Although November has been a quiet month on the domestic orienteering scene in terms of actual events, there have been a lot of things going on behind the scenes. For those at the very top level these include the IOF announcement of the introduction of an Athlete License, and the update on the proposal for changes to WOC from 2019. At home we have the announcement of the Regional Junior Squads, as well as an update on the 2016 SuperSeries.
Regional Junior Squads
Over the past month there has been a wide discussion amongst those involved in coaching and organization of School’s orienteering around the country regarding the formation of Regional Junior Squads. The High Performance Plan has these squads as the next level beneath the National Senior and Under-23 squads which were announced at the end of October. This discussion has culminated in the formation of Regional Junior Squads for the Upper North Island (Northern), Lower North Island (Central) and the South Island (Southern). These will be part of wider Regional Squads which also include the members of the National Senior and Under-23 Squads. Although some organizational details as to how the squads will actually be run are still being worked out, from the start of next year the aim is for the Regional Squads to have regular organized training activities.
The squads have been selected on the basis of the following principles:
- age range for the Regional Junior Squads is 16-23;
- in this first year the named squads are very inclusive and therefore large;
- in future years a commitment to training will be included as a consideration in who remains in, or joins, the squads;
- for seniors over 23 and outside the National Senior Squad, runners from the SuperSeries teams who run elite and are interested in coaching/trainings will be included in communications and be able to participate in training activities, but will not be named in a formal squad.
As is apparent from the lists below, athletes have been named in squads according to their home club. As many University age juniors are away from home for much of the year a mechanism will be put in place for these people to be engaged with the squad closest to their place of study. Thus, for example, an AOA member studying in Wellington, will be invited to join in with Central Squad activities.
So for November 2015 to November 2016 the Regional Junior Squads are…
|Andrei Popovici||AOC||Bayley Stephens-Ellison||HBOC||Marisol Hunter||DOC|
|Anna Crosby||AOC||Briana Massie||HBOC||Alistair Richardson||PAPO|
|Anna Parsons||AOC||Carolyn Nel||HBOC||Briana Steven||PAPO|
|Bianca Mercer||AOC||David Rawnsley||HBOC||Cameron Metherell||PAPO|
|Catherine Andrew||AOC||Dylan Kirk||HBOC||Connor Cleary||PAPO|
|Hayley Smith||AOC||Georgia Creagh||HBOC||Dominic Cleary||PAPO|
|James Crosby||AOC||Georgia Massie||HBOC||Felix Harrison||PAPO|
|Jonty Oram||AOC||Hamish Legarth||HBOC||Oliver Egan||PAPO|
|Kieran Woods||AOC||Ieuen Edmonds||HBOC||Rebecca Batin||PAPO|
|Meghan Drew||AOC||Jarrod Lobb||HBOC||Scott Smith||PAPO|
|Ryan Williams||AOC||Jenna Tidswell||HBOC||Selena Metherell||PAPO|
|Tessa Boyd||AOC||Nathan Miller||HBOC||Stephen Harding||PAPO|
|William Hayes||AOC||Sean Morrison||HBOC||Will Richardson||PAPO|
|Adam Good||CMOC||William MacDonald||HBOC|
|Aleisha Neary||CMOC||William Tremain||HBOC|
|Angus Eason||CMOC||Alexandra Riddle||OHV|
|Ellenna Caudwell||CMOC||Stefan Przychodzko||OHV|
|Kurtis Shuker||CMOC||Callum Sutherland||OT|
|Matt Stevens||CMOC||Cory Sutherland||OT|
|Sheena O’Brien||CMOC||Liam Paterson||OT|
|Thomas Williams||CMOC||Sassafraz Marshall-Johnson||OT|
|Callum Hill||NWOC||Tom Spencer||OT|
|Cameron de L’isle||NWOC||Amelia Horne||RK|
|Daniel Monckton||NWOC||Ellie Molloy||WOC|
|Flynn Hill||NWOC||Emma Carruthers||WOC|
|Georgina Dibble||NWOC||George Engelback||WOC|
|Heidi Stolberger||NWOC||Joe Lynch||WOC|
|Jula McMillian||NWOC||Lauren Turner||WOC|
|Kate Salmon||NWOC||Laurence Hughes||WOC|
|Lauren Holmes||NWOC||Marina Comesky||WOC|
|Max Griffiths||NWOC||Matthew Turner||WOC|
|Tegan Knightbridge||NWOC||Nicholas Moore||WOC|
|Thomas Stolberger||NWOC||Rebecca Grant||WOC|
|Susan Eatson||TOC||Sam Middleton||WOC|
Congratulations to all the above.
Costs for JWOC, WOC and Australian Schools Champs
As reported in the ONZ Newsletter for November, Orienteering New Zealand has attempted to simplify the determination of costs for athletes representing NZL at JWOC, WOC and in both the Southern Cross Challenge and ANZ School Test Matches.
This takes the form of an “Athlete’s Contribution fee”. This will cover team competition costs such as accommodation, travel during the competition, Team Staff travel and accommodation, Team Staff accreditation costs, costs for access to training maps, etc. It does not include international airfares to/from New Zealand or elsewhere to the competition.
For 2016 the following Athlete Contributions apply:
- WOC NZ$1600
- JWOC NZ$1700
- Southern Cross Challenge NZ$1500
- ANZ Schools Challenge NZ$1500
IOF Athlete’s Licence
The IOF has announced the introduction of an Athlete’s Licence. Any athlete running at WOC or in a World Cup race will need to have one of these at the princely cost of Eur30. The basic information is included below but you can find the details at http://orienteering.org/athletes-licence/.
The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) has decided to implement an Athletes’ Licence starting with the Ski orienteering season 2015-2016. There are several reasons to implement a system like this:
- It contributes to the fairness of our sport by having athletes confirm that they will respect and follow the IOF rules. The IOF licence is an agreement between the IOF and the athlete.
- The Licence fee will go directly to the IOF Anti-Doping fund which is part of IOF Anti Doping plan.
- To improve risk management for major event Organisers, Member Federations and the IOF, by defining the conditions upon which competitors participate in major IOF events
- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects all recognised sports federations to have a regulation framework for athletes.
- The licence is needed for athletes participating in Senior World Championships and World Cup competitions.
- The Application and Payment should reach the IOF Office or IOF Office representatives before participating in a World Championship or World Cup Event.
- The licence is annual and is valid for all orienteering disciplines
- The licence is valid from 1 Nov 2015 to 31 December 2016 regardless of when the Application form is signed and payment is made during the licence period
Clearly, an implication of this is that there is no need to invest in a licence until, or if, you are selected for WOC or a World Cup.
IOF – WOC in the future
Following the adoption of the proposal that from 2019 WOC will alternate between a forest WOC (odd years) and an urban WOC (even years), IOF have now initiated further discussions on finalising the details of this split. NZL is fortunate that ex ONZ President Simon Addison is on the advisory group. This means that there is, at the very least, one person there who is aware of the problems faced by orienteers from outside Europe in terms of travel, costs and even, something as simple, as access to high quality events.
For forest WOC, it is no surprise that the current proposal is to bring back full qualification races for the middle distance race. It is still open at present, however, as to whether there will be 3 or 4 athletes per nation allowed, with 3 or 4 qualification heats. Perhaps more importantly it looks almost certain that a quota system will remain for the long distance. The issue here is to decide what the quota system is to be based on. The following are touted as options – a quota based on:
(a) the previous two World Championships long distance;
(b) the previous two World Championships long distance and middle distance;
(c) a combination of either (a) or (b) with results from long distance World Cup races and/or World Ranking.
As you might imagine, option (c) is certainly not favourable to NZL given the difficult in athletes being able to get to either World Cup races or events where it is possible to achieve significant World Ranking points.
For the Urban WOC the main question regards the format of the new race which is to be introduced alongside the individual sprint and the sprint relay. Here, the three possibilities are (in the words of the IOF document):
(a) Knock Out Sprint. This format has been tested and used in the World Cup several times, typically as a 10-12 minute qualification in the morning and 3 rounds with 8 minute winning time in the afternoon/evening. As a first-to-finish format, this format is easy to understand for TV viewers and spectators. It is also a very good way to show the best athletes in the spotlight. A similar format has big success in cross country skiing. The challenges related to this discipline are (1) It is challenging to organize in local/regional/national races with the risk that this becomes a WOC only format. (2) There is currently a lack of good forking models which balance athlete interest and competitive fairness with the need to be easily understandable for non-orienteers.
(b) Urban middle distance (30-45 minutes winning time). This format has been tested during World Games and during the Nordic Orienteering Tour. The format is TV friendly (similar to forest middle distance which has been named the most suitable format for TV production from orienteering), but lacks the intense duels of the Knock Out Sprint. One advantage could be that may be a format which is more attractive to traditional forest orienteers. The challenges related to this discipline are (1) Is the urban orienteering tricky enough in the lower speed required for an urban middle distance? (2) Is this race exciting enough for the spectators/TV viewers?
(c) Urban chasing start. This format has not been tested on high level. Typically the winning time would be around 20-25 minutes, and the start order be decided based on a regular sprint race. As a first-to-finish format, this format is easy to understand for TV viewers and spectators. As this is an untested format, there are several questions related to the suitability of the format, especially with regards to forking and to how tight the field would be.
Word is that the Knock Out Sprint is, at this stage, the clear favourite….
Sprint Relay to feature in 2016 SuperSeries
The final format of the 2016 SuperSeries has now been decided. As previously indicated there will be 4 rounds. The major change being that in an attempt to re-foster the teams aspect of the SuperSeries, Red Kiwis have kindly agreed to include a Sprint relay in the ANZAC weekend round. The final list of SuperSeries events is therefore:
Sun 7 February: Sprint – Raumati, part of W6 sprint series, also a WRE
Mon 8 February: Sprint – Wellington College, part of W6
Fri 25 March: Sprint – NMIT, ONZ Sprint Championships Nelson
Sat 26 March: Middle – Black Hill, ONZ Middle Championships, St. Arnaud
Sun 27 March: Long – Big Bush, ONZ Long Championships, St. Arnaud
Sat 23 April: Sprint Relay – Palmerston North, part of Anzac Weekend
Sun 24 April: Middle – Scotts Ferry, Bulls
Mon 25 April: Multi-day length mass start race – Fusilier, Bulls
Sat 4 June: Middle – Kuku Beach, Levin, also a WRE
Sun 5 June: Long – Waitarere, Levin, also a WRE
Mon 6 June: Multi-day length – Watchtower/Wanda, Levin
Adventure Race World Championships 2015
Finally, congratulations to Chris Forne and his team mates Stuart Lynch, Sophie Hart and Nathan Fa’avae on winning the Adventure race World Championships in Brazil, retaining the title they won in Ecuador last year. This is (I think) the 4th time that Chris has been in the winning team – an awesome record!