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Season + timing of Nationals (again)

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 20 May 2003, 10:35 PM  
Surely it is about time we set up an actual season in NZ. If we want to get serious and start applying for grants and what not we should be trying to make oing look like as much of an established sport as possible.

My idea is have a season that runs from Spring to Autumn (like most other oing countries) and ending with the National Champs at Queens Birthday.

I can tell now some student is going to complain about exams, well tough shit, choose what you want to put first, Uni or Oing, and work the other around it, Al won a National title in the middle of his exams so an argument there has no grounds, also I feel you should be able to plan ahead and maybe do your assignments and study sometime before the night before.

Although this goes through Xmas holidays, just about every second year now we have a carnival of some sort in Jan and is highly successful and very enjoyable. Doing this we can entice the Aussies to come over and if we can get NZ more highly profiled hopefully more international runners will head our way during our summer looking for a winter training place.

In the years where there is no carnival it is perfect for the D and National squads to have their camps, and also will offer a good timing to hold maybe a veteran camp as that is still in the process of making firm standings, (plus what ever other squad Jamie can create)

It also frees up Easter for a real 4 day competition, at the moment a whole day is wasted on a 'not really a model/ warm (who gona run a before a classic) race’ The ANZAC event this year was a perfect example of what I think should happen at Easter (also look at Easter 1999)

With a real structure it gives a flowing effect to our calendar rather than a few events dotted around a couple of major weekends. Having the Nationals at Queens Birthday should give the opportunity for more racing before them, as a common complaint at the moment is lack of events/racing before hand, and ends the season with the crowning of the best. (again like most other Oing countries - are people starting to see a pattern here)

Edited by - greg on 20/05/2003 22:42:29

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 21 May 2003, 12:36 AM  
I thought this debate was over!

I like the current season which is currently growing in maturity, beginning in most places in September with a spring/oy series building up to area champs oct/nov, special events/camps in summer (a regular carnival would be great), then build-ups to nationals through score series/oy's etc. And finally once most orienteers have finished their season the elite finale at QB weekend.

Its the closest we've come to a season and it needs to be given time.

There is no problem with Nationals at Easter, a warm-up event is good (some time to settle into orienteering after travelling) and the week after is good for camps, as has generally happened, and the weekend after can also be used for events (especially when ANZAC weekend). Nationals gets everyone together, and Easter is the best time to do this.

I don't believe simply an Easter 4 day would be anymore appealing than a Waitangi 3-day or QB 3-day (i.e it would struggle to exist).

Just leave things as they are when they are slowly working...it can take some time for the orienteering community to adjust. In that way orienteers are kind of like Ents, but when they're stirred!

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 21 May 2003, 6:25 PM  
Greg, Greg, Greg...

I seem to recall you were at the 2002 nationals. Have you forgotten already just how freakin cold and unpleasant the weather was? And that was considering we were actually quite lucky compared to how it was immediately before and after some of the races? Now how much worse do you imagine it could get over large parts of the South Island in JUNE!!??!!

When the nationals were first moved from Labour Weekend, it was the plan in at least some people's minds to have them at QB except when south of some imaginary line (I forget where) when they'd be at Easter. Thankfully in the end it was realised that it makes much more sense to have them at the same time each year, and Easter meant that a big portion of the country wasn't being excluded from hosting.

Another point is that European campaigners have often left before QB regardless of how "important" the races missed are, so we'd lose some quality in the elite fields (or is that what you're really after =) ...sorry, couldn't resist )

I do agree it would be nice to have a series of some description every summer, though...

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 21 May 2003, 8:01 PM  
Greg your idea of a season that runs from Spring to Autumn and ending at Queen's Birthday sounds remarkably similar (if not identical) to the planned Super Series. Don't know what you are trying to suggest that needs changing?

As far as moving the nationals, good luck.

The nationals are the biggest non event in the orienteering calendar. What is the point of a nationals that virtually all clubs in New Zealand continue to ignore by having no decent event series building up to it?

Edited by - fraser on 21/05/2003 20:02:05

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 22 May 2003, 9:56 AM  
I don't think this is true Fraser,

Clubs are moving to provide a build-up to nationals, there is plenty of time in Feb/Mar/Apr to do so, and clubs that have made an effort should be applauded.

I believe the planned super series will help instill the culture of the current season further.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 22 May 2003, 11:02 AM  
Yeah Fraser, the Nationals are a big non-event.

That's why 400+ people (including yourself on occasions) keep turning up year after year at Easter.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 22 May 2003, 5:55 PM  
Jamie it is true.

"Clubs are moving to provide a build-up to nationals" is pure speculation on your behalf.

"virtually all clubs in New Zealand continue to ignore [the nationals] by having no decent event series building up to it" is a fact.

Rob, yes you are correct, the nationals are a big non-event. People keep turning up year after year at Easter, and would continue to do so wether it was nationals or not. But how many people can honestly say that at Easter this year they were at their peak both physically and technically? I hope for your sake Rob that people will prove me wrong and that they were at their peak and fully prepared for the nationals but I suspect otherwise. And this is why (in my opinion) the nationals are a non-event, regardless of how many people are competing.

If clubs haven't changed their calendar after knowing that the nationals is at Easter time for 5+ years then something is obviously fucked.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 22 May 2003, 6:30 PM  
To show how much of a non-event the Nationals / Anzac was, the Hamilton Club, 2 Hours from the events, held an event of its own! If that is not proof I dont know what is. Or is it the fact Nationals was overpriced for what it was? Or was that just my opinion

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 22 May 2003, 10:44 PM  
are you on the same planet Simon?

Nationals over-priced? What a load of bullocks, it was a superbly run event with a lot of associated costs including electronic punching ( not just the sytem but the hours put into using it), excellent advertising etc

Fraser, you may have a small point, but whats the alternative? And I beleive clubs will slowly change their cultures to fit in with the new season its just a matter of time. A little bit more proactiveness on behalf of the NZOF would be good.....wheres the direction?

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 23 May 2003, 12:32 AM  
Jamie isn't 5 years enough time???

It is not working and the reason is because there is NO SET SEASON, as you said a couple of major events with some club ones dotted around them, I don't call 2 score events and a park series a 'build up' to the Nationals.



Show Profile  addison Posted: 23 May 2003, 7:38 AM  
Jamie. Sure. It was a great event. But for people who dont come to Nationals, what is making these people want to come? Well I dont know, but I know what could be stopping them. And I believe the costs of Nationals/Anzac are one factor.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 23 May 2003, 10:50 PM  
Or another thought

Why not just have the national champs for Elites, 20s and maybe 18s.

Old people will still go to a multiday at Easter, Hold the Elite Nationals a couple of weeks after Easter on a weekend, so that there is a bit of a build up. A Classic, Short and Sprint (in which ever order) is all that is needed and maybe say hold a National 'Club' relay at Easter as any day during that time.

This way there is a fun multi day event + Elites won't have to worry about trying to run a mass start cross country race on a hangover.

There is all ways the ranking system if the oldies want to be awarded prizes for something, e.g the number ranked person in each grade at the end of the SEASON (if there ever is one)

Edited by - greg on 23/05/2003 22:53:30

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 24 May 2003, 10:17 AM  
Simon, I don't think you can call the Nationals a non-event when 474 people turned up - sure having Anzac the following weekend has a lot to do with that but the fact remains the 2003 Nationals were the largest ever in terms of participants. You have to assume from that, that the cost of events did not deter too many from turning up.

Just for info, participants at Nationals (classic) for the last 5 years:

2003 - 474 (Easter, Auckland)
2002 - 341 (Easter, Tekapo)
2001 - 400 (Easter, Rotorua)
2000 - 348 (Easter, Wairarapa)
1999 - 331 (Labour Weekend, Auckland)

Greg, you may be surprised that I actually agree with you that it is a good idea to hold Elite Nationals at a different time to the nationals for the rest - its something that in an ideal world I would pursue. The trouble with implementing it is it requires an extra major event (and an extra new area/map) at a time when clubs currently struggle to put on major events.

Edited by - HeadHoncho on 24/05/2003 10:21:42

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 24 May 2003, 11:18 AM  
It would and wouldn't be a 'major event',

Taking into account that M20 run the same as W21E, that would only mean maximum of 5 courses (could also put M18 and W20 on same course). From the numbers from Nationals for 59 people. Is that more effort than a club event??

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 24 May 2003, 11:22 AM  
It would be a major event - it would need to be run according to NZOF rules.

The participant numbers is not the issue - the preparation of a new map and finding a new areas are far greater obstacles - NZ is not Sweden where we have a limitless supply of good Orienteering areas to map.

Show Profile  Malcolm Posted: 26 May 2003, 12:23 PM  
Simon, the Hamilton event was held on the Sunday of ANZAC weekend, not on the National weekend!!
It has nothing to do with the whether the nationals are a non-event. It was an event on a town map, aimed at people who were beginners from the summer series, and it was set by me, and I attended the Nationals!


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