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m/w17 - 20e

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 3 October 2005, 5:31 PM  
The aussies have got m/w17 - 20e instead of m/w18 and m/w20. It is such a good idea! The fields are big and close, and being a young guy it was great to be able to try and beat the top, older guys.

The negative that i know other people will comment on is that the older runners will dominate the younger runners. I don't think that this is a problem because by the time someone is good enough to really trash a younger person in the grade (like hanny can for example) they are good enough to be competitive in m/w21e so they will naturally step up. Like over in aus people like hanny and jasmine neve were running up for, giving the other people a chance to win.

I think that this grade would be a really good grade to use for the junior superseries. I would be a first year in such a grade next year, as are alot of other juniors, but none of the people ive talked to have a problem running in a broader age grade if it means longer courses and more competition.

And competition that is close and meaningful can only benfit New Zealand orienteers

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 3 October 2005, 7:40 PM  
It sounds like a great idea to me.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 3 October 2005, 8:51 PM  
This sounds great, the technical progression established over the years in New Zealand orienteering isn't threatened and maybe as Thomas says competition improves

Looking back in history I can think of several times that M/W 18 winners would have won M/W 20 even at Nationals.

The arguments against would be the one that Thomas suggests that the 16/17 year olds will generally get beaten and also that there is nothing stopping this grade operating in effect now.

Maybe the juniors "manning up" and accepting wide brackets for age grades will help stimulate the corresponding 10year brackets for veterans.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 4 October 2005, 5:55 AM  
Well I have an opinion, but because I am the President of the NZ Orienteering Federation I must keep personal opinions to myself, even when I am asleep.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 4 October 2005, 7:47 AM  
I think its a great idea. We should do it.

However the only event I believe it possibly should not be done at is Nationals. If there is any event that you should run in your grade it should be that. But every other event should have w/m17-20e!

Show Profile  nick Posted: 4 October 2005, 10:40 AM  
Great ideas bro.

I particularly agree with this statement: "competition that is close and meaningful can only benefit New Zealand orienteers." I suspect the most likely overall effect will be that the younger runners will be dragged up by their older competitors. For this reason I can imagine a junior-elite class working really well both in a superseries format, and at Nationals.

And its cool to think that we've got juniors wanting tougher tighter competition. Good sign.

Show Profile  Jack Vincent Posted: 4 October 2005, 3:52 PM  
Shot Tom, I fully agree. There is nothing wrong with the idea. It means that we can talk to older, more experienced juniors who have run the same course about our problems out there and route choices afterwards and they will be able to give us tips on how to tackle legs that have caused distress. This knowledge can then be applied to further courses and in turn get passed on to younger competitors when we get good enough to win extending the level of orienteering in NZ. At the moment it isn't much of a challenge to do well in the younger grades for some of us and I feel we arent getting pushed enough. The opportunity to run up against the best juniors in NZ will give us more incentive to carry on. If you constantly are at the top of a grade it is hard to know what you are doing wrong and even to know if you are doing something wrong because you always win. I think it should be run at nationals and can be used as a the grade to select the JWOC team from. Many of the people who would run a 17-20 grade would be looking to be selected for JWOC and it means they wouldnt have to loose all the competition they would have in the 18 grades.

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 4 October 2005, 5:09 PM  
I fully support it.

The M/W20 grades are currently miserable small and this would boost competition for everyone and provide a good platform for the junior superseries to stand on.

What do people who have been through the junior grades think?

Show Profile  thomasr Posted: 4 October 2005, 6:41 PM  
jamie is right about manning up. I dont have a problem with running a broad grade, theres no point in us trying to run easier grade because were just deferring the time when we hit real tough competition. It will be tough bikkies for some people if they are getting beaten by older people. Maybe a forced progression could operate, after so many wins someone has to go to m/w21e for all events except nationals. The aussies ran a m17-20a grade on the course that m16 were on. I think that it will revitalise the m/w20s a bit; at the moment there sort of a wilderness between juniors and m21e where nobody really competes. Thi swould hopefully renew what should be one of our strongest grades. It will also make jwoc selections easier with just 1 grade for all trialists.

Show Profile  Jack Vincent Posted: 4 October 2005, 6:54 PM  
It will also provide tough competition in preparation for 21e, currently the grade before 21e is 20a which has limited numbers and doesnt provide a very good idea of how hard 21e is. The juniors would have trouble winning and when they do win, it is time to move up...

Show Profile  PaulS Posted: 4 October 2005, 7:06 PM  
Creating a new grade is going to make us more competitive. hmmmmm OK

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 4 October 2005, 7:17 PM  
No, but combining 2 will. If you look back it is when we have groups of juniors going through the grades competing against together, that we tend to produce better performers. (e.g Brent, Karl group) I think this idea is on the right track. Man up Paul

This message was edited by Greg on 4 October 2005, 8:19 PM

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 4 October 2005, 7:38 PM  
Theres a huge physical step from 70min to 105min, nothing will provide a very good idea of how hard it is until its done.

The proposal for 90min elites looks good, will a Junior Elite grade be next to come forward? How does one get a new grade introduced by the nzof?...

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 4 October 2005, 8:53 PM  
The best way to make changes is to write it up, get a whole lot of people to sign it then send it to the technical committee and lobby them hard are in a good position to do that Martin.

I have a bit of deja vu going on as believe it or not this has come up several times before...I remember writing a letter to the NZO mag about it, in I think 1997.

My personal experience of junior grades was one of constantly running up to get competition and difficulty, this was one of the reasons why I got involved in promoting the revamped junior difficulty system (which I think helped our juniors do so well in Australia recently). To see a further step being taken to promote competition in the junior elites would be wicked.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 5 October 2005, 7:42 AM  
"How does one get a new grade introduced by the nzof?"

Technical Committee recommendation, Council approval.

"No, but combining 2 will."

So Greg, are you advocating the abolition of m/w18? So a junior who is not in the class of the current top M16's is expected to go from m/w16 )(course 8?) to m/w 17-20e (course 2)?

"currently the grade before 21e is 20a which has limited numbers and doesnt provide a very good idea of how hard 21e is."

Jack, m20a is course 2 (m21e is course 1). If you had a m17-20e grade, it would still be course 2. If course 2 cannot prepare you for 21e, nothing can.

"It will also make jwoc selections easier with just 1 grade for all trialists."

Thomas, anyone wanting to be selected for jwoc has to run m/w20 at the provincial championships the preceding year. There is only one grade for triallists.

"The M/W20 grades are currently miserable small and this would boost competition for everyone"

Martin, is it a right assumption to make assuming EVERYONE in m/w18 would run in a m/w17-20e grade???

"If you look back it is when we have groups of juniors going through the grades competing against together, that we tend to produce better performers. (e.g Brent, Karl group)"

Sounds like Greg is admitting Brent and Karl is better than him :-)
Seriously Greg, one of the best jwoc performances was your own. Who were you competing against (apart from Ross) who really worried you as a junior? Before answering, know that i am aware of your record between jwoc 2001 and jwoc 2002, where more often than not you ran 21e and on the occasions you ran 20a, you were only beaten once.

"My personal experience of junior grades was one of constantly running up to get competition"

This leads to what I think you need to stop and think about for a second. Is the course/grade structure for juniors expected to cater for the "top end", or the "masses" (and I can hear Nick groaning from here)?

If there are exceptionally talented juniors (yes, I include you in that statement Jamie) or a group such as Brent/Karl or the current crop of M16's, what is wrong with the current option of running up?
Hasn't seemed to have stunted the development of countless juniors who have been through the system?

You need to think about and answer these questions:

What effect would a m/w17-20e grade have on the development of juniors other than those currently at the top of the tree? (and there are plenty of examples of orienteers who have become good seniors who were not good juniors)

What additional benefits would a 17/20e grade bring that can't be achieved by running up a grade if you're good enough to handle it?

If I was Thomas, Jack, Andrew or Simon (apologies if I've missed someone) and JWOC 2007 was the goal, I'd be planning on running m20 in every race in 2006. I don't need a 17/20e grade for that. And, who will be in m20 to provide the extra competition? (Sam, Simon - anyone else?)

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 5 October 2005, 9:29 AM  
Good points Rob, I remember Jamies effort for the new junior system was to also stop juniors running up was it not?? As you said, when I was a top junior I ran up, would a 17-20E grade encourage the top M20's to stay down? I think not and then whole purpose is lost.

I've changed my mind, it sounds good, but really when it all comes down to it, you have to do what is best for you, and if there is a big group all together like there is at moment the best thing is to make sure that you are all racing against each other as often as possible - so my new recommendation is always keep in contact and say work out which courses you will ALL be running at which events, that can be done via email or maptalk, the later better as it lets even more people know for both competition and race day interest.

I was always scared of Dave having a clean run, (which happened once as you pointed out, but look out he's back!)

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