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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: protesting

in: PG; PG > 2012-04-14

Apr 16, 2012 10:31 PM # 
I sympathize and am wondering now if I should have protested. I lost several minutes (4-5 maybe?) but had had other errors and so couldn't be sure that I hadn't just been sloppy yet again. If I had lost more time, perhaps I would have.
Apr 17, 2012 1:47 AM # 
I'm reminded of my response when Hungarian mapper Janos Soter asked me (many years ago) why we had a two-day championship. Part of my answer was that if something goes wrong, one day can be thrown out and you still have a results list. With standalone races, to some extent it's harder to get motivated to protest, because if the course gets thrown out it means that there just aren't any results at all, and who benefits from that?
Apr 17, 2012 1:53 AM # 
peter I enjoyed watching your GPS route. almost a bag of popcorn worth of entertainment. can you mark up a map with the actual location of the flag? I found a control on my way to my no.8 and it may have been yours. just curious.
Apr 17, 2012 2:01 AM # 
If you look at the route, there is a little section sticking out towards the SE, and it was at the end of that. Of course the map isn't right there either -- yes, it's wide open, clear sailing white woods, but it's dead flat, not sloping slightly towards the NS dry ditch.

Lots of people had trouble, though I think no so bad there as I was.
Apr 17, 2012 2:02 AM # 
How about a QR? RG needs Java.
Apr 17, 2012 2:04 AM # 
That means pulling out the old laptop. I'll give it a try, but it's been a while so I may have forgotten how.... :-)

Haven't yet installed Windows on the new one.
Apr 17, 2012 2:30 AM # 
@Joe - The control you found on the way to #8 (on Green X) was Brown #6 (described as a barrel). I also passed it and it didn't seem to match any of the X's shown on the map.
Apr 17, 2012 2:32 AM # 
My route (click on map for a larger version) --

The control was at the end of a short excursion to the SE, just barely to the west of the magnetic north line.

Apr 17, 2012 2:32 AM # 
I'm presuming that's the control I hit was I was wandering around there very lost. Nothing made any sense at all. #73 code perhaps?
Apr 17, 2012 2:56 AM # 
I saw the flag/73 and thought it was on the tin pile just north of mine. it was about where I thought mine should be, but possibly too early. I checked my compass and went another 50 meters and started scanning the woods and found it off to my right (west) about 35 meters. it just did not feel right.
Apr 17, 2012 3:18 AM # 
No way!

It looks like on a normal map (with control in the right place) that could lead to at most a two minute mistake. Out of curiosity, did you try using the island?
Apr 17, 2012 4:32 AM # 
Thanks. Almost wish I didn't see it. Looks painful in addition to the pains of the leg. Where in the wanderings did those go?
Apr 17, 2012 5:32 AM # 
I concur that #73 was on the black X 50m SE of Brown circle #6. From flag #73, my bearing and pace count (due S, 100m) got me directly to #65 (Green 8) also on a black X.
Apr 17, 2012 1:07 PM # 
I talked to someone who used the island, and that didn't get them in the right place either.
Apr 17, 2012 1:13 PM # 
My track on the long (Updated link 2019)

Yes, #73. Flag was not within the circle.
Apr 17, 2012 3:43 PM # 
Out of curiosity, did you try using the island?

How blind we are sometimes! Never noticed the island either on the map or in the terrain.

The plan was simply to go along the river, read the contours, read the green, keep a rough track of distance, find the control. So far my experience with the map had been that it had easily been sufficient for finding the controls. And so in this case I never shifted my search area out to all the wide open forest a little further away from the river.

My one foray to the east was in desperation, having already almost decided what seemed not to be possible, that the barrel and the control just did not exist. Because if that was the case, why was there not a crowd of people arround. Anyway, my foray to the east didn't help as nothing seemed properly mapped there -- couldn't find 2 of the 3 ditches, couldn't find a black X.

There was an appropriate amount of green close to the river, seemed to correspond to the map. There was another pice of tin to the north, about as mapped. There was a slope going down towards the river and a little terrace just before the river. Just no barrel and no flag. And the green was actually quite nasty, quite a few briars. I kept going back and forth through it, still thinking there was a control there. Insanity, I believe.

I had an experience a long long time ago at Blackbird State Forest in Delaware, a local meet put on by DVOA. Quite terrible map, but I made it around the course pretty well until I got to the last control. And I thought I had the correct marsh, but no control. And after a little while I headed out toward a nearby dirt road (dead straight and flat) on which the finish was. Went to the finish, took a bearing back to the last control, back to the marsh I'd been at, still no control. Back to the finish, a short discussion with a worker, said I couldn't find the last control, and pointed where I'd been looking.

And the worker said, oh, no, it's over there, and pointed in a direction that was about 90 degrees different. So I went over there and found another marsh and found the control easily. And only then determined that the cause of my problem was that the finish was misplaced by about 400 meters. And given something on the map -- the finish in this case -- that you just assume is correct, it is very hard to toally ignore it.

Likewise last Saturday. Had there been nothing on the map other than the river, I imagine I would have found it easily. Ditto if my map reading skills (or my eyesight) were particularly weak. But under the circumstances it was virtually impossible.

Even if I had noticed the island.... :-)
Apr 17, 2012 5:07 PM # 
Protesting is indeed a tough decision. Zach and Luke had a recent A meet where the control codes on their first controls were accidentally switched (Green and Yellow - fixed shortly after their starts). I had just been stressing to check the codes because the meet notes pointed out the closeness of the controls, taking advantage of the OUSA rules update. So, Zach lost 1:15 on the first control of a Sprint, but still won. Since it was an Interscholastic event, "scores" were based on the winning time, so all scores for the course were impacted by close to 10%; however, protesting would have thrown out the course and eliminated the "best 3 scores of 4 races" that had been planned for the event. Zach chose not to protest, in order to minimize the impact to others.

In an ironic twist, Zach ended up mispunching in that afternoon's middle race, when he punched the wrong penultimate control, convincing himself that it was another mistake by the people placing the controls (a mistake that would not have happened, if not for the morning's race). So, if he had protested in the morning, he would have wound up with only two scores in the 4 races, and would have finished well down the standings!
Apr 17, 2012 5:08 PM # 
Edited link:

The link I posted works for me from a mobile device, but if not for you and you are interested, go to

and look for the album called track jpg files. It's near the end, 73rd, I think.
Apr 17, 2012 5:16 PM # 
Janet, that did not work for me.
I wore my GPS, but accidentally shut it off just before running through the area. I believe brown 6 was hanging on the black X southeast of where it should have been and just north of my control 8 on a black X.
Apr 17, 2012 5:45 PM # 


I forgot the 'web' after picasa.
Apr 17, 2012 6:33 PM # 
I did use the island. I kept stopping though when I got to the top of the "hill" since the black x was clearly on the river side of the hill. Only found the control when Jim Hall caught me and we both went in from the island. He's a good bit taller than me (not hard :)) and so when he got to the top of the rise he could see over everything and spotted the control.
Apr 17, 2012 9:26 PM # 
What I did was check everything in the reentrant and keep going until I got to the rootstock, checking where I was against the island as I went. When I figured I was too far south on the island I turned around to head north and spotted a flag off to the northeast. Figuring I had nothing to lose I went to check the code and voila, it was the barrel. Guess I was one of the 'lucky' ones.
Dec 31, 2019 9:51 PM # 
I got in trouble that day, too, both not finding the misplaced controls and hurting my hamstring. Here is the write-up.
Dec 31, 2019 10:08 PM # 
But look at how happy you both looked that weekend.
Dec 31, 2019 10:34 PM # 
Who are those young guys?
Jan 1, 2020 1:59 AM # 
Picture taken the day before the infamous long championships.

This discussion thread is closed.