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Discussion: Thank You OCIN and ICO

in: Flying Pig XVII and Eastern Interscholastic Champs (Apr 5–7, 2013 - Bloomington, IN, US)

Apr 8, 2013 12:57 AM # 
3 days of excellent courses, steep hills, great organization, more steep hills, and awesome weather! Job well done!
Apr 8, 2013 4:10 AM # 
Apr 8, 2013 4:13 AM # 
One of the best Pigs ever, if not, the weather was :)
Apr 8, 2013 5:52 AM # 
Indeed, we had a blast! Aways love the flying pig.
Apr 8, 2013 9:11 AM # 
New and interesting venues, well run, loads of fun. Thanks OCIN!
Apr 8, 2013 11:53 AM # 
Great courses.. and thanks for taking it easy on us Sunday in response to the Hellacious courses on Sat. Can't wait til next year. Anyone heard about the status of Addison who was injured on Sunday?
Apr 8, 2013 12:06 PM # 
Great job, OCIN -- fantastic weekend and the cooperating weather couldn't have been better.
Update on Addison is in the "...for those watching from home" thread.
Apr 8, 2013 12:21 PM # 
It was great! I don't know how you do it, but please keep it up. Thanks!
Apr 8, 2013 2:37 PM # 
Addison was home last night and communicating with friends by text, Facebook, and a short post on his AP log. He's definitely pretty sore and was told no activities for six weeks, but otherwise doing well.
Apr 8, 2013 2:49 PM # 
Great job OCIN and ICO- good maps that have stood the test of time. And Mike you are a class act when it comes to meet direction and the catalyst for helping us get ICO started some 15 years ago.
Great weekend and especially pleased to hear that Addison is doing OK; a really nasty fall but good outcome; one tough dude!
Apr 8, 2013 2:51 PM # 
And BP thanks for being on the spot at the finish with medical assistance, and staying with him until the ambulances arrived.
Apr 8, 2013 4:42 PM # 
Lost and found. Garmin charger in a burgundy-colored pouch. (I'm sure someone wants this back.)
Apr 9, 2013 12:10 AM # 
With lots of fresh Lidar and interesting terrain perhaps we'll see much more of southern Indiana in the coming years?
Apr 9, 2013 12:25 AM # 
Great weekend. Thanks to OCIN and ICO for another fun Pig. Terrain, courses and organization all great. Who knew such a flat state as IN could have such awesome terrain. Hope more can be mapped. Look forward to returning, just don't wait too long.
Apr 9, 2013 1:28 AM # 
Actually right now OCIN's efforts are where the money is! Almost all of the large parks around Cincinnati metro area have been mapped and used about a half-dozen times each for the Pig and other A events. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is aggressively pursuing sporting events and is willing to sponsor the creation of maps. The State of Indiana better match these offers (and I know that Visit Bloomington is indeed being quite cooperative and welcoming).
Apr 9, 2013 1:50 AM # 
> Kentucky is aggressively pursuing sporting events

what a coincidence... on the drive back home, heard this hour-long radio piece of what's happening in Appalachia, and there was something said about the office of adventure tourism.

Actually, the USARA finals of two years ago came to mind...
Apr 9, 2013 4:05 AM # 
Would like to add my thanks to Mike M and crew - great weekend!
Apr 9, 2013 4:28 AM # 
Great terrain, great weather, great fun!
Apr 9, 2013 12:11 PM # 
Linear Ice:
What a beautiful part of the country, and a treat to get to be there with a most excellent event, variety of courses, fun people. Thanks.
Apr 9, 2013 1:37 PM # 
> What a beautiful part of the country

While munching a pizza and drinking beer at Big Woods Pizza, we chatted with some folks next to our table. Turned out they were a mtbike club that organizes regional events and consults for national events such as the upcoming USARA national finals

... and chance wanted that we had three acquaintances in common... all part of the six degrees of separation theory...
Apr 10, 2013 6:17 PM # 
Another great Pig. Thank you. Long's length and climb did me in - that's me! After Long, Sunday's Middle was a real treat. Excellent contrast between the 2! I enjoyed the challenges of the Sprint Course. See Linear Ice's log for an analysis of some of our choices.

Can of worms warning! Early in Sprint course, all Orange->Blue courses (check RG for courses) had a similar leg to rock-face on south side of wide, obvious swath of Olive Green. It took good map reading to see the right-stairs as optimal; left stairs 'Okay'; and sure don't want to run far left.

With the likelihood of numerous violations crossing the stony Olive Green, what is the obligation of host/course designer?
1. I believe that there was a spotter. But can the spotter be assured of seeing both the violation and the bib # of all violators? If some are missed, is it fair?
2. Camera on tree as back-up perhaps? When is it viewed? Hmm, big screen at Finish could be fun!
3. Ask swampfox to hire sufficient unemployed WY cowboys to lasso and corral all violators? Or shoot with paint gun? :)
4. If violators are not to be DQ'ed, then should course designer avoid the route or should the north side of Olive Green be taped? At least some time would be lost by those who did not look ahead.

Personally, I liked the leg. Perhaps Option #1 was intended but then found not be practical?

PS: I hesitated to open this issue. I did because I'm sure that it impacts many Sprint course designs. I'm hoping for broad responses that go beyond this Pig event.
Apr 10, 2013 7:14 PM # 
@Ricka: I didn't quite get that it was olive at first, and I was just thinking dark green, as in some thick hedge or brambles. I was barrelling down on it on more or less the straight line for the control when I saw the daffodils and the light went on, so I headed R and down the stairs, as intended. Meanwhile, there was a guy in front of me (no need for names) who hopped on the rocks and down the wall. Mike Minium was at the bottom, and told him he had just crossed the uncrossable, but there was no DQ. It does seem like a problem if people cross olive green and are not DQ'd, but much nicer not to tempt them so.
Apr 10, 2013 10:23 PM # 
In retrospect, we probably should have flagged the north edge of the olive green. This was a tricky place to set a good leg (no way to cross without zig-zagging through the steps), and it was obvious from a few minutes of watching that we would have had to disqualify a quarter or more of the field if we'd been intent on recording every violation. Definitely a lesson learned for next time.

I did enjoy telling one person that he was going out of bounds, and so befuddling his brain that he missed seeing the control, ran right past it, and then stood about 20 feet from it, staring at his map for the better part of a minute before a little boy who had been sitting nearby got up, ran over to him, tugged on his shirt, and pointed at the control. In his case, it surely cost more than it saved!

While I think that most experienced sprinters grasp that the olive green and black walls are not to be crossed, it is obvious that many 'A" meet participants still do not have a good understanding of the sprint rules for ISSOM 1:4000 and 5000 maps. This despite a warm-up map that clearly displayed and explained these symbols.
Apr 11, 2013 12:22 AM # 
While I think that most experienced sprinters grasp that the olive green and black walls are not to be crossed, it is obvious that many 'A" meet participants still do not have a good understanding of the sprint rules for ISSOM 1:4000 and 5000 maps.

Right. Which is unfortunate in a way, because in this case, the experienced people dutifully went around and watched wistfully as less experienced people went merrily through the green. In this case, by not DQing the violators, it was unfair to those who knew the rules and tried to comply. I did inform the one gentleman I witnessed in the act that it was OOB (right after he did it) but that isn't really fair either.
Apr 11, 2013 12:27 AM # 
I saw the olive green and flowers, started heading to the stairs when I saw a nice rock ledge down to the bottom. It was from the concrete walkway to to the rock ledge that I went on. As a matter of fact if you look at the map there is no green between the rocks, just a brown contour line. Now look at this while running a sprint. Interesting call.
Apr 11, 2013 12:38 AM # 
The notion of a spotter, charged with recording or DQing violators is anathema to me. It is a perversion of orienteering as well as an unnecessary diversion of important resources. This is a flaw with the sprint discipline, IMO. Luckily, it can be mitigated as Mike and others note above.
Apr 11, 2013 1:05 PM # 
I don't think there was any doubt from the map that crossing the garden was out of bounds. Even my unassisted vision (which can still barely read 1:4000, but 1:10000 is becoming a problem) had no trouble picking that up. The reason isn't that it was hard or easy to read but that, as a sprint mapper and course designer, I'm used to looking for such things. If you expect trap legs with uncrossable features, they are not difficult to read. If you're not looking for them (or even considering them), you'll miss it.

I think legs like that are a good part of sprinting, but they only work if the rules are enforced. Sadly, the tape doesn't really work. I set a trap leg at an A-meet sprint a few years ago and when I picked up the control, I saw the tape had been torn down, most likely by somebody who just didn't want to accept the 15-second hit for falling for the trap (the map and clue were very clear in this instance). I personally don't have a problem with DQ'ing 1/4 of the field if that's what it takes to get people to follow the rules.

That said, in this case, I don't think there was much advantage gained by the illegal route. I took the stairs to the right and I'd think I got to the bottom of them just as quickly as I would have got to the contrtol on the redline. It took less than five seconds to run from the stairs to the control. Yes, five seconds matters in a sprint, but not enough to say that the course was flawed. I, personally, thought it was great.

Interestingly (to me anyway) was that later in the course, I was running a leg and jumped off a wall that was about a meter high. The instant I did it, I felt that sinking feeling in my heart that I had just DQ'd myself. There was just a bit too much detail right there for me to see if the wall was mapped uncrossable. As soon as I caught my breath at the finish, I checked the map carefully and was relieved to see that it was mapped in light gray.
Apr 11, 2013 4:43 PM # 
I don't think it was obvious that this was wrong. Like I mentioned I went concrete walkway to rock ledge to the ground, if you look at the stair route it was broken up by the same contour line that runs through the two rocks I crossed on. Both were surrounded by olive green. I did see Mike taking pictures at the bottom of the ledge, and was still willing to take my route since there were no flower or even any dirt on my route. Proof is in the pics, which might be fun to look at. I though since he was taking pictures that there would be DQ's. But of course it's over now and only like to hash this out for discussion sake.
Apr 11, 2013 5:09 PM # 
One comment I had about the leg was that the brown contour lines were on top of the black staircase; I believe this is not the correct color order according to ISSOM. I bring that up as a technicality and a suggestion for future printing, not as a complaint; the event was excellent. I suspect many of the people who plowed through the olive green did not do so because of a permutation in the color printing order.
Apr 11, 2013 6:47 PM # 
The ISSOM says "contour lines shall be represented as continuous lines through all symbols" (with a few exceptions). So, the full-brown color, which is only used for contour features, should stack on top of all other colors, including the black and partial brown used for staircases.
Apr 11, 2013 7:17 PM # 
As an event organizer, I would certainly welcome a change in competitors' attitude from "I can go wherever I damn well please" (which is the predominant one) to "I should steer well clear of these colors, because they are there for a reason and the course designer must have been trying to tell me something".
Apr 11, 2013 8:14 PM # 
One of the "few" exceptions: "step or edge of paved area (529.1)" The break in the stairs caused by the contours line was confusing and difficult to interpret on the run. The contour line should have been broken around the stairs.

As for the direct line done through the green, the brown showed but there was dark green on either side - under magnification. Moving the black symbols to provide a better gap would improve the map.
Apr 11, 2013 8:29 PM # 
T/D, I would disagree strongly with that interpretation of color. The contour lines should be continuous thorough symbols like buildings, but the color printing order has black over brown. When you print black ink over anything it is still black. The brown should blend with the other colors like the grey for the building interiors and still look brown.
Apr 11, 2013 8:29 PM # 
I too was confused by the contour line over the staircases.

I figured the OCAD colors were layered "incorrectly" (my thought at the time; I wasn't sure of the rules), and that it was indeed a complete staircase, though my first idea was that the contour lines were at landings in the staircase.

After I reasoned it all out, I took the western (straighter) staircase.
Apr 11, 2013 9:20 PM # 
OK, so I can concede that the 529.1 (edges and steps) should not be covered by brown according to the ISSOM, but a literal interpretation of the ISSOM "101 Contour" paragraph still yields a prescription that all other blacks should be covered/knocked out by the contour-line brown. This seems to imply that the contours should show through the impassable walls, building edges, and narrow trails. To me this makes perfect sense; a complex geometry of manmade features should not hide the underlying relief.

The ISSOM also seems to imply that contour lines should indeed show through the partially brown innards of the stairs, the only part of the stairs symbol that should interrupt the contours is the black. If you are doing a spot-color printing, then the recipe prescribed by the "101 Contour" paragraph of ISSOM seems to be contour-line brown on top of all blacks except for the 529.1 black, then the 529.1 black on top of everything—unless you cut the brown lines in the file around the 529.1 black, then you can have all blacks as a single color, but still below the full brown. If you are doing four-color printing, then perhaps you can play with the effect that brown lines have when they cross the non-529.1 black lines, but they should not be hidden by the non-529.1 lines according to my reading of "101 Contour".

So, I disagree with Ed. I think Ed is taking guidance from the "4.1 Spot colour printing" section, but it seems inconsistent with the "5.1 LAND FORMS/101 Contour" paragraph, and I would think the latter takes precedence.
Apr 11, 2013 9:59 PM # 
I went back to my notes and saw that the black/brown situation is quite a bit more complicated than my initial post, or Ed's followup, and then recalled that Bill and Heidi Cusworth and I fought for a while with the conflicting letter and spirit of ISSOM (and the limitations of OCAD 8 and printing directly from OCAD 8) a year and a half ago, trying to make the map of Land's End legible and consistent—with what we understood the spirit to be. I think we mostly succeeded, but the stackup was fairly complex. You can almost see in RouteGadget image that contour-line brown is above the non-urban (thicker) 529.1 and the dashed trail borderlines, but below the urban 529.1. Contour lines show through the semi-brown fill of the stairs, as we think they should. Thick solid black lines, and building outlines, are on top of the brown (but I'm not entirely convinced that the latter should be). And small trails came out best on top of the brown as well. Again, if we had the ability to blend, we'd probably have blended the dashed trail borderlines with the brown, but lacking the option to gain that capability within the time we had, we chose to knock them out.

There are a few other disagreements in the file with the letter of ISSOM, most importantly the passable wall grey is set to knock out the brown—because it looked better on this particular map. So, my corrected judgment should say "contour lines should be continuous, except where it doesn't look good". What does that mean for spot color order? it most likely depends on the terrain; in heavily urban terrain brown should most likely be on top of the black, in forested terrain (if you have a lot of narrow trails) perhaps the other way round.
Apr 11, 2013 10:35 PM # 
Olles put together some interesting thoughts and exhibits about this issue on FB. Not sure if you all can access...
Apr 12, 2013 3:38 AM # 
Assuming you see the uncrossable feature, there are the people who don't know better and those who should. For those who don't, the time savings probably won't make that much difference, but they need to be educated. For those who should, shame on you....

Since nobody else has brought it up.... The OOB and uncrossables are there for a reason. Runners violating either potentially generates bad will from the land owner towards the event director. Trampled gardens or liability exposure from an injury.

I don't remember the venue but there was a dead-end ally with a 6 foot climb at the end to get out. Clearly marked as unpassable, but people who just as clearly should have known better were making the climb to avoid a fairly long run around to get the control at the top. It was a bit disappointing.

I don't have a problem with DQing people who get caught even if a spotter doesn't get 100%. As long as treatment is equal (all who are caught are DQ'd, no exceptions).

Not spotting the OOB and getting DQ'd would be a bummer, but is it really so different from running right past a control without punching it because you missed it on the map?

Rock hopping on this one seems valid as long as you don't cross the uncrossable wall. I thought about doing that too. Any other opinions on this?
Apr 12, 2013 1:01 PM # 
"I don't remember the venue but there was a dead-end ally with a 6 foot climb at the end to get out. Clearly marked as unpassable..."

bill_l: I think you are trying to remember GNC 2012, Univ. of West Georgia sprint. I peeked into the alley and saw some pullups in progress.
Apr 14, 2013 12:43 AM # 
Bill_l said " long as you don't cross the uncrossable wall." I presume he was talking about the two short black line segments running E-W at the southern edge of the olive green, just W of the cliff (#60). But are those impassable walls or passable cliffs? To me this is a real puzzle about ISSOM: impassable walls are represented by black lines with a thickness of 0.4 mm while passable cliffs can be represented by black lines with a thickness of 0.3 mm. Are we really supposed to be able to tell the difference? Anyone have some guidance here?
Apr 14, 2013 12:46 AM # 
At the risk of confusing this thread by asking two separate questions in a row: I was (and still am) puzzled by the symbols at #41. What I see is a grey line representing a passable wall but bordered by a thin black line. During the competition, I couldn't make out what this was, so I treated it as an impassable wall. Even now, I don't know what that thin black line means. I don't think it represents a different level of pavement. What it is it?
Apr 14, 2013 8:20 PM # 
A couple of points about Sprint rules & ISSOM to clarify some things above:

1. "Stepping on rocks" to get through a forbidden area is not allowed. Just like jumping over it is not allowed. It is a feature that is "forbidden to cross" - regardless on if you stomp down a flower or not. (i.e. not "forbidden to step on flowers in this area" ;-)

2. To reiterate bill_l's comment - one of the primary reasons for OOB in sprint is to keep runners out of areas that they are not allowed in (i.e. it is not to create "DQ traps"). Recall the chaos at the WOC Sprint Qualifier in France, which led the IOF to say the following: “A lesson to be learnt from this is that if the organiser recognises that there is a chance that an out-of-bounds area might be crossed by runners, maximum effort should be put into trying to prevent them doing so – this is far better than concentrating on catching offenders and disqualifying them. If a feature or an area does not look obviously “out-of-bounds” on the ground, then tape is required.”
Apr 14, 2013 9:32 PM # 
From ISSOM 2007, item 2.6:

The restrictions and constraints of sprint orienteering must be taken seriously by the organizers and course planners. In particular:
Both mapmaker and course planner should consider all possible route choices and make decisions on impassable features and out-of-bounds areas.
The course planner should not encourage unfair actions from the competitors, such as crossing barriers or areas with forbidden access. If it is unavoidable to set legs that cross or skirt areas with forbidden access or impassable walls and fences, then they have to be marked in the terrain, and observers should be present at the critical points.
Apr 15, 2013 2:06 AM # 
An area with fancy plants looks obviously out of bounds to me. A lawn may look out of bounds to an uninitiated prude. The whole forest is out of bounds to an extremist, trails be damned.

As a course planner, I refuse to accept "have" in the above passage literally. Where would you stop? I'm with AZ: if it's not obviously out of bounds, then tape it, but no tape should be required for high fences, walls, buildings, and, yes, cultivated planted areas. Instead of tape, I suggest better participant ed, aka attitude adjustment.
Apr 15, 2013 2:44 AM # 
I agree with T/D here. If you mark everything in tape, you're giving away a lot of the fun of the sprint format.
Apr 15, 2013 4:15 AM # 
But avoidance of those things is not innate. It may be convention, it may be good form, but the specific standards of behavior seem to be open to interpretation.

I'm not sure what was in the olive green at IU because I dutifully avoided it. I avoided it because I learned at some point that this was part of the rules of the game.

What I wonder, however, is whether whatever was in it was sufficiently obvious to deter competitors who have the "right attitude" alluded to by T/D. The lawns at IU also featured a fair bit of daffodils, which to me at least, are suggestive of intentional plantings, and hence as deserved of olive green as the next thing. Although, as much as I could tell, they did not warrant the olive green on the map. And yet, my "attitude" was such that I gave the daffodils the benefit of the doubt and stayed out of them. It didn't affect my time, but it was an arbitrary decision inspired by a certain attitude which was indirectly influenced by the rules.

My point is, that at speed, how am I supposed to know what is OK and what is not? There aren't so many things growing in the beginning of April in Indiana in cultivated planted areas. I just assiduously tried to follow the map, and went overboard by trying to stay out of anything suggestive of cultivation.
Apr 15, 2013 5:33 AM # 
I have no problem to confess that I was among the violators here although, with more than 20 years of competitive-level orienteering behind me and being among the top 5 finishers on the blue courses, I am probably among those who "should know better" according to some of the commentators here. However, despite my over two decades long orienteering career, I have run very few, if any, real urban sprint competitions (with real sprint map features) - which is quite different from "normal" orienteering, and that area did not ring any "out of bounds" bells in my orienteering head when approaching with full speed. It was clearly not a private property (any more than the rest of the campus) and I was easily able to cross it without having to climb or jump any obstacles and without having to step on any plants, and I realized only afterwards, carefully looking at the map, that I had probably passed through an OOB area.

I am thus inclined to refer back to the points made by AZ and JanetT above, i.e. that the organizers probably should have marked this area as out of bounds also in the terrain to avoid having people running straight to the control there (which is the natural route for orienteers not used to urban sprints). That said, I am perfectly fine with being DQd here if anyone cares, since I obviously gained time (perhaps 5-10 seconds) by crossing the clearly mapped OOB area. Had it been a championship of any kind, I would have DQd myself at the finish.

Another sprint map issue that I was wondering about after the race was the gray "building overhang" area after the fifth control (78). I wrongly assumed that I would be able to pass by the northwest corner of that building under the overhang on my way to #6 and probably lost at least 10 seconds having to go back to the stairs. Is that corner incorrectly mapped or is it me not being used to the sprint map standard again?
Apr 15, 2013 10:05 PM # 
My "should know better" is targeted at obvious disregard for an uncrossable feature. Such as the 6 foot pullups in the GNC example. The area at IU was easy miss on the map and easier to run thru. Given the cited rule, I would not dq anyone at that event.
Apr 16, 2013 12:29 AM # 
The whole concept of out-of-bounds areas and uncrossable features contributes in large part to my lack of interest in sprint orienteering. I participate sometimes, but I largely find it annoying. I'd probably like it better if it were more like parkour, but I recognize that there would be problems with that.
Apr 16, 2013 1:04 AM # 
Yep, yet there are other people who are perfectly happy with out-of-bounds areas and a chance to outwit their I-can-go-wherever-I-damn-want competition.
Apr 16, 2013 2:15 AM # 
No argument from me. It's simply one of many things that other people like that I don't. Like... walnuts. Or beer.
Apr 16, 2013 2:41 AM # 
Apr 16, 2013 3:09 AM # 
Yes, that's another one. Those who enjoy it are welcome to it. And I'll enjoy some things that many other people don't care for.
Apr 17, 2013 3:30 AM # 
Apr 17, 2013 4:05 AM # 
Yeah, beer. You're welcome to it. Take my allotment of coffee while you're at it.

This discussion thread is closed.