Comment on WOC Qual removal: Good or bad for the sport?

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 10 Mar 2013@22:00

ioflogoAnother nail in the coffin for traditional forest orienteering? How does it influence runners from your country? March 15th is D-day to influence the WOC Qualification scheme which is set to be put in place already from WOC 2014. A decision which might have significant impact on the future of the sport.

- Elite commitment to orienteering will be significantly decreased when getting a place in the team for middle or long becomes so difficult (NZL WOC athlete)

From WOC 2014, it is suggested to remove the qualification races for long and middle distance from the WOC – instead nations will be given a certain number of start places in the finals based on earlier WOC results. For many “smaller” orienteering nations, the number of runners allowed to run individual forest orienteering (i.e. middle or long) at WOC level will be significantly reduced if the qualification races are removed.

Of more than 50 countries participating in the last two World Championships, only 8 countries will be allowed to send three runners for middle and long according to the suggested model (note that there will be some additional personal places for winners of regional championships). For many countries the number of allowed starters in long and middle will go from three in 2013 to only one in 2014. See how this will affect each country according to simulations based on 2011/2012 WOC results at the bottom of this article.

Sprint focus

In reality, this means that in “smaller” orienteering nations, the chances for an individual to be allowed to start in an individual forest race in WOC is reduced significantly. On the other hand, there is still room for three sprinters for each country in WOC, as the sprint qualification is not removed. On top of this, the new mixed sprint relay is introduced – further increasing focus on sprint. This means that orienteers in smaller countries are forced towards specializing in sprint orienteering if they want to compete at the highest (WOC) level.

With quotas ready already a year before a given WOC, the decision to focus on urban orienteering instead of forest orienteering can be made early by the athletes. It is difficult to see this as a recipe to make the difference between the big nations and the developing nations in traditional forest orienteering get smaller – it will rather increase. Also, according to the suggested model, sprint results will not influence the quotas in long/middle, and thus good sprint results for developing nations will not pave the way for larger quotas in long/middle. Another nail in the coffin for traditional forest orienteering?

Advantages

The good thing about removing qualification races is that the top runners can now in theory run all races – as they don’t have to compete in the qualification races (but the best actually did already as long as the program was set up in a way facilitating this). The runners from smaller nations who are allowed to compete will have the benefit that they go directly to the final (as there is no qualification). Also, it reduces costs for the WOC organizers, and also makes it easier for the WOC organizers as they don’t have to organize that many events. Lastly, there is now room for the sprint relay as an additional race.

However, is this the best recipe to make orienteering grow?

Background (from the IOF)

Following the 2012 IOF General Assembly’s decision to remove the qualification races for the Middle and Long finals of the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) 2014 and onwards, the IOF Council has presented its proposal for how to handle the question of how many runners a nation can have on the starting line. The proposal was sent to the IOF member federations for hearing.

The deadline for the federations’ replies is  March 15th 2013, after which the proposal will be finalized and put on the Council’s table in late April.

More background material here including the complete WOC Qualification model proposal.

Alternative approach (not included in the model from the IOF)

The question is of course: Is there a solution in which we can keep the advantages, but remove the unfortunate consequences for forest orienteering?

One possible approach is to do like cross country skiing and many other sports: Introduce an extra qualification race. For example a middle distance race on the day before the WOC (i.e. typically Friday) – or on another day later in the championships. This would be for all non-qualified runners, i.e. countries who have a quota of two can have one starter and countries with a quota of one can have two starters. The best N runners (for example Top 10-15) would qualify for the middle final. This would be a “low key” event, with small start field, less media friendly etc., with little work for the organizers compared to today’s qualification races (in line with a normal WRE race).

Runners from the smaller nations would still have a reason to focus on forest orienteering, as they could race a forest orienteering race on highest level. There are disadvantages also with this model, but in my opinion the advantages are bigger than the disadvantages. According to my information, some federations are considering to suggest this alternative approach when giving their reply to the IOF. I am still waiting for a response from the author of the WOC qualification model proposal regarding this alternative approach.

What does the IOF proposal really mean?

As you can except, it means next to nothing for the big orienteering nations. O-Zeugs has simulated what would have been the number of starters in middle/long in WOC 2013 from each country if the suggested rules for qualification would have been effective already from 2013 (based on WOC results from the two previous years). To illustrate the consequences of the suggested rules, these simulated numbers are applied to the start fields from WOC 2012 qualification races for long/middle. The runners who are outside the simulated 2013-quota for each nation are removed (for illustration purposes the athlete with poorest qualification result is removed). Note that actual quota’s for 2014 will not be ready until after WOC 2013 – and as of now this is only a proposal. Also, there might be errors in the calculations below – please consider this only as a possible illustration of consequences.

PS! There is a lot to discuss about how the system for allocating start places between the countries works, but I would rather keep that out of the discussion for now. This comment is on a higher level – regarding how the complete removal of qualification for long/middle influences the sport and the chances for “smaller” orienteering nations in forest orienteering in the future.

SUI

Women

Middle
3 places
1. Simone Niggli
3. Sara Lüscher
5. Judith Wyder
Long
4 places
1. Simone Niggli
3. Sara Lüscher
5. Ines Brodmann

Men

Middle
3 places
2. Fabian Hertner
6. Baptiste Rollier
10. Marc Lauenstein
Long
3 places
1. Matthias Merz
3. Fabian Hertner
4. Matthias Kyburz

SWE

Women

Middle
3 places
1. Tove Alexandersson
2. Lina Strand
7. Annika Billstam
Long
3 places
3. Helena Jansson
5. Annika Billstam
6. Lena Eliasson
7. Lina Strand

Men

Middle
4 places
4. Peter Öberg
8. Gustav Bergman
11. Johan Runesson
Long
3 places
5. Anders Holmberg
9. Gustav Bergman
10. Erik Rost

NOR

Women

Middle
3 places
4. Heidi Østlid Bagstevold
11. Mari Fasting
15. Ida Marie Ness Bjorgul
Long
3 places
5. Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg
6. Mari Fasting
10. Tone Wigemyr

Men

Middle
3 places
1. Carl Waaler Kaas
2. Olav Lundanes
3. Magne Daehli
Long
4 places
1. Olav Lundanes
7. Anders Nordberg
7. Hans Gunnar Omdal

FIN

Women

Middle
4 places
2. Minna Kauppi
4. Merja Rantanen
9. Saila Kinni
Long
3 places
1. Minna Kauppi
6. Merja Rantanen
11. Venla Niemi

Men

Middle
3 places
6. Pasi Ikonen
9. Hannu Airila
10. Jarkko Huovila
Long
3 places
8. Fredric Portin
12. Tuomas Tervo
17. Olli-Markus Taivainen

FRA

Women

Middle
3 places
2. Amélie Chataing
Long
3 places
2. Celine Dodin
15. Lea Vercellotti

Men

Middle
3 places
1. Thierry Gueorgiou
3. Lucas Basset
8. Francois Gonon
14. Philippe Adamski
Long
3 places
3. Frederic Tranchand
3. Philippe Adamski
17. Vincent Coupat

CZE

Women

Middle
3 places
3. Iveta Duchova
6. Dana Brožková
17. Ivana Bochenková
Long
3 places
2. Eva Juřeníková
4. Dana Brožková
8. Vendula Klechová

Men

Middle
3 places
4. Vojtìch Král
7. Jan Procházka (PGP8407)
18. Pavel Kubát
Long
3 places
2. Jan Šedivý
9. Tomáš Dlabaja
14. Stepan Kodeda

RUS

Women

Middle
3 places
1. Tatyana Riabkina
5. Anastasia Trubkina
16. Nataliya Vinogradova
Long
3 places
1. Tatyana Riabkina
7. Anastasiya Tikhonova
7. Svetlana Mironova

Men

Middle
2 places
2. Valentin Novikov
12. Leonid Novikov
19. Dmitriy Tsvetkov
Long
2 places
2. Dmitriy Tsvetkov
2. Valentin Novikov
14. Andrey Khramov

DEN

Women

Middle
3 places
3. Signe Klinting
4. Ida Bobach
10. Maja Alm
Long
3 places
2. Ida Bobach
8. Signe Klinting

Men

Middle
2 places
5. Søren Bobach
11. Tue Lassen
DSQ/DNF. Christian Bobach
Long
2 places
5. Tue Lassen
11. Rasmus Djurhuus
15. Rasmus Thrane Hansen

UKR

Women

Middle
2 places
8. Nadiya Volynska
18. Olga Reznichenko
20. Anastasiia Danylova
Long
2 places
11. Nadiya Volynska
11. Olga Sluta
19. Khrystina Bogomiagkova

Men

Middle
3 places
4. Pavlo Ushkvarok
7. Oleksandr Kratov
17. Ruslan Glebov
Long
3 places
11. Pavlo Ushkvarok
12. Artem Panchenko
16. Denys Sherbakov

LAT

Women

Middle
2 places
8. Aija Skrastiņa
8. Inga Dambe
Long
2 places
4. Inga Dambe

Men

Middle
4 places
3. Edgars Bertuks
8. Mārtiņš Sirmais
13. Kalvis Mihailovs
Long
3 places
1. Edgars Bertuks
13. Kalvis Mihailovs
19. Mārtiņš Sirmais

LTU

Women

Middle
2 places
8. Kristina Rybakovaitė
10. Inga Kazlauskaite
13. Gabija Ražaitytė
Long
2 places
9. Kristina Rybakovaitė
10. Ausrine Kutkaite
10. Inga Kazlauskaite

Men

Middle
2 places
13. Jonas Vytautas Gvildys
14. Simonas Krėpšta
18. Vytautas Beliūnas
Long
2 places
11. Vilius Aleliunas
13. Vytautas Beliūnas

GBR

Women

Middle
2 places
6. Claire Ward
6. Helen Palmer
10. Rachael Rothman
Long
2 places
4. Claire Ward
12. Sarah Rollins
14. Helen Bridle

Men

Middle
2 places
11. Graham Gristwood
16. Mark Nixon
22. Douglas Tullie
Long
2 places
9. Scott Fraser
19. Hector Haines
20. Matthew Speake

EST

Women

Middle
2 places
7. Liis Johanson
12. Kirti Rebane
16. Annika Rihma
Long
2 places
9. Annika Rihma
12. Kirti Rebane

Men

Middle
2 places
5. Lauri Sild
10. Olle Kärner
17. Timo Sild
Long
2 places
4. Lauri Sild
10. Peeter Pihl

AUT

Women

Middle
2 places
11. Anja Arbter
12. Elisa Elstner
14. Ursula Kadan
Long
2 places
3. Ursula Kadan
16. Elisa Elstner
18. Julia Bauer

Men

Middle
2 places
1. Gernot Kerschbaumer
12. Robert Merl
20. Christian Wartbichler
Long
2 places
4. Gernot Kerschbaumer
18. Wolfgang Siegert
20. Christian Wartbichler

HUN

Women

Middle
2 places
5. Fanni Gyurkó
23. Zsuzsanna Domjan
Long
2 places
8. Ildikó Szerencsi
12. Fanni Gyurkó
19. Zsuzsanna Domjan

Men

Middle
2 places
12. Zsolt Lenkei
22. István Zsebeházy
22. Máté Baumholczer
Long
2 places
10. Ádám Kovács
22. István Zsebeházy

ITA

Women

Middle
2 places
9. Christine Kirchlechner
16. Michela Guizzardi
23. Carlotta Scalet
Long
2 places
16. Maria Novella Sbaraglia
20. Christine Kirchlechner

Men

Middle
2 places
7. Mikhail Mamleev
16. Marco Seppi
28. Michele Caraglio
Long
2 places
6. Mikhail Mamleev
15. Alessio Tenani
18. Klaus Schgaguler

AUS

Women

Middle
2 places
12. Vanessa Round
17. Susanne Casanova
24. Aislinn Prendergast
Long
2 places
14. Aislinn Prendergast
17. Rachel Effeney
19. Vanessa Round

Men

Middle
2 places
19. Simon Uppill
DSQ/DNF. Murray Scown
Long
2 places
7. Julian Dent

NZL

Women

Middle
2 places
10. Lizzie Ingham
20. Kate Morrison
26. Greta Knarston
Long
3 places
16. Lizzie Ingham
18. Amber Morrison
20. Greta Knarston

Men

Middle
1 places
15. Ross Morrison
24. Toby Scott
26. Tane Cambridge
Long
2 places
20. Toby Scott
23. Thomas Reynolds
24. Tane Cambridge

BUL

Women

Middle
2 places
14. Iliana Shandurkova
20. Nataliya Dimitrova
Long
2 places
15. Antoniya Grigorova

Men

Middle
2 places
15. Ivaylo Kamenarov
16. Vladimir Atanasov
26. Zlatko Kamenarov
Long
2 places
6. Kiril Nikolov
25. Vladimir Atanasov

POL

Women

Middle
1 places
6. Hanna Wisniewska
Long
1 places
12. Daria Lajn

Men

Middle
2 places
17. Bartosz Pawlak
Long
2 places
5. Wojciech Kowalski
13. Bartosz Pawlak

ESP

Women

Middle
2 places
13. Anna Serrallonga Arqués
15. Ona Rafols Perramón
21. Annabel Fernández-Valledor
Long
2 places
15. Anna Serrallonga Arqués
22. Annabel Fernández-Valledor
23. Berta Meseguer Flaqué

Men

Middle
1 places
26. Andreu Blanes Reig
30. Antonio Martínez Pérez
30. Luis Nogueira de La Muela
Long
1 places
17. Luis Nogueira de La Muela
24. Biel Ràfols Perramon
30. Ricardo García Dengra

ROU

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
2 places
5. Ionut Zinca
31. Simion Suciu
32. Tamás Bogya
Long
2 places
6. Ionut Zinca
23. Tamás Bogya
25. Simion Suciu

SVK

Women

Middle
Long
1 places
21. Katarína Labašová

Men

Middle
2 places
9. Michal Krajčík
18. Pavol Bukovác
20. Marián Dávidík
Long
2 places
16. Marián Dávidík
29. Štefan Ringer

BEL

Women

Middle
1 places
18. Miek Fabré
22. Greet Oeyen
25. Kim Geypen
Long
1 places
9. Miek Fabré
13. Kim Geypen
17. Greet Oeyen

Men

Middle
1 places
15. Fabien Pasquasy
21. Tomas Hendrickx
31. Johan Goubau
Long
1 places
8. Yannick Michiels
18. Fabien Pasquasy
21. Tomas Hendrickx

GER

Women

Middle
1 places
13. Christiane Tröße
17. Esther Doetsch
22. Sieglinde Kundisch
Long
1 places
21. Sieglinde Kundisch

Men

Middle
1 places
13. Bjarne Friedrichs
24. Christoph Brandt
30. Sören Lösch
Long
1 places
21. Sören Lösch
24. Bjarne Friedrichs
26. Christoph Brandt

CAN

Women

Middle
2 places
15. Louise Oram
Long
2 places
13. Louise Oram

Men

Middle
1 places
29. Damian Konotopetz
32. Jeffrey Teutsch
34. Eric Kemp
Long
1 places
21. Robbie Anderson
25. Will Critchley
29. Jeffrey Teutsch

USA

Women

Middle
2 places
21. Hannah Burgess
22. Sandra Lauenstein
24. Alexandra Jospe
Long
2 places
13. Samantha Saeger
17. Alison Crocker
22. Alexandra Jospe

Men

Middle
2 places
23. Boris Granovskiy
24. Eric Bone
35. Eddie Bergeron
Long
2 places
27. Eric Bone
30. Giacomo Barbone
33. Eddie Bergeron

BLR

Women

Middle
1 places
23. Maria Alekseyonok
25. Irina Yurok
26. Anastasia Klopovskaya
Long
1 places
23. Anastasia Klopovskaya
24. Maria Alekseyonok
25. Irina Yurok

Men

Middle
2 places
6. Aleksei Alekseyonok
14. Yury Tambasov
19. Dmitry Mikhalkin
Long
2 places
8. Yury Tambasov
12. Aleksei Alekseyonok
26. Dmitry Mikhalkin

IRL

Women

Middle
1 places
24. Ciara Largey
25. Rosalind Hussey
Long
1 places
21. Ciara Largey

Men

Middle
1 places
23. Colm Hill
27. Ruairi Short
32. Darren Burke
Long
1 places
15. Nicolas Simonin
29. Hugh Cashell
31. Darren Burke

CHN

Women

Middle
3 places
14. Shuangyan Hao
19. Yingwei Wang
26. Qiaohong Mo
Long
2 places
18. Mingyue Zhu
20. Shuangyan Hao
24. Yingwei Wang

Men

Middle
2 places
20. Qiaoping Li
23. Xiyuan Liang
33. Zhihui Yi
Long
1 places
27. Qiaoping Li
32. Jiewei Lai
34. Xiyuan Liang

POR

Women

Middle
1 places
19. Raquel Costa
Long
1 places
23. Raquel Costa

Men

Middle
1 places
21. Manuel Horta
21. Miguel Silva
27. Tiago Gingão Leal
Long
1 places
13. Diogo Miguel
19. Miguel Silva
28. Manuel Horta

BRA

Women

Middle
1 places
18. Miriam Ferraz Pasturiza
28. Tânia Maria Jesus de Carvalho
Long
2 places
25. Miriam Ferraz Pasturiza
25. Tânia Maria Jesus de Carvalho

Men

Middle
1 places
25. Leandro Pereira Pasturiza
29. Robson Figueira Rengifo
34. Ronaldo André Castelo dos Santos de Almeida
Long
1 places
22. Leandro Pereira Pasturiza
33. Fábio Kuczkoski
DSQ/DNF. Robson Figueira Rengifo

TUR

Women

Middle
1 places
27. Selvıhan Aydin
28. Şengűl Űzen
30. Tuğba Cın (Gata Doga)
Long
1 places
26. Selvıhan Aydin
26. Tuğba Cın (Gata Doga)
28. Şengűl Űzen

Men

Middle
1 places
29. Ahmet Kaçmaz
36. Fatih Bodur
36. Musa Erdoğan
Long
1 places
26. Ahmet Kaçmaz
31. Fatih Bodur
33. Musa Erdoğan

JPN

Women

Middle
1 places
19. Naoko Kano
21. Mikiko Minagawa
Long
1 places
22. Mikiko Minagawa

Men

Middle
1 places
25. Dai Yagishita
25. Toshiyuki Matsuzawa
35. Shinichiro Sakuramoto
Long
1 places
26. Shigeyuki Koizumi
28. Wataru Teragauchi
32. Tomoaki Naganawa

SRB

Women

Middle
1 places
27. Slađana Jovanović
Long
1 places
24. Slađana Jovanović

Men

Middle
1 places
33. Blažo Maksimović
Long

SLO

Women

Middle
27. Mojca Flerin
Long
26. Mojca Flerin

Men

Middle
1 places
27. Andraž Hribar
Long
1 places
22. Andraž Hribar

HKG

Women

Middle
1 places
29. Tsz Ying Yu
DSQ/DNF. Pui Fung Chan
DSQ/DNF. Yuen Ki Hilda Cheng
Long
1 places
27. Pui Fung Chan
27. Yuen Ki Hilda Cheng
DSQ/DNF. Tsz Ying Yu

Men

Middle
1 places
36. Gerald Yip
37. Chi Kin Man
DSQ/DNF. Chun Kit Tang
Long
1 places
34. Chi Kin Man
34. Gerald Yip
DSQ/DNF. Wing Chung Tam

TPE

Women

Middle
1 places
DSQ/DNF. Szu-Ying Wu
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
DSQ/DNF. Cheng-Hsun Liu
DSQ/DNF. Chieh-Lin Yu
Long

CRO

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
9. Matjaž Štanfel
Long
1 places
16. Matjaž Štanfel

MDA

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
28. Igori Postica
28. Ivan Isciuk
Long
1 places
30. Igori Postica
DSQ/DNF. Ivan Isciuk

NED

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
35. Gerrit van de Riet
38. Mark Heikoop
Long
1 places
35. Gerrit van de Riet
35. Mark Heikoop

GRE

Women

Middle
DSQ/DNF. Georgia Karadimou
Long
DSQ/DNF. Georgia Karadimou

Men

Middle
DSQ/DNF. Theodoros Papadimitriou
Long
DSQ/DNF. Theodoros Papadimitriou

ARG

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
33. Francesco Buselli
Long

KOR

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
DSQ/DNF. Byung-Gu Ryu
DSQ/DNF. Geun-Hee Hong
DSQ/DNF. Jong-Hyun Park
Long
1 places
36. Geun-Hee Hong
DSQ/DNF. Byung-Gu Ryu
DSQ/DNF. Jong-Hyun Park

LIE

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
Long
1 places
23. Marcel Tschopp

MKD

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
37. Riste Kirov
Long
1 places
DSQ/DNF. Riste Kirov

PRK

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
34. Kyong Sa Ri
Long
1 places
32. Kyong Sa Ri

KEN

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
DSQ/DNF. Peter Njuguna
Long
DSQ/DNF. Peter Njuguna

KGZ

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
DSQ/DNF. Ilshat Dautov
Long
DSQ/DNF. Vasilii Vavilchenkov

RSA

Women

Middle
Long

Men

Middle
1 places
31. Nicholas Mulder
37. Michael Crone
38. Jeremy Green
Long
1 places
28. Nicholas Mulder
31. Jeremy Green


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16 Comments to “Comment on WOC Qual removal: Good or bad for the sport?”
  1. This is a very interesting topic. I have very strong doubts that this will benifit to the development of orienteering, especially regarding start times and the increased importance of World Ranking.

    Anyway, as you say, we should focus at first at the more basic question of the chances for “smaller” orienteering nations, and if this can be benefitial for them. I do believe that a WOC qual is as developing for the competitors as a WOC final. And this proposal will see to that fewer runners from “smaller” orienteering nations will be at WOC, which then leads to that fewer runners get the chance to get WOC experience, and thus making the gap between the big and small o countries bigger.

    The mistake IOF makes is to assume that a WOC final is something so special that they want to make sure more nations are represented.

    In short, I don’t believe that this proposal will benefit the development orienteering.

    • Jan Kocbach says:

      Thanks a lot for your comment, Gustav. It is interesting to hear that also elite runners in the top nations think that this does not benefit the sport as a whole.

  2. Samo Kofol says:

    Why elite runners should be pleased with “low key” extra WOC qualification race? Qualification races (courses) and difficulty are already now not something wauuu at WOC. Why we should send a runner to run a low key qualification race instead of parallel WOC recreational races if he/she is not good enough by our or IOF standards. I think WOC can’t be the only “holy grail” motivation point for any elite runner. If it is then this mean that the IOF elite events structure is not working.

    In each case you would probably need to set up a WRE points limit higher than 500 points. With q race 2nd Division country could apply their best runner to secure another spot for the final so you need a rule to prevent 2nd division country to apply their two best runners and 3rd division country to apply their best runner.

    With q race you would also change a division’s rules (number of runners in divisions and same chance for promotion/relegation spots). If someone wants to run a q WOC race just because it is a part of official WOC program than this is vanity. Do you plan that this WOC parallel events could be used as a q WOC race?

    And if this is acceptable (different number of runners in the same division) than you could have other solutions to find these 15-30 runners who deserves to run appropriate WOC race! So you first need to have more open rules about divisions and this will give enough motivation to runners to fight for additional spots for final race. Division rules are the real obstacle for development nations! Division rules are protecting the big nations with no any real reason! The WOC fight for 3-2-1 spots should be more open! Absolute fight between Div 1/Div 2 and Div 2/Div 3.

    • Jan Kocbach says:

      Thanks for you comments & questions, Samo. The reason an elite runner would be pleased with a “low key” extra WOC qualification race is of course that this is the road to the WOC final. For many this could be reason enough to keep on focusing on forest orienteering, instead of turning into a sprinter. I have been talking to many runners the last months who are in this category – and their answers to this question is what leads me to my suggestion.

      And as I wrote in my article, I don’t want want this discussion to be about the divisions (but yes, those would have to be revised if there would be an extra qual race) – I want to keep this on a more fundamental level for now.

  3. Martin says:

    The General Assembly decision was to “… remove qualification …”. The proposed model goes far beyond that. It is like a squid stretching his arms in many other directions not directly founded by the decision.

    The proposed model is:
    - to complicated
    - not flexible enough
    - subordinates athletes individual grade to a orienteering nations grade (introducing clan liability to orienteering)
    - dislocates WOC Qualification to national selection races and RC
    - enlarges the rift between sprint formats and forest formats
    - forces the lower levels into sprint formats
    - enlarges the rift between nations on different developed orienteering levels by hindering the weaker nations to develop their competitiveness at WOC-level.
    - unfair in regard that the level of the different regional championchips are too unequal (EOC vs SAOC) or too few countries are allowed to take part (OOC)
    - extends the WOC over the entire year (WRE/Regional Championchips).
    - compulsory re-introduces start-intervals which are on and on proven to be too short.

    What would I prefer?
    - Keep it simple
    - 45 in the finals
    - Reintroduce the qualification (just one race as Jan proposes): Every nation can select three runners per discipline, whereof runners classified in the TOP40 or 45 of the World-Ranking are directly qualified for the final. The rest shall fight for the remaining slots.

    (The aim for a lower level athlete should always be to earn the final by being competitive at the international level. She/he should be given the chance to succeed)

    • I think you are completely right about the problems with the new proposal. But I also see a problem with using World Ranking to select the athletes (and possibly allocate the start draw). This makes it harder for runners who has developed a lot over a short time or for another reason lacks the appropriate World Ranking (ie due to injury or being a first year senior). A runner who really is the best (or among the 3 best) in a discipline, but has a worse World Ranking, may not be selected because he or she won’t be automaticly qualified to the finals, or/and be given an early start time, and thus a lesser chance to make good results.

      This will then lead to that the big names are always favoured, and the young and upcoming will have a harder time making the teams and making good results, which will slow the development of the sport.

      • Martin says:

        My thought is that if you are better than another runner (from the TOP45) you should be selected by your coaches even though you would have to go through the qualification. [At the moment there will be a minimum of 15 wildcards at the mens side and 16 wildcards at the womens side, due to nations with more than 3 athletes in the TOP45, this means a TOP60 result should be just enough to qualify]

        I agree with you that the startlist based on the World Ranking is bad for upcoming and backcoming athletes. (btw. another issue of this proposal discussed here).

  4. Tarmo says:

    It looks more and more that IOF has been hijacked by the people who really hate orienteering and who just want to kill that sport, no matter what.
    Current format looks perfect for me, I don’t want any changes.

  5. Vinogradov Mikhail says:

    WRE-approach to qualifications or to start order is a wrong idea. E.g., Galina Vinogradova is an international level runner. She has been pregnant and does not have any WRE-points now. And according to the rules she has to start first in NORT-2013 Sprint race (NOR). Even in Sprint race it creates unequal conditions for runners. Same thing should happen during WOC-2013. Qualification race gives possibilities to everyone to fight for position in the final. In my opinion Middle and Long without qualification is a moot point.

  6. Vinogradov Mikhail says:

    But WOC Mixed Sprint Relay is a good idea.

  7. Vinogradov Mikhail says:

    WOC-2014 I mean (in the first note)

  8. Tornai Szabolcs says:

    The biggest problem is that the members of the IOF council are not active orienteerers, but businessmen who want to make a lot of money from this beautiful sport. And for money they are willing to sacrifice everything. They do it gradually, but very visibly. And clearly against the will of the best orienteeres of the world! And against the will of all real orienteerers who love to run in forests.

  9. Traude says:

    Yes, it is another nail in the coffin for traditional forest orienteering!!!
    IOF is going to sacrifice the “orienteering spirit” (navigating independently in unknown terrain) to a dream which will probably never come true: the Olympics.
    Shall all this be good for international development of orienteering?
    -> A clear number-two athlete in a small O-country will probably never have the possibility to compete at a forest WOC-event.
    -> A developping young team will have to wait at least two years to qualify more athletes.

    Jans proposal of an extra qualification will give such athletes at least a minimal chance and hope!

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