Discussion: Scoring list updated
in: US Team Trials for WOC 2012;
After Day 1. Unofficial, based on attackpoint results. Official results may be posted at the ousa2012.org
site later tonight? Hopefully it'll match...
After Day 2
- Unofficial results now posted. Confirmed to match official results as of ~2pm
Unofficial announcement of the US WOC team:
1. Eddie Bergeron
2. Eric Bone
3. Ross Smith (by petition)
4. Boris Granovskiy
5. Giacomo Barbone
1st alt - Jordan Laughlin (by petition)
2nd alt - Wyatt Riley
3rd alt - Ken Walker
1. Alison Crocker
2. Samantha Saeger ( by petition)
3. Hannah Burgess
4. Alex Jospe
5. Sandra Lauenstein (by petition)
1st alt. Pavlina Brautigam
2nd alt. Cristina Luis
...I suppose Zurcher should be Lauenstein though...
Is there a final scoring list somewhere?
Is it just me or does this method completely miss the 3 per discipline allocation..?
Seems like something dreamed up so that there are no 'hard decisions' to be made by any selector.
Seems like something dreamed up so that there are no 'hard decisions' to be made by any selector.
You say that as if objectivity were a bad thing.
When you are selecting for 3 (4) different races then this objectivity is a bad thing. From this I gather that the top 3 can pick and chose which races they run, and the other 2 are there to fill the vacant spots, otherwise what is the point of selecting in this manner (basically disregarding the type of event and saying that any orienteering race is the same as the next)
Say you have a world class sprint orienteer, wins the sprint trial, but crashes out in all others....do they get selected?
Fly'n's observations are entirely correct, and the answer to his last question is "they don't". This was thought about thoroughly by the U.S. Team's leadership in 2008 and 2009, and the situation was deemed too hypothetical to worry about. There was perhaps a single case so far of an individual well qualified to run the Sprint who didn't have comparable results in the Middle or the Long, but the results—as they unfortunately are with many of those who are indeed selected—weren't truly world-class, only good enough to best the rest. When the situation changes, I'm sure the selection procedure will be altered to accommodate the new reality.
From the Team page about the rules... is this the current situation?
In order to petition:
b) The candidate must either:
Be ranked in the top 3 WOC-eligible people in M21/F21 for the most recent 12-month* OUSA Rankings
Have won one (or more) of 1) the last 2 day Classic Champs preceding the Team Trials (combined result), 2) the last Sprint, Middle or Long Champs preceding the Team Trials, 3) any race of the Team Trials itself,
Be living outside of North America for at least 6 of the previous 12 months preceding the team trials, and submit along with the petition a summary of his/her (foreign) competition results and world ranking (if available) for the preceding year.
In other words, you can petition if you win a TT race.
This selection system rewards consistency, and if that's the goal then it works well.
ok so WOC selection is a reward for being consistent, so that is the end point, WOC selection, well done you are in the top 5 consistent orienteers in America.
Shouldn't WOC selection be part of the step to getting the best possible results in each different race at WOC.
Its probably not a problem as the US's top 5 runners normally cover the best for each race, but this points system calculation just seems so backwards.
Shouldn't WOC selection be part of the step to getting the best possible results
Indeed this was exactly the subject of the discussion I mention, and the answer that won the argument is that the most consistent people are most likely to get the best possible results.
Fly'n, I think I mostly agree with you. There seems to be some kind of supreme distaste with a subjective selection system in the US, so instead we have this "objective" system, which is getting less and less objective each year. Since I don't think there'd be a big difference between the teams we've been selecting and the teams that a selection committee would make, I leave this one alone. Pick your fights and all. At least the system is easy to understand - if you don't make the team then it's pretty clear why, and what you have to do to get there.
One other thing to consider is that although the team gets selected in this objective fashion, the decision about which races each athlete competes in at WOC is a more subjective one. The runners do give input, but the final decision is made by the team leadership, and race performance at selection races in only one piece of data that they use.
I would be in favor of accommodating sprint specialists, or for that matter middle or long specialists, but perhaps not at the expense of a system where all comers have a chance to arrive at the Team Trials and race well to earn themselves a spot on the team.
not at the expense of a system where all comers have a chance to arrive at the Team Trials and race well to earn themselves a spot on the team.
Why not? Isn´t racing well what it´s all about?
I think we agree, bubo, I think that having outstanding results at team trials should earn a spot on the team. I mean to contrast this approach to one where a selecting body chooses a team subjectively, even if that subjectivity allows for "specialists" getting chosen with otherwise inconsistent results. It's a tough balance though, and there are people that get burned with any system that is used.
Can I ask again, is there a final scoring list somewhere?
Note that the US system used to be somewhat different. It used to be that the top three earned places on the team based on Team Trials results, and the remaining spots and alternates were chosen by a committee. There was dissatisfaction expressed by a number of people as to how that was working out, and there was a call for all spots to be from Team Trials results. This was the basis of the new system, with a modification to allow a few people who would be "expected" to do well (based on championship results in the previous year) to file a petition -- this would allow, among other things, a way to deal with something like a defective map. Various adjustments have been made since.
However, note that the basic system that is in use now was developed before there was a Sprint discipline. It was Short/Classic/Relay at the time, and even Short was relatively new.
Boris, my apologies. I will get that posted tonight.
I believe the ESC is planning on addressing the possibility of changing the selection procedure to allow for discipline specialization. There certainly is validity in that approach.
I'm almost done with the continuation of the unofficial posting...
Scoring List - Final
unofficial until Valerie checks it...
Thanks, Wyatt. I was just about to post that I don't have the computer with the file at home tonight and will post tomorrow. So, tomorrow I will confirm the numbers and declare it official.
I was surprised the first time I heard about the strictly statistical selection process to select the US team. I´m not in doubt that it probably still has produced the best "over-all" WOC team the last couple of years.
My first reaction was that on at least one occasion a slightly more sprint oriented runner should have been selected, but wasn´t because of lack of high enough ranking points (two good selection races wasn´t enough...).
Sprint would probably be the main reason to look into the process again.
Much received wisdom suggest this is a good idea. I'm not so sure. I still think this is a hypothetical question when you consider the universe the US team selects from. Where are the sprint specialists?
But, let's at least consider the counterfactuals.
There is enough historical data that I think we could imagine alternative teams in the past. How would they have done vs. what we did have? (And remember allocating a spot for the sprint reduces what you have elsewhere, so there are broader repercussions.)
Anyway, clearly there are some people that can run fast and that is necessary to do well in an elite sprint. A 19 minute 5K is a waste of time. On the other hand, if someone who is fast can't qualify for the US Team, there may be other reasons (such as lack of experience, etc.) that would not serve them well in the WOC sprint. To me, this is little more than buying a way out of the money call option without considering the opportunity cost.
I think the specialist idea can work well among countries with depth, but strikes me as a big Hail Mary and somewhat poorly conceived for the US. IMHO. I would be happy to debate this in detail offline.
[There are other arguments you could make for going this route, and arguably, I find them more pursuasive than ones oriented at first order results.]
I think one important point is that currently you'd be ill advised to concentrate solely on sprint, because of the TT regs. Perhaps if they were loosened up, you would get a couple? Murray back in GB has done an awesome job of specialising (Although he runs a pretty mean marathon too :s).
But there are two different issues. Murray has been orienteering internationally for more than 10 years. I don't know him or his development process, but he clearly demonstrated success as an orienteer, and seemingly rather recently, demonstrated particular success as a sprint "specialist." But, I hazard to say that he would stack up quite well against US middle or long "specialists"--if there were such things. His success at sprints is not a fluke and is grounded on deep experience and preparation. More than 10 years of it.
I think much of the notions of people commenting on the US selection system is that there is some way people with natural sprint talents aren't being selected. If we just punched their ticket, maybe we would get some results. Or maybe more charitably, it is worth the old "college try." I just don't see a reasonable basis for this but I am open to discussion.
[Let me reassert that I am a big proponent of the principles of comparative advantage in all things...]
I'm thinking of other ways of putting this, and being politically correct...
Let me try this... given the pool of people the US selects from, if one can't qualify for the team by demonstrating basic competence across all disciplines (this is different than demonstrating the ability to make an event final or produce a top 30 performance) I find it hard to believe that one can have so much comparative advantage in the sprint to compensate for the inability to do well enough in the other disciplines to qualify for the team on general merit.
I guess it's a question of whether you want to send the best possible team for this year's results or if you value development and potential future results.
Yes--the development issue is a valid one. And perhaps necessarily more subjective and harder to quantify.
I agree that j-mans penultimate comment makes sense. With the limited pool of talent to select from it should mean something that you have a basic over-all competence and could actually get into the team the present way.
The case I was talking about (not enough ranking points and only two acceptable trials runs) could have been solved differently with a different selection policy. I´m not sure it would have been better - only different.
Another question: Is it possible to petition AFTER the trials? That could be a case if someone actually got ill or injured at the races themselves. Illness prior to the races could also be a factor - even if you hope you´ll get well it may affect your performance...
Isn´t racing well what it´s all about?
The main reason behind the mostly objective U.S. Team selection is that the long-term damage to the organization from perceived subjectivity is considered to be greater than the potential gains to the organization from having somewhat higher performance at the WOC. Those who petition about things they don't like should keep this balance in mind.
You write: the potential gains to the organization from having somewhat higher performance at the WOC.
Did you mean: the gains to the organization from _potentially_ having somewhat higher performance at the WOC.?
If not, I say go get your GPS for the potential gains to the organization from having somewhat higher attendance at events.
Yes, that's exactly what I meant! (laughing hard).
For all the talk about the need for total objectivity, the balance of objectivity/subjectivity, etc., it is interesting to note the evolution of selection procedures over the years. For quite a few WOCs back in the days when WOCs only happened every two years and there were just 2 races, the top 3 finishers in the Team Trials (men and women) were automatic selections and the next 2 (for a total of 5 team members, men and women) were selected by committee. Indeed, more teams--by far--were selected by that method than any other method so far.
This year 3 team members were selected by committee through petition. I don't know if all the men selected intend to go or will be able to go, but if not and if 1st alternate Jordan L. does go, then things will have come full circle. So far that doesn't seem to have created any detectible amount of angst or negativity.
No criticism, complaint, suggestion, or praise implied here. Just an observation. The more things change, the more things stay the same! ; )
Is it possible to petition AFTER the trials?
I'm going on memory, but I believe the answer is yes. The petition clause was put in particularly to deal with unexpected problems that might happen at the trials (e.g. if a control got stolen before the last starter got to it). The part about competitors who couldn't make it to the Team Trials at all was a secondary motivation, although it has been the reason for most petitions.
Where angels fear to tread?
While no process is ever perfect, it seems that the current system fulfills needs of fairness, transparency and performance–based metric, regardless of the strongest discipline. This is perhaps more analogous to the decathlon than to a single event (eg 1500m) at the USATF Olympic trials.
Personally I would love to see the US replicate a Hanny Allston sprint medal (noting she also won gold in the long at JWOC the same year) or even Yvette Hague /Baker (gold in middle) and strongly suspect that success requires specialization / focus. Depending on our aspirations, perhaps Ski-O focus is our brightest prospect right now.
In terms of attracting pure running talent (and we can debate the merits and metric thresholds of track middle or long distance running strength vis a vis O discipline and navigational aptitude), there is a fundamental issue that afflicts the US more so than any other country (English speaking or otherwise).
Put simply, for athletes, US college-based programs largely dictate entry into mainstream (usually “professional” or Olympic oriented) sports for largely financial (ie scholarship) reasons. Unlike other countries, at the elite college–age level, Orienteering merits at best, “secondary “ sport status. Is it possible to change this? Maybe not - and I for one don’t advocate sweating this point, rather let’s savor the “amateur” status of our sport, embrace serendipity and push the boundaries where and when feasible. The universe is full of emerging stars of one form or another.
Congrats and best wishes to all those selected on the US teams for upcoming JWOC and WOC events.
T/D - "the long-term damage to the organization from perceived subjectivity" are you taking the piss...?
There is talk about the limited talent pool, but does this system encourage anyone else to 'break' into this pool, say by being outstanding and focusing on 1 discipline, or throw them away by saying that they have not done enough 'hard graft' in all orienteering skills to even warrant thinking about it. (think of a top runner that can grasp urban maps, but struggles with forest, and you are saying right away "there is no chance you making our WOC team so dont even bother giving serious orienteering more thought" and yes some people need the challenge/goal of higher honours to take a sport seriously)
We don't even have enough urban sprints for somebody to specialize in them.
Well, that's my cue! Hello!
"the long-term damage to the organization from perceived subjectivity"
some people need the challenge/goal of higher honours to take a sport seriously
Several quite talented people left the sport after being passed over for Team selection in the 1990s. For that matter, there are examples of at least one leaving after being objectively edged out, so maybe someone would have left anyway regardless of the selection procedure, if not necessarily the same people.
Who are you talking about, exactly?
We don't even have enough urban sprints
Of sanctioned Orienteering USA events in the U.S., there were two urban Sprints in 2008 (U.S. Champs Sprint 1, Team Trials), one in 2009 (West Point), one in 2010 (West Point), one in 2011 (Team Trials), and two so far in 2012 (Get Lost!!, U.S. Champs), according to an arbitrary wild/urban boundary that I just drew. That's less total than a single weekend of Vancouver Camp. The trend (and partly the attendance) seems to show that the market is weak. I would welcome any suggestions of what to do about it, but perhaps there's not much to be done other than to keep putting these things on and hope people will come to appreciate them.
This discussion thread is closed.