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Is Orienteering boring?

Show Profile  Old Timer Posted: 16 November 2006, 11:53 AM  
The essence of the overseas comments is MAKE THE ORIENTEERING EXPERIENCE MORE SOCIAL!!!

LIKE the NW Score Series were - great fun for all with a friendly atmosphere (my 6-year old loved them cos there were prizes!)

LIKE Rogaines are - the meal and friendly atmosphere afterward are what makes the sport so attractive.

UNLIKE most orienteering evenst - serious people running very seriously through the forest and then seriously discussing the finer points of their route choice with their serious O mates from time immemorial. NOT ENOUGH SOCIAL INTERACTION.

I have introduced many people to orienteering over the years, but many have given it away for a perceived lack of sociability from other orienteers. Now that may not include you personally, but it is a fact.

No - Orienteering is definately not boring. But the more user-friendly sports will ultimately prevail.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 16 November 2006, 12:21 PM  
The WOA OY once had age/sex classes. Then it moved to course/sex classes like PAPO. Then it moved back again. Maybe its time for another change. Seriously. Changes do reignite interest.

But lets consider the possibility that we've got to the feasible level for traditional orienteering. Good ideas and hard work may vary the activity level, but its within a band. And extremely hard work is not sustainable in the voluntary context. Lets think about max fun/min effort - keep those things which are easy to run and reduce the number of complex events.

The OY that got just 65 was on good terrain a week before Labour Weekend. What does that say about people's desire for that type of orienteering?

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 16 November 2006, 2:02 PM  
Good comments from Old Timer.

As for orienteering in NZ reaching its sustainable level. No way. There are thousands or bussiness stories out there where people have a good product but deminishing sales, and others where they have a bad product and great marketing leading to great sales. Orienteering in NZ is currently a good product with poor marketing. The marketing aspects we struggle most with is the "packageing". The events/terrain themselves are good with alot of variety, but the social aptmosphere is lacking. Yes that is why the score events were a success, and I suspect that is why the Hawkes Bay events are so popular (a hundred school kids have created an aptmosphere naturally).

Also Beer. I'm not joking, it does happen in europe orienteering, but it also happens in the other sports O is competiting against. Rugby Clubs, Golf Clubs, Tennis Clubs....all the major NZ sports.

Show Profile  addison Posted: 16 November 2006, 4:01 PM  
James - not making a personal dig at all and if I really wanted to you can rest assured I would to your face. I just personally think that on occasions your posts and opinions are bullshit, thats all. Generally all good though.


I completely agree with the comments made by many here. Marketing our sport can take a lot of time (in terms of writing articles for newspapers etc) and you dont always see the results straight away, however raising the profile of the sport is something we should seriously try to achieve. Too often people have the wrong idea of orienteering, with this even beginning to become an issue when new landowners take over an area which is mapped resulting in having a difficult landowner on occasions.


Im looking forward to the World Booze-O Championships.

Show Profile  Kate Posted: 16 November 2006, 6:36 PM  
I definitely think food helps. At the Oz champs there was amazing food that almost became a reward for finishing, and was also a
talking point. they also had amazing weather...

but on a more serious note there is the public perception to adjust. When you get awarded College Sport Wellington Orienteerer of the year it highlights a lacking of awareness. I know we're pretty lucky with the college sport organisation in wellington so id hate to think what other regions are like.

If you're talking about targeting groups, what i think keeps school kids interested in a sport is if they feel like it matters, that it's taken seriously. So things like have a commentator,music, a results board and shelter tents all in one event centre area help to make them feel like it's a real sport (even if their mates at school say otherwise).

Show Profile  James Posted: 16 November 2006, 9:38 PM  
Totally agree with you Kate, that commentators, music and results boards plus shelter all make for an awesome event!

And that particular description just reminds me about Waitangi Weekend this year...............They had all of that plus really well set courses, spectator controls and awesome event centres where everyone hung around before/after the event. I think that those who organised it (greg, neil, simon, martin.......etc) set a bench mark for top quality events. I was a little dissapointed about the turn out though.....so if anyone is contemplating whether or not to go, make sure you're there, cos i reckon it was the best weekend of O'ing this year and ive heard that Waitangi Weekend 2007 is set to be even better!! it would be cool if the participation numbers reflected the quality of the event!!

Show Profile  addison Posted: 16 November 2006, 10:16 PM  
I would be really keen to have some sort of discussion paper about successes around the country in terms of what has worked and what hasn't with recommendations for clubs. Why reinvent the wheel, we should all give HB's approach a thorough look at to see how it can be adapted and modified to suit other clubs and regions.

Thanks for the positive words James re Waitangi. My personal belief is that it was really good was the fact that along with the things you mentioned - it also was summer. Weather is definitely a massive factor on how we all perceive an event! Does it make logical sense for us to have a Winter orientated season when that is statistically the most likely period for rain and in general crap weather.


Michael mentioned some sort of summer carnival in the South Island high country - all I can say is sign me up!

Show Profile  rob.g Posted: 17 November 2006, 12:08 AM  
Waitangi weekend will be bigger, especially as Grant Bluett tells me he has 25 Aussie elites coming for that and a 4 day training camp in Woodhill in the following days. I beleive it has been marketed better this year, and there has been nothing but positive comments about last years event and the atmosphere.

Show Profile  Kate Posted: 17 November 2006, 9:41 AM  
Maybe we need to look at what is successful for OY level events(such as simon suggested in HB).

We can't just try to make orienteering "less boring" by running heaps of long weekend and multi day events because there woudld be too much strain on organising clubs, some who may have a very small supply of A grade controllers or those with enough experience to set for major events. Not that I'm bagging big events (cos they're awesome) but who wants to be publishing event programmes and start lists for every second event just to make it "interesting."

I think NZ is definitely on the right track with the larger scale events and the focus needs to look at what goes on between them, so you can practise and perform at the top level stuff.

Show Profile  Dave Barr Posted: 21 November 2006, 1:14 PM  
I agree, orienteering's not boring.

It's orienteers who are boring.

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 21 November 2006, 3:07 PM  
Orienteering vs interesting sports.

We had a Mountain run on Saturday. We had results on web by midday Sunday.

How did Waikaia go anyone?

Show Profile  mark Posted: 21 November 2006, 4:23 PM  
Results were sent out to the competitors by email on Sunday evening.
So stick it, dorklander

This message was edited by mark on 21 November 2006, 3:24 PM

Show Profile  Neil K Posted: 21 November 2006, 5:20 PM  
So do you think emailing results just to competitors is sufficient to promote orienteering Southern Sloth? I wonder how popular Rugby would be if the only people that got emailed the score last weekend were the All Blacks and those French Cocks.

Show Profile  Tane Cambridge Posted: 21 November 2006, 9:48 PM  
Generally Orienteers are pretty good at getting results up, and in the North Island where you have SI getting results on the internet is alot easier.

For events in the South Island currently there is no other way of compiling results and putting them up so that it is easy for everyone to see. I think someone in another thread may have mentioned something about setting up a central results website such as the maptalk events, which would be quite a good idea. However I would say that It wont be long till SI arrives in the South Island and all major results will be up on winsplits.

Also is Waikaia is a long way away from anywhere (the nearest where being Gore) So transport effects the speed of results. Results at Waikaia should be up on the super series website ASAP, and full results should be put on the Dunedin website as ASAP too


On the matter of this thread, I find it is the people who have been running events week in week out for the past ten years or so that make orienteering boring. And its not really there fault because they are the meat in the sandwich that keeps the club running, its the problem of few people else wanting to step in and have a go. These people which run the club have a wealth of experience, and a lot can be learned from them.
Its only when the newer people have a go at planing, I find that courses seem alot more interesting because of their fresh ideas. If you want orienteering to be more exciting you have to get out there and make it more exciting, instead of only bitching about it on the internet....such as Simon, Greg and Neil planning the Waitangi events this year

On another matter, this weekend, in disscussion about courses after a race I was told that a particular control site was acceptable
1. because it was a red control feture and
2. because the particular person had twice had a control in that spot in the past.
To me the second explaination seems absurd, why would you put a control in the same place 3 times in a row. This kind of thing is what makes Orienteering boring!

Thank you for reading my essay...hopefully it has not contributed too much to the boringness of orienteering

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 21 November 2006, 10:42 PM  
Seeing as Neil raised the subject: I attempted to follow the live internet "coverage" of the first NZ/france rugby test. As play was no doubt progressing in Lyons, I sat watching a screen saying "0-0" and "kickoff at 8:55 am Sunday morning New Zealand time". Perhaps the live updates were only being sent to the All Blacks and those French Cocks?

This message was edited by onemanfanclub on 21 November 2006, 9:52 PM


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