Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, February 18, 2008

4 thoughts about the Texas races


My first four thoughts from the weekend's A-meet in Texas...

NTOA put on a great event - really fun. From a competitor's point of view, everything seemed to go off without a hitch.

You don't often get to say "pleasant terrain" and "Texas" in the same sentence...but we ran in pleasant terrain in Texas! February is the right time of year to run in the Texas forest. The particular terrain had a few thorns, but no (or very little) other unpleasant pointy vegetation. The course setter seemed to make an effort to keep us in the finest areas. That is a lesson a lot of course setters might learn (in my opinion). Thanks.

The meet was crowded with junior orienteers. I don't know the number of competitors, but the junior classes clearly dominated the event. It is fun to see good turnout among juniors. It feels hopeful.

I was on the competition jury where we considered a couple of protests, which resulted in two "sporting withdrawals." As best I can tell, we interpreted the USOF rules correctly and our decision was acceptable under the rules. But, it sure felt weird that two orienteers who didn't punch at the correct controls didn't suffer the consequences (i.e. they don't get lousy ranking points from the race).

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 5:05 PM


I support the concept of rules over discretion, and I don't know what the rules say in this case, but why should lousy ranking points be a consequence of a mispunch? Is not an honest mispunch a completely different animal than a poor performance or a DNF? A sporting withdrawl or otherwise "no score" sounds about right to me.

I understand that in reality it is difficult to distinguish between an honest mispunch and an intentional mispunch to avoid a poor result (which I have suspected in many cases), but I think there is a world of difference in deserved consequence.

At worst an honest mispunch shows carelessness, for which a wasted event is enough punishment, but all too frequently with e punching, mispunches sound like nothing worse than bad luck especially for someone not familiar with the system.
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