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Discussion: Björn Kjellström and Future Champions Cups

in: 2012 North American Orienteering Championships (Oct 18–21, 2012 - Dingmans Ferry, PA, US)

Oct 20, 2012 1:09 AM # 
The standings after day 1 --

BK Cup:

Women: USA 60, Canada 44
Men: USA 63, Canada 42
Total: USA 123, Canada 86


W20: Canada 31, USA 25
W18: Canada 25, USA 12
M20: Canada 27, USA 29
M18: Canada 21, USA 30
Total: Canada 104, USA 96

I'd be delighted if someone would check my math. The scoring rules are here.
Oct 20, 2012 1:11 AM # 
Are there any complete results, from which to check the scoring?
Oct 20, 2012 1:17 AM # 
I was using what's posted (on paper!) at PEEC. Shows who's eligible. Haven't seen them online yet. Splits on AP don't give you enough info.
Oct 20, 2012 1:19 AM # 
Splits on AP are much more than though - just noticed that...
Oct 20, 2012 1:22 AM # 
WRE points coming soon here:
Oct 20, 2012 1:34 AM # 
Here are results by class, if you want to check my numbers.
Oct 20, 2012 2:02 AM # 
I got the same as PG for the Future Champions Cup, except for M-18:

1. Michael Svoboda - Can - 15
2. Will Hubsch - USA - 12
3. Chase Thatcher - USA - 10
4. Gavin Tasker - Can - 8
5. Roan McMillan - Can - 6
6. Corey Thatcher - USA - 5
Can - 29
USA - 27

My totals:
Can - 112
USA - 93
Oct 20, 2012 11:27 AM # 
Guy is correct. Gavin is a permanent resident of the USA but is a citizen of Canada and therefore counts for Canada.

So after day 1 --

BK cup: USA 123, Canada 86
FC Cup: Canada 112, USA 93
Oct 20, 2012 7:32 PM # 
The M(21) Middle results are wrong. May and Zhyk tied, so May should score 9.5, not 10. Score after day 1 should have been
Women: USA 60, Canada 44
Men: USA 63, Canada 41.5
Total: USA 123, Canada 85.5.

I doubt this will matter much, but just in case...
Oct 20, 2012 7:40 PM # 
Adding day 2:
Women: USA 25 + 22 + 16 = 63, Canada 19 + 13 + 8 = 40.
Men: USA 25 + 10 + 9 = 44, Canada 22 + 19 + 16 = 57.
Day 2 total: USA 107, Canada 97.
Overall total: USA 230, Canada 182.5.
Oct 20, 2012 8:33 PM # 
Thanks for the audit! And day 2 BK Cup numbers are the same as I have. So total is USA 230, Canada 182.5.

For FC Cup today --

W18: Canada 35, USA 10
W20: Canada 33, USA 23
M18: Canada 36, USA 30
M20: USA 37, Canada 12

Total for today: Canada 116, USA 100

Total for 2 days: Canada 228, USA 193

(I'd be happy if someone will double-check.)
Oct 21, 2012 12:50 AM # 
relay teams posted somewhere?
Oct 21, 2012 12:56 AM # 
Canadian Teams here:
Oct 21, 2012 1:03 AM # 
USA senior teams:

Ross Smith, Eric Bone, Sergei Zyhk
Wyatt Riley, Ken Walker, Boris Granovskiy

Alex Jospe, Samantha Saeger, Ali Crocker
Karen Williams Middleton, Alison Campbell, Kseniya Popova
Oct 21, 2012 1:44 AM # 
Not that this is at all likely to matter ... But I'm not sure I understand the 0.5 points for a tie. Can't see anywhere in the rules that a tie yields 0.5 points ... 5th gets 10 points, 6th gets 9 points. If May was 5th North American, then he should get the full 10 points (whether Zhyk was tied or not).

Note that May and Zhyk are listed in the results as 10'th, not 10.5'th. It's common practice to be nice to people who tie (e.g., give two gold medals rather than half a gold, half a silver). Some sports give 2 bronze medals all the time.
Oct 21, 2012 1:57 AM # 
Ps. Still some big points left tomorrow .... the relay finishes are going to be super exciting to watch!!
Oct 21, 2012 2:03 AM # 
Hmm, seems like PG is numerically challenged these days....

Has to do with the scores for the FC Cup. I counted Helene & Sunniva Omdal from FWOC for Canada in W18, but they are not eligible. And I couldn't add in M18.

Correct results (I sure hope) are:

W18: Canada 22, USA 15 (corrected)
W20: Canada 33, USA 23
M18: USA 30, Canada 26 (corrected)
M20: USA 37, Canada 12

Total for today: USA 105, Canada 93

Total for 2 days: Canada 205, USA 198

Thanks, Guy, for checking!

Regarding the half-point, I think it is being done correctly. Yes, you give out two gold medals in Brian's example, but we are not talking medals, rather a point system. And I think it is common, and also sensible, to sum up the number of points for the tied places and divide them equally. In this case the tied places earn 10 and 9 places, so each get 9.5. The fact that it counts for Canada's score as their third runner and not for the USA as its 4th runner is irrelevant.
Oct 21, 2012 2:04 AM # 
USA junior teams are?
Oct 21, 2012 2:44 AM # 
Pink Socks:
USA boys are Childs/Childs/Underwood on one team, and Hubsch/Rogers/Ohrwaschel on the other. I don't remember who's running which legs.

USA girls are Parson/Bryant/Wilkinson on one, and I don't really remember the other (Hudgins/Breton/Breton?)
Oct 21, 2012 3:02 AM # 
NAOC Relay, USA girls (running order uncertain)...

1) Parson, Bryant, Breton

2) Breton, Wilkinson, Hudgins
Oct 21, 2012 3:38 AM # 
Um, Breton is not a sufficient qualifier in this case.
Oct 21, 2012 11:23 AM # 
The scoring system is actually not well-thought out in the case of ties. The problem is that ties between runners of the same country can generate a different score than if the two runners were not tied. There is the remote possibility this could mean that a country's BK score goes down because one of its runners does better. That doesn't seem like a good feature.

I assumed that the thing to do was to spread the points equally between tied runners. (Thus, Brian and Sergei both earned 9.5 = (10+9)/2 for finishing tied for 6th.) This works fine when the tie, like this, is between two runners from different countries: Brian's score is lowered because he didn't beat Sergei. But it doesn't work at all when the tie is between runners from the same country. Suppose the 4th-place Canadian runner did better and tied with Brian: then each would earn 9.5, penalizing Canada because a Canadian runner did better.

Another, more extreme problem with this: suppose 1000 Canadians all tie for first place, followed by all the Americans. Splitting the points equally, each Canadian scores (150/1000) = 0.15 points. No American scores any points. Total scores: Canada 0.45, USA 0. Had the Canadians not all come in at the same time but beaten all the Americans, the score would be Canada 66, USA 0.

It doesn't solve this problem to give tying runners the highest score appropriate (as if there was no tie) either. That would deliver Canada 75, USA 0 in the example above. In this case the incentive is different: it makes tying better than not tying (no country should be able to score more than 66 points per race in this system).

The correct system, I think, is
- given an ordering including ties, the points available for the tied places should be equally divided among the runners involved;
- however, if breaking a tie by lowering the place of one or more runners from a particular country (without affecting the position of runners from the other country) would generate a higher score in the BK cup, the country should earn that higher score.


1C, 2C, 3C, 4U, 5U, 6U (that is, Canadian runners 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, Americans 4th, 5th, and 6th): no ties, score the obvious way. Score would be Canada 25+22+19 = 66, USA 16+13+10 = 39.

1C, 2C, 3=C, 3=U, 5U, 6U (that is, Canadians 1st, 2nd, and tied for 3rd; Americans tied for 3rd, as well as 5th and 6th non-tied): Canada 25+22+17.5 = 64.5, USA 17.5+13+10 = 40.5. Demoting the Canadian tied for 3rd to 4th would deliver a ranking of 1C, 2C, 3U, 4C, 5U, 6U. This is not better for Canada, so it is irrelevant to scoring. Similarly demoting the US runner tied for 3rd to 4th would deliver a ranking of 1C, 2C, 3C, 4U, 5U, 6U. This is worse for the USA, so it is irrelevant also. Score is therefore as above.

1U, 2U, 3U, 4C, 5=C, 5=C, 5=C (that is, a 3-way all-Canadian tie for 5th). Score for this order: USA 25+22+19 = 66, Canada 16+(32/3)+(32/3) = 37.33. However, breaking the 3-way tie by demoting one of the Canadians to 7th delivers a Canadian score of 16+(23/2)+(23/2) = 39. Thus Canada scores 39.

1U, 2U, 3U, 4C, 5=C, 5=C, 5=U (same as above except an American is in the three-way tie for fifth). Score for this order: USA 66, Canada 37.33. In this case, breaking the three-way tie by demoting one Canadian delivers the ordering 1U, 2U, 3U, 4C, 5=C, 5=U, 7C, scoring 16+11.5+9 = 36.5. Demoting both Canadians delivers 1U, 2U, 3U, 4C, 5U, 6=C, 6=C or 1U, 2U, 3U, 4C, 5U, 6C, 7C, either of which scores 35 for Canada. Thus the score here is USA 66, Canada 37.33.

Example above with 1000 Canadians tied for first ahead of all the Americans: breaking the tie delivers the best order for the Canadians of 1C, 2C, 3C, 4=C, 4=C, ... delivering 66 points for Canada.

Whether anyone cares enough to implement this in the rules, I don't know, but it clearly is the solution. An unintended consequence of switching from total time for the scoring: there ties were irrelevant to the scoring.
Oct 21, 2012 1:48 PM # 
Sprint results (NA eligible)

1. Samantha Saeger
2. Alison Crocker
3. Louise Oram
4. Alex Jospe

1. Ross Smith
2. Andrew Childs
3. Eric Kemp
4T. Boris Granovskiy
4T. Giacomo Barbone

USA leads BK Cup by 95.5 points with relay still to go.
Oct 21, 2012 2:03 PM # 
Cute, my tie scenario comes into play. In this case, the US should be harmed by having Boris and Giacomo tie.
Oct 21, 2012 2:05 PM # 
Except we are reasonable people here and have already followed your solution. :-)
Oct 21, 2012 3:05 PM # 
Checking your math:
Men's sprint: USA 25+22+16 = 63, Canada 19+10+9 = 38.
Women's sprint: USA 25+22+16 = 63, Canada 19+13+8 = 40.
Sprint totals: USA 126, Canada 78.

Overall totals: USA 356, Canada 260.5. Indeed, the US leads by 95.5. If both US teams finish both relays, Canada need to finish 1-2 in both to take home the cup.
Oct 21, 2012 3:15 PM # 
FC Cup, had Dean check my numbers, USA now leads by 10 points overall. (My numbers are at the finish, heading there now.)
Oct 21, 2012 4:57 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Canada just won the FC cup.
Oct 21, 2012 4:58 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Wait! A Disqualification!
Oct 21, 2012 5:01 PM # 
Pink Socks:
If the next junior men team is US, the US wins. If its Canada, then a tie.
Oct 21, 2012 5:07 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Canada in 3rd. If no mispunches, it's a tie.
Oct 21, 2012 5:12 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Junior women: can can us us
Junior men: us can us can (DSQ)
Senior women: us can us
Senior men: can us
Oct 21, 2012 6:09 PM # 
FC Cup ends in a tie, 402-402. The cup will stay in the USA for a year, then go to Canada for a year in anticipation of the 2014 NAOC in Ottawa

BK Cup won by the USA.

Another awesome production by DVOA.
Oct 22, 2012 12:14 AM # 
This rankings story, with its ties, and with the evolution of the score as the results roll in, has drama.
Oct 22, 2012 12:55 AM # 
Well it sure looked like a major downturn for the U.S. as Andrew Childs appeared to have been passed by the Canadian runner in the last loop of the third leg!

... except he wasn't.
Oct 22, 2012 3:26 AM # 
sherpes caught this moment that sums up the friendly rivalry of the NAOC and BK Cup really well.

North American Orienteering Championship NAOC 2012

Thanks to DVOA for a wonderful weekend of racing and spectating.
Oct 22, 2012 11:14 AM # 
Aww, that picture makes me smile!
Oct 22, 2012 1:03 PM # 
Report is now up on the IOF website.
Oct 22, 2012 8:01 PM # 
Are the times and splits for the different legs of the relays available somewhere?
Oct 22, 2012 8:03 PM # 
Valerie is working on it.
Oct 22, 2012 8:04 PM # 
awesome! thanks!
Oct 23, 2012 12:38 AM # 
OK, the relay splits are on the NAOC site, as well as on WinSplits Online, as are all of the other splits.
Oct 23, 2012 12:41 AM # 
more Valerie greatness! Thanks!
Oct 23, 2012 1:22 AM # 
Front and back covers of the Relay Guide available on the NAOC website. The relay maps that were in the guide are posted with all the other maps (the 4 all variations maps).
Oct 23, 2012 2:34 AM # 
Greatness was preceded by a nap...
Oct 23, 2012 4:24 AM # 
Dear PG and feet,

It is generally a bad idea to change the rules during a competition, especially when doing so seems to favour one country over the other ... TWICE! Introducing a tie-breaking rule in the first place (on Friday) favoured the US over Canada, by reducing Canada's point total by 0.5 points. If I'm getting this correct ... when the tie-breaking rule (introduced on Friday), seemingly disadvantaged the US (on Sunday), the newly formed tie-breaking rule was ignored, increasing the US point total by 1.5 points relative to what it would have been with point-averaging.

So ... the rules as they could be interpreted.
1) If point-averaging is bad for Canada, we average points.
2) If point-averaging is bad for the US, we don't average points.
Now, of course, it's really good that this issue had no material effect on the outcome (given that Canada got its butt kicked), And, despite this possible interpretation, I don't think for an instant that this was the intent. So, let's use this as a learning experience.

I would suggest ... follow the rules as they are currently written (this is pretty much always a good idea!). If a person finishes 6th, give that person 10 points. If another person also finished 6th ... so, what ... it shouldn't diminish the first person's accomplishment. If two people tie for 3rd, give them both 16 points. What's the worst that can happen by doing this ... you give out a few extra points that might not have been awarded? A point-averaging scheme that requires 11 paragraphs to explain is too complicated. Dealing with fractional points is also nuisance. Giving out points based purely on finishing position is simple ... and is the way we should try to keep it.
Oct 23, 2012 5:05 AM # 
agree with bmay.. i know at WOC it happened several times that was a tie--i.e lets say 2nd place .. then 3rd place medal was not awarded.. or was 3rd place tie- there was no 4th World Cup the same if it was a tie for the 38th place , next place was 40, not 39 ( with respective points )
Oct 23, 2012 10:09 AM # 
@bmay. PG approached me about the sprint points situation to get clarification on what to do and how we interpreted it that time was to follow what was done. But he also mentioned that since the interpretations weren't going to affect the overall results that the BK Cup committee should try to tighten up the rules to make them even stronger for 2014 and beyond.
Oct 23, 2012 12:34 PM # 
Is there somewhere that shows all the points broken down by country/person etc? Maybe I'm missing it somewhere, but I'd love to see the consolidated BK cup breakdown. Thanks!
Oct 23, 2012 12:36 PM # 
Yup. We will do that (clarify the rules).

Quite thrilled that the first iteration of the Future Champions Cup was a success (and a tie!).

Less thrilled to get our butts kicked again in the BK Cup, but again, props to the US runners. Next time...

As always, we will look to improve the Cup structure in the future.
Oct 23, 2012 12:42 PM # 
I agree with bmay that the simpler and seemingly more common way to deal with ties is more attractive.

However I don't mean this in anything other than supporting incremental improvement in the future. I think everyone recognizes how vastly improved the BK rules were this year, and I'd like to again thank the group that have worked on building this into a really fun and fair and exciting competition that is great fun for the spectators and provides our up and coming young athletes and our elite runners with great profile and with experience in running in a "pressure cooker" and a really good reason to train hard which can only help to steel them for ever stronger international performances.
Oct 23, 2012 12:45 PM # 
follow the rules as they are currently written (this is pretty much always a good idea!

The problem was that the rules did not say what to do if two or more runners had the same time. And there was no precedent from prior BK Cups that we could remember. And as far as what the standard or usual or obvious practice is (in orienteering, or sports in general), that wasn't obvious, it is done differently in different situations.

Step back in time a little. We changed to a point system in 2006 when GHO hosted the NAOC in Hamilton and it changed to SML format instead of 2-day classic. Same in 2008 when CNYO organized and 2010 when the event was in British Columbia. In those last couple of occasions things were getting very messy regarding eligibility, and so finally we got together a small group to review the rules, with the principal players being Wil Smith and me as far as details and Peter Goodwin and Charlotte MacNaughton helping to get approval of the changes by the federations.

There were issues about eligibility, about scoring, about the impact of other North American countries participating, and as we worked through all of them it never came up as to what to do it individuals had the same time. We did put in a provision that if there was an overall tie, the cup would be retained by the country that had it.

We also decided to move ahead with a junior version, and that took an additional set of considerations because the USA has 17-18 and 19-20 classes and Canada has 17-20. So we worked out separate scoring systems for those two scenarios.

And DVOA was adding a relay, and we had to work out scoring for that, trying to come up with a system that gave the relay enough importance but not too much.

And then there was the question of whether juniors could score for both cups if both cups were contested on the same course (as is sometimes done in sprints), and we decided that would be a good thing.

And we got the wording on all this the way we wanted it, and both federations signed off, and Wil procured the FC Cup, and things looked good. It certainly looked a whole lot better than it had been before. And as it turned out, things worked really well, especially the addition of the FC Cup, which was awesome.

Now, as to the problems, because there were some, not just the dealing with scoring for individual ties. In a general sense, the procedure for dealing with any problems was Mike Waddington and I in consultation with the organizers seemed to have the authority to make decisions, and so that is what we did. With the goal being to make reasonable decisions. I mention the following things just to illustrate how things worked.

-- Relay teams, and the running order, were to be turned in to the organizers by 4:30 Saturday afternoon. There were possible injury issues on both sides, like banged-up knees, not sure if in the morning someone would be able to run or not. We decided to allow substitutions in such cases (or in case of sickness), because it was, well, the reasonable thing to do.

-- Ross Smith on the first leg didn't see the last control on his map, ran right by it, was DQ'd. The question was whether Sergei Zyhk, third-leg runner on that team, should be allowed to run. We decided to allow it, though if the score had been close enough that his presence out in the forest might have impacted the final standings, we probably wouldn't have.

-- On the matter of the tie scenarios, we either did or didn't end up at the proper solution, and it can be argued either way, but there was consultation on both sides. And, to be honest, for the second one, in the sprint, there was no way whatever we decided would affect the final outcome, so the discussion was brief and we moved on.

I am sure there will be a review of the rules over the next year.

In the meantime, I think it is universally agreed that this year was a huge step forward. And that is a very good thing.
Oct 23, 2012 12:45 PM # 
@acjospe - that's funny. I spotted PG working out the scoring - get this - with pen and paper! I guess he could ask someone to scan the sheets ;-)
Oct 23, 2012 4:55 PM # 
The greatest thing to me about this weekend was that each country was able to put together not one but two competitive junior teams of each gender. The saddest? ... no one from Barbados (or Cuba, or Greenland).
Oct 23, 2012 5:08 PM # 
Canada's junior team ages:

Junior Women A: 20, 18, 19
Junior Women B: 15, 19, 14
Junior Men A: 17, 18, 17
Junior Men B: 15, 15, 16 (13) - 13 year old was subbed out due to injury

Average age of our 13 member junior team was under 17 and the average age of our double gold medalists in the middle distance 17-18 categories was 13.5.
Oct 24, 2012 12:39 AM # 
Since it came up, I want to interject something that I have a fairly strong opinion about -- I don't think it is ever the right thing to do to prevent a relay runner from starting because of a DSQ or whatever of an earlier runner on the same team. In many cases there is a possibility that the DSQ could be overturned (even if it initially seems like the DSQ is entirely obvious), and I think the idea that a runner from a disqualified team would somehow interfere with the progress of the relay is specious (and the opposite could be argued). I know it's something that is often done internationally, but it's wrong. Take the simple route of always letting relay runners start.
Oct 24, 2012 1:53 AM # 
Agree with JJ.
Oct 24, 2012 2:48 AM # 
Agree with JJ - I was about to write the same (more poorly worded) counter.
Oct 24, 2012 3:16 AM # 
Women’s races were dominated by the USA’s Alison Crocker and Samantha Saeger..." a wording from the report on the IOF webpage that sounds a bit strange to me - since it is obvious to everyone who attended the event that they were dominated by Emma Johansson. The same goes for the Men´s races where the winner in each of the individual events was a non-American.

I know they are not eligible for the championship medals, but I would say they´re at least worth a mention since their names are obvious in the WRE result lists.

I don´t want to take anything away from some truly great performances by North American runners but the results are hard facts.
Oct 24, 2012 3:29 AM # 
True - but the IOF report is for the North American Regional Championship and not the WRE.
Oct 24, 2012 3:33 AM # 
I understand that, but still...
(same goes for some newspaper reports I´ve seen)
Oct 24, 2012 3:38 AM # 
By the way, Emma Johansson was extremely gracious. She gave a wonderful interview with Nevin and then sought me out at the conclusion of the sprint to thank me. I will look forward to following her results in the years to come.
Oct 24, 2012 11:34 AM # 
I wrote the report and sent it in to the IOF first thing Monday morning, and I stand by it 100%. As Sandy says, it was the North American Regional Championship for which Emma was not eligible. The story was focused on the Championship as it should have been.

The IOF office was delighted to get it. They had just put out a report on the Asian Regional Champs (seeing that story was the reason I sent something in). I copied the format and they posted it immediately.

I'd do it exactly the same the next time.

None of this takes anything away from Emma's performance. But at this event, she wasn't the main story.

This discussion thread is closed.