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World Orienteering Champs - Mens Long Distance

Show Profile  mcroxford Posted: 4 July 2014, 10:47 AM  
The current selection notice (on the ONZ website) still shows Chris Forne as running the Long Distance for the World Orienteering Champs starting tomorrow. Chris has not been available to take up the selection for almost two months. Is the wider NZ Orienteering community aware we now do not have a runner in the Men’s Long? So what’s the Plan B? Despite questions over the last couple of weeks there has been no explanation from ONZ and only one email stating that they will not discuss individual selection matters. However, the selection policy states that individual selections will not be discuss but states nothing about the lack of selection.

So why is this important? It is the first time since 1974 that NZ will not have an entrant in the Mens Long. For many, this is orienteering at its purest. 2014 sees the introduction of new rules for allocating spaces in the long distance race with no qualifications in the middle or long. Details are found here and the current points for Men in 2014 are here

In summary, for both Men’s and Women’s Long and Middle distances, nations are either in group 1 (3 runners), group 2 (2 runners) or group 3 (1 runner). NZ are in Group 3 for both Men and Women.

The results for 2013 and 2014 will be combined and the top two Group 3 nations will be automatically promoted to Group 2 for the 2015 World Champs in Scotland.

At present, counting only last year’s results, we are top of Group 3 in the Women, and 4th in the Men.

Points are scored in both Long and Middle and double points in the Relay (Sprint & Sprint Relay results do not count in the Middle/Long scoring and all nations continue to get 3 places in the qualifier).

So by not having a Long Distance male runner we get ZERO points from this race, to contribute to the 2014 total! And unless we gain enough points (from the middle & relay) we will remain stuck with just one male long distance runner in 2015. Not to forget that the 2014 results will also influence the number of runners in the 2016 World Champs in Sweden.

So my questions are:

Does the NZ O community care?

When did ONZ become aware that Chris Forne was no longer available?

What has ONZ done in the meantime to fill the place?

Show Profile  mcroxford Posted: 4 July 2014, 10:53 AM  
Excellent progress report from Alistair Landels on ONZ forums:

After the last week I’m probably in a reasonable position to answer some of these questions.

Note my comments below are entirely MY OPINION and I haven’t read the NZ selection policy, but intend to do so in the near future. I stand to be corrected if I’m in any way wrong, and the last thing I want to do is offend anyone.

Throughout this whole week I’ve only been trying to find a solution where we can have a representative in the long race. I have had many discussion and sent many emails to the General Manager, Convenor of Selectors, and President. I’ve also had discussions with other key persons (who I won’t mention), and Matt Ogden who has expressed an interest in running this long race.

It seems, and I truly believe that the selection policy as specified has been followed.

Upon the withdrawal of Chris Forne the selectors have tried to get many runners to fill the position in the team so we would have a runner in the long race. During this time Matt has apparently expressed to the selectors that if someone else was available then they should take that place. At the same time he has also said that NZ should have a representative in the race, and that the current situation would be unacceptable.

As to why Matt was never asked as a last resort I cannot say, he doesn’t know himself. I have appealed that the selectors reconsider but it seems that the entry has been made, the policy followed and there is nothing that can be done. And I suspect that at this late stage not even the Italians would accept such a late entry.

As to why this has occurred I can only speculate that it is a combination of :
1.A lack of communication on Matt’s part to explicitly say that we MUST have a runner and he will fill that place as a last resort.
2.A lack of understanding by the selectors in regard to the new IOF rules as Anna has specified above, and the significance of having full participation
3.A closed selection process where only the selectors know who is available for which races, and a time-frame where availability is declared months before the selection is made, thus allowing for persons to easily withdraw after the selection has been made.

I have some ideas as to how to prevent this happening again, but until I’ve sat down and read the selection policy documentation I don’t want to go into that.

While we are dependant on the goodwill and time of volunteers for such relatively arduous and fairly thankless tasks as selection we must accept that mistakes can be made, we are only human. So at the end I think we are generally a victim of our own bureaucracy, and even my emotional appeals seem to fall on deaf ears.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 4 July 2014, 3:33 PM  
New Zealand orienteering seems to be going from strength to strength so as a supporter it is a real shame that we will not have a man in the long distance.

New Zealanders argued against the new qualification rules but how can we complain now if we don't even fill the one spot we did get?

Maybe this is already a reflection that not enough Kiwis are focused on the World Champs because the number of spots are too limited. Sounds more like a problem with bureaucracy though and now I want to know wtf happened too.

Show Profile  The Clem Posted: 5 July 2014, 4:04 PM  
For someone as passionate as Al his thoughts and attempted intervention are incredibly selfless and quite diplomatic.
While the required entries for the number of team members and officials for WOC much was earlier in the year, the actual ability to enter the details of these members only closed 25th June. Sounds like the selectors et al have tried to find a replacement, which indicates we still had an allocated space available, but didn't have much luck. So assuming that the entry fee for the Men’s Long was paid before June 1st we have up until 12 o'clock the day before the long to have someone within the team named as the competitor for the Men's Long. This is a massive ask as that would mean one of our men running at least 4 events and a potential custard affect for the other races they would have actually been focused on. But with big respect to Matt, if he’s thinking about putting his hand up, it’s a really big call
Check out NZOF Selection Policy (under review) sections 2.2.10 and 2.4.3.
I‘ve read the Selection Policy a few times over a few WOC’s as manager, and as per the current Selection Policy on the ONZ website, Malcolm in conjunction with the team have the ability to make a call as they MAY consult the selectors. Unless or course the decision was already made for then before June 1 and the entry fee not paid.
I can only share Al and Fraser’s sentiments and while not wishing to cause any offense I’m quite happy if someone wants to be offended.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 9 July 2014, 9:21 AM  
Start List
Matthew Ogden New Zealand 12:40pm

Show Profile  The Clem Posted: 9 July 2014, 12:29 PM  
Go Matt,go team, we've already won as far as I'm concerned. Greta's late start is also a bonus.

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 9 July 2014, 2:03 PM  
Yeay! Go Matt, Go Greta!!

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 17 July 2014, 10:04 AM  
Matt has posted about his WOC experience and some insight into what happened with the selection.

Thanks to Matt for stepping up, but also for the whole team for their solid performances and giving it everything.

Show Profile  Bryan Posted: 18 July 2014, 8:54 AM  
I think the wording on the selection policy should be changed as Oceania is held only every 2 years.

The policy states:

'In addition, provided they are selected by their Federation, there are personal places for
• The previous World Champion in the distance
• The Regional Champions in the distance if the Regional Championship was held in the previous 12
months and the Regional Championships is a recognised one. IOF currently recognises Regional
Championships in Europe, Asia, Oceania and North America.'

The wording should be changed to either:
in the previous 18 months or
in the previous or current year

meaning that we could have had extra places from Oceania 2013.




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