Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

OPN on route choice tendencies


OPN wrote up the route choices from the sprint trails where they pointed out something a bit unusual - for legs with route choice, when Anne Margrethe Hausken went to the left, Marianne Andersen went to the right. On the map below, Hausken's routes are in blue and Anderson's are in red.

Hausken and Anderson took different routes on 1, 2, 8, 10, 13, 14, and 18. And on all of those, Hausken went left compared to Andersen.

Anderson is quoted in the article speculating that Hausken had a particular plan (to run around on the larger trails) and the course setter just happened to design courses where that option always meant a left-of-the-line route. That sounds like a reasonable explanation to me.

I've wondered if orienteers have tendencies with route choices. Do you tend to favor left or right? I've never actually tried to figure it out. It seems plausible that orienteers would have this sort of tendency.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:42 PM


maybe interesting to know if they wear compass on the same hand of map... and if they cover some part of the map.
I notice this problem with some elite in in my club.

Sven Goran Andersson says that people who use thumb compasses will favor route choices to one side.
Not quite the same thing, but related: I've noticed I slightly prefer going around obstacles on the right side as I look at them. When walking A to B when the straight-line route is blocked, I tend to go around obstacles on the right if right and left are nearly equal. That means I tend to take a different route when going from B to A. Clearly only one of the two routes can be optimal. (It's most obvious when diagonally walking across a road: I tend to cross early if 'crossing' means 'going to the right of the straight line', late otherwise.

I'm sure this extends to my micro-route choices in orienteering (which way around the tree?); it's less obvious that it should extend to (macro-)route choices like what you describe. A bit of introspection about recent route choices suggests it does, though (thinking about the team trials in Detroit, for example). Interesting.
Yeah i agree.


Cool Videos
Speaking about obstacles, maybe your preference about direction of passing is more probably related to the fact that you are left or right footed, or to the fact the you have stronger muscles in one leg (like football players, for example).
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