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Discussion: 2024 Pan American Masters Games

in: Orienteering; General

Mar 23, 2023 3:20 PM # 
The 2024 Pan Am Masters Games scheduled for Cleveland in July 2024 just announced their sports package and orienteering is going to be there.
I don't know if the selection committee was in any way influenced by a certain NBC News story but I would like to think so.
Having participated in every World Masters Games from 1985 to 2009, I am already looking forward to a return to the Masters Games fun. Count me in for Orienteering, golf and maybe I'll even oil up my bike for a triathlon.
Mar 23, 2023 5:27 PM # 
Mar 23, 2023 6:09 PM # 
Great! But shouldn't they consider TrailO as a parasports offering too?
Mar 23, 2023 6:27 PM # 
Here's the thing rhansson: if no one suggests it they are not going to be considering it. When did you suggest it?
I'm sure foot orienteering was not on their radar until there was a little bit of a lobying effort and then it got some news.
Mar 23, 2023 7:06 PM # 
I'm very happy to see O at all. I didn't mean to demean the effort so far. Adding trailO would be another way to show off the many benefits of O (particularly for seniors). Perhaps mentioning the possibility to the local organizing O club is the best way forward?
Mar 23, 2023 8:13 PM # 
I'd be pretty concerned with their organization if they only added orienteering to the list in the past week. In any case, regardless of how orienteering got there, I hope they have a relationship with local O clubs to create some quality competitions... and maybe some flame throwers for the summer vegetation?
Mar 23, 2023 8:55 PM # 
Vegetation in Cleveland area in mid-summer is not an issue, based on my recollection of 1998 A-meet.
Mar 23, 2023 9:24 PM # 
Vegetation has changed in many places since 1998, thanks to invasive species. We joined the MNOC orienteering in 2001 or so, all the forests could still legitimately claim they were mostly white with some intersprinkled green and green stripes. Thank you, buckthorn (NOT), for making MNOC printers having to use increasingly more green ink (I know, it's cyan and yellow) in the past decade. I hope Cleveland was luckier...
Mar 24, 2023 1:07 AM # 
Maps getting greener is a blessing, way too many boring white (or even worse --yellow) places with perfect visibility that ruins the navigation challenge
Mar 24, 2023 4:12 AM # 
I ran on a sand dune map earlier this year that was apparently almost entirely rough open/sand when it was created ten years ago. Now it's 95% green (fight).
Mar 24, 2023 7:02 PM # 
looking at Gordhun's link there... can someone actively encourage them to put in a more active shot for their orienteering picture?
Mar 24, 2023 7:12 PM # 
You are right!
That's a terrible PR photo.
Mar 24, 2023 7:18 PM # 
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but how does one compete? Like, do you have to qualify through a national federation or can you just sign up? I couldn't find this info on the website.

Also, agreed about the photo!

Edit: there is some info at . Still unclear what disciplines/age classes, etc. will be offered.
Mar 24, 2023 7:27 PM # 
That terrain from long ago, still looking "white"

The meet had a catchy name "Reentrants of Doom"
Mar 24, 2023 9:07 PM # 
I'll try contacting them next week and offer up some more appealing photos.
Mar 24, 2023 10:10 PM # 
Masters Games entries are open to all. Age is the only qualifying metric and the minimum age varies by sport. For instance swimming it is 25, most others including orienteering it is usually 35.
Is there anyone from NEOOC who could weigh in here and give us a pep talk.
Mar 25, 2023 6:15 AM # 
Masters Games are typically open to anyone who satisfies the minimum age. There is a masters suite of events run in Alice Springs (central Australia) every second year (Covid permitting, it hasn't happened since 2018 and next scheduled for 2024) that includes orienteering because we have a dedicated person from South Australia (Yak on AP) who works hard to get it included and also coordinates with the mountain bikers so that at least those two disciplines don't clash.

Swimming has always had the youngest qualifying age (25).
Mar 25, 2023 8:55 PM # 
Hey everyone. Having orienteering included in the games is something NEOOC has been actively pitching. One of our club members is acting as liason. Very excited to see it come to fruition. Will see if we can post more info here and will pass along the photo feedback (-:
Mar 25, 2023 11:35 PM # 
Anyone know what format will the Relays be? National, Club or Regional?
Mar 27, 2023 3:10 AM # 
Backstreet Boy:
So is the logic like this, NAOC + SAOC = Pan American Masters Games Orienteering Champs?
Mar 27, 2023 8:14 AM # 
BB: There is no fixed connection between the two IOF sanctioned events and the Pan Am Masters Games Orienteering.
Interested orienteers would do well to do an Internet search for World Masters Games and read up on the background and concept. Pan Am Masters is a regional version (open to world-wide entries) of the WMG.
For a number of Masters Games cycles IOF included their WMOC in the WMG but eventually decided it was a better financial model to keep running their WMOC every year.
What is the attraction then of Masters Games? Certainly the social aspect of so many people from different sports rubbing shoulders has appeal. Seeing how the host communities embrace their visitors -and Cleveland seems off to a great start- is appealing and of course for orienteers the chance to expose our sport at least for a little while to a wider audience is appealing.
I wish things had worked out that our 2024 summer schedule could have been Pan Am- COC-NAOC on successive weekends all along the Great Lakes. That would have been a fantastic reason for orienteers around the world to come to North America. You know what: the three events will still be a great reason to come visit.
Mar 27, 2023 11:07 AM # 
That would have been a fantastic reason for orienteers around the world to come to North America

a gentle reminder that scheduling an event on top of the World Masters Championships is a quite certain ask for most orienteers around the world to NOT come to a conflicting event in the same timeframe
Mar 27, 2023 4:17 PM # 
T/D that's why it was a 'would have' instead of a 'will be'.
But you know if I was a perennial attendee at WMOC and had my fill of being relegated to the B final by a revolving door of Scandanavians I just might be looking for an alternate experience when it came along.
Mar 27, 2023 6:35 PM # 
Maybe I'm not seeing it on the web site, but is this restricted to "Pan-Am" competitors - e.g. North, Central, South America, the Caribbean? Info so far seems a bit confusing with references to "open to athletes worldwide"; yet says (only) "50 countries". If it IS an open/worldwide competition, what is "Pan-American" about it?
Mar 27, 2023 8:06 PM # 
The Oceania Champs that are held in these parts every couple of years are open to all competitors but only those from Oceanic countries (e.g. Aus, NZ) can be declared the champion. Probably the same for Pan-Am.
Mar 27, 2023 8:17 PM # 
Without looking into it, that would be my guess too.
Mar 27, 2023 9:35 PM # 
Aussies got into both Oceania and Asia-Pacific...very clever
Mar 27, 2023 9:48 PM # 
I was really amused in 1990 when the Asia-Pacific O Champs was won by a guy from Estonia. On the Baltic. Because, USSR...
Mar 28, 2023 9:24 AM # 
Vegetation in Cleveland area in mid-summer is not an issue, based on my recollection of 1998 A-meet.

I also remember the woods being (surprisingly) open. I believe I attributed it not so much to O-friendly flora, but hungry fauna (deer).
Mar 28, 2023 9:46 AM # 
Less amused in 1991 upon learning Estonian and Russian ski-orienteers were having disagreements about who got ski-o world cup race starts.
Mar 28, 2023 6:22 PM # 
We of the NE Ohio club are trying to get more information about the Pan Am games and settle on venues and what type of events to organize. We would be interested in any feedback from folks that helped the Vulcan club with the World Games. Because this is an international event, I suppose Homeland Security would be involved like they were with the World Games. Based on a quick conversation at the Flying Pig, can anyone give me some indication as to what kind of constraints the security situation would cause? Our club has a small volunteer base, so we will be needing lots of help.
Yurets: The Brecksville map you linked is much greener now. We have not been allowed to use it for many years because of the Cleveland Metroparks “no off-trail” use policy. We will probably be using the venues in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that were combined to make the Python rogaine map.
Mar 28, 2023 6:52 PM # 
I can't imagine this event having the same level of federal security involvement as TWG did (which surprisingly had a SEAR level 1 rating). I don't know that it would be possible to make a general statement about restrictions, as it will probably depend on whichever law enforcement entity is responsible for security and safety at your venues, and how involved they are. For The World Games we had three different venues and that meant three different sets of LE agencies to deal with, each with different ideas about what should be allowed and what was safe.

The biggest piece of advice I have for dealing with a multi-sport event is to assume that nobody actually understands the nature of an orienteering race, even after you have explained it to them. The fact that there isn't route marked on the ground that everyone follows is, apparently, difficult for people to grasp. And that has implications for safety, terrain access, road closures and traffic control, etc. Hopefully you'll be able to organize the orienteering more or less your own way and won't have to deal with this any more than for a typical NRE!
Mar 28, 2023 8:02 PM # 
I have been to some Masters Games that were great successes in meeting their desired numbers and some great failures. Portland was a great failure. Edmonton a great success. Toronto somewhere in between. The three I went to in Australia were all great successes.
What was the difference? The successes knew that the travelling Master athletes are a limited market. They made sure they could grow their numbers by appealing to the local, recreational athlete. Of all the sports on the Edmonton program little orienteering had the second most out of province entries. And that was only because orienteering was at that time also the WMOC.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of orienteers in the US who will not cross a state line let alone cross the country to go to an orienteering event where they cannot earn national ranking points. So that is advice #1 make sure your Masters Games event is an OUSA NRE.
#2 make sure it is priced similar to an NRE with a bit extra for the bling goes along with a Masters Games event.
I remember one Portland triathlete being quoted as saying, "why should I pay $150 to enter an event when I can go in an event at the same venue for $30 any other time." so #3 take care of your locals.
#4 As to growing that limited market of travellers will orienteers from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia etc come to Cleveland for 2-3 days of oreinteering? Will they come from the west Coast? the mid Atlantic? the south for 2-3 days? Not likely. You might want to farm this out but get an event package put together that can include tours to places like Niagara Falls, Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit all with a chance to do some orienteering along the way.
Mar 29, 2023 1:35 AM # 
...."looking at Gordhun's link there... can someone actively encourage them to put in a more active shot for their orienteering picture?"....

It gets worse.....check out the hiker standing looking at a map (or is it a road atlas?) in the poster on the Facebook page...
Mar 29, 2023 3:02 AM # 
Looks like there may also be a backpack happening there.
Mar 29, 2023 11:25 AM # 
I hope we can get some help here as well.
Mar 29, 2023 8:27 PM # 
On pricing, I hope that the organizers will price the event to cover their costs. As an OUSA Board member, I am concerned by an increasing number of organizers who are asking for OUSA to cover part of their event fees because they don't want to set fees at a level that will cover their costs. I believe organizers should charge fees that will allow them to cover their costs, and I also support having some left over for the club given all the work that goes into major events.

It's work to put on events like this. Costs are increasing. As orienteers, if we want to go to a big event, we should be willing to pay for what it takes to put it on.
Apr 5, 2023 8:26 PM # 
Thanks for all the notes, suggestions, comments.
I am working with the Cleveland Sports Commission as the orienteering liaison.
Do not have all the answers yet.
Expect Registration to open up in the Fall.
Developing a budget, not had discussions on registration fees yet but I am note sure it will be priced like a local club event - that package will include other significant events, gatherings that are part of the Pan American Masters Games.
The event will be open to anyone, not just people of "Pan America".
In the sports liaison meeting there was no discussion on special security, there was an offer to help with visa's if needed for overseas participants
The Sports Commission are planning to attend some other overseas events and will get better understanding, I am grateful to the discussion here as it has provided insight including Trail O etc.
Photo - OK I will work on getting that updated and grateful for better photos.

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