Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thinking about try outs


Some discussion over at Attackpoint inspired me a bit to think about how to hold "try outs" for the West Point O' team. Cmpbllv wrote:

...like most sports teams, we have a week-long tryout window before we have to finalize our rosters, so more that 3 courses in 3 days just isn't possible, and we don't get to keep extra new recruits long enough to evaluate them over an entire semester....

The challenge is to figure out a way to pick out who will be best in just a few days. The potential team members would be cadets. So they're relatively fit and strong. They have little to no previous orienteering experience. They will be around for up to 4 years. It is fun to think about how to structure a try out.

I'd start by coming up with a few things to look for. I picked 4 attributes: running, navigating, learning, and O' fanaticism. The ideal team member would be fast, a good map reader, able to learn from mistakes and from instruction, and an O' fanatic. The worst possible team member would be someone who was slow, couldn't make sense of a map, never learned from mistakes or instruction, and didn't like orienteering.

The trick is to come up with a simple way to begin to measure those four attributes. Some things are really easy to test and measure. If you put someone on a running course and time them, then you'll have a pretty good measure of how well they run. Some things are really hard to test and measure, especially if they don't have an orienteering background and you've only got a few days to figure out if they are going to like orienteering.

I've got a couple of ideas of how I'd arrange a try out. I'll write them up tomorrow.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:47 PM


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