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WOC middle 06

Show Profile  Tim Posted: 16 August 2005, 2:57 AM  
The IOF have voted to place a micro O in the middle of next years middle race in Denmark, along the lines of what featured at NOC this year. From what I can gather it was requested by TV networks in Scandi, we'll no doubt need to throw this in to a super series race, or have a separate Micro O to get used to the format, something for area champs setters to think about, if its not too late

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 16 August 2005, 4:03 PM  
Where did you pick that up from Tim. The NZOF HP Director couldn't tell me anything about it...

Show Profile  Tim Posted: 17 August 2005, 7:53 AM  
I read it on nopesport
There is quite a discussion going on about it.

Show Profile  darren Posted: 17 August 2005, 8:31 AM  
I heard it from Rob C today, apparently the IOF decided at a meeting in Japan to include it in WOC06. We will definitely need to practice it as in the real thing there will probably be half a dozen TV cameras and who knows how many spectators.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 17 August 2005, 9:53 AM  
Hmm. There are two completely different aspects to this. We SHOULD invent new forms of orienteering. Not for olympic appeal (who really thinks there will be more than 1 or 2 new sports when others have to be thrown out to make way?). But to attract the attention of our general publics close to home, and to add to the richness of the sport. When you've been orienteering for 30 years and hope you've got another 30 to go, the same old same old isn't going to maintain its appeal.

But to bring something into a world championship that's only just been invented offends one of the great principles of the course planning bible. Courses are designed to (a) test the essence of orienteering, and (b) reduce chance factors. A new format without a chance to develop the skills at lesser events doesn't seem fair to me.

But so far we only have gossip on Nopesport. What's the real oil Head Honcho?

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 17 August 2005, 2:09 PM  
I thought the whole deal with it was to remove chance in the middle distance, by having this micro you have to "orienteer" perfectly otherwise you get penilised. I do believe that was one of the issues brought up when the middle was proposed, that having a shorter race brings more chance into it and the 'lucky ones' have less opertunity to get it wrong.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 17 August 2005, 2:26 PM  
How long until we introduce some more variety of events as serious competation in NZ. If we are going to have all these new things to parctice let alone the ones already set at WOC (middle, sprint and relay), we might only get 1 opertunity outside of the Nationals per year, unless it is in a Long race! There seems to be a ratio of 4 to 1 of Long distance events to Middle distance events that apply for A-level status.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 18 August 2005, 3:07 AM  
Yes, the orienteering community that we rely on to provide events is fairly conservative. Rogaines have been going for 14 years, and are yet to be regular in the largest population centre. MTBO has been going (on a sustained basis) for 5 years and isn't fully bedded in. More relevant to this thread are the middle and sprint distances. In my view the middle enjoyed an early success when two events in one day were common. Now that has become less usual (when was the last double?) I think it is going to fade away as clubs respond to "I'm not going all that way for half an hour of orienteering". And the sprint distance suffers even more from this - how many non-elites ran at Waiuku at QB? Clubs are going to be even more resistant to micro-O. (Except for OHV which has been experimenting with very short formats for quite some time now.)

I'm not sure what the answer is to elite needs for a variety of disciplines, including those that others don't enjoy. We rely on the club structure for event organisation. But even if we had 20 clubs all ready and willing to support a new discipline, it would take a while before we got the hang of course planning etc. Where for example is the definition of micro-O documented?

Show Profile  darren Posted: 18 August 2005, 3:24 AM  
Haven't read it yet but i just found some info on the Micr-O at at this years Nordics.

Check it out -

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 18 August 2005, 3:43 AM  
What's the real oil Head Honcho?

Don't know. Wasn't in Japan and don't know anything more other than what's been reported; that is, Micr-O will be included in WOC 2006, I think in the middle distance final (and I can't even tell you whether that extends to the qualification race).

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 18 August 2005, 4:21 AM  
Thanks Darren. Seems the Nords are not using the term "Micro O" as I had thought, but "Micr-O".

This term has been used in NZ for 7 years for sprint distance orienteering using the Hagaby layout, in which loops are done in various orders from a pivot control. The original Micr-O was at Mt Ross at a D Squad camp on 17 Apr 98.

Must get my intellectual property lawyer onto it. Meantime, prepare for some confusion as to what is meant by the term.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 18 August 2005, 4:36 AM  
I actually didn't find it that bad running micro-O with nearly no practice at the Nordics. I had jogged around the model (but was a bit late and had to rush back to Kaia then so didn't have too much time to check out different tactics or anything). That said I'm pretty sure I could have done better with some practice and I was a bit dumb tactically as I knew I had punched one wrong a second after I punched it so I should have punched the right one and then it wouldn't have mattered if I'd missed the next one which would definitely have saved time. It was kind of freaky with all the TV cameras but in some ways because there was so many they were easier to ignore. (I now have a good way to regain composure in any case - I just think of Kaia's grinning face and I feel all warm and happy!)

It also wouldn't be too hard to orgnaize some practice events as part of trainings in any case although you need to have very well mapped areas at 1:5000.

Still most of the race is still normal middle distance and if you didn't punch any right in the micorO part then you would have penalties of max 100 secs which of course can decide the race but still it would be "easier" to lose that amount of time on the normal part of the course.

In any case I agree it seems very rushed and random to put it in next year but Carsten, who didn't like micro much (because I was better at it than him!), seemed to think that the benefits outweighed the randomness - the TV companies have agreed to televise all the distances live now. And the idea is that with this opportunity they're going to try and show that orienteering WITHOUT micorO is just as exciting and even more televisable. (And obviously the organizers now have a much better product to sell to sponsors now so that will be good for Danish orienteering).

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 18 August 2005, 4:47 AM  
Well of course kiwis are adaptable but it doesn't seem like a level playing field to me until every country has had a chance to try it out. And that is saying in not so many words that widespread electronic punching throughout the world is not just an aim, but a necessity. Within 12 months.

I've found a description:

Paste it don't type it; there are only two e's in orientering

This message was edited by Michael on 18 August 2005, 11:50 AM

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 18 August 2005, 4:52 AM  
You might have a different opinion Jenni if Micr-O is included in the qualification race and you see a few NZers (maybe you?) missing out on the final, having spent thousands of dollars to get there.

I don't know if Micr-O is in the qualification race, I hope not. I also hope you haven't been sucked in by the Scandinavian argument that because Micr-O is only 5 minutes in a middle course it won't affect results too much. That is B.S. because:

a) 5 minutes is a very long time in a middle distance race at a WOC where margins are small

b) have a look at the Nordic results - here are some place changes due to Micr-O:

Peter Oberg improved 7 places from 20 to 13;
Chris Terklesen improved 6 places from 26 to 20;
David Brickhill-Jones dropped 9 places from 16 to 25;
Felix Breitschadel dropped 8 places from 18 to 26;
Fabian Pasquasy dropped 10 places from 30 to 40.

Yes, Micr-O doesn't affect the results too much at the top end, but even at the Nordics there were some major place changes in the middle of the field (as you would expect because the result margins in the middle of the field are very small) - and if you put your NZ glasses on that might concern you.

This message was edited by HeadHoncho on 18 August 2005, 12:00 PM

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 18 August 2005, 5:46 AM  
Maybe I didn't spell out my main opinion which is I think they shouldn't have put it in.

But they have, so let's not freak out and as long as we don't freak out now and not in the race then I don't think it will be a big deal. And we might actually be able to get quite good at it.

5 minutes is whole the micro-O whichyou can just run through and only punch the compulsory control if you want. At Nordics the penalty loops were around 17s each, with a maximum of 5 of them, yes it can still change the race but it's still most important to get the normal O right.

Of those you mentioned above BJ had practised micro-O the most, Chris had only done it once before but Chris is one of the best technical orienteers I know so it's not a surprise to me he did well. BJ, by the way, had the tactic that he would just run through and punch any controls using the odds that he should get 1-2 correct, he didn't get any correct.

And I don't actually think it will be that difficult to organize some practice events, of just the micro O part in any case, of course with no TV cameras but I actually think it was easier to focus and ignore the TV cameras on this part of the course than the rest. (There were TV cameras all over the place on the ordinary part of the course as well). In fact I think it would be easier for squad members to organize one of these (for just themeselves) then lots of other kinds of training. If you did it at every OY then we'd be one of the most practised nations at it! You don't need a very big area to do it in and if sqaud members took turns to organize one, asking for the OY planner to print them off a small piece of map at 1:5000 and then go out and scatter controls around (It is a bit more than that I know but I don't think it would be too hard and it would probably be good to plan one to get better at them.) They are also good technical practice in any case and I found it quite fun.

Hopefully I won't be running WOC next year. BTW is NZ focusing on next year? Surely Ukraine is better - because it's cheaper to hang out there? And I think most Europeans are less experienced there than in Denmark where lots of the Scandis go for spring training camps.

Once people have recovered from this year if anyone is thinking of next year let me know and I should be able to send lots of relevant stuff. Like the Danish trials this year which were planned by Flemming (long planner next year) on the neighbouring terrain to the long map -it was route choice on every leg even the small ones! I guess Carsten will be training in the areas (and maybe Kaia and I will be tagging along) over the next year so I can fill you in.

Show Profile  darren Posted: 18 August 2005, 5:56 AM  
The Brits are going hard on this topic to!

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