Orienteering race 32:23  2.6 km (12:27 / km)
Qualifier at Pine Hill. Trouble with #1, from not correctly orienting my map at the start! Got on the wrong trail and had to relocate. Bad beginning. #2 also a problem. Minpunched! Plan was to run down trail to reentrant with trail, follow trail down but not all the way (just past lg. boulder), then contour around to the other side of the spur and locate the control. I did just that and encountered the control on the boulder sooner than I expected, but that happens some times. Never checked the code--there was no question in my mind that this was the right control--it fit nicely with my plan. Turns out, MYcontrol was actually 50 m further along, more on the flat. I did not recheck my map after contouring around because I had found the control, but it turns out the spur boulder was on Green-X. Must have run right by my control on the way to #3 since I took the route to the right.
Donna Fluegel helped me to figure out what happened. I was upset because I had indeed mispunched, but the wrong control was right along my route and within 100 m on a similar feature (boulder). I thought that was against the rules. I querried Larry Berman (MD) who found Alexi (CS) who went over the maps with me. Alexi explained that the IOF rules are now 20 (30?) meters for similar control features (what are they thinking!!!). He was sorry but felt I had broken the rules and should be DQ'd.
Later, talking with Janet T, she referred me to Glen T for an update on the rules. Glen said the IOF was now 30 m but the USOF rules are still 100 m and the event was under USOF jurisdiction. So, I protested to be reinstated and that was granted, allowing me to run in the A final.
Happy again, and chastized enough to remember to check control codes every time, in the future.
On Sunday, Alexi apologized for being stuck on the IOF rules. I did not feel his apology was necessary, but he went on to say that he did not agree that I was reinstated. I see his point. I just feel differently.
When I first began to orienteer and set courses, I was advised by Gudrun Hjorth, Swedish OF ambassador that courses should be set not to make competitors fail, but to provide a challenge and which encourages success with effort. This has always guided my course setting and I feel that all course setters should consider whether they're setting competitors up for failure and if so, make the changes necessary to avoid it. With the new IOF rule of 30 meters, there is terrific potential to promote failure. Is this what we want? Granted, the code should be checked at every control, but let's remember that it's the entire route navigation that is important.
Perhaps we should train for this new scenario by having several controls within the control circle, all on similar features, and seeing how quiclky we can find the correct one. Are we to the point of splitting hairs in our competitions?