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School Champs Grades. Remit from NWOC for AGM2016

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 26 February 2016, 1:26 PM  
There is a fundamental difference between white and yellow on the farm maps for the SS Champs - at least on the ones I have planned. The White have a control at every significant decision point. The yellow you often skip a number of the controls at decision points out. The easiest analogy is yellow does the diagonals of the paddocks and remember a lot of our paddocks are 10-20 hectares in hilly terrain so one can't see from one corner to the next.
It is quite committing for one of the inexperienced to get from one control to the next on Yellow courses. You only have to see the spread of times to see that quite a few have difficulties.
Getting rid of Junior white courses will stop a lot of girls competing. Many of these "novice" girls get a lot more confidence and turn into good competitors in the following years

Show Profile  MikeB Posted: 26 February 2016, 2:02 PM  
Point taken Jane and I knew I was opening myself up for a broadside and I know there will always be a mixture of farm and forest events at SS events.

It does seem a shame though that you can only get a couple of club events in before NISS. This year they are almost at the end of April and by the way that's not meant a criticism.

Taupoite I'm fully aware there a fundamental difference between white and yellow, I've set enough of them in my time, but runners don't have to cut corners on yellow courses if they're not comfortable with it they can still follow the handle rail, whatever it is, all the way to the control. On farmland the controls should be visible at this level and in the forest never more than 20 m from a track on a bold feature well they should be anyway and they're often closer to the track than that. I just think people are getting to hung up on this so called level of difficulty when it's really not. I'm dealing with kids new to orienteering all the time and they're not as slow to work things as we think.

I realise at the end of the day it will be a decision based on the majority and I have to accept that.

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 27 February 2016, 1:04 AM  
Don't get disheartened Mike ... HBOC hasn't had its meeting yet re which way they will vote for this remit.

HB doesn't schedule club events in February because not many new-comers turn up in 35 degree heat, we stick to cooler evening urban sprints during Feb to attract kids.

Realistically I am petitioning for 5 girls and 5 boys.

A mother sat down beside me at the last event to thank me for having our January junior camp open to everyone, her son had really enjoyed camp "and so many camps are closed to new kids like him, they only take the top kids." [her words] Then I mentioned how we were considering closing the SS to novices. "Oh they shouldn't do that. [My son] loved going to Nelson last year." [Her immediate reaction].

So again to the real question ... Does O decide it is grown up and leave new-comers out? I think SS could be treated as a teenager who can stretch up higher while still having two feet planted on the ground. And we have to take all the growing pains.

But note too: I will never be the one having to set 3 - 5 extra courses for SS so it is easy for me to sit here and say things like the above comments.

Show Profile  Svend Posted: 27 February 2016, 6:40 AM  
There are 4 age groups named in the remit:
Year 7/8
Only one is named by school year. Could someone please identify the 3 others by school year also.

From DOC website:
Primary (Years 1-6)
Intermediate (Years 7 & 8)
Junior (Years 9 & 10)
Senior (Years 11-13)

Which one is correct?

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 27 February 2016, 7:15 AM  
The secondary school pupils aren't graded by school year but by age, like standard orienteering events. I believe the reason why the Y7/8 are specifically identified is that the older ones can't compete against high school students (the secondary School Sports Council are really anti this and girls competing in boys grades - they are a bunch of deadweights if there ever was, but orienteering needs their sanction to get the competition recognised) and to eliminate primary school pupils totally from the competition. The Juniors are U14, Intermediates U16 and Seniors a nominal U18

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 27 February 2016, 7:34 AM  
You and I know what yellow courses are supposed to be but a number of planners for major events don't. It seems the Yellow courses are often just an add on that they have to have, but no thought goes into them. There are plenty of examples of the Yellow being a White with a few Orange legs. I believe that was why setting a yellow course was a major part of the old NZOF course setting competition. The faults were being regularly identified. If you look over the Junior relays for Secondary School events in the last twenty years, a number of them aren't White and the Intermediate ones aren't Yellow.
It doesn't take too many DNFs, because they are doing a course harder than the grade, for kids to become disillusioned and give up. That is a failure for orienteering that we all should be concerned about. If we can guarantee that all events will have true Yellow courses, then eliminating the novice grades is viable. Until that happens, it is better to keep the White - children will want to be promoted to harder grades once they get the confidence. It also seems to be a girl thing - the percentage of competitors doing the standard grades seems to be a lot higher for girls than boys.

Show Profile  Jane H Posted: 27 February 2016, 7:49 AM  
Know how to get the remit off the ONZ website. But my search for the old policy/rules isn't very successful. Suggestions on a fast search for it on the ONZ website are very welcome. Thanks.

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 27 February 2016, 11:06 AM  
Which rules Jane? There is nothing I have seen in the NZOF rules about classes for SSCs. The rules where they vary from NZOF ones all seem to be in that 4 page document that precedes the entry form. I don't know exactly where that came from but it has been basically the same since the mid-90s. I think it was done by trying to marry the Secondary School Sports Council requirements into the NZOF rules. Geoff Morrison might know the history of it.

Show Profile  Svend Posted: 27 February 2016, 12:17 PM  
Jane, here is a link to the Guidelines for SSC:
I was told a year ago that the Guidelines were being updated but have not seen anything new since.

Show Profile  MikeB Posted: 27 February 2016, 1:31 PM  
Svend I see down south you go by what year they are at school, so have only 2 secondary school grades The remit is based on YOB as that's how the grades work for the NZSS, NISS and I'm assuming SISS. This year Juniors are those born 02 and 03. Intermediates 00 and 01, Seniors 98 and 99.

Show Profile  MikeB Posted: 27 February 2016, 2:03 PM  
Taupoite one of the other reasons for kids becoming disillusioned is that some schools like their students to be entered in the champs grade even though they're not up to it rather than in the standard grade where they probably should be. I've been going back over major school results for the past 4 years and the courses with some of the longest times are the champ courses. This tells me that at least 15-20% of those entered in the champ grades are on the wrong course.

Show Profile  NSmith Posted: 27 February 2016, 2:26 PM  
To clarify with the grading ages: They are, as Mike and Taupoite have said, done on birth year, however in practical terms it changes slightly depending on when in the year you are born.

Everyone has two years in the Intermediate grade, but those born early in the year have two years as a Junior and one year as a Senior, whereas those born later in the year get one year as a Junior and two years as a Senior.

Show Profile  mcroxford Posted: 27 February 2016, 2:48 PM  
It's an interesting point Chris. "The rules where they vary from NZOF ones all seem to be in that 4 page document that precedes the entry form". Should there not be a set of specific competition rules?

The remit states "That ONZ stipulate that the grades for New Zealand Secondary School events be as follows:" The wording should be the same as used in the ONZ competition rules.

I think the wording should be:
"That ONZ stipulate that the following class and technical difficulty combinations are provided at the National Secondary Schools Championships."

The next questions for me are the scope of the remit:
Is it the intention to extend these requirements to the NI and SI SS Champs? Does the ONZ consider that they should formally adopt the first 4 pages of the entry form as official rules for the competition? Should the NI and SI SS Champs be required to be an A or B Grade event?

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 27 February 2016, 11:58 PM  
The link which Svend provided is a set of guidelines for SS events that was established by Geoff M over many years and then maintained by subsequent Secondary School Coordinators to assist clubs in hosting these events. The purpose was to provide consistency and make it easier for clubs, as schools events are typically pretty different to 'club' national events (particularly when it comes to easier courses).

Secondary school competitions are an important pathway into orienteering and is the grassroots level in many areas.

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 28 February 2016, 12:11 AM  
MikeB - I agree that it is bad that some schools have the policy that all their children have to enter the Championship grade when their skill level obviously isn't high enough - but how does NZOF or competition rules stop that? Should their be a pre-entry requirement, like having done a certain number of courses of Championship grade?
MikeC - I believe that the NISSCs (and by default, the SISSCs) should be A Level events, but then you run into finding enough controller issues. How many of the smaller clubs have three approved controllers? I know Waikato doesn't, yet they have successfully run events.
And I am on record as opposing the SSC rules that "official" boys relay teams have to be of the same sex when that is direct contravention of NZOF rule 5.1. That unduly penalizes many co-ed schools with less 20 competitors, who make up the bulk of the entries. We allow younger boys to run up a grade, but not girls in the boys grade. Go figure - who gains from an archaic requirement?

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