Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Seven qualifiers for the middle final


Seven runners from today's middle distance qualification race from USA, BEL, POR, CAN, IRL, JPN and NZL. Here's the list:

Ali Crocker (USA)
Aislinn Austin (IRL)
Lousie Oram (CAN)

And then four qualifiers from New Zealand:

Chris Forne
Lizzie Ingham
Penny Kane
Amber Morrison

New Zealand had a good day. They had a bad day yesterday. New Zealand has historically been at the top of my peer nations list at WOCs. If I were putting together a peer nations list for New Zealand, I'd create a different list.

It was nice to see Louise Oram qualify. She just missed yesterday and ran in a heat where it looks like some pack running may affected the results. Or maybe not, with pack running you really can't say for sure.

Win-loss records using the peer nations

The idea of the peer nations list was to put together a group of nations with some similarities to the U.S. and to use that list to help measure U.S. results. What I'd hoped was to see people use the list to count wins and losses. Essentially, each runner from the U.S. would get a win for finishing ahead of a runner from one of the peer nations. They'd get a loss for finishing behind a runner from a peer nation. You'd end up with a U.S. win-loss record. It is very simple, no calculations required, just some counting.

Here's how it'd work for Alex Jospe at today's race. First, I'll list the peer nations runners and their places from the Women's C qualification course:

8: Lizzie Ingham (NZL)
14: Louise Oram (CAN)
24: Alex Jospe (USA)
27: Niahm O'Boyle (IRL)
DQ: Eriko Ide (JPN)

No runners from Belgium or Portugal ran against Alex.

So, Alex Jospe's win-loss record was 2-2. She beat the runners from Ireland and Japan and lost to the runners from New Zealand and Canada.

You can see how the U.S. did as a whole by summing up all of the individual win-loss records.

I like the win-loss approach. While it is very simple, I've found it interesting. But, it never caught on with a broader audience (and, I've actually got a few very negative reactions to the approach...which surprises me).

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 3:00 PM


Given how much more difficult it is to qualify in a men's race (as proved, incidentally, by the 'peer nations' qualifiers yesterday and today: 1 man, 3 women yesterday, 1 man, 6 women today), I'd be curious to see how well your various yardsticks perform for men and women separately. My guess is that they do fairly well: most of the qualifiers from the US peer nations are female, so the model will accurately predict almost no male qualifiers.

Are there patterns in the 'batting averages' for men vs. women? This is less clear to me without checking it out. Are some countries systematically (over many years) stronger for one gender than the other?

I haven't systematically looked at male/female results by country.

I think there are some differences in how different countries select teams. Some countries send more men than women. For example, Belgium and Portugal both sent just one woman but 4 men. I don't think it is common for countries to send more women than men.

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