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Discussion: Petition to stop the GPS ban

in: Orienteering; General;

Mar 15, 2012 1:37 PM # 
PG:
I have started an online petition to ask the Board of Directors of Orienteering USA to stop the ban on carrying GPS devices with a visible display. The petition is here. You can also see who has signed so far.

If you have signed, thank you, and please encourage your orienteering friends to sign too. If you haven't signed, I hope you will.

Peter Gagarin
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Mar 15, 2012 2:06 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I believe this petition is misguided, and puts entitlement to use a specific gadget ahead of the sport.
Mar 15, 2012 2:11 PM # 
Charlie:
T/D - always reliable.
Mar 15, 2012 2:11 PM # 
MCrone:
It cost me $50 to buy a device without a screen. I just use that for my analysis, no questions asked.
Mar 15, 2012 2:57 PM # 
jjcote:
And if you feel strongly otherwise, go ahead and set up your own petition asking the BoD to enact the ban.
Mar 15, 2012 3:02 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I will leave it to my duly elected representatives to oversee the work of the organization's Committees. I see no need to petition.
Mar 15, 2012 3:19 PM # 
tRicky:
Move to Australia.
Mar 15, 2012 4:13 PM # 
jjcote:
It is customary in a republic for the constituents to make their opinions known to the elected representatives.
Mar 15, 2012 5:21 PM # 
bubo:
I signed the petition (not a OUSA member, obviously - like a few others) but this was strictly for personal reasons and not necessarily a fully "educated" opinion. I consider the GPS watch I use to add extra pleasure to my analysis after the race - and without using the watch for cheating I can actually verify that it is actually running.

As mentioned above there are of course other relatively inexpensive GPS loggers that would work, but not always as smooth as what I now use, since I can also do some very rough analysis right after finishing without having access to a computer. In the case of using a "screen-less" logger the added data from the HRM would have to be collected from yet another separate device of course...

I can totally understand the position of the IOF and other bodies though.
The situation today may not be serious enough to fully merit a GPS ban - but working in the IT business I also realize how fast new gadgets develop and somewhere along the line something that could better be used for navigation will definitely surface.

What about today´s smartphones...? With a little bit of imagination and preparation they could probably be of better use than a common GPS watch...
Mar 15, 2012 6:29 PM # 
speedy:
But does someone want to take their expensive smartphone into the woods?! Probably not.
Mar 15, 2012 7:27 PM # 
CHARLIE-B:
Bluetooth headcam and GPS watch with lovely color display. Who wouldn't love it? Take image of map; send to watch; pan, scroll and rotate map to current location and heading; bingo. Coming soon.
Mar 15, 2012 7:31 PM # 
afinch:
"I believe this petition is misguided, and puts entitlement to use a specific gadget ahead of the sport."

Seems to me that growing the sport should be more of a concern - making it easy for people to participate and not requiring them to buy additional gear. Analyzing your mistakes, sharing routes on route gadget, these are some of the aspects that can make orienteering fun. Let people use the watches they already own.

If down the road there is actually a problem, then discuss what to do, but until then, just encourage people to get out orienteering with whatever they may own.

My GPS watch is used during the event as a watch. One window is set up to display just the current time. When I get home I download my track for analysis. I have owned the watch for years and never used it for navigation - either orienteering or otherwise. Who would want to? I orienteer for the joy of running and navigating by the map.

--Alex
Mar 15, 2012 7:46 PM # 
Becks:
Hear hear!
Mar 15, 2012 8:18 PM # 
bbrooke:
Agree 100% with afinch and bubo. I just signed the petition.
Mar 15, 2012 9:08 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Nobody is required to buy a GPS device in order to go orienteering. The issue is that some people feel entitled to use a specific device that they have purchased and that they enjoy, despite concerns that widespread use of such devices may change the nature of the sport. Maybe it will, hopefully it won't; but the core of the argument seems to be blind, selfish, and overwhelming devotion to a specific gadget. It is very hard for me to sympathize with concerns of this particular origin. If I wanted a gadget-centered activity, I'd be flying model airplanes.
Mar 15, 2012 9:26 PM # 
bubo:
As afinch mentions above it is actually quite easy to change your display so it doesn´t show "illegal information". Current time and HR (if that isn´t considered illegal too) would be enough to keep you from "accidentally" peeking for information that would help your navigation.

If you "check in" your watch with that display at the start then it would definitely be an occurrence of active cheating if you changed it to use additional information during your race.
Mar 15, 2012 10:17 PM # 
Nixon:
Presumably there is already a rule banning you from communicating with anyone who has already run the course?

That's the best way to cheat. And that's why people at WOC are put into quarantine before they start.

Obviously events in the USA are just as serious as WOC, hence a blanket ban of GPS.

Just sayin'...

p.s. I hope every event has a 2 year embargo on the terrain too.
Mar 16, 2012 1:32 AM # 
afinch:
"The issue is that some people feel entitled to use a specific device that they have purchased and that they enjoy, despite concerns that widespread use of such devices may change the nature of the sport."

Vlad, no disrespect, but I see the issue as unnecessarily restricting enthusiastic orienteers based on concerns that have yet to materialize.

Don't we already have enough obstacles to overcome in promoting the sport without artificially creating more?

--Alex
Mar 16, 2012 1:43 AM # 
mikeminium:
Speedy writes: "But does someone want to take their expensive smartphone into the woods?!"
The kids sure as heck do. Heck, they are texting each other (and their friends miles away) from every control. Pair that attitude with GPS Heresy and you have great appeal to a whole new market.
Mar 16, 2012 2:06 AM # 
PG:
After 24 hours we have over 50 signers, plus lots of good comments. Thank you all for signing. My sense is we can actually get the rule changed. The more support we can show, the more people that sign, the more possible that will be. Please help spread the word.

The petition is here. You can also see who has signed so far.
Mar 16, 2012 2:53 AM # 
Gil:
Has anyone ever tried to use GPS to gain competitive advantage? I understand that it is theoretically possible however has there ever been a case when it was ever done?

I am not in my prime (as far as orienteering goes...) however I am confident that I could beat anyone who'd try to aid their orienteering with GPS devices. I'll even give odds - challenger could win my $100,- against challengers $10,-. Also I run only Sprint-Os these days if anyone does decide to take me up on challenge.
Mar 16, 2012 3:09 AM # 
Wyatt:
It's pretty easy to take a split on a Garmin when you leave an attackpoint on a bearing, and then look at the distance traveled field instead of pace counting.

It's also almost as easy to do something similar with an ordinary splits watch - if you know how fast you move in certain terrain, you can eyeball, or calculate, than a feature is, say, 45 sec. away from your attackpoint, and then run on a bearing with an occasional glance at the split running on your watch.

And they haven't explicitly banned using non-GPS watches for decades now, despite their relatively similar ease of use as a navigation aid...

@Gil: Sure you want to keep that offer open?
Mar 16, 2012 3:41 AM # 
JRance:
I am not a member of OUSA so I will not express an opinion in this debate.

However, in response to Gil, I point out that it is quick and easy to use the Garmin to know distance travelled. On legs where judging map distance up or down slopes is critical, the Garmin eliminates the mental gymnastics required to compensate for altitude gained or lost. Consider: competitors of similar ability race a course with several point feature controls on hillsides and catching features well past the controls. The competitor who uses a Garmin to keep track of distance is likely to gain a significant advantage.
Mar 16, 2012 4:03 AM # 
Gil:
@Wyatt - sure I do even after your explanation. I never used pace-counting. I honestly don't know how to explain it however I kind of feel distances from one attack-point to another based on how far they are apart on map. It comes with experience - that would be my best guess

Also your described method has few factors that makes it not precise science:
- scale of the map
- precision of GPS
- accuracy of orienteering map

Typical Sprit-O map has scale 1:5000. One inch on map corresponds to about 139 yards. 1/10 of inch is 13-14 yards. In order for your described method to be efficient precision of measuring distances between two attack-points should be less then 1/10 of inch and you got to do that fast. If you do eyeballing that you are pretty much in the same boat where I am except I focus exclusively on looking for next attackpoint where you get distracted by constantly checking watch.

GPS watches are good these days but I they do have precision rate as well. I'd say about +/- 5 yards on 100 yards on typical orienteering course because you won't be running straight line (unless it's on open and flat field). You'd be doing some kind of zig-zagging.

I did one orienteering map about 20+ years ago and I know first hand that tape measure never came out when I was field-working map. Most of measuring was done counting steps. Lot of adjusting took place at the drawing table. Technology has improved significantly to help mappers these days however I doubt that modern maps are result of precise engineering.
Mar 16, 2012 4:04 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I see the issue as unnecessarily restricting enthusiastic orienteers

It's not. It's suggesting the orienteers be enthusiastic about similar devices that have no potential to cause controversy and may not be as sexy or accurate, but provide most of the desired functionality at a similar cost.
Mar 16, 2012 4:12 AM # 
Bruce:
Orienteering Australia had this same debate in 2010. The OA Council decided not to follow the IOF rule. Instead we developed a rule that everyone seems happy with, and there has been no attempt by anyone to cheat.
"21.6 Competitors may not use or carry telecommunication equipment between entering the pre-start area and reaching the finish in a race, unless the equipment is approved by the organiser. GPS devices with no map function or signal to aid the user in finding direction may be carried. The organiser may require competitors to wear a tracking device."

The only exception is for IOF WRE events (where IOF rules apply).
Mar 16, 2012 4:53 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
This seems like a very sensible rule, a far cry from "you will pry my 305 from my cold dead fingers".
Mar 16, 2012 6:23 AM # 
Jagge:
Fore 305 has map function and signal to aid user it finding direction. So Forerunner 305 is banned in Australia?
Mar 16, 2012 6:27 AM # 
bshields:
I'm with T/D. Not because I find it tempting to use my garmin for navigation, or because I think that others are using theirs now, but frankly because the arguments in favor of having gps are pretty lame:

1. "I'm too incompetent/unimaginitive to see how this thing can be used to cheat."
2. "I don't believe that anyone using a gps can beat me."
3. "The only way for me to see my route afterwards is with a garmin."
4. "I use my HR data alongside my quickroute to analyze my race; this timestamped HR data is essential to my post-race analysis; I know I haven't actually used it in the past, but if you allow garmins, I promise I'll I do it for every race, especially the big ones."*
5. "I don't care if people cheat. If somebody wins with gps, so be it."

Sorry, but none of those seem like the basis for a ruling. The oft-repeated "nobody will actually cheat with it" line would be compelling were it not for the fact that people already use stopwatches for navigation. If you allow gadgets, they get used. Period. Maybe not today, but tomorrow.

On the other hand, why ban a gps? Gee, I dunno, maybe because it tells you where you are? Along with the distances and angles on the map, the gps provides you with all the information you need to find the controls. It tells you where you are, without needing to know where you were. That is a fundamentally different game from orienteering. The information is there, therefore it can be used.

* - apologies if you have, actually, used your HR data alongside your quickroute. Please, let me know what you learned from it. Would especially appreciate a link to past race reports using this data.
Mar 16, 2012 7:45 AM # 
Cristina:
Thanks, bshields. While my gut says a gps ban is silly, I couldn't justify my gut enough to sign a petition about it. It just didn't seem right. Maybe a visible gps ban (at A meets, for instance) isn't so silly after all. I certainly don't have a problem with an 'elite' class rule. I think an email note to a board member is probably the best way to express my opinion on this.

I'm still with those who say we should embrace the technology for newcomers and recruitment, and have fun with the gps watches at local meets.
Mar 16, 2012 10:45 AM # 
Becks:
There was a discussion on Sam's log just a couple of weeks ago about heart rate over the course and success of orienteering. That's the most recent example I can think of.
Mar 16, 2012 11:17 AM # 
CarlEdmo:
Tbh there is no need for GPS, i have only lately got a GPS and only use it to see for analysis afterwards,you can buy tiny little gps's for cheap without a screen that are more acurate, so whats the point in argueing it will make the sport more competetive and for that reason more fun.
Mar 16, 2012 11:17 AM # 
c.hill:
If your heart rate drops when orienteering, chances are you are slowing down, therefore your not 100% confident on where you are on the map...

Very eye opening. I find it to be pretty dam accurate on where I was confident and where I wasn't fully in control of my orienteering.
Mar 16, 2012 11:25 AM # 
CarlEdmo:
Not having a GPS to look at ur heart rate etc means you can 100% concentrate on ur map and were your going meaning for more confidence and more speed and a better race!
Mar 16, 2012 11:54 AM # 
O-ing:
Got it in 1. The faster you go, the less time you have for distractions (from the map). That's why the ban for elites is so silly; they are the ones who would (theoretically if all the geek ideas actually worked) benefit least from a GPS.

The arguments actually are:
1 There are lots of ideas about how a GPS would benefit someone. None of them is better than reading the map you are handed at the start.
2 Nobody using a GPS has won a significant competition (Hungarian Night Champs doesnt count)
3 and 4 Post race analysis using a GPS is very instructive. Check my log for the number of times I've written "I only know where I went because I had the GPS"
5 Of course we care about people cheating - a very small minority do and they mostly do it by accident. But GPS use for cheating isn't one of those problems. Following is. Going out of bounds is. Getting prepped by another competitor is. Running an individual comp as a team is. Concentrate on the actual problems!
Mar 16, 2012 12:56 PM # 
Gil:
I like what Pink Socks said in this post. If we want sport to grow we got to embrace this sort of technology. Well said. I started with black and white maps in my early days. I had to embrace colored maps, then about 10 year later lightening fast compasses...
Mar 16, 2012 1:10 PM # 
Hammer:
I too like what Pink Socks wrote because it backs up what one of North America's best orienteering visionaries wanted. Henry Lam, was the Exec Director of Orienteering Ontario. He built Canada's largest junior program, he published the (at the time) best set of books on orienteering in english, he arranged to have all schools in Toronto mapped over 30 years ago and much more. He lobbied for orienteering to be in Ontario's education curriculum, and the list goes on. But what he argued was missing from the sport was technology (or gadgets). The compass wasn't cool enough for kids in an era of video games he would often say. But now the sport has changed with SI, QR, Catching features, digital maps, lidar, AP and GPS. The sport has evolved. I think if he was involved in the sport today that he would be arguing for a GPS device to be required gear. He would probably have also said something like if we ban GPS another group will embrace it instead.
Mar 16, 2012 1:51 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I'm again wondering why the proponents of the 305 keep constantly shifting the focus towards a "GPS ban". There is no GPS ban. There is a rule against using a GPS for navigation, and having a readily available screen on your device the purpose of which is navigation seems against the rule.

I think a GPS device should be required gear, too! It also seems that if there is a mode in which you can aid, or substitute, precise map reading with following information or instructions from a screen, then some people, at some point, will use this information, and we're not in the same sport anymore. Is that a good or a bad thing? We simply don't know yet.
Mar 16, 2012 2:09 PM # 
Hammer:
The advantage of requiring GPS is it would permit random enforcement to check for some of the "actual problem's" that O'ing lists.
Mar 16, 2012 2:42 PM # 
FrankTheTank:
It seems like there is an opportunity here for some enthusiastic entrepreneur. Develop a GPS/HRM watch that doesn't display any distance or navigational information. Keep the ban in place so that person(s) can make a good living selling these devices to the O-community. The O-community already buys specialized equipment for the sport. If it's a really important tool (which it is) then buy a legal device. Or better yet, talk to Garmin and have them develop a new model which the event organizer can password protect the watch from displaying the banned data during competition and unlock the watch after competition.
Mar 16, 2012 3:35 PM # 
speedy:
O-community is too small for Garmin to even consider developing such a device.
Mar 16, 2012 6:24 PM # 
JanetT:
The watches were "banned" by the US Champs organizers until they decided to allow taped-over displays on those watches with them.
Mar 16, 2012 6:24 PM # 
FrankTheTank:
You never know until you ask. It seems like worldwide there are probably quite a few Garmin customers who are orienteers. A good company will listen to customer feedback and take it into consideration when developing new designs. If I could advertise a device as IOF approved then that would be an added selling point I would think.
Mar 16, 2012 7:02 PM # 
PG:
It seems like Valdimir (aka T/D), for all his bluster, is really a softie. The following is from his website for his A meet this wekend --

"You are welcome to bring your GPS device, with or without a screen, and carry it on the course, but please do not use it for navigation purposes—in accordance with Orienteering USA Rules of Competition."
Mar 16, 2012 7:07 PM # 
blegg:
Maybe part of the reason this feels like a big deal: there is very little separation in the US between guidelines for US Elite Championship races, and everything else. I don't think people would care too much, if this only applied to one race per year.

But without any strong guidance from OUSA for how to design fun, attractive, casual events; the rules for championship events become de-facto adopted everywhere.

So we end up in a situation where local clubs think the best way to introduce beginners to the sport, is using a course sequence designed to facilitate 12 year old competition at the national level. And we see clubs doing silly things, like telling first timer competitors that they are 'cheating' to look at their map in advance and ask questions. And if a 305 ban occurs at the elite level, we could reasonably expect local clubs to start publishing rules that say an adventure racer can't wear his favorite heart rate monitor.
Mar 17, 2012 3:46 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Get Lost!! has always had a sensible GPS policy. We don't want GPS devices used in situations in which competitors stand a chance to derive a benefit from them. We don't see how competitors can meaningfully benefit from them at Sprint races. At rogaine events, it's a very different animal; we care and we will disqualify people who we see going out on the course with visible displays (the applicable policy can be seen on the respective event pages). We haven't held a Middle or a Long orienteering event, but if/when we do, the policy will be more similar to our rogaine policy than to our Sprint policy.
Mar 21, 2012 12:08 AM # 
jjcote:
I can't be certain, but based on my casual reading of the OUSA Rules Committee email traffic, it looks to me like sentiment is trending rather strongly toward a ban. I think Clare is planning to send two proposals to the OUSA BoD (perhaps with recommendations) and to let them decide. I know she asked one of the committee members to put together wording for the GPS-ban version, and she also asked if someone would volunteer to write a non-GPS-ban version, but I don't know whether anyone stepped forward to do that.
Mar 21, 2012 12:52 AM # 
gruver:
I've been thinking about "compliance" issues in other areas, and present the following. Er, I'll rephrase that, I'll present some other situations.

1. In rogaining with clipcards there was an issue of teams splitting up. People who you would lend money to at the drop of a hat, got tired, lagged behind, and didn't "quite" get to the control on top of the hill. The strongest member went all the way and did the clipping. For big events round here, we deem it necessary to attach an e-card to ALL team members with a tamper-proof band. That says "we DON'T trust you".

2. In MTBO there is an expectation that you stay with your bike. Compliance is currently ensured by requiring that the e-card is attached to the bike. (Typically via a retractable device that lets it reach the control.) The latest MTBO Commission minutes say the attaching requirement will be dropped, and there will just be the rule to stay with your bike. That says "we DO trust you".
Mar 21, 2012 1:34 AM # 
Greg_L:
I've already sent Clare one draft of a "non GPS ban" proposed change to the Rules, as follows:

B.36.3 During the competition only a compass and the map provided by the organizer may be used for navigation. Personal aids not used directly for navigation are permitted (e.g. magnifying glass, flashlight, cane, eyeglasses, and electronic watches with GPS capabilities so long as during the competition they are used only for time-keeping and to collect data for post-race analysis).

B.36.4 The use of any navigation aid other than a compass is prohibited (e.g. transport, electronic apparatus, radio, pedometer, altimeter, GPS).
Mar 21, 2012 4:01 AM # 
bbrooke:
Thanks for stepping up to do that, Greg.
Mar 21, 2012 6:50 AM # 
gordhun:
I'm afraid I would have run afoul of proposed rule B.36.3 and B.36.4 when during a race a few years ago I fell and broke my compass. Besides the map the navigational aid that got me through the race was knowing the position of the sun in the sky. Surely inadvertantly the proposed rule would make that illegal. (said tongue in cheek)
Mar 21, 2012 9:35 AM # 
bubo:
I´m not sure the sun would be considered a "personal aid" - it´s actually there for everyone to use...
Mar 21, 2012 11:04 AM # 
Canadian:
Gord, I navigate using the terrain. Would that get me in trouble too? :P
Mar 21, 2012 3:14 PM # 
fpb:
While wholly unnecessarily, there is a certain charm in something like:

B.36.3 During the competition only a compass and the map provided by the organizer may be used for navigation, along with visual environmental cues such as the position of the sun and shadows cast by same, the position of the moon, stars, and/or planets, trail markers and other signage, growth patterns of moss and other vegetation, and the terrain itself, as well as audible environmental cues such as sounds of traffic or the peeping of frogs.
Mar 21, 2012 3:20 PM # 
fpb:
Oops, forgot wind direction (which can be visible, audible, or tactile).
Mar 21, 2012 3:31 PM # 
Jagge:
And smell (porta potties at TC).
Mar 21, 2012 3:41 PM # 
bubo:
And loudspeakers from the finish (but even if they may help you in navigation they may also cause unwanted stress and loss of concentration...).
Mar 21, 2012 3:44 PM # 
schirminator:
I wonder if we could develop a chip that everyone would get in their meet packet, to put on their shoe or something. It would be a GPS chip that could track the route of the person and be downloaded at the end. I think they might already do this at larg competitions ie WOC etc. In this way it might elimiate the individual advantage and still be able to produce fun results at the end, where you could see everyones routes. It might even be able to change the whole control point check in. For exmaple in XC races you have a chip on your shoe, and out on the course there are mats at say 3k, 5K, 8k, and then your final time at the finish. Those splits go straight to the computer so you can know team scores and individual places at thos ekey points int eh race. It would be intersting to see if something like this could be created fairly cheeply that clubs could puchase in mass quatities for meets, trainings, and large events. Instead of a dibbler you would have shoe chip that pick up splits by steping on a mat or something at a contorl as well as the gps route. Just a fun idea.
Mar 21, 2012 3:50 PM # 
c.hill:
Have fun carrying the mats into the forest
Mar 21, 2012 3:55 PM # 
andrewd:
why need the mat? Could work same as we have now + built in gps tracker; starts when you punch the start box, stops at the finish, downloads into computer on download.
Mar 21, 2012 4:29 PM # 
jjcote:
I suspect this will happen before too long. SI and Emit are probably both working on it already, and if one of them isn't, they may well be the one that gets left behind and withers. This is already how hang gliding competitions work -- you program the control locations into your GPS, and when you get within the required cylinder radius, you get a beep and you head for the next point. You upload your tracklog after you land. But GPS works much better in the air, the biggest problem I see at the moment is that ground-based GPS is still way too flaky for this to work.
Mar 21, 2012 4:43 PM # 
c.hill:
Its how the shoe timing works. You cross a mat that has a wire below it and thats the signal the chip picks up - or in relation to XC and Road races, the mat picks up the chip and your time is recorded. This is not yet remote recording - you need the recording equipment close to hand.
Mar 21, 2012 5:04 PM # 
bubo:
Good luck running in marshes with a chip on your shoe-lace ;)

Apart from that it´s certainly doable and may be the next step in GPS development - just make those chips cheap enough...

If we have been able to each buy our own SI or EMIT-sticks/-bricks - why not buy your own GPS-chip too in the future?
Mar 21, 2012 8:54 PM # 
thenjdk:
It all depends on the level of the competition. In your common or garden club event, there is really no need to ban a device that can help the runners post race. As mentioned, many have only one form of GPS tracker, don't deny them the opportunity to review their race afterwards. The issue in race boils down to sportsmanship. We all know asking for help from other competitors is not allowed, and sure, we don't do it in a champs. but for most in the middle of the field on your average Sunday race, may happily point a very lost newcomer in the right direction. If the unit can display things that aid the runner in race, its up them to turn it off and participate in the sport as it is intended. Its like a goalkeeper in football practicing with a ball that travels slowly. It makes his saves look good, but its of no use to him in a match. So why bother.
Mar 21, 2012 9:07 PM # 
iansmith:
@thenjdk: The proposed ban only applies to national level events ("A"-meets in OUSA parlance), not smaller regional or local meets.
Mar 22, 2012 12:06 AM # 
PGoodwin:
Please realize that the National Championships in Atlanta will have tape available for covering your GPS unit but no one will be saying you have to do it. The board will take up this issue at their board meeting in Atlanta. Stay tuned.
Mar 24, 2012 5:27 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Apologies for barging back into this, but so far it doesn't seem that anyone has brought up a proposal similar to the following, which I consider middle-ground (and I realize the petitioners well may not).

Why not leave it to each Event Director to specify the exact details of allowed GPS usage at the event? The Event Director and her Course Designers are in the best position to judge whether GPS devices currently on the market are likely, or not, to aid someone's navigation in the circumstances of the particular event.
Mar 24, 2012 5:55 PM # 
smittyo:
T/D - this is the current policy. Petitioners seem to want OUSA to say that Event Directors don't have this latitude and must allow competitors to carry GPS devices. Event Directors seem to prefer that they not be the ones making the decision and are looking for more concrete guidance from OUSA.
Mar 25, 2012 12:43 AM # 
randy:
FWIW, I signed the petition, and added the following comment. I'm not sure it took, as I quit out of the thing when it tried to sponge $25 from my paypal acct.


I believe, if not so already, GPS devices with visible displays can and will be used to gain an advantage (ie, "cheating"). Moreover, I believe, if orienteering wishes to be viewed as a "serious sport", as many wish it, it should follow the lead of all other "serious sports" in the USA, and ban exogenous technology that can confer an advantage. That said, I have reconsidered my position on the question of a GPS ban, and believe a better solution is to redefine the sport itself to explicitly allow any gadget specifically designed for timekeeping, geolocation, or general navigation and so forth (note I don't say any technology, as I still don't approve of technologies such as doping, etc, unrelated to navigation). The primary motivation for my change of position is that orienteering is about physical fitness in terrain, map navigation and execution at speed, and route planning, and specific navigational aids other than the map are secondary at best, and the competitor's choice of aid, IMHO, is not material. Moreover, all navigational aids are available to all competitors at prices at the same order of magnitude. Thus, rather than attempt to police this as cheating, I favor an approach that redefines it as not cheating. My only concern is the incongruentcy with the IOF; IMHO, the USOF board, in its due diligence wrt this issue, should understand the specific reasons for the IOF's position, and if they add insight beyond what recent USA participants and commentators have articulated, should act appropriately, and clearly explain the this putative insight of the IOF.
Mar 25, 2012 1:35 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Clare—I didn't get that part. I as Event Director would be happy to draw the line.

So what's next? "I paid for my fourwheeler and it's fun and how dare you ban me from using it on your course?" Just curious. How much leeway would the petitioners leave to the Event Director? If specific restrictions are imposed on the event by the landowners or by other external factors—such as, for example, a prohibition on dobbs spikes—would the petitioners boycott the event on the grounds of having paid for their Integrators and the event being no longer fun?

If this is really about limiting Event Directors in their ability to use discretion, I think those petitioners who are in a position to be an Event Director themselves should consider what boat they may end up in.
Mar 25, 2012 2:10 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
GPS devices with visible displays can and will be used to gain an advantage

and a few lines later

specific navigational aids other than the map are secondary at best

OK so now you've redefined your sport so that navaids are allowed, in a hope that they will remain secondary. What should you do about situations in which they have great potential to become primary definers of outcome—such as, for example, in French WOC terrain, at night, or on a course with butterflies? These seem to be the only logical solutions if you want to stick to the "about physical fitness in terrain, map navigation and execution at speed" qualifiers...

Don't have butterflies.

Don't have night-Os.

Don't hold WOCs, or other high-profile events, in complicated terrain.

While some may be excited about the first one and perhaps about the second one, you should be honest about the last... the redefinition is perhaps a valid choice. It will, however, yield a different activity; it may be a completely reasonable path to take, but one with multiple consequences that at least suggests a level of discussion that goes far beyond "you're going to pry my fun away from my cold dead fingers" line of argumentation. You've now taken the run-killing boom away as the potential detriment of poor navigation, the worst a careless runner can do is slight bobbles... again maybe that's what's desired... maybe not—people pay to watch spectacular car crashes, can perhaps be convinced to sympathize with the long-lost blip on the screen?

To push this decision through Rules Committee and the Board based on the level of argument prevalent in this and related discussions seems like a triumph of shortsightedness. Have many petition signers given their motives at least as much thought as Randy?
Mar 25, 2012 2:21 AM # 
jjcote:
the worst a careless runner can do is slight bobbles

No, it's bad route choices. In a form of orienteering where accurate GPS is widely used, course setting will gravitate toward route choice problems and away from locating difficult-to-find controls in highly detailed areas. Some would consider this a positive development, others a negative.
Mar 25, 2012 2:28 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I agree with all of JJ's latest post. It's curious that Gmap-Pedometer now routes you between two points with elevation gain taken into account, with about the same climb-for-length ratio as Attackpoint uses. So, for how long after this development (inclusion and use of accurate GPS) would one be prohibited to use online route-analysis tools? they are fun, after all—if a machine can tell you with certainty after the fact that you should have gone here and not there, and if the machine happens to come in a form that is readily available, say in a cellphone app, why not carry it with you? next development—if carrying is widespread, how can you prevent the use?

I don't see how it would stop.
Mar 25, 2012 3:35 AM # 
jjcote:
Hey, it's not only chess and Jeopardy (and I didn't notice how the crossword program did a couple of weeks ago), just give it up -- the cyborgs are going to take over.
Mar 25, 2012 4:32 AM # 
blegg:
One of these days, Vlad, we'll all be thankful that you and the governator saved us from the machines. And those iPhone borg with their weaponized thinking caps and shady ethics

But until then, at least I can stop taking Klingon lessons.
Mar 25, 2012 11:11 PM # 
j-man:
It is interesting to see how positions have evolved (or not) since one of the last episodes when this issue was hotly debated.
Mar 26, 2012 5:18 AM # 
Cristina:
j-man, you were very smart back then: "Then, the responsible solution would be to promote screen-less loggers before the installed user base of Garmin X05s is so large that drawing the line in the sand becomes even less palatable."
Mar 26, 2012 2:22 PM # 
coach:
I ran a local event yeaterday. Forgot my Garmin 305, HR monitor and watch (not too great since it was a Score O).
Had fun anyway. Can recall route and splits just fine.
Memory still functioning.
Mar 26, 2012 2:31 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Foresight appears to be quite lacking in this discussion, as is respect for the sport over personal selfish desires.

My primary selfish concern in this is the entitled gadgeteers fun lovers stepping in and ruining future-proofing my rogaines for their pleasure; once an adventure racer sees a few teams with 305s openly in the wild, there's no convincing that these are only used for personal entertainment and not for navigation. What is most likely to happen then is petitions, boycotts, and a rules split between IRF and O USA, all because some people are too selfish to splurge $100 on a proper datalogger. Just what you want when nurturing a budding sport with a small and fickle base.

It's curious that adventure racers somehow had enough restraint to not allow GPS displays in almost all serious races, despite the installed base for just about any kind of gadget in that population being greater than the ownership of the 305 for the whole state of Massachusetts. Anyway, enough pointing out the obvious for the day—a couple years later, say World Rogaining Champs time, someone should link to this.
Mar 26, 2012 3:13 PM # 
feet:
Nobody is proposing removing the GPS ban from the rogaine rules; the whole debate applies to standard orienteering. GPS devices with displays are and remain banned at OUSA-sanctioned rogaines.
Mar 26, 2012 3:35 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Until someone petitions and threatens boycott. Many of the petitioners rogaine.
Mar 26, 2012 3:39 PM # 
fpb:
Then just replace 'rogaine' with 'ultra-long' in the above post.
I've run 1200 meter legs on ultra-longs where using the GPS as an odometer would have eliminated any temptation to take the wrong reentrant after only 1000 or 1100 meters had passed, and would have eliminated the chance of running beyond it.

My datalogger cost $49, incidentally.
Mar 26, 2012 4:13 PM # 
jjcote:
If someone can't be trusted to wear a GPS watch without using it, it's hard to see how he can be trusted to own a GPS watch without putting it in a pocket. Frisking would help to prevent that.

Incidentally, I stirred the pot over at Rules a bit by asking for a clarification regarding the proposed wording. It appears that the response to my request for clarification was what I expected: the proposed rule would now ban carrying any sort of cell phone (including those that have no capability of displaying GPS information) under the same rationale that bans carrying a radio (which I believe is because a communication device could be used for some sort of advantage). In the absence of some sort of waiver, this would mean that younger and older orienteers (as well as others) would not be able to bring a cell phone at an A-meet to use in case of a problem.

<sarcasm>But we wouldn't want to put that sort of safety measure ahead of the sport. After all, we got along for many years without it.</sarcasm>
Mar 26, 2012 4:20 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
More demagoguery: Not only are they against the fun, they also want to frisk us and let the frail die without cellphone coverage!

Safety first, then fairness, then convenience. Demagoguery last, please.

Sure there can be some reasonable compromise with the above priority list less the demagoguery. Such as, a device may be carried for safety reasons as long as it remains powered off throughout the course of the event?
Mar 26, 2012 4:24 PM # 
Becks:
I suppose there's no safety advantage at all to being able to give an exact georeferenced location for an unconscious casualty from your GPS watch with a screen then?
Mar 26, 2012 4:33 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
The crux of the issue to me is a situation that renders the organizers unable to distinguish between carrying and use. A screen-ready GPS on someone's wrist is a prime example in which there is no apparent distinction—participants are left to self-police. A powered-off cellphone in a pocket is a different animal, and can well be allowed as an exception for safety reasons (if you call 911 and the phone is GPS-enabled, I believe most modern emergency response systems will query the location).
Mar 26, 2012 4:39 PM # 
jjcote:
I may have spoken too soon -- it looks like there is some pushback from members of the Rules Committee to the cell phone prohibition, which I consider to be a positive development. (One is from an older orienteer who will refuse to start if not allowed to carry a cell phone for safety reasons.) This may be a can of worms, but one that I do not regret opening. Many people these days have cell phones with much more navigational capability than a Garmin 305 has. I suppose one way to address this is to require than they get another cell phone for orienteering (pre-paid phones are available at convenience stores for probably about the price of a datalogger). Requiring the phone to remain turned off while on the course seems like it would require quite a bit of trust, and human nature being what it is...
Mar 26, 2012 4:42 PM # 
JanetT:
The time, discussions, and energy that have gone into this topic would be much better spent in figuring out how to get more people to events, not quibbling about whether they plan to cheat and how exactly to word rules that lots of people don't read anyway.
Mar 26, 2012 4:53 PM # 
Becks:
Whoooooo! Go Janet! Yes, yes, YES!
Mar 26, 2012 4:58 PM # 
Gil:
Amen, Janet!
Mar 26, 2012 5:13 PM # 
Maryann:
Well said, Janet!
Mar 26, 2012 5:21 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I suppose one way to address this is to require than they get another cell phone for orienteering

The fundamental fallacy is that if you have something in your pocket, and you want to use it, it requires actually taking the thing out of your pocket. Same as with the out-of-bounds analogy—if you go out of bounds, it's not like you are invisible. If you are continuously staring at the screen of a 305, what are you up to?

I see three key points. The petitioners disagree with the first; it'd be interesting if the Rules Committee and the Board agree. If the first argument is proven true, it would seem to me enough for the petition to have little merit.

1. It is possible to derive a meaningful advantage from using a GPS on an orienteering course.

2. It is not readily possible for anyone other than the user of a GPS with a screen to discern what mode the watch is in.

3. People cheat.
Mar 26, 2012 5:22 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
better spent in figuring out how to get more people to events

But there are already many more people who use GPS outdoors to navigate. They are called geocachers.
Mar 26, 2012 6:00 PM # 
Cristina:
Pardon the detour...

My datalogger cost $49, incidentally.

fpb, which one is it and are you satisfied? I just lost mine.
Mar 26, 2012 6:15 PM # 
fpb:
GlobalSat DG-100

http://tinyurl.com/cbvxenf

I bought this after seeing a presentation where someone field-tested a bunch of models for accuracy. This one came out on top, though it was a few years ago and the differences were small.

It takes 2 AAA batteries which comprise most of the weight and bulk. I've used it in tropical storms and blizzards and it hasn't failed.

The software that comes with it is atrocious but somewhat wrote their own and posted it and it works fine. I don't have the details of that handy but will post later.
Mar 26, 2012 6:20 PM # 
jjcote:
The fundamental fallacy is that if you have something in your pocket, and you want to use it, it requires actually taking the thing out of your pocket

So would a Garmin 305 be okay if it were in a pocket?
Mar 26, 2012 9:18 PM # 
Greg_L:
and what about data loggers that while lacking a map display have time, distance traveled, direction and speed displays like this one?
Mar 26, 2012 9:23 PM # 
jjcote:
I'm pretty sure that datalogger would be out. The display doesn't have to be a map display to run afoul of the rule, and distance traveled is one of the concerns.
Mar 26, 2012 9:33 PM # 
Greg_L:
I would have bet that someone was going to suggest taping over the datalogger display.
Mar 26, 2012 10:06 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I think that a 305 in a pocket would be OK as long as it remains in said pocket throughout the duration of the race. I don't know how to word a rule appropriately to express middle ground between banning possession and allowing possession while banning use, though ("carry and not use and also not be in a position to use without detection" seems a bit convoluted and seems to create various loopholes); maybe that's one possible way out of the situation, but one that would hardly please the petitioners, for whom nothing short of open carry seems to suffice (they view taping as an insult).
Mar 26, 2012 10:27 PM # 
ndobbs:
How about if it's strapped to the upper arm, so you can't see the display, but everyone else can?
Mar 26, 2012 10:29 PM # 
jjcote:
There is the catch that at many races, I am out of view of everyone for a large portion of the race. Turning on the device and pulling it out surreptitiously when I'm on my own would certainly be feasible.

(And when there are other people in view, I guess I don't need the GPS because I can simply follow...)
Mar 27, 2012 1:02 AM # 
bbrooke:
How does one carry these data loggers? Most of my running outfits don't have pockets, and the data loggers don't seem to have straps that could be used to wear them watch-like (like my GPS watch).

I enjoy looking at my tracks after a meet, but I would hardly describe myself as an "entitled gadgeteer". Give me a break.
Mar 27, 2012 1:09 AM # 
jjcote:
When I carry my datalogger, I most often put it in the pocket of my O-pants (since I'm a pajama guy, which I suppose is a problem in itself). If I'm using it while running on roads, which is something I've been doing this year, I can fit it into the interior key pocket of my running shorts. Cristina apparently had one that fit into an armband holder, but she went orienteering the other day and came back with just the holder. If I were wearing tights, I think I could just put in under the lycra near my hip.

(Actually, the majority of the time that I use mine, it's in the chest pocket of my hang gliding harness, but it's tough to run through the woods while wearing that.)
Mar 27, 2012 2:16 AM # 
fpb:
Alternative software for GlobalSat DG-100 is here:

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Others/Miscellaneous/...

I agree a pocket is needed to carry it. If I was pocketless I suppose I'd sew it into my hat.
Mar 27, 2012 3:10 AM # 
Greg_L:
Maybe if they get small enough they can just be embedded under the skin, use bluetooth to communicate, and recharge via a wireless recharging mat. Preferably located topside by a colorful Orienteering USA tattoo.
Mar 27, 2012 3:49 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Entitled is about wrecking the sport because a gadget doesn't quite fit. It's not about looking at the tracks.
Mar 27, 2012 3:53 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I don't need the GPS because I can simply follow

You seem to have said in another threat you were too slow to follow.
Mar 27, 2012 4:07 AM # 
bbrooke:
I've used my GPS watch to record my orienteering tracks for about seven years and, shockingly, I don't think I've wrecked the sport yet. Your arguments are getting more and more tortured.
Mar 27, 2012 4:26 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
You or PG or Charlie aren't going to be the ones directly wrecking the sport; juniors or adventure racers who see you staring at the screen of a 305, and assume it's OK for navigation—or outright cheating, will. Another sure way to wreckage would be a protracted discussion in the months leading to the World Rogaining Champs, with threats of boycotts (ample precedent) if a group of gadget lovers doesn't get its way; that'd be enough for volunteer support for the event to wither, and to split the competitive base with animosity.

Agree or not:

1. It is possible to derive a meaningful advantage from using a GPS on an orienteering course.

2. It is not readily possible for anyone other than the user of a GPS with a screen to discern what mode the watch is in.

3. People cheat.

If no to any of the three, I will gladly provide links to those too lazy to read the rest of related threads.

If yes to all, what are the options?
Mar 27, 2012 4:34 AM # 
Greg_L:
Let's get specific. Which brands and models of data logger are available that:

- can be easily worn like a watch; suited for outdoor use
- uses a Sirf III chipset (or has = to or better accuracy)
- record every second; tracks downloaded easily with readily available software
- rechargeable
- reasonable cost; no monthly subscription to get data
- display time of day, time elapsed, and possibly avg and current pace
- record splits/laps (optional)
- yet can't display tracks in any sort of visual way or otherwise run afoul of the IOF/WRE rules about navigational aids?
Mar 27, 2012 5:03 AM # 
bshields:
Sorry, why does it have to display time of day, time elapsed, or any sort of pace info? I thought this was just a logger?

Aside from that and the "wear like a watch" criterion, all the main contenders have met your requirements for several years now and in fact most are more sensitive than Sirf III and will log at 5Hz or 10Hz. Some examples.

And before you tout the gps watches as suited for outdoor use, the strap on the FR 305 is pretty flimsy and the speaker is not waterproofed, so it's not the perfect gadget either.
Mar 27, 2012 5:19 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Thanks Brendan—was just typing this up and you beat me to it. Logic commonly evades posters to this thread... I keep thinking the 305 should be regulated as an addictive, brain-altering substance.

DISCLAIMERS: Qstarz is a former sponsor of Get Lost!!; I own and use a Garmin 305. My position was formed well before we got the short-lived Qstarz sponsorship—I sought them (and their datalogger competitors) out to try to spread the word about compliant devices once the 305 got too addictive for me.
Mar 27, 2012 5:37 AM # 
Jagge:
Track from GlobalSat DG-100 can be downloaded also with Gpsbabel too. I have been using GlobalSat BT-335. Data is downloaded over bluetooth and I use gpsbabel to do it. The same batch uploads data to Attackpoint too. It's quite handy especially if it is installed on cell phone. Right after your run it's a tap and track data gets uploaded to AP log and I can study track and data and all, just couple minutes after finishing the race, no laptops needed. It shows up now as "generic training" activity type, I afterwards change it and add comments, I hated having to select activity types and such when downloading like that.
Mar 27, 2012 6:12 AM # 
blegg:
I'm perfectly comfortable letting my competitors wear a GPS watch. I trust them not to use it if the rules say they shouldn't. Even if they do, I think it's unlikely to tilt the competition in their favor. And I enjoy seeing their quickroute tracks after the race.

I don't think GPS cheating confers nearly as much advantage as being the home runner on a map that has been reused for multiple A-meets. And I don't think that GPS cheating occurs with nearly the frequency of a misplaced checkpoint.

But we don't go to draconian lengths to prevent either of those. We do a cost benefit analysis, and then we let the imperfections slide so everyone can have more fun. It can be logical to choose imperfection.
Mar 27, 2012 6:22 AM # 
blegg:
Remember T/D, this is America. Push too hard, and we might just decide to write an amendment to the OUSA constitution. It's in our blood.

I'll give you my Garmin when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!
Mar 27, 2012 6:24 AM # 
Cristina:
I think T/D's three points are most certainly true. I would have no problem with a ban on use in 'elite' classes at A meets. But does that much sense, only for some courses/classes?
Mar 27, 2012 12:08 PM # 
jjcote:
You seem to have said in another threat you were too slow to follow.

Sorry, I forgot the tags there. My bad. (Oh, look, I just did it again!)

juniors or adventure racers who see you staring at the screen of a 305

I suspect that anyone looking at Charlie or PG (or any number of other people) will see them staring at the screen of the 305 about as much as you would see me staring at my big non-GPS Casio watch: essentially never. Any of us might be looking at it before starting or after finishing to make sure that it's in the right mode, but during the race, the interaction is pretty much limited to pressing a lap button without even looking, and maybe an occasional glance to make sure it hasn't inadvertently gotten turned off. I'm also skeptical about the concern that the big threat is newcomers who don't understand the rules of the game being led astray. That seems like a stretch.
Mar 27, 2012 1:08 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
it's unlikely to tilt the competition in their favor

Going in circles again. How many more times does a falsehood need to be repeated to become true? I find it curious that even some Rules Committee members are fond of propagatind this falsehood, a central premise of the petition. What's the next argument—but I don't ever plan to run in Hungary or France?

seeing their quickroute tracks after the race

Under $100.

It can be logical to choose imperfection

Indeed—if (a thing closer to) perfection didn't cost under $100. Please no more arguments that asking to spend $100 is somehow equal to posting marshals every few meters, to random frisking, or to letting the frail die. That's what gets old and tired.

Push too hard

The ones pushing are the ones boycotting and petitioning. I am in favor of the international consensus, with an eye on a premier event in 2014 that has a considerable chance to become a travesty.

skeptical about the concern that the big threat is newcomers who don't understand the rules of the game

Widespread following at IS Champs is not a stretch. Back in circles. (Anticipating "But we don't enforce no-following"—we should; if the remedy to a problem were as simple as a $100 device, why wouldn't we?)

during the race, the interaction is pretty much limited to pressing a lap button without even looking, and maybe an occasional glance to make sure it hasn't inadvertently gotten turned off

Then why oh why are you petitioning to keep a screen?

does that [make] much sense, only for some courses/classes?

Anticipating the next/forgotten older line of argument—that some of the petitioners are too old to make a difference—Supervet teams won a third of the Open medals at the U.S. Rogaine Champs. And if they are too old, why break things that younger ones will have to fix? (That's another American thing.)
Mar 27, 2012 1:31 PM # 
c.hill:
I think the elites are the least likely to use it. If you have to start playing around with your garmin chances are your out the back door already

@Tundra/Desert: Orienteering and Rogaine, there is a difference! They are not the same sports. Yes I can see how it would be of benefit in a Rogaine - not so much in elite orienteering.
Mar 27, 2012 1:40 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
there is a difference!

Indeed there is; however most of the petitioners rogaine, and the petition is worded vaguely enough to be construed to also apply to rogaining. Had the petitioners been explicit about excluding rogaining, I most likely wouldn't have even waded into this, but I have a strong hunch their intentions include all events under Orienteering USA's jurisdiction. Their central premise—that it doesn't help—is false in both cases, but they don't care; their other argument—"but I don't look and you offend me if you think I will"—is duration-agnostic.
Mar 27, 2012 2:00 PM # 
jjcote:
Then why oh why are you petitioning to keep a screen?

Somehow you have to figure in my position in all this. Am I trying to keep my screen? Hardly. The only GPS I have that I'd take on a course is a WRE-legal datalogger with one button, one LED, and a USB port, and I don't have any particular plans to acquire anything else in the foreseeable future.. (I can think of circumstances where I'd want to bring my cell phone - and I have done so - though it doesn't have accessible GPS information.) My position is that I can't stand an overabundance of useless rules, I think orienteers (in North America, at least) can be trusted, and I honestly don't think that threat to the integrity of the sport is particularly significant. As to your three points, my attitude is "no" on #1 and #3, "yes" on #2. Can you come up with counterexample anecdotes? Sure you can. I can come up with anecdotes for all kinds of things.
Mar 27, 2012 2:16 PM # 
Tooms:
The fundamental fallacy is that if you have something in your pocket, and you want to use it, it requires actually taking the thing out of your pocket


I think a few people posting have their hands on their fallacies rather than retaining focus! Oh the wondrous sight of orienteers doing what they do best, nit-picking over rules, regs, sub-clauses, handicaps, correction factors. Get outside, run in the forest and remember what it's all supposed to be about.
Mar 27, 2012 2:20 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
useless rules

That's why we have a Rules Committee? IOF's rulemaking process, while not exactly transparent, is open to input from national Federations. The datalogger-only rule has hardly been controversial elsewhere.

I think orienteers (in North America, at least) can be trusted [...] "no" on #3

That's as long as there's no money. If somehow there is money, there'd be willing orienteers. Do you want to bet on there never being money? Some people are working hard to change the situation; this stance would be more than slightly insulting to them—perhaps more so than allusions of possible cheating are to those who never cheat.

"no" on #1

The preponderance of evidence seems to indicate this is false. An experiment can be staged to replicate and improve on the accuracy of the results so far reported. The experiment would, for example, allow for a GPS-use-encouraged group at some/all A events for like a year, and then a ranking analysis of the results with and without use of GPS displays. If this experiment is indeed deemed appropriate, common sense would call for delaying the enaction of any proposed Rules changes until the results of the experiment are in.
Mar 27, 2012 2:24 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Get outside, run in the forest and remember what it's all supposed to be about

It's not hard to envision that it's about different things to you/me/JJ and to a JROTC cadet. It's not hard to envision that a marathon is about different things for someone in the elite pack and for someone trying to break 4 hours. Lives have been irreversibly altered by losing 4 seconds at the U.S. Team Trials—in the absence of money, with only prestige at stake. I like the sport (the rogaining version); I don't want it to be overcome by gadgets. I don't want shortsighted, poorly argued decisions to change my playground for years to come.
Mar 27, 2012 2:37 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
anecdotes

Data points.
Mar 27, 2012 3:20 PM # 
ndobbs:
International consensus

The IOF decided not to allow 305-type devices at international events. That does not mean there is a consensus. Plenty of countries are refraining from passing explicit judgments until a problem arises. Use of navigational aids is banned, as is unfair behaviour. Until there is a problem, don't stress.
Mar 27, 2012 3:33 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Agreed—however in rogaining there is true consensus, and it'd be a pity if a World Champs host were to take the lead against it.
Mar 27, 2012 3:40 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
useless rules

I distintively recall a somewhat long discussion with the originator of the petition at the last year's Team Trials about enforcing what to me seemed like a truly useless rule. The originator won over me with a convincing argument—"At some point we have to be taken seriously" (a paraphrase).

What happened to that? What other sport relies on an honor system to enforce a central principle (I don't think there is significant disagreement that use of navaids would be contrary to central principles)?

Why do we have to punch at controls at all? Thinking of an undue burden on the organizers, these SPORTident units are sure heavy! and require pickup! and it's somewhat demeaning to ask participants to prove that they actually went where they say they went. (Counter—split analysis is fun, but you can easily do that with er a Garmin.)
Mar 27, 2012 3:43 PM # 
jjcote:
Why do we have to punch at controls at all?

Because some people swear up and down that they went to a control, and honestly believe it, but the punch shows that they were at a different one. The example that always pops into my mind was you, at the 1000-Day.

anecdotes
Data points.


I was going to cite the maxim "The plural of anecdote is not data", but I look these things up first, and apparently this is often used both with and without the "not", and in fact the earliest reference may have been without it. Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure that no matter how many anecdotes you can come up with to support the idea of people cheating with GPS watches, I can bury you with counterexamples.

Nevertheless, I've made my opinion clear on this matter. I will now be quiet. (Unlike many people who say things like that, however, I'm capable of actually doing it.)
Mar 27, 2012 3:50 PM # 
ndobbs:
Oh come on JJ. That's just ridiculous.
Mar 27, 2012 3:51 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
What's a counterexample of proven existence?
Mar 27, 2012 3:55 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
was you, at the 1000-Day.

Link? (I'm not saying it's not possible, just that I don't remember, and would like to refresh my memory.) I could swear just as well that I never looked at that screen, and maybe if I repeat it long enough, make myself believe it.

And what's the big deal if a middle-of-the-pack runner doesn't punch a few controls? He's still enjoying himself out there... nothing to win, the real elites know exactly where they have been... Not to overstay my welcome, just getting even with the demagoguery ratio.
Mar 27, 2012 6:53 PM # 
bishop22:
What other sport relies on an honor system to enforce a central principle

Well, golf for one. At the big PGA tourneys they have cameras on many of the players much of the time and there have been instances of players being DQ'd because a fan saw a rule violation on TV, but there are countless US events that accept the signature attesting the scorecard as verification that no rules were broken without the appropriate penalty being applied.

Heck, I'm a total hack and I've been in club tournaments where more money was won than in the last several years of US orienteering events combined.

BTW, my Garmin 305 couldn't get me back to my car (where I started) a few months ago, so I certainly can't imagine trying to use it to find a control.
Mar 27, 2012 7:03 PM # 
jjcote:
An honest and sincere mistake, I'm sure, but you were pretty stubborn about it.
Mar 27, 2012 7:08 PM # 
randy:
I'm pretty sure that no matter how many anecdotes you can come up with to support the idea of people cheating with GPS watches, I can bury you with counterexamples

It only takes one person to cheat for the race to be unfair, even if there are thousands of counterexamples. While I have no examples of anyone cheating with a 305-like device, in a previous post, I articulated anecdotes in other modalities; the intent of which was to describe anecdotes of human nature, not anecdotes of 305-like device usage. Unfortunately, cheating is one of those one-bad-apple-spoils-the-whole-batch things. So, anecdotes matter. (And I'm no O cop. If I've personally witnessed 4 examples, being the dullest tool in the shed, imagine the mountain of instances (or is that anecdotes, or if an anecdote falls in the forest with out an observer, does it exist?) I have not).

Well, that's all fine, flowery language that hopefully engendered at least one laugh, and only j-man could top on vocab (and only j-man would attempt such), but the real point is the future (which always comes, until the Mayan calendar says it doesn't), and, in the future, as well as the past and the present, the Dismal Science rules.

So, what does that mean to those without j-man's vocab? Quite simple. As the sport becomes more serious, and there is more prize money, more people will be incented (the spell checker doesn't like that one, but I don't care, I do, and you get the idea) to cheat via 305-like devices, and any other means available. The evidence is replete in these regards, and I don't need no anecdotes to prove it.

And that should have been obvious from my last post, the only interesting question in this debate is this -- is it possible to gain a material advantage by using a 305-like device over someone who does not. Once this question is definitively answered (and, IMHO, it is easy to come to a definitive answer), all other answers should be obvious.

Good luck on figuring it out. I have. Will the USOF board? We'll see.
Mar 27, 2012 7:38 PM # 
ndobbs:
more people will be incensed
Mar 27, 2012 8:28 PM # 
Greg_L:
Would anyone be willing to list the features (data fields, displays, capabilities, screens, etc) from the current GPS watches that in their mind at least are either [A] OK to use during an IOF/WRE competition, or [B] not OK to use, and potentially [C] unclear/unknown/undecided. I will assume that all features are OK to use *after* the competition. I'll start ...

Data field: Time of day: [A] i.e. allowed
Data field: Time (elapsed): [A]
Data field: Current lap: [A]
Data field: Last lap: [A]
Data field: Lap distance: ?
Data field: Heart rate: [A]
and I think there are around 30 additional data fields

Display: Number, strength of satellites: [A]
Display: Navigation (distance/direction to waypoint): [B]
Display: Heart rate graph: [A]
Display: Training: [A]
Display: History: [A]
and there are several additional displays, depending on model.

I'm most interested in which displays, features, and/or data fields are the ones that are thought to violate the IOF/WRE rules when used during a competition, since it's clear that the majority do not.
Mar 27, 2012 10:30 PM # 
j-man:
Vocabulary references aside, randy's 4th paragraph captures my thoughts on this subject (if it wasn't already obvious.)

And it is important (although regrettably necessary) to emphasize that my problem isn't with the 305 (or microwaves on the head) per se but rather what happens once we recursively reason and follow this technological promethean fable to its sorry conclusion.
Mar 28, 2012 3:52 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
An honest and sincere mistake

I sure recall that day (albeit not in a lot of detail)—just wasn't sure that it wasn't confused with the Saylor Park experience a year later, with the course that was thrown out, then reinstated, then excluded from the rankings. I still think I was in the right place in 1996, just on the wrong set of magnetic north lines.
Mar 28, 2012 8:15 AM # 
fletch:
T/D: "I think that a 305 in a pocket would be OK as long as it remains in said pocket throughout the duration of the race."

Western Australian rogaining just ran a race (I think it's an official rule now, might be a trial) where GPS devices with screens were presented at the admin table prior to the race start, started, then placed in sealed opaque bags for the duration of the race. Screenless data loggers have been OK in practice (but not according to the official rules) for a while now. THey can now be used freely.

In terms of placing the device above the sport, I agree with you in principle and wouldn't argue if told I couldn't wear my 305 at any championship / significant orienteering event as I agree that it can be used to derive an advantage (as I found out after changing my data field displays for an interval training session and forgetting about it until I was half way round a course and wanted to check how long I'd been in the forest for).

But I already own one, and I don't own a screenless datalogger (which would be much less useful for life in general, so I don't plan on buying one even at $49), so I'll wear it for my own post-race analysis at any event where I'm allowed to. I just can't justify wasting money / resources on getting something I rarely use that does less than something I already own.

I don't see how it matters at a local weekend meet where the biggest reward is getting your name in the paper. (Orienteering, not rogaining).

Thant's my 2 cents, but I haven't even read the petition, so undure of how relevant it is to where the argument started (seems to have common ground with where it headed to)
Mar 28, 2012 10:40 PM # 
DaveR:
What a lot of fuss. I'd think a GPS ban would both solve a problem that doesn't exist and upset existing gps users. There is already a ban in place for WREs, why extend it to local (US) races?
Mar 29, 2012 6:13 AM # 
robplow:
geez, you'd think there was an amendment in the US constitution guaranteeing everyone the right to bear GPS's.

The pro GPS lobby (I'll give you my Garmin when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!) is sounding as loony as the NRA.
Mar 29, 2012 8:11 AM # 
blegg:
That was kindof meant to be a joke,,,
Mar 29, 2012 1:35 PM # 
ndobbs:
Aussies don't do jokes. They need to move to America to learn themselves some sarcasm.
Mar 29, 2012 2:17 PM # 
c.hill:
lol
Mar 29, 2012 3:52 PM # 
Kitch:
@randy
incentivised
Mar 30, 2012 12:00 AM # 
robplow:
That was kindof meant to be a joke,,, ... and kindof meant to be serious?
either way it pretty much sums up the attitudes. Classic libertarian kookiness: how dare big government (OUSA) make new rules to regulate my life and infringe on my right to carry a GPS when ever i damn well want to.
Mar 30, 2012 2:21 AM # 
Gil:
@robplow - I hate to say this but you are not even close. Majority of folks who signed petition are OK with GPS ban and would not carry GPS at orienteering meets if such ruling remains in place. However majority believe that GPS does not add competitive advantage to skilled orienteer (exception might be night orienteering, rogaining, long distance) and are proposing to lift a ban to make it more appealing to newcomers. Then there is handful and vocal purists that speculate that lifting such ban will change sport forever and for worse.
Mar 30, 2012 2:22 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
It's not "a GPS". It's "the GPS". While I can find moments to sympathize with libertarians, this goes further; "how dare you tell me which GPS model I can and cannot use?"
Mar 30, 2012 3:22 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
Keep it up. Still a long way to go to catch the 'You know you are an orienteer when' thread.
Mar 30, 2012 3:34 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
exception might be night orienteering, rogaining, long distance

At what point does a distance become long? At each event there are people pushing the course closing limit (newly revised down for Sprints and Middle events).
Mar 30, 2012 3:52 AM # 
Gil:
@T/D - I was just summarizing it for robplow who managed to get politics involved in this thread. But as far as when it becomes log - based on your posts I can tell that you do have common sense and I am sure you know the answer yourself.
Mar 30, 2012 4:10 AM # 
simmo:
Gvie those people (pushing the course closing limit) a gps and show them how to use it to finish in a reasonable time!
Mar 30, 2012 5:14 AM # 
MrRogaine:
What's the record for most number of posts for a particular thread? Some of this one made for interesting reading during my lunch break but I'm not that fast a reader so the rest will have to wait for another day.
Mar 30, 2012 5:30 AM # 
Juffy:
428, in the infamous OUSA logo thread. :)
Mar 30, 2012 5:35 AM # 
Pink Socks:
Yup, 428, and I was the last one to post there.

2010, the year I became a villain. Boy, I'm glad that's over with.

"You know you're orienteering when..." currently has 403.
Mar 30, 2012 6:28 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
404: Sorry I couldn't resist.
Mar 30, 2012 8:03 AM # 
robplow:
robplow who managed to get politics involved That's quite funny - this thread is about a petition against a rule made by the sport's national governing body - what could be more political than that?

And yes I understand there are many different arguments, nonetheless I still detect a strong subtext of entitlement to use GPS.

Strangely enough I finally decided I should read the actual petition!
and the rule that is being objected to.The rule is quoted in the petition.

"B.36.4 The use of any navigation aid other than a compass is prohibited (e.g. transport, electronic apparatus, radio, pedometer, altimeter)."

It bans 'use' not 'carrying'. And if you think that is too fine a distinction the petition goes on to say:

This has been interpreted by the Rules Committee as follows:

"The rules prohibit the use of such devices for navigation. The rules ask event organizers to be responsible for enforcement. Therefore, while it is not required to ban such devices from the course, organizers are within their authority to do so as a method of rule enforcement for their event."


The last sentence in the petition says:

We ask the Board of Directors to stop the ban on carrying GPS devices with a visible display.

But there is no ban - it is specifically stated that there is no ban.

Judging by the rhetoric on this thread I was expecting a blanket ban on GPS-with-screen at all OUSA sanctioned events.At the very least I thought there would be a ban at national championships for elite classes. Not even that.

The rule (and its interpretation) seem very reasonable and generous to me: specifically allowing the carrying of GPS-with-screen unless otherwise stated. And if a local organiser bans it then you can make your feelings known to them and vote with your feet and not enter. If organisers who ban GPS-with-screen find their numbers dropping they might reconsider.

What could be more American than that - letting the free market decide.
Mar 30, 2012 12:02 PM # 
Hammer:
the free market is deciding ... they are racing in trail running, geo caching, obstacle running, city chases, urban adventure running and adventure racing. while orienteering wastes precious volunteer time debating rules - other groups are taking elements of our sport and growing in large numbers.
Mar 30, 2012 12:19 PM # 
c.hill:
The old guard with the old rules and the old mind sets are slowly dying off. Give it time.
Mar 30, 2012 1:23 PM # 
Gil:
@robplow - I respectfully disagree with entitlement theory. I am willing to bet that 80% (if not more) of orienteers in US became fans of the sport before GPS watches were widely available. Entitlement theory implies that majority who signed petition would stop going to orienteering meets unless they are allowed to use GPS watch. I strongly doubt that's the case. It would not stop me going to orienteering meets if I am not allowed to carry GPS. However if lifting ban could attract new faces to the sport, enables better post-race analysis - I am all up for it.
Mar 30, 2012 2:14 PM # 
robplow:
you are attributing opinions to me that I never expressed. In fact I never even expressed an opinion on the rights or wrongs of a ban.

I also doubt anyone will stop going due to a ban.

The rule - as I read it - does allow you to carry it (unless specifically forbidden by an organiser). It seems to me the rule (and subsequent interpretation) is trying very hard to leave the window open for use of GPS-with-screen as much as possible. And I agree with that. Personally I would only ban GPS-with-screen in elite classes at events where the stakes are highest (eg national champs - and I would be hoping that at that level the organisers might be thinking about live gps tracking anyway). In any case, that would only be a few races a year - anyone who doesn't have a sceenless-GPS should be able to beg borrow or steal or save up for one. Or OUSA could buy a few loggers and rent them out in such cases.

Of course we should condone and encourage the use of GPS for race analysis, etc. No one is disputing that. But just allowing (or not allowing) the use of GPS-with-screen is not going to make one bit of difference to the uptake of the sport. That is a question of better marketing, among other things. I hear Hammer has some good ideas for increasing participation.

Actually you could use the 'no gps use for navigation' rule as a positive and market orienteering as a sport for people who are smarter and faster than GPS's. Make a video of Orienteer vs GPSman: we see GPSman bush bashing straight over big hills, marshes etc, while Orienteer (using just map and brain) finds the optimum route. Then we see GPSman standing on the north side of a boulder pushing buttons on his GPS saying: 'it says it should be right here', then Orienteer appears and confidently runs around to the south side of the boulder and punches the control.
Mar 30, 2012 2:31 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Entitlement theory implies that majority who signed petition would stop going to orienteering meets unless they are allowed to use GPS watch

But they did. They first boycotted an A event that enforced the rule as no carrying else taping over required; then petitioned. My beef is that the petition is blanket and does not trust any organizer to decide whether their event would benefit from GPS screen use or not, in effect insulting the organizer's judgment. The spirit of the petition would apply to all events, including rogaines.

Navigator vs. GPS-man? it's a continuum. Sprints, bring it on! Rogaines, I know the answer for who'll come out on top very well; I have come ahead of my participants (some of whom contributed to this thread along the it-can't-possibly-help lines) while loaded with equipment, in the middle of the night, and while in atrial fibrillation.
Mar 30, 2012 3:08 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
they are racing in trail running, geo caching, obstacle running, city chases, urban adventure running and adventure racing

Yes to #1 and #3. Is there such a thing as a "race" in geocaching? City chases and similar are almost by definition noncompetitive, and I'd be surprised to see growth in this market segment in 2012—one of the clones already went defunct, with a couple more apparently about to follow. (Not to belittle the spectacular market growth in this world in the late 2000s.) Adventure racing, for all I know in California, is about dead; could it be because they had banned GPS?

My point is that I know of no "race through terrain" that I can sign up for, at least here in California, that would allow open GPS use. A race in which you'd be timed and have a published results list in the end. There must be reasons for that.

Now opening up this particular market may be a genius idea, and it may be just silly. So say I advertise an epic race, GPS allowed. Thinking out loud:

(1) How many new converts do I win? Trail runners I talk to who say they'd never do off-trail running aren't primarily concerned about getting lost, although they are to some degree. They usually talk about not wanting to twisting their ankles or getting scratched up in the chaparral, but my hunch is that many of them love the outdoors and at the same time are insecure about being there by themselves, hence organized trail runs. Geocachers seem to largely be a noncompetitive breed with a distaste for organized events. Hikers who love their GPS usually aren't into racing. My hunch is it'll be the same crowd as at the last incarnation of the now-defunct local AR series.

(2) What's the image I want to project? Man vs. machine? If the machine were to regularly beat man, which the totality of my experience unquestionably supports for a wilderness course over 4 hours in coastal California, how long would the series go—two events? It's not like Kasparov has been battling Deep Blue at the frequency of chess tournaments, nor are there motorcycle vs. bicycle races that I know.

(3) Once we've proven without any doubt that the key assertion of the petitioners is patently untrue, we are left with an event that tests instrument navigation and endurance skills, with some off-trail running thrown in. That may be OK; the concept may be able to support a series. But, with extensive academic research devoted to creating the most profitable outdoor organized-event experience, it should be indicative that the masters of global domination didn't come up with anything remotely GPS-related.

My summary is that the events Hammer cites aren't successful primarily because they allow open GPS use. They all cater to certain elements that a large population shares love for—such as participating in an organized, supported event with opportunity to socialize with people while on the course; or being entertained silly; or beer—and outdoor GPS junkies just aren't large enough of a group to support spectacular growth of an organized event. For all I know, many of them are orienteers.
Mar 30, 2012 3:45 PM # 
j-man:
Affirming the consequent. (in something to which T/D was rejoining.)
Mar 30, 2012 3:55 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Vlad, which of the city chase series are (and soon to be going) defunct?
Mar 30, 2012 3:56 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
After I wrote the above, I realized that the concept of an organized bring-it-on series has increasing merit as the duration of the event decreases. But then you also have to charge less, and you have to have detailed/accurate maps, so you are back to a regular orienteering event that allows GPS. Somehow no party outside the orienteering world has been excited about that, either.
Mar 30, 2012 4:01 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
defunct?

I thought Gorilla Challenge wasn't going to happen, but they just published a 2012 schedule, so maybe I'm wrong. Several didn't come out with 2012 schedules until very late. I'll look and see if I can surmise anything about the flippers' 2011 attendance, but they rarely publish results, so it's hard to tell other than say by their Facebook footprint.
Mar 30, 2012 5:04 PM # 
Gil:
@T/D - I was not aware of a boycott.
Mar 30, 2012 6:41 PM # 
sammy:
I didn't vote for this petition even though my sentiments tend to run toward the honor system or tapeover approaches (although I see the concerns of the other side and could live w/o my watch in limited circumstances- just like I survive when maps are collected at A-meets).

First off, the petition is poorly worded in that there currently is no ban on carrying certain GPS watches, just a ban on using them to cheat (so the honor system or tapeover would be allowed under the current rules).

Second, previous discussion on AP and elsewhere already raised this issue and OUSA seemed keenly aware of the concerns and was moving forward with a review. In fact, BOK already had changed their rule and GAOC was following. To me, the petition is little more than inflammatory and has no real goal.-OUSA already knows some people are unhappy and they are reviewing the matter.

But given that a petition was started, what do the results show after 2+ weeks? As of today, 92 people signed the petition and, of those, about ¾ are OUSA members. This represents only about 3% of the 2000+ OUSA members. The other 97% either are happy with the current approach or don’t care much (T/D’s suggestion of another petition might shed some light but I don’t think we need to start a petition every time a contentious item arises.)

So my bottom line is that, given the limited support so far, I hope OUSA considers the issue carefully and doesn’t rush to change simply to kowtow to a very small (but vocal) minority of its members. Whatever OUSA decides is in the best interest of the sport, I can easily deal with it.
Mar 30, 2012 7:29 PM # 
ndobbs:
Woo sammy's back! And here was foolish ol' me thinking this thread was on its last legs.
Mar 31, 2012 1:25 AM # 
upnorthguy:
Not American so perhaps irrelevent. Although I have not read every single word of every post I think I to tend to agree with Tundra/Desert.
Mainly though, I just wanted to post SOMETHING on the topic because this thread was so far (in #s) behind the one about "You know you're an orienteer when...".
Mar 31, 2012 1:47 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
A data point from Day One of the Flying Pig.

Lost and found: One Moscow Compass Model 11, left-handed; One Forerunner 205.

State of 205's display: Elapsed time, speed, distance traveled. As found.

No takers for the Moscompass. For the Garmin, a JROTC student fesses up. (High-school competition, not USMA.)

Just what I had thought.
Mar 31, 2012 2:00 AM # 
jjcote:
OK. I guess nobody can be trusted.

Seriously, if this were West Point, and the implication is true, I'm pretty sure that would be grounds for expulsion (based on a conversation I had with Jon Campbell a couple of years ago). I suspect the same would apply to the JROTC unit. Does "fesses up" mean what it sounds like?
Mar 31, 2012 2:23 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
No, it actually looked like the troop leader had given the device to the runner, and it seemed to me that the leader had put it in the mode that it was found. And it also seemed that it wasn't indended to gain an advantage, but rather to provide information to the runner—which, in at least my view, can be utilized to derive an advantage, but perhaps neither the coach nor the runner viewed it that way. These are all conjectures.

Regardless of how much merit the conjectures have, the point is, the devices are here, they are widespread, they are used by a wider audience than the identities of the petitioners would suggest, and they are not being used exactly in the way that the petitioners envision.
Mar 31, 2012 2:24 AM # 
robplow:
... and we're back to kooky
Mar 31, 2012 2:29 AM # 
simmo:
T/D most Garmins would be configured with a similar display, because when you do the initial setup you know you're going to mainly be using it on training runs, not in orienteering competitions. I don't think I've ever changed my 305's display since the original setup about 5 years ago, but I've never looked at it in an orienteering event, same as I never looked at my watch during the 25 years of orienteering pre-garmin. After looking at it (the watch) in my first few events back in the 70s, I made big mistakes, so trained myself not to look at it. I think you would find the same with most of the vets who have signed the petition. Most of us would be happy to have gps banned for elites in WREs and World Champs, maybe even for WMOC, but that's where bans should stop. I would be quite comfortable with someone in my class here in Western Australia actually using their gps to navigate - I'd still back myself to beat them.
Mar 31, 2012 2:34 AM # 
jjcote:
OK, glad to get that clarified; "fesses up" is a rather loaded phrase.
Mar 31, 2012 2:42 AM # 
steveng:
The petitions says: the carrying of a GPS device with a visible display has been banned at two major events already this year.

At those two events, were GPSs with displays entirely disallowed? Or were they allowed, so long as the screen was covered?
Mar 31, 2012 3:04 AM # 
JanetT:
Allowed with the screen covered.

FWIW I carried my FR205 today and configured all of the normal display screens to ONLY show time, time of day, and/or and laps/lap time (which you get with a typical Timex 30-lap watch). Map display turned off. Only looked at it once, about 50 minutes into my 79-minute run, and determined to eat the Gu I had with me.
Mar 31, 2012 3:20 AM # 
PG:
Sammy, just to shed a little more light on your statements....

First off, the petition is poorly worded in that there currently is no ban on carrying certain GPS watches, just a ban on using them to cheat (so the honor system or tapeover would be allowed under the current rules).

Actually, there is a ban on using navigational aids. When I made the argument to the chair of the Rules Committee that I only use mine for time and heart rate, and not for navigation, that didn't persuade her. I was still using it. Hence her instructions to meet directors to enforce the rule.

Second, previous discussion on AP and elsewhere already raised this issue and OUSA seemed keenly aware of the concerns and was moving forward with a review. In fact, BOK already had changed their rule and GAOC was following. To me, the petition is little more than inflammatory and has no real goal.-OUSA already knows some people are unhappy and they are reviewing the matter.

Actually, the majority of the rules committee wants to make the rule tougher. The petition is a reasonable and appropriate way to show that there are people opposed to that.

But given that a petition was started, what do the results show after 2+ weeks? As of today, 92 people signed the petition and, of those, about ¾ are OUSA members. This represents only about 3% of the 2000+ OUSA members. The other 97% either are happy with the current approach or don’t care much (T/D’s suggestion of another petition might shed some light but I don’t think we need to start a petition every time a contentious item arises.)

Actually, it's a pretty good response. No mention was made of the petition outside of AttackPoint, and I just plugged it twice. I'd be surprised if more than 10-15% of OUSA members read AP. So I think the number of signers is excellent.

So my bottom line is that, given the limited support so far, I hope OUSA considers the issue carefully and doesn’t rush to change simply to kowtow to a very small (but vocal) minority of its members. Whatever OUSA decides is in the best interest of the sport, I can easily deal with it.

Agreed, I can to. But realize that there was/is a very small minority of OUSA members -- aka the rules committee -- that was pushing things in a more restrictive direction. So it seemed entirely appropriate to make it known that there were people who felt differently.

And vocal? Actually, most of the comments on this and other GPS threads have been about the dangers of the GPS, the evil motives of the petitioners, the selfishness of the petitioners....

The Board will do something. I'm glad they will be aware that not everyone thinks the way the rules committee does. That doesn't mean I expect them to adopt an "anything goes" policy. But I do hope they will find some solution that deals with the perceived threats to our sport from the new technologies, while at the same time making it possible for many of us to enjoy the technology.

That's not an easy task. But that doesn't mean that such a middle ground can't be found.

And meanwhile, I'd ask T/D what they are doing at the Flying Pig this weekend. He has said that the dangers from GPS are most acute at important events (championships), at middle and long distance events (as opposed to sprints), and among younger competitors. The Flying Pig, Eastern Interscholastic Champs including three middle distance races, nails all three.

Were there any policies in place today to prevent the use of GPS? Will there be tomorrow or Sunday? It's a real world situation. What are you doing and how is it working?
Mar 31, 2012 4:02 AM # 
blegg:
In case open minded people trying to craft responsible policy are still listening...

I know that this debate focuses on A-meets, pretty heavily. But I want to focus briefly on local, casual events.

Earlier this month, I directed an event where two competitors walked off the map. They were out 2 hours past course closure, and I was scrambling to prepare the SAR response. Fortunately, they had a cell phone, and called to let me know they were OK. I was SOOOOO happy to receive that call. It meant enough to me, that I will probably make cell phones mandatory at my next mini-rogaine.

Admittedly, the typical A-meet is pretty safe. Mostly expert navigators, staying pretty close to a heavily traveled line, with a big event staff on hand to respond in emergencies. But at the local level, we have more beginners who are likely to travel off the map, and we often have barebones event staffs.

If OUSA passes a ban on GPS enabled cell phones for elite competition, ok, fine. But I think that would need to be accompanied by a statement that says safety takes priority at the local level.
Mar 31, 2012 4:23 AM # 
CHARLIE-B:
steveng:

GPS loggers without screen displays have never been disallowed.

Screens had to be covered at the US Classic Champs. That was two races, but only one event.

The US SML Champs initially determined to follow the same rule as the US Classic Champs, but has since relaxed its stance. Tape will be available for those who want to use it. Any GPS can be carried but cannot be used for navigation.

As far as I could see, there was no control whatsoever of GPS devices (or phones) at the Flying Pig today. The rules currently give discretion to the Meet Director.
Mar 31, 2012 12:50 PM # 
ndobbs:
Admittedly, the typical A-meet is pretty safe. Mostly expert navigators, staying pretty close to a heavily traveled line, with a big event staff on hand to respond in emergencies

See, Colm, this is why Aussies need to come to the US to learn sarcasm ;p
Mar 31, 2012 2:05 PM # 
LOST_Richard:
@MR @Juffy the record is close to being broken "You Know ... Orienteer When" is at 421 and will soon take the prize
Mar 31, 2012 4:47 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Nothing special at the Flying Pig--- enforcement left to the Event Director in accordance with the specifics of the terrain, a position I wholeheartedly support and the petitioners disagree with.
Mar 31, 2012 4:50 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
PG, a solution that deals with threats, perceived or real, and does not curtail the fun already exists, and it is screenless loggers. I will keep repeating this as long as is needed.
Mar 31, 2012 6:29 PM # 
blegg:
Neil, do you disagree with my A-meet description?

The last A-meet I attended was a model of professional event management. There were literally THREE people setting out checkpoints.... That's at least two people more than necessary! Now, I know what you're thinking: big deal, it's easy to delegate a simple job like this to a few scrubs. But not at a high quality OUSA sanctioned A-meet. Those control setters were highly skilled individuals. One of those control setters was actually the mapper/vetter and a second was the meet director/course designer!

When you're taking event quality this seriously, you simply can't afford to let a little detail like GPS trackers fall through the cracks.

Note for australians. This comment is intended to be read with tongue placed firmly in cheek. In modern amercian english, this imparts an intonation similar to sarcasm, but kinder and gentler.
Apr 1, 2012 12:44 AM # 
bishop22:
And meanwhile, I'd ask T/D what they are doing at the Flying Pig this weekend

T/D was out on the course at the Pig with something that appeared to be a 305. I sure hope he was able to resist the temptation of using it to his advantage.
Apr 1, 2012 7:37 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I have thoroughly expressed my position on the 305—yes it was a 305, I was not using it to my advantage, nor do I think many of the petitioners are likely to use it to their advantage. The use of a 305 was not specifically disallowed by the organizer for this event, and trusting their judgment, I used what's most convenient for me; had a 305 been disallowed, I'd be out there with an HRM and a datalogger. Leave it to the organizer to decide what's appropriate; don't import your reality into my event.

There were several instances of junior competitors assisting one another noted today at the Pig; this should make it clear that the code of honor that many regulars abide by is not exactly obvious to all of the participants. Kids aren't stupid, they will figure out quickly enough what to do with the 305.
Apr 1, 2012 8:14 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
For the information, nothing was done today about the junior competitors' behavior—had I been the event director and had this been brought out to me, I'd deal with it in what seems to me the appropriate way; talking to their coach would be the first step. The key difference is that there's something that was obviously wrong, and that there's something that can be done to steer the behavior towards the accepted. If someone were just looking at their screen, there wouldn't be.
Apr 1, 2012 8:46 PM # 
blegg:
Hey Vlad - I hope you know that I've got no personal grudge with you. I had a lot of fun working with you at several events in recent months. I made some snarky comments in this thread, if you took offense, I apologize.

Fortunately, you and I don't have to make the final decision on this. Somebody else will make the decision, and we can just gripe about it quietly for the next couple years. But it'd be nice if we could create a slightly less hostile environment for the decision makers to make their decision.
Apr 1, 2012 8:58 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Thanks Ben—I respect your opinion, since it's accordingly rooted in respect for the sport. My personal selfish interest in this is the rogaines that I organize. I can't see adventure racers coming out in force, like they have on two occasions, if they didn't view the event as offering a fair challenge, and with that crowd there's no convincing them that the displays are for post-event amusement only. A couple misplaced checkpoints will be forgiven if compensated for by the epicness of the experience; GPS use won't.

So when there's a trend that has a real potential to force Get Lost!! to choose between two conflicting sets of Rules, I know well what the outcome would be, but it'd sure be disappointing for Orienteering USA to miss out on our sanctioning fees, and it'd be far more disappointing for Orienteering USA to split away from what is a worldwide consensus (in rogaining) because some people just happen to like specific toys.
Apr 2, 2012 12:59 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
> a worldwide consensus (in rogaining)
So essentially the issue is event format dependent. In a rogaine a GPS could be a significant help. In a sprint anyone using a GPS has probably ended up at the tail of the field. Somewhere between the two extremes is a vague boundary. Maybe somewhere between Long and Middle?
Apr 2, 2012 2:45 AM # 
cmpbllv:
T/D, interesting perspective on how adventure racers see things - I understand the rogaine portion of this thread much better now. Thanks for sharing. In the spirit of lengthening this threat, allow me to offer another point of view!

The thing I like most about my "specific toy" - the 305, of which USMAOC had around 30 - was that it made for some major coachable moments. I valued every competition in which we were allowed to compete with 305s, and I think the discussions we had using that data was a significant contributor to the growth of the program while Jon and I were at West Point. I certainly learned a lot from it.

I believe the impact of a blanket ban would be to eliminate this element of the team's peer coaching program, which is critical to a team that has consistently trained new orienteers to succeed on advanced courses after just 8-12 months of orienteering, and sometimes in as little as 3-4 months. Most of our best data came from comparing notes after A meets. If 305s are banned from all national competitions, that level of review would be unobtainable for the group. Cadets aren't likely to be released en masse to attend B meets, and it would be a significant cost for the team to convert to data loggers. USMAOC makes up a small percentage of the overall OUSA population, for sure, but one that arguably has some of the "most improved" juniors and young elites in recent years. Although I'm not longer with USMAOC, I sincerely hope whatever rules OUSA adopts will allow USMAOC to sustain this aspect of the coaching program.

JJ, your recollection of your discussion with Jon is accurate. We were very sensitive early on to having a "competition display" of what you would find on a watch so there would be no question of the team's integrity, and we frequently checked with meet directors prior to racing to gain their approval. Perhaps it's too bad we can't just adapt an OUSA Honor Code instead of a GPS ban. Of course, enforcing that would open a whole new can of worms!
Apr 2, 2012 3:06 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
an OUSA Honor Code

That's a nice wish. Meets reality as soon as school team awards are involved. West Point is fortunate to be the only entity realistically competitive for the Intercollegiate awards ever since the UNH team of the early 2000s. For the school competition scene, your teammates' points count. You may be hopelessly lost, but once you discover that control and if your teammates are within earshot, you'll be doing your team a disservice if you don't yell out loud that you found it; there goes the no-cooperation rule.

If you're a coach, it would take more integrity than is generally out there, in my view, to be as constructive as West Point's approach; see the above data point—Garmin 205 found in a state quite different from the "competition display" of West Point.

At the latest U.S. Rogaine Champs, most of the participants were not Orienteering USA members. So, it would not be sensible for the organizer to expect them to be imbued with the Orienteering USA honor code, nor would it be realistic for them to anticipate an honor-code adherence by other participants to a rule that is easily broken.
Apr 2, 2012 4:31 AM # 
bmay:
State of 205's display: Elapsed time, speed, distance traveled. As found.

So what? That certainly doesn't imply that it was being "used" for navigation.

I remember seeing "distance travelled" on my 305 once. The conversation in my head went something like ...

"I wonder how long I've been running?"
"Ok, 35 minutes."
"Oh look, I've gone 5.1 km."
"That's not bad, let's see ... 35 minutes divided by 5.1 ... carry the one ... a little better than 7 minutes per km."
"Oh wait, that's not straight-line distance, that's how far I actually ran."
"If I actually ran 5.1 km, straight-line distance would be a little less ... so I'd really be going a little more than 7 mintes per km."
"Hmmm.... I wonder if I've been very close to the line."
"I need to remember to compare my total distance to straight-line distance when I get back."
"Now ... what was I doing. Oh, shit! I've got a control to find. Where the &^%$(&^*&^%*&^%*&^% am I?"
"Damn (*&^%^$&(*(*&^*& GPS - should have never worn the stupid (&^(*&^(*&^ thing!".
Apr 2, 2012 7:18 AM # 
fletch:
On the other hand, the one time I saw "distance travelled" on my 305 I was running across a bland featureless hillside looking for a point feature, with no obvious catching feature for a couple of hundred metres at least if I missed. I looked at my watch to check how long I'd been running for since the last control and saw that information, then noticed also the 405m I had travelled since the last control. Certainly made me more confident of not overshooting.

It wasn't a deliberate attempt to use my 305 to cheat, just that I hadn't bothered making sure I couldn't see lap or total distance before I started (was pretty new to using GPS at the time).
Apr 2, 2012 12:33 PM # 
bishop22:
If we are concerned about fairness, why aren't we expending a fraction of this thread's effort in addressing an existing rule that is constantly broken (especially at interscholastic events), and has been demonstrated to affect results: following. I think the competitors are sorely in need of education from their coaches on this. Perhaps the coaches themselves are in need of education.

On T/D's "selfish" Rogaine complaint: my copy of the OUSA rules has an entirely separate section for Rogaine rules, which already bans possession of GPS receivers (with or without displays). Nothing in the petition seems to be attempting to change this in any way. So, perhaps we can remove that bush from the discussion and focus on the orienteering rule.
Apr 2, 2012 12:46 PM # 
feet:
my copy of the OUSA rules has an entirely separate section for Rogaine rules

As has already been pointed out, but T/D is not listening on that one since he thinks there is a slippery slope argument to be made, despite the fact that nobody else is making one.
Apr 2, 2012 1:04 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Rogaining in the U.S. is governed by Orienteering USA, an IRF member since 2011. The petition is not proposing changes to specific rules. The petition statement

"We ask the Board of Directors to stop the ban on carrying GPS devices with a visible display"

is not discipline-specific, nor have the petitioners mentioned excluding rogaining in additional posts in this thread. A significant number of the petition signers rogaine. Therefore, I assume that the intention of the petition is also to preclude event organizers from restricting the carry of GPS devices with displays at rogaines.

My experience with the 305 entirely mirrors fletch's. Bland hillsides may or may not exist at a given event, and so it would seem sensible to trust the event organizer's judgment.
Apr 2, 2012 1:13 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
So what? That certainly doesn't imply that it was being "used" for navigation.

Discovery of restricted substances in someone's sample certainly doesn't necessarily imply that these substances were used to enhance performance, either. The taker may argue her case after the discovery and get penalties reduced or waived if there's a good reason; that doesn't mean the substances for which there are both good and bad reasons are off the banned list, or that there should be no list.
Apr 2, 2012 2:52 PM # 
danf:
A good number of you in various discussions and even in the petition language itself argue that there is no evidence of GPS use for navigation and without that evidence, there is no need for a ban. One way to use a GPS of course is for distance measurement, which requires taking splits and occasionally looking at your GPS screen. This type of use would be 100% impossible to detect in a race - that is, there will never be any evidence of people using a GPS for this purpose. Presumably then, you are defining "using a GPS for navigation" as distinct from using it for distance measurement. I can understand such an argument.

I can also understand the argument supporters are making that there is no harm in using a GPS for distance measurement because it is basically redundant with other techniques - map reading and pace counting - and thus there is no advantage (in standard orienteering courses, not rogaines) to using a GPS for distance measurement.

So from these arguments, it sounds like using a GPS for distance measurement should be okay within the current rules as 1) you are not really using it for navigation and 2) even if some might consider distance estimation part of navigation, GPS technologies are either too imprecise or redundant with other orienteering skills, so in effect, using a GPS for distance estimation is not really using it for navigation anyway.

Sounds good to me.
Apr 2, 2012 3:02 PM # 
ndobbs:
No
Apr 2, 2012 3:34 PM # 
j-man:
I made a version (or several versions) of one.
Apr 2, 2012 3:40 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
using a GPS for distance estimation is not really using it for navigation anyway

slippery slope argument to be made, despite the fact that nobody else is making one
Apr 2, 2012 3:47 PM # 
PG:
Therefore, I assume that the intention of the petition is also to preclude event organizers from restricting the carry of GPS devices with displays at rogaines.

Wrong. The petition specifically references rule B36.4.

B36.4 reads:The use of any navigation aid other than a compass is prohibited (e.g. transport, electronic apparatus, radio, pedometer, altimeter).

There is a separate section of the rules regarding rogaines, in which the possession of GPS is forbidden.

G.5.2 reads: The only navigational aids that may be carried on the course are magnetic compasses, watches and copies of the competition map. The possession of other navigational aids, including pedometers, altimeters and GPS receivers on the course is prohibited. The use of relevant maps other than those expressly sanctioned by the organizers is prohibited.

I wrote the petition. At no time have I given any indication that there is a desire to change the rogaine rules, because there is no such desire.

Got it?

Anyone else want to sign? It's not too late. The petition is here. :-)
Apr 2, 2012 3:55 PM # 
Iamstillhungry:
I accept that:
* GPS devices can and have been used for a navigational aid and at times to some advantage. (I consider measure distance a navigational aid.)
* GPS devices will improve to make the above easier.
In addition, in my opinion, expanding the list of allowed navigational aids to include GPS data will fundamentally change the activity, while providing little benefit in growth of the sport.

Thus, my proposal to the BOD/Rules committee would be:
* B & C events: Don't sweat it.
* A events: Remind participants that any device other than map and compass are not to be used for nav. Otherwise, don't sweat it.
* National level champs or team-selection events: No GPS with display are permitted to be worn or carried by any participant (a uniform rule is easier on event administrators). Visually inspect participants but otherwise don't sweat it.
(I am aware that every A event goes into ranking and hence used for selection but I'm not going to sweat that either.)
* Add exception that rules for GPS and Rogaining are in the Rogaine section of the rules.

(I'm kind of bummed about leaving out frisking because I think that would make a fine start to a race for all concerned. However, I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone may agree with me.)
Apr 2, 2012 4:12 PM # 
j-man:
Are you doing the frisking? Or is Balter? That would influence my support of your motion.
Apr 2, 2012 4:20 PM # 
c.hill:
"I accept that:
* GPS devices can and have been used for a navigational aid and at times to some advantage. (I consider measure distance a navigational aid.)
* GPS devices will improve to make the above easier.
In addition, in my opinion, expanding the list of allowed navigational aids to include GPS data will fundamentally change the activity, while providing little benefit in growth of the sport."

Doubt that they will improve by much.
Orienteering is a tiny sport.
It would appear that some people think that orienteering has a monopoly on the purchase of wrist GPS's. Garmin and co, couldn't give a toss if orienteers stop buying their products. We're too small a market.

If we had a big chunk of the market, they would just make an patch that could be downloaded that removes all the "illegal" stuff.
Apr 2, 2012 4:45 PM # 
Iamstillhungry:
If Greg. B is doing the frisking, it is considered one of the forms of "Baltering" and Baltering is beyond the authority of OUSA, or any other authority for that matter, to address.
Apr 2, 2012 7:03 PM # 
bshields:
Two thumbs up for Tom.

Some combination of Balter and Chuck Norris ought to be pretty effective for frisking.
Apr 2, 2012 7:46 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
If I had a vote, I would vote for Tom's proposal. It shifts the dividing line from the organizers' judgment to Championship vs. non-Championship events, but the effect is the same—it allows for "clean" events in which fine detailed terrain and/or long legs can be used by the course designers without worrying that someone will short-circuit their design without possibility of discovery, and it allows for some A-level events at which you can openly carry the 305 for your pleasure.

Remains to be seen if there's appetite for compromise (i) among the petitioners, (ii) on the Rules Committee/amond the Board.
Apr 2, 2012 7:49 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Got it?

Thanks for the explanation, glad there's agreement that present rules against possession at rogaines are satisfactory!
Apr 2, 2012 8:37 PM # 
PG:
Remains to be seen if there's appetite for compromise (i) among the petitioners, (ii) on the Rules Committee/amond the Board.

For this petitioner at least, the appetite has been there all along. I posted the following three days ago on this thread --

"The Board will do something. I'm glad they will be aware that not everyone thinks the way the rules committee does. That doesn't mean I expect them to adopt an "anything goes" policy. But I do hope they will find some solution that deals with the perceived threats to our sport from the new technologies, while at the same time making it possible for many of us to enjoy the technology.

That's not an easy task. But that doesn't mean that such a middle ground can't be found."
Apr 3, 2012 1:22 AM # 
Swampfox:
Tom, I imagine it's the case that for WRE races IOF rules or some near equivalent hold (could be wrong.)

Not sure about the N. Ams--that one has kind of fallen through the cracks in the past.

OUSA rules don't apply to non-sanctioned events (except to the extent that organizers say they do.)

"B" meets are practically non-existent.

So, for all practical purposes, you're only talking about what to do for "A" events.
Apr 3, 2012 2:50 AM # 
cmpbllv:
Isn't just about every A meet a championship of some sort? ;-)

(Jon and I used to love that when it came time to justify getting cadets out of mandatory football game / parade attendance - what, the cadets will miss the Night Orienteering Sprint Championships? We can't have that. Navy might suddenly get an orienteering team, show up and take the trophy, and then what would we do?)
Apr 3, 2012 2:50 AM # 
jjcote:
Where you been, Swampfox? Try and catch up... :-)
Apr 3, 2012 5:04 PM # 
danf:
For this petitioner at least, the appetite [for compromise] has been there all along.

@PG: It is one thing to say you are willing to compromise and another to actually be willing. Can you give an example of a compromise proposal you would be willing to accept? The status quo (allowing event organizers to determine how to enforce the usability rule) is what your petition appears to be protesting after all, as it is the only "ban" mentioned in the petition.
Apr 6, 2012 2:53 AM # 
GregBalter:
For all of those who are in favor of banning use of GPS in ANY orienteering meet, just consider this: all high end Polar heart rate monitors have a capability of connection with Polar GPS loggers (G1, G3, G5) , and capable of showing distance traveled. All of you are walking a very fine line of pissing off a whole lot of HR monitors users,not just Garmin users. Timex, Epson, Suunto, and the list goes on. There is a ban on doping in sports,and there is constantly updated list of "beneficial" chemicals, prohibited to use by athletes. Are you ready to go all the way?, do you have the resources?, may be that energy better spent actually developing orienteering in this country? After reading all arguments, I am still with PG's original sentiment: banning GPS is just silly.
P.S.
(I am the man on the edge, I will punch anyone, who tries to frisk me at the start of orienteering race :), but not Chuck Norris or Mike Tyson)
Apr 6, 2012 4:54 AM # 
GuyO:
Yet another log for this fire...

The management of an orienteering venue has told an O-club wishing to host an event there that all participants must preregister AND carry cell phones with them on their courses as a condition for holding the event. The managers -- who obviously are clueless about orienteering -- consider this a necessary safety measure.

Needless to say, prior to a change in said management, the O-club had been conducting events at the venue for many years; without serious incident, of course. Also, the venue in question is in a well populated / developed area -- not a wilderness.

(Since this situation is apparently very sensitive, I will not be identifying the parties or location involved in this forum. It is entirely possible that the venue-owner/management has employed a service that reports mentions of the venue on the web back to them. Such a service might very well have played a part in the loss of the initially planned Team Trials Sprint venue last year.)

One of the things that came to mind when I found out about this, is whether it is a situation in which it might be best to mothball the venue until more accommodating and rational management takes over.
Apr 6, 2012 9:00 AM # 
wilburdeb:
GuyO: I fear with these concessions we on the slippery slope. Saturday will be a sad day.
Apr 6, 2012 9:08 AM # 
GuyO:
I have a cheap, light, useless-in-the-USA, cell phone I could carry instead of my smart phone.
Apr 6, 2012 9:43 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
At least you aren't being asked to wear reflective safety vests as well. That is the new fashion here
Apr 6, 2012 11:48 AM # 
jjcote:
We have had cases, including one A-meet, where we were required to wear bright orange vests because it was hunting season. The way out of that was to show up wearing a bright orange shirt, which was what I did.
Apr 6, 2012 12:43 PM # 
danf:
For all of those who are in favor of banning use of GPS in ANY orienteering meet

Not one person is making that argument Greg. Not one.

[Edit: Tom below has pointed out that my reading of "any" to mean "every, all" is very likely incorrect. Rather, I should have read it to mean "any single." Point withdrawn.]
Apr 6, 2012 1:14 PM # 
Iamstillhungry:
Dan, I think Greg means that there should not be a ban at all, eg, not even champs or other selected events.

For me personally, a selective ban is not a big deal. GPS and HR are interesting and productive training tools but the data from one single race or training isn't "make or break" for me. In general, I pretty much know where I have been and upon reflection and looking at the terrain know where my effort was high or low. To me, if I am using HR + GPS regularly otherwise, and if I do a proper course review, the data gleaned from any one single event is not going to generate some epiphany that leads to even marginal increase in performance. I suppose others feel differently. But that is why I personally am not bothered by a selective use/ban of any of these devices.
Apr 6, 2012 4:10 PM # 
Gil:
Regarding GPS ban - orienteering meet organizers could do something what I observed watching few ironman events, particularly - biking. There is no drafting rule in effect but it's enforced only for elites. Middle-of-packers form lengthy pelotons but don't get disqualified from races.
Apr 6, 2012 11:35 PM # 
mindsweeper:
I don't think that's a god parallel. First of all it's not a very good rule because drafting is an inherent part of competitive biking. (It might make a slightly better parallel to the no-following rule in orienteering...) Secondly, there are easily measured gains from it.

For me the most important argument is that creating national rules that don't align with international ones is silly and creates unnecessary overhead. If IOF says GPS with displays are not allowed I think that should be the rule in the US as well.
Apr 7, 2012 11:09 AM # 
O-ing:
Trying to organize every event like the World Championships (IOF rules) is silly. The worst effect of that is the massive extra load on organizers. But it's not going to help attract newcomers either.
Apr 7, 2012 12:29 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
"Like the World Championships" and "IOF Rules" are quite different things. The IOF Rules are meant to be the foundation of national rules, providing a framework so that different nations are able to practice more or less the same activity, and with significant deviations from them you don't have the same sport anymore. Following IOF Rules doesn't mean you are organizing a WOC; there is a whole another book or three of Guidelines that are applicable to a WOC, and the extra load stems squarely from these. Note that the no-GPS-with-display rule is in the Rules and not the Guidelines—the IOF believes it's that significant.

On a tired and beaten note, I can't help but emphasize the stuff that keeps going around without proof or substance—if you repeat it enough, sure it becomes truth?

Regulating GPS is a significant extra load on the organizers.

Allow free carry of GPS, and masses of newcomers will flood your events!

I am still waiting for answers to my call for a sensible business plan/event model that would be likely to attract newcomers while preserving free access to GPS. Apparently nobody's doing that and making big bucks, although other event models popped up in the past three to five years that attract huge crowds and make no use of GPS... Perhaps gadget-lovers could focus their efforts on the business plan? I'd be very willing to help with its sensible implementation.
Apr 12, 2012 2:11 AM # 
O-ing:
I was hoping someone else would answer this, and I wish I didn't have to but I can't let T/Ds latest go through unchallenged.

The IOF Rules are for the World Championships. As time has gone on World Cups, WRE's and more events have been added, and further guidelines for Event Advisers etc have been written. However the IOF did not write the rules for the purpose that they were to be the "foundation of national rules, providing a framework so that different nations are able to practice more or less the same activity". This is a secondary outcome and the strict application of IOF rules to national events has caused many issues with event organisation in many jurisdictions over the years (refusal of late entries, start procedure, refusal to time late starts, map scales, course lengths, measurement of climb, refusal to accept other evidence where punches are missing or unidentifiable), all of which cost volunteer organisation time and put off newcomers to the sport.

There isn't whole another book or three of Guidelines that are applicable to a WOC. A couple of short guidelines have recently been added to address minor issues (e.g. visibility of the event) and help Event Advisers. In no way do these add much workload - It is the 48 page IOF Rules document that does that.

Regulating i.e. banning the GPS clearly requires organisers to check people at least at the start and finish. Taping the display has been used - clearly extra work.

I don't think anyone is saying we will be swamped with newcomers, but it is the whole attitude of the worldwide orienteering event organisational culture that needs to change from the common obsessive rules based culture. That largely stems from National Federations simply using the IOF Rules. Banning or disqualifying someone carrying a GPS sends the wrong message - let us adapt a welcoming and flexible organisation culture that recognises most people don't use their GPS to navigate anyway (not that it helps), and surely wouldn't if asked politely.
Apr 12, 2012 3:30 AM # 
MrRogaine:
Big thumbs up from me O-ing. I'm sure other people have said similar things in other threads but your last paragraph really strikes a note for me.
Apr 12, 2012 1:09 PM # 
eagletonjim:
Four elements of the worse GPS policy.

1. Use value statements to abrogated the BOD's responsibilities. No policy is a policy. The board is responsible for the GPS policy no matter how complicated and how much it varies event to event.

2. Maximize the unnecessary costs. Start with a policy that seems to require a significant number of GPS users to buy a logger. (Significant is one grey bearded stud and one other Attackpoint reader; 100 other readers is not sufficient). After the loggers are purchased, individual event directors, or the BOD, will reach a consensus and start allowing the 305 at enough events that the logger gets lost in the drawer.

3. Minimize the effectiveness of a ban. Focus the ban on those who are not likely to use the gps, e.g. NA Champs elite, and allow, or even require, a gps with a display for juniors who are on a long course, and likely to need to relocate.

4. Use the word "compromise" so we know the policy was written to be the worse possible one. Otherwise, we may think the BOD just got lucky.
Apr 12, 2012 2:45 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
O-ing, I apologize and you are wrong both factually and in your interpretation of the intent of the IOF Rules and Guidelines. Here's how you are factually wrong:

the IOF did not write the rules for the purpose that they were to be the "foundation of national rules, providing a framework so that different nations are able to practice more or less the same activity"

IOF Rules:

2.3 These rules are recommended as a basis for national rules.

IOF Statutes:

3.1.3 Members undertake to abide by these Statutes, the IOF Anti-Doping Rules, the IOF Environmental Policy, other IOF Rules and the decisions of the General Assembly and Council. [...] (emph. added)

Orienteering USA Bylaws:

Section C. The Federation recognizes the International Orienteering Federation as the world governing body of Orienteering and shall abide by the Rules and Regulations of the International Orienteering Federation except where prevented by local conditions, laws, and customs. (emph. added)

I duly note that Orienteering Australia has no similar provision in its Orienteering Australia Constitution, only having an obligation to Rules and Regulations of the Federation and not to any other set of Rules. I also note that the Rules of Orienteering Australia have 51 pages.

There isn't whole another book or three of Guidelines that are applicable to a WOC. A couple of short guidelines have recently been added to address minor issues (e.g. visibility of the event) and help Event Advisers. In no way do these add much workload

It is taking me a while to find the WOC manuals—they do not appear to be directly linked from the IOF page any longer (thinking is, you don't need one unless you are actually putting the thing on?) There is a document titled pretty close to "WOC Organizer Manual", and there is also the Czech WOC organizer writeup that is given as the defacto manual. Hopefully I can unearth these by the end of the day, if someone doesn't beat me to them.

If people down under aren't happy with Helsinki's culture that's bent on ruleifying everything, they can start your own sport! oh wait... this already happened about 40 years ago. And what does this other sport think about GPS and punching-optional? (I'll be happy to quote a discussion that I've had with higher-up rogaining people about starting-on-time being optional.)
Apr 12, 2012 3:05 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
It is taking me a while to find the WOC manuals

Sorry it took me so long! I am still looking for the Czech writeup which I distinctively recall being well over 100 pages.

WOC Guidelines (88 pages)

Administrative Guidance (for WOC+)

and arguably the one that creates the most work for the organizers of high-level IOF events, a single page long:

Leibnitz Convention

For the reference, here's the incorrect statement:

There isn't whole another book or three of Guidelines that are applicable to a WOC. A couple of short guidelines have recently been added to address minor issues (e.g. visibility of the event) and help Event Advisers. In no way do these add much workload - It is the 48 page IOF Rules document that does that.
Apr 12, 2012 5:42 PM # 
eagletonjim:
I should make clear, I do not know of a single board member who is arguing for "compromise" or any of the other positions that I'm worried about. Also, "compromise" is not inherently bad, it just seems to be getting used here, without a clear definition.
Apr 12, 2012 9:55 PM # 
MrRogaine:
How about that? I've been happily enjoying "the other sport" for 30 years and now I find out that it was started because someone was unhappy with the short sport ruleifying everything. On reflection - not a bad reason.
They say Hashing is a drinking club with a running problem. I'm thinking that Orienteering is a political organisation with a navigation problem.
Apr 12, 2012 10:03 PM # 
MrRogaine:
While you're in the mood, please go ahead and quote the discussion you had with higher up rogaining people about starting on time being optional.
Apr 12, 2012 11:34 PM # 
jjcote:
(I'll be happy to quote a discussion that I've had with higher-up rogaining people about starting-on-time being optional.)

I'm trying to figure out what that even means.
Apr 12, 2012 11:48 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
An entirely new discipline - Orienteering Exegesis
Is it too late to get it added to the proposed new WOC structure. The evening before the relay would be an appropriate timing.
Apr 12, 2012 11:52 PM # 
O-ing:
Thanks T/D, great work on unearthing those documents. They aren't obvious on the IOF website and I've never seen them. Yep, I was wrong! There is a lot more stuff in there to regulate how to organise WOC i.e. putting vastly more work for organisers to do. I was particularly amazed at this bit:

The arena’s contours shall be used in such a way as to maximise spectator viewing opportunities. Significant flat areas are needed, however, for the race administration (Finish, IT tent etc.) and media facilities, and for VIP hospitality, shops and competitor and spectator refreshment provision. Completely flat arena sites, and sites where the race terrain is along one side (25% of the perimeter) only, should normally be avoided if possible, but where unavoidable the exposed nature of the site can be reduced by building stands and setting up marquees and tents to form an enclosure.

Anyway back to the point (?) - I was wrong about "There isn't whole another book or three of Guidelines that are applicable to a WOC", but I still maintain the main point - the "foundation of National Rules" is a secondary outcome, not the main purpose why the IOF Rules were written. And that trying to organise every major event in accordance with IOF Rules is unnecessary, a burden on organisers and potentially off putting for newcomers. The IOF GPS rule is one example of many where National Rules should adapt a more flexible approach.
Apr 13, 2012 1:26 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
quote the discussion you had with higher up rogaining people about starting on time being optional

A team was going to be a couple hours late for the U.S. Rogaine Championships for a sufficiently good reason, and asked if they could start and finish two or three hours late. The answer was a resounding no (from both U.S. Rogaine Committee and the IRF). Is that an indication that rogaining has become too ruleified? This is an example of fairness vs. competitive enjoyment tradeoff. A negative impact on attendance is right there—had they been allowed to start and finish late, they would have come, and since they weren't allowed, one of them didn't (the other one found a different partner). The impact on fairness would have been small but material; weather was sufficiently variable during the event that extra two or three hours at its end, instead of the beginning, would have allowed for perhaps one or two extra checkpoints to be located in nicer weather.

the "foundation of National Rules" is a secondary outcome, not the main purpose why the IOF Rules were written.

One of the reasons we have an international structure is so that member nations would be practicing essentially the same activity. So, a core set of rules is desired that would describe that essentially-same activity. Some sort of a GPS rule seems essential, since (unsubstantiated claims aside) the use of a GPS can alter the outcome of a competition.

trying to organise every major event in accordance with IOF Rules is unnecessary, a burden on organisers and potentially off putting for newcomers.

The petitioners would go as far as to prevent even a single major event (other than a World Ranking Event) in the U.S. to be organized in accordance with the IOF Rules. Is that an example of a flexible approach?
Apr 13, 2012 2:07 AM # 
jjcote:
and asked if they could start and finish two or three hours late

OK, that's fine. Can I presume that they would have been allowed to start two or three hours late and finish at the same time as everyone else?
Apr 13, 2012 2:12 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Of course, starting late and finishing on time was an option that the participants declined. In this case, just like in the case with people missing their start in regular orienteering and asking for a new start time (as opposed to going whenever and having the run timed from the original time), there is a hit to fairness and more organizer work vs. more accommodations to the participants and more enjoyment.
Apr 13, 2012 3:52 AM # 
O-ing:
Well OUSA is one National Association that has modified the IOF Rules for non-WRE events e.g. on Relay running order and changes (IOF 9.11, OUSA - no mention I can find); late starts (IOF 22.10, OUSA B31.5.1); Punching (IOF 20.4, 20.5, 20.7, OUSA B33.4 to 7); 60m between controls on similar features (not in IOF, OUSA B23.7.2); flexibility in map scales (IOF - none, 15.2, OUSA - some B22.4)

So why not for GPS?
Apr 13, 2012 3:57 AM # 
Hammer:
and you can add...ISSOM not required in sprints too I believe.
Apr 13, 2012 2:03 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Indeed, and the question is, where's that dividing line beyond which the character of the sport is irreversibly different?
Apr 13, 2012 11:44 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
When use of a map and compass is no longer necessary. ? No, some people don't use compasses. Maybe when a map is no longer necessary.
Apr 14, 2012 5:40 AM # 
robplow:
Eoin
in the mid 90's I rewrote the OA rules to bring them into line with IOF rules. Note: I was paid for this - I am not one of those people who loves the minutiae of rules. OK I have been sucked into this particular debate but in general I rarely post on such threads. In fact I think that not being a 'rules geek' was a good qualification for the job - if you leave writing the rules to people who 'get off' on it, that is when you get real problems.

I can tell you I never took the IOF recommendation to base national rules on the IOF rules as anything other a sensible suggestion giving me a basic framework. I certainly didn't just slavishly copy IOF rules. I used the IOF rules where appropriate, often in modified form, and in many cases there were extra rules to cover 'local conditions' that the IOF rules did not cover. And in some cases there were IOF rules that were irrelevant to Australia so I left them out.

And far from making the rules more complicated, it actually made them simpler. The old OA rules were full of weird, poorly worded, superfluous, redundant and straight out stupid rules that I pruned. I haven't looked at the OA rules in detail recently (and have no desire to do so unless someone pays me again) but I would not mind betting that a lot of weird, poorly worded, etc, rules have crept back in. If you have a problem with any of the OA rules don't blame it on the iOF rules.

As for the no GPS rule - there is nothing new about it. There has always been a 'no use of aids other than a compass' rule, which I think 'a reasonable person' would interpret to include GPS's even if they are not specifically mentioned. The rule is pretty fundamental to most people's vision of what orienteering is.The only change has been that GPS's and some other devices, have been given specific mention now - in response to the fact that these devices are becoming ubiquitous. It is really just a clarification of a rule that has always been there.

No one wants to ban or discourage use of GPS for analysis - on the contrary I think everyone wants to encourage the use personal GPS for recording routes and post race analysis. It just needs to be made clear that they shall not be used for real time navigation at events run under IOF and national rules. There is nothing to stop anyone running events outside the IOF or national rules where GPS use is allowed. And if you think allowing GPS will help encourage newcomers than by all means encourage and allow that too. Just not at the top level of the sport.

The problem is not the rule - it is the overzealous application of it in certain situations. I think tomwcarr's suggestion (above) for how the rule should be applied in the US is pretty good. I am really curious to hear from anyone who signed the petition as to what they think about what seems to be an excellent way to address the problem raised by the petition.

In Australia I would make it clear (a pronouncement by OA?) that the rule means you are expected not to USE a GPS to aid your navigation but that in all but a very few cases CARRYING one is OK and it is recognised that people are trusted not to actually USE them to assist navigation. I would only modify that approach for elite classes at high level events (NOL and above) where I would make it against the rules to carry a GPS-with-screen but I would accept tape over the screen as a reasonable compromise and I would not necessarily make any particular effort to enforce the rule (ie I would probably not bother with an extra person at the start checking GPS compliance - again I would trust people to comply with the rule).

Otherwise it seems entirely appropriate to me that carrying GPS-with-screen is banned from events like WOC and WC. As for WRE's I think I would treat them as I would NOL's - allow tape over the screen and not worry too much about enforcement.

Eoin, you seem to have a particular problem with the IOF and its rules - it is a recurring theme for you. Maybe the answer would be to create your own sport: 'Eointeering' and run events with the rules as you think they should be: free use of GPS, any map scale you like, etc, etc. If it catches on you can form ENSW (EointeeringNSW) then EA and even IEF, and very soon I think you would find you need more and more rules to regulate your new sport and ensure that everyone else runs things according to your vision!

In summary - what a huge fuss over a ban that does not exist. As far as I can tell the only times GPS-with-screen was banned in the US was at a couple of A meets, and even then a bit of tape over the screen would have made it acceptable (correct me if I am wrong) so not really a ban at all. What's the problem?

As for anyone who says this thread is a waste of time and we should all put our precious volunteer time into something more useful like promoting the sport, I am taking your advice. I'm off to do something useful - making a map of the local school. But as soon as I get home again I will be checking on this thread - I do enjoy a good debate.

I suspect, like most AP posters, I don't see contributing to a thread like this as wasting time I could otherwise spend doing good deeds for the sport. Rather, discussing issues about the sport is part of my enjoyment of the sport and anyway the time spent on AP is time I might otherwise spend watching TV..
Apr 14, 2012 11:57 AM # 
jjcote:
The detail that you may not be aware of is that there is a proposed rule change in the US to prohibit carrying a GPS with display at any A-meet (nationally sanctioned competition). This is currently in the hands of the Rules Committee, and would have to be approved by the national Board of Directors.
Apr 14, 2012 12:29 PM # 
Jagge:
Our (Finnish) rule is similar, up to reader is what is allowed and what is banned. I know people who refuse to race with their GPS watches because the rule is what it is. Sometimes event director get panicked too and ban all gps devices (like Jukola 2009, even plain loggers were banned). That's the biggest problem with the current rule here. I would like see it officially said/written what it allowed and what is banned, would make things clearer.
Apr 14, 2012 8:52 PM # 
danf:
The detail that you may not be aware of is that there is a proposed rule change in the US to prohibit carrying a GPS with display at any A-meet (nationally sanctioned competition).

Of course, from what I can tell, the proposed rule change came about as a result of the protestations from attackpoint members, not only online but to both the board and the A-meet event hosts. Had attackpointers just accepted the rules as is and let the A-meet hosts ban GPS devices for one meet, the event hosts wouldn't have asked OUSA for rules clarification, and the proposal to ban GPS devices would never have occurred.

It is also interesting that the petition in protest of banning GPS devices was started well after the above host agreed to allow GPS devices.
Apr 14, 2012 11:49 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
@Rob
> In fact I think that not being a 'rules geek' was a good qualification for the job - if
> you leave writing the rules to people who 'get off' on it, that is when you get real
> problems.
True, true to me anyway.
> and anyway the time spent on AP is time I might otherwise spend watching TV..
True! But does it being Japanese TV make it truer? ;-)
Thanks.
Apr 15, 2012 12:30 AM # 
robplow:
So if what danf says is true it seems the petition may be having the opposite effect to what was intended. (Americans do get irony after all).

Perhaps the problem is the wording. In its current form it could be interpreted in many ways. At one extreme it seems very vague: asking the BOD to remove the ban - what ban? the BOD didn't ban anything -they left it to individual meet organisers. At the other extreme it could seem very hard line - asking for the removal of rule B36.4. That seems rather unlikely to me - given that is a direct copy of a fundamental IOF rule.

So why not submit a concrete proposal for a clarification of the rule. It should begin with a general statement along the following lines.

Rule 36.4 is in accordance with IOF rule ??? and OUSA supports this rule as a statement about the fundamental nature of orienteering as a sport in which competitors find their way around a course with no navigational aids other than the map provided by the organisers and a compass. However the carrying of GPS devices has become commonplace and we recognise that carrying such devices for the purposes of recording ones route greatly enhances the enjoyment of the sport and is a valuable tool for post race analysis and self improvement. We recognise that the vast majority of competitors have no desire to use such devices as a navigational aid. As such we wish to support and encourage the carrying of GPS devices as far as possible. We therefore stipulate that rule B36.4 be interpreted and enforced as follows:

(this was off the top of my head - I am sure someone could do a much better job of it - but you get the idea)

After that add something along lines of what twc wrote, but rewrite it in more formal language (take out all the "don't sweat it"s) that will satisfy the rule committee types. It should clearly specify how the rule should be applied at A meets and higher level events.

I want to make a comparison with the anti-doping rules. There are obviously a lot of differences (the health issues) so I don't want to push the comparison too far, but as far as I understand it, the basic rule prohibiting the use of performance enhancing substances applies to ALL age classes. But no one would ever suggest testing of M12s and W75s (we implicitly trust them not to do it and figure the effort, expense and inconvenience would not be worth it) and I imagine that it is highly unlikely (or very rare) that elite classes would be subjected to post race tests at ordinary A meets (again correct me if I am wrong and yes I know they may be subjected random tests any time - again the analogy breaks down here). In reality post race testing is restricted to elite classes at major events. A similar approach should be applied to enforcing bans on GPS-with-screen. Only enforce the rule for elite classes and only at major events.
Apr 18, 2012 3:48 AM # 
bbrooke:
From the April 2012 OUSA newsletter I received tonight, under Board Meeting Highlights:

"After much discussion, the board voted to allow people to carry GPS devices but they are not to be used for navigation."

That sounds perfectly reasonable to me...
Apr 18, 2012 4:17 AM # 
Tundra/Desert:
I would like to know if this extremely vaguely worded statement applies to rogaines. If it does (and nothing says it doesn't), perhaps it's time to secede.
Apr 18, 2012 4:30 AM # 
MrRogaine:
It would be unthinkable for rogaining in Australia to be governed by the OFA.
Apr 18, 2012 5:07 AM # 
bbrooke:
I assume the wording in the board meeting minutes will be more detailed and precise (as opposed to a one-sentence blurb in a newsletter).
Apr 18, 2012 5:18 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
@mrrogaine
Unthinkable to who? The two sports have significant participant overlap, especially at the high end of performance and administration (caveat in my state and at performance high end in regaining). Despite this overlap the seems to be a great challenge in coordinating when it would be sensible to do so.... Fixturing for example.
Apr 18, 2012 6:11 AM # 
MrRogaine:
I can't speak for all, but from my own observation in Perth and to a lesser extent across the country... (classic political wiggling for room) in Western Australia there is a definite difference in cultures between the two sports.

For instance, notable members of the OAWA heirachy question whether rogaining is actually a sport. Then there are some members of WARA, with a voice, who see orienteering as being over regulated and focussed on pandering to it's high performance members. I can think of one rogainer, who bats for the other side as well, who is of the opinion that high performance rogainers get the rough end of the pineapple in WA. You can't please everyone.

If rogaining in WA was ruled and regulated in the same manner as orienteering there would be a wholesale revolt.
Apr 18, 2012 6:25 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
I would argue that some of the experiential attitude found in rogaining would refresh orienteering. Take that as a pat on the back for rogaining. On the other hand, some orienteering style attention to detail in roagines might help as well. And as a joint lobby with combined participation counts, there would be more clout with the ASC and potentially more support for high performance rogainers.
One of my most interesting rogaining experiences was organising a six hour that used six orienteering maps at 1:20,000 with 1:10,000 insets. A good attendance with attitudes ranging from walkers through to orienteering elites.Vignettes from the experience...
1. One control was misplaced by 20 metres (wrong erosion gully) due to a versioning error on maps used for control placement. Only the orienteers noticed. I was able to shiftthe control because no-one really cared about an orienteering version of fairness, even the orienteers. That indicates a capacity for orienteers to be flexible in culture according to the situation.
2. A prominent adventure racer who didn't appreciate the event because he believed if he was within 50 metres of a control he should see it whatever direction he came from. We advertised that controls were placed orienteering style, on the feature on the map.
3. Some rogainers who persisted in compass and pace counting approaches to controls in gold mining detail, despite helpers out on the course trying to teach an alternative approach.
4. Lots of giggles from some teams who, having found a difficult control, thought it was more fun to sit and watch their peers flounder rather than continue. I liked that.
5. A common observation from other rogainers that it was too easy because all the tracks and gullies were mapped accurately. They missed the joy of overcoming map errors.
I think this points to more than just two cultures out there. Maybe four or five and there is a degree of overlap between the sports. Its a mistake to confuse orienteering culture with the culture of the noisy vessels. Time for me to stop being noisy. I'd just like to see more well-meaning coordination between the two sports as a minimum.
Apr 18, 2012 6:40 AM # 
MrRogaine:
I'm waiting for the high performance rogainer to throw his two cents in. Hey!!! It's raining here. At least,I think it's rain. It's been so long you tend to forget.
Apr 18, 2012 6:52 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
Maybe its time to start a new thread.
And time to add to an old one.
Apr 18, 2012 10:05 AM # 
simmo:
I'm not the HP rogainer referred to, but I'm throwing my 2 cents in on behalf of the Perth 'orienteering hierarchy' to totally deny MrR's assertion that any of us think rogaining isn't a sport. I'm not sure in what respect he thinks we are 'over regulated' except for a desire to have better maps and to have control points in the right places and be 'fair' (compared to rogaines). The majority of our events are much more low key and less rule bound than any rogaine I've ever done.

I agree with much of what Invisible has said, but happy for the two organisations to remain separate - as they appear to be everywhere else except USA.
Apr 18, 2012 1:46 PM # 
Greg_L:
The minutes of the Board meeting haven't come out yet, but the GPS vote definitely applied only to A-Meets (and not rogaines).
Apr 18, 2012 2:03 PM # 
MrRogaine:
I can dig up the relevant comments on attackpoint regarding the view of rogaining, if pressed.
Apr 18, 2012 9:54 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
A real sport has interminable arguments about rules and fairness. ;-}
Apr 19, 2012 3:21 AM # 
MrRogaine:
There's another thread all it's own! A real sport... has more political machinations than the GOP or the ALP
Apr 19, 2012 3:49 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
dare you to start a thread... Is Rogaining a real sport
Apr 19, 2012 4:11 AM # 
MrRogaine:
I was actually contemplating starting a thread with the question... "Is there any value for Rogaining to take over the governance of orienteering to take advantage of the synergistic benefits?"
Apr 19, 2012 4:14 AM # 
MrRogaine:
To which the immediate response would be "too many headaches for rogaining" :-)

This discussion thread is closed.