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Simplification

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 9 May 2008, 11:45 AM  
You may think of a navigation technique here, but I'm thinking of ideas to simplify event (and maybe other) admin in orienteering.

It's interesting that some shortcuts now standard practice encountered resistance, and took years to become accepted. I remember when we thought that a registration person at clubs events had to fill in a schedule of details about each person. Result - queues at registration, and a list that we didn't do anything with. Likewise we used to have a person allocate start times at enter-on-the-day events. So give any ideas that come up a good hearing, some of today's practices may look equally silly with hindsight.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 9 May 2008, 11:49 AM  
What got me thinking was that I just entered for a fairly large 5-day event overseas. I couldn't find an entry form on the website, so I emailed the address that was there giving my class and could I pay when I got there. They replied 5 hours later saying thank you for your entry, what's your SI number? And yes pay when you get here. That's it, I'm entered.

Show Profile  SimonB Posted: 9 May 2008, 3:33 PM  
well the only thing that we do thats sort of un neccessary is request age on the entry form... whats the point in knowing peoples age? i guess for new comers if they dont know which class they should be in... but the classes are fairly obvious

Show Profile  Tane Cambridge Posted: 9 May 2008, 3:55 PM  
The new SI cards are (to the best of my understanding) capable of holding all of your personal data on them such as age, name etc. So all in all the future will probably see you only entering an (SI) event with your SI card number.....So you are personally reduced to a Number which some people in wider society seem to have problems with....dont know why...usually they are the ones who think the government is out to get them...

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 9 May 2008, 4:48 PM  
"... the only thing ... on the entry form". This event doesn't HAVE an entry form. It seems you just send the organisers an email saying what you think they want to know.

Probably if you're local you're expected to pay in advance, but the bank details are on the website. The website gives a postal address but says "only for special cases".

Show Profile  addison Posted: 9 May 2008, 6:19 PM  
Michael, I hope you are not saying that this 5-day is well organised - as it sounds pretty bloody shit to me!

The larger the numbers, the greater the need for an automated online entry.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 9 May 2008, 7:03 PM  
I noted above that it took some time to persuade people to abandon some practices.

I have been to this event before. It was very well organised.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 9 May 2008, 7:33 PM  
Presumably there is an online entry system for those that live in the country. As I've said before when we lived in Sweden and Denmark we never filled in any entry forms for events in those countries, either online or paper. All our details were recorded in a database and our clubs had a page where we logged in and checked the events we wanted to enter (anytime before the closing date and we could remove it before then as well). Then this was submitted by the clubs to the organizers. I don't know if they did get all of our details such as address and so on which they probably didn't need as they would use the club as contact. This works as you either pay your club at the end or pay an annual event fee or are entirely supported by your club.

Show Profile  Greig Posted: 9 May 2008, 8:42 PM  
I also liked the Swedish way of entering an event, it saved all the form filling out each event with exactly the same info.

It probably requires everyone to have their own SI card though. But if everyone did then the SI person on the day would have an easier job. Or perhaps the people who don't have a card could be assigned a number and then they could just pick it up at the event.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 9 May 2008, 8:59 PM  
Obviously you haven't organised entries for a big event in the last few years.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 9 May 2008, 11:18 PM  
I dont think you can take Michaels example as how the event is organised or entered, all you are talking about is adding 1 more person/map to an event with quite a few more people than we ever get to anything in NZ, meaning the printing margins are greater so its no big deal, unlike with the thousand course system we use here, printing an extra 2 maps for a course can double the printing numbers.

Show Profile  Alistair Posted: 10 May 2008, 12:13 AM  
Jenni may have been refering to Denmark in her description above because the Swedish system doesn't quite work like that.

In Sweden the federation (SOFT) has a centralised entry system where a club first adds a race to the system with a bunch of standard things links to their own web-page, race and entry-closure dates, which grades (including custom) etc.

The system has 3 levels of authorisation open to club-members, two of which are interesting: "admin" - which is used by the club to manage their races; and "member" - which runners use to log in to enter races.

When logging in with the member account you can obviously enter any registered race all over Sweden. The system has a central respository of all runners which the is maintained by each club (also as a Admin-user). This means that I can also enter other members of my club in races too - but not members of other clubs.

As standard you can save things under your "user" as well, such as SI-number and usual grade.

Then after the closing date it's possible for the organising club to extract a full list of all runners with their SI, grade etc. This list is standardised (XML etc) and can be imported into competition-admin programs such as the SI software etc.

Payment is also handled centrally but I'm not sure exactly how - basically the organising club sends bills with a list of runners to each club which has participants, the club pays the bill and then bills the runners - say every few months for the races they'd entered.

ORingen doesn't use this centralised system any more - they have their own new system.

Show Profile  Alistair Posted: 10 May 2008, 12:17 AM  
...and if you don't enter your SI number with the entry, the organising club allocates a rented one and consequently also bills you for it too. The system doesn't require that you have one.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 10 May 2008, 12:52 PM  
Of course I may have got special treatment being a furriner, but it got me thinking. The last OHV rogaine (6/3hrs) had entry just by unstructured email, with pay on the day.

Talking of rogaines, the first afterwork rogaine didn't have anything at the controls, the planner just turned up with maps with circles on. They had to be fairly bold features of course, but the "holy grail" I am seeking is ways to make orienteering as easy as turning up at the playing field with a ball, blowing the whistle and getting going.

There's another navigation sport that doesn't have anything at the controls, I think it's called geo-hashing. Someone generates randomly a set of points and announces on a website what they are, and they are "open" for a fixed amount of time. You prove you got there by taking a photo of something distinctive I think. Could we use cameras in that way to avoid putting out and taking in controls? Upscale version of question-and-answer, if you like. Gliding used to use photos as their "punching" method.

Show Profile  runningbeast Posted: 13 May 2008, 7:12 AM  
At the recent Eco City Chellenge urban rogaine we didn't put controls out. We used clue like "what is the third digit of the phone number on the sign", "what colour is the letter box on the house at teh corner of the park" and "how many star shapes in the plastic walls of the playground".

If there was nothign of note then a couple of strips of insulation tape on a pole or some cables ties and then a question - how many or what colour.

It was great not havign to put out or collect controls.

Show Profile  SteveO Posted: 13 May 2008, 2:53 PM  
A number of street events in Melbourne use telephone pole numbers as controls - every pole has a six digit asset number, you take a pen or pencil out with you and copy down the last digit. A particularly fiendish version of a score event (not used very often, luckily) then uses that digit as the score for that control. Sadistic setters seem to delight in using poles that end in '0'.

Auckland poles have similar number tags but we only seem to warrant five digits.


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