East Midlands Orienteering Association Officials 2001/2002
|Treasurer & Membership Secretary||Roger Edwardsemail@example.com|
|Fixtures Secretary||Ian Whitehead||Iwhite4@aol.com|
|Event Standards||Ernie Williamsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|BOF Council||Ray Barnesemail@example.com|
|Coaching & Junior Squad||Hilary Palmerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|EMEWS Editor||Mike Gardneremail@example.com|
East Midlands website: www.emoa.org.uk
East Midlands Fixtures Answerphone 0906 270 3419
Copy Date for next issue: 18th March 2002. Contributions are always welcome but especially by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on 3.5" IBM PC format discs.
Chairman's Comments - Roy Denney
Firstly I would like to welcome two new members to our team. Mike Gardner has taken over production of this newsletter and been co-opted onto the regional committee in place of John Cooke who has done sterling work filling the breach for us whilst we found a new volunteer.
Kevin Bradley has taken over as webmaster for the region and EMOA can now be found at emoa.org.uk. Our thanks are due to Steve Kimberley who has held down this role for many years. Kevin has also been co-opted onto committee.
Any suggestions for additional material on the web site should be passed through your club representative for review by the committee. The site will develop over coming months but will concentrate on purely regional matters and provide links to club sites for matters of more local interest.
One new addition which we hope to introduce is minutes of the committee meetings. These will be in a fairly concise form but will help members keep abreast of what is being done in their name (continued on page 4).
Turning to broader matters, Spring, Easter and BOF AGM approach and the shape of the administration of the sport is changing and becoming more streamlined and the function of regional associations has been the subject of much debate. It seems highly unlikely however that this tier of the structure will vanish all together as has been widely rumoured.
Some regions have effectively closed down their committees and see no need for this tier of authority. Were this to happen overall would we still have regional champs or would a major 'Midlands Champs' be sufficient? If we still have an EM champs the fixture could be shared between the clubs but how would the prizes be funded?
Both your Vice Chairman, Ranald, and myself strongly support the continuation of EMOA with a functioning committee and see many benefits to the membership but we do need to look at what the body does and decide how it goes forward.
We also need to address the actual make up of the Association as BOF is encouraging changes to simplify individual membership and it is no longer envisaged that members will be members of EMOA but that in future, only clubs will be.
This will obviously require considerable change to our constitution which will be put before the membership at the next AGM and if accepted will mean that this will be last AGM for members, which judging by the numbers who usually turn out will be no great disappointment to many of you.
Individuals should see their allegiance as to their Club and the sport's governing body BOF . EMOA should just be a mechanism where the clubs can co-operate to everyone's benefit. It is however seen by some as a fairly expensive operation and clubs will have to feel they get value for money out of the arrangement and to this end we may have to consider which of our functions are really necessary.
Questions which have been aired include " do we need a newsletter if clubs produce their own?" - " junior squads tend to benefit the individual concerned and the national teams and as such should they not be funded from BOF centrally?" - " Should clubs not support their own juniors if the Clubs are to get the benefit of their membership?"
Do we need a newsletter if clubs produce their own?
Assuming that in any new BOF structure or change in EMOA make up, there would still be a need for the coaching of a regional squad and that there would still be an Inter - regional championship then there would still be a need for an EM Junior squad / team. How would this be funded? At present the EMOA grants £1500 towards the cost of running the squad - would this come from a regional body or from a 'levy' on the regional clubs and if the latter how would this be determined - on club total membership size or on how many juniors came from the different clubs or what?
These areas will come under discussion as they are the most expensive items we face but there are other functions which whilst not costly may only slow the processes down.
Do we need a regional events co-ordinator or could clubs negotiate direct with the BOF Co-ordinator? Event clashes with nearby clubs in other regions often provide more problems than those within the region. I feel this would lead to a chaotic situation.
All these matters will be up for debate but my view is that if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Other views have been expressed and when we come to deciding how to fund the new arrangements these will have to be addressed.
. . .introduction to electronic punching we highlight the development role perhaps better served by the region rather than by the clubs
In making the case that EMOA should continue to function largely as it is I would point out that in agreeing to support LOG's introduction to electronic punching we highlight the development role perhaps better served by the region rather than by the clubs who would duplicate initiatives. It would have also been impractical for the clubs to have all bought E punching kit and this is an ideal regional function.
The operation of a junior squad also fits naturally into a regional pattern even if we accept that there are possible alternative methods for funding it.
As regards fixtures the present system works well enough and provided we find a volunteer to replace Ian Whitehead I personally see little reason to change it. Ian has agreed to carry on his role until the next AGM and we do have people showing some interest but if anyone else would like to know what is involved please let Ian know.
Whilst on the subject of fixtures please remember we have an answerphone system with details of events on - clubs should inform Ian of any late information to be added, changes in parking areas or indeed cancellations so that members can come to rely on this source of information.
As regards newsletters, passing them to clubs for distribution could be considered with cost savings in mind. This could be electronic to take printing costs off the region or could just be for distribution without the cost of a second stamp. In the short term we are going to try to make more effort to have them available for collection at events so please look out for them.
In the short term I am obtaining copies of constitutions of other regions and organisations who have gone through this sort of change and will then look at how our own may need adapting and will then have our executive committee come up with firm proposals to put before you at the end of the year.
More immediately and still on the difficult subject of funding, the EOC AGM in March will have to take a difficult decision on funding and the outcome will have a direct effect on our own funding arrangements come September.
After the EOC AGM the present methods of funding will not be available and that AGM will have to decided whether to increase athlete contributions, increase regional contributions, abandon or curtail it's international programme or come up with permutations from these or any other suggestions. Anyone with strong views should let any member of the EMOA executive committee know as we will have to instruct a delegate on the region's view before the AGM which effectively means at our meeting in March.
My own view is that if some clubs are likely to end up without functioning regions any charge on regions could not work fairly and that therefore this cost should be born out of BOF funds to share the burden amongst the sport at large. In the interests of the 'one subs' ideal if say 50p per member of all members subs were allocated to fund national bodies then that sum in total would be handed back by BOF to the four national bodies pro rata to the number of members.
Whilst on the subject of BOF funding generally the hoary old debate between membership fees and levies as the primary source of funding is rearing it's ugly head again. With a substantial drop in the amount of funding coming in from outside sources BOF wish to bridge a large shortfall and the AGM will be reviewing membership fees and BOF Council reviewing levies. It seems quite likely that both will go up considerably.
This rests fairly uncomfortably with yours truly. After a season when members got little orienteering for their membership due to access restrictions it is not good policy to hit them again to cover the losses incurred although we may have little choice. It also seems illogical to have a National Orienteering Week to promote the sport at the same time as making it more expensive both to join and to participate.
Over and above this there is a strong body of support for low membership fees to encourage joining the sport and discourage free-riders participating but not joining.
...low membership fees to encourage joining the sport and discourage free-riders ...
If funding is then by way of event levy the actual people getting events provided for them and therefore getting most out of the sport are the ones carrying the main burden (or fair share) of paying for it.
If you have strong views on the subject make sure you vote accordingly at the AGM and let the BOF council know your views.
Whilst on the subject of N O W we are still looking for someone who would like to have a go at being our Development Officer.
Turning away from the administration of the sport and remembering that what we are really all about is running, I would like to comment on a debate which has been simmering for some time and has come to the boil following an approach from member who has just moved into the region. His letter and a response from our Events Standards Officer will be covered elsewhere but I have twice recently been personally involved in the debate which bears some serious consideration.
The whole purpose of the colour coded system is to get a measure of uniformity in events across the country. Several recent events have brought about comments suggesting that clubs often get this wrong to the extent that many members are actually disappointed when they are correctly graded. Light Greens have been called too easy when they fully conform with guidelines because many such courses are actually too technical, physical or long and members have come to expect that. Many light greens as offered to us should actually be greens with a knock on effect at other levels. Young, old or temporarily infirm runners often wish to do a technical course which is not too physically demanding which is what a green should be but are put off by the course specification as advertised which in many cases should be a blue.
Planners should bear in mind the old maxim that every 100 metres of climb is the equivalent of another kilometre on the course length
It is not long ago when I manned a start when many competitors were moaning about how short their courses were. I subsequently went to help on the finish where the predominant comment was that they were exhausted and that courses had too much climb in them. Planners should bear in mind the old maxim that every 100 metres of climb is the equivalent of another kilometre on the course length and also that when undergrowth makes the optimum route longer than direct then this should also be reflected.
I trust my comments will broaden out the debate on many of these matters which will no doubt run and run which is more than some of us can do.
Not long now till summer leagues kick in - enjoy your running
When is a Green not a Green?
A debate is currently taking place in 'O' car parks and elsewhere in the East Midlands in connection with the wide variation of length, technical difficulty and physical difficulty of Colour Coded courses and about Green courses in particular. As your Technical Representative I have been asked to give some background to the debate and highlight a specific issue or two so here goes.
To newcomers and recent converts to the sport, a little background information. BOF as the overall body for the running of the sport within Great Britain publishes a large loose-leaf document of over 160 pages (which is why you rarely see orienteers carrying it around in their pockets!) that gives in detail the Rules, Appendices and Guidelines to ensure that the sport is organised in a fair and equitable way whichever region you come from or compete in.
Originally dated 1997, updates have taken place as and when needed and, under the excellent Chairmanship of Simon Errington, the Technical Committee (till 31st December 2001) and now the Event Standards Committee (from 1st January 2002) are engaged in a wholesale review, revamp and rewrite of the Rules and Guidelines to make them more accessible and user-friendly (but a little more of that later).
One of the main aspects of the Rules and Guidelines is that of the Planning and Controlling of courses to suit various ages and levels of ability on a wide variety of terrain ranging from a complex area such as Bigland in Cumbria to a small recently established local Country Park such as Fosse Meadows but, and it is a big 'but', whatever the terrain, the Planner should keep within current Guideline 2 'Principles of Course Planning', the Introduction of which states:
"The technical difficulty of a course is based on the skills needed to complete it. The aim of Planners should be that the courses at an event show clearly the progression of technical difficulty, with each course providing the correct level of technical and physical challenge.
Basically, wherever you go in Great Britain you should expect, at the very least, that the event will be conducted within the scope of the Rules and Guidelines - in some areas this might mean that there might not be a White course because the terrain does not allow it whilst in other areas you cannot have Level 5* (or even Level 5) TD but that the Planner will make the best use of what he or she has on offer within the mapped area - and you should expect that, for example, "a Green is a Green is a Green" and as such is related to the self-same BOF Rules and Guidelines.
Current Guideline 2 then goes into detail, noting that in some areas of Great Britain the terrain will not allow courses to be planned to the highest levels of TD, as well as defining what is meant by 'Route Choice', 'Decision Point', 'Collecting Feature' and 'Relocating Feature' together with tables relating the six levels of TD from 1 to 5* to the skills required, routes and route choice, the number of controls, control sites, relocation and cost of errors, the relationship between Colour Coded courses and Junior Badge classes, and typical terrain availability.
This is then followed by planning for specific age groups and estimating course lengths.
Buried within these sections is one pearl of wisdom that every Planner and Controller should have engraved on their brain, if not on their forehead:
"A simple rule of thumb to allow for height climb is to assume that a height climb of 100m adds an effective 1km to the course length, and pro rata."
It then becomes really simple - at the moment as a Planner you go to Guideline 3 'Colour Coded Events' and check the table labelled G3.5 which gives Course Guidelines of time in minutes for most competitors, length in km and TD from 1 to 5* - and for Green (as good as an example as any as that is where we started in the 'O' event car park) you find that there is a time span of between 45 and 75 minutes, a length of 3.5 to 5.0km and a TD of 5 or 5*. Add on the rule of thumb whereby 100m of climb equals 1km of length and a Green of 4.5km with 190m of climb equals 6.4km (bad!) but that a Green of 3km with the same 190m of climb equals 4.9km (at the top end of long but good!!) not forgetting that 190m of climb indicates that the terrain is likely to be physically difficult within the stated 3km anymore the 4.9km.
I now have visions of all those reading this rushing to the file boxes/loose-leaf folders/plastic bag under the bed/pile on the back seat of the car (been there, seen it, done it - loving and long-suffering wife says "you forgot the pile on the kitchen table dearest!!") and checking events that have been competed in during the last year or two to see whether they do or do not match up, which is what task Brian Ward of DVO undertook - and did he come up with some variations!!
Brian has compiled an interesting set of statistics relating to events that he has attended in the past year and there is no doubt that there is more variation than would seem justified when set against the BOF Rules and Guidelines.
...how do you fancy a Green of 7.75km?
To give just one example - how do you fancy an event which Brian went to recently (not in the EMOA area) which had a Green of 4.4km in length and 355m of climb - a 'rule of thumb' length of 7.75km - with 1 competitor within the 45 to 75 minutes range and 39 beyond 75 minutes? The answer is probably "Not much!" One can only suggest in mitigation that neither the Planner or the Controller had recently checked the Rules and Guidelines or remembered the 'rule of thumb' but they certainly will probably have had quite a few disgruntled, not to say knackered, orienteers to deal with in the Assembly area whilst other orienteers could well have decided to 'run-down' and do Light Green instead but having to accept that, in theory at least, the TD would be less demanding of their 'O' skills. The other knock-on effect is that the Blue and the Brown would almost certainly have been even longer and tougher in keeping with the length and climb of the Green. Brian also points out that, although a different type of competition, under CompassSport Cup Rules the Green course is targetted at W45+ and M60+, the category into which both he and his wife come.
So where to go from here?
Hopefully the debate will produce some positive results with regard to overall course planning from Planners and Controllers in the East Midlands - comments are welcome and will be reported back (anonymously if so desired) to both the EMOA Committee and the Event Standards Committee of BOF and also, if any orienteer wants to delve deeper, especially with regard to the forthcoming new Rules and Guidelines (1st January 2003 is intended as the start date) and if they have a PC with internet access, a visit to the BOF website <http://www.britishorienteering.org.uk> will allow a flow using hotlinks from the 'BOF Home Page' to 'Information for members' to 'Event Standards Committee' to 'BOF Rules Update 2002' and then a link to 'Review of BOF Rules and Guidelines' which then gives access not only to the current Rules but also the chance to download the .pdf and .doc files of the drafts of documents currently being worked on by Event Standards - particularly the Drafts (as at October 2001) of 'Event Guideline: Colour Coded Events' and 'Appendix C: Event Officials' - which I am sure will prove to be interesting not to say fascinating reading to all who have ventured this far!
A reminder to all DVO members.
Names for the JK Relays and CompassSport Cup to Liz Godfree on 01332 515862,
as soon as possible
A Little Man - by Roy Denney
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the first National Parks in Britain and look forward to the creation of two new ones in England and the first ones in Scotland we have to say goodbye to a far from insignificant little man.
Benny Rothman has died at the grand old age of 90 and marks the passing of an era. This man of four foot something stood tall when he addressed a gathering of some 500 people in a quarry in Hayfield in 1932 before leading them out on the mass trespass of Kinder which, after the war, ultimately brought about the public enquiry on access to the fells and within a few years the creation of the first parks including his beloved Kinder (Peak District )
Following this mass action by 'ramblers' mostly from Manchester but also from Sheffield and other local towns, Benny did time in Leicester Jail on charges of riotous assembly having been convicted with 5 others.
Three years later the Ramblers Association was formed and after continuous pressure the 1949 National Parks and Countryside Act started the process of opening up the hills which last year's Countryside and Rights of Way Act is continuing.
Speaking as a lifelong Manchester Rambler I would like to say "goodbye Benny and thank you" and I am sure I speak for all other lovers of the wilder parts of our land.
SUNDAY, JUNE 30th 2002
THE PEACOCK CHALLENGE ONE DAY MINI MOUNTAIN MARATHON
A 5 hour Score event for teams of 2 in a range of categories.
Venue is in the Derbyshire Dales (White Peak), exact venue divulged on
Receipt of completed entry form. Entry is £12 per team of 2 (includes hot
Food at finish).
Entry limit is 200 teams. Limited EOD £14 if limit not reached.
SAE for entry to Paul Keetley, 49 Northwood Lane, Darley Dale, Matlock,
Derbyshire, DE4 2HQ. Tel 01629 734358
or find information on www.ladymanners.org.uk
In previous EMEWS that I've edited I've tried to provide some background to one of the areas being used for the events. I'd welcome anyone else who would like to contribute with articles on the areas we use for orienteering, or surrounding countryside. This month I've pulled together a little information on Clumber Park.
Clumber was formerly home to the Dukes of Newcastle. The original home of the Dukes was Haughton Park in Nottinghamshire, then known as the Earls of Clare. The fourth Earl, John, was born in 1663 and through marriage to the Cavendish family and his own estates he became one of the richest men in England. John was raised to be the first duke of Newcastle in 1694 and with his own estate and the inheritance of the Cavendish estate he had an annual income of £40,000 - a huge sum in those days. The Duke took up Welbeck Abbey as his abode, and Haughton fell in to ruin. However over time 'when the Holles and the Cavendish estate came to separate again, and the latter went through the Harleys to the Bentincks, a mansion was wanted for the former, and Clumber Park, which might be a lodge before, was by degrees extended in size and importance.'
About 1772 a mansion was erected, extensive plantations laid out, lake and pleasure grounds formed, and so palatial an abode created, that Throsby, who visited the place 25 years after its construction, quaintly describes it as calculated to 'paradise the mind.'
Clumber became one of the great houses of England, however in 1879 there was a great fire, started accidentally, which destroyed much of the oldest part of the house, including some fine pictures. 50 years earlier Nottingham Castle, which also belonged to the family, had been burned down in the Reform Riots. Some of the house was rebuilt, though Clumber never quite regained it's status as a great house.
The house was eventually demolished in 1938, when the house contents were dispersed, along with levelling of many of the garden terraces. However there are still 3,800 acres of the Climber Estate to explore, including the 80 acre lake and the Gothic style Chapel (built by the 7th Duke of Newcastle in 1880).
Yes, it's me! I'm back again. Like a bad penny I keep returning. I heard that EMEWS required a new editor and so I decided that if I could be of assistance I would help out.
My aim is to produce 6 issues of EMEWS a year and hopefully ensure that I can get to events to distribute them. My target for the next issue will be the LEI Club event at Swithland on April 6th so look out for your EMEWS there.
I previously edited EMEWS from issues 65 (May 81) through to issue 90 (May 85). I can vividly remember the first issue I printed with Steve Buckley's help. Everything was done on a typewriter and printing was done through stencils. Ink flew everywhere when we didn't get things set up correctly. However, things have moved on a bit now. Computers make getting the information together much easier and hopefully this will be printed professionally.
However, one thing does not change. EMEWS is the East Midlands Orienteering Association's newsletter but it needs your contributions. I want controversial views from you. If you see something in EMEWS, hear something in the car park, want to vent off about something orienteering related then send your copy to me.
Clubs - previous editions of EMEWS have had club diary sections. Let the rest of the region know what is going on in your club. Get your contributions in to me.
I'd like to include quizzes, puzzles, etc. if we can. If we have anyone willing to set puzzles then send them in to me.
I look forward to meeting you when you pick up your EMEWS. If you don't know me, introduce yourselves.