Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Course from the night O' champs


Kenny posted his routes and course from the U.S. night O' champs. You can see it here.

I have a quick and dirty way of "measuring" course setting. I ask a series of questions that are easy to answer. Here are the questions and answers for the 17-leg night O' course:

How many legs are more than one kilometer? 0.
How many legs are more than one and a half kilometer? 0.
How many legs force a distinct direction change? This is a bit subjective, but I count 9 direction changes.
Compared to the prior leg, how many legs are either more than twice as long or less than half as long? 3.

The answers give a quick view of the variety on the course. I think variety is an important part of course setting. Other things being equal, more variety makes for more interesting and challenging orienteering.

The night O' course doesn't look very good based on my questions. Compare with a course from the Ash Fest I looked at back on July 13. The answers for that course were 4, 2, 11 and 8.

Course setting is difficult. Maybe the course setter was working with some constraints and this is the best course you could have. I don't know. Still, I can't help but thinking that you could work in a leg or 2 that was a bit long and had some interesting route choice.


Kenny wrote, "I didn't have any complaints about the mapping, though the laser-print job suffered from the usual contours-in-green problem, which made the map difficult to read at times."

That "contours-in-green" problem is really annoying. I bet it is worse at night when you've got to read the map by headlamp.

I don't know much about printing O' maps, but Pat Dunlavey wrote an article that explains the contours-in-green problem and how to simulate "spot colors." Take a look at Pat's article here.

posted by Michael | 1:02 PM


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