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Technical Topics

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 8 July 2011, 3:53 AM  
This is a place for discussion of planning, controlling, fairness type issues. Analogous to the mapping thread, its not for everyone. There might have been a topic once but I couldn't find it. There even used to be planners and controllers newsletters and technical committee minutes on the NZOF website!

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 8 July 2011, 3:59 AM  
An interesting topic from the JWOC Middle Distance. Some lessons there for any planner when you want competitors to take a particular route eg for a spectator leg. The Australian team blog also mentions someone who missed out some controls where there was a crossover and the lines were very close. With looping arrangements popular (and they are very handy to make intense use of a detailed area) the positioning of the lines and numbers becomes very important.

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 8 July 2011, 5:49 AM  
We had a crossing point through the event centre at QB day1 but decided not to make it compulsory, i.e. we marked it on the map but didn't put it in the control description list. It's pretty difficult to enforce a compulsory crossing or route if you don't have race numbers.
It's probably worth consciously checking your control description sheet at the start for any taped routes or crossing points, so you can be ready for them. If they're listed in your control descriptions, then they are mandatory.

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 8 July 2011, 5:57 AM  
Whoops sorry, I didn't see the other thread. I'm pretty sure my post above is correct, so for the JWOC course the marked crossing is compulsory but how you get there is not. A bit dumb that they didn't just tape it if it was that impt.

Show Profile  robbie Posted: 8 July 2011, 6:29 AM  
As a course setter.If you want competitors to go to a crossing point or around an out of bounds. Put a control there.-- simple--

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 8 July 2011, 7:09 AM  
What you say Jeff is part of the "rules of the game" that competitors should know, particularly high performers. Our rules (patterned on the IOF rules) read like an organisers' manual. You also need to dip into separate documents for the descriptions and the mapping specifications (particularly for sprints). I think there's a need for a competitor-focussed document.

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 8 July 2011, 8:31 AM  
Good point Robbie. However, it's probably as much a controller issue as a setter issue, and may not always be that simple. Looking at the JWOC map, the setter probably wanted to keep the quality & technical difficulty on leg 5 with a control in the forest, and thought the control was close enough to the crossing point to make it OK. Looking at the calibre of the athletes who missed it, it obviously wasn't OK in reality. How could they have made it better without putting control 5 at the gate? I think a pink OOB line along the high fence line would have made it much more obvious, but that would interfere with control circle 6. So just taping to the gate would be the way to go.
I think the dotted line from 6 to 14 that Michael referred to on the other thread must be part of the run in to the finish. Talk about cluttered. It's great to have the athletes running through the event centre but it can create some major challenges getting it all down on the map. Maybe they could have done a map change at the crossing point just after 7 to separate the run through from the finish.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 8 July 2011, 8:49 AM  
"Getting it down on the map" sums it up well Jeff. Brackets, boundary lines, connecting lines bent at a sharp angle, very hard to make clear. In sprints I've found myself not using some interesting legs just so the circles and lines and numbers can be read better. Map change - or second half of the course on the back is good. Marked route is good - following the tape over-rides all else.

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 8 July 2011, 8:50 AM  
So on the subject of Max's mispunch, how often does sportident actually not work? Sure it's the athlete's responsibility to record the punch, and the controller must DSQ them if they don't (even, like Ross, if they are recorded on video visiting the control!) but how foolproof is the system? At QB we had an elite record a mispunch on the final control, however the box was apparently dead and didn't flash or beep for them. Only for them, it was fine for everyone else. Their card wasn't full, so how can that happen? Rolf checked the box later and it apparently recorded a punch error, but not the SI card number or anything. Does this weird stuff happen very often with SportIdent?
The athlete in question did a manual punch of their map so were reinstated. But they would have lost 5-10 seconds doing this, which becomes a fairness issue.

Show Profile  robbie Posted: 8 July 2011, 8:51 AM  
Hi Jeff On leg 5 the fodder control point is 10meters from the gate which the setter wants every one to go to. By putting it at the gate the leg is the same in my view and there is no doubt about the athlete going through the gate.
It would be interesting to know about the protest.
Where are you squid?

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 8 July 2011, 9:02 AM  
One more from me, on manual punching. For A level events it's a good idea before you put the controls out to line them all up, to grab a bunch of manual punch cards (like our summer series ones), one for each course, and go round making all the punches for each course. Takes about 5 minutes and you've got all the info on hand on event day if a box fails and you've got a line of grumpy competitors who manually punched their maps waiting to be reinstated.

Show Profile  robbie Posted: 8 July 2011, 9:50 AM  
Jeff-- Make up a club master with all clips Saves you doing it for all events. Maybe Ive been around to long!

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 8 July 2011, 10:27 AM  
The squid is not a technical beast but uses commonsense skills to survive. But even if you look at the nitty gritty rules.. Was the route marked on the ground all the way?
As far as Sportident, I have mp'ed by what i think has been box error or the squid swimming too fast. It sucks but is my fault I guess. Suids have poor hearing and have trouble knowing if it beebed or not, to me the commonsense way to improve these problems is for SI to increase either the flashing light or volume of the beep, in doing so put the the responsibility more in the hands of the runner.

IOF Rules...
17. Restricted areas and routes
17.1 Rules set by the organising Federation to protect the environment and any related
instructions from the organiser shall be strictly observed by all persons connected
with the event.
17.2 Out-of-bounds or dangerous areas, forbidden routes, line features that shall not be
crossed, etc. shall be marked on the map. If necessary, they shall also be marked on
the ground. Competitors shall not enter, follow or cross such areas, routes or
17.3 Compulsory routes, crossing points and passages shall be marked clearly on the map
and on the ground. Competitors shall follow the entire length of any marked section
of their course.
18. Control descriptions
18.2 The control descriptions shall be in the form of symbols and in accordance with the
IOF Control Descriptions.
Page 18 IOF Foot Orienteering Competition Rules 2010
20. Punching systems
20.3 Competitors shall be responsible for punching their own card at each control using
the punching device provided.
20.4 The control card must clearly show that all controls have been visited.
20.5 A competitor with a control punch missing or unidentifiable shall not be placed
unless it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is
not the competitors fault. In this exceptional circumstance, other evidence may be
used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from control
officials or cameras or read-out from the control unit. In all other circumstances, such
evidence is not acceptable and the competitor must be disqualified. In the case of
SportIdent, this rule means that:
" If one unit is not working, or appears not to be working, a competitor must use
the backup provided and will be disqualified if no punch is recorded.
" If a competitor punches too fast and fails to receive the feedback signals, the card
will not contain the punch and the competitor must be disqualified (even though
the control unit may have recorded the competitors card number)
20.6 The organiser has the right to have the control card checked by officials at appointed
20.7 Competitors who lose their control card, omit a control or visit controls in the wrong
order shall be disqualified.

This message was edited by Paul I on 8 July 2011, 6:40 PM

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 12 July 2011, 3:32 AM  
Doing it here rather than the relay thread, I don't want to take the gloss off some great performances.

The relay forking appears to have allowed teams to run slightly different courses. It takes a bit of digging through the splits page where the control numbers are given, but in the JWOC thread on Attackpoint there are a couple of examples of pairs of teams that ran a different set of legs, and I think I have found the same thing between our #1 and #2 teams. Its towards the end between controls 114 and 117.

Girls: Anna ran 115-116, Angela ran 115-126, Jaime ran 131-116, Laura ran 131-126. Kate and Selena ran the same legs thru this part of the course. Boys: Toby ran 132-116, Tim ran 132-126, Nick ran 131-116, Gene ran 131-126. Scott and Matt ran the same legs thru this part of the course.

The controls were close together and the distance difference would have been tiny but 10 or more years ago we thrashed this one out and declared that teams must run all the same legs in total. Have I interpreted things correctly? Is there an innocent explanation?

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 12 July 2011, 4:59 AM  
Well spotted, Michael. I'd wondered why the forking designations went from A through F instead of just A through C, but hadn't taken the time to delve further. You can see it on the splits from the official website, with mens forking 6 out of 7 having 6 rather than 3 combinations, and women's forkings 1 AND 3 out of 4 having 6 combinations.

You'd think after Jukola that they'd double check that the relay was fair. Incredible. What was the IOF Controller doing?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 12 July 2011, 9:43 AM  
I think they were different problems. "Only" 100 out of 1500 teams in the Jukola had the wrong forking, which suggested they had a sound plan but made a mistake in the implementation. World of O said the organisers apologised on the website.

A problem of scale I'm guessing. But I can remember Gillian doing something very clever with sorting those variation codes in Excel to make sure that all teams did the same in the end.

On the face of it, the JWOC organisers didn't have a correct plan.

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