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Nats at Labour Weekend?

Show Profile  Brenda Boghopper Posted: 20 September 2005, 6:45 PM  
Sport ... and recreation ... of course. But the recreation of orienteering doesn't need a national championship.

Written entirely in the nude.

Shit! I'm freezing. Why can't they have a proper season for the elections...

Show Profile  Rob G Posted: 20 September 2005, 7:41 PM  
This posting was started asking students what they think of nationals timing. MASH, an m60 related to Darren has now answered 13 times which must be a record on maptalk for one posting. This guy is so obsessed with the subject of summer orienteering he stopped course setting 10 years ago with the proviso that he would only set again if we had his 3 season theory.
Jamie asks the most relevant question with (what do the clubs think?)
It is at club level that most course setting is decided, and I can assure you that most course setters in the Auckland clubs will struggle to change their thinking on setting events in the summer months, unless the chance of an Oceania Carnival comes along again, as this is the only time to get reasonable numbers from Aussie and Europe.
For the Carnival that we organised in January, our biggest fear was the risk of forest closure in all the forests we used, and obviosly our fears were unfounded this time Some years the forests are closed in December, and most years there is some closure in February. It is too hot most years to orienteer in these months, especially with Auckland's high humidity, and in fact it is a lot more pleasant to orienteer in our winters.
Also there are fewer other attractions, such as the beach, and multisport races, mountain bike races etc. are much less common.
Despit what many think The scandinavian o season is very quiet in late June and July as they go to the beaches or their summer houses. Oringen is an exception, and total numbers are much less than the total orienteers on one day in their season. Also the Australians have a season similar to what we used to have with bugger all in summer and a series of area champs leading to their nationals.

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 20 September 2005, 8:36 PM  
Hold your horses, (I’m a student), if only it could be that simple MASH. Problem is, the timing of Easter shifts each year, read on…

As Simon stated earlier, juniors are the future of our sport/recreation/activity, anyone studying at university or school cannot take holidays as they wish in order to travel to an area champs on a Monday & Tuesday and then Nationals on the Thursday before Easter.

Student holidays normally begin on Easter Friday, so if you fancy turning Nationals into a carnival type week, perhaps look at the week after Easter (make sure it’s in the school holidays – it wasn’t this year for a lot of students)

If you want to see juniors and students participating, then events should be timed to coincide with weekends and public holidays, and school holidays if a longer time is needed.

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 21 September 2005, 12:51 AM  
Oringen is an exception, and total numbers are much less than the total orienteers on one day in their season

I don't think that's true, Rob. I've not been to many (any?) events in Sweden with as many people as Oringen and there's typically a maximum of 3 or 4 well-attended events on around the country during spring or autumn and noone that I've been to would have a quarter of oringen's numbers. As far as I understand it one of the main reasons for the lull during the summer is to do with animal breeding. But from what I've heard there are many recreational orienteers in Sweden who only orienteer during the summer, the spring and autumn are for the more competitive, maybe because it's too cold.

It is true the main season isn't during the summer but there are many holiday mulitday events throughout Europe. As well as being fun they're often used for good competition training. Isn't this what we could aim for in NZ as well? They dn't have to be as labour intensive as the Oceania champs but maybe something like the elite series thing you, Rob, (?) organized around 10 years ago.

It didn't really seem very hot to me in Auckland in January this year?

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 21 September 2005, 6:11 AM  
"It is too hot most years to orienteer in these months, especially with Auckland's high humidity"

I guess we should stop sending teams to WOC and JWOC then. By all accounts the heat and humidity in Japan was a helluva lot worse than Akld gets. Many WOCs/JWOCs I've been to were hotter than an Auckland summer; if we find it too hot to orienteer in an Auckland summer we might as well give up now on international competition as our elites (well, the ones in Auckland maybe) will turn into a bunch of pussies.

"The scandinavian o season is very quiet in late June and July"

An interesting observation. National Championships in Sweden and Norway have just been held, so obviously they don't have a problem competing in a National Champs with bugger all lead up races!!!

Show Profile  Rob G Posted: 21 September 2005, 8:05 AM  
I have seen past Swedish calenders for August, and seen as many as 15 events on each day in the weekends. I was assuming 1000 to 3000 people at each event compared to 12000 to 14000 at Oringen. The forests are closed for the animals in June, aspecially in southern Sweden, but I do know their calender is extremely full in the 2 month leadup to their nationals.
The climate at Oceania was exceptionaly pleasant after a very cold summer, but that is not always the case.
My most unpleasant o experience was a day at the Slump in Hawkes Bay in January 1994 in an ANZ race, where the temperatures were really extreme. I'm sure Feb can be worse.
As far as the WOC runners go, Japan this year would have been great if we had an orienteering shutdown after Queen's Birthday. They would have had 2 MONTHS with NO orienteering, which is just perfect.

Some idiot in an earlier posting suggested the NWOC committee were pushing the Labour weekend nationals. This is untrue. After a letter on the subject last year we decided it was in the too hard basket, and we would not act. This year numerous non committee members have pushed the subject so we decided to canvas other clubs for their opininions. If there was good support from them we would consider putting a remit forward, and if there wasn't we would pursue the matter no further.
For next year, North West are organising events between 9th April and 8th October, and I can't see this type of programme changing in a hurry, unless another Oceania oportunity came along.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 21 September 2005, 8:16 AM  
Garden mate the pressure from the rest of those old fellas up there must be telling!

Too "hot" to orienteer, how ridiculous, some of the finest orienteering stories I have heard from you refer to orienteering in the middle of summer, ala beautiful women at the French 5 days...sweat, cold showers...

And far more "pleasant" to orienteer in winter, like hello, we're talking about NZ Nationals not the Macnut Woodhill Cup.

Then theres the comparison to Australia which is completely facetious....Aus summer/NZ summer - no contest.

I love you mate, but you seem to be missing the point, a spring, late summer/autumn season with nationals at easter provides plenty of time for the beach, other sorts of fun and orienteering. This is an exact replica of the season you exaggeratedly suggest exists in Scandi

I reckon you fellas are practising "ostirich orienteering politics" and it ain't doing anyone no good.

This message was edited by Jamie on 21 September 2005, 9:19 AM

Show Profile  nick Posted: 21 September 2005, 10:38 AM  
Hot, cold, I don't care. I'll orienteer in any weather. What I want is to see a Thomas Reynolds (for example) on the podium at WOC within 10 years.

I've thought about what you've said, Rob, and I acknowledge these good points that you make:

Forest closure - we can't orienteer if we can't get onto the maps. I think it was Nic who earlier pointed out that CD clubs have a similar access problem during lambing season. Access is a concrete problem that the sport will (probably always) have to work around. I still feel there is sufficient scope in the spring/summer/autumn season to work around this obstacle.

Competition with other sports is greater during summer - This is also a concrete reality, for any sport. I think it needs to be accepted as part of the challenge of growing OUR sport. It is also possible to turn it on its head and say, why we would run a winter season in competition with rugby union which is our national obsession? I also think it will be easier to attract new people to the sport during the warmer drier months.

Anti-NWOC/Auckland postings - thanks for clearing this up. Inaccurate recrimination is not going to help us resolve these matters. It can be easy to forget that we're all on the same team - the team thats going to get a Kiwi onto the podium at WOC. Noone else is going to do it for us.

2 months off orienteering competition prior to WOC - this doesn't make sense to me, but it IS exactly what we should be talking about before anything else: "what will best prepare our athletes for international competitions?" So, please tell us more.

Show Profile  Rob G Posted: 21 September 2005, 10:58 AM  
Late summer sounds better, Jamie, but I hope that doesn't include Auckland in Feb. You've got a short memory but you were planning 10 hr training weeks and 40 hour working weeks round these parts, and finished up training a couple of hours and working 10 or 15 hours a week, mainly because of the heat and humidity.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 21 September 2005, 11:05 AM  
The draft HP strategic plan calls for "suitable competition in the first half of the first half of the calendar year". That was intended to be a sufficiently flexible statement to mean "leading up to WOC and JWOC". Those dates float around a bit and particularly when they are in Europe team members often want to head off there early. So it still seems to me to be a suitable statement of intent for a strategy.

Draft plan is at Comments still welcome.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 21 September 2005, 11:23 AM  
Couldn't access it Michael...

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 21 September 2005, 11:57 AM  
A few random thoughts,

I don't know if it's just because his opinions are so similar to mine, but Nick Harris has been making by far the most sense to me here. Perhaps it is always the freshest eyes that can best see that the emperor (or brenda boghopper) has no clothes.

El presidente's proposed new timetable isn't perfect (how long before people start noticing how many races there are after the nationals) but is pretty damn close. I assume that Oceania champs and other occasional biggies would slip into January as currently happens, and there's still room for some sort of "season opener" (see next point) at Labour Weekend.

Clubs would still be free to do what they like to best work in with this timetable, but what makes sense to me is OY or other regional series in Oct, Nov, early Dec (OY participation in Wellington has been struggling. Can't help thinking that if for a short period orienteers knew the next round was next weekend or fortnight, rather than scattered through the year, turnouts would be higher), promos over summer, then from late Feb until the Sec school nationals, events that fall somewhere between promo and OY standard to build school turnout and technical standard (and help non-schoolies keep their technical training up). I don't know enough about high performance to know how well this meets elite needs, but as a "serious-recreational" it would work for me (if I ever get out of the field and into a desk job!). Perhaps keeps orienteering activity up while reducing the impact of forest closure.

If you feel your clubs, regional associations etc are dragging their feet about fitting in with ANY national season, then hassle your committees about it, or better yet get on those committees! I know I've been picking on NW, but there's plenty of other clubs that regardless of whatever season they like are stuck with the idea of a calender year.

Does forest closure happen every summer? Didn't Auckland follow the summer series with a FOREST series this year? Lambing, calving, hunting seasons do happen every year and we KNOW these will close our maps. In areas where summer does get hot and humid (a collective HAH! from those just back from Japan) what's wrong with racing earlier or later in the day? I've been to several events at the other end of the weather scale that should have been cancelled, and it's a lot harder to avoid that kind of weather.

Finally a disclaimer of sorts: my current career circumstances mean a summer-based season stuffs things up completely for me. Yet I've still consistently backed it as the better option for NZ orienteering in my opinion.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 21 September 2005, 12:24 PM  
HP plan download: worked for me just now using above address pasted in. If anyone has trouble send your address to michael.wood "at" and I'll email a copy.

Show Profile  Bryan Posted: 21 September 2005, 1:30 PM  
I mentioned that I would be prepared to produce a voting form on the internet. I'm still willing to do this but I think due to the issues involved that an official directive from the NZOF would be better (where the questions could be more thought out by several people)

Just to keep this topic steaming along here are some statistics
(as I'm the statistician and I like numbers):

National Long Distance Event Numbers from 1980 onwards:

Easter 2003: 474
Oct 1999: 331
Easter 1995: 396
Oct 1993: 355
Aug 1983: 406
Oct 1999: 314
Oct 1986: 337
Oct 1981: 261

Jan 1984: 685
Easter 1998: 285

Easter 2002: 341
Oct 1992: 311

Central Districts:
Easter 2001: 400
Easter 1996: 381
Jun 1994: 386
Oct 1990: 356
Oct 1987: 359
Oct 1983: 393
Oct 1980: 324

Hawkes Bay:
Easter 2005: 447
Oct 1991: 333

Easter 2004: 385
May-Jun 1997: 424
Oct 1988: 379
May 1985: 450

Easter 2000: 348

Conclusions: Draw your own but appears to favour nationals not at Labour weekend.

Events held in Dec/Jan:
Apoc 1984: 685
South Island Seven Day: 791
Apoc 1994: 928
Woodhill/NI chmaps 1995: 226
Elite Series 1996: 251
SOS Series 1997: 360
WMOC 2000: 1254
ANZ Challenge 2002: 438
SI 6 days 2004: 334
Oceania Champs 2005: 546

Conclusion: 10 times in the last 21 years we have held major events in Jan and the number of competitors are high. Looks like we already have a summer season and we seem to Orienteer at all times of the year.

Just to add another red herring an alternative to Rob's season with Feb-Jun Area champs and Nationals at Easter could be:

Nationals Late Dec, Early Jan. Area champs 1 weekend before or after (several events held over about a week creating a yearly carnival with a periodic ANZ challenge included)
Other area champs in Nov, Dec.
- we all take holidays between Christmas and new Year and no one is working or studying.
- weather not too hot, not too cold.
- attract overseas competitors.
- Season ends naturally at the end of the year after area champs
- organisers have extra time to organise.

- traditional family holiday time.

I have no preference when the nationals should be held.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 21 September 2005, 1:34 PM  
"- we all take holidays between Christmas and new Year and no one is working or studying."

You obviously don't work on a farm, or in a farming industry. The cows don't take holidays

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