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Are the new school grades fair?

Show Profile  MrAnonymous Posted: 8 January 2017, 9:14 PM  
Some juniors this weekend raised some concerns with me at the changes to the school grades. For those who don't know, they have been changed to no longer be based on age. Instead they are based on 'school year' solely.

What happens therefore when you have an individual held back a year at school? Does that mean we will potentially have 17yr olds competing in the intermediate grade against mostly 14 and 15 year olds? And what defines what year group an individual is in at school? If someone is studying half their subjects at Year 12 and half at year 11 do they still qualify for the intermediate grade?

The new system seems poorly thought through. What was so wrong with the previous age grade system that required change anyway?

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 10 January 2017, 12:25 PM  
The good young orienteers I have met would generally not be candidates for being held back a year at school, in fact they are often the most talented people you would ever come across...seems like a step forward to me to tie junior grades more to mental progression rather than physical growth and the randomness of whether you were born early or late in a year....

Show Profile  MrAnonymous Posted: 10 January 2017, 10:59 PM  
That is a good point. However it only takes one occurrence to make it really unfair - no matter how good technically an orienteer you are, if someone is a much faster runner and doesn't make a mistake they will win every time.

Also basing grades of some sort of 'mental progression' seems a bit flawed. Isn't one of the ideas of orienteering to find who is the best navigator so to speak - surely we should be trying to level the playing field physically not mentally therefore! Otherwise you could have a highly intelligent 16 year old competing against a 26 year old elite.. no competition there!

In regards to the physical advantage, really you are only moving it so that those born in August now have an advantage over those born in say April rather than the reverse. There will always be winners and losers - at least the age gap is guaranteed to be maximum two years under the previous system. I think it speaks volumes that every other college sport I can think of bases it's grade system off of age...

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 11 January 2017, 12:40 PM  
It all sounds very hypothetical.

I'm not sure why ONZ have decided on the new rules and maybe the reasons they decided on this approach could be shared.

> no matter how good technically an orienteer you are, if someone is a much faster runner and doesn't make a mistake they will win every time.

It would still take a technically good orienteer to not make a mistake so I can't think of a situation where this is even plausible. Even white and yellow courses.

What if you are a trans-gender, home schooled student doing a mix of year 11 and 12 subjects, born in Australia and only moved to New Zealand last year?

Short answer: you are not eligible to compete. Totally unfair aye.


Show Profile  mark Posted: 12 January 2017, 9:47 AM  
I seem to recall that there was a case with the old rules, where a very good orienteer decided to repeat 7th form and so was competing against slightly younger kids in the senior grade. So it is a scenario that can happen.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 12 January 2017, 2:16 PM  
So the old rules were unfair too? Nothing has changed then.

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