[Updated with Council’s decision: Remove WOC qualification – and a discussion] 14 out of 20 responses are critical to removal of the WOC qualification, according to a discussion at Attackpoint.org. This is based on analyzing the national federations responses to the IOF Council’s proposal on how to handle the question of how many runners a nation can have on the starting line at WOC middle and long in the future.
Update April 27th: The following statement by IOF Council member Mike Dowling has been published at the IOF webpage
“We have a General Assembly decision from 2012 that sets boundaries for the new model. For example, the qualification races for middle and long distance must be removed. We read the hearing replies from the national federations, as well as the Foot Orienteering Commission’s input very carefully when amending the WOC qualification document. Seven out of twenty federations suggested that we should hold a qualification race just before the WOC week, but it was not something the Council felt it could support. However, the 500 World Ranking points limit was removed, so now every country can have at least one runner in each final. That is a good improvement!”
Comment by the author of this article:
As the Council notes, seven out of twenty federations suggest that one should hold a qualification race just before the WOC week (and that without even being giving it as a specific alternative in the request). When reading the responses, you can also note that another four out of the 20 federations ask to keep the qualification races as today – (again without being asked about it). Add another two who say they are not happy with the proposal. Also add the input from the Foot-O commission of the IOF who is sympathetic to including a “low-key” qualification race just before WOC.
In my opinion, based on this feedback, a good solution for the Council could have been the following,
- Ask the Foot-O commission to develop possible models for a “low key” WOC Qualification race ahead of WOC
- Discuss these models at the President’s Conference as an alternative (or a possible amendment) to the current proposal
- Make their decision about the WOC Qualification scheme based on the input from the President’s Conference – still free to turn down the “low key” WOC Qualification race at this later stage
Instead, the Council decided to remove the possibility to get an assessment of a proposal which was asked for by 7 out of 20 federations – and which probably at least another 4 would have liked to have investigated if they had known about the possibility (Note! This is a speculation based on reading all the proposals in detail, but it is fairly well-reasoned). On the other hand, one federation suggested to remove the 500 World Ranking point limit, and the Council feels is has made “a good improvement” by following this.
[Original article of April 26th]
Lower ranked countries are concerned about elite development in their country – a lot of the proposals support a low-key qualification race just before WOC
According to the same discussion thread at Attackpoint.org (and to the minutes from the Council meeting in January), it looks like the IOF council will make their decision about the future WOC Qualification model this coming weekend.
The responses from the federations show that many federation share the views from the article “Another nail in the coffin for traditional forest orienteering” published at WorldofO.com early March – i.e. that removing the qualifications races have many unfortunate consequences for smaller nations – especially with regard to the future of forest orienteering.
It is also interesting to note that the Foot-O commission of the IOF is sympathetic to including a “low-key” qualification race just before WOC ; i.e. not completely removing the qualification – as can be seen in the Foot-O commision meeting summary from April 6th,
Lower ranked countries are concerned about elite development in their country – a lot of the proposals support a low-key qualification race just before WOC. FOC is sympathetic to this proposal and suggests that Council should give it full consideration. FOC is willing to develop models for such a race should Council wish them to do so.
Will the decision be to follow the interest of the biggest nations and completely remove WOC Qualification for long and middle?