Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"The Brian May Effect"


One of the characteristics of most of the "peer nations" is that they suffer from "The Brian May Effect." What's that?

Essentially it is that a single orienteer can make a huge difference in how well the team performs. Take that orienteer away and the team's performance suffers quite a lot. The easiest way to illustrate the B.M.E. is to look at a simple goal - take qualifying for the finals - and imagine how a nation would have done without their best orienteer. In France, the U.S. has had 4 qualifiers for finals. Ali Crocker qualified for all three disciplines and Samantha Saeger qualified for the sprint final. Four finalists is a decent performance for the U.S. But, take away Crocker and the U.S. almost certainly has just one qualifier. That's the B.M.E.

Compare the U.S. to one of the absolute top nations - say Switzerland. Take away one of the best Swiss oreinteers and Switzerland's performance suffers. But, it doesn't suffer anything like the U.S. would if you take away the best U.S. orienteer.

I first wrote about the B.M.E. back in 2004.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:30 PM


LOL. I thought it had to do with the Queen guitarist. He also could make the difference somehow.
Actually, they both answer to Dr. May.

So does having one good racer in say one discipline trump overall team depth or does it matter? What would you rather have?
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