couldnt receive through technical difficulties. Good news that they have been overcome.
Jul 8, 2021 2:10 PM # 
A lot of the timing is determined by available TV timeslots in Europe.
Jul 8, 2021 5:22 PM # 
It must be dark. The Czech and Slovakian runners have a headlamp on leg 2 of the Men's relay.
Will anyone be able to see on leg 3?
I'm not sure that there is much value to European TV when you can hardly see the runners in the dark forest. It reminds me of the 2007 Cricket World Cup Final finish in the dark.

Several runners also seem to be having trouble without plastic bags on the maps.
Jul 8, 2021 6:03 PM # 
Nykodým wore a headtorch for the WOC 2019 relay as well. In both cases it looks like a good call.
Jul 8, 2021 6:38 PM # 
Jul 8, 2021 11:22 PM # 
Not the first time a Czech WOC race has been run in semi-darkness (the last part of the 2008 middle was like that too). Must have been quite a front - temperatures yesterday reached the high 30s at a number of sites in Slovakia.

The map reminded me of the northern or western strip of Belanglo State Forest (presumably minus the serial killer).
Jul 9, 2021 12:09 AM # 
Update from the WOC2021 website:


Dear Team officials,

after today’s dark race and not positive weather forecast for Friday we have decided to move the start of Men’s race 15 minutes earlier. Please check the startlist when published.

After some issues with wet maps due to broken plastic bag we’ve decided to provide you the possibility to change your map for a new one at certain refreshment control in approx. 50-60% of the course. The concrete control code will be presented at the pre-start. Be careful to take the correct map. It is the runner’s responsibility to take the correct map at this map exchange.

Thanks for understanding. We wish you all good luck tommorow.
Jul 9, 2021 12:13 AM # 
Don't they use waterproof maps at WOC or is it not allowed due to some archaic regulation? The MTB equivalent uses waterproof paper (though the map colours weren't the greatest on the Denmark sprint event).
Jul 9, 2021 12:42 AM # 
Can't they at least find reasonably durable plastic bags over there?
Jul 9, 2021 6:44 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Trouble with a plastic bag, regardless of how durable it is, is once you get a hole in it, its not much help
Jul 9, 2021 6:52 AM # 
So pleasing that the organisers have placed orienteering fairness over the Liebnitz Convention for a change. They have nicely balanced the tracking advantage that later runners get, against the reduction in the ambient light into the evening.
Jul 9, 2021 10:23 AM # 
Trouble with a plastic bag, regardless of how durable it is, is once you get a hole in it, its not much help

I disagree Jim, so long as the paper is reasonably tough and the ink is water fast, having a plastic bag with a small hole in it is not a problem. Thin plastic bags, once they get one hole, disintegrate quickly but a good quality 'durable' bag will still provide good protection even if there is a hole.
Jul 9, 2021 11:46 AM # 
And quality bags shouldn't be getting lots of holes, unless the terrain is rife with thorny plants. But Rob's point applies, that the map within should be able to stand up to the water that would get in through one or more pinholes (the ink should not readily run when wet). Paper that would be hopeless when wet is still quite usable in a good map case. This isn't the first time that orienteering has happened in wet conditions. (I was course setter for a WOC race that took place in pouring rain, with the maps printed on non-waterproof paper, sealed in good plastic, and as far as I know everything went fine.)
Jul 9, 2021 2:15 PM # 
There is always an element that thinks newer is better, older is worse, and
objective evidence is secondary.
Dec 23, 2021 9:36 AM # 
WOC Sprint voted top sprint course of the year at WorldofO.

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