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Discussion: JWOC 2013 in USA?

in: Orienteering; General

Oct 1, 2009 10:09 PM # 
The Bay Area OC (San Francisco and surrounding area) has decided that it wants to organize JWOC 2013 and it has asked USOF to submit a bid for the event to the IOF. The bid is due in January. The USOF Board intends to discuss the matter at its meeting at the US Champs in Wisconsin October 24, and perhaps vote on it at that time.

Information about the bid (as of a week ago) is here.

There hasn't been much said publicly about this. This would be a major commitment for USOF as well as for BAOC. It might be useful to have a bit of discussion before the Board votes.

What do people think?
Oct 1, 2009 10:18 PM # 
Oct 1, 2009 10:20 PM # 
Only if there is publicity that cannot be created through any other means. All other stated goals of holding a JWOC can be achieved through less work, less money, or both.
Oct 1, 2009 10:26 PM # 
As someone who has to vote on this in a few weeks, I'd be especially interested to hear from anyone who has helped organize a JWOC recently (Aussies?) and can point out anything that strikes them as particularly good or bad from the bid.
Oct 1, 2009 10:41 PM # 
Doesn't bother me, but I won't be involved, either.
Oct 1, 2009 10:44 PM # 
I have to say that precious volunteer resources can probably be better spent on activities that will benefit US orienteering a lot more than organizing a JWOC.
Oct 1, 2009 10:51 PM # 
Interestingly, the DVOA board of directors was all in favor of a JWOC bid until recently. Then, a few members attended JWOC this summer, saw what kind of a commitment of resources (both financial and personnel) would be involved, and were much less sure that it was something that would benefit US orienteering in proportion to that expenditure.
Oct 1, 2009 11:07 PM # 
What's the opinion of those who were around for the WOC held in '93? I remember being proud that the US could pull it off (I wasn't involved) and some good maps came out of it, but what was the long term impact? Is that experience still relevant, or have things changed since then?
Oct 1, 2009 11:52 PM # 
Useful to look at both WOC93 and VWC97 for comparison. My feeling after WOC93, having been heavily involved, was that it was much more effort than it was worth. As a result, I refused to have anything to do with VWC97, until I was shanghaied at the last minute to take over a major item that had completely slipped through the cracks of the organization. I expect that BAOC is well organized and could do a fine job, but I think practically all of the effort would have to come from the west coast.
Oct 2, 2009 12:04 AM # 
I do not think BAOC can handle it without major expertise assistance from the rest of USOF. JWOC would require a federation-wide effort. It would be a complete re-direction of USOFs focus away from all of its current goals. If we were able to find the right people necessary to make this work, they would be taken away from the important things they are doing right now, and they would end up burnt out for years to come afterwards. I will be grossly offended if USOF votes to completely change direction - throwing out all of its current goals - to pursue this. The teams will suffer badly from the resource drain. It will kill us. I would probably leave the federation if this moves forward right now.
Oct 2, 2009 12:23 AM # 
I agree with Eddie. This is a terrible idea for all of USOF if the energy comes federation-wide, and I fear it will be a disaster as an event otherwise.
Oct 2, 2009 12:38 AM # 
I thought the current focus of USOF was juniors. In that context, hosting JWOC seems like it is aligned quite well with the current goals of USOF.
Oct 2, 2009 12:48 AM # 
USOF is no longer focused on juniors—that was one of the things that came out of the planning meeting two weeks ago. It was discovered that there are other categories of people worth focusing on in addition to juniors.
Oct 2, 2009 12:54 AM # 
Actually, that's a good question to ask -- is hosting a JWOC a good way to focus on juniors?

On the one hand, having JWOC in the US might be a great motivator for our top juniors, will bring top competition to our home ground, and will perhaps encourage more juniors to work to be the best. It might be good publicity for the sport.

On the other, could the same money, manpower, and resources be used to host dozens of junior training camps instead? Start more interscholastic leagues? Is the motivation there for these types of events, or just for a JWOC?

I'm asking the questions because I really want to know what other people think.
Oct 2, 2009 12:55 AM # 
I am of mixed feelings. I think it is cool that we did WOC93 and WMOC97, but it's hard to say that we got anything out of the effort other than the feeling that we had taken our turn in doing these things, and therefore could hold our heads a little higher. That is worth something, but only something. We also got some nice maps, that we could have gotten a whole lot easier without also organizing the events.

I was at the Board meeting that voted to approve the bid for WOC93 (I should have been there, it was at our house!), the vote in favor was 5-4. I refused to get involved at that point, as I didn't want to spend 5 years on the project, knowing all the time that you might screw it up. Maybe a year in advance Gail and I hopped in seriously, spent more time than I care to remember on it, the last two months full time, and that was a lot less than many others.

It went well. When it was done, I had no desire to volunteer for any O' duties for several years. Others felt the same way. Some disappeared for good.

For WMOC I just ran. The organization was very marginal and the event made it by the skin of its teeth, thanks to a lot of people (like JJ) who stepped up at the last moment.

Part of me hopes BAOC will do it. Part of me is worried that they don't understand the enormity of the task.

As part of their plan, they will need substantial seed money from USOF ($100,000+ is a figure I heard). Who knows whether USOF would ever see that back, or what it would get for that use of resources.

These are things the Board will have to evaluate. What concerns me right now is that there has been no information flow from BAOC, and almost none from USOF, and a commitment may be made in 3 weeks. It doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about how well an eventual operation would be run.
Oct 2, 2009 1:24 AM # 
It should be noted that there is opposition within BAOC for the JWOC bid. The final vote of the BAOC board was 7-6 in favor.

The people who are proposing this bid are enthusiastic and mean well. They feel that hosting JWOC will bring lasting benefits to US Orienteering. I have admiration for their willingness to take on this huge undertaking.

But I spoke out against it. BAOC is a large and active club full of great people. But this effort is just too large for us to be successful. Our efforts are better served to continue to grow the numbers of people who orienteer in N. California. We can do this best by increasing the quality, quantity and outreach of our O events.
Oct 2, 2009 1:34 AM # 
From the BAOC document linked in PG's first post:

Success will look like ... (m)ore than $100,000 profit before sharing.

Yeah, right. This line alone shows that the proposal is not realistic. JWOC is a notorious money-loser. Likewise the idea that you can attract 1500 participants in the accompanying 'Festival' of which only 500 from North America. Check how many non-JWOC team members Australia got attending from overseas (hint: not 1000).

Success will look like ... (n)o courses thrown out (neither JWOC nor Festival)

Wouldn't you want to think that technical success requires more than the ability not to screw up at this most basic level? If this is technical success for the people involved in the bid, then they are not on the same wavelength as they need to be.

I would be more enthusiastic about this (still not very enthusiastic) if BAOC were unanimous and those involved in the bid showed some sign of knowing what they are getting in for. The more I look, the less I like.
Oct 2, 2009 2:20 AM # 
This needs to be looked at like a business. What are the upfront costs? (apparently $100,000 + free labor). What is the expected return on that investment? (apparently who knows?, except burnout of said free labor).

Where is the business plan? Is there a link somewhere that I missed? It is outrageous that the board will be voting on this in three weeks without a business plan to review (and if there is such a plan, please provide a link so that the discussion can be less speculative).

Otherwise, it looks like a pointless grab for prestige, and as such, does not have my support until someone demonstrates a positive return beyond such putative prestige gains.
Oct 2, 2009 2:37 AM # 
Theoretical question: would it be good for Orienteering in the world for a major event (ie WOC or WC or JWOC) to be hosted in the US again and is JWOC the event?
Oct 2, 2009 4:26 AM # 
I'm a member of the BAOC board who voted in favor of the motion. I think hosting JWOC will be the best way we can encourage juniors and potential youth to enter orienteering and for some to get serious about it. Our club's junior programs were minimal until a couple of dedicated members got serious about organizing events within the last few years. These members, led by Jay Hann, are part of the group spearheading the JWOC effort. Several members of the BAOC committee have been to JWOCs recently and I think we have a realistic idea of what is involved. Hosting JWOC will do more to encourage juniors in the US than any other activity, and we have the motivation to do this! As Christina said, the motivation to do other things has not caught on, and I doubt it will anytime soon.
Oct 2, 2009 4:30 AM # 
I wasn't going to say anything until I came across the assertion that "Hosting JWOC will do more to encourage juniors in the US than any other activity"--probably intended as hyperbole, but to the extent that you/others earnestly believe this, could you please unpack the statement/offer some evidence?

All this talk of business plans, technical standards, etc... bores me. This, on the other hand, is interesting.
Oct 2, 2009 4:42 AM # 
As a corollary, or rather a contrapositive, who should be hosting JWOC? Survey says not the USA, seemingly not AUS, and not ITA?

What are the necessary/sufficient/desirable properties for a host?

Not exactly NIMBY, but maybe on a certain level similar?
Oct 2, 2009 4:52 AM # 
As more or less outsider until two years ago I must say that publicity of the Orienteering is a very-very weak point. Living here in the center of Bay Area for 10 years, hiking every weekend and having a lot of time as a grad student, I have never heard about orienteering and opened it by pure luck.

Now to the main point of the discussion: I accept all CON statements: it is a lot of work, will bring no money and people/volunteers are going to be drained and the forces can be put to the other projects more efficiently.
The only Pro argument I see is @trappa: "the motivation to do other things has not caught on, and I doubt it will anytime soon"

Speaking methaphorically, one can find find fifty "effective" ways to loose weight and never loose a gram because we all are lazy. But when on the isolated island with no food one get slim very fast ( unless dies, of course).
BAOC is trying to put ourselves on the island...
Oct 2, 2009 5:00 AM # 
Yes, that seems to be the only PRO argument advanced, but, IMO, not the only one that could be.

But, please--you need to come up with something besides we've tried everything else (not really) and were unsuccessful, we haven't tried this, and, as it has not been demonstrated to be a failure, it may be a success. This, I submit, is not exactly a straw man version of the argument. It is the argument. You can do better.
Oct 2, 2009 5:19 AM # 
It is late, and I am perhaps not thinking clearly. I am obviously not becoming more mellifluous (to cop feet.)

But, I may be willing to concede, maybe in an Ansatz kind of way, that a JWOC might encourage juniors in the US more than a lot of other things. So?

That may be the most self-indulgent thing I have ever heard of in the context of American orienteering. I would prefer you spend the 100K to send 100 promising juniors to JWOC next year, or whenever. As flip as that may appear, it may have at least as big of an impact on them as a local JWOC (probably more) and less of a negative impact on everyone else.

Of course, I think the insinuation is that JWOC USA is not for my so-called elect 100, but for the many juniors which we haven't identified. The latent. The potential. The ones that will come if we build it.

That is a non sequitur in my book. For that to happen much more needs to happen--prior and orthogonal to having a JWOC. Stuff that has nothing to do with JWOC.

[BTW--I don't necessarily think JWOC is a bad idea, as do many of my esteemed colleagues (apparently.) I hope it is clear that I do think it is a bad idea if it is justified on certain grounds.]
Oct 2, 2009 5:59 AM # 
As flip as that may appear, it may have at least as big of an impact on them as a local JWOC (probably more) and less of a negative impact on everyone else.

Oct 2, 2009 6:47 AM # 
Apparently I am in the minority here, but I am very much in favor of the US hosting JWOC. Why shouldn't we take our turn at doing this? Is there something inherently wrong with Americans that we can't pull off a successful meet like other countries can? Is it okay for us to attend meets in Europe and have fun (and complain about them not being perfect) and not give back to the sport by running an international meet ourselves?

Obviously, we can't be successful at this if we expect BAOC to do all the work by themselves. It will take a lot of effort by a great many people. Even though the sport is small here, there are enough of us that if we worked together we could make this a success.

I have attended 3 JWOCs and I know that it is a huge committment. In Australia, I stayed with some of the orienteers from the club that was running the Starts. Yes, they were overworked and exhausted. They left earlier than I did each morning and came back later. Their dedication was incredible. But the end result of all that effort was an amazing meet. What a great contribution to the sport of orienteering! Thank you, Australia, and all the other countries that have stepped forward and sacrificed so many hours to create such fabulous experiences for juniors from around the globe. If no one stepped up to do the work, there would be no JWOC, and that would be very sad for this sport. Just ask any junior who has been fortunate enough to attend. If you don't know any, you can read about the experiences of two very thankful juniors from our Cascade Club who attended JWOC this past summer (go to and click on "newsletter" in the lower left corner.)

But this isn't just for a small number of elite juniors. Most US junior orienteers don't get the opportunity to travel overseas and will never get to attend a JWOC event. Hosting JWOC here will allow many more juniors to experience the excitement of a big international event They don't have to make the team to join in the fun as they can participate in the spectator races. Yes, it will take a tremendous amount of work to pull it off, but I think our kids are worth it (and it is a lot of fun for the adults who attend also!) Remember, it takes a village....
Oct 2, 2009 8:35 AM # 
Sounds like a plan. Good to get JWOC out of Europe for a change....and it would be only 12 hours travel for us NZLers as opposed to the 20+ hours it takes to get to Europe!
Oct 2, 2009 9:11 AM # 
Surely if the terrain's good enough and you have the resources, (which the most powerful coutry in the world probrably will have!) then why not?
It would do more good then bad
Oct 2, 2009 11:40 AM # 
Technically, it is BAOC (probably with some obligatory involvement from USOF) that would be pursuing this task - not the entire resources of the United States. The orienteering community has very limited resources in the US, and given all the recent discussion about how to elevate the elite level relative to the rest of the world, it seems to lack foresight to allocate our resources this way.

Our resources have been characterized by money and man-hours of volunteer work. The USOF annual income for 2009 was $165k (projected, I think). While I don't know the financial states of the entire body of clubs, an investment of $100k is an enormous sum relative to the entire operating budget. Consider how many square kilometers of maps could be developed at that cost, how many training camps could be run, and travel expenses sponsored.

I have only participated in the organization of a single A-meet, and that demanded more than my club realized we were capable of giving. As has been implied, many more people will have to give to this task outside of BAOC; is this something we as a community are prepared to absorb?

The benefits of hosting a JWOC have been discussed, but in my judgment, our resources are already in high demand in all sectors of the community, and the merits do not justify this enormous investment. Better to host ten A-meets on brand new maps (or whatever the equivalent organizational output would be) and training camps.
Oct 2, 2009 11:42 AM # 

As Christina said, the motivation to do other things has not caught on, and I doubt it will anytime soon.

I did not write that. I asked whether or not the motivation was there for these other events. I wanted to hear what others thought, not have people put words into my mouth.
Oct 2, 2009 11:50 AM # 
I am a bit doubtful of the benefit of a home JWOC for American juniors. Their results aren't going to be better than usual are they? The participants don't get the chance to get European experience while they are away. And I'm not sure of the motivating effect on other juniors at seeing Americans getting trashed by Scandis and Europeans. If they would travel across America when they are not in the team.

A point of view down under, is that the best thing we've done recently for juniors is have an annual school competition with the neighbouring country. It's international, but the two countries are comparable. Are there any Can-US competitions?
Oct 2, 2009 12:40 PM # 
Hey, shouldn't you let Christina speak for herself? ;)
Oct 2, 2009 1:17 PM # 
An apt parallel discussion:
Oct 2, 2009 1:32 PM # 
It could be apt, but most the time the argument proffered for hosting the Olympics is not a domestic sporting development one (though in some cases it could be.) But, that is not the argument generally being advanced here, although perhaps unintentionally duplicitously.

In any event, if BAOC got one of these, I'd be excited.


Now, that's what I'm talking about.
Oct 2, 2009 1:55 PM # 
Just for one more "vote", though adding nothing new to the discussion: I also think it's too much for too little. I'd particularly question the benefit for US juniors, for whom travel overseas has typically been a reward for sticking with the sport and reaching a certain level.
Oct 2, 2009 2:04 PM # 
I'd like to invite any of you to join the Yahoo group JWOCTF which can be reached at this URL:

In there are a number of documents which you may find interesting and informative, including a summary of the proposal to the BAOC Board.

If you mention Attackpoint in the membership request, we can be assured that the request is not from a spammer.
Oct 2, 2009 2:37 PM # 
I'm trying to think of reasons why hosting JWOC would be good for US orienteering. Let's say that getting major corporate sponsorship for various orienteering activities is a goal of USOF. (Maybe it isn't, but suppos it is.) Perhaps a major event like this is necessary to hook a sponsor. Clearly it's not sufficient, but it could be necessary.
Oct 2, 2009 2:39 PM # 
The argument that $100,000 would be better spent making maps and holding training camps is somewhat specious. The USOF map fund was completely underutilized during my time on the board and I don't think any requests for funds to help support junior training camps have ever been turned down.
Oct 2, 2009 3:08 PM # 
I requested to join the JWOC Yahoo group, but never got a response. (went to Gavin W-M, right?)

As for my opinion on the bid, it is still being formed. When I first heard of the possibility of holding JWOC in North America, I thought the Laramie, WY, terrain would be a great choice. Unfortunately, that option was ruled out early.
Oct 2, 2009 3:14 PM # 
Probably a good thing, IMHO.

But, re speciousness: partially yes, partially no. I can only say now that I think the USOF map fund is tantamount to providing a laptop to a villager who doesn't have a power supply. A nice gesture but doomed to be underutilized. Other things are logically prior.
Oct 2, 2009 3:22 PM # 
@ gruver: (Are there any Can-US competitions?)

Yes, there are biennial North American Championships (and since Mexico doesn't have any orienteering that we know of it's a US / Canada competition) for all ages. Maybe we should make them annual?

As for JWOC 2013, I agree with tp that "it's too much for too little." Yes, the prestige of hosting another international event would be nice, but I don't think this is the right one, and it will do little to attract non-O juniors to the sport. BAOC, please continue your junior trainings, and advertise them country-wide!
Oct 2, 2009 3:29 PM # 
"Estimate a $200,000 profit with 2,000 attendees"

Good aim but $100 profit per competitor!!!

It's either going be an extraordinarily expensive event or someone is going to have to provide truckloads of sponsorship.
Oct 2, 2009 4:17 PM # 
From my perspective, the question is not whether hosting JWOC would "matter", but whether it would be practical. Because I really believe it would benefit US junior orienteering.

Hosting JWOC isn't about developing our current best runners, and maybe that's why some people are so strongly against it.

It would be for all the other runners, for the future elites, for the kids who go to all the local meets or who come up through the school leagues in BAOC or COC or in Texas. We actually have a lot of juniors--in an 8-meet school orienteering season last year in Seattle, meets averaged 120 juniors per event. It's just that most don't see the bigger picture or understand that they really could compete on the international level. And so they don't try to get there.

But if you bring it to them, even just once, it gives them a glimpse into that other world. It's about inspiration and the dream of it all, because that's the way that people catch onto orienteering and stay there.

I?ve seen this on the national level, because I've been involved with starting up orienteering programs in high school and in university. I've watched juniors change from people I could nag to come to an event on the odd Saturday morning, to WIOL school league competitors, to teammates at the national interscholastics?and now a handful of them go to A-meets on their own and have become competitive orienteers, one of them a JWOC team member. But I didn't just tell them that A-meets were fun and give them a website and expect them to show up someday in Laramie. I had to bring them to events first, and then they came on their own. The key is to transfer, somehow, the inspiration and the excitement and the drive. And I think it's the same with JWOC. If you bring it to them once, some of them will aspire to get there themselves.

I don't know if the logistics outweigh this or not--and it's entirely possible that they do--but I think it is necessary to recognize that it would not be 'pointless'. Let's not fight just to fight, or discard the other side just to win; this is a discussion, guys.
Oct 2, 2009 4:44 PM # 
I am in support of having a JWOC in the US, but I don't think having it on the west coast is economically feasible for many European teams-especially once who often drive to the event and therefore there will be less competitors.
As a compasion competitors that traveled to Australia versus Sweden:
In Australia there were 218 competitors -possibly a few more as this number was taken from the sprint start list
In Sweden there were 301 competitors

Having the event on the west coast means people traveling from Europe have to first land on the east coast and then another flight to the west, or they need to get to London and take a direct flight. When JWOC was in Australia even fully funded teams that usually send 6 men and 6 women did not send full teams (maybe this was due to cost). Having the event on the west coast will probably reduce the number of competitors due to cost of flights.

and what about the banquet?
Oct 2, 2009 4:47 PM # 
and what about the banquet?

Ah, the elephant in the room! ;-)
Oct 2, 2009 4:59 PM # 
Here's what I found at the JWOCTF site, in case you haven't joined the Yahoo group or don't care to. I think the links will work without being a group member.

The report on the 2007 JWOC in Australia.

The report on the 2008 JWOC in Sweden.

JWOC Guidelines, a handbook for organizers (by the IOF, published in 2006).

A much shorter JWOC Requirements, also from the IOF.

Denmark's application for the 2010 JWOC.

Also a couple of documents about the local US Forest Service and getting permits.

Also, the Task Force's summary presentation, which I referred to in starting this thread.

And 45 messages over the past 8 months, which add little beyond the above other than a discussion about dealing with drinking at JWOCs past and future.
Oct 2, 2009 6:12 PM # 
How great it would be for BAOC to host a successful international event. But in all the local discussion I have not seen a recognition of the level of technical expertise required let alone where it is to come from.
Oct 2, 2009 6:14 PM # 
Personally, I'd like to see JWOC here. As someone who has directed multiple A-meets on what most would consider a skeleton staff, I think that having a few that are truly dedicated to that task would be sufficient for the early stages and recruiting will surely get easier as the event approaches.


The fact that this is being thrown around prior to raising the money is just lunacy. 100K for an international event is a steal. If there aren't people willing to knock on a few doors and find the funding from external sources, I question if the dedication is really there.
Oct 2, 2009 6:14 PM # 
The first two links work okay (for me).

JWOC Guidelines from IOF site

2012 JWOC Requirements (IOF)

The other links from the Task Force yahoo group don't open for non-members (or at least for me; I'm getting "document not found" messages).
Oct 2, 2009 6:24 PM # 
OK, try these --

JWOC 2007 report

JWOC 2008 report

JWOC 2010 application

BAOC 2013 presentation

The first 3 are Word documents, the last one is a pdf. Don't require any memberships.
Oct 2, 2009 7:21 PM # 
I wanted to make a point of clarification. A small misstatement is made above.

Iansmith wrote "Technically, it is BAOC (probably with some obligatory involvement from USOF) that would be pursuing this task"

Actually, the concept is more of the reverse. Technically USOF that would be submitting a bid to IOF. This is important to realize. BAOC would be the club most impacted on the basis of proximity, resources expended, volunteers involved, and risk incurred. USOF as a whole would be submitting the bid though. This is the way the proposal has been constructed so far.
Oct 2, 2009 9:40 PM # 
blegg raises a good point - it is USOF tendering the bid, not BAOC, and USOF is all of us. I am very concerned about geoman's report that the BAOC board was evenly split for and against. If they don't have the full support and participation of their own membership, they will have to draw on the USOF membership at large, and being on the West Coast, they would have less access to back-up volunteer resources from other clubs, the majority of which are located on the East Coast.
Oct 2, 2009 11:11 PM # 
The elephant in the room... (per Christina)

I think that the strategy here is to outsource the food, lodging, and transportation aspects of housing 300 competitors and their coaches.

We have a somewhat unique situation in that the Lake Tahoe area includes many winter resorts with large sleeping capacities that don't have a lot of guests in the summer time. Because of this we find these resorts looking for things to do to increase their summer activities.

It seems that the 2008 O-Ringen at Dalarna was able to take advantage of a similar situation and house so many people that year. The attendance was twenty-four thousand.

With the combination of using off-season lodging and the low US Dollar, our hopes are to be able to lodge the competitors in much nicer quarters than the prior Army barracks for a similar cost in Euros.

We currently have two RFPs out, to Squaw Valley and Northstar ski resorts. I was able to accompany Gavin in his meeting with Northstar, and Northstar said that they have 1,000 beds, a fleet of busses, and their initial plan would be to cater the evening meals, including the banquet, at the lodge at the top of the gondola. Earlier this summer Northstar hosted a bicycle race entitled "The Tour de Nez".
Oct 2, 2009 11:49 PM # 
I think Cristina was talking more about the fact that the drinking age is a lot higher in the US than elsewhere. Underage drinking will be an issue that has to be addressed.
Oct 2, 2009 11:50 PM # 
I'm split right down the middle here. Yes i think it would be an amazing opportunity for the US. and Yes i think it would be great for USA Juniors. But like some people have said. Why should I go to CA when i have already raced at Lake Tahoe? And when I could maybe have a chance to race in a smaller event in Sweden for almost the same price and the training would be better in Sweden with it being more technical?
I absolutely LOVED going to JWOC this year, don't get me wrong. It was the most amazing opportunity. But I do think that half of that was being able to race in a country that I wouldn't normally get to go to. And the challenge of different terrain.
I'm leaning towards pushing for a big Junior Trip like the one Janet Porter took me on, or the one that West Point took this summer instead. I feel like that would really pull juniors in more. Plus we would benefit from it greatly. I think half the reason I have improved the way i have was from getting the experience of being on maps day after day after day. And different maps, needing different orienteering techniques. And it shoes the juniors how big orienteering really is. I follow big events and elite orienteers so much more since i have gotten out of the USA to race.
So I guess Yes i think we need to hold JWOC at some point But i think we need to encourage the few Juniors we have first. Get them excited about orienteering and show them how big it can be, by taking them to Europe. Also I was REALLY nervous during my first international meet in Scotland and did horribly because of it. Do we really want our juniors to feel that way at JWOC? Going to a smaller international meet is very helpful. I think almost everyone on the JWOC team this year raced in an international meet before JWOC. It helped a lot i'm sure.

Sorry a lot of ideas there hope that makes sense.
Oct 2, 2009 11:55 PM # 
A few years ago Yukon Orienteering Association (Whitehorse, Canada) had been considering putting in a bid (through COF naturally) to host JWOC. We decided against it. One of the main reasons was that we felt we did not have enough member volunteers that would be interested in working on the non-orienteering components of it - dealing with transportation, financial stuff, lodging, feeding the athletes etc. It was suggested - well you could just contract that out. But we felt we would still need orienteering people as coordinators or liaison anyway, esp. given that the ultimate responsiblity would come back to us - say if a bus company screwed up and there weren't enough buses; or if there were complaints about the food, or damage to the rooms.... We like doing the mapping, course setting etc, and know that we have the technical expertise (and terrain) to put on a JWOC; but we felt the potential hassles outweighed potential benefits.

I think you need to be careful not to overestimate the potential benefits. Of course to any current (or potential) US junior the idea must sound 'fantastic' but will it really be better for US juniors than putting the same amount in to support coaching for them, training camps, travel etc. Will it really put "O" on the general public's radar screen, or will it come and go as an 'invisible' competition to anyone other than the orienteering community?
Oct 3, 2009 12:21 AM # 
I also support the US hosting a JWOC. I have only been involved with orienteering for 5 years--since my daughter started orienteering as a freshman in high school. I don't have as much experience as others who have commented. However, I have attended two JWOC's in Europe, several A meets across the country and have been the registrar at one A meet. I'm willing to volunteer time to help this happen.

I agree with everything Holly has said. I can't say it better.

Juniors are our future. Being at a JWOC is an amazing experience, even as a spectator. It doesn't matter that we can't beat most of the Europeans. It is just competing. It is meeting and becoming friends with other juniors from around the world. Most juniors here in the US and especially on the west coast never get a chance to see orienteering as an international sport.
Yes,going to Europe to orienteer can give juniors most of these things, but doing JWOC in the US, opens up opportunities for more juniors to experience an international event.
Can we feasibly do it by 2013?--I don't know. Should we try to have a JWOC in the US?--YES!
Oct 3, 2009 1:11 AM # 
I haven't been involved in orienteering long enough to have an informed opinion. I've read all the posts, and they are pretty negative. If the negative posters are people who you would normally count on to volunteer, and are usually positive, helpful people, then the proposal is in trouble.

BAOC has obviously already spent many hours working on this proposal. A proposal does not get even this far without a lot of work. I appreciate the BAOC volunteers who have worked on this, and would like to thank them. So, whether the proposal goes forward or not, thanks.
Oct 3, 2009 1:38 AM # 
I have ambivalent feelings. I personally think it will be too much work, and that the people who do get involved will be burned out for years to come. I expressed my feelings many months ago, but then decided I was becoming a grounchy old man who was too negative, and that if there were an enthusiastic group of younger people who were willing to do this, I shouldn't rain on their parade. However, after having been involved in innumerable A meets including the event director of 2 USOF Championships, having organized a 9 day O-Fest in 2000 at Tahoe, and having been the finish chief at the VFW in Minnesota in 1997, I can only say that this will be an incredible amount of work, dwarfing all of those events combined. Just the task of housing, feeding and entertaining several hundred teenagers is overwhelming. Joe Scarborough brought up the point of technical needs, and although BAOC has quite a few experienced course setters, a number of us are getting old and tired, and I know I don't think I will be able to help out in this regard, particularly since most of the events will be in Tahoe, which is a 4 hour drive from the Bay Area. Having set the middle distance Team Trial course at Boggs last spring, which is a two hour drive away, setting courses 4 hours away will require a huge time commitment on the part of the volunteers. We now have a number of maps at Tahoe, but every year it is a major effort to find someone willing to set courses there.

On the plus side, it might create some new exposure and publicity to the sport here in the Bay Area and US, and perhaps we will gain more new converts than we lose. And for North American juniors, it probably will be more affordable and convenient than going abroad for a JWOC experience, although I think if they had their druthers, they would prefer to go elsewhere and broaden their horizons.
Oct 3, 2009 1:54 AM # 
As I attended JWOC 2009 in Italy, I will throw my 2 cents into the mix. The issue isn't the JWOC races themselves. That I believe we have the technical capability. My concern is that this event involves two major events with the accompanying multi-day event that is expected. This summer the Italians closed the entries for this race at 3200 people. Assume that with the timing we could get close to 1000 people in addition to the probable 400+ JWOC competitors, this is a major commitment for USOF resources both financial and manpower.

At this year's JWOC I had the chance to talk with some of the organizers. They were heavily sponsored by the local region as it is considered a major region to attract tourism. This sponsorship wasn't only in the form of cash and significant publicity, it included a lot of manpower by the local municipalities.

It will require the focus of all the US orienteering clubs. I suspect we will end up with a repeat of WOC '93. It was a huge success, but burnt too many people. We lost a lot of key orienteers.

I am not convinced what the benefits are. Did we get a lot of meaningful publicity out of WOC 93 or more to the point, how many new members did we attract to the sport? Having the event in Lake Tahoe area, as beautiful as it is, is not exactly an epicenter to get the attention we want.

As to attracting juniors to the sport and to aspire to elite level, where are all these juniors we believe this will justify $100K? The main issue we have with juniors is we need to focus on attracting a lot more into the sport. In DVOA we only hit a tipping point within the last few years where there are enough juniors.The success is a mixture of orienteering and a social event, then developed into a passion for the sport. As to the $100K, we can send an awful lot juniors to Europe for elite multi-day competitions. Almost all of the USA juniors this year had competed in Europe at multi-day events before and as such were not intimidated by the scale of the event.

I hate to say it, but the age 21 drinking age limit is also a problem for the event here. While not an issue for our juniors who are used to this age constraint, it will certainly put a damper on the overall experience for many foreign competitors.

As much as I think it would be great to hold JWOC, I do not believe it is realistic at this time or we should divert the focus of USOF.
Oct 3, 2009 3:09 AM # 
John succinctly captures my reservations:

1) We have already hosted two major international competitions in the US. Neither did anything meaningful to increase the profile of orienteering in the US. (Orienteering? What is that?) Did it have to be that way? I don't think so. But, for the trend to be broken, someone is going to need to demonstrate great competencies that have nothing to do with putitng on an orienteering event. What reason do we have to expect that?

2) If the goal is to benefit existing juniors, a bigger impact for a given expenditure is to send them to a JWOC, or to Europe in general. Again, marshalling the resources of USOF to put on an event to inspire 100, 200, or 300 no participant juniors is silly, especially when you leave American orienteering right where it started, or even worse off. (And if we had 100 non-participant juniors, I would be happy. They aren't going to appear by magic. Getting them there would require a lot of work. Again-nothing to do with the event itself.)

I think there is a tendency for us in the US to look enviously at Europe and imagine that we can imitate or import that experience here. Well, on a certain level we can. But JWOC is ephemeral. It is a flash in the pan. It is a moment in time.

The experience that you have when you go to Europe is typically much more than that. You get to participate in the European orienteering culture. True, to a degree, some of that may visit upon us for this putative JWOC. But, then it is gone and what are we left with?

Part of going to JWOC in Europe (or Australia) is going to Europe (or Australia.) You aren't going to be able to give our kids that. Just an Americanized version of JWOC. Is that really that special?

I'm an adult, but if I had a choice to go to a JWOC in the US or one in Europe, I know what I would choose. And it would be an even easier choice the less I was enthralled with orienteering, per se.

Aren't there other reasons to host a JWOC? Can't somebody humor me with some other justifications?
Oct 3, 2009 3:25 AM # 
j-man: well said.
Oct 3, 2009 3:49 AM # 
Welcome to the 90's. Yeah, I remember in the day when we were given a brown sheet of paper because the contours were so close together (uphill both ways with 6 feet of fresh snow and 100 degrees, and we had to carry the cow to school if we wanted milk at lunch.)

I think there is a real possibility that the current board wants to support a growing organization that is headed by a professional (Glen), and is funded to support its needs (sponsorships donations for special projects, etc) and supports and grows the Juniors as a way to grow the sport.

I like this discussion because it brings up a lot of my concerns, especially, the link between JWOC and supporting the Juniors. However, it is a really bad arguement to say there is so much more to do with our time and money. I just do not see how the board can act on that.

Do we contact Nike and say we have a bunch of people on the internet that say ???? give us a $10,000 grant for the NOTJWOC?
Oct 3, 2009 4:45 AM # 
Shouldn't USOF be able to recoup most of the $100K even at conservative estimates of attendance? Everyone here is talking as if USOF will lose its entire investment.

If memory serves, WOC93 got seed money not from regular USOF funds, but rather from a special fund drive (the "booster club"), and when the dust had settled, there were some who claimed that there had been a large profit, but in fact that profit was almost exactly equal to the seed money, so ignoring that fund drive, WOC93 broke even (including sponsorship). I also recall that that leftover "profit"was used as the seed money for VWC97, and I don't remember specifically, but maybe that turned out to be a breakeven as well, and I don't know what happened to the money after that. Each event also left behind a fine set of maps, one conveniently located, the other less so.

It would certainly seem prudent to price the event so as to at least break even based on entry fees, though with some fixed costs, it's difficult to do that if you can't accurately predict the attendance. I would not expect a significant profit beyond recouping seed money. I have also been fully underwhelmed by all previous events that claimed they would generate great publicity and raise the awareness of orienteering in the USA. Maybe this one would somehow be different.
Oct 3, 2009 5:22 AM # 
All of this discussion is begging a question, at least in my head:

Has USOF ever looked at spelling out what needs to be included or considered in "bids for international events" that would be necessary before USOF would accept it and pass it on? The thinking would be, "We don't want USOF or the submitting club to be embarrassed, so this is what we think is an appropriate level of organization, volunteer and/or professional staff, technical standards, etc.?"

It seems (from what I read on attackpoint and draw my own conclusions about), that the biggest lesson of WOC93 and VWC97 is that normal A-meet volunteer staff is not acceptable. I'm not saying those events were unacceptable---I'm saying they barely made it, and we should make sure we have more margin in the future. It sounds like at least the top staff for an international bid needs to be paid full-time staff, or possibly volunteers able to commit many months of full-time support, such as retirees, students in the summer, persons on sabbatical, or the independently wealthy.
Oct 3, 2009 1:32 PM # 
To see this plan create more benefit than burden, I echo the statement from cedarcreek about staff resources. To make this work, the amount of support needed can't be underestimated. Also, in the bid I noticed that one of the proposed factors in avoiding the risk of volunteer burnout is to let them participate in the events. Having helped out in several A-events and watched how it was done in JWOC in Italy, I'm not sure this is a realistic plan. My experience has been that most volunteers are too busy to run a course and many end up helping out in several different areas.
Oct 3, 2009 2:56 PM # 
Interesting discussion - and I'm glad to see it taking place.


Both sides of this seem to be saying "Hosting JWOC will cause X" where X is alternatively "growing the sport" or "hurting the organization". Both may be possible, but I don't think anyone has established either as a likely event - because we have so little data.

All we can say is that "Countries that have well established Orienteering programs run good JWOC events without hurting themselves."

Notice that having a well established Orienteering program is a prerequisite for that statement...

It may be the other way around - being able to run a good JWOC depends on the state of the sport.


My casual counting on ROC operations shows that we look for 15 individual volunteers to take modest roles in pulling off a local meet. The Meet Director and Course Setter have a larger effort, so I'm going to count them as 3x and 4x the others - and round up to 20 "volunteer units" for an event.

The club hosts 20 events a year with a few using less volunteers and a few using more. We're able to host one "large" event each year - this year the US Sprint and Ultra-Long Championships.

The volunteer effort to host an A-meet is much larger - I'll conservatively say 60 volunteer units - and that's also what we would get by packing in three local events over a single weekend.

So in the course of a year, the club needs to pony up 440 volunteer units spread across a modest membership.

We have a great volunteer coordinator, and those most involved in the club will help out at many of the events.

The larger event - the A-meet - helps us with local efforts to show the size and scale of the sport. I believe we see a payback by spending the extra effort.

By the same token - any local 'pick another sport' will easily host a season and tournament, seemingly without too much effort. They have many more participants, families, and volunteers involved. And they are established sports.

It sounds like the JWOC requires effort on a scale larger than "just" an A-meet...

If our club were to host one, we'd not have many other volunteer units left over for our other events.

If the NE area were to hold one, and some of our key members volunteered to assist, we'd feel a definite pinch for that time - and curse the event if it caused those volunteers to take a sabbatical afterwords.

Turning point...

And so it appears to me that there is a critical point in time that two things will happen.

Membership will expand such that the number of volunteer units available to both local and national events will support an "upgrade".


Interest will expand such that a key international event such as JWOC will hit the radar, gain coverage, and accelerate the growth of the sport.

If we delay an event like JWOC past this point, the interest may wane. If we rush an event like JWOC before this point, we bust our butts - for little payoff.

Neither is great.


My personal philosophy to this sort of thing is that I don't feel that I should pose an obstacle to someone else doing something they feel called to do. But I am also willing to let someone else fail (reasonably safely) because their obligation is not my own... What happens if we run a JWOC and it fails?

So at the end of the day I'd say - I have no logistic ability to help with a West Coast event, and don't have any additional volunteer-units of time available to help even if it was local. I think the supporters' desire might be a year ahead of the practical realities, and suggest a pause to let the sport catch up - but if they really really want to do it, go ahead.

[not that I have a vote in the matter - just an opinion;-]
Oct 3, 2009 10:16 PM # 
Sswede stated, "one of the proposed factors in avoiding the risk of volunteer burnout is to let them participate in the events. ... I'm not sure this is a realistic plan. My experience has been that most volunteers are too busy to run an event and many end up helping out in several different areas." That is exactly what happened to me at the VFW in Minnesota. I was so tired mentally and physically that I basically DNF'd the first day, and didn't even bother to go out the second day.
Oct 3, 2009 10:44 PM # 
Couldn't the banquet be held in Mexico? Is that not a local tradition somewhere there?
Oct 3, 2009 11:09 PM # 
I don't think PG's question was ever answered ... is there a business plan, and if so, where?
Oct 3, 2009 11:31 PM # 
USOF has finally taken the major step of getting an experienced professional to help us grow the sport in the US and set us on a course to increased recognition and participation. I for one am curious what Glen's position is on this bid proposal. He is a relative outsider to our sport, but one with a proven track record of growing sporting organization, I'm interested to know whether he feels this huge undertaking will ultimately be good for our sport or whether it will drain resources from other initiatives that we brought him on board to coordinate.

I for one would love to see a LOT more junior participation in the sport, but I don't feel putting this sort of effort into hosting JWOC is likely to yield that participation bump. A fair number of current fringe juniors may make the trip to CA, but I don't see it bringing in any new blood.

{I have not taken the time to read the various supporting documents in relation to this thread, so if Glen's position is stated therein, feel free to refer me to the specific document}
Oct 4, 2009 2:41 AM # 
@cmorse: "I don't feel putting this sort of effort into hosting JWOC is likely to yield that participation bump."

That's a fair point; it might be hard to get enough juniors even to travel within the U.S.

Something that might encourage participation: I think Australia made the JWOC 07 spectator races the Australian Schools Championships. If JWOC in the US does go forward, we could consider sanctioning all or part of the spectator races as the Interscholastics. This would likely bring a big contingent of juniors from Washington, California, Texas, and Georgia (all states with junior programs), plus a handful of individuals from the NE.

I'm pretty sure there is a *much* higher number of juniors at the interscholastics than at any other meet.

COC generally subsidizes travel costs for its juniors to go to the interscholastics, so combining interscholastics with JWOC would probably increase that group's turnout in CA by quite a bit.

But I know JWOC is in July, so the timing's not great. Just a thought...
Oct 4, 2009 8:11 AM # 
I've seen a number of people write that juniors should just go to Europe to get an international experience, not go to California. That's a great idea in a perfect world in which everything is free. But the fact is, not all families can afford to send their children to Europe. In fact, I would guess that most cannot, especially not multiple times. The closest many juniors may ever get to an international experience would be to attend one close to home. No, the experience won't be the same, but it will be far better than getting no international experience at all. They will still get to be surrounded by people from many different countries who have different cultures and speak different languages and love orienteering. They will get to experience the excitement of an international orienteering competition. They will get to cheer on their own country and take part in the competition themselves. The future of orienteering in the US is not just about the small number of elite juniors. It is about all juniors, and hosting a JWOC here would allow far more juniors the chance to participate in an international competition than just telling them all to go to Europe.
Oct 4, 2009 11:27 AM # 
It is about all juniors, and hosting a JWOC here would allow far more juniors the chance to participate in an international competition than just telling them all to go to Europe.

I don't doubt that a US JWOC would allow *more* juniors the chance to participate in an 'international' event, but would it really be *far* more? Tahoe isn't exactly local for many people - flying to SF from Boston is often as expensive as flying to Europe from Boston. Holly's idea of making the festival the IS champs is a good one, but even then I don't see hordes of juniors attending.

While I do think it would be exciting to host a JWOC for many reasons, I wonder if we're overestimating the benefits. I know we're underestimating the workload.
Oct 4, 2009 12:11 PM # 
Some posts have expressed the opinion that (I paraphrase) - "I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but if "they" want to try, go ahead - good luck, not my concern"

It is USOF and the US orienteering community making the bid, not just BAOC. Money and time spent on this will be money and time not spent on other O activites for the next 3 years. (not to mention loss of 'burned out' people for years after)

We all all going to be impacted by this bid, and we all have a say in the matter. Vote for, against, or not sure, but don't think it isn't your business, or you don't have a say.

Which makes me think - is this important enough to put to a full vote of the membership? Not sure what the procedures are for this sort of thing,...
Oct 4, 2009 12:48 PM # 
Let's think about what we could do for juniors with the resources of a JWOC.

We could hold a series of weekend spring and fall regional training camps with a week-long national camp in the summer, and subsidize travel for those who need it.

From the training camps, we could select a group (20?) each year for a subsidized European trip.

This might require more money and less volunteer time than a JWOC, but if people feel strongly enough about supporting juniors to spend months of their time for a one-off event that may or may not help stimulate junior interest, they might be more willing to write a check instead, for something with a more tangible benefit.
Oct 4, 2009 12:57 PM # 
Cristina has it right about the cost! It was just as expensive to fly me to Seattle for the NWFF as it was for me to fly to Scotland and go to the Scottish 6-days. So yes this means that CA is better for the west coast, But it isn't better for the east coast juniors or other commetitors. Also think about how much it cost for COC juniors to fly to Europe and Multiply that by all of the European juniors. I'm just worried that other countries may have the same money concerns as us (not the top ones but the teams closer to the USA. Maybe Japan, Israel, South Africa ect.). Then add in the fact that there can be no drinking here, that might make it appeal even less (which is sad i know, but true). If we don't get the same pull of teams as regular JWOCs then are we really showing everyone what JWOC is all about? Half of the experience is getting to compete and meet sooo many different teams.

Also with having the Interscholastic at JWOC, although a great idea, but school is not longer in session. If we are trying to get more juniors involved that may just kill that idea. It is harder to organize things as a school over the summer and you may not get everyone to come. Especially the Juniors on the edge, they may want to keep going to scout camp instead. Having it during the year means you are much more likely to get the Juniors who are on the edge about liking orienteering and then really pull them in.

I was really excited about the idea of having JWOC in the US at first, but now that i really think about it i don't think we are ready.
Oct 4, 2009 2:42 PM # 
Money, money, money - The implied myth.

There seems to be many writers who think that if we did not host JWOC, that we'd have money to do other things. That is an unfair argument and has no basis in fact.

The $100K mentioned is seed money, a loan, and not a gift nor a grant. This is money needed for making maps, for marketing, and for putting down deposits. These kind of expenses are normally required long before the Junior competitors and festival atendees send in their payments, so the money has to come from somewhere. But by the time the JWOC has begun, this seed money is mostly paid back. I say mostly because it is still unclear how the seed money for maps will be handled, and map loans often take longer than the the time of their first use to repay.

At this point, it looks like we may need to create only one brand new map, as the other targeted venues may use new areas of existing maps. But nothing is final yet, just best guesses with the information we have at the moment. The point is that it is unlikely that we'll need four or five brand new maps (sprint, long, middle prelim, middle final, and relay), so the map costs may end up lower than projected. But maybe not, and that is why we keep our budgeting numbers on the conservative side.

The last money issue I'd like to address is that of a profit of $100 per participant and how that may seem outlandish. When you take a look at the details, it is quite similar to any other A meet. But first be aware that this is only in regard to the festival attendees, not the JWOC competitors. The JWOC competitors side of the meet has to be break even at best, and often looses one or two percent. This aspect will not change as it is necessary to make this as affordable as possible for the JWOC competitors. So let's look on the festival side. Normal A meet fees are $30 a day. From that we can take $10 to cover costs of maps, permits, food, water, and sundry supplies, which leaves $20 clear. $20 a day for a five day meet is $100, so this is not outside the realm of possibility. Now I didn't work up the budget, so my numbers are mostly gueses on my part, but it seems that there is a well recognized model in which after you have enough attendees to break even, the marginal costs are lower and thus the profit would be higher.

In summary, if we do go forward with JWOC, we won't be taking financial resources away from other programs, but quite the contrary: We may be able to contribute to other programs in some fashion depending on how any profits are distributed. Now that, in my opinion, is the elephant in the room---if there are profits, what do we do wiith them?
Oct 4, 2009 4:45 PM # 
jhann>> I don't think money is the biggest issue being mentioned by people opposed to having JWOC in the US. I think the biggest issue is our much more precious resource, which is volunteer labor. As stated by several people in this thread, a lot of us are concerned that the time and energy spent on JWOC by volunteers will take away from other events and orienteering activity that these volunteers could be putting on and that the key volunteers will be burned out by the effort they put into JWOC and disappear from the sport for a long time. We don't want to lose them and what they have to offer our sport.
As is probably clear, I do not think that JWOC in the US is a great idea at this time, but, as someone else mentioned above, this JWOC affects all of us within US orienteering. And, if BAOC, USOF, and IOF decide to go ahead with this, I will do my best to contribute to its success in whatever ways I can.
Oct 4, 2009 7:54 PM # 
15 of 70: Manpower - to give an example, the Scottish 6 days which attracts about 3500 competitors every 2 years, every club in Scotland is involved in the event. One club is responsible for the overall coordination, event center, socials, transportation etc. and approx 2-3 other clubs combine to put on each of the 6 days. This is the formula they have worked out to stop people getting burnt out. The 3 clubs in Edinburgh alone have more active participants / volunteers than BAOC, so to think that BAOC can handle this without significant volunteers from all the other USOF clubs is totally unrealistic.
Oct 4, 2009 8:02 PM # 
With regards to comments about going to Europe being the same cost as going to California, implying that the cost of a junior going to a JWOC in California would be the same cost as a junior going to a European meet: this simply is not true. Yes, if you buy your ticket at the last minute it can be expensive to fly anywhere. But if you do your homework and plan ahead, your domestic ticket will be far cheaper than an international one in the summer months when demand for international travel is high. I've attended many A-meets the last few years and gone overseas the last four. I've never paid more than $300 roundtrip to get anywhere in the US (including Boston, New York, Atlanta, etc.) and I live in Seattle. I usually pay around $220-240 to fly across the country. A roundtrip ticket to Europe in the summer, whether East coast or West, cannot be had for anywhere near $240 unless you have inside connections or use frequent flyer miles. Tickets to Europe are expensive in the summer months when JWOC would take place, most likely 3-4 times that of a domestic ticket. And your plane ticket is only the beginning. Living expenses in Western Europe and even some Eastern European countries now are very high. Meet fees are high. Ground transportation expenses are high. Then there are added expenses like passports, phone expenses, etc. Even if they choose to camp or sleep on the floor, juniors will spend a lot more money orienteering in Europe than any place in the US. And some parents just don't feel comfortable sending their children overseas anyway so some will not go due to that. For these reasons, far more US juniors would be likely to attend a large international competition such as a JWOC here in the US than they would in Europe. And using the JWOC seed money from USOF to send juniors overseas instead makes no sense as has already been pointed out by others, since this is seed money that will be paid back and sending people to Europe is money that would be all used up and not a penny of it paid back.

The last few years we've had about 25-30 juniors from our club attend the Interscholastics. Last year that took place in New York, which is pretty far from Seattle. That distance and expense did not seem to stop a lot of kids from participating, though any expense will stop some. We do not have nearly that many juniors flying over to Europe to orienteer (though we do have some.) We also have about the same number of adults that travel to the Interscholastics in support of the juniors and to participate in the meet themselves. I think last year there were around 60 COC participants at the Interscholastics at West Point. Since we have people willing to travel domestically, including clear across the country, for meets with a junior emphasis, I am guessing that at least this many (probably more) would travel to an even bigger youth-oriented meet like JWOC, whether it were on the East or West Coast.

As for international travelers deciding not to come to the US if the meet were on the West coast, I think this is not true. When I decide to go to a meet in Europe, I don't worry too much about which country it is. It is expensive to get to Europe no matter where you go. The few extra dollars I am spending to go to one country over another does not really come into my decision. I am more concerned about the cultural experience I would get from visiting the country, the quality of the meet as a whole, and the quality of the terrain I would be orienteering in. I imagine people who are contemplating coming to the US to go orienteering are also looking for an interesting cultural experience, a well-run meet, and a scenic venue. I think the Tahoe area fits in well with these criteria.
Oct 4, 2009 8:25 PM # 
jhann: The JWOC competitors side of the meet has to be break even at best, and often looses one or two percent.

If you read the IOF controller's report, the Australian JWOC lost a mid 5-figure sum on the JWOC side of the meet. (Now, to be fair, a lot may depend on how you account for the map costs.) I think the publicly available documents do not show a clear case why a BAOC JWOC would be different.

I think unless the organisers make available, at least to the board, some kind of realistic business plan, then the working assumption should be that the JWOC side of the meet will lose $50K. There are no publicly available documents that disprove this. Your only budgetary information in the document PG links to looks like you expect entry fees to be a straight line extrapolation from past JWOC entry fees, which seems unrealistic in the current economic climate.

Plus, even if you do pay back the seed money, you still won't be accounting for the opportunity cost of funds. I would estimate this as USOF's borrowing rate, probably about 8-10%, plus a rate of time preference around 2-3%, meaning that if you need the money three years early, you actually have to make around a 30% profit on the seed money - and return it all to USOF - before you could be considered as making USOF whole. (If you think this is unfair, imagine if USOF wasn't around to play sugar daddy and you had to borrow the seed money yourselves. What interest rate would you pay?)

That is, I've seen no reason not to think of this as an effective expected drain on USOF resources of $80K, even before the cost of volunteer burnout is considered. So yeah, the $100K is slightly an overestimate - you won't lose all the seed money - but I think effectively you'll lose most of it. Prove me wrong.
Oct 4, 2009 10:33 PM # 
Fat Rat:
Americans are funny. so negative, so conservative. How did the Republicans lose?
Oct 4, 2009 11:08 PM # 
A lot does depend on how you account for the map costs. In the case of the Australian JWOC, there were two large public events run on the maps - the Australian Championships (on the following Saturday) and the Australia 3-Days (the next Easter), with around 800 people apiece - roughly the normal attendance for those events whenever they're in the southeastern states of Australia (there wasn't much extra international presence). The combined outcome of JWOC and the two public events was a profit, although not a large one (I've forgotten the exact amount but can probably find out), and probably smaller than what would have been made from a 3-Days or Australian Championships in isolation. The event didn't get any federal government funding; I think it got a bit of state/local government money but not huge quantities.

Whether or not the US can successfully follow a similar model depends on whether they can attract those sorts of numbers to public events, which from what I'm hearing seems questionable.
Oct 4, 2009 11:23 PM # 
feet isn't American. I doubt he is even a Republican.

I need to take a break from this thread, but it keeps sucking me back in.

With regard to volunteer burnout--perhaps we can consider experiences at WOC 93 or the VWC in Minnesota. Can we infer anything from those events?
Oct 5, 2009 12:13 AM # 
Fat Rat:
J-man is funny
Oct 5, 2009 1:31 AM # 
In the midst of the Australian Champs carnival work, I have a vague memory of hearing that Chicago lost out to Rio. Who is San Francisco planning to lose out to?
Memo.. do something about my grammar.
Oct 5, 2009 2:42 AM # 
I believe that Boris is right. The money side can probably be made to work. The labor supply is the biggest problem in this. That and the misguided notion that there will be a net benefit to spending huge amounts of labor on this instead of on something that will actually benefit USOF and US juniors.

As happened for the WOC in 93, people who thought it was a bad idea in the first place would still show up to help out. Because at that point it no longer matters if it's a bad idea. It's USOF's reputation on the line and nobody wants the world O crowd going home from a failed event thinking US orienteering sucks.

The WOC in 93 was an amazing success, at least in the fact that everyone came together and pulled it off and showed the O world that the US could do it, but the collateral damage was not insignificant. The event sucked the life out of both the A-meet calendar and many club calendars both before and after. The hope was that the sport would get visibility and people would want to give it a try. If anyone actually felt that urge, finding an event to try it at was unfortunately more difficult right around the time any such urge might have been felt.

Another thing to consider is the out-of-pocket cost of volunteering. A lot of people went to WOC 93 intending to dual-major in volunteering and running in the festival events. A lot of other people were smart enough to know that that would be a very burdonsome course-load and spent all their energy volunteering. All of the volunteers were offered low-cost housing close to the event sites. Also being in Harriman, there were a number of US clubs within reasonable driving distance and thus not requiring air travel to volunteer. The combined effect of these factors made it possible for a significant number of volunteers to travel there, stay there, work there, and also run there, without a huge out-of-pocket expense. I don't know the west coast well enough to say, but I have to wonder if the numbers and logistics work out such that sufficient numbers of volunteers can be recruited.
Oct 5, 2009 3:55 AM # 
Fossil, do you have a ballpark number of the volunteers who were at WOC93?
Oct 5, 2009 4:24 AM # 
Fat Rat:
what will "actually benefit USOF and US juniors"?

whilst I write sarcastic comments (that I realise are largely missed by the American audience, and no doubt not the downunder feet) I am generally interseted in orienteering development, which it seems this discussion is largely about. but there appears to be no consensus on what is development, how is it assessed, and what strategies are there to achieve it. I have always been of the belief that in order to achieve "development" there needs to be a multi-faceted approach. Whilst effective marketing is often touted, you have to market something, and a major event is one of the easiest thing to market. So to make the most of any opportunity, you have to run the event well, and market it well. there is an element of waste if you don't. weighing up the decision about worthiness is not easy, but from the Australian perspective I would suggest don't discount the following:

* enthusiasm from the general orienteering community that can be generated by a major international event (and opening of eyes of what an orienteering event can be like - potentially leading to better events in the future)
* the expertise and experience in putting on major events can be valuable
* the development of new clubs (there is now an orienteering club in Dubbo)
* hosting major national events in conjunction with it (in australia, we held JWOC, the Australian Schools Champs and the Australian Champs all together. This placed additional work on the organisers to some extent, but also brought in wider support and met demands placed on the national body anyway)
* having a home event meant we gained sponsorship of our national team, which the junior team loved.
* increased media coverage (and therefore publicity) which we could have done better admittedly. but it means there are more opportunities for magazine, newspaper, radio and tv coverage
* it also means many Euros have a better understanding of Aussie, and Aussie orienteering, and that is important at all levels, from gaining more tourists to influencing IOF.

for the record, I think JWOC in Aus received ~$20,000 from government support.

In terms of junior development - the most effective way forward is getting more juniors orienteering, its not about sending a few talented individuals to Europe. thats not value for money.
Oct 5, 2009 6:21 AM # 
The JWOC in Druskinikai, Lithuania, seemed to have a good formula for junior development. The buses to the events were full of local school children who had come to cheer and then run the spectator events. Now that is junior development. But how to transplant the concept?
Oct 5, 2009 3:06 PM # 
But how to transplant the concept?

Have California join the EU? then in about 50 years after a series of EU Directives there'll be a government-sponsored Program for School Sports, another government-sponsored Program for High Performance and Sports Development, and all you'll have to do is to get the two guys who are in charge of the programs to get together.
Oct 5, 2009 8:22 PM # 
Fat Rat: "its not about sending a few talented individuals to Europe. thats not value for money"

Given your current crop, I'd have to agree with you.
Oct 5, 2009 9:55 PM # 
Cracker: RU talking about our orienteers or your one day cricketers? ;-}
Oct 5, 2009 10:19 PM # 
I thought Bret and Jemaine of Flight of the Concords were joking about the Aussie/New Zealander rivalry...everybody duck!
Oct 5, 2009 10:29 PM # 
I don't think having a JWOC in the US in the next couple years would be a good idea, although it might be a good idea to try and have a high class meet in the US that attracts good competition. For now it might be a better idea to conserve resources and develop good orienteerers before we go and try to host a huge international event. Once we get more established and there is a good inflow of money and we can get some really good sponsors I think it would be great to have a JWOC in the US. But may be more are 2020. I would be beneficially perhaps though if we could convince a bunch of good orienteerers to come to the US for a big meet. Kind of like the Swiss O week or any of the other week long events. Maybe If the US could put a couple of those on successfully then maybe host a JWOC. Also if and when we do have a JWOC in the US it would be nice to see the US do really well maybe a few podium spots, so why not take the money we got now set a goal that we are going to get US orienteering much better in the next 10 years put in a bid for JWOC then and then we can really represent the US on our home terrain. This is more a personal opinion but it seems as if that's what US orienteering is made up of right now, a bunch of personal opinions, so I guess my question is what do we want, for US orienteering what do we have to use right now? Do the reasons for having a JWOC out way the reasons for not having it or not. One arguments is that it would be nice for the US to have the experience of an international meet. However the sport in the US is not big enough for it to have a huge impact, and it won't be any more inspiring for a US junior to compete in Europe vs the US. I guess what I am really trying to say is it would be a good idea to figure out where we want US orienteering to go from a general standpoint and go there. Also that dession should be made by the people who it is going to affect. So
Oct 5, 2009 10:35 PM # 
Finishing my sentence: So if you are going to vote on having a JWOC int he US the juniors should be involved and the senior team should be involved as well as the general populace of orienteerers. Because If JWOC does happen it will take pretty much a nation wide effort from everyone in the US orienteering community to do it well. Not to mention take resources it does not sound like we have. Because if there is money to host a JWOC then there is money to pay for Juniors to go oversees and train or put on training camps, support the senior team support publicity for the sport. A question could be in 4 years if we host a JWOC then maybe we would get the general orienteering community to come and some spectators. But I think if we are going to have another international event it would be a good idea to use it as very good publicity for the general populace, and I don't we are there yet, maybe in 10 years.
Oct 6, 2009 3:03 AM # 
Fossil, do you have a ballpark number of the volunteers who were at WOC93?

It was long enough ago that I don't really remember numbers. Though I would guesstimate that it was a 3-digit number not beginning with 1. Maybe not even beginning with 2. I'm pretty sure this sort of details was included in a write-up in ONA, so if someone has them on a shelf they could look it up. Our back issues got recycled several years ago.

Just by way of example, one of the little details that caused an event of this nature to require surprising numbers of volunteers was the fact that every control was a manned control on WOC days. I don't know if that was dictated by IOF or if it was just organizing committee decision, but think about it... If you're staging the world champs and you want to be 100% certain that no controls get stolen, how else can you do it?

And just to make it more interesting, all of those volunteers manning the controls did NOT have maps. Group leaders took them into the forest in groups and essentially planted them at controls for the day. These folks got the front-row seats to see what goes on in the forest that nobody else got to see, but they also had to sit in the cold rain on Surebridge Mountain for hours, without a map, under orders not to move.
Oct 6, 2009 12:11 PM # 
The manned controls were a consequence of the requirement that we generate split lists, in the days before epunching existed (it was actually presented as a new development at a symposium at WOC93). We tried to have two people at each control, to cut down on boredom and to allow people to get "at one with nature" when it called, if you get my drift, but that might have just been for the classic, which had a long competition window. We also did this for the World Cup final in 1992 (one person per control). With epunching, this became an obsolete concept.
Oct 6, 2009 12:34 PM # 
Regarding the money: What feet said.

Regarding the efforts and rewards:

While I sympathize with many of the comments here that are specific to this proposal, I am a bit disappointed in the overall attitude. I think it would be awesome for the US to host a JWOC. I would gladly throw myself into the effort as a full-time volunteer for the months preceding the event. Why? Because it is rewarding to be part of something that other people will enjoy, to put on an event that we can be proud of, and that leaves people thinking, "That was awesome!" All these other supposedly measurable outcomes - increased publicity, junior motivation, USOF's reputation - are not the main point. I'd want to host a JWOC simply because it would be cool to do so.

Of course, the kicker is that it would only be cool if it really *were* awesome; if it were a fantastic, meticulously organized, perfectly executed event. In order to do that we need a tremendous number of dedicated volunteers. So far, I'm not getting warm fuzzies that the main proposed organizers (BAOC) have a good grasp of how much work it is and that we know we can get the volunteers to do it. Nor that there is a high level of enthusiasm outside of the Bay Area for putting in the work. Without that, US JWOC == fail.

Some people have expressed the view that they, too, would be interested in hosting a JWOC, just not yet. Or not on the west coast. Wrong time, wrong place seems to be the sentiment. For those people, what is the right time? What is the right place? What are the prerequisites for *your* dedicated enthusiasm?

I'm not trying to pull the discussion away from the JWOC 2013 bid, just trying to figure out, with productive feedback, how much of the negativity is specific to this proposal versus towards hosting JWOC in general.
Oct 6, 2009 12:53 PM # 
Re Cristina's first paragraph: if I were to support hosting a JWOC, I would do so more readily because it "would be cool do so so" rather than due to bromides about benefits to juniors. (Of course I want benefits to juniors, but a US JWOC bid is not justified on those grounds.)

Anyway, regarding everything else: yes--that sounds like WOC 1993. So, we have done that. Are you saying it is time to do it again?

I don't know why the US hosted WOC 1993. Because it would be cool do so? It was an event that we could be proud of, that people thought "was awesome." If those were the criteria, it must have been a success. I know it had some consequences, but maybe those were the eggs that had to be broken to make the WOC omelet?
Oct 6, 2009 1:14 PM # 
Anyway, regarding everything else: yes--that sounds like WOC 1993. So, we have done that. Are you saying it is time to do it again?

I don't know if it is. I wasn't around for WOC 1993, but I know that I still hear plenty about the volunteer burnout. I also hear plenty of good stories. People are still re-running the courses!

My hunch is that this is not quite the right time. But also that there may very well be a right time in the near future. And that, for a lot of people, "never" is the right time.
Oct 6, 2009 1:20 PM # 
Exactly--"never" is the right time for some. I don't count myself in that camp.

However, I support your hunch. Let's see if our flame can take hold.
Oct 6, 2009 1:22 PM # 
If you can get the publicity, it will be more. Otherwise yes, a re-run.
Oct 6, 2009 1:59 PM # 
I am a bit disappointed in the overall attitude. I think it would be awesome for the US to host a JWOC. I would gladly throw myself into the effort as a full-time volunteer for the months preceding the event.

For those of us with families, mortgages, kids approaching college, not to mention the economy, perhaps doing that simply is not feasible. Perhaps we (I?) feel it would be "cool" to use that huge amount of resource to improve the sport systemically, rather than throw it at a one off that seems more of an ephemeral "cool" or a prestige grab, with no demonstrated systemic return on the investment (WOC 93 and VWC 97 being the precedents from which this conclusion is drawn, in the absence of evidence that things will be different this time).

Fights about money are never pretty, I don't oppose the proposal per se, assuming a proper and realistic business plan is presented, and the initiative is self-sufficient in terms of resources (both human, capital, etc.), and at the end of the day, it comes and goes, those who are into it think its "cool", and it has no negative impact on the federation.

I would also add that a proper business plan would include the necessary volunteer commitments. One of my fears about this is the notion that there will be intense peer pressure to spend my summer volunteering on the west coast. Even if this were in my backyard, such a commitment would be unreasonable, even if my reasons were more practical than ideological.

In other words, unless managed properly, this has the potential to be divisive, especially given the reactions. Not that this can't be avoided, but I think the risk needs to be at least acknowledged.
Oct 6, 2009 4:32 PM # 

I understand that not everyone can commit serious amounts of time, and that many don't want to. That's why I completely agree with you that we need a proper business plan that includes specific volunteer needs. Without it this plan is DOA.

I also think any proposal of this magnitude will be divisive, and discussions on AP can bring magnify that. That's why I think it doesn't show that there people opposed to *this plan* who aren't opposed to the idea of hosting a JWOC in principle.

As for the resources... what kind of return on investment are you looking for? Obviously everyone sees this differently. I see the return on the investment in an entirely self-centered way. There's immense satisfaction to be had for having busted my tail to pull off a great international event that lots of people can enjoy. That's it. That's why I help out at local meets and A meets. It's just taking my turn, watching other people enjoy. And then, 80% of the time, I get to be the one enjoying the work.

I agree that the resource drain is huge, but some of these resources are not available to just anything. There may be a few dozen people in the Bay Area who are motivated to host JWOC in 2013 but not motivated to do other things. Or people willing to provide seed money for this, but not other things. So it's not entirely a 1 for 1 resource exchange.

This all might be a bit less than coherent, but I don't know exactly how I feel about all of this yet, so discussion is good.
Oct 7, 2009 12:23 AM # 
One thing that people may not realize is that WOC93 and VWC97 both came with a fair helping of anger, in the sense that there were people angry at each other while it was going on. This sort of thing tends to fade from memory, while some of the nicer things stick around. I remember one person walking all the way from Sebago to Camp Smith due to a dispute, I remember one key person yelling, "Speak in sentences!" at another, I remember a rented truck getting driven right into the middle of the assembly area during the event and abandoned by the fed-up driver, as well as many other incidents. There's a lot more stress associated with an important international event than a normal A-meet. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done, but I think it's important to realize that there may be a lot of tears before the warm glow of a job well done can be enjoyed.
Oct 7, 2009 11:17 AM # 
Controls seem to be manned at international competitions. This doesn't need to be done by (in)experienced orienteers... local schools/sports clubs could help out with such menial tasks.

Is there support from the local community - can they be counted on to provide volunteers? Or a local "west point"?

I'm with Christina on this one - it'd be cool to put on such an event. (Luckily I'm not committing anything...)

It would be worth knowing that there is a large pool of unskilled labour to draw on, I would be less worried about there being enough experienced people.
Oct 8, 2009 5:29 PM # 
... a ballpark number of the volunteers who were at WOC93? ...

Not enough. I was one of the soggy Group leaders planting people in the forest, collecting controls etc., and there were a lot of other foreigners helping out too. WOC93 attracted a lot of foreign interest. JWOC won't - lots of work for you guys...

But from a European view, there are a lot of people who would jump at the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Not in Wyoming, but everyone wants to go to San Francisco. You could get your 1000 Europeans to a big holiday event in a place they haven't orienteered in before, with added JWOC to make it credible that this is the time. But you won't get anyone to "JWOC spectator races".

WOC99, in Scotland, would have been a disaster. The Scottish 6-day Event Highland-99 (incorporating WOC) was a massive success.
Oct 8, 2009 7:10 PM # 
I remember one key person yelling, "Speak in sentences!" at another

Hey, that's just good advice. I think the person yelling was just looking out for the other person's best interests. Or maybe it was meant as comic relief; I think it's hilarious. :-)
Oct 8, 2009 11:19 PM # 
Many people have questioned the benefits of hosting a major international event. I think Fat Rat wrote most succinctly and comprehensively about this [edit: "this" meaning the benefits], but I also like what SKuestner and HKuestner had to say.

If you bring it to them once, some of them will aspire to get there themselves.

Yes, I think it is called for to expound this point. Here's my true story of inspiration, in short(ish) form:

I was encouraged to pursue my orienteering development by many people and experiences, starting on my first day of orienteering, when then WIOL (school league) director Mike Tharp walked with me and my mom through the first half of the novice course, which I completed before trying the "Regular" high school course. Tharp (and maybe others) subsequently encouraged my family to attend the APOC 1990 events in Canada and Washington, and it was here that I saw (and briefly ran alongside in Caroline, AB) elite competitors in the associated World Cup races. APOC had over 1000 competitors--including 15 in my age group (M15-16)--and it showed me how exciting orienteering could be. I also met other juniors who became my friends and US teammates, along with a few from overseas who I later competed against at JWOC. At that point, I had been orienteering for less than a year, and success meant being less than 5 minutes behind Karen Williams, but I could see that I had room for improvement.

The next big event that inspired me to reach the next level was WOC 93. I was still running M19-20 on the Red course, but I had an age-group North American Champs title and an Intercollegiate title under my belt and had gotten good enough to rival the per-km times of some US Team members on a good day, so I decided to try to make the WOC team. I went to New York a few weeks before the team trials to train in Harriman State Park, staying with the generous mother of one of my clubmates (who was shocked by how much a teenage boy in training ate.) I didn't run well at the trials, so I didn't make the team, but I did come back for the US Champs and O festival associated with the WOC. I (along with my brother and my clubmate, Bill) was a control sitter in the short distance races, so I had a great view of how the best in the world run in the forest.

The next year, Teena Orling contacted me and asked whether I'd like to run at JWOC and a couple World Cup races. I hadn't known that JWOC existed, but I was interested and joined the team. I also accompanied my mom and grandparents to VWC 94 in Scotland and ran the WC races in Kristiansand, Norway and Jægerspris, Denmark. I didn't do so well, but I didn't do so poorly either, and I was encouraged.

I think it was at the Colorado [X]-Day not too long after the 1994 trip that I heard an announcement (by Scott Donald or Sherry Litasi, I think) that VWC 97 in Minnesota was looking for people to serve on the course setting team. I had some international experience, so I went to the meeting and ended up signing on as day 2 course consultant. This was a great learning experience, and one that primed me to be course setter for the 1998 US Champs, as well as taking on major technical roles at a few other national events and countless local events.

These major events--APOC 90, WOC 93, JWOC/WC/VWC 94, and VWC 97--played an important role in my development as a competitor and an organizer, and I expect that others have been similarly inspired to take the next step by such events. These effects are not easily amenable to being quantified, and doing so would be a speculative exercise.

But given that there is some evidence of benefit, I wish more of the posters to this thread had humored the hard-working proponents and posed the question, "what needs to be done to make JWOC 2013 inspire the next generation of competitors, organizers and fans, expand our capabilities, attract sponsors, and raise the profile of orienteering?" Once we have some answers on the table, then it is time to discuss whether it is within our capabilities and whether it is worth the opportunity costs.

I'm impressed with the work that the proponents have done to outline an attractive event and show that it could be viable. Are there still questions to be answered? Yes. Would a full-fledged business plan be helpful? Of course. But let's discuss specifics rather than dismissing the significant work and enthusiasm that has already been done. In other words, detractors: there is no partial credit unless you show your work.

I have some ideas about what will need to be done (in qualitative terms) to get the most out of a US-hosted JWOC:
- The organizers and USOF leadership make a big marketing push to get this event on the radar screens of all outdoor/adventure sports enthusiasts (with the message that the festival has something for them, so come on out.) Professionals will need to be engaged, but they'll also need our help spreading the word at the grassroots level.
- The organizers and USOF leadership forge relationships with sponsors, some local and some who want to identify with the orienteering brand/image, want to reach an international market, and want to position themselves on the leading edge of a sport that is rising in popularity.
- Everyone in US orienteering should promote this fun and exciting event to their club mates, especially juniors, as well as their orienteering friends overseas. Help make California "the" place to be in summer 2013.
- Tell all your friends that the US is hosting a World Championship orienteering event. Stretch your "mouth" (e-mail address, Facebook, Twitter, blog, conversations with friends/family/strangers, etc.) to be as big as possible. This will benefit not only the event (and our outreach to sponsors that help us get the word out) but also your club, as more people are exposed to orienteering for the n-th time that makes them come out and try it.
- Every club or region in USOF should logistically and financially get behind an effort to get car/bus/plane/train loads of juniors to the event to cheer on their friends/frenemies/rivals/heros on the JWOC team, participate in the US Champs and public races, and soak in the scene (not to mention the sights of beautiful San Francisco and Tahoe.)
- Everyone in US orienteering who can spare the time, volunteer to help with the event. Some people will need to put in a lot of work ahead of time. Everyone else's job is to help those people in small ways that add up, so that we learn something about organizing and promoting and keep the principals from getting burned out. Even if you just come to the festival, work for 10 hours during the week, and enjoy yourself the rest of the time, this is tremendously helpful. (As a full-time event organizer, I can tell you it's really great to get plenty of day-of-event volunteers. Work that may be fairly simple and pleasant for the volunteer takes a huge load off the organizers and other staff.)

Wow--this has gotten long, but I have a final thought: Maybe rather than simply distracting us from the things we're already doing from the sport, helping with a big event like JWOC will to some extent enhance and energize our other efforts by motivating us and providing a focus for outreach. For example, imagine sending a press release to some local newspapers about an upcoming club event. Now imagine that a JWOC team member or team hopeful will be at that event, preparing to represent the US for the first time on our own soil. That's simply a better hook. I'm sure your club publicity coordinator can come up with an even better tie-in if they think about it for a minute.
Oct 9, 2009 12:14 AM # 
Pink Socks:
yay! for ebone!
Oct 9, 2009 1:37 AM # 
Christina, I have been reading and watching this thread to see what everyone had to say and I feel it is time that I, as the US Junior Team Leader/Administrator put forward my thoughts about the idea of a 2013 JWOC in the USA For non-USOF members reading this thread, I'm a volunteer.

First I will not comment on funds as I have no idea where USOF funds stand and the only money I worry about is the Junior Team Budget and the fundraising for my budget. That said I will go on to the idea of a USA JWOC exciting US juniors and movitating them.

Let say that we host the 2013 JWOC and get our juniors all excited and wanting to train to be the best they can be and that might even include making the 2014 US JWOC team. So how do we train them? You might say in the USA junior team training program? What program. There is none. The juniors that are presently making our JWOC teams are mostly training on their own with occasional training camps offered near there homes by either their club or neighboring clubs or their school league or JROTC unit. Yes there are a number of very dedicated volunteers that will work with these juniors either by emailing them or talking to them at meets, local and national. They post their training here on AP and anyone can comment about it and help them. But as to an organized USA Junior orienteering program there isn't any. Not that I have not been trying but I am only one person on the east coast of the USA and there is only so much time available for me to dedicate to this project. For years I have tried to get a Junior development team program going and some years I have gotten as far as actually announcing the team members but I just cannot get beyond that point. Why? lack of volunteers interested in helping me to develop this program. This country is huge and it is very hard and costly to travel from one coast to the other. I can't travel all over setting up the programs for the juniors and I don't expect someone else to do it. It's not realistic. But there is a way to do it if I had enough people willing to volunteer their time working with the juniors in their area under the direction of a top Coach or the Junior Development team coach. This coach would develop the training program and then make it available to the person/persons working with the juniors all over the country. Why am I telling you this? Because I feel that before we get the juniors excited and movitatived with a JWOC here in the USA we should get them a program to help them once the are excited and ready to train. I was almost ready to give up when USOF decided to hire Glen. I have had conversations with him about the problems I have been having and the brickwalls I keep running into and he has promised me help and changes not only with the way things are done for the junior team but with all of the USA teams. There are discussions going on this fall about how the teams can share common tasks and then be able to spend more time on the individual tasks of each team. Glen is just getting started and I feel that we need to let him get things rolling before taking on the large task of a JWOC event. Would I like to see the USA host a JWOC, Yes but in 2013, I don't think so. Why because the time and volunteers needed to do it will take way from the things Glen is trying to do to get USOF to the next level and to get US Orienteering to the next level.

I feel that if we do the 2013 JWOC, we are putting the cart before the horse for the juniors. We need an organized Junior development program that is avaliable to all juniors no matter where they live in this huge country. Then we can work on putting on the best ever JWOC together . If you take the time to think about the size and area of this country in comparision to the top european orienteering countries. We are larger than all of them put togehter, so if we can put together a successful national junior orienteering development program and a JWOC event, then we have something to be REALLY proud of if you ask me.

I hope this helps those on the board that will have to vote on this idea.
Oct 9, 2009 1:06 PM # 
Сan somebody sell to ESPN or YLE the rights to broadcast JWOC-2013 for $100,000 (at least for $50,000)?
Oct 9, 2009 2:11 PM # 
I agree with Janet, we really need to bring back solid junior development. When I was younger there was a yearly junior training camp at Northfield Mountain or down in New York -yes they were both on the east coast, but so many people came for them and I looked forward to it every year. I made friends and gained valuable information. I think we need to focus on getting those re-established along with other ones around the country, before we focus on JWOC. and on the note of yearly events going away we used to have a convention with great junior training every other year at least-what happened to that? If people are burnt out from running training camps and conventions....whats goign to happen with JWOC?

I would love to see JWOC in the US, but I don't think its the right time.
Oct 9, 2009 3:56 PM # 
USOF Convention, following US Champs in late June 2010: Gonzaga University, Spokane. I imagine EWOC, the host club, would love to facilitate anyone who wanted to organize a training camp, so let the training camp planning begin!
Oct 9, 2009 3:59 PM # 
P.S. - Riverside State Park is large and would afford great training opportunities. I will help if someone else set's something up.
Oct 9, 2009 5:53 PM # 
Iansmith wrote: "Technically, it is BAOC (probably with some obligatory involvement from USOF) that would be pursuing this task"

blegg wrote: Actually, the concept is more of the reverse. Technically USOF that would be submitting a bid to IOF. This is important to realize. BAOC would be the club most impacted on the basis of proximity, resources expended, volunteers involved, and risk incurred. USOF as a whole would be submitting the bid though. This is the way the proposal has been constructed so far.

The IOF Guidelines state: Any country and any Organiser may apply to organise a JWOC, if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- The Federation is a full member of the IOF.
- The application is supported by the Federation and sent by the Federation to the IOF Secretariat.

Since blegg is presumably a member of BAOC, can we assume his clarification is correct? My opinion of what USOF should do is completely dependent on who is "the Organizer", and therefore, who is submitting the bid.

If the BAOC proposal is, as blegg says, depending on USOF to be the Organizer of the JWOC 2013, then I'm happy to let the discussion here stand (which I see as leaning against bidding).

However, if BAOC is the Organizer, and in spite of blegg's comments, I assume that it is, then that is a whole other discussion. The "F" in USOF stands for Federation, and that by definition requires a sharing of powers between USOF and the clubs that constitute the whole. If the proposal from BAOC is that BAOC is the Organizer, then I believe the role of USOF is much different. For example, the question of whether JWOC achieves USOF goals and priorities is moot, because BAOC by submitting the proposal is affirming that JWOC is a goal and priority of BAOC.

To be fair to BAOC's effort, I think USOF must assess the proposal against IOF JWOC guidelines; in a timely manner provide a list of deficiencies, recommended improvements, and comments back to BAOC; and allow BAOC to revise the proposal prior to a formal submittal to IOF. I would personally like to see USOF dispatch some trusted agents to assess the proposed terrain. I've only been to Tahoe once, and I have good memories of the terrain to the NW of the lake. It was a Nordic Center. I didn't like the Fallen Leaf Lake area, but it may have been because of summer vegetation---I couldn't get the green mapping to match what I was seeing. With the proposal due in January, it is not possible to see the July conditions.

At the same time, USOF must decide under what conditions it would "support the BAOC proposal". If BAOC is asking for seed money and USOF can't provide it, then I believe, again---to be fair to BAOC, that USOF must provide BAOC the option to revise the proposal and to proceed without USOF funds.

The "Will this embarrass US Orienteering" issue is a valid reason for USOF to not support the bid, but I believe failing to have adequate volunteer help is not pertinent at this point (just under 4 years away from the event). I don't know enough about USOF to know if it is possible to require BOD votes to be publicized, but the vote "Will BAOC embarrass US Orienteering" is a vote I believe each BOD member should have to personally stand behind.
Oct 9, 2009 6:19 PM # 
One more thing. At first it was funny, but now it has gone on for a long time and people are still doing it, and I'm no longer sure whether it is intentional.

Her name is Cristina. There is no "H". Please stop spelling it wrong.
Oct 9, 2009 7:14 PM # 
Eric Bone: Training after US Champs in Spokane end June provides a good opportunity for next generation of juniors. The JWOC selected juniors will be at a training camp that week only in Denmark the week before JWOC 2010.
Oct 9, 2009 7:40 PM # 
but I believe failing to have adequate volunteer help is not pertinent at this point (just under 4 years away from the event).

I agree to a certain extent - while it's not possible to have a solid listing of 200 or 300 volunteers at this point, it is possible to have some idea of how many people will be needed, for how long, with what level of expertise, and where these volunteers are expected to come from. This is important for two reasons:

1) It demonstrates that the organizers know what they are getting into and have a plan.

2) It allows USOF to assess that size of the (human) resource demands on USOF as a whole.

BTW, since people seem to think there's an 'h' in my name, I did everyone a favor and added one.
Oct 9, 2009 8:12 PM # 
Glad to see another convention and training for the younger juniors would be great. Will people be staying at the university dorms? Perhaps juniors could all stay together. I'd be interested in helping, but I'm not sure I'll make it out to Washington in June...I have very limited vacation and I'm hoping to get to Europe next summer....time is definitely a big problem :-(
Oct 9, 2009 8:43 PM # 
@Cedarcreek The intent of the proposal is to set up a separate 501c3 group that will organize JWOC2013. BAOC has no interest in being the organizer, although a number of BAOC members are among the organizers.
Oct 10, 2009 1:24 AM # 
If it were my proposal, I would not propose the NA Champs (NAOC) for 2012.

I would research which championship bids draw the most competitors, and I would bid for the weekend before the JWOC (probably not after). If not the US Champs, then NAOC or (???) the Interscholastics. That would make this the event of the year in North America, and getting volunteer commitments for duties during the event would probably be a lot easier.

Someone else (graeme) mentioned increasing the time in San Francisco. Maybe that is where this event the week before JWOC needs to be. Everyone from overseas there for JWOC would be in the city for 4 or 5 days, and wouldn't feel let down by being stuck up at Tahoe with no chance to see the city. I'm confident that the time at Tahoe will be quite exciting if there are appropriate event centers (arenas).

I've got to say that the more I think about this, the more I like it. July 2013 is a long way away, but I'm confident I can be a volunteer there for up to 2 weeks. I live over 2000 miles away, though, so I am not in the group that will make this happen.

I'm not sensing ownership by a core group who want to make it happen.

The proposal states: Authorized January 2009 by BAOC Board of Directors

gkraght says: BAOC has no interest in being the organizer, although a number of BAOC members are among the organizers.

In my book, that is a non sequitur---of course BAOC has interest. I understand Gary's point, but I see it as a legalistic dodge---there are a significant number of BAOC members who want this to happen. Does anyone feel confident enough about the BAOC position to go beyond the the statement, "BAOC has no interest in being the organizer"? I'd feel a lot better about the proposal if there were a longer list of names inside it. There are six names from the task force, and a handful of names inside, including a reference that "Seven experienced course designers have already volunteered to serve in a technical position." Can you guys put together a list of "local" people committed to the 501c3, long hours, and the event as a whole (that is, not for just 2 weeks)? (Where Tahoe is 3-hours from BAOC, "local" has a different definition.)
Oct 10, 2009 3:35 PM # 
To all,

By Monday the White Paper and Proposed Budget for the 2013 JWOC will be posted to the home page of the USOF website ( These are the documents that the USOF Board are reviewing. Any documents issued by the committee will follow through the website.

I encourage you to review these docuements and email either USOF President Clare Durand ( or myself ( with any questions that you would like to ask the JWOC Representatives at the upcoming BOD meeting.

Just a reminder that the BOD meeting will be held at 2:30 on Saturday, October 24th at the Baymont Inn in Plymouth, WI. This is the host hotel for the US Champs.


Glen Schorr
Executive Director
United States Orienteering Federation
Oct 10, 2009 7:17 PM # 
They're posted.

Direct links (without having to go to the USOF site) are:

JWOC 2013 white paper

JWOC 2013 proposed budget

Both are pdf's.
Oct 10, 2009 8:59 PM # 
I looked at the entry fee cost and compared it to the cost for teams to send entries to the 2010 JWOC and I have concerns with the increase in costs. I know that I am not comparing apples to apples with this as we have no idea what the rate of exchange will in 2013, but I would like to see the thoughts of some of the people from other countries that are following this thread and what they think. Do you feel that the fee is going to be a fair price with the rate of exhange to your currency for all of the countries going.
Oct 11, 2009 2:49 AM # 
cedarcreek said, "Someone else (graeme) mentioned increasing the time in San Francisco. Maybe that is where this event the week before JWOC needs to be."

The JWOC rules require the training meets to be in "similar terrain" to to the competition. Not only is there no terrain near San Francisco that is similar to Tahoe, but the two areas are 6000 feet different in elevation.
Oct 11, 2009 4:18 AM # 
The point of my suggestion was twofold. First, to suggest a way to increase the number of US and Canadian attendees, and therefore potential volunteers, and second, to improve the travel experience for the JWOC attendees.

Certainly there are a lot of considerations. But there is also a lot of flexibility in the program at this point---3 years and 9 months away.

Is the 19 page "Guidelines" document the most complete set of rules for the event? The closest thing I can find to what origamiguy wrote is this:

The Organiser should also publicise other events being staged in the area shortly before JWOC. Pre-JWOC events are particularly welcome in some special cases:
- In the case of unusual competition terrain
- If the area is located at a high altitude and requires some time for adaptation
- If many competitors are likely to be spending more time in the host country, because of the distance from central Europe
In these cases, low key and informal events (but on quality terrain and with quality maps) are the most appropriate. They may also serve as practice for JWOC officials.
Oct 11, 2009 11:25 AM # 
You should spell your name as is pronounced, Crishtina.
Oct 11, 2009 2:33 PM # 
I agree with JJ, after volunteering to help one morning at VWOC '97, I found myself stuck in the woods long after I was suppose to have dinner with a cousin that I had not seen for years. It appeared that the event could have easily been a disaster.
Oct 11, 2009 5:50 PM # 
I seem to recall VWC97 reports of bus jams and a banquet running out of food (before all "firsts" had been served), so "disaster" might not have been too far off as a description, for non-technical issues.
Oct 11, 2009 6:17 PM # 
If everything is a priority, then nothing is.

Having been (painfully) involved in VWC, (in 97 after amost all of those who put the bid in years before had long since moved, resigned or otherwise left the scene), I can add that the orienteering (mapping, courses, setting, vetting) is only 10% of the work, and the rest of it for the overall event is 90% of the travel agents, banquets, bus companies, international liaise, banking, and on and on and on.

My caveat/question to a sponsoring club is whether the club's top 10 members are willing to commit for the next FOUR plus years to NOT accept a new job, NOT relocate to be with an aging parent, to NOT to become involved in any other volunteer activity, and regardless of health or family or occupation commit to this being their top priority until 2013. Otherwise the tendering sponsors are only "writing a check that others will likely have to make good on."

I am strongly against. Our priority must be to grow/strengthen USOF and orienteering in the states, and this will overwhelm everything else.
Oct 12, 2009 12:45 AM # 
At first, my thinking was if BAOC knows what they are getting into and they want to organize JWOC 2013, than let them. BUT now, having read their proposal, it appears that BAOC wants others to be the main orgainzer, assume all liabilities but distribute any profits to BAOC and other volunteer clubs. It is written so that BAOC can't loose but other clubs and USOF can. I am not a finance guy but if someone were to present me with a proposal like that, I would say "Thanks, but no thanks".

On the other hand, if BAOC said they wanted to organize and be responsibe for JWOC, but that they would need help from others, then I would view that completely different.
Oct 12, 2009 4:33 PM # 
after volunteering to help one morning at VWOC '97, I found myself stuck in the woods long after I was suppose to have dinner with a cousin that I had not seen for years

My bad.
Oct 12, 2009 7:13 PM # 
Сan somebody sell to ESPN or YLE the rights to broadcast JWOC-2013 for $100,000 (at least for $50,000)?

It sadly works the other way. Major o-event organizers pay €€€€ to a production company, who then tries to sell the broadcast to YLE and make even more money. I'm not sure how much of this money made it back to the organizers at the recent WOCs; quite possibly they broke even on the TV aspect or made a profit, but the organizers had to put up a chunk of money in advance in any case. It is also possible that if there was a loss, the IOF took all or part of it, not the organizers.
Oct 12, 2009 7:23 PM # 
If there is a Tahoe 7 days as proposed in the budget will that be run on the same JWOC maps? If so won't juniors be barred from participating because they will be embargoed for JWOC?

Also JWOC organizers often have two training camps one 6months-1year before JWOC and one the week before JWOC has any thought gone into an additional training week?
Oct 16, 2009 1:21 AM # 
I wouldn't be surprised if the following from Gary Kraght (posted on BoardNet this evening) is the kiss of death for the JWOC proposal. Gary is one of three core volunteers identified in the JWOC 2013 proposal, and if he has changed his mind....


Hello Board members,

I am a member of the 6-person task force that investigated the feasibility of holding JWOC in 2013 in the Lake Tahoe area. The group examined the various issues involved in putting on a world championship and international festival in this venue, and unanimously decided to recommend it to the Bay Area Orienteering Club board of directors, which is the local club. The BAOC Board voted to approve, so the issue is now before the USOF Board to approve or not at our Wisconsin Board meeting.

Upon further reflection, I have now decided to vote NO, and urge all Board members to join me in a NO vote. Here's why.

1. There is not strong support from the local club (BAOC).
2. Financing is shaky.
3. It will be a drain on volunteer energy at a time when we are trying to
seriously grow orienteering in the United States.

Local club support
The issue was originally brought before the BAOC Board at the club's
regularly scheduled September board meeting. After much discussion, it became apparent that a vote on JWOC 2013 was likely to fail. So a recess was called, the club officers huddled, and upon reconvening, the question was postponed to a special meeting the next week. After a week of lobbying and education, the BAOC Board did approve JWOC 2013, by a vote of 7 yes, 6 no, and 1 abstain. In other words, even after significant effort, a majority vote could not be obtained.

Subsequent to the vote, I have been interviewing BAOC members at local events. I find that the Board vote is roughly indicative of club sentiment, but the members against are somewhat more numerous than the members for. And there are a fair number of members that don't have an opinion, because they feel they don't know enough or don't see how it affects them personally.

Anyway, I feel that JWOC 2013 is likely to be less than successful without strong local club support. And the support is not currently there.

JWOC 2013 will require approximately $100,000 (or more) of seed money, for expenses that must be paid before money comes in. The plan is to raise capital from USOF, USOF clubs, and individuals, and share any profits with "investors". However, the assumption was that USOF would provide 40-50K of the capital. I think this is highly unlikely now, and it is speculative whether enough seed money could be raised with no USOF contribution. My initial soundings of clubs and individuals suggests not.

Volunteer Energy
We now have a full time paid executive director with a stellar marketing background. He is charged with growing the organization and growing orienteering throughout the United States. If he is successful, all clubs will need to step up to handle many new orienteers, by putting on more events and accommodating more people at existing events. This takes more volunteer energy. We also need to start up clubs in some of the many major metropolitan areas that do not currently have access to orienteering. This is potentially a huge volunteer drain. We cannot afford the major distraction of preparing for a world championship at this time.

I commend the JWOC 2013 task force for the investigative work that they did. We should be asking these questions. And I do believe that the United States should step in line to host an international championship and festival. However, the timing is currently wrong.

Please consider voting NO on the JWOC 2013 bid proposal. Thank you.

Gary Kraght
Oct 16, 2009 2:39 AM # 
An example of integrity.
Oct 24, 2009 9:09 PM # 
Update: The USOF BOD declined to approve the motion to submit this JWOC 2013 bid.
Nov 13, 2009 9:43 PM # 
It has been long time since last post here but I'd like to support the idea for hosting JWOC and a JWOC festival of course.
1. If it was easy - Panama would have been organizing it.
2. USOF had hosted WOC and VWC (Masters) which are more difficult in preparation.
3. Third as a joke: if USA don't apply for it => Canadians might get it!
Nov 13, 2009 10:28 PM # 
The USA will NOT be bidding for JWOC 2013. Period.

However, this decision did not rule out the possibility of bidding for JWOC in 2014 or beyond. Much of the work done in support of the 2013 proposal can be recycled.
Nov 15, 2009 11:18 PM # 
USOF had hosted WOC and VWC (Masters) which are more difficult in preparation.

--- I don't agree that WOC and VWC are necessarily harder to organize. At the competitive level, JWOC is hardly a step down from WOC. Just because they are kids doesn't mean it's not a world championships. At the same time, there is far more variation between the best and the worst runners at JWOC than at WOC making course setting more challenging. In terms of logistics, you can expect that adults can rent cars and get themselves around with their teams and get from the airports to training camps. The juniors need more help, more structure, and more organizational overhead.

Meanwhile, VWC may have more courses, but JWOC these days also implies a side-by-side competitive event for adults with multiple courses, etc.

It's an amazing thing to take on but shouldn't be underestimated.
Nov 16, 2009 4:24 PM # 
there is far more variation between the best and the worst runners at JWOC than at WOC making course setting more challenging

errr... the courses should be planned according to the guidelines, based on estimated winning time for the best in the world, not the estimated losing time...
Nov 16, 2009 4:40 PM # 
To add to Zan's comments: The WMOC is expected to pay for itself (and make a nice profit if the organizers know what they are doing), while the JWOC has to essentially be run on a shoestring budget to make it affordable to the attending juniors. You can throw money at problems at the WMOC, but skill is required to work on issues at the JWOC.

The thing I was the least looking forward to in relation to the proposed JWOC was a pre-event hypodermic needle-cleaning party at Golden Gate Park. Kinda like what they had to do at Holosievskiy Lis in Kiev with the garbage and stray dogs, but in a smaller area, and in biohazard suits.

This discussion thread is closed.