How not to end a season   2 comments

Our orienteering season ended a couple of weeks ago, after a series of sprint races. It’s too hot now for competitive orienteering here, but good luck to our team at WOC!

Usually I don’t care for sprint races, even league events that count for the rankings, but after my back problem I needed a test run, so I went to the event at Ein HaHoresh, a week before our club relay. Nothing much to write to the world about – a very easy map and course, an almost perfect run, but very slow by my standards (and still 5th in H40). This only reinforced my indignation at the rule that says you can’t switch categories after the middle of the season – “can’t” as in “not allowed to register”, not “can’t be ranked in a different category”. What if it had been a forest event, with longer courses and more of a difference between the categories? Then I wouldn’t have been able to register for my age group (H50) in order to run a shorter course than usual while recovering from illness.

Ein HaHoresh

Next up was the club relay at Beit Berl, also a sprint event. I’d prefer a forest relay, but I have no complaints about that due to the COVID-19 situation during the season.

This race was marred by controversy. The courses were good and tricky, but the map was imperfect at best – I encountered several problems: a non-standard fence marking near control 11 (it’s actually impassable, but I lost only a few seconds), a blocked passageway on the way to 12, where I lost at least 20 seconds (both are highlighted on the map below), and a few more small issues. In the end I somehow managed to skip control 16 and was disqualified – without that my team would have finished 4th in the Veterans category.

The main problem was that 15 teams (more than 10% of the total) were disqualified for mispunching on the next-to-last control, no. 18 on my course. None had the presence of mind to check if the controls where they punched were too close to the correct ones, so no-one appealed and the results stood. Internal club decision: every relay from now we’ll have an experienced orienteer in charge of checking disqualifications. When the master maps were published we could see clearly that there were three controls in a row, all on trees, 25m apart (they are marked on the map below: less than the 30m minimum for similar objects). As a club, we would have won the relay if our elite team hadn’t been disqualified there, but what bothers me the most is that the organisers haven’t even been willing to admit their mistake and apologise – I know we missed the opportunity to appeal, and that’s our fault.

The event itself was fun, and our women’s team (with Roni on the anchor leg) won for the 8th time (I think) in the last 9 relays. But for me the season ended badly, in both health and orienteering. I’m slowly getting my fitness back, looking forward to following our orienteers at WOC, EYOC and JWOC, and waiting for opportunities to escape the heat and run in the forests.

Beit Berl – Relay

Posted 01/07/2021 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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2 responses to “How not to end a season

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  1. Maybe it was not very clever to have such a “trap” in the end of the race, since disqualifying runners is never fun. But on the other hand the control sites are distinct in my eyes. But it clearly has some potential for such a big number of misspunches.

    If I try to look it up in the rules:
    By IOF it is stated that: “Controls (including the start control flag) shall not be sited within 30 metres of each other. For Sprint, this may be reduced. For map scales 1:4000 or 1:3000, the minimum running distance between controls is 25 metres and the minimum straight line distance is 15 metres. (Only when the control features are distinctly different in the terrain as well as on the map, should controls be placed closer than 30 metres for map scales 1:4000 or 1:3000)” <- so maybe it could be called not "distinctly different" enough

    (In Switzerland we have the rule: "if the controls are placed at the same kind of object, the minimal distance has to be 30m. If it is placed at a different object it has to be 15m on 1:5000 or less." <- would be ok to set these controls)

    Do you know the definition by your federation?

    Have a nice summer 🙂

  2. We use the IOF rules, so the 30m minimum should apply, as the features are definitely similar (and all have the same control description: a tree).

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