Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Toad don't worry


Lots of folks are worrying about the new IOF World Cup rules (which would restrict the U.S. to just one participant per event). The Toad on my back door; he's not worried.

I'm not exactly worried. But, I'm interested in the issue. I hope the IOF changes the rule to allow the US to have more participants.

What if the IOF changed the rule and allowed say 3 participants per event. That'd mean, 3 men and 3 women could run in the World Cup events. Would USOF send that many? I don't know, but it looks like it'd be a bit of a pain to get that many people to attend that many events.

The schedule almost looks like it was designed to make it hard for the US (obivously, that isn't the case...). Excluding the WOC (where I think the US would send 4 or 5 of the allowed 6 participants), the World Cup is made up of four events in three chunks.

The first 2 WC races are in Finland and Norway in mid June. The schedule is built around Jukola. That'd probably help the US participate. I suspect that the European-based US team runners would probably plan to run Jukola and Venla.

The next WC races are late July as part of the Swedish 5-Days. Holding the event in conjunction with 5-Days might make it a little more feasible for the US to participate. But, it is a full month before the WOC and it is probably not so likely that any non-European based WOC team members would make the trip.

The final WC races are in Switzerland in early October, more than a month after the WOC. The non-European based WOC team members would probably have a tough time making the trip.

I'm not sure how many US team runners are based in Europe (or will be next year). I can think of one man and three (or maybe 4?) women.

In recent years, the USOF hasn't prioritized the World Cups. To participate at a level of 3 per event would be a big change in priorities. I'd describe myself as an interested observer of the US team. I'll be interested to see what happens with the issue and, if the US gets lucky and IOF changes the rules, what will happen next.

Well, the toad isn't worried and I've decided that I'm not going to worry either.

And here is another Autostich panorama. This one is 8 individual close ups, stitched together.

posted by Michael | 9:03 PM


I empathize with you in the sense that I'm not worried about it either. I'll never get to run in a World Cup.

But I am furious about the change. It's completely against the interests of the majority of IOF countries. It's against any strategies that would increase participation in orienteering. I'm not the first to suggest the Jamaican Bobsled Team analogy, but it fits---If you cut from the field the so-called "hobby elites", then you've made it harder for those countries with only "hobby elites" to grow true "run-with-the-champions elites". With qualifiers, you've already got the fastest people starting last, adding to the suspense for potential TV viewers. Ignoring the slow folks is trivial, while eliminating them is counter to the interests of the IOF and orienteering in general. This rule change makes no sense.

I thought it was more of an if it is good enough for the World Cup, let's do it for WOC as well type of issue.
That's exactly right Jeff! This could be the case, maybe even as early as 2008.
I agree with Spike that if we got the rules changed to allow 3 runners in the WC races next year, we will probably have an issue filling those spots (although maybe not on the women's side). Maybe that should be a priority of ours?!? Maybe not?!? The point is, if those spots are gone, when there is greater interest, or funding, or when the current potential develops, or maybe when the ability/talent of some of our strong juniors is developed, we are going to regret not fighting for it now! Call me over optimistic, call me an idealist, or maybe just hopeful, but I think we will want those spots in the future. We are on our way up!
Are you sure that's a toad, and not a frog?
I think you're probably right in saying that "USOF" (ie. the US team) hasn't prioritized the world cups to the level it has the WOCs. My impression is that US participation in WC races has been the result of individual priorities rather than team priorities. I think people from the US "go" to the WC races, we don't "send" them. It would be nice if we got to the point that we were sending a team (or perhaps a "matching pair").

Right now the competition for the open WC slots alloted the US isn't heavy and there hasn't been a need to develop a rigorous team (or individual) selection process. Changing the quota to 1 would change that since, as you said, some WC races are more convenient than others.
JJ. Is it a frog? I don't know. I must have thought "the toad don't worry" sounds better than "the frog don't worry."
Regardless, it's an awesome photo. I might use that as a screensaver for a while...

Looking through a field guide, the closest amphibian that I saw was the squirrel treefrog. But they don't live in your area.

"The toad don't worry" definitely sounds better, I agree.
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