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Show Profile  addison Posted: 11 May 2003, 3:22 PM  
As we have a new Coaching Director. Perhaps it is time for change.

We need a M/W10 to increase New Zealands technical skills in the Junior Grades. The juniors dont want to run along fences until they are 16. Jamie do something.

The length doesnt have to increase, just the difficulty.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 12 May 2003, 3:25 AM  
There is currently a proposal in front of the NZOF Technical Committee written by the Convenor of Selectors and the NZOF Coaching Director, seeking to introduce M/W 10 and correspondingly see M/W 16 running red.

Feedback on this forum, especially from affected juniors would be appreciated.

Subsequently there is also a proposal to impose a ban on juniors from running up a grade without the expressed assent of the Coaching Director. The reasons for this being to keep juniors at an appropriate level to aid their development and to maintain grade credibility. Exceptions will only be granted in exceptional cases. Note, this is especially targeted at M/W 20's seeking to run elite.

Feedback on this proposal would also be taken note of.


Show Profile  Greg Posted: 12 May 2003, 4:47 AM  
Are you going to Ban M/W 35's if their standard drops off as well??

What a crock Jamie, you can't have a sole person in charge of saying whether or not a person is capable of running up a grade that should be their decision and juniors can improve very quickly.

If the grades are moved to the appropriate level as you have suggested that should put a stop on people running up anyway.

As for 20's running up are you scared of being beaten by more juniors? I don't think there is a problem there, the only juniors that have ran up are all now in the National Squad (apart from Ross and probably only because of his age) now is the problem with them running up or the standard of the National Squad dropping???

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 12 May 2003, 5:38 AM  
Of the three NZ orienteers to have made a real, prolonged, impact on the intenational scene at least 2 (Tania and Al) were running elite for a long time before they had to - and yes there was reasonable junior depth in the 80's (probably not as good as in the strong cohorts now), so they weren't just doing it to get decent competition. I think Katie's junior days were a bit before my time so I can't say if this also applies to her. Also a number of our "next best" reps - Rob J, Tone, Rachel for example ran elite at least occaisionally as juniors. Given the number of Europeans who go direct from JWOC to WOC, I'd say this isn't something unusual about NZ. SO, would this be a pathway to top level performance that we'd be putting barriers on?? Or would these people have excelled anyway? (Yes I know I'm unqualified to make statements about top level performance, hence the question marks!)

PS perhaps it's time to start a new thread - this doesn't have much to do with M/W10's unless Duncan Morrison and Kyle Higham are wanting to run elite now!

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 12 May 2003, 6:27 AM  
We'll keep this thread, the whole issue needs to be addressed as one.

Greg, think before you speak. You are right in that changing grade difficulties we will hopefully discourage people running up grades. In doing so we are providing course difficulties that will challenge athletes at the appropriate level.

Note that there would be a process for applying to run up a grade. The reason for this is to make people think if thats what is really best for them, and enable them to communicate with someone official with an independent perception. Thus when there is someone who is so exceptional that running up would be appropriate and add to their development, they get some kind of official recognition of their ability.

In regards to M/W 20. I want to see this grade regain some kind of credibility. Too many people have run-up in the past (including myself) and this has sometimes resulted in the drop off of competition. M/W 20 competitors are the premier juniors, not the worst elites. As for juniors beating me, I'm now paid to facilitate this happening!

The whole issue of the transition from junior to elite needs to be reviewed, as their are difficulties; technically, physically and psychologically which perhaps aren't recognised and which I think Greg you are beginning to see. Sure there have been some outstanding juniors who have benefitted from running elite (Al and Tania are good examples Nic), but others probably haven't. It's a decision which needs to be made on a case by base basis. For example I first ran open grade as an M16 at a major South Island event, and regularly ran elite as an M18. I don't think this was beneficial to my orienteering, as I couldn't orienteer consistently over those distances because of the physical requirements and my lack of experience. I would have been better consolidating my skills base and orienteering within my physical threshold over a shorter course.

In regards to the application process, I'll take note of your comments and raise the possibility of appeals to the Coaching Advisory Panel (recently formed), but I am not convinced this is necessary.

I would love to hear from M/W 16's (about running red) or M/W 10's (about running white and having a competitive competition. Or indeed their parents. Feedback can be posted here, or emailed directly to me at


Show Profile  fraser Posted: 12 May 2003, 7:03 AM  
Introducing an M/W10 as white and making M/W16 red is a great idea even if it does ad yet another grade!

Imposing a ban on juniors running up a grade sounds like one of the silliest ideas I have heard you come up with Jamie. The new colour coding should help a lot but if juniors still want to run up then that is their right to do so. If they do continue to run up then obviously something else is still wrong and would need to be looked at.

By imposing a ban on juniors from running up a grade without the expressed assent of Jamie Stewart is total crap. You may have over rated yourself as a junior and decided to run up a grade but I think you are the exception rather than the rule.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 12 May 2003, 7:46 AM  
The main reason M/W20 are running elite is to get some competition, in the past few years the fields have been so poor its not worth entering 20's to make a 10 min mistake and still get a placing And holding people back just to make the fields bigger won't stop this. There is more behind it all Jamie.

Whether it is your job to look into how to keep our older Juniors in the sport I'm not sure but it should NOT be yours (or a panels) job to say when people can run up. If they are a top junior they should have a personal coach (as is emphasised at D squad camps) and between the junior and their coach they should be able to decide which grades to run and when.

I think a bit too much power has gone to your head Jamie, isn't your job to 'co-ordinate coaching'? soon you'll be making postings on here under fake names.

Also Jamie are you saying my results from last year when running Elite as a junior are not creditable enough? From this are you going to ban all people that are not capable of getting a creditable result from running Elites? Sure as hell you wouldn't be running because your name was below mine on the results board

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 12 May 2003, 8:55 AM  
I think adjusting the age grades and improving the technical difficulty for competitive grades is important. I think the B age grades should be scraped, there is NO demand for being a B grade junior. Perhaps a beginner grade for all juniours is more appropriate?

The idea of limiting who can run up a grade is the worst idea I've ever heard. Let people do what they want. Sport is a liesure activity. We do what leisure activity we want. We don't do what a coaching director tells us to do. You can't control what people want to do. If you want people to run a particular grade, MAKE IT MORE DESIRABLE FOR THEM TO CHOOSE IT.
It also sounds like a bullshit buericratic step to go through such a subjective "exceptional selection application",

Show Profile  addison Posted: 12 May 2003, 10:40 AM  
Who cares about making 'criteria' for running up a grade. fuck it. just make a m/w10 and get nz orienteering where it should be.

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 12 May 2003, 10:57 AM  
Language Simon!! This is an under 10 topic.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 12 May 2003, 11:20 AM  
Good point neil. for those who are Under 10. I am speaking english.

Show Profile  Alistair Posted: 12 May 2003, 12:42 PM  
To have any sort of regulation for orienteers above 16 as you sugest Jamie is bureaucratic and riduculous. Below 16 it should be pointless as well if the courses are of the right level - which is what this issue should be about. There are many more areas that need time and energy in our sport than what you are sugesting...

From 16 years old I believe that if someone is physicaly and mentally capable of running up a grade they should sometimes. If they do it sucessfully they should maybe do it regularly. At that age they should hopefully have some sort of coaching help so they can together with that person decide whether running up is a good idea or not - it should surely be your job to make sure they get a coach and that help Jamie - not anything else (in regard to this).

And for the record I ran:
Novice/wayfarer/etc when I was 14
M15-16 when I was 15
M15-16 & M17-18 (once I think) when I was 16
M19-20 when I was 17 (second to last year of school - ANZ 19-20 team)
M21 from 18 on (last year of school; 9th in Aus M21 champs - first NZer; 3rd in Milo 7-day M21)
M19-20 only once again in a 3-day when I was injured and 20.

Show Profile  Alistair Posted: 12 May 2003, 1:51 PM  
... and I haven't run M35 .... yet.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 12 May 2003, 2:32 PM  
Thanks for the feedback.

Please keep it constructive, although I know the feeling when orienteering passions run wild and you just can't stop yourself. If we change the abusive tone of this forum we may get more contributors. Okay so I'm not one to talk but we have to start somewhere.

Greg, the power hasn't gone to my head, I just want to get out there and change things, and I think we would all agree things need changing. In doing so I will ask for feedback, even on this forum (although it is slightly biased)

I have numerous other projects on the go, it is just that this one is one that I choose to publicise at this time, look out for the others.

I am still not convinced at your arguments for allowing grade swapping and don't really believe you are considering mine, keep in mind that this provision obviously only applies to major events (those that come under the NZOF system). Juniors can still run whatever course they like at OY's etc.

arguments for an authorisation process for running up..
-grade credibility (finding the real champion)
-focus on technical rather than physical development (not so stressed on physical side)
-a source of feedback/honour for talented juniors (Alistair, by contacting the Coaching Director they have access to a coach, which they may not otherwise have).

arguments against
-against inherent human freedom to choose
-barrier to unchecked progression
-lack of competition

I question whether under my policy the second is actually a valid argument. I suggest what would happen is that those who perhaps shouldn't be running up will think twice about asking, while those determined to run up will ask and be allowed.

Again, I am listening to constructive feedback, but this is not a question of bureaucracy this is a question of guidance


Edited by - jamie on 12/05/2003 21:46:43

Edited by - jamie on 12/05/2003 21:48:16

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 12 May 2003, 2:36 PM  

well yes there is actually a proposal akin to this in regards to veterans.

I am also sick of grade swapping, going down courses, by veterans more often than not to avoid competition.

I have suggested that veterans nominate which grade they are going to run at the start of the year and run this course for the year (exceptions obviously for international competitions)

I have some feedback that their grade nomination could be included in their NZOF registration.

Again the main concern is grade credibility, finding the champion

Feedback welcome


Edited by - jamie on 12/05/2003 21:42:15

Show Profile  Alistair Posted: 12 May 2003, 3:24 PM  
Jamie - like I said earlier - there must be more useful things to spend your time on than the 10% of runners who run out of their grade occasionally (or even regularly) ?

No other country has such rules - and probably more than half of those have better developed orienteering than NZ does - stop wasting our time.

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