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3 Untimed legs in nationals sprint

Show Profile  camd Posted: 12 April 2019, 9:19 PM  
??? I can't see how this is allowed under ONZ foot-o competition rules? Is there a limit on how long I can take to do these legs?

How on earth is this fair at a nationals - all you have to do is wait for your fastest competitor to restart and get a tow all the way to the finish...

Show Profile  o4life Posted: 13 April 2019, 12:38 AM  
Have to agree. If you need untimed legs on a sprint course for H&S reasons then maybe you should have chosen a more suitable map in the first place. Clear potential to seriously affect results.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 13 April 2019, 9:20 AM  
It would be good to see some rules added in future to make it fair. For example having a map change at any re-start of timing, or a fixed stand-down time. It would increase the logistics but maybe that is the trade-off.

That they should have chosen a more suitable map sounds a bit short sighted. I doubt there even is a more suitable sprint map, this is the South Island, not Auckland. There are plenty of rules which have gone the wayside in the name of "progress". Just look at the entire relay event LOL.

The biggest deterrent to abusing the system at this stage is probably peer pressure and that will likely be enough to create a fair event. Anyone openly abusing the system will likely be mocked and ridiculed for the rest of their orienteering career. Luckily orienteering is still a gentleman's sport.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 13 April 2019, 10:29 PM  
Yes o4life is a bit harsh, I would be quite happy to solve the logistical problems in order to use a good area. But there ARE other issues to think about. Less blatant than waiting for a tow, can I maximise the crossing time in order to recover, and read ahead on the map?

Show Profile  Tane Cambridge Posted: 17 April 2019, 5:07 PM  
I must admit I am pretty disappointed that we have resorted to untimed legs. I have expressed my concern at the willingness/eagerness to use them several times over the past few years. In my opinion, H&S legislation has taken over peoples reasonable thinking in a lot of cases, for example, crossing under a low bridge is just part of orienteering....

Two points to make clear though

1. IOF rules allow for untimed legs

2. Its the controllers responsibility to ensure safety and fairness.

Also to add some background to why untimed legs were included at nationals this year:
A person was hit by a car and killed at the SH1 crossing point last year.
A child was hit by a car in Akaroa during an orienteering event several years ago and the police were involved, which has left some planners and controllers a bit scared (especially those risk adverse safety conscious Civil Engineers!). I hope they are scared that someone is going to get hurt rather than scared that they are going to get in trouble because someone got hurt!

Show Profile  camd Posted: 17 April 2019, 7:54 PM  
Thanks for the clarification Tane - I'm still pretty against the use of any untimed legs as they introduce a lot of percieved unfairness. I wasn't aware when I wrote this that the IOF allowed them (having never seen one used overseas).

Making the leg under the bridge timed is a good move - even if it was somewhat unsafe, surely it's difficult to argue this is any worse than say an untaped 2m high cliff on a forest map. It was also almost certain to introduce strong perceptions of unfairness - hopefully now the race will feel (and be) fair.

Makes sense that the remaining 2 road crossings have to be untimed given those circumstances - hopefully they are short and any possible advantages on these will be minimised. In the future though surely for a national championship it should be a criterium to choose areas where untimed legs are not necessary? I would prefer to run in a less interesting map where fairness is assured then compromise fairness for a little more intricacy...

Show Profile  pcbrent Posted: 19 April 2019, 10:07 AM  
Ive noticed that it is quite a long sprint, so I'm glad these rest legs are included.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 21 April 2019, 10:08 AM  
They clearly weren't enough for you Brent.

This is the IOF rule for those interested:

24.15 The results must be based on competitors’ times for the whole course. It is forbidden to eliminate sections of the course on the basis of split times unless the section has been specified in advance (e.g. a short section containing a busy road crossing).

I think untimed legs have the potential to be a great innovation provided they are done fairly as per my original post.

Would be interested to hear further opinion now the event has been. Have the untimed legs been removed from the official winsplits results? Would be good to see some transparency to that. Name and shame.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 8 May 2019, 8:09 PM  
Nothing like a good bit of controversy on maptalk, but this seems like a non-issue in the end.

The untimed crossings were towards the end of the race and I heard officials were telling competitors they were not to look at their maps during the untimed section. Not sure if that was made clear prior to the race.

As I previously said, it would definitely be good to have some more rules to ensure fairness, otherwise I think it is a good innovation that can make new areas viable.

Show Profile  camd Posted: 10 May 2019, 10:21 PM  
Agree that it wasn't a problem in the end and the crossings didn't have any obvious effect on fairness.

I didn't however still like having them. Orienteering should be primarily a race at the end of the day and the notion of having untimed legs just seems to take away from that part of it. I like the idea of suffering to the end, not having a few little breaks halfway round

A bit off topic, but are we really that desperate for new sprint areas that marginal areas which require these crossings have to be mapped? And if there is a shortage of 'suitable' areas (like I've been told there is in Auckland) why not follow the European example and reuse old maps but with artificial barriers to make new route choices?

I just don't want to see sprint orienteering here devolving into some piecemeal, unprofessional urban 'events'.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 10 May 2019, 10:53 PM  
I was disappointed by the national sprint area, but think it may have been the best available. In my urban mapping I find some places with pass-thru's galore and others with zilch.

However the issue is, can we make an untimed section fair? I think it was OK in Oamaru but we could improve a bit further. The competitor info said do not look at your map while waiting, it needs to include not looking while crossing. I recall hearing an instruction from the marshall at the crossing but I defy anyone to prove that all competitors got the identical message.

I would be quite open to events developing into "piecemeal" events and reject the implication that these would be inferior - just different. May I remind all that we didn't always have sprints, they are a development, and had to survive the nay-sayers. So, what's wrong with a series of stages? While thinking of some of the excessively steep terrain near me, I have mulled over using a non-timed uphill leg or two, to maintain the navigation-running balance. I haven't solved the problem of clumping at the re-start, but I will.

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 11 May 2019, 10:41 AM  
Here's a thought - where safety elements do make an untimed crossing necessary, should they be followed immediately by a map change?

Show Profile  Jymbo Posted: 11 May 2019, 9:53 PM  
The 1st time I used an untimed leg, was for an MTBO event. It also had a map change on the restart, that was given to them by an official, as they started. (or is that 'restarted')

Show Profile  Tane Cambridge Posted: 15 May 2019, 1:59 PM  
Sorry that the Sprint area wasn't good enough for you Michael! I found it different from many of the other sprints we get in NZ. It was quite fun to traverse across the city from different areas such as gardens and then into buildings before finishing by the sea. I hope there is some good ones up at Queens Birthday, with similar interest and variety!

I wasn't a fan of untimed legs beforehand and I'm still not. I don't believe they were fair. I think they could have been mitigated by having a stop go person, the main street did not appear that busy (but its all costs and risks that have to be balanced....).

When I was stopped at the crossing, the cars slowed and almost stopped for us anyway, which made the waiting even worse. Being stopped for close to 30 seconds allowed Matt Ogden to catch me as he started the crossing, just as I was released, and he was able to get a lead into the remaining controls.... I'm not sure how I feel about the fairness of this situation?

Also, I was repeatedly told not to look at my map while waiting but when there is controls either side of the crossing and I was told to wait in the middle how do I know where is the control at the end of the crossing point without looking and checking my map!!!

Show Profile  mcroxford Posted: 28 May 2019, 6:16 PM  
Funny... no comments regarding the two untimed legs at Queens Birthday sprint... especially when the afternoon event (not a trial) doesn't have any...

Show Profile  DMjunior Posted: 29 May 2019, 2:09 PM  
Personal opinion is I don't like them. Bit of a flow buster really but maybe sometimes they are the only option given the cost of traffic management etc.

I think perhaps some guidelines around their use would be helpful. If untimed crossings are employed I would like to see them at a map change, whereby the new map is available on the other side of the crossing.

Also, not sure how the timing system works but I can imagine it would make it quite niggly from a commentary perspective.

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