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Discussion: WOC 2018 SPRINT

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 4, 2018 5:55 AM # 
Womens Sprint Qualifier about to start in Riga, not too hot right now, but going to warm up!
Aug 4, 2018 6:11 AM # 
I'm logged in to liveorienteering and it still says off air. I thought the sprint qualifications were free?
Aug 4, 2018 6:13 AM # 
I can't find anything besides live timing of two radio controls and the finish. Scroll the LiveOrienteering page way down Jeff below the off air video, and there should be a live timing box. Note that only the Women's A, B, and C qualifiers have started (you can select which race near the top of the page).
Aug 4, 2018 6:14 AM # 
I paid and says off air.
Also the live results are messed up:
unless I don't know how to read them.
Aug 4, 2018 6:16 AM # 
timings are definitely out - I'm wondering if by a magnitude of 10 (which would at least mean relative placings are right?)
Aug 4, 2018 6:16 AM # 
Hey, those are way better live results formatting wise then on Live Orienteering! Same screwy times though.
Aug 4, 2018 6:19 AM # 
Times were out for me but then almost immediately fixed themselves. Thanks for the link.
Aug 4, 2018 6:19 AM # 
Live timing looks fixed to me now.
Aug 4, 2018 6:20 AM # 
Just come right and given Laura's gap to Karolin has just gone from 2 mins to 20ish seconds, I wonder if it was a decimal point out of place
Aug 4, 2018 6:26 AM # 
There's no broadcast of the qualifier - only live results.
Aug 4, 2018 6:35 AM # 
Thanks, I see the live results, anyway. There's a bit of a problem in the formatting, missin a colon in the countup times to the next control.
Correction: not a missing colon, just a wierd number.
Aug 4, 2018 6:38 AM # 
Great race from Ali!!! Wooo!
Aug 4, 2018 6:44 AM # 
It was in decimal time
Aug 4, 2018 6:47 AM # 
How many to qualify (seems like it's finalised at 15 per heat)? The qualifying line seemed to keep moving up as the race went on!
Aug 4, 2018 6:49 AM # 
Top 15. Tash has qualified, Krystal =16th (missed by 1 place), Belinda 20th. 2 Kiwis made it.
Aug 4, 2018 6:56 AM # 
Ta, I think the line was under the final placings rather than progressive. Amazing having Tash Key and Aston Key in the same team - neither being in the "usual" age bracket of WOC competitors!
Aug 4, 2018 7:01 AM # 
Men are starting, lets see who has the wheels on this super fast course.
Aug 4, 2018 7:29 AM # 
Tim does :-)
Aug 4, 2018 7:40 AM # 
So does DMan
Aug 4, 2018 7:48 AM # 
Not Henry, unfortunately, after his great showing at the Uni Champs.
Aug 4, 2018 7:54 AM # 
Lots of MP on Men C, what was different to the other two heats?
Aug 4, 2018 7:56 AM # 
Not sure what happened, he was on track for top 10. Brodie was 18th, Aston 25th. Heat A was hot, only 27 seconds between 1st and 15th!
Aug 4, 2018 8:06 AM # 
Look at some of the names missing in that heat, and Hubmann the younger almost joining them
Aug 4, 2018 8:09 AM # 
The Men C heat mystery - Colin Kolbe another star (JWOC) with an MP.
Aug 4, 2018 9:11 AM # 
Tim C:

Some very close controls out there, especially at our #7 (a very visible control on the path junction just to the west) which I assume is the likely one to mp on.

Also another close one at #5 if you came from under the canopy.
Aug 4, 2018 12:58 PM # 
All quiet in the English-speaking world? Have to ack GB's strength in the women. And Laura Robertson best of the colonies in 23rd. Now the boys.
Aug 4, 2018 1:56 PM # 
Tim Robertson denied the gold medal by that shambolic start kite placement.
Aug 4, 2018 1:57 PM # 
Well that was a nail-biter. GB may have the numbers in the men but the kiwi had the speed. Well done Tim, 1 second in it. Tell me more, Lost.
Aug 4, 2018 2:07 PM # 
The start kite was well under 10m from the last control - essentially just on the opposite of the run-in/run-out funnel, and not on any actual feature. This has understandably confused quite a lot of runners - Tove, for example, lost several seconds at the end by "punching" the start kite, working out why her card wasn't flashing, and then doubling back to the last control.

Robertson actually went correctly to the last control, but then slowed down in obvious confusion at seeing an extra kite a few metres away. I reckon the hesitation plus lost speed could easily have cost him 1.2 seconds
Aug 4, 2018 2:27 PM # 
Hmmm. Reminds me of the oddity of having a control flag to mark the triangle. I have in my car, and I think many European countries require everyone to carry, a reflectorized triangle. Why don't we use that?
Aug 4, 2018 3:00 PM # 
Nice return to international competition for Ali, qualifying for the final and finishing just a few minutes back!
Also nice to see Graeme qualify for the Canadians.
Aug 4, 2018 4:26 PM # 
Damian actually. But thanks :)
Aug 4, 2018 4:33 PM # 
Oops, sorry. I have trouble keeping my Canadians straight. ;-)
Congrats to *Damian*!
Aug 5, 2018 1:39 AM # 
Good to see NZ up there! Still there is a major flaw with the structure of Sprint Orienteering at this level. Only 43 seconds separating the top 15? That is pretty close to the Rio Olympics 5000m final - won in 13:03, 15th 13:43. But at Rio they didn't have to run a qualification in the morning - the heats were 3 days earlier. Plus the 5000m qualification was on the same track, not Parkland vs Old Town like at Riga.
Aug 5, 2018 5:47 AM # 
So you wouldn't be a fan of the knock-out sprint then?
Aug 5, 2018 5:59 AM # 
Not really a fan of sprint other than as a novelty. The margins are so small and the opportunities for controversy are so many with the map, the spectators, the everyday life in the venue and the course itself. Looks to me like the course setters made a good job of creating a course from a relatively simple streetscape. And the one start flag becomes the discussion point.
Aug 5, 2018 7:37 AM # 
So here's what apparently happened in Mens Qual. C.
Control 14 was the end of a hedge, and was South of control 14 on Men B, which was a garden. Hard to tell how far apart as there's no scale bar on the maps, but it looks legitimate, even if they were similar features, and the codes were 62 and 70. Henry punched the Men B control, so no excuse really - except he hadn't been well for several days before the event. Topias Ahola (FIN) protested because he claimed that he went to the Men B control, realised it was wrong but his SI Air card was close enough to automatically record it. He then went to the correct control but his card failed to record it. Protest was dismissed.
Aug 5, 2018 9:39 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
He claimed his card failed to record it, as it took him less than 3 secs to cover the distance between the 2 controls
Aug 5, 2018 9:50 AM # 
An interesting issue, many SIAC owners will be blissfully unaware. The flash time can be modified but the average competitor doesn't have the tools to do it. Is it common knowledge among elites and team managers?
Aug 5, 2018 10:26 AM # 
I thought flash time only applied to SI11. SI Air data sheet doesn't say anything about it. Anyway, if the map is correct there's at least 40m between the two controls, even Usain couldn't do that in 3 seconds.
Aug 5, 2018 11:45 AM # 
If the map is correct (and to spec) the distance between the control sites is about 20m - a bit less than the diameter of the control circles (24m)
Aug 5, 2018 12:09 PM # 
I found some info about SIAC flash time Simmo, including recommendations on being shorter for sprints and longer for MTBO and Ski-O. It needs SI-Config+ and a download box to do. In a discussion here it was calculated that controls need to be 37.27m apart to avoid problems for Mr Bolt with an off-the shelf SIAC.
Aug 5, 2018 12:35 PM # 
@jayh - I think you are right, and in that case a protest on 'similar features too close (less than 30m)' may well have been upheld. Despite the different descriptions, they are similar IF the garden on the men B course has more the appearance of a thicket (which I was told was the way Henry described it). Interesting that there's no mention of the protest and its result on the WOC website - I would have thought it would be mandatory to publish that information.
Aug 5, 2018 1:12 PM # 
If the "wrong" control is on a natural running line then it doesn't matter whether it's on a similar feature or whether the competitor tries to punch as SIAC can register it as the competitor runs by.

NB. IOF rules say "Controls shall not be sited within 30 metres of each other (15 metres for map scales 1:5000 or 1:4000)" - no reference to "similar features". IMHO this needs updating (and start kites should be considered as controls!)
Aug 5, 2018 1:31 PM # 
That IOF Rule also says 'See Appendix 2, 3.5.5, which states 'only when the control features are distinctly different in the terrain as well as on the map should controls be placed closer than 60m (30m for sprint).'

For the closeness of the start flag and the last control, I blame the Leibnitz Convention. However, under IOF Rules the start flag should not have had a punch (SI station). I couldn't tell from the video whether it did, but one story that circulated was that Tove 'punched' it. In my view, they could have had the start flag at the map issue point, which would have saved all the confusion.
Aug 5, 2018 1:38 PM # 
Why would they have a punch on the start flag? Seems kind of pointless and also incorrect.
Aug 5, 2018 3:49 PM # 
There was no punch on the start flag. Tove did punch a non-existent box on the start flag. But when she checked her SI-card to see if it was beeping she was confused to see that it had not punched. She then turned around and went to the final control.

Most of the other athletes realized and turned when they saw there was no SI unit on the start flag, before attempting to punch.
Aug 5, 2018 4:47 PM # 
@simmo: "shall" and "should"....
I wasn't suggesting that the start kite did or should have a control, just that if there's a flag hanging in the terrain then its distance from real controls should be be covered by the same rule.
Aug 5, 2018 7:36 PM # 
I think normally jury decisions are published in the Senior Event Adviser report after the event. Whilst the current wording of rule 20.5 makes it very difficult to reinstate someone if they have a missing punch, I think you can assume that some recommendations are going to come out of this about rule/guideline changes - either to shorten the SI response time or increase the minimum control separation (as well as doing something about the start flag situation). 6-7 metres per second is probably about the fastest plausible running speed mid-race for a world-class male orienteer, so 20m separation (or keeping 15m and shortening the SIAC to 2 seconds) would suffice.
Aug 5, 2018 8:43 PM # 
No matter how many times I read rule 20.5 I keep arriving at the same conclusion -- that the first and last paragraphs contradict each other. For that matter I still haven't figured out how the first paragraph doesn't contradict itself. It seems like one of those cases where the wording is just convoluted enough to allow an official to interpret it whatever way they like on any given day and then cite this rule as rationale.
Aug 5, 2018 9:24 PM # 
20.5. shall be disqualified unless it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor’s fault.
If a competitor punches too fast and fails to receive the feedback signals, the card will not contain the punch and the competitor must be disqualified (even though the control unit may have recorded the competitor’s card number)

So if you didn't punch too fast (just too soon after the last control), and you did get the feedback signal (still beeping from the previous control), and that's the organisers fault because the controls were too close, there isn't a contradiction.

I think the rule is fine. Whether that's what actually happened to Ahola, I don't know.
Aug 5, 2018 10:22 PM # 
I don't know what happened to Ahola either and wasn't commenting specifically on that. Just on the apparent contradiction(s) in 20.5 which was mentioned above.

From first paragraph:
... other evidence may be used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from control officials or cameras or read-out from the control unit.

From last paragraph:
... the competitor must be disqualified (even though the control unit may have recorded the competitor’s card number)

The conditional wording that precedes each of these two clauses makes the choice of which to invoke (shall be disqualified unless .vs. must be disqualified) seem pretty much arbitrary. In both cases the card is missing the punch. How will an official tasked with making this call decide whether the athlete punched "too fast" or received any feedback signals?
Aug 5, 2018 11:24 PM # 
There's a whole bunch of things which can go wrong with (standard) SI. The pointer in the card can get misplaced, overwriting data. The unit can go to sleep. The unit can start to behave erratically due to low battery. The card can generate some internal malfunction. The card can still be dead from the previous punch. etc. etc. None of these things are the competitor's fault, and the first clause allows the organisers to use evidence from the boxes to help them decide what happened
and in the (rare) cases above, to reinstate.

The final clause says that if, having looked at the box, the officials decide the lack of record was a too-fast punch (perhaps shown by a partial record error in the box), then thats a DQ, even though the competitor was there.

Nobody said that jury calls are easy or unambiguous.

I did it once. A competitor was seen to punch in a relay pack, had no record on the card. I looked at the box, no record at all. I tried to punch too fast, but could never do it without leaving a partial record in the box. Given that I couldn't replicate her error, I reinstated her*

* Or strictly, since I was the planner, I put in a protest on her behalf to the organiser.
Aug 5, 2018 11:38 PM # 
All of the above just underlines the reasons for my lack of faith in the sprint discipline. Its main purpose is to create interesting controversy.
Aug 6, 2018 1:18 AM # 
And isn't it the goal of the Liebnitz convention to create spectator interest?

(Put your hands up, contributors above, if you were a participant...)
Aug 6, 2018 2:20 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Is it really too hard to rig video at the controls? For the world champs?
Aug 6, 2018 3:14 AM # 
I continue to maintain that, with the exception of relays, there should never be a "start kite", because the triangle on the map should always be the map issue point. Having people run to another place to start, essentially on the honor system, is preposterous. If you want them to go somewhere, put a control there and make them punch. But nobody listens to me when I talk sense.
Aug 6, 2018 4:19 AM # 
TI Log- You're not alone.
...and about those purple-driven course designs?
I guess, to each his own.

...and JJ, I mostly agree.

...but Liebnitz for all WOC/ WCup events?
What is the point of putting mindless marked-route orienteering in front of the most hard core, already-convinced orienteers? because there might be some passerby locals who will be impressed enough to convert? Sorry, this audience/market does not exist. We look interesting to ourselves, but as a spectator event for the general public we look mostly weird, and sometimes a nuisance.

Except for relays, this was a flawed concept from the beginning, and in 2018 that goes triple, with a nod to Mr Wonderful, since it is technologically feasible to put even better real O entertainment on a screen in the arena and live internet, and create even better post-produced content for TARGETED non-orienteering audiences for which "live" is irrelevant.

How many more terrain choices, course designs, and compromised competitions need to be sacrificed for this concept? There are better solutions.
Aug 6, 2018 5:47 AM # 
This is a tangent, but I'm looking at formats for ideas. In a country where all the gentle terrain was cleared of native forest cover and became farmland, we're left with the steep and green for the recreational estate. So the notion that the city park and the urban jungle could provide navigational challenge was welcome.

Now I'm thinking that the purple-driven course designs could give street orienteering a new twist. (Melbourne, I know you attract zillions without having twists, but around here street-o here was always regarded as second-best.) For club events I'd be quite happy to have virtual barriers on an honesty basis.
Aug 6, 2018 6:23 AM # 
I find it unfortunate that people use the World Champs thread to voice their displeasure and lack of interest in a race format that many here love. And love so much that they train their ass off for it and spend lots of money to represent their country at said World Champs!

I for one found the two sprint races exciting. Phenomenal speed. Quick route choice decisions and awesome execution. Lot of lead changes too that make it very exciting to watch (almost unbearable some times when you are cheering for a friend or family member when you know the margins are so small.

Alm’s 3K time this year would be third best run by a Cdn woman this year. Yeah she is that fast! Kris Jones also a world class runner that has been so close to a WOC medal so many times i feel gutted for him. Class act that guy is.

The way Tove was able to recover on today’s sprint relay after a 15-20s mistake was incredible to watch. great result for NZ and Tim’s silver medal to go with his world uni gold and a few jwoc golds a few years ago is great for the sport.

Bring on the rest of WOC because I love seeing athletes give it their all for the sport we all love!
Aug 6, 2018 7:28 AM # 
Case Ahola, distance between controls was 2.2 seconds based on video shown to jury. Just barely enough time to see/hear the 3 sec lasting signal from previous control and believe all is OK. This was his first WOC and the only run here, I guess he has pretty high sisu reserves now.
Aug 6, 2018 8:22 AM # 
Hammer. That is exactly the point. Its about respecting the competitor. Many train hard and invest much in an event like this. But the results can easily be influenced by so many things that can go wrong. The times I have involved in the organisation of sprint events with consequence they have been top of the stress pile because of the knowledge that it is so easy for the results not to reflect relative ability of competitors.
Aug 6, 2018 9:12 AM # 

Jyry expects athlete to wait long enough to make sure stick does not just give signal but also gives signal for 3 seconds to make sure stick's signaling behavior is "normal".

As I see it, the distance between controls rule and signaling time are there just to make sure this never happens. Just because athlete can't cope with it. And now when it happens for organizer not following the distance rule jury thinks it magically is athlete's fault.
Aug 6, 2018 10:10 AM # 
Jagge, is the video available. I am interested in what the two features look like on the ground. If they are at all similar, then maybe Topias protest should have been on the basis of Appendix 2.
Aug 6, 2018 10:21 AM # 
That's ridiculous. You pass by your correct control, you hear a beep from your SI, you assume the punch was valid and concentrate on the next leg - as anyone would. Now the jury is saying you should concentrate only on your SI for a full 3 seconds to be certain that your punch was valid. Sort of makes the concept of fast touch free punching a joke. What harm would it have done to let him run the final?

Juries almost always take the side of the rules/organisers rather than giving runners the benefit of the doubt. Hardly surprising when most of the jury members are from IOF Foot O and Rules commissions.

The jury should be ashamed of themselves for this particular decision.
Aug 6, 2018 10:22 AM # 
Simmo, no idea, simply lifted that from twitter feed. Jury made it's decision and life goes on.

I wonder is lack of back up making too difficult to use common sense. If we only could place $10 call bells on control stands and make athletes tap them. And simple $20 voice recorders (if not video camera) so we could listen and check if somebody has tapped the bell without visit being recorded about when punch is claimed to happen.
Aug 6, 2018 11:37 AM # 
@Hammer +1
I really enjoyed coverage of both races. (but where were the Canadians and your wee Hammerette?)

We notice the "unfairness" in sprint because it exposed by TV. 0.6sec confusion with two flags? The forest races are *way* less fair! Middle races are also decided by seconds. How do you decide if its right to go though something marked as 0-20% normal speed? How far round will you go to avoid that 20-60% walk? Which way round that unmapped bush will you go? How much do late starters gain from a tracked-up course? When did anyone last run solo to win the classic or middle?
Aug 6, 2018 11:46 AM # 

Here is a link to the video where they tested it after the race.
Aug 6, 2018 11:48 AM # 

I continue to maintain that there should never be a "finish punch" in the arena, because the map never represents the temporary infrastructure properly. It serves no useful purpose because everyone can see athletes arriving at the end of the run in. It just encourages cheating - people pointing out the control (Alm 2018), commentators telling people to go back and punch (CZE 2015), non-English speaking athletes getting DQed when they don't understand the commentary (RUS 2015).
But nobody listens to me when I talk sense.

You do need a run to the start kite. It always takes some time to find the triangle and plan the first leg. If you start navigating at the map issue, picking the best route is pure guesswork.
Aug 6, 2018 1:00 PM # 
I'm weighing in on the discussion because commenting on issues I know nothing about is what I do best, but is the athlete in question recorded (filmed or seen) as going to the correct punch (and close enough) or is everyone taking his word for it that he went there after the incorrect one? I know there's the issue about controls being too close but for that to have happened within the 2.5 seconds or whatever, he would essentially have already been taking off in the correct direction as soon as he punched the incorrect one (rather than taking 1-2 seconds to decide 'oh hang on, this isn't mine' and relocating). Experience shows this is rarely the case. Not impossible and I'm not sitting in either camp but well worth weighing up the evidence first before deciding in anyone's favour.
Aug 6, 2018 1:12 PM # 
I'm can't comment on the disqualifications, but Anton's video clearly demonstrates that an athlete running the optimum route on leg 13-14 on Men's C could easily have unwittingly recorded a punch at #62 and arrived at #70 as their SIAC card is still flashing from the earlier punch. To them, this would be interpreted as punching #70, so they would continue. But in reality, it would still be the delayed flashing from #62.
Aug 6, 2018 1:14 PM # 
The claim is that he ran past the incorrect control close enough to register (without making any attempt to knowingly punch it) on the way to his correct control; this is certainly plausible (although unproven) given the approach lines to the control.
Aug 6, 2018 1:21 PM # 
Graeme -- there doesn't need to be any change to the way courses are laid out, you can still have a streamered route to the place where the "start kite" would have been, and that running distance can be used to look at the map and evaluate route choices. But if it's a place where the runner has to go, then put a punch there. I've done this numerous times when setting courses, all courses have the same first control, which is typically straight ahead from the start along a trail (out of sight around a bend or over a small rise).

The most ludicrous implementation I've seen was (at a US Championships, no less), a remote start that runners were instructed that they had to go to, and a person with a clipboard there ensuring that everyone did.
Aug 6, 2018 1:33 PM # 
Isn't it cool how Hubmann and Alm won? There may be a lot of noise here, but the cream rises to the top.
Aug 6, 2018 1:38 PM # 
As far as I recollect, no one had ever won the same individual discipline at four WOCs in a row before Alm. Is that right? I believe Thierry has done three 3-peats (two middle, one long), Simone two (middle and sprint), and Annichen one. Very impressive accomplishment by Maja!
Aug 6, 2018 1:44 PM # 
You can see the 2.5 sec on the video link above, clearly the guy is running faster than 6m/s so the 15m rule looks to be OK. Note also how he "punches" the first control with his right hand, the second with his left. Then watch 2 hours of WOC sprint footage and see approximately no competitors flying through controls like that.

It's also not clear if the claim is...
"it didn't register because it was still processing the last control",
"I punched too fast, but its not my fault because I was confused by the card still flashing"

Since the first claim involves a reproducible circumstance, I'm a little surprised they didn't try to replicate it.

Tough call - I guess the organisers and the jury simply didn't believe either story but stopped short of saying it so bluntly.
Aug 6, 2018 1:49 PM # 
Thanks for the video djsanton97. To me it looks pretty conclusive that what the athlete claimed could well have happened, and I have to agree with robplow.

The features are dissimilar on the ground, but no way is the feature at 62 a garden. It looks like a good example of what sprint mapping guru Kjell Soenniksen would draw as a tree with a white circle. Good to see though, that as they had mapped it as a garden they taped it off!

Looks like IOF Rules should, as Blair suggests, increase the minimum distance between controls to account for SI response times.
Aug 6, 2018 1:52 PM # 
Re control placement:

I don't think we need a whole new rule about start kites
We just need to not put the last control right next to the start kite
...with a blind approach crossing over right in front
...on a junction open to traffic!
Aug 6, 2018 1:55 PM # 
Sorry Graeme, I watched it several times and could not see the runner 'punching' the first control. He just ran past it with a normal running action. But he did use a punching action at the second control. Presumably you can't have your SI card in both hands at once.
Aug 6, 2018 1:56 PM # 
@ j-man - all credit to Hubmann, but I think it was 'cooler' that Tim almost won.
Aug 6, 2018 2:12 PM # 
The claim is that he ran past the incorrect control close enough to register (without making any attempt to knowingly punch it) on the way to his correct control; this is certainly plausible (although unproven) given the approach lines to the control.

So why wasn't that considered enough to uphold the protest. The reasoning that he should have noticed the beeping stopped earlier that it should is absurd - no reasonable person should be expected to notice that.

To suggest the fact that he didn't check if his SI stopped beeping after 1 sec or 3 sec is enough to satisfy rule 20.5 which says that the runner must be disqualified " unless it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor’s fault" is harsh, legalistic,ungenerous and unworthy of any jury. It seems like the jury were desperate to find a way to dismiss the protest rather than act in a fair and reasonable manor.

There is another rule that is relevant here:

2.7 Sporting fairness shall be the guiding principle in the interpretation of these rules by competitors, organisers and the jury.

In fact that rule should be paramount in all cases. Jury members should be required to recite it the beginning of every meeting.
Aug 6, 2018 2:50 PM # 
You can see the 2.5 sec on the video link above, clearly the guy is running faster than 6m/s so the 15m rule looks to be OK.


Then watch 2 hours of WOC sprint footage

Probably not going to happen as I have my own WOC preparations going on at the moment. I would have thought video evidence submitted to the jury would be sufficient but then not being on the jury, I don't know if it's admissible as evidence or not! Plus I imagine the team would need access to it and whatnot within the protest period.
Aug 6, 2018 2:53 PM # 
So why wasn't that considered enough to uphold the protest.

Because the jury have to believe the claim. Every verifiable fact anyone has mentioned about Ahola applies just as much to Henry McNulty. The Australians could have put in word-for-word exactly the same protest.* Had they done so, we know the jury would have been 100% right to uphold the DQ - though they couldn't have been 100% sure they were right. Then to suggest "we think he didn't satisfy rule 20.5" rather than say "we think you're fibbing" seems pragmatic, courteous, generous and worthy of any jury.

(I'm not claiming the decision was right, simply that it can be argue either way. I completely agree about 2.7, but note that if you reinstate Ahola, that eliminates Hendrickx and Debertolis).

*Evidently the Australians are above that sort of unsporting skulduggery - it's not cricket after all...
Aug 6, 2018 2:53 PM # 
@simmo--yes, that would have been epic, for sure. And it could have happened!
Aug 6, 2018 3:04 PM # 
The jury is not saying anyone is fibbing. They are saying he should have noticed the early stopping of the beeps. I am saying that is entirely unreasonable - and if he heard his SI beeping as he punched then it is not his fault.

Ahola's claim seems entirely believable and the person who wrote the jury's ruling just said as much. And yes, if Ahola was reinstated so should McNulty - why would that be a problem. Assuming he suffered from the same issue it was just as unfair to him.

Usually when people are reinstated after a protest in a Q the practice is to NOT throw out those who already thought they were through to the F - that too would be unfair and cruel. Two or three extra in the final is not going to be a huge issue, indeed it should be planned for because this sort of thing is not uncommon.
Aug 6, 2018 7:12 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@jjcote: I do plan courses the way you suggest, i.e. last week I organized day two of Skjærgårdscupen, a _very_ low-key 3-day event consisting of BBQ parties preceded by ~30 min O courses.

This year I wanted to have a long route choice leg to the first control so I originally planned to have a long streamered run to the start triangle, at this point you could either go on or turn around 180 degrees which would make it very tempting to turn around a little bit too early, right?

Remembering your rule from previous posts ("But if it's a place where the runner has to go, then put a punch there"), I instead put the start triangle just 40 m from the start punch (same location as the finish) and had a regular control where I wanted to start the route choice:

PS. The route back through the housing area, down past the harbor to the mole and then the paths around the gardens and up to the hilltop with the radar mast turned out to be about 30 s faster when I tested it. OTOH I executed the bare rock route quite badly.
Aug 6, 2018 10:37 PM # 
An interesting discussion about SIAC behaviour, and jury behaviour.

Could I repeat a posting of a couple of days ago? "The flash time can be modified but the average competitor doesn't have the tools to do it. Is it common knowledge among elites and team managers?"

I'm thinking about the whole area of inadvertent punching and the outage time it produces. Some things about our sport (or other technology in daily life) are only known by the techie gurus and early adopters to start with, but eventually become "conventional wisdom". Taking photos with a phone, say.
Aug 7, 2018 12:49 AM # 
graeme - You think the jury could have said "we think you're fibbing", but didn't do so because they were courteous??

So someone running at 6 metres per second has the time to realise and then "fib" that although he knew that after he had "punched" his correct control that his SI was actually beeping from an inadvertent pass of a control sited 15-20m away? Absolutely not.

This blame finding that's been in that rule or similar for many years is itself to blame for this and many other situations. Organisers and juries have become accustomed to think athletes are liable to cheat and this rule sets them up to disqualify.

What organisers and juries should do is to establish the facts of the matter and give the benefit of the doubt to the athlete who has trained all year for this fleeting opportunity.
Aug 7, 2018 2:12 AM # 
The jury was almost exclusively made up of foot o and rules committee members. People who very likely were involved in the drafting of the rule in question. It is only natural that people from that background are likely to be more inclined toward stricter enforcement of that rule. Fair enough - but when almost everyone on the jury is from that background that tendency will be self reinforcing within the group. Would be good if the jury included a wider variety of viewpoints.

Also the rules say the SEA chairs jury meetings. No vote, but still a very influential position. This strikes me as problematic. Most protests mean there has been a perception of unfairness which may reflect badly on the organisers and the SEA. So often if a protest is upheld it can be interpreted in part as acknowledging a failure to ensure fairness by the SEA. The SEA is not an independent/disinterested party. Their reputation is at stake so they should not be in a position of power within the jury. Obviously the jury should hear from the SEA if they want, but he/she should not be part of the decision making process. There is a potential conflict of interest.

Also the rules say the organisers have the right to have a representative at the jury meeting (no vote). But the person/federation making the protest does not. Again the odds are stacked in favour of the organisers/establishment. Surely the plaintiff should have the right to make their case in person if everyone else does. Was anyone from the Finnish team invited to make their case before the jury in this instance?
Aug 7, 2018 8:57 AM # 
In reply to robplow, a conversation between a (diffferent) SEA and a WOC planner:

Planner: I want to do x with this course

SEA: You can't, it is against the rules

Planner: The rules say THIS, I think it means I can do x

SEA: Yes, the rules say THIS, I think it means you can't do x

Planner: What will happen if I do x

SEA: There will be a protest and it will go to the jury

Planner: ...and...

SEA: I chair the jury

Aside from this particular example, the SEA is put in an extremely powerful, and obviously conflicted position. This is not good for the SEA, or the sport.
Aug 7, 2018 10:24 AM # 
graeme - You think the jury could have said "we think you're fibbing", but didn't do so because they were courteous??
I think its possible, and I can imagine doing it.

The jury have a hard decision to make. There's no evidence that he went to the control, no video, no record in the box, no record on the card, nothing in the splits data, no spectators saw him, no other competitors saw him. It's entirely consistent with the facts that he just mispunched (like McNulty) and never went to the other control. Its not clear-cut like other cases

If he could replicate the error, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt citing rule 2.7. But I wouldn't criticize jurors who didn't think its fair to reinstate just on the athlete's word. Or even followed the rule about "with certainty". Suppose all agreed there was a 50% chance he was making it up, and the majority decided to DQ. I think everyone would be very reluctant to bluntly say we thought he might be lying. I would give some technical excuse for the DQ, alongside a statement like "if the facts as claimed are correct...".

The reply does indeed say "if the facts as claimed are correct...". If they believed him with certainty, they'd have said "we accept the facts as claimed are correct". That's why I think the jury aren't convinced he even went there and the legalistic DQ is primarily a courtesy.

n.b. Even if he didn't punch, if the controls were too close (<15m), he'd still have a legitimate complaint to the organiser. So no criticism of asking the question.

Like robplow I'm a big fan of rule 2.7, but fairness means fairness, not leniency for those who protest. Since the facts are the same for McNulty the outcome of the protest should apply to him too. We know McNulty didn't go there, but he shouldn't be penalised for not fibbing. Similarly, if you let the 17th placer in from this heat, fairness means you should do so from all the others.

(Full disclosure - this exact same thing happened to me in the British champs, and I got DQ'ed)
Aug 7, 2018 11:15 AM # 
@gruver: as you are repeating your "feedback length can be configured" statement - may I ask what you are implying?
For WOC I can say that the athletes received SIACs from the organisers, checked and configured equally to "standard" = 3 seconds feedback.
Yes, theoretically a team could reconfigure their SIACs to a different feedback. I don't see much sense in it and my feeling is Finnland doesn't have the hardware to do it.
Aug 7, 2018 12:30 PM # 
Apart from 20.5, another rule that is questionable, in my opinion, is 23.8 (timing to .1 sec) - a casual glance at the video replay for the women's sprint final shows numerous instances where random pedestrian interference to runners (59:15 (Denisova), 1:00:00 (Ohlsson)), and supporter assistance to runners (1:02:56 (Wyder), 1:03:35 (Alm)) could easily have amounted to time differences greater than 0.1 seconds.
Aug 7, 2018 3:39 PM # 
as a spectator event for the general public we look mostly weird, and sometimes a nuisance

Aug 8, 2018 1:43 AM # 
Is the start procedure even precise to 0.1 seconds?
Aug 8, 2018 2:18 AM # 
jSh: I looked up some information after an organiser here recommended that the flash time be reduced for a sprint with very close controls. They provided a service at the event to do that (and presumably restore the settings afterwards). I discovered the information in page 42+. It just needs SI-Config+ and a download box.

Now this was an event for school kids in a small country a long way from the centre of international competition. About as far as it's possible to get. So I thought, if a "country bumpkin" can do it then surely team managers and coaches could have the gear too. It's just like saying, "are you sure those shoes are best for today's wet cobblestones?" At any rate I would think they would be aware of these things and it would be part of training and preparation.

It was "news" when it cropped up here recently, I was just seeking to confirm that this has become part of what every top orienteer knows. I wasn't aware that WOC organisers provided SIACs, that's interesting too. I'm expected to have my own round here, perhaps it is to make sure no-one has a faster chip than anyone else? Do they provide identical compasses too:-))
Aug 8, 2018 2:30 AM # 
More proof here that "sprint" is not orienteering. It is closer to a zombie run, or a treasure hunt.
Orienteering is THE forest sport.
Aug 8, 2018 4:53 AM # 
I've heard second-hand that there's a proposal making its way through the system to scrap 0.1 second timing.
Aug 8, 2018 6:00 AM # 
gruver, we got provided with SI Air here (at the other WOC) from the organisers as well as a backup chip, despite me already having my own SI Air. Kay thought it prudent we use the organiser's chips in case there was an issue with them then we could blame the organisers rather than our own chips.
Aug 8, 2018 6:47 AM # 
Good thinking. What happens at lesser events, you would be able to tell us whether the optimum flash setting for MTBO is something that is common knowledge in elite circles. I see that Sport Ident recommend a longer flash time for MTBO.

Yes I noted that you have to carry TWO SIAC's. That's a real endorsement of the technology isn't it? Sorry all, we should really hive this off to the "Technical Talk" thread:-(
Aug 8, 2018 7:03 AM # 
Probably doesn't matter given that's the Latvia technical talk thread so neither this thread nor that one has anything to do with MTBO SI flash times. As a matter of note the second SI we carry emits no sound.
Aug 8, 2018 9:22 AM # 
OK so we've now learned two things:

1. Don't put the start control and the last control too close to each other
2. Don't put any two other controls too close to each other either

Aug 8, 2018 9:41 AM # 
@gruver - I'm surprised some back-of-beyond organiser felt the need to tweak SIAC feedback times to fix other suboptimalities like too close controls. It goes towards proving to me that anything configurable will at some stage be twisted the wrong way, and negative outcome is of course always blamed on SPORTident.

Confuguring a shorter feedback time than standard=3 would mean 1 second. If I were a top-level athlete, it would be hard for me to decide between avoiding chip-blockage at very close controls and a too short feedback to be able to do the "phoning home" movement reliably when leaving the control - risking turning back to punch again and loosing seconds and "flow".

For MTBO, longer feedback is recommended as sometimes high-speed controls on tricky terrain make immediate "phoning home" movement dangerous, so the athletes appreciate a longer time window for checking punch was successful.

Yes, SIACs are provided to ensure fairness (though chip variations are extremely small), but also to ensure 100% function of chip regarding SRR-radio, needed at radio controls, vital for live coverage, essential for everybodies amusement and stepping stone on the long road to those games with the five rings...

Re backup SIAC. The idea is that if a catastrophic crash happens, the internal battery sometimes tears off, rendering the active SIAC to become passive only. For foot-o with BSF7/8 and 50cm range, you can always backup-punch in-hole. For MTBO with BS11-BS, no hole, therefore backup SIAC that hopefully survived the crash. Nota bene the backup SIAC is *not* supposed to be a "if mispunch on primary, read the backup" setup, though Sweden forced that interpretation at ESOC in BG this year.

@jjcote - when 0.1 is used (SF only), a start-gate is used. Hand-on-shoulder only for 1 second timing.
Aug 8, 2018 10:38 AM # 
I was surprised too when I heard this organiser recommend a short flash. Far better to just think a bit about the control spacings.

But I think I have my answer. Tuning an SIAC is not common knowledge even at the top level, and you may have to use a provided one anyway. This could help decide what is reasonable to expect a competitor to do under various circumstances.
Aug 8, 2018 10:53 AM # 
@Arnold ...we've now learned...
The real problem is that IOF won't learn that. There was no protest about the start, and the protest about too-close controls wasn't upheld. There's no mechanism for passing anything on.
Like all organisers, we learnt a ton of stuff at WOC2015, and we even did a lot of non-trivial things right! But IOF didn't invite anyone to the major events conference or pass on any of our feedback. So now we get to watch the same issues happening all over again.
Aug 8, 2018 12:50 PM # 
3. Wear a go-pro, so you will be able to establish with certainty that you visited all controls. Technology used by race organizers being apparently insufficient.

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