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The JWOC selection dilemma

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 30 July 2003, 2:45 AM  
One of the great debates of New Zealand Orienteering...

Should we let anyone who wants go to JWOC, even if they are more focussed on the experience and the party rather than the competition...or should we select a high standard of competitor..those that can be truly competitive?

My solution, we let anyone go...but we only fund those that are truly competitive...i.e reach a certain high standard in the selection trials. A much higher standard than the present selection...more like it was a few years ago when there was competition for the team. I would call this an "approved athlete" scheme, if any funding becomes available from the NZOF, as a substantial ammount did this year, then the funding would go strictly to those approved athletes.

Athletes not meeting this criteria could go if they wanted to pay the money (providing there was space in the team) but they would have to fund it all off their own back.

What does everyone else reckon?

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 30 July 2003, 7:15 AM  
Funding did not come from the NZOF - it was a result of a successful gaming trust application submitted by the team manager (altho it does require NZOF approval).

The success or otherwise of gaming trust applications is not guaranteed. Gaming trusts have only recently relaxed their rules as up until recently this source of funding was not available for international travel of NZ representative teams.

If a gaming trust application is successful in any particular year, then that is the good fortune of team members involved. Rather like elites this year Jamie getting sponsorship and possible gaming trust money for September...

NZOF Policy on JWOC should not be dictated by possible funding, especially uncertain funding. You are suggesting that we differentiate between serious and not-so-serious JWOC team members. Other than potential funding (which is uncertain and cannot be guaranteed year to year), what is the point? Should we have some differential funding criteria applying to elite teams as well??? How would you feel Jamie if you got picked no.6 in the ANZ team for September (if you were available) and then got told funding was only going to No.'s 1, 2, and 3, and you had to pay your own way?

If you make a team, you make a team. Funding (whatever is available) should apply equally to team members - any differential policy for funding has the potential to breed resentment and I can't see what good can arise from it.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 30 July 2003, 7:50 AM  
Rob, I would feel fine as long as the criteria were clear and the communication was good. It would actually make me think better of the high performance system.

Ability, or performance, funding is a legitmate method of financial resource distribution, see NZAS for an example. Funding of this nature provides incentives for individuals to improve their technical skills and physical fitness.

I think we should raise the standard of approved athlete, and use whatever, be they merely 'potential', funds to subsidise people of at least this level. We can then let people not of this level go to JWOC, as we have failed to do so in the past. JWOC is a great experience and the more young NZ orienteers that have this experience the better for our sport domestically.

I think any funding should go to the deserving and committed, drawing a distinction will have the benefit of lifting our top Juniors commitment to technical and physical improvement. We have to keep the standards high.

Jamie Stewart
NZOF Coaching Director

Show Profile  Andrew M Posted: 30 July 2003, 9:07 AM  
I feel that a high standard ofcommitted juniors should be sent to JWOC. Hence the current criteria should be tightened to what it was a few years ago. eg. silver standard in elite race (25% winners time).

If the remainder of the juniors are keen to get experience they can still go to Europe and gain experience from the plethera of summer time events available throughout Europe.

I am sure that current breed to elites (eg. neil k, greg) who are travelling around Europe would always be gaining more experience from racing the "circuit" rather than attending the senior world champs in Switzerland. Why cant this wisdom extend to the Juniors. Always goingto make alot more friends at Oringen. If and when I personally travel back to Europe I would plan to get immersed in the sweden club scene with the odd junt accross the Central Europe. More races, better competition and cheaper compared to JWOC.

But itis still the pinnacle hence I understand why everyone asprires to it.

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 30 July 2003, 9:54 AM  
Jamie, I think your idea is spot on.

Other than potential funding (which is uncertain and cannot be guaranteed year to year), what is the point?

Rob, the point is that the NZOF has in the past denied juniors going to JWOC despite the fact they want to fully self fund their entire campaign and there are still spots available. If the NZOF is going to carry on with this bullshit policy then it is only fair that veterans should have to qualify before they go to the World Masters.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 30 July 2003, 10:44 AM  
Wahoo Go Jamie. Great idea.

If the NZOF has a policy of allowing only people who they think can get in the top 2/3 of JWOC, will this policy be enforced for next years JWOC because obviously it must not have been if a certain NZ Runner found themselves last on the offical website.

Obviously this proves Jamies idea is relevant, and the runner in question would probably not have gained funding in Jamies criteria.

Simon Addison
Putaruru Pakeha

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 30 July 2003, 2:40 PM  
Tim, this debate is much much older than you...maybe we should teach JWOC selection history on camps. It will be interesting to see how Simon goes when he ventures to JWOC.

Andrew, you know I agree with you, but I think that is a lesson that one can only learn by experience. JWOC just has so much intrinsic appeal.

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 30 July 2003, 5:22 PM  
I agree with Jamie and Fraser.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 31 July 2003, 1:26 AM  

There is a significant difference between JWOC and WMOC.

JWOC is an international competition where participants are representing their Federation and their country. You cannot enter JWOC as an individual.

WMOC is an individual competition where individuals are running for themselves. Federations have nothing to do with it. WMOC has more in common with APOC than JWOC.

Sorry to have to point this out, but as NZOF are the "entrant" in JWOC they have the right to select or not select people as NZOF sees fit. Your comments about people not being selected come from happenings many years ago and are less of an issue today. Time to get over it.

You, and some other regular members of this forum, know that NZOF drafted a policy on JWOC in 2000 after some consultation with juniors and other interested people at the time. It was reasonably accepted - and in there the standard is to select people who have the ability to finish in the top 75% (not two thirds). In a mens field of 160, that is 120th or better.

That standard is pretty lax and does allow for nearly all juniors who want to go to be able to do so. I think the experience of the last few years has shown the Policy has balanced the interests of NZOF's wish that only a certain standard of athlete represents the Federation in offical international competition with the wish of many of our better juniors to go to JWOC.

Our Policy is not set in concrete - if it can be improved, I'm happy to hear suggestions. But bringing up arguments about refusing people to go which was an issue some years ago is not adding to constructive debate.

Show Profile  lapun Posted: 31 July 2003, 1:37 AM  
Andrew is right. International experience is important and valuable, but at JWOC the competitors are representing the NZOF and NZ. Selection standards should be set high.

My background is as a coach to track athletes at Commonwealth & Olympic Games. You don't chuck inexperienced people in at that level. They can get suitable international experience first - for orienteering competitors that should probably start in Australia, or perhaps an APOC in another country, and then on the circuit in Europe.

One more point. As someone, who on a given day in Jan 2000, orienteered over a longer course at a faster k-rate than Peter Snell, I think it needs to be pointed out that WMOC is NOT organised on an elite, national team basis. It's different from WOC and JWOC.

I totally support a system which helps promising and committed juniors develop into elite runners.

Funding is a separate issue.

Show Profile  James Posted: 31 July 2003, 6:40 AM  
What i dont understand, is yes, in 2000, there was a selection criteria put into place!
Where the potential JWOCian, must be within 125% of the top NZ elite's Km rate (or silver badge status).And by doing so, should finish within the top 2/3 of the JWOC field. Now that in itself, isn't the most ridgid of selection criteria! and for anyone that puts in about 3-4hrs a week of training, should comfortably by able to accomplish!
so in 2000, they stuck to the criteria, NZ results were there abouts the top 2/3 of JWOC,
2001 they pretty much stuck to the criteria, although i believe letting someone in at about 128%, and the results, were a liittle dissapointing, but the majority of the team finishing in the top 2/3 of the field.2002 pretty much the same as the previous year..............
But in 2003, there were no elites running in the selection race, so determining wether or not, the trialists would be within 125% of the top NZ elite would be difficult, BUT, when 2 of the JWOC 2003 team members couldn't manage to finish within 125% of the top JUNIOR (who i might add, hadnt done a lot of training, and had an average run!)why the fuck would the selectors put them in the team! (Although i do agree that going over to Europe is a great learning experience, and your orienteering ability increases in huge leaps and bounds)Whats the point of having a selection criteria in place, if you dont even take it into consideration!!!
As well as not being within 125% of Bryn, they were beaten by a school boy who was coming out of injury and hadnt done any training in ages, and that was by about 8mins!!!
And we can see by the JWOC results maybe the selectors should have stuck with the criteria!!!

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 31 July 2003, 1:15 PM  
I was totaly against the set criteria to start with but after going through it I now totaly believe it is spot on and should be kept too. No offence Tim but this years results were a joke. James is right the criteria isn't that hard to reach well it shouldn't be for someone aiming for JWOC. As for those that see the party for the main trip go to O-ringen you get 2 partys with 10 times as many juniors.

Now that funding seems more realistic from pubs etc I think the criteria has to be at least where it is as the funding goes to the whole team and I don't see it being fair those working hard getting the same as a party goer. As for those that work hard but still don't have a hope of meeting the criteria wake up your not an competitive orienteer and this is the World Champs we are talking about.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 1 August 2003, 2:38 AM  
The intention of creating this thread was not to get personal, and I would like to condmen those that have.

(perhaps those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...I remember a few very disappointing results from JWOC in the first years of the century).

125%, thats generally a good standard...but these things are so variable. 125% behind the top elite in a short-o is a much easier thing to achieve than the same result in a classic for a top junior. Likewise 125% behind on Santoft is much easier to achieve than 125% behind on Woodhill.

As for top 2/3 of a JWOC field...anyone who realises the dynamics of JWOC knows that is bullocks and NZ should be expecting higher. The bottom 1/3 of JWOC are made up of under developed orienteering countries such as Japan, Macedonia, Italy, Hong Kong this the standard we want to be at?

I am a firm believer in terms of slection that for an JWOC the selectors can look at individual competitors and judge by their commitment, attitude and results over the long run, even 2-3 years whether they are really worthy of funding and 'approved athlete' status. 125% should be merely indicative...other factors should be taken into consideration.

JWOC approved athletes should be people with a real chance of getting into the top 50% of the field...the rest should be allowed to attend, but they should be self-funded.

We have to keep our standards high.


Show Profile  Michael Posted: 1 August 2003, 3:26 AM  
There are a number of good reasons for having criteria for JWOC selection. (I won't debate what those criteria should be, that's a secondary issue.) First some reasons that are a bit conceptual, then more compelling ones.

New Zealand has a reputation in the orienteering world. It doesn't do that any good to send competitors to a world champs who are going to come at the tail end of the field. There were comments made a decade ago when a not-very-good kiwi ran in some World Cup events, and I think this has been tightened up. While "reputation" is an ephemeral thing it can rub off on perceptions of our ability as a nation, say when we apply to run international events.

Orienteering also has a reputation in the New Zealand community. You might say "I'm paying for the trip myself" but who does not try their friends, relations, old school, Lions club, community trust for financial assistance? Those bodies have the right to expect that someone eligible for a world championship comes up to some sort of standard.

Then there are the feelings of the many orienteers who contribute in some way to junior development. They may not provide cash for the airfare, but they help on junior camps, they give individual advice, they run squads, clubs and the federation, they drive minivans on trips, in some cases they travel to JWOC as coach or manager. They do all this because "juniors are the future of orienteering" and there's nothing so pleasing as to see the development of a young athlete.

Development into... what? Well if we're talking JWOC then surely the development of an orienteer who will represent NZ at elite level. Now some JWOC aspirants have said they had no plans to try and get into the national squad! Many others who presumably DID have that ambition have not continued the effort towards the top. Count how many past JWOC participants are in the National (or D Squad) today.

And preoccupation with JWOC diverts money and volunteer resources from much more cost-effective activities closer to home. Was there a D Squad camp at Easter? Is there a D Squad trip to Australia this September? Even the NATIONAL squad has decided that it has to get a greater proportion of its international competition closer to home.

And among the training opportunities recently announced on this forum, no mention of a D Squad camp next summer even.

Show Profile  Patrick Posted: 18 August 2003, 2:46 AM  
Talking about JWOC 2004: It has yet to be decided where it will take place. According to IOF, it won't be Russia Link.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 18 August 2003, 1:51 PM  
Funny that, it would probably allow a more equal opportunity for ALL IOF Countries.




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