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Discussion: WOC 2014 Long

in: Orienteering; News

Jul 8, 2014 3:14 PM # 
Tomorrow is the Long Final. No quals this year, just one, long final. First starts 12.21 local time.

Live info should be here:

Startlists for men and women are up. If this is the final start list for women then they have clearly applied the part of the special rules that say "The SEA has the authority to vary the order of the starting groups if necessary to improve media coverage."
Jul 8, 2014 3:22 PM # 
I can confirm the accuracy of the last paragraph of the preceding comment - presumably this was done to minimise the overlap between the top men and top women.
Jul 8, 2014 3:29 PM # 
It's a little weird to see a "red group" in the middle of the start list but I can see that it may make the coverage easier to follow. And it's better for the organizers than just starting the women earlier...?

Anyway, start times for USA [edited/fixed?]:

12.27 Ali Crocker (Best: 18th, 2013)
13.18 Eric Bone (Best: Q20)
14.27 Alex Jospe (Best: Q20)
Jul 8, 2014 3:37 PM # 
and the Canadians:

13:05 Emily Kemp (Best: 25th, 2013)
13:06 Robbie Anderson (Best: Q21)
14.11 Louise Oram (Best: 33rd, 2012)
Jul 8, 2014 4:21 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Nice! Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Uruguay!

But no Brazil or Argentina? I think Argentina sent a runner last year and Brazil has had WOC'ers for several years now. I stayed in a yurt with some Brazilian WOC'ers at NAOC 2012.
Jul 8, 2014 7:26 PM # 
Seems like they've revised the women's start list, Ali now 4th out instead of first, 12:27, and Alex now 14:27.

Men's also revised, Eric now 13:18.

And lots of other changes. Maybe they didn't use the correct WRE points list?
Jul 8, 2014 8:00 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Can someone remind me again how starts per country are earned in the Middle & Long finals? The US men have 1 and 1, the US women have 2 and 2. In order to maintain or increase those for 2015, what needs to happen?
Jul 8, 2014 8:14 PM # 
The special rules outline the system.

And here are the allocations for 2014 for women and men.
Jul 8, 2014 8:48 PM # 
I may have mentioned now and again that the new World Ranking is a shambles. The list has been wrong since the beginning - nobody noticed until these silly WOC start times came out. They appear to have recalculated the whole thing this afternoon to get the start list "they" want.

It is well established that a later start is beneficial. So Ali is being punished for her high WR score.

Did I say shambles already? I wouldn't care so much but we've got to sort it out next year.
Jul 8, 2014 8:54 PM # 
You can just do what others did and do it your way (e.g. use Ray Barnes's points) if the SEA goes along. What are they going to do, take away the WOC from the world's newest nation?
Jul 8, 2014 8:57 PM # 
My understanding of what has happened is:

(a) the women's start list is being run in the order group 3, then group 2, then group 1, then group 4/5. I presume this is being done to separate the best women from the best men for the benefit of the TV broadcast. (Whether this is fair on the people in group 3 is another question altogether, and one which will no doubt have a fair bit of discussion between now and next year).

(b) a small number of people with no ranking (not sure exactly who, but understand Francois Gonon was one of them) were given "wildcards" and elevated from the lowest group into Group 3.

(a) is provided for under the rules, (b) is not, and was struck down following a complaint/protest (not sure how the formalities actually happened). There was then a full redraw within the groups, but apart from the now-demoted wildcards the order of the groups has not changed.

The actual ranking scores had nothing to do with any of these issues.
Jul 8, 2014 9:23 PM # 
Not sure if I have a browser compatibility issue, but I can't see any of the start lists. Could someone just let me know the first starter from each race?

I'm presuming it will be before I wake up, but ho hum.
Jul 8, 2014 9:26 PM # 
I get a 404 on the men's list no matter what the browser. The original women's list was visible, now neither one is. Also, the icon on the Live page that is supposed to lead to the Long Final leads instead to the Sprint Relay; if you type in the logical link for the Long Final, I get what looks like an Italian quick brown fox.
Jul 8, 2014 9:32 PM # 
According to the list I have, first woman is Celine Dodin (FRA) at 12.21, first man Francesco Buselli (ARG) at 12.26.
Jul 8, 2014 9:33 PM # 
a small number of people with no ranking ... were given "wildcards".
The actual ranking scores had nothing to do with any of these issues.

Thanks for clarifying that.

So somebody noticed that it was a bit silly to have Gonon (a former World Champion, with a couple of Long medals to his name) outside the TV window. They tried to do something about it, but couldn't.
Jul 8, 2014 9:43 PM # 
There are new startlists available on the site:



No changes for US start times.
Jul 8, 2014 9:57 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Cristina, thanks for digging up those rules! But I can't seem to load them... anyone else having the same issue?
Jul 8, 2014 10:02 PM # 

Link works for me. It's a Word file.
Jul 8, 2014 10:29 PM # 
Blair, you raised ranking issues with the IOF long ago. Were they unable or unwilling?

And yeah, bring back qualification.
Jul 8, 2014 11:42 PM # 
A brilliant blog post, presumably by Taco-C:
Jul 8, 2014 11:58 PM # 
Love the post! All of the posts, actually, though, I think I will miss Alex's start by two hours if I tune in at the EDT posted as her start time in the blog. :)
Jul 9, 2014 2:19 AM # 
Thanks everyone! Probably too early but perhaps Rosie will wake me up in time!
Jul 9, 2014 5:09 AM # 
She knows them too well :)
Jul 9, 2014 6:56 AM # 
vmeyer oops, thanks! fixed! Now there's no reason for anyone to miss Alex's start! ;-)

Ian, that post was a result of a bit of insomnia, probably directly related to how much I didn't care about that soccer stuff you were rambling on about.

Also, everyone should get themselves in the mood with the Team USA playlist that Ross blogged about.
Jul 9, 2014 7:06 AM # 
Neil - all I've got so far is a commitment to incorporate those issues in a post-season review.
Jul 9, 2014 9:09 AM # 
Thanks Blair.

With the Live Pass thing, if one has two computers, one for video, one for gps, one needs to pay twice, right ?

Just checking...
Jul 9, 2014 9:11 AM # 
Any predictions? Like Thierry Kiril Baptiste 1 2 3 ? ;)
Jul 9, 2014 9:12 AM # 
If one has two computers, one could possibly use two displays on one machine (or maybe some kind of screen sharing if both laptops?)

We definitely need to do some kind of draft and scoring.
Jul 9, 2014 9:27 AM # 
As the women get going, the weather is good for running. maybe 60F? Clouds, a little blue sky right now, but wouldn't be surprised to see some rain at some point. Finish chute looks muddy.
Jul 9, 2014 10:25 AM # 
First starter (Celine Dodin) is out and GPS tracking is working nicely. Looks like video coverage starts at 14.00, so I guess arena audio also starts then?
Jul 9, 2014 10:33 AM # 
@ndobbs Enough of Beck's Cat - its time for a British medal.

Wyder Alexandersson Taylor.
Jul 9, 2014 10:48 AM # 
Ali about to start the first long leg. Dodin went right, Rønning Sund went left. Looks like Ali is going left:

Jul 9, 2014 10:54 AM # 
Hanny off to a good start.

What's with the arena speaker through Mixlr - I signed up got the page ok, but nothing's coming out of my speakers.

Is there any Swedish tv? Link anyone?
Jul 9, 2014 10:59 AM # 
It isn't broadcasting, or webcasting, till later.
Jul 9, 2014 11:00 AM # 
Hanny's route all the way around on the trails to 5 is surely the fastest.

SVT starts in an hour
Jul 9, 2014 11:03 AM # 
Thanks! Yes Hanny is catching the two in front of her.
Jul 9, 2014 11:05 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
She is running with Fanni
Jul 9, 2014 11:05 AM # 
Looks like Ali was caught by Martina Zverinova. They're coming into 9 together.

Several pairs so far on the women's course and no splitting mechanism.
Jul 9, 2014 11:10 AM # 
Can you post a screenshot of the end of the course?
Jul 9, 2014 11:11 AM # 
Jul 9, 2014 11:16 AM # 
Very helpful, thanks!
Jul 9, 2014 11:21 AM # 
Kemp has caught 4 min up on Claire Ward at #2.

Thoughts on the route to #12? Around along the road isn't much less climb. Looks like a smart choice.
Jul 9, 2014 11:23 AM # 
anyone getting the speaker to work? I had it and now its gone :(
Jul 9, 2014 11:31 AM # 
There's a corner that can be cut on the road route to 12...
Jul 9, 2014 11:34 AM # 
Big cliff N of Women's #21 could do with some tags.
Jul 9, 2014 11:39 AM # 
@Acampbell, it's coming and going.
Jul 9, 2014 11:41 AM # 
And now Gonon is on track for a top X ;)
Jul 9, 2014 11:41 AM # 
Speaker is on now
Jul 9, 2014 11:44 AM # 
Ali and Martina taking different routes after the arena -- advantage seemingly Ali's.
Jul 9, 2014 11:46 AM # 
Yep, nice by Ali, nice spike too. And Martina slightly off, adv def Ali's!
Jul 9, 2014 11:47 AM # 
Jul 9, 2014 11:48 AM # 
Martina catching back up.

Eric's been caught by Bjarne Friedrichs but now their dots are gone.
Jul 9, 2014 11:49 AM # 
Stop being cheap ;) Well worth the money!

Cat needs to step on it or she'll miss the train.
Jul 9, 2014 11:50 AM # 
I was about to say the same, ndobbs, but I had a change of heart.

Jul 9, 2014 11:51 AM # 
Speaker sound keeps cutting in and out. Hopefully the sound on the video will work in 10 minutes.
Jul 9, 2014 11:52 AM # 
So I'm at work so if I pay I still can't stream it as no permission on computer but can get live results and AP and attempting the speaker on my phone.
Jul 9, 2014 11:54 AM # 
I wish I could watch sports at work! ;)
Jul 9, 2014 11:55 AM # 
Well i'm just filing papers so not too hard really. Multitasking is a thing right?
Jul 9, 2014 11:57 AM # 
I thought Chataing was just cutting the corner, but she has a whole new route to #12. Not sure it's faster than the road approach, but doesn't look bad!
Jul 9, 2014 11:58 AM # 
Did you see Hanny's route?
Jul 9, 2014 12:01 PM # 
nope. TV streaming now, but showing clips from sprint?!
Jul 9, 2014 12:02 PM # 
Nice clip of Ali and Martina at the finish line
Jul 9, 2014 12:06 PM # 
Seems like including the climb as well as distance on the route choice clips would be good, and not too hard. Meanwhile, Gonon kicking ass, though 6mins behind predicted time at 56 mins...
Jul 9, 2014 12:08 PM # 
Ali says pretty clean, just not enough oomph.
Jul 9, 2014 12:12 PM # 
At least the tv started before the first medallist finished :) Well done Mironova, and Ali. Tough with big races every two days.
Jul 9, 2014 12:13 PM # 
Eliasson making a huge parallel error, could be hard to fix that.
Jul 9, 2014 12:14 PM # 
Is it possible to change the colour (currently white and barely visible) of the runners' names on the tracking screens?

Looks like the unheralded Russian (Mironova) will be hard to beat.
Jul 9, 2014 12:15 PM # 
I feel so meta right now. Not watching in person, not watching the online coverage, only getting my fix through the generous play by play on AP, which is a reinterpretation of the online, etc… and it is great!
Jul 9, 2014 12:16 PM # 
Rain now, also thunder.
Jul 9, 2014 12:17 PM # 
Mironova Alexandersson Taylor...
Jul 9, 2014 12:19 PM # 
@ndobbs I like your positivity but taylor still? she is a bit behind from what I can tell. please inform me otherwise, i'll be very happy to be wrong :)
Jul 9, 2014 12:22 PM # 
My gps tracking is lagging, had to reload to get it to be live --- any better way?
Jul 9, 2014 12:25 PM # 
Come on Neil--I am counting on you! ;)
Jul 9, 2014 12:28 PM # 
Looks like Ali top 30 for sure, possibly top 25.
Jul 9, 2014 12:29 PM # 
Yeah, maybe she won't catch up with Tove, oh well.

Tove 1:11 behind with 3km left, looking good for Mirononva, though Mironova lost 30+s on the last loop it seems.
Jul 9, 2014 12:29 PM # 
Neil, click the 1x symbol in the lower left once in a while. Ramp it up to 4x or 10x and it will catch up and reset to 1x.
Jul 9, 2014 12:30 PM # 
A few interesting routes to #4 in teh men's race (Simonin)... and Sevidov looks like he has dropped his GPS
Jul 9, 2014 12:36 PM # 
Thanks Hammer. Meanwhile, acjospe en route to 3.
Jul 9, 2014 12:37 PM # 
In Men's, Petrzela started very fast, catching Simonin and Aleliunas.
Jul 9, 2014 12:40 PM # 
Eric's dot came back but disappeared again before I could check out all his route -- it looks like he's having a good run, though.

Switched to NRK coverage since iof webtv was so choppy. The announcers are altogether too calm. I need Per.
Jul 9, 2014 12:41 PM # 
ndobbs, does clicking "live" top right not synch it up?
Jul 9, 2014 12:44 PM # 
Unless Mironova lost a lot of time on the last two controls, the gold is hers! Then Tove then Judith?

Mine says "online" in top right.
Jul 9, 2014 12:45 PM # 
When mine falls behind it switches from "online" to "live>>>" or something like that. Clicking it seems to catch it up.

Emily Kemp about to finish, looks like she'll sneak in ahead of Ali.
Jul 9, 2014 12:47 PM # 
Poor Svetlana has had to spend a terribly long time in that chair!
Jul 9, 2014 12:51 PM # 
Looks like Norway will have 3 in the top 7 but no medals! :-(
Jul 9, 2014 12:57 PM # 
How's it look for placing for Ali?
Jul 9, 2014 12:58 PM # 
Jul 9, 2014 12:59 PM # 
And Thierry goes straight to #2 (from #1)!
Jul 9, 2014 1:01 PM # 
He did lose 20s doing so, maybe, compared with Hertner.
Jul 9, 2014 1:05 PM # 
o y
Jul 9, 2014 1:08 PM # 
So If road was fastest to #12 for girls, is Tambasov's best for #15 in the men's?
Jul 9, 2014 1:11 PM # 
Louise is through the arena, looks like possibly top 40 run.
Jul 9, 2014 1:13 PM # 
what happened to Holly?
Jul 9, 2014 1:19 PM # 
Lundanes has nearly caught Timo!

And woah, what a route choice by Jani!
Jul 9, 2014 1:20 PM # 
Listening to both audio feeds at once makes it more exciting.
Jul 9, 2014 1:26 PM # 
Sun is out!
Jul 9, 2014 1:26 PM # 
ndobbs, Alex is cutting the corner on 12.
Jul 9, 2014 1:26 PM # 
Any info on Alex?
Jul 9, 2014 1:26 PM # 
She didn't go back down to the road. Not sure which is better.

56th at first radio, then 52nd at 2nd
Jul 9, 2014 1:29 PM # 
Alex seems to be making some good route choices, especially on the long leg 11-12. Go Alex!
Jul 9, 2014 1:31 PM # 
And Ali's place? 55 looked fast passing through.
Jul 9, 2014 1:31 PM # 
Bone @ 31, finishing pretty soon
Jul 9, 2014 1:34 PM # 
Ali likely 26 or 27. Currently 25th.
Jul 9, 2014 1:34 PM # 
Daria Lajn POL 18 sec ahead of Ali at Radio 6
Jul 9, 2014 1:36 PM # 
Bone finishing?
Jul 9, 2014 1:37 PM # 
Thierry and Alex's GPS's are off dancing together.
Jul 9, 2014 1:38 PM # 
Looks like Alex has friends now after the long leg.
Jul 9, 2014 1:38 PM # 
Jospe just ahead of a couple others, Ziv & Flerin, on way to 15.
Jul 9, 2014 1:39 PM # 
So Daria Lajn now behind Ali at Radio 7, but by less than a minute
Jul 9, 2014 1:43 PM # 
I'm not good like Cristina at screen capture

Jul 9, 2014 1:46 PM # 
So Ali retains #25
Jul 9, 2014 1:47 PM # 
Eric orienteered well but says he was bonking even after 90 minutes, staggering at the end. But very happy to have hung in there
Jul 9, 2014 1:47 PM # 
You arena people just saw Alex, I guess.
Jul 9, 2014 1:48 PM # 
Good run by Louise.
Jul 9, 2014 1:49 PM # 
AZE lass found #1.
Jul 9, 2014 1:52 PM # 
Jul 9, 2014 1:55 PM # 
Ali 26th. Preliminary final. :-)
Jul 9, 2014 1:56 PM # 
More news on Alex?
Jul 9, 2014 1:57 PM # 
oh yeah 25
Jul 9, 2014 1:57 PM # 
Alex still running with Flerin, just passed 18. 51st at last radio.
Jul 9, 2014 1:57 PM # 
Alex neck and neck with Flerin heading to 19, looks pretty clean.
Jul 9, 2014 1:58 PM # 
You mean, Alex leading. Yeah, solid, has a chance of top 50 just maybe.
Jul 9, 2014 1:58 PM # 
Yeah, Alex leading, barely.
Jul 9, 2014 1:59 PM # 
Thanks! Keep us posted.
Jul 9, 2014 1:59 PM # 
Emily vs Ali --- exciting promo for Ottawa?!
Jul 9, 2014 2:00 PM # 
gps is a bit spotty, but I suspect Thierry caught Baptiste... so they get to flap together as Nikolov goes solo.
Jul 9, 2014 2:01 PM # 
And Gueorgiou and Georgios are about to collide!
Jul 9, 2014 2:02 PM # 
Bright sun now, not so cold.
Jul 9, 2014 2:03 PM # 
It's hard to judge at a glance from the splits, but it looks like Alex has been running really well between radio 1 (35 mins) and radio 5 (75 mins). Her time has basically been even with Emma Klingenberg and Louise over that interval.
Jul 9, 2014 2:03 PM # 
Alex through Radio 6 in 95, currently in 53rd. Go Alex!
Jul 9, 2014 2:03 PM # 
Nick finishing now, looks like 40/41! Nice work, Nick!
Jul 9, 2014 2:05 PM # 
Good job Eric!
Jul 9, 2014 2:05 PM # 
Gueorgiou leading a small group heading to 25. Arena soon.
Jul 9, 2014 2:06 PM # 
Alex heading to 21; 23 is in arena.
Jul 9, 2014 2:08 PM # 
Thierry's flock has punched at 25; heading to 26 and the arena.
Jul 9, 2014 2:09 PM # 
Alex approaching 22, still with Flerin
Jul 9, 2014 2:10 PM # 
Alex in open behind the hill SE of arena.
Jul 9, 2014 2:10 PM # 
Thierry in open heading to arena.
Jul 9, 2014 2:11 PM # 
Adamski also arriving into finish
Jul 9, 2014 2:11 PM # 
Jul 9, 2014 2:11 PM # 
Here comes my favorite part - watching the Gueorgiou dot through the final loop.
Jul 9, 2014 2:12 PM # 
Alex at go control
Jul 9, 2014 2:12 PM # 
Jul 9, 2014 2:15 PM # 
Looking forward to hearing about Alex's experience.
Confused looking at results; seems like Hao fo CHN finished 2 sec after, and Flerin 2 min later, so maybe tracking was mixed up.
Jul 9, 2014 2:16 PM # 
Flerin started 2 min earlier. Alex caught her.
Jul 9, 2014 2:16 PM # 
oh right duh
Jul 9, 2014 2:18 PM # 
Rollier drops off the Gueorgiou Zinca train.
Jul 9, 2014 2:21 PM # 
Of course, cut the GPS to increase the suspense. Reminds me of Eurovision. Calling Malta. Is that Malta. Hello Malta.
Jul 9, 2014 2:22 PM # 
Any updates from the arena from the Americans or Canadians? Live interview?
Jul 9, 2014 2:27 PM # 
Thierry, Fabian and Olav have dropped off my tracking for the last loop.
Jul 9, 2014 2:31 PM # 
Alex was pretty happy. Was hoping for 100 minutes but when told best was 79, felt much better no mistakes.
Jul 9, 2014 2:31 PM # 
Orienteering: 100 guys run around in the forest for 2 hours and Thierry wins.
Jul 9, 2014 2:32 PM # 
Hubmann is 15s in front of Lundanes at Radio 6, 77 minutes in.
Jul 9, 2014 2:32 PM # 
So good job by all three from the USA.
Jul 9, 2014 2:33 PM # 
100 guys run around the forest for two hours, but Thierry only takes 1h30.
Jul 9, 2014 2:35 PM # 
And... GPS is BACK! Hubmann/Kyburz together?
Jul 9, 2014 2:35 PM # 
Congrats to Alex, Eric, Ali!
Jul 9, 2014 2:37 PM # 
Nice to see Olav back near the top! Medal!
Jul 9, 2014 2:37 PM # 
Way to go, USA folks! Big congratulations to the Canadians, too!
Jul 9, 2014 2:38 PM # 
SUI with 4 finishers in the top 8?
Jul 9, 2014 2:38 PM # 
Looks like Matthias Kyburz's previous best long result was 19th in Switzerland, so a new personal best with his top 10 result here.
Jul 9, 2014 2:39 PM # 
"It's absolutely clear!"
Jul 9, 2014 2:41 PM # 
In case anyone was unaware, Switzerland has four starters in the two long distance races because D. Hubmann and Wyder won the EOC long in Portugal in April.

Fun bonus fact: EOC places 1-4 were Hubmann, Lundanes, Johansson, and Hertner. WOC 2-5 were the same with Johansson and Hertner swapped.
Jul 9, 2014 2:43 PM # 
And Cristina, SUI tried to get 4 in the top 7 without a medal, beating the NOR girls, but they couldn't all fit and had to take a silver.
Jul 9, 2014 2:44 PM # 
Eric just out of League of Nations points?
Jul 9, 2014 2:44 PM # 
Doesn't look like any US/Canada interviews today - perhaps later in week.
Jul 9, 2014 2:47 PM # 
Best Finn, 18th, beaten by 3 Fra, 3 Sui, 3 Nor, but only 2 Swe.
Jul 9, 2014 3:07 PM # 
Thanks for all of this review! Great stuff!
Jul 9, 2014 3:07 PM # 
sorry Neil.. 4 Sui ahead of the best Finn
Jul 9, 2014 3:22 PM # 
That's what I wrote in my head. Thanks, all!
Jul 9, 2014 3:34 PM # 
Quick update on one of the side issues, the men's Division 3 promotion battle. Currently (by my reckoning) scores are IRL 115, AUS 90, ROM 71, ISR 69, NZL 44, BEL 42, SVK 41 (2013 results plus today).
Jul 9, 2014 4:48 PM # 
For the women: NZL 91, CHN 50, JPN 49, BUL 43, then several in the 20s and 30s.
Jul 9, 2014 6:21 PM # 
This promotion battle thing should really be BIG NEWS - adding excitement and motivation for the "little countries". I hope there is a motivated volunteer (or staff) that can dedicate some time to figuring out the official results very soon after results and making a splash about them.
Jul 9, 2014 6:28 PM # 
And of course there is the flip side, the battle to avoid demotion.

Yes, it would be very nice if this were given a bit of attention. And if there were some official numbers (that were not subject to change by the SEA to make 2015 WOC more media friendly -- like not relegating GBR).
Jul 9, 2014 6:32 PM # 
@PG Relegate us if you like, host nation still gets 3 runners :)
Jul 9, 2014 7:32 PM # 
Anyone know where I can view splits from today?
Jul 9, 2014 7:53 PM # 
@graeme: Pity you aren't hosting WOC 2016 instead - then SCO could have had 3 runners as host and GBR 3 as a division 1 country. (Has there been thought as to how GBR and SCO would be allocated to divisions in the event of independence?)
Jul 9, 2014 8:02 PM # 
Anyone know where I can view splits from today?

Splits from sprint and sprint relay are on WinSplits. I'd expect the Long to be there at some point.
Jul 9, 2014 8:12 PM # 
@feet - not by me (and I guess it would be my problem to deal with).
Jul 9, 2014 9:05 PM # 

Assuming it would still be called Great Britain and not er Former UK.
Jul 9, 2014 9:15 PM # 
I'll try to have updated points done on Friday night before the relays, if there is time to do so in between FOC meetings and broadcasting engagements....
Jul 10, 2014 9:02 AM # 
photos from the long.
Jul 10, 2014 9:53 AM # 
Hanny could have been top 10, maybe even on the podium. According to the World of O analysis of the women's race Hanny was as high as 4th after the 6th control, and still in 6th place overall after 11, before the long leg to 12 where she went left (according to OA News) and lost time to those who went right on the roads. After that leg, it looks like Hanny finished strongly as she was in the top 6 splits in several of the final legs, and even won the long leg (17-18) on the final loop.
Jul 10, 2014 5:32 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Great photos, Ken!

They are certainly keeping a certain uniform design fanatic happy.
Jul 19, 2014 7:33 AM # 
Video capture of Hollie Orr's "punch" that gave her DSQ on last control
Jul 19, 2014 10:02 AM # 
Rough. Though not exactly up there with JFK getting assassinated, eh Zap?

JW is more clearly checking for the flash even as she accelerates away.
Jul 19, 2014 10:02 AM # 
Another in a long line of unfair WOC "mispunches" (Yvette Hague 1991, Oli Johnson 2006, Ross Morrison 2008). The SI system is flawed where the control unit records the punch but the runners stick doesn't. However IOF have said repeatedly that instant results are more important than interrogating the SI control units, so this won't change. Unless, maybe, if a Swedish runner in a medal winning position is mispunched.

and not everybody is too happy about it
Jul 19, 2014 1:29 PM # 
I think it is ridiculous. Since when is our sport about punching technique? I thought it was about navigation skill and fitness (what happens in between the controls). Of course there will always be bureaucratic type arguments around needing to draw the line, and yes if she did that at every control she might gain 10 seconds. But when the SI unit itself records the passage and you have video proof of the person having found (and touched) the control; to DSQ someone is needlessly punitive and is a disservice to the sport in the long run.
Jul 19, 2014 2:31 PM # 
@O-ing The SI system is flawed
Not so.
If the system records the punch, but the rules don't allow the organisers to look at the record, then surely the problem is with the rule and not the system?

But even if you insist on being an officious @*&% and follow the rules...

IOF rules 2014:
A backup needle punch must be present at each control.
Can you see one in the video? Me neither.

If one unit is not working, a competitor must use the backup provided
Hollie is clearly using all the backup punches which are provided...

If.. it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor’s fault. In this exceptional circumstance, other evidence may be used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from ... camera

One can only assume that it's Hollie's fault that there's no backup. Maybe she put the control out?

Sadly one can expect the IOF officials to do the officious @*&% thing, but not to know or pay attention to their own rules.

IOF Foot Orienteering Competition Rules 2014 WOC 3.7 For each individual competition, there shall be 3 parallel qualification race heats for both women and men
Jul 19, 2014 3:23 PM # 
Lack of common sense is nothing new. In 1991, Yvette was seen punching by dozens of witnesses, and she clearly had the correct punch on her card. The reason for the DSQ was that the punch was not fully in the box. (You have to draw the line somwhere, and they used the line that was printed on the card.) The assertion was that this hastiness could result in an unfair time advantage over somebody who took the time to punch carefully. Were you under the mistaken impression that the sport is about physically going to the specified locations?
Jul 19, 2014 5:54 PM # 
I agree that it is a disappointment that Hollie got DQ'd but the rule for punching SI is not simply that the SI card goes in, but also that it remains in long enough for there to be a flash/beep and, despite it being very difficult to check this especially in the arena with a lot of people cheering super loudly (guilty), it is the responsibility of the runner to make sure this happens. If she didn't get a beep/flash she could have punched the other unit. If it still didn't work, then it becomes the responsibility of the organizers.

It is easy to say that the challenge of orienteering is not about punching, but I believe the system as it is addresses the necessity of getting everyone to be "at" the control in a standardized fashion.

That being said, it would be nice to have SI units that are more reliable.
Jul 19, 2014 6:45 PM # 
I'm interested to know what was in the backup memory of that station. If the station records, but the stick is removed before the write is finished, then an error code is recorded on the station. If there is no error code on the station, and an entry in the memory, then it should be impossible for there not to also be an entry on the stick.
With the newer (8,9,10,11) si sticks, I've found it very hard to punch to fast to not get a record like it was with the 5s. If you actually get it into the hole, you seem guaranteed to get a record on the stick, and if not, that should be a failing of the technology of the system.
Jul 19, 2014 7:19 PM # 
@Ross: You can't have it both ways.

Either you accept common sense and reinstate.

Or you deny common sense and follow the rules, which say that if the unit doesn't work you "must use the (needle) backup provided". Since there was no backup provided, she followed the rules to the letter and you can use other evidence.

What you can't do is pick and choose which rules to apply for your own convenience... at least not if you expect anyone to take you seriously in the future.
Jul 19, 2014 7:48 PM # 
According to the IOFs own rules there should have been a back up pin punch at the control. Fair enough; they screwed up and Hollie "followed the rules to the letter". On the other hand it's not like there wasn't a back up at all. There were two SI boxes. The one she punched didn't work. Does it not make sense to then punch the other one?

That's not to say the rules are right or wrong but I do think it's fair that the onus is on the athlete to make sure they get confirmation that they have punched.

Does it make the sport / organization look silly when an athlete is disqualified for 'not punching' in the arena when everyone sees them punch? Of course. In this case it's extremely clear that the athlete punched the control and therefore completed the course and should probably be reinstated. In a situation like this who bears the burden of proof? Is it up to the athlete / team to find footage or other proof that they visited the control or are the organizers asked to go through the camera footage (e.g. hockey style) to determine if they visited the control?
Jul 19, 2014 8:22 PM # 
@Graeme: I guess I haven't followed the particulars of this case enough, I would feel differently if Hollie has stated that she had a confirmation that the SI registered. Do you know if she heard the unit beep or saw the unit flash?

In the case that she got a confirmation but then at download there was no punch registered, then she should protest and it is a problem with the sportident system.

In the case that she did not get a confirmation but could not find an acceptable backup punch, then she should protest and it is a problem with the organizers and the competition controllers.

I think what is most likely (what it looks like in the video, to my eye) is that she did not specifically look for the confirmation that the punch worked (and also that the punch neither flashed nor beeped), trusting that the technology would just work. In this scenario, I believe that it is Hollie's responsibility and also that it is a real shame that the two units at the finish control were not equally functioning. A shame, and a scenario that was potentially avoidable and hopefully will be added to whatever organizer checklist gets passed on to future WOC organizers.

A thought experiment. Say that the finish control did have a backup pin punch. Say that Hollie realized her punch did not register and so she was forced to stop, unfold her map, and punch in the reserve box. And say that she was a beaten by mere seconds by another competitor that did not have any equipment trouble. What would be fair in this situation? Should Hollie or her team manager file a protest that valuable time was lost, and ask that her result be altered?
Jul 19, 2014 8:23 PM # 
Does it not make sense to then punch the other one?
If you expect "what makes sense" you have to reinstate her anyway.

So once you've decided she must follow the rules by the letter rather than use common sense. Rules say "must use backup", not "use other unit"

Like I said, you can't have it both ways and expect people to take you seriously. Sad for Hollie, but at least the WOC2015 team are now learning who can't be taken seriously...
Jul 19, 2014 8:39 PM # 
I am willing to change my mind if the unit really did beep and flash.

Maybe the backup needed is to have a cheap camera pointed at each control site that can be reviewed in the cases where a runner claims there was a flash and the SI card is missing a punch? Seems a bit over the top, somehow.

Either way, it's clearly a place where the technology could be improved to get a more reliable system
Jul 19, 2014 9:03 PM # 
Back in the day when the requirements were established for what's now the Emit system, they said explicitly that the system "must NOT provide a feedback signal to the runner", because what should then happen when the feedback fails? The runner should not have to care whether the unit works or not, just punch and go regardless.

I know the paper backup can fall off the card, but this is truly the correct design that would avoid all of this silliness entirely. If you also count 10-Mila and 25-Manna I'm fairly certain that there have been well over 100 cases of punch-is-on-liveTV-but-runner-is-DSQed.

Of course when SI came out, the card the runner has to purchase was a lot cheaper and people loved that it beeped. And I have to admit that I also prefer the punching action with SI. So that system took over, despite the flawed backup concept. Needle punches for backup? We designed electronic punching to get rid of those suckers in the first place...
Jul 19, 2014 9:35 PM # 
It is v strange it didn't register. I presume Hollie wasn't the first to punch that unit that day... (and I think strange/surprising is reason enough to entertain a protest)

Pi, between batteries dying and paper falling out, I can't say emit is a whole lot better.
Jul 19, 2014 10:11 PM # 
Not arguing really about emit or SI being better. Just want to point out that emit is designed around the correct concept for backup, i.e. the fundamental principle that there should not be a feedback signal to the runner.
Jul 19, 2014 10:26 PM # 
Pi - can you fill me in, as I don't follow that logic. What is the rationale for it to be considered 'correct' not to provide feedback? Isn't it best for the athlete to know his visit to the control has been recorded okay?
Jul 19, 2014 10:28 PM # 
It is very unusual. There's no way I can get a fail-to-register with the new SI sticks
fully inserted.

I'm aware of a few strange SI mp's in the UK. I'd guess about one in a million*. Usually, it seems to happen at busy radio controls: I assume TV controls are also radio-connected?

*excluding unit battery failure, which is easily resolved.
BTW I never heard of anyone, ever, reinstated using the emit backup card.
Jul 19, 2014 10:43 PM # 
I have seen enough weird behavior that should be impossible with SI stations to believe that there are some bugs in the firmware. That probably should be expected though. Getting firmware 100% correct in a low power microprocessor with sleep states and interrupts is hard, especially at the small volumes that SI stations are produced.
The weirdest bug I have seen is an SI-5 that was used on a course, punched the controls in the correct order as verified by reading the timestamps from the backup memory of the stations, but had the punches out of order, but with the correct time stamps, on the SI stick.
Jul 19, 2014 11:05 PM # 
"BTW I never heard of anyone, ever, reinstated using the emit backup card."

Andrew was at Jukola, iirc.
Jul 19, 2014 11:20 PM # 
@edwarddes I had the exact same problem, but with an SI-9.
Jul 20, 2014 12:10 AM # 
when i first have to use emit- WOC 95.. i lost the paper back up between 2 controls.. i turned around.. found it it- maybe lost 60 sec altogether, rushed, missed next control a bit, and end up just shy out of the finals..and been told at the finish that' that paper wasn't mandatory.. well that was back almost 2 decades..its sad that even everyone can see (in Hollie's case ), she ends up DQ
Jul 20, 2014 12:21 AM # 
I already outlined the logic. If there is a feedback signal, the athlete has to react and do something special when the signal does not come (pin punch or have two units at every flag, neither particularly elegant to say the least, not to mention very bad for the organizers).

If there is no feedback signal, the athlete can entirely ignore whether the system works or not. The athlete does not have to wait for a signal, or worry that it did not register etc. Punch and go, the same way at every control, whether units or card are working or not.

How to implement a system without feedback, which still has a backup method, that's a (difficult) implementation issue. Emit has the paper on the card that gets perforated by a single "needle" on the unit when you place the card in it. So now the weakness is the paper... which they "improved" over the years to stay on the card better and last longer in rain etc. It's not amazing at all, but it is the correct principle.

Yes, people have most definitely been reinstated with the emit paper backup.

Yes, I remember when emit was first introduced that people thought the paper was mandatory, but of course it just means you lost your ability to get reinstated in case a unit failed.
Jul 20, 2014 5:12 AM # 
Emit controls also used to flash. Marcus using a NOC organiser's emit noticed it stopped working halfway round the NOC sprint (battery died). He then started punching 'properly', but was still dsq.
Jul 20, 2014 5:23 AM # 
Oh, emit flashes now? Well, you see what that lead to in a hurry. Same thing as with SI.

That's a shame. Emit gave up the one thing that made sense with their system? Now they have the brick with the paper, plus the stupid thing flashes/blinks?
Jul 20, 2014 7:43 AM # 
Pi, can you clarify something: Is it really the lack of feedback that you like about Emit or is it the automatic built in backup that you like?

If you were to remove the feedback from SI that wouldn't improve the system and more people would get screwed over. If you were to somehow add a backup to the SI system that would improve the system regardless of whether the athlete gets feedback or not.

I get what you're saying but I just don't see how whether or not there's feedback comes in to play. If you don't want feedback then don't look for the flashing or listen to the beeping and take your chances.

I'm very willing to predict that one day in the not too distant future all controls will have little cellphones / radios built in and automatically transmit punching data in real time via the web. When this happens we'll have a full set of radio controls to follow along but also hopefully that can be used as a back up in instances like these. If the unit is completely dead of course it still won't work...
Jul 20, 2014 7:48 AM # 
Oh, and also... I'm willing to bet that what happened in Hollie's case is that the unit was turned on in the morning but wasn't used early in the day and went to sleep again to be woken up by the first punch it saw. When this happens it takes a second or so to wake up and register the punch which feels like an eternity when you're used to the ~100 ms punch speed of modern SI sticks. In the heat of a WOC race simply keep moving not realizing that it hasn't registered - if you're racing someone down the finish chute.

The vetters should always punch every single unit out in the woods to turn them on and check that they are working. The sleep times on the units should also be checked in advance to make sure that they stay awake for long enough that you don't run into this problem.
Jul 20, 2014 7:57 AM # 
Pi there was always feedback pre-Emit and SI (the pinholes on your control card), so why the push to not have feedback? I can't follow your logic at all.

I think WOC rules should include that the organising federation has to provide every competitor with the latest flashing SI11 cards - there's double feedback for you!

And if any IOF Board members are listening, then they should be taking some action right now to reinstate Hollie!
Jul 20, 2014 9:29 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
EMIT backup is actually working, and it works exactly as designed:

Back in 2012 my club (Nydalen) hosted the Norwegian champs, I was in charge of the "Red Zone" so I got to see all the runners with problematic punching results.

We had lots of mispunches, two of them due to cards that had died during the competition: With the backup pattern verified and separate finish line timing it was easy to reinstate them (and tell them to throw away their old EMIT cards!)

We also had a runner (H19-20) who insisted he had been to all the controls (many of them together with other runners), but who were missing two or three punches.

When I checked his backup strip it only had a quarter of the pins it should have, it turned out that the guy had been practicing a technique where he only slammed his card down close to the control punch and assumed/hoped that the electronics would work at a distance! (We told him very strongly to mend his ways for the relay and let the mp stand.)

We did not get a single instance from a working EMIT card where a runner had managed to get a backup pin registered but not the electronic split time registered.

Personally I have been reinstated several times using the backup strip, it happened twice last year! First my relatively new card stopped working in the middle of a competition (bad production run, I got a new replacement by mail), then the next week (while waiting for the package from EMIT) I used an old loaner card which I checked carefully before starting (dumping/printing out the last run it had been used for, then zeroing it and verified that it was now empty), but this one also failed during the race. :-(

In both events I was reinstated with very little fuss, using the finish times of the people around me to estimate my actual time, which I could then verify afterwards with my Garmin watch track log.

I.e. I totally agree that SI is much nicer to punch with, as long as everything works, but when something fails EMIT handles this much more gracefully.

As others have noted when EMIT was developed the requirements given were such that they had to develop a paper only backup trail, so the solution with a paper strip and keyed punch units that you can only enter in a single orientation was probably the best possible solution.

SI came along because a smart Swiss developer noticed that new fancy cars were using a passive, short-range, programmable RFID chips inside the car keys: With production runs in the millions these units were far cheaper than the totally custom EMIT units, so he decided to put all the rest of the required smarts in the custom control units instead. This does make sense since an average event needs an order of magnitude more runner units than control units.

The rest is history, sometime in the not too far future we'll probably end up with contact-less punching for all events, at which point you just have to hope the sun isn't too bright to see/check the confirmation flash on your unit. At this point it doesn't matter to much of the system is EMIT, SI or something else.
Jul 20, 2014 9:45 AM # 
@ndobbs Andrew was at Jukola, iirc.
OK, that sounds credible. I have been "reinstated" a couple of times when I was given an emit which died, rapidly followed by being told they couldn't get a time. In a relay the don't need a time.

@pi If there is no feedback signal, the athlete can entirely ignore whether the system works or not.
At present the rule is that the athlete has responsibility to ensure that the system works, though how they're meant to prove they ensured this conveniently unspecified. Are you making some subtle argument that in the absence of feedback, this rule would be so unreasonable that it could never have come in?

@Canadian. I'll take your bet - it was quite late in the race and seems unlikely that nobody used that punch. (I might lose?...maybe we should bet on COC?, no, I'll definitely lose that)
Jul 20, 2014 10:44 AM # 
We did not get a single instance from a working EMIT card where a runner had managed to get a backup pin registered but not the electronic split time registered.

Andrew's emit card was working, just one control didn't register (iirc).
Jul 20, 2014 10:49 AM # 
Canadian's suggestion seems plausible. If the unit was asleep when Orr punched and she mistook the feedback from Wyder's punch as confirmation of her own punch, could that be considered to be "not the competitor's fault" as required under 20.5? It should have been easy enough for the protest jury to look at that possibility.

It would be useful to the general orienteering community if protests and the decisions on those protest were published somewhere (e.g. the competition website or the IOF website) so that we could see both the grounds for the protest and the reasons for the decision of the protest jury.

Out of interest, I ran a quick test to see whether I could get SI unit feedback with no punch recorded, but the best I could manage was one punch which generated no feedback, but had the punch recorded on the SI card, with the ErrA code on the SI unit for that punch (SI 10 card and SI unit BSF7 with firmware version 280); it would be interesting to hear from SportIdent whether they consider that this situation could occur.

20.5 A competitor with a control punch missing or unidentifiable shall not be placed
unless it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is
not the competitor’s fault. In this exceptional circumstance, other evidence may be
used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from control
officials or cameras or read-out from the control unit. In all other circumstances, such
evidence is not acceptable and the competitor must be disqualified. In the case of
SportIdent, this rule means that:
• If one unit is not working, or appears not to be working, a competitor must use
the backup provided and will be disqualified if no punch is recorded.
• If a competitor punches too fast and fails to receive the feedback signals, the card
will not contain the punch and the competitor must be disqualified (even though
the control unit may have recorded the competitor’s card number)
Jul 20, 2014 11:25 AM # 
Both systems are flawed. Pin punching put the responsibility on the competitor with a way to check, and it's always been a drawback of both electronic punching systems that there is no way to verify that you've been to the number of controls that you think you have.
Jul 20, 2014 2:42 PM # 
Interesting discussion and it's a shame about Hollie Orr. However, somewhere you have to draw the line at what is and isn't acceptable for punching no matter what system you use. If you start accepting video evidence what's to stop people from just waving their hand at the control?

Consider the relay and Marten Bostrom. Did anyone else notice him and the Norwegian at the last control at the same time but Marten fumbled the punch, took a step or two toward the finish but turned back to punch again? That probably made all the difference in the outcome but was necessary to avoid the MP.
Jul 20, 2014 4:53 PM # 
Agreed that the rationale for a protest cannot be that Hollie was seen at the control, however much that is the commonsense outcome.

The video shows that the unit she punched at was not operating correctly in two separate ways. It is surely not Hollie's fault that her unit behaved differently from Wyder's (slower). Nor was it her fault that the backup punch was absent.

Therefore, in this case, video evidence becomes admissible under the rules as evidence she was there.

n.b. I have nothing to do with the GBR team so I don't know what protest was actually made. As a controller occasionally called on to make these decisions, I *strongly* agree with Hawkeye that the absence of any "case law" is a problem.
Jul 20, 2014 5:13 PM # 
Graeme - I've twice been re-instated on the evidence of a back-up card:

1) v3 card reset itself halfway round a relay. All backup punches present

2) card did not register at a joker (reprogramable unit) when punching almost immediately after another runner. Backup was present, but as a joker control, in a different location to that suggested by the unit 'number'.

So evidently it is possible (though unusual) to get a backup punch from a unit without the e-punch registering.
Jul 20, 2014 5:48 PM # 
@edwarddes: [I] believe that there are some bugs in the firmware. That probably should be expected though. Getting firmware 100% correct in a low power microprocessor with sleep states and interrupts is hard

I also believe this, based on my long experience of creating many, many such bugs myself. I find further evidence in that the occurance of these strange punching errors seems to be declining - so they are slowly eliminating the bugs, but I believe there are more to be found.

Still, this is the system we have available to use. And so I agree with the rules - you have to draw the line and can't go around offering 'common sense' based on personal interpretations of evidence. Well, at least not at WOC - I'm happy to do that at Barebones ;-)

Strange thing - the IOF Rules say that the backup for SI must be pin punch, but the IOFs WRE Guidelines say it can be a second SI unit.

I have a theory that the new SI cards that flash themselves to confirm a punch are the way to go - check that your stick is flashing, never mind what the box is doing. My logic is that surely the flash is programmed to come on after the punch is registered, so this is a "work around" for the bugs I believe exist in the units' firmware
Jul 21, 2014 5:08 AM # 
Common sense would be consistent with rule 2.7 "Sporting fairness shall be the guiding principle in the interpretation of these rules by competitors, organisers and the jury".
Jul 21, 2014 5:22 AM # 
I can't really argue strongly against that. But why not use the new SI finger sticks which flash when they register and (hopefully) avoid this problem in the first place?

Are the WOC organizers still providing SI sticks for the competitors? If so then have them provide the "flashing" ones. If not, have the competitors get the latest stuff. This seems like a simple & practical way to reduce this problem even more. And they punch faster too don't they.
Jul 21, 2014 6:54 AM # 
I agree 100% with pi. There should be no (electronic) feedback whatsoever and competitor should have no clue is the system working or not. It should not show the number of controls one has punched either, because that would reveal the system is not working. Mechanical feedback (like possibility to count pin marks) is fine.

Never heard of anyone loosing back up paper if it's taped properly. At least never happened to me. I tape shoe laces too for the same reason. The biggest problem with Emit is back up mark being harder/slower to get than the electronic mark, in race situation it leads to the punching behaviour Terje described.

It has been disappointing to see Emit bricks used together with Emit tags (sometimes two of them) but those tags are not used as a back up, those are just for TV or online controls). If the gear is already there, we could use old school system as a main system and touch free tags as a back up (instead of paper). Like this back up would come first, so even if one is sloppy there would be back up mark proving one has been there. And to stop athletes from ignoring main system completely and using only the fast back up we would need a rule, like only 3 sloppy punches allowed (=main mark missing, back up mark exists). With carefully punching athlete could save one of those three for the last control, that would make first-in-finish races more fair/sensible - and would make it look better on TV. Punching technique and getting a slow unit would not have as big role as today.
Jul 21, 2014 7:14 AM # 
I can't see him taking any steps. I'd say the stick is in but the "computer interaction" takes just a little bit longer. Hollie might have faced a similar slow interaction. Beep sound from the other unit was enough.
Jul 21, 2014 9:16 AM # 
why not use the new SI finger sticks?
I like them, but they don't get around the problem of proof. If I see my stick flash, but due to some firmware error there's no punch, then how does it help?

When I heard about Hollie, I assumed she was chasing Wyder, was tired at the end of the course, and punched too fast. Unfortunate, but that would be a clear DQ under the rules.

The YLE video completely flipped my opinion. It is clear that she did not punch quickly: there is no way you can hold a fast SI stick in a properly functioning unit for that long and not register.

I adjudicated a similar case once. In a chasing start race, one runner was in a big pack and had no punch at a radio control. Others in the group confirmed she was there, and the splits made it clear too. So I checked the box to confirm she punched too fast - there was no record at all (like Hawkeye says, thats really hard to achieve). I decided it was a problem with the unit, and reinstated. Later, it turned out that other people had had trouble at the control, not getting the feedback and using the pinpunch backup (even though they'd been told not to... and the punch was there).

Anyway, the point is that no system is foolproof and we shouldn't run around assigning blame to competitor or organiser or manufacturer for occasional fails. The organisers have a duty to convince themselves the unit was working properly. If they can't, then a sporting fairness approach should be applied. In this case, its abundantly clear that Hollie gained no advantage from the misfunctioning unit (she got overtaken at the control!), and she should have been reinstated.
Jul 21, 2014 9:45 AM # 
+1 Graeme. I rarely do this but I agree with every word in the above. It is such a wantonly unfair treatment of an athlete who probably put hundreds of hours and dollars/euros/pounds into this race to have it taken away on the most nitpicking application of a non-rule. IOF should be ashamed.
Jul 21, 2014 10:07 AM # 
Thanks Eoin :)
But it goes beyond shame into stupidity. IOF can hush-up the misfortune of some midpacker from a minor country, but if Hollie had taken the other punch we'd be discussing Wyder's DQ from silver, and the TV coverage would have become an embarrassment to the whole sport. In that sense, the sport got lucky.

I don't want that to happen to us at WOC2015. And as I hinted above, it would be helpful for us to go into WOC2015 with some respect for the competence of the IOF.
Jul 21, 2014 10:45 AM # 
I found with the SI 11 card I still use the audible feedback, but that could be from habit. In sunny conditions it's not all that obvious and I would only look for the flashing SI card feedback if I didn't get the audible feedback. SIAC, SI10, and SI11 cards are rated the same response, SI 9 a little slower.

With the SI 11, if you try hard enough, you can record a punch:
- without either the SI card flashing or the SI box providing feedback;
- with the SI card flashing without SI box feedback;
I don't know what this proves, other than if SportIdent says it can't happen, we should have another look at rule 20.5

According to bulletin 4 for WOC 2014, SI cards were provided by the organisers (SI 9 and SIAC for the sprints), so Hollie Orr was presumably using an SI 9 card, which registers pretty well instantaneously when an SI box is awake.
Jul 21, 2014 11:31 AM # 
I found with the SI 11 card I still use the audible feedback
Me too. But I seldom try to punch when there's a thousand people stood nearby yelling at a potential WOC winner...

Jagge's "Bostrom slow punch" isnt a satisfactory way to decide a race, and it doesn't make good TV either.

So I'm coming to the conclusion that for big events we should dispense with the noisy "last control" and use a gate through which the runners have to pass. Its easily policed, and avoids TV-unfriendly "DQ when everyone saw her there" or "lost the race by checking too carefully" scenarios. The rules already allow for compulsory crossing points.
Jul 21, 2014 4:13 PM # 
"So I'm coming to the conclusion that for big events we should dispense with the noisy "last control" and use a gate through which the runners have to pass....."

How about a unit that the competitor has to get very close to but not actually touch.....

...and why restrict the solution to the last control?
Jul 22, 2014 12:01 AM # 
.and why restrict the solution to the last control?

Agreed. What would the feeling have been had it been a control more in the course and not necessarily well observed?
Jul 22, 2014 3:30 AM # 
If I see my stick flash, but due to some firmware error there's no punch, then how does it help?

Well it is defending against a potential sequence of events. My guess is that the SI unit / SI stick interaction is not completing under certain circumstances. The flash is presumably only going to go off once that transaction is complete. So if the rare (and hypothetical) bug does happen and the punch doesn't register, then the flash won't happen either.

We could ask Hawkeye if he's ever seen a flash and no punch registered. If he has, then my theory is blown to smithereens
Jul 22, 2014 5:18 AM # 
Or get rid of the flash/beep... the solution was there from the beginning.

Lots of talk about Hollie, but this has been going on for well over a decade with SI, you know that right?
Jul 22, 2014 6:08 AM # 
and why restrict the solution to the last control

You mean arc or "a unit that the competitor has to get very close to but not actually touch"? Anyway, both would have to register visits for 100% sure. Current systems are failing to do it, so why do you thing this new solution would magically do it?

Flashing stick is a poor solution. Imagine Mårten and Olav at relay's last control and one of the sticks just don't flash. How fair is that and how good that looks on TV? As pi wrote, getting rid of signals is the only way to go.
Jul 22, 2014 8:33 AM # 
DaveR is just plugging SIair which is a good solution to a different problem.

Punching the last control at a big event is unnecessary - it just means you reached the end of the run-in and everyone can see if you don't go there. It should be a compulsory crossing point. It's also the noisiest place and the one where people punch too fast, so leads to DQs when everyone can see you went there. Plus things like the Bostrom fumble look stupid on TV.

@tinytoes: I think this is the IOF defence. You can't use video evidence that the unit has failed at one control because the isn't video everywhere. If you can't always do the right thing, you should never do the right thing.

@pi I've planned/controlled/organised dozens of events, which translates to hundreds of thousands of SI punches. I am 100% certain I never DQed anyone unfairly. There have been many complaints, of course, some due to system fails (DQ-check-reinstate), some due to too-fast punching (I like to convince the runner of this by looking at the partial record), some due to the competitor simply not being where they thought they were. Occasionally I knowingly did the "wrong" thing (reinstating kids). With competent controlling, the system works.
Jul 22, 2014 9:30 AM # 
I still don't understand the logic of Pi and Jagge. Without the signals you would have events where half the field is dsq!
Jul 22, 2014 10:13 AM # 
simmo, please explain why you do think half the field would be dsq?
Jul 22, 2014 10:36 AM # 
There's no punching feedback at most events in Norway and Finland and people seem to get through without DSQ just fine...
Jul 22, 2014 11:58 AM # 
simmo's question is how you reconcile these two statements:

IOF rule 20.3: Competitors shall be responsible for punching
@Jagge competitor should have no clue is the system working or not

How can you be held responsible for ensuring a system works if you have no clue whether its working?
Jul 22, 2014 12:44 PM # 
@ Graeme Occasionally I knowingly did the "wrong" thing (reinstating kids).

The above statement is the catching point for me. The rules say one thing, and I think it makes perfect sense to bend these rules for kids at a local event, but to do the "wrong" thing at the World Championships seems ridiculous and a bit arbitrary.

Changing the rules so that reinstating a runner is not the "wrong" thing would be an acceptable approach (I can see that is something you hope to achieve), but putting this subjective decision about when it is "right" or "wrong" to reinstate a runner to an organizer or even a jury does not work for me.

As a runner, I understand and accept that if I punch the control too fast I may be disqualified. I have the choice to check for the confirmation beep/flash or to try to gain an advantage by ignoring the confirmation. If there is confirmation but still no punch on my card, then I protest... but not unless I got that confirmation. (Same is true for Emit, but change "check for confirmation" with, "firmly get the card into the cradle at the control").

I understand how you would like to take this incident as an incentive to change the rules for the future, and I can support you on that. But I cannot see how, with the rules the way they are currently written, you still think it makes sense to reinstate Hollie.

I do like your idea of a finish gate instead of the last control. Good place to put a sponsor's banner too. Perhaps the proposed gate system of control verification in the future will render the current argument moot :)
Jul 22, 2014 12:51 PM # 
I can get a valid punch written to an SI card with no SI box feedback, but no case of feedback with no punch written (other than where the SI card is left in the SI box too long, or is re-inserted within 10 seconds). If anyone has any theories as to how this occurs, let me know (preferably well before the World Cup races in Tasmania in January).

One possibility in the Hollie Orr case was that the SI card was full at the last control (50 punches only for SI 9 cards, unlikely if the start protocol was followed), in which case the absence of a backup punch is relevant. This would have been obvious to the protest committee.

I think Graeme's point regarding the equivalence of multiple units is valid - as he notes, the only reason Orr was disqualified was her sporting gesture to allow Wyder to punch the right hand SI box. It would be interesting to see whether the protest committee compared the response times of the two units. If the conclusion of the protest committee is that they are equivalent, hardware malfunction is the most likely reason for the mis-punch.
Jul 22, 2014 1:55 PM # 
20.3 Competitors shall be responsible for punching their own card at each control using the punching device provided.

As far as I can see it does not say the competitor is responsible for ensuring the system works.

I find that thinking unintuitive, why should competitors be responsible for those units in forest, they can't check them in advance, can't put fresh batteries in or check firmware or anything.
Jul 22, 2014 2:29 PM # 
@Rosstopher: Nobody is advocating reinstating Hollie in the way we would do for a child: just because she was there.

Once again,
1/ Look at the YLE video, time how long the SI stick is in the unit (t1).
2/ Read the SI manual, see what the response time is of a correctly functioning unit (t2).

Since t1 >> t2, it follows that the unit is not functioning correctly, so rule 20.5 applies - "other evidence may be used". (and 2.7).
Jul 22, 2014 2:52 PM # 
What if the unit were asleep? (I know it should not have been, but it is possible.)
Jul 22, 2014 2:56 PM # 
@Hawkeye no case of feedback with no punch written
I think (not sure) the protocol is:

1. Write time to box
2. Write time to stick
3. Read time from stick
4. Flash and beep

The sequence breaks when you pull out the card, so if you withdraw between 3&4 - punch but no feedback. A loose connection to bulb and speaker will do it too.

This protocol means that Beep/flash but no punch is impossible for a correctly functioning unit. The most likely cause is "competitor memory malfunction".
I don't know what the protocol is for two units at a radio control.
That said, electronics can always behave erratically.

@cristina. No feedback from an asleep unit, it just has a "waking up" phase. I don't know if the unit records wake and sleep times - if it does a competent jury would have looked...

I think the feedback is a red herring - the competitor can't prove they got feedback, and if a competitor tells me they heard the feedback above 1000 cheering spectators I wouldn't believe them. Why the unit wasn't working properly is also irrelevant.

How could a unit be asleep for someone midrace? Unless it suffers electronic narcolepsy, it would mean nobody punched it for XX minutes. With one course active, a 2 minute start interval, and the other punch being clearly on the shorter line it is possible that an hour could pass without it being used.
Jul 22, 2014 3:14 PM # 
@Cristina - that was my first comment, 'was the unit asleep?'. For WOC SI units should definitely not be in that mode, they should be on the always on mode.

I read the other day that interference from other units can cause a problem (was that on AP? nopesport? can't remember). I'm in the 'it was asleep' camp, and if it was... it's a big f**k up and a big fail of the organisers to not reinstate or at least entertain it. If there wasn't any screw up then the IOF should be putting massive pressure on SI to make hardware that works in situations where there are multiple boxes.

@graeme - with a modern (fast) SI card and a single unit it is impossible to put the SI card fully in and have it not register a punch in both the card and the unit. Try it ;)
Jul 22, 2014 3:36 PM # 
@andrewd big f**k up and a big fail of the organisers

Whoa! The jury is the responsibility of the IOF, not the organisers, step forward...

Bjorn Persson SWEDEN (jury leader)
Christine Brown, AUSTRALIA
Jerzy Antonowicz, POLAND
Jari Kymalainen, FINLAND
Unni Strand Karlsen, NORWAY
Zoran Milovanovic, SERBIA

(according to bulletin 4, apologies to anyone who dropped out)
I assume Tony Thornley GBR wouldn't have been involved in a GBR protest.
Jul 22, 2014 3:43 PM # 
I'm not talking about the jury, I'm talking about the problem in the first instance, presumably either organiser fault or problem with SI.

I don't know much about what the jury actually does. Is working out how the unit is set up part of their remit? or did they throw out the complaint because that is how they interpreted the rules. No idea how deep they went in their investigation.
Jul 22, 2014 3:44 PM # 
[cynic]they could always be just throwing it out because they don't want any controversy, and future proofing their system[/cynic]
Jul 22, 2014 4:50 PM # 
@andrewd putting massive pressure on SI to make hardware that works

Wrong approach. I estimate SI is 99.999% effective (about one fail in 100,000 punches). Yes, they could improve that, but a functional jury system which investigated the issue and published their findings would push things along much faster.

Pretending that nothing went wrong is the same as deciding that this must happen again. If it happens at WOC2015, you know who to blame (not me...).
Jul 22, 2014 5:53 PM # 
if it can be proven that a specific, reproducable, scenario breaks something, then surely steps to fix it are better than relying on a jury? If it can't be reproduced easily then yes, jury every time.
Jul 22, 2014 6:47 PM # 
In the software development world of real-time programming you just have to program defensively, assuming that other stuff that "must have worked" possibly didn't. I suspect a lot of the flashing-SI finger stick development is motivated by this problem, and that maybe the finger stick's firmware says "yes I know I'm supposed to have a new punch and flash - but first, let me just double check that I do have that new punch".

Finding & fixing this bug, if it even exists, is probably impractical if not impossible. So the next best thing is to try to detect when it happens - and I'm hoping, with my rose colored glasses, that is what the flashing SI finger stick does. If the punch didn't register, then I would hope the flash would not be forthcoming thanks to a double check
Jul 22, 2014 11:23 PM # 
@andrewd proven that a specific, reproducable, scenario
Yes, but the only way to do that would be if juries investigate let people know what happened. It all comes back to jury competence, communication and attitude.

So it's all in the hands of a bunch of people who can look at that YLE video and go "Yeah, that's how an SI unit works". Who can look at the TV almost missing the winner and go "Yeah, a start list based on new WR does a fine job". No worries there then.
Jul 23, 2014 1:00 AM # 
OK, but the type of strategies AZ talks about will still only reduce the failure rate. That helps a bit for sure, but this flash in the stick will still fail at some point guaranteed. Nothing that man creates is 100%. Even if the firmware was entirely free of any bugs (which is extremely unlikely), there will still be a stick with marginal soldering on a component in the circuitry, a bad battery, a crack in the casing slowly letting in some moisture etc etc. And these type of issues may not always cause outright failure either, it may cause the read/write process to intermittently take longer time.

It doesn't matter whether the unit or the stick produces the feedback signal, it doesn't matter whether the system is touch free or not. If your punching system provides a signal, the athlete now must listen/look for it. Everyone agree so far?

So the athlete must confirm that the signal comes, what problems can that cause?

a) The punch works correctly, but the athlete is not able to perceive the signal due to crowd noise or bright sunlight etc. The athlete now has to turn around and punch again, even though the punch actually registered. Looks like crap on TV and unfair competition. Boström in the relay this year.

b) The signal itself failed for whatever reason, which we know for a fact will occasionally happen (see above). If the athlete does not notice the lack of signal the athlete will be (potentially unfairly) DSQed (Hollie) and if the athlete does notice the lack of signal, the athlete has to turn around and try again, use another unit or fumble with a mechanical needle punch. Unacceptable TV and unfair competition.

Does anyone in this thread disagree with what's written above? If not, the only possible conclusion is to remove all feedback signals, i.e. remove the responsibility from the athlete that the system is working, which as Jagge writes is completely absurd in the first place. How on earth have we accepted that the athlete be DSQed due to firmware bugs, bad protocol design, organizers forgetting to put fresh batteries in the unit etc?

Instead the system must provide a built-in mechanical backup system. As Canadian writes (and simmo is maybe confused about?), this is the piece that gives the athlete the confidence to go ahead without any signals. As long as the athlete punches the unit in such a way that the mechanical system engages, the athlete does not have to wait for or react to any signals. The athlete can even train for punching quickly and efficiently (like we used to do with needle punches back in the day) and it's a fair competition.

As I said I'm not a huge fan of how Emit implemented the system based on this requirement, but honestly it's a truly hard problem to solve with a design to rival the ease of punching with SI...

Finally, if we are going to accept to use a feedback signal (I wish not, but it's reality now), we have to change our rules (and especially attitude and culture!), to actually reinstate athletes in obvious cases (i.e. Hollie and many many others over the years). This is the part graeme is frustrated about. Unfortunately I suspect it will be very hard to turn around the rigid rule-loving establishment on this... very hard.
Jul 23, 2014 1:10 AM # 
But, pi---If the emit brick isn't inserted properly, all the way, wouldn't the back-up fail to register the pin prick? I mean, if WOC were using emit and Hollie didn't insert it correctly, but was captured on video, wouldn't we be having this exact same discussion? Or, does that never happen?
Jul 23, 2014 1:17 AM # 
Yes, in that case the backup would not register on the paper. But this is fair to ask the athlete to take responsibility for, it's fully under the athlete's control and something the athlete can even practice for.

Asking the athlete to be responsible for firmware bugs is not fair or reasonable. Yet, that's what we are doing.
Jul 23, 2014 4:24 AM # 
Well pi, without a feedback system either the organisers must accept that noone can be DSQ (because how can the organisers distinguish between a system failure and competitors who have not punched properly?), OR people would be DSQ'd unfairly without any redress if there was a system failure, which you say is inevitable. You can't have it both ways.
Jul 23, 2014 4:30 AM # 
? Sorry, I don't understand. Of course you can be DSQ. If the athletes does not punch fully into the unit (paper not being "pricked") and the system failed at that particular unit, the athlete would be DSQ. (or if the paper falls off and any units or brick fails on the course).

Have you ever seen or used the Emit system?
Jul 23, 2014 5:58 AM # 
+1 pi
Jul 23, 2014 6:01 AM # 
Have to admit I haven't used Emit. I've made several thousand SI punches without a single instance of SI card failure, and where the station has failed I've used manual punching. How is it fair to the athlete that they can be DSQ'd without realising they have done anything wrong or being given a chance to correct it? Where is the justice in that? And it could be manipulated by an organiser who doesn't like one of the competitors or wants their own nation/club to win.
Jul 23, 2014 6:02 AM # 
Paper can be ripped off, falling on rocky ground etc. Not really athlete's fault... I wouldn't call that a reliable back-up.

Plus the emit back-up system is terrible. It's too easy to fumble a punch, know it ought to have registered, and continue on, instead of wasting three or four seconds to do it again, properly. Last year's world champ doesn't use the backup at all in sprints, just tips the head of his brick against the pin. It works fine until some recent wc race where he had to use an organisers' brick which wasn't as fast -- several controls did not register.

emit is not the answer.
Jul 23, 2014 6:07 AM # 
Like I wrote I have never seen or heard of back up paper getting ripped of or falling if it is taped properly. I believe such thing has never happened so far.

But true, Emit as it is is not the answer because actual punch is easier and faster to get than the back up. Thats why far better answer is the one I already described above.
Jul 23, 2014 6:08 AM # 
I don't understand simmo at all, can someone help?

ndobbs, but for crying out loud, I'm not arguing that emit is the answer. Just that signals need to go. I'd love for some creative team to get together and take those original requirements and make a new better design.
Jul 23, 2014 6:27 AM # 
If the back up paper is attached to your emit properly, and you take the responsibilty to punch correctly (because of no feedback signals, a good thing since everyone should then punch correctly=fair)

It is impossible from the above to be DQ. The only way you you can be DQ from the above is if you DID do something wrong (didn't punch correctly, punched the wrong control etc.)

So a no feedback system is good as everyone serious would then take responsibilty to punch correctly and everyones back up punch would automatically register.
Jul 23, 2014 6:53 AM # 
So, given that SI is the system of choice for most of the world at the moment, is the question we want answering/addressed therefore:
How does the SI system progress to some form of manual back-up whereby the onus is on the competitor to punch adequately?

Preferably with a single punching motion...
Jul 23, 2014 7:09 AM # 
The way to do it with SI:

* Regular SI is used as the main system
- turn of beep and light, so competitor will not see failures.

* use any touch free system parallel (emitag etc) as a back up
- turn of beep and light, so competitor will not see failures.
- tune it to register within 1..2m from the control
- like this touch free punch is faster/easier to get, so anyone who tries to get normal punch will get back up too (if the system works).

* rule: three missing main punches allowed, fourth will be DSQ even if back up is found, unless there is hardware failure.
- this stops competitors from gambling (trying to get back up punches only, just running by instead of trying to punch)

* if system works, there should be no main punches registered without backup ones. If such cases are found, organizer replaces the gear at the control and possible runner with missing punches from that control before the replacement are not automatically disqualified.

(you may ask why no signals here? Missing signal will reveal gear is not working at a control. Leaving runner may tell it to a team mate still on the way to the control, making it possible to take risk - cheat by skipping it).
Jul 23, 2014 8:31 AM # 
SI has a perfectly good non-falsifiable backup: the punch record is stored in the unit and on the card. The problem is that jury/rules refuse to use it.

Emit: How to win with a safety pin (notice this is also visible feedback, so banning feedback would require banning the backup card)
Jul 23, 2014 8:42 AM # 
I now remember a case of feedback-no-punch.

At a British relays, a runner ran in a pack and was seen to punch at 12 consecutive controls (and claimed to see feedback). The 6th was a radio control. At download the first 6 punches on the stick were all missing, but interrogating the boxes showed 6 correct punches. There was some firmware failure at the busy radio control which resulted in the card write position being reset by 6 memory elements, and overwriting the punches.

Automatic DQ, protest, competent jury had no bother reinstating, and so nobody ran around accusing anyone of a major f*ck up. That's how it should work.

I've only seen this once. It's a possible scenario for what we saw happen with Hollie.
Jul 23, 2014 9:21 AM # 
Are you are saying that the responsibility to prove that the system works should transfer from competitor to organiser?
Jul 23, 2014 9:25 AM # 
There will always be some technological failures, no matter how clever the system. The fundamental issue is how these are dealt with.
The current system of rules, conventions and juries is producing some obviously silly and unfair outcomes and will continue to do so until something is changed.

As I understand the current interpretation of the rules, if Graeme's example above had occurred in WOC, the runner would have been DQed through no fault of their own, any protest would have been thrown out, and everyone would have gone home satisfied that the rules had been followed!

This looks awfully like burying a problem because we cannot be bothered to sort it out properly through sensible rewriting or reinterpretation of the rules. Rules who's fundamental purpose is to make the competition safe and fair.
Jul 23, 2014 9:39 AM # 
"This looks awfully like burying a problem because we cannot be bothered to sort it out properly through sensible rewriting or reinterpretation of the rules. Rules who's fundamental purpose is to make the competition safe and fair."

Have to agree with this. When Hollie was first DQ'd I posted in a few places that it was the right decision if you follow the rules to the letter, not that I agreed with it. The real question is who and how to put pressure on at IOF to make the change. Preferably before 2015 so we don't look silly DQ'ing people like in Italy!

I don't see any change to the accredited punching systems happening (certainly not removing said accreditation), and I don't see IOF sitting down to design a punching system when there are 4 companies producing systems already. The competitive environment we have for timing systems is surely good for their development?
Jul 23, 2014 10:04 AM # 
So internal number is - has to be and always is - the same as the code on control description? And pin mark is a electronic feedback and reveals electronic part of the system works or has died? And SI control station works as back up even when it is dead and today's pin punching backup approach causes no delay/unfairness for the competitor? Think again.
Jul 23, 2014 11:51 AM # 
@andrewd it was the right decision if you follow the rules to the letter

I don't see how you can say that.

To start with, 2.7 "The guiding principle is sporting fairness" gives a jury considerable wriggle-room. Just as well, if you insist on rules to the letter, the absence of back up pin punches means the whole race should be void.

But even following to the letter, the key rule is ...
20.5 it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor’s fault.
... everyone on here who saw the YLE video knows, with certainty, that the fault for the mispunch lies with the misfunctioning unit. And there is nothing in the rules to prevent the video being used to establish that.
Once the malfunction is established, the video can then be used as evidence that Hollie visited the control.

We've had hardware problems in the UK, and they've always been sorted by the route DQ-protest-jury-reinstate. That could and should have happened at WOC. The fact that it didn't simply undermines the credibility of the individuals on the jury.

I will never be able to take seriously the opinion of someone who can look at that video and deny that the unit has malfunctioned. Or someone who refused to look.

It is this loss of credibility by quite senior people which is the most corrosive outcome of this episode.
Jul 23, 2014 12:25 PM # 
The way to use SI in fair way for non-championship races (when parallel touch free back up system is overkill):

- turn off light and sound signals

- if a punch is missing and competitor claims he has punched, he can request forest station to be examined. There is fee for it, $50

- there is a person in forest with lightweight tablet and reserve punch stations, in spare time taking pictures of competitors and such, he gets phone call, replaces the unit in question with spare one and examines the in question. If a successful 100% punch is found or unit is dead or it is programmed to go to sleep mode or such the competitor gets reinstated and gets the fee back. If unit is OK and there is a partial punch recorded the competitor gets reinstated but doesn't get money back. If one competitor has made more than two too fast partial punches with fully functional units (not in sleep mode or anything) competitor gets disqualified for constantly trying to get advantage by making flyby punches.

- at TC there is test units with light/sound turned on, so competitors can in advance try and see how long it takes to punch, so they can know how fast they should punch with silent units during to race.
Jul 23, 2014 1:02 PM # 
I disagree. For rank and file orienteers at non-championship races the light flash and audible beep confirming a punch is what makes SI so great to use. The rules need reviewing to avoid this sort of, quite fankly, 'typical' orienteering discussion over specifics - I agree with the sentiments regarding fair play. Dare we mention common sense? Surely the simplest step is for the rules to allow interrogation of the base units? I guess there'll be more to it than that though...
Jul 23, 2014 1:32 PM # 
@graeme "But even following to the letter, the key rule is ...
20.5 it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor’s fault.
... everyone on here who saw the YLE video knows, with certainty, that the fault for the mispunch lies with the misfunctioning unit. And there is nothing in the rules to prevent the video being used to establish that.
Once the malfunction is established, the video can then be used as evidence that Hollie visited the control. "

I disagree on the technical details and there is a scenario whereby the control was functioning correctly and Hollie, technically, didn't punch correctly:

Unit Hollie goes to is asleep as nobody has visited it all day.
Hollie inserts SI card
Wyder inserts SI card
Wyder's unit beeps
Hollie hears Wyder's unit beep and runs off to a DQ

In the above scenario there's no guarantee Hollie's punch has recorded at all. If you accept this as a valid scenario then it can't be established with certainty that it was not the competitor's fault in this instance.

I don't believe there is a definitive maximum time a competitor should have to wait for a punch to give feedback, so if the unit is asleep and it takes 2 or 3 seconds to respond the orienteer should wait for it or try a different unit.

As I've said before that while it is a legitimate scenario, the above is really awful and shouldn't happen in any race far less a WOC.
Jul 23, 2014 1:32 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Camera at all controls!
Jul 23, 2014 1:34 PM # 
@Tooms - common sense should always rule, but it rarely does.

@Mr Wonderful - that would quite an undertaking... Apparently there was a talk at the IOF IT seminar about doing away with timing systems and using tracker data instead. Perhaps we'll have to wait for GPS to die and GLONASS to become the norm first..
Jul 23, 2014 2:11 PM # 
@andrewd : Your scenario is possible, but I do not accept that an asleep control is functioning correctly. Nor do I accept that a non-existent pinpunch is functioning correctly. So neither the unit nor the backup was functioning correctly.

Re maximum time: on SI website, as of today...

SPORTident is pleased to announce the next generation of high capacity SI-Cards. These SI-Cards respond in 60ms - twice the speed of an SI-Card 6, 8 or 9 and five times the speed of the original SI-Card 5. Punching is now superfast.

Anyone can see she waited well beyond that. The IOF rules now require her to use the pin punch (not the other unit). Which wasn't provided. Double equipment fail - which a competent jury would have sorted in microseconds.
Jul 23, 2014 5:39 PM # 
So internal number is - has to be and always is - the same as the code on control description?

That has been a mistake from day 1. The internal numbers for an electronic punching system should never be provided to the competitors. (Keeping them secret doesn't eliminate the problem, it's still possible to get the numbers form someone who has finished, but it reduces it. The real solutions would lie with encryption or reading the records from the stations to verify.)

Nice to know that, although nothing we create is perfect, a competitor can rely on a mechanical backup to be.
Jul 23, 2014 7:25 PM # 
Silly AP discussions. Of course mechanical backup is not perfect.
Jul 23, 2014 7:34 PM # 
Nothing in orienteering is ever going to be perfect. I'd suggest that the solution lies less in trying to create something perfect, and more in creating an adaptable and reasonable set of rules that can accommodate the imperfections in a reasonable manner.

To an outsider, we must all look rather insane. And certainly very few non-orienteers would see any real justice in the DSQ when the runner clearly visited the last control and spent a reasonable amount of time with the punching stick in the control.

Jul 23, 2014 7:43 PM # 
@wil. +1 like. ... and nor is it perfect in any other sport.
Jul 23, 2014 8:03 PM # 
Well said wilsmith!

@Graeme - WOC athletes were issued SI-9 cards.

If one unit is not working, or appears not to be working, a competitor must use
the backup provided and will be disqualified if no punch is recorded.
doesn't seem to explicitly require a pin-punch as a backup, especially since as you point out a pin-punch was not provided. Is it so hard to accept the other SI unit as an acceptable backup?

I have never been on a jury, but I trust that they made the best decision possible given the limitations of the rules and the circumstances, even though I couldn't agree more with the sentiment that there was no real justice in the DSQ.
Jul 23, 2014 9:01 PM # 

IOF rules, appendix 4.
With respect to the SportIdent system, a backup needle punch must be present at each control. It is the competitor's responsibility to ensure that the electronic punch is in the e-card by not removing the e-card until the feedback signal has been received. If, and only if, no feedback signal is received, the competitor must use the backup punch

I have never been on a jury
But I just got asked to be on the jury for the Canadian Champs! :)
Jul 23, 2014 9:37 PM # 
That's what you get for talking like you know what you're talking about ;-)
Thanks so much for saying 'yes'!
Jul 23, 2014 10:47 PM # 
Of course we know what we're talking about.
Look where we steal our ideas from :)
Jul 23, 2014 11:09 PM # 
If you don't provide a way for the competitor to verify that he has punched in (i.e. feedback), then he has to trust that the system will work. If the backup is a mechanical system like used with EMIT, that's the last hope for the competitor.

One nice thing about pin punching was that you could look at your card and determine that you had indeed punched. At some level, I always did that. As far as I'm aware, no electronic punching system has achieved this important, basic functionality. They have all failed. (Actually I'm not sure about EMIT, didn't they come out with cards that had an LCD showing the control number that you had punched? I've heard about such things, but have never seen one.)
Jul 23, 2014 11:48 PM # 
Here is the IOF's reasoning behind 20.5 (taken from a response to @O-ing some time ago in a related thread, but presumably still the rationale for the rule) :

"2. Punch missing or unidentifiable. Ideally we would only be interested in establishing whether or not a competitor visited a control. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world! It is very important that results can be produced quickly and easily and it is also important that the rules are fair. Electronic punching brings many advantages but it also introduces some problems. Specifically, if we allow other evidence to be used, nobody will bother wasting half a second in punching if there are officials, spectators or cameras at a control. Certainly in a sprint finish, there would be no point in punching the last control. With the SportIdent system, it is very easy to punch too fast by putting the SI-card in and out as fast as possible. In order to punch properly, you need to dwell for a fraction of a second in the hole - not a difficult thing to do. However, even if you punch too fast, the SI station will have grabbed and recorded the SI card number. If we allow this 'too fast' punching, competitors would come to rely on it, and no results could ever be confirmed until all control boxes have been collected in and interrogated. For these reasons, we need the current rule, and in fact I have expanded it in the Final Draft to give the specific consequences of the rule in the case of SportIdent."

When this reasoning was provided, SI 5 cards were probably the norm, and I must say I'm sympathetic to this reasoning, but it's less relevant to the latest SI cards, and even though it might minimise protests, it does not eliminate them and only expedites results processing if protest juries summarily dismiss protests without due consideration of the particular circumstances.

If Hollie Orr had hurdled the trestle while dangling her SI card in the vicinity of the SI box, I would agree that she had attempted to punch too quickly, but there is no way her action was an attempt to punch too quickly with an SI 9 card (paradoxically, it would take longer to attempt to punch too quickly as you would have to stop, balance yourself, and deliberately insert and withdraw the card as quickly as you can - try it yourself).

Here are a couple of scenarios that challenge the fairness of a strict interpretation of the rule:

In a sprint competition, two controls (19 and 20) are the minimum distance apart; there are two SI boxes at control 20. Joe Slow and Jim Quick arrive at control 20 together and punch together, Joe Slow's SI card registers and generates a beep. Jim Quick, who is using an SI 11 card, has covered the distance between 19 and 20 in 4 seconds, and when he punches, his SI card does not record a valid punch (design feature of SI 11 cards, default minimum time required is 5 seconds). Jim Quick is disqualified and protests. The protest jury confirms the disqualification, noting that even though Jim had heard a beep, he didn't confirm that it was his control by noting either the flash of the SI box or his own SI card.

In a mixed sprint relay using the SI Air system, 5 competitors arrive at the first control together; it is a sunny day, and the runners are running into the sun as they leave control 1. Four of the SIAC cards register and beep, but not that of the runner from team 11. Runner 11-1 is disqualified even though she was with the pack at control 1, the protest jury noting that although she heard beeps from the other competitors' cards, it was her responsibility confirm that her own card had registered.
Jul 23, 2014 11:50 PM # 
I weep for orienteering when I see the energy, talent, and emotion exhibited here wasted on something extraneous to the sport.
Jul 24, 2014 12:00 AM # 
Wasted? An athlete trains for years, spends her own money on that and travel, makes it to the pinnacle of the sport and gets disqualified because IOF can't apply its own rules?
Why should anybody put in the effort to get to the top of the sport if you are going to get treated like that?
It is an important issue that needs fixing.
Jul 24, 2014 12:19 AM # 
... and a variation on my first hypothetical (not sure why j-man is wasting his time reading this drivel, maybe a more productive use of our time would be to assist the IOF in its attempt to get Orienteering accepted as an Olympic sport):

Jim Quick's complaint that his mis-punch was not his fault is accepted by the organiser and is declared the provisional winner (by 10 seconds) over Piers Dorff. Piers hears on the grapevine of Jim's situation and protests, claiming that the organiser's decision breaches rule 20.5. The protest jury uphold Piers protest and he is declared the winner.
Jul 24, 2014 12:46 AM # 
@graeme Don't worry, I have had all SI units in BC modified to not generate a feedback signal. The jury will for sure have nothing to do ;)
Jul 24, 2014 3:40 AM # 
I'm getting worried. I'm on the COC jury pool, but don't have a PhD in SI.
Jul 24, 2014 3:45 AM # 
Punch here Dummy
Jul 24, 2014 4:27 AM # 
Pink Socks:
Punch hurriedly, Disqualified
Jul 24, 2014 4:33 AM # 
There is a much more interesting hypothetical - imagine Hollie hadn't (sportingly) moved aside for Wyder, who then had to punch at the (possibly) malfunctioning unit and failed to register a punch. She is disqualified and a protest is lodged.

Would the jury have been so quick to dismiss such a protest from a medalist (and the best thing IOF has going for them just now in terms of PR)?

If they did, what sort of general uproar would have ensued?
Jul 24, 2014 7:10 AM # 
@jjcote, what you did back at ping punch time when a pin punch broke and some late starters could not get any pin marks? Was the course always voided or were those poor late starters disqualified or were they qualified because there was no way to proof the visit and they could not know it is broken and skip it?
Jul 24, 2014 8:29 AM # 
@upnorthguy you don't need a PhD, just some common sense ;)
Jul 24, 2014 8:38 AM # 
@pi You're being irrational.

(@everyone ... sorry :)
Jul 24, 2014 8:58 AM # 
Here a handy hint for next year's WOC organisers. If you can swing it try and make sure Bjorn Persson is not appointed to the Jury. He wrote the rule and the commentary above provided by Hawkeye. As graeme has convincingly shown a jury with Bjorn on it cannot actually even apply that rule fairly.
Jul 24, 2014 9:07 AM # 
Not sure how juries are appointed but he's the main IOF advisor for 2015
edit: actually, he's not, that title goes to Åke Jönsson. Bjorn has been involved from the start though.
Jul 24, 2014 9:11 AM # 
@Hawkeye. It's always possible to tweak cases until the right decision is exactly balanced - Hollie's wasn't one of them.

So instead of answering, can I commend to you a feature in CompassSport magazine where challenging controlling/jury issues are explored? I know the Editor is looking for suggestions of both questions and answers.
Jul 24, 2014 9:51 AM # 
@Jagge, what do we do today if a station/flag is stolen?

Pi, I'll try to explain. Let's assume you get your way and feedback is removed from all Emit and SI events. I'm entered in an important event (WOC, say). With no feedback, the only way I can be absolutely, definitively, 100% sure and certain that I won't be disqualified due to a station/punchcard malfunction is by punching every station (two if there are two stations) and then also using the manual punch on the edge of my map.

If I just use the punchcard (provided by the organisers at WOC), then it malfunctions and I am disqualified do you think I will be angry? I have punched every control correctly yet I don't have a result. I also don't know the reason for the DSQ, but I know it wasn't my fault. Very, very unfair! Will I continue Orienteering? Very unlikely.
Jul 24, 2014 9:56 AM # 
@robplow the best thing IOF has going for them just now in terms of PR?

Yes, but you're missing another point here. WOC2015 is in Scotland. We want to publicise orienteering in Scotland. Quite likely the only Scots-born Scots-lass at Scotland's WOC will be ... Hollie Orr.

Hollie is so photogenic that even small towns in Missouri use her to publicise their events. Now Hollie has a fantastic back-story for us to sell to the media.

Ok, so it's a back story that makes the IOF look like a bunch of anal incompetents, but all publicity is good publicity, right?
Jul 24, 2014 10:33 AM # 
OK - if Hollie's 'mispunch' had happened in Scotland the jury might have felt themselves under more pressure not to dq her - and if they did dq I imagine the outcry would have been much bigger

The point I was trying to make is that if controversy like this arises for a potential medalist (rather than someone further down the field that 'doesn't really matter') the jury might feel some extra pressure to find a way to uphold the appeal - in order not to make the sport look stupid. And if they didn't the shit really would hit the fan - not just on attackpoint.
Jul 24, 2014 12:39 PM # 
Time will tell whether they've axed "someone down the field" or "the poster child for WOC2015".

Either way, bad precedent makes it harder to do it right in future, one more reason to set good precedent when it 'doesn't really matter'.
Jul 24, 2014 1:57 PM # 
At page 82 of Jukola 2013 final report document is a map clip with both control description codes and internal codes by the ring. Some are same, some are not. They had mostly same internal code in all units of a control. Sometimes there is units with different internal code at same control, but usually they try to avoid it because it makes checking those pin marks more complicated.It is said some units died during the race and most of them were online ones at change-over.
At page 123 of Jukola 2011 final report document is told two units died in forest, one during Venla relay and second during Jukola. That caused pressure to the team checking pin up marks, because all who had that control were directed to that tent. In both cases it took some time (15 minutes or something I guess, it's not told) until they figured out there is dead unit in forest and they got the download system configured to not require that control at all (I guess they changed it back couple of hours after that dead unit got replaced/removed). Note, it was organizers responsibility to have functional units if forest, so during that period no one got disqualified for that control and back up pin marks for that control were not investigated, system at download simply said OK was control visited or not. Dead unit, organizers responsibility, unfair to disqualify if someone failed to get pin mark - there is no back up for the back up.
Jul 24, 2014 5:10 PM # 
No punching problems anticipated in the AZTrailO at the Canadian champs. Perhaps TrailO is the way to go ;-)
Jul 24, 2014 9:01 PM # 
@Hawkeye - Thanks for posting the reasoning behind the stance taken by the jury. What is very obvious is belief that the punching system never has any failures (despite evidence that it has), so any errors must be down to the athlete.

Unless this belief changes there is no point in protesting a mispunch no matter what other evidence you have. To put it politely, it is hard to see how this is a defensible position.
Jul 24, 2014 10:27 PM # 
@simmo. In the case of the Emit design, you are only DSQed if a unit (or card) failed AND there is no pin mark on the paper for that control. After punching the athlete can look at the paper and see the pin mark (though to my knowledge no one feels the need to do this). Pin mark can be missing from the paper if a) the athlete did not properly put the emit card (with the paper attached) into the unit (which is slotted in a a way that the punch card only fits one way), or b) the entire paper falls off (which if the athlete is concerned about this can put en extra piece of tape to avoid). Again, the paper is a backup and is only used in case there is a failure of the electronics.

WOC has used Emit several times, Jukola uses it and thousands of events have used it over the last 25 years. I have never heard of anyone feeling the need to punch every available unit at a control because of anxiety of being unfairly DSQed. I have heard lots and lots of complaints about how awkward the punching action is with Emit compared to SI, which of course is true, but is not in itself a reason to introduce feedback signals.

I don't mean any offence, but it just doesn't seem like you have the correct picture in your mind how this works?

In the case of the SI design it's obviously not possible to remove the feedback signal.

As I said, with SI there have been hundreds of Hollie-cases over the years, at WOC, O-ringen, 10-mila, 25-manna, every year people who are on camera at a spectator control/radio control clearly punching for the very short time SI claims. Yet they are DSQed without ever even an investigation. The record keeps spinning year in and year out with the same crap, "did the athlete hear the beep or did they just imagine?", "can you get a beep without a record in the card?", "was the unit asleep?", "do radio controls affect communication to the card?", "as soon as we have touch free controls all will be fine!'.

Jagge can maybe help if this kind of stuff happens with Emit?

In any case, based on even the experience of this AP thread I suspect we will just keep going as it is with signals and another decade from now we will have this exact conversation.
Jul 24, 2014 11:30 PM # 
After punching the athlete can look at the paper and see the pin mark

My experience with Emit is limited, so help me understand: I come to the 16th control on my course, put the card in the station properly (I think), and then turn it over to look at the paper. What am I looking for, exactly?

Jagge, I dont think I ever saw a broken pin punch, though I have seen some that were hanging on strings that went missing. At large (important) meets that I participated in (not many of those in North America), the punches were screwed down to stands, and there were two of them. If one was broken, you could tell, and use the other one. If a punch did break, it would be up to the jury to decide what to do, based on the circumstances. Its less of a problem than a missing control (which woudl void teh course), because nobody wastes extra time looking for it. I expect in most cases the jury would decide not to disqualify anyone missing that punch.
Jul 25, 2014 5:20 AM # 
What's the story on the audio beeps in the video? Added by Zapruder?

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but anyway...

I've seen eCards that would generate a unit flash/beep but have no recorded punch. I've also seen no record on the eCard but a valid (non Err) record on the control box at least twice. If the box was on, then the Orr punch might be one of these.

I've seen battery failing issues where a quick second punch might not work---the battery has to recover several seconds.

This Orr punch looks like the unit is off, which, if true, is a monumental FU on the part of the organizers. Wyder's gaze is definitely on the box for a longer period. (Because of radio orienteering, I'm occasionally wearing headphones blasting my ears with noise as I'm punching, so I'm very careful to always watch for the punch, except, perhaps, at the go control of a big race.)

SI without notification is the wrong way to go. The start box, for example, is intended to not beep if the card isn't clear. Feedback is an essential part of the system.

I hate hate hate SportIdent's decision to not support "competition mode", and rather have this half-assed "training mode" system where the unit always works---except that sometimes you have to wait a long time for a punch. My club actually tends to use competition mode for big events anyway even though it's not recommended by SportIdent. It hasn't bitten us in the butt yet. And it appears that if you do screw up the on-off times, the box wakes up anyway and works.

My personal testing shows the only problem card is an SI-5. Assuming the unit is on, I can bottom-out the SI-5 in the hole and get it out before it beeps. I can't do that with an SI-6---if it bottoms out, it beeps. Since the SI-6 is the slowest of the "fast cards", they should be better than the SI-6. I'm sure it's possible to bottom out a fast card and get no punch---because physics---but I've never seen it done. There are also advanced programming features that might slow down the punch response time.

My recommendation on the Orr punch would have been that (1) the box should have been on, and (2) the punch was long enough to register, so (3) the punch should count.
Jul 25, 2014 7:00 AM # 
@cedarcreek (2) the punch was long enough to register I think your analysis is correct, but I don't think it is a good idea to have athletes decide "this punch is long enough to register" while racing. Time estimation is tough enough under normal circumstances. One of the reasons for audio/visual feedback in the system is to remove any need for making that kind of decision.

Of course there are problems with that as well, one of my first trainings with my new SI card was a club relay training. At every control I felt like I was waiting ages to get a punch, certainly longer than I was used to. As there were many many controls on the course, this waiting at controls soon became frustrating. Turns out that the units had all been accidentally programmed as clear units, and so I should have trusted my instincts and not bothered with the punching any longer.
Jul 25, 2014 9:09 AM # 
@jjcote What am I looking for, exactly?
If it's working correctly and the paper didn't fall out... there will be 17 holes scattered pseudorandomly on the paper. When you checked at the 15th control there were only 16. You are now looking for the new, 17th hole.
If it isn't there, and you saw the unit flash, you're OK.
If it isn't there, but you had a fairly good fumble around with the ecard somewhere near the unit, you'll be fine.
If the paper fell out, most likely you'll still be fine.

So don't worry about it. The most useful thing you can look for now is the 17th control :)
Jul 25, 2014 9:25 AM # 
if unit asleep: monumental FU on the part of the organizers
Not monumental. Normal, honest mistakes. Probably someone programming the unit made a single-keystroke typing error. Whoever put out the controls made the unit placement unequal, so that only one is on the racing line...

This is at worst unfortunate: make either one of those "mistakes" alone and they would probably have been OK. By all means have a little moan at the organisers, but you achieve nothing because its an impossible dream that little errors can be eliminated. I promise you that I will make similar errors next year.

The monumental FU is that although we have a perfectly servicable set of rules to fix honest mistakes, the jury was unwilling to apply them.
Jul 25, 2014 11:49 AM # 
As a somewhat relevant story:
In Dublin we use wallet cards with and RFID in them for tracking journeys on public transport systems. When you get on the tram you have to tag on and off at a station. The tag station beeps and flashes if you tag on correctly.

This morning there was a guy who tagged on in the commuter rush and heard a beep which he thought was his. When the ticket inspector came it turned out he hadn't actually tagged on! Now he is faced with a €50 fine.

We aren't the only ones with these problems!
Jul 26, 2014 6:09 AM # 
The feedback doesn't always work on SI, no flash and no beep happened to me at the butterfly control in the selection races this year. I pin-punched the map as backup. Next time through I again tried SI, still not working. Punched the map again. At download the punches existed.
Jul 26, 2014 6:17 AM # 
Certainly, I have sent several units for repair with weak beep signal, even though there is plenty of battery left. For the COCs next week we found 3 of them like that when programming a couple of hundred units.
Aug 25, 2014 9:58 AM # 
Looks like there has been several documented flash & beep got but no mark in stick cases in Sweden. Runner claiming there was signal, controls station queried and punch found being recorded OK, but no mark in stick (see discussion at From that perspective it doesn't feel too that smart to have that rule of auto-disqualifying and not querying stations ever.
Aug 25, 2014 10:20 AM # 
One of our senior SI gurus recently described that rule as "part of the IOFs well-evidenced anti-SI bias".

Not quite sure what was meant, but its a bit odd that the emit backup record can be used while the SI backup cannot.

Here in the UK, they just evened things up by banning the backup punch:

If a competitor loses, or breaks, their e-card during a race then they are unlikely to be able to demonstrate that they have completed the course correctly and should be disqualified. Even if the competitor has used pin punches to complete the course they will be unable to demonstrate that these controls were taken in the correct order
Aug 25, 2014 11:01 AM # 
Wow! Here I was worried that by "trickling down" the strict IOF Rules that are written for the World Championships and WREs etc to other events and veteran/Junior classes that we might be limiting the attractiveness and growth potential of the sport. And now BOF have gone in the other direction and made the rules even more prescriptive, annoying and unjust?
Don't they understand that essentially, outside IOF races, there is nothing much at stake and the main aim should be to ensure people have fun? At least that's my view.
When there are no prizes does it make sense to install a deep mistrust of all competitors into the rules? I think we risk attracting the wrong type of people to the sport and to its management.
Aug 25, 2014 11:46 AM # 
Looking at the Ski O rules, there could be some truth in the perception of anti SI bias. Ski O rule 20.5 is identical to the foot O rule, which is curious as touch-free Emit punching is fully approved for ski O, so if your touch-free Emit card fails to record a punch, it seems that you are not quite as limited in your ability to have other evidence admitted with Emit as you are with SI.

It would be interesting to know whether the WOC protest committee took into account the requirement in the IOF Punching Systems Approval document that "The data transfer time shall be a maximum of 150 ms" (section (c) of Essential Criteria).
Aug 25, 2014 3:27 PM # 
@O-ing. It goes on...
"For consistency it is preferable to enforce disqualification at all events...

I'm not making this up, honest...
Aug 25, 2014 10:04 PM # 
Rosstopher wrote:

@cedarcreek (2) the punch was long enough to register I think your analysis is correct, but I don't think it is a good idea to have athletes decide "this punch is long enough to register" while racing. Time estimation is tough enough under normal circumstances. One of the reasons for audio/visual feedback in the system is to remove any need for making that kind of decision.

graeme wrote:

Not monumental. Normal, honest mistakes. Probably someone programming the unit made a single-keystroke typing error. Whoever put out the controls made the unit placement unequal, so that only one is on the racing line...

I'm assuming someone, hopefully SportIdent, was hired to run the SportIdent system at WOC. I have more understanding for the Rogaine mishap because I assume the organizers didn't know any better. The new units with displays make it fairly simple to verify control code or clear/check/start/finish codes (and clock times), so it's really regrettable that (presumably) they didn't know about that.

But Hawkeye almost hit the nail on the head: SportIdent sells e-cards (dibbers) that claim high-speed punch times. The longest is 325 or 345 milliseconds. The shortest SI-11 time is 60ms. At WOC, SportIdent should be protecting the reputation of their system by ensuring those punch times are achieved in all cases. I can understand a competitor being safe and double checking at a remote woods control, but not the last control, in sight of the world. It was someone's responsibility to be sure that unit was on and functioning at high speed, and I think Orr obviously waited long enough.

{edit: I can't remember if anyone mentioned this or not, but the thought crossed my mind that the unit in question is a unit with a serial cable, so perhaps the delay is a computer transaction delay rather than a unit in sleep mode.}
Aug 26, 2014 9:31 AM # 
WOC is run on a pretty tight budget and usually has a bunch of skilled IT folks in the team, so I think it will rarely have had Sportident people involved. 2015 doesn't anyway.

Also, agreeing with cedarcreek, I am very surprised the timing companies don't invest more (whether time/money) in making sure WOC is a success. Instances of failure at the top level can only hurt their cause.
Sep 11, 2014 1:48 PM # 
Recent news of confirmed cases of punches getting overwritten they began to check missing punch cases more carefully in Sweden. Last weekend again one runner got re-instated, according to the unit's log punch was just 100% OK and not too fast. It just had gotten overwritten in stick four controls later. So, the "got signal but no punch recorded" thing is confirmed and most likely is not that rare - it took only couple of weeks to find a new case after the overwrite problem getting more commonly known.
Sep 11, 2014 2:00 PM # 
Did SPORTident just hire a junior firmware writer?
Sep 11, 2014 2:50 PM # 
Is this news published somewhere online?
Sep 11, 2014 3:52 PM # 
Sep 11, 2014 4:38 PM # 
Earlier I claimed a fail rate of about 1 in 100,000 punches, based on what I regarded as "credible complaints". That thread finds 4-in-a-million fails by properly checking the boxes. It does rather suggest that most issues would be resolved if we used the backup system (i.e. read the box).

I had a recent SI DQ. No complaints: there was contributary graeme-fail involved since I looked for and failed to find the pin punch, but it was reassuring to know that the box also recorded an equipment misfunction.
Sep 11, 2014 6:49 PM # 
So "the" problem, or at least "a" problem is that valid punches are getting over-written later on in the course??

That can't be what happened to Hollie Orr though - right? She was missing the final punch.

I think there be at least two things going wrong here
Sep 11, 2014 7:49 PM # 
AZ>> Since I was kind of part of the WOC-IT team (hosting LiveResults) and was aware of this problem I requested the binary-readout for Hollies SI-Card and checked it against this problem. Her MP was NOT caused by this problem (It was in fact also an SI9 card so it shouldn't be affected but I checked just to be sure).

graeme>> 4 in a million of punches (not million of fails)...

Best Regards,
Peter Löfås
Sep 12, 2014 2:55 PM # 
So Peter, how do you explain the video? Was that a phantom Hollie who punched, and a beep was recorded, while the real, but invisible Hollie ran past the control without punching?
Sep 12, 2014 3:56 PM # 
Malfunctioning is so rare I would put my money on sleep mode. I wonder did they study how it was programmed.
Sep 12, 2014 5:47 PM # 
simmo>> I did not say something wasn't wrong, I just said I can assure you that her missing punch was not due to the "known" SI6 problem now getting public attention.

I will not speculate in what was the problem for her and since I was not in Italy (just running liveresults from Sweden) I did not have access to the hardware/controls to check them (which I probably would have done if I was there)

What I can see in the binary data of her card is that there is no sign of any data at all from the last control.

This discussion thread is closed.