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Discussion: WMOC 2021 participation survey

in: Orienteering; General

Apr 6, 2021 3:25 PM # 
The survey about participating in the 2021 World Masters is closing today:

The organisers want feedback from those that plan to attend and also those that don't, so they can understand what (if) they can influence.

I haven't read much on these forums and obviously travel restrictions are going to be an interesting point given the planned date of mid-August, and what we can/can't predict as it pertains to vaccinations, pandemic situation, rule changes etc. etc.

Apart from the survey, it would be interesting to understand how people feel about it and other high profile events in fact.
Apr 6, 2021 3:54 PM # 
Apart from all the other considerations, it seems in rather poor taste for the IOF to schedule this event directly opposite the North American Orienteering Championships, especially if they claim to be interested in supporting the growth of orienteering outside of Europe.
Apr 6, 2021 4:21 PM # 
The Board, via our president (go, Clare!) sent a letter to express this frustration to the IOF. If I remember correctly, the IOF responded that they had followed the established rules for what competitions take precedence, but I think they may also have waived some fees that OUSA pays to IOF for the next year.

Still, very frustrating.
Apr 6, 2021 4:45 PM # 
Thanks OUSA Board and president!

Rules or not, this very clearly signals how much the IOF values the growth of orienteering outside of Europe.
Apr 6, 2021 6:13 PM # 
The IOF would dearly have loved to avoid this clash and also the one with the Scottish 6-Day this year which has direct effect on a large number of potential competitors for both events. It's not just outside of Europe which is affected therefore.

The organisers too regret the clash but outside constraints meant that absolutely no other dates were available.
Apr 6, 2021 7:23 PM # 
Clashes aside (important though they are - once the dates are given any clash just determines who doesn't go because of the clash), I think the objective of the survey is to see what factors influence the decision of those that might (have) consider(ed) going.
Apr 6, 2021 11:38 PM # 
I am entered in the California O-Fest, which includes the NAOC's (North American O-Champs) and the WRC - World Rogaining Champs. Very disappointed that the dates of the WMOC 2021 in Hungary conflicts with the above, especially as I have gone to quite a few WMOC's and it is a great event. But only unless the California O-Fest is cancelled and the WMOC Hungary still held, can I go to it.
Apr 7, 2021 12:43 AM # 
What Sharon said, although I have not been to nearly so many WMOCs.
Apr 7, 2021 1:46 AM # 
I can appreciate that the WMOC organizers are keen to get an idea of people's plans, but it seems kind of unfortunate that the survey ends today, when (as far as I know) there is an outstanding question as to whether NAOC/WRC will be held. (The 2021 Canadian Championships were recently postponed to 2022). There are about 585 people registered for NAOC. Presumably at least some of these might go to WMOC if NAOC/WRC were to be postponed again.
Apr 7, 2021 6:24 AM # 
Trying to dig up some numbers to wrap my head around these questions. Currently ...

* Canada is flipping out as it heads into the 3rd wave of the pandemic. Provinces are locking down, schools are going back to online learning, etc. Vaccine roll-out proceeds at a snail's pace. For the last week, our average daily new cases are 168 per million and average daily death rate is 0.82 per million.

* United States is doing well coming off a massive 2nd wave, opening up, masks are coming off, things are looking good. Daily new cases are 198 per million and death rate is 2.42 per million.

* Hungary is wondering if we want to come visit for WMOC. Daily new cases are 673 per million population and death rate is 24.4 per million.

Hmmm.... Seems like we are a long way from knowing what August is going to bring. But, right now the current Covid-death-rate is 30 times worse in Hungary than Canada. I doubt I will be straying too far from home.
Apr 7, 2021 7:33 AM # 
I believe that the survey was prompted by the low number of entrants so far. I think the problem is that such an event is only viable if a certain number of entries is reached. They certainly can't wait until the last moment, but suspecting that a lot of people are holding back to see how the situation is evolving, I think they were/are keen to get a sense as to whether it is worthwhile extending various deadlines to help with the entry decisions. On the other hand, if it looks certain that numbers won't be reaching viable levels no matter what, then it may lead to a decision to unfortunately cancel the event - which also should not be done at the last minute if it was inevitable (as far as I am aware, it isn't).

I don't think the survey is a decision factor in holding or cancelling the event, simply one more data point to help with policies around organising the event, communication etc.

As far as pandemic numbers are concerned, of course they are changing all the time and what matters just as much at this point as we are trying to predict, are trends and trajectories. I would not want to get into the depths of that on this forum (plenty of others on the Internet to do so), but whilst current infection numbers aren't great, the rate and growth rate of vaccination in Hungary at this point at least looks promising. That said, I appreciate this is a lot more complex issue with many aspects which is why epidemiology is a whole profession :)
Apr 7, 2021 7:54 AM # 
From what I can tell less than 10% of CAL O Fest entries at the moment are Canadians.
Apr 7, 2021 9:11 AM # 
Risk management: that is what it is all about, eh Brian. Your stats are interesting. I guess it is the old glass half empty/ glass half full risk.

Some may look and say each day in Hungry there is about a .0007% chance of contracting Covid 19. Others will look and say there is aboyt a 99.9993% chance they won't catch Covid on any one day in Hungary. (I may be off by a decimal but at those numbers who cares?)
I still would not go orienteering in Hungary fearing the backlash I would get at home from my wife. It is one thing to be quarantined at home. It is quite another to be quarantined from her at home.
There is one thing that may keep me from orienteering at Tahoe this summer if the event is on. It is not the risk of Covid . I can manage that at the event and travelling. We have enough experience with live orienteering events now that we know they can be conducted without spread and we certainly have statistics to show that yes some people have travelled while Covid positive but the airline measures have worked to keep those trips from being spreader events. The thing that would keep me from Tahoe would be the difficulty of dealing with government regulations in place at the time.
Apr 7, 2021 10:14 AM # 
Might as well count out all Australians from WMOC. We're not allowed to travel internationally unless for one of a number of pre-defined reasons. Orienteering isn't one of them. I don't see the situation changing during 2021 (plus airfares from here to anywhere outside of Australia are now ridiculously expensive).

Sadly the survey closed for participation before I even heard about it.
Apr 7, 2021 11:12 AM # 
There are about 585 people registered for NAOC. Presumably at least some of these might go to WMOC if NAOC/WRC were to be postponed again.

If NAOC is cancelled presumably it will be because of the risks of travel, etc during a pandemic. But it seems a common reaction is: "if we can't travel to California we might as well travel to Hungary instead". No wonder the covid figures are so bad in USA, and to a lesser extent, Canada.
Apr 7, 2021 12:23 PM # 
It's quite likely the people you're referring to have already been vaccinated, Rob
Apr 7, 2021 12:42 PM # 
Interestingly, I just now read that Australia has decided not to send a team to JWOC in Turkey (as I believe Canada also decided a few weeks ago. How long before JWOC gets postponed again?

And as tricky mentioned it would be very hard for Australians to to got to WMOC under current conditions. Flights back into Australia are very hard to get (lots of people having flights cancelled on them multiple times) and very expensive, and then when you get back you have to do 2 weeks hotel quarantine at an extra cost of $A3000. And given the slow vaccine roll out in Aus that is not going to change anytime soon. When some countries simply cannot participate there comes a point where the concept of calling something a WORLD Championship becomes a little ridiculous. Although, despite the name, WMOC is not really a 'Championship' in that countries do not send teams and there are no qualification rules.
Apr 7, 2021 1:05 PM # 
How does a difference in format make it not a Championship? If you win a WMOC race are you not a world champion? If you win a WRC race are you a world champion?
Apr 7, 2021 2:42 PM # 
Originally (80's??) WMOC was called Veteran World Cup (VWC) at some point the name changed and I recall there being some discussion as to whether it was really appropriate to call it a 'championships' - it is more of a mass participation event than a what is normally considered to be a championship which is generally focused on the highest elite level only. Note the World Masters Games are called 'games' not 'championships' and they are similar in format -with focus o mass participation.

But sure, since it is called WMOC, if you win you can absolutely legitimately call yourself a World Champion. I was just pointing out the difference in format and basic nature of WMOC.

For JWOC and WOC I imagine there comes a point when if some countries cannot participate that you have to cancel the event as it no longer represents the world. So far, (AFAIK) Canada and Australia have pulled out of JWOC and I doubt that would be considered enough to cancel but if a few more do that sort of thing must be on the agenda. Then again, since Australia has a current JWOC champion it does feel very unfair that JWOC goes ahead and he can't attend due to travel restrictions but all the other likely medalists can.

But with WMOC such considerations are less likely. I would think canceling or not canceling is more an issue of public safety (covid) and economics (if the number of entrants drops below a certain level).
Apr 7, 2021 9:18 PM # 
I think Aston's grown beyond the ability to participate at JWOC anymore (I could be wrong but he competes in 21E at the national level now, not that it's unheard of for high level juniors to do that).
Apr 7, 2021 9:46 PM # 
Yes, Aston's no longer eligible.
Apr 8, 2021 1:05 AM # 
Ok I got the facts wrong in this case, but the general principle still stands - the more countries can't make it make to JWOC or WOC (for reasons beyond their control) and people who could expect to very well are unable to compete, the more it becomes unfair to hold the event.

It's quite likely the people you're referring to have already been vaccinated
Not sure it is that simple - if only it were. As far I understand it, getting the vaccine protects you (about 90% of the time) from getting sick if you are infected but it is not yet clear if being vaccinated stops you from passing on the virus if you are infected. Not to mention the possibility of newer variants being vaccine resistant. It seems that until a high level of vaccination is reached it is better to maintain safeguards like social distancing, masks, travel restrictions, etc.
Apr 8, 2021 3:58 AM # 
The requirements for holding the different championships are presented here:

For WOC 4 of the top 6 or 6 of the top 10 teams must be able to participate.
For JWOC and WMOC there are no requirements on number of nations present ( as far as I know there are no IOF rankings outside the 21-classes).
For WOCs and JWOCs a decission will be taken at least 6 weeks in advance to allow the athletes time for preparation. For WMOC the decission will be taken 3 months in advance.

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