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Jabberwaoc - January 1998


Dave's Drivel

Happy 1998 everyone!

First of all, you'll have noticed from Steve's editorial in the last Jabberwaoc that that was the last one under his editorship. I'd like to thank Steve for all his work in editing Jabberwaoc over the last few years. Its an important and sometimes difficult job. Good luck to Neil and Pauline Humphries who have taken over. How about making a New Year's resolution to help them by writing a brief article? I reckon that, if each member or family contributed one half-page article, there'd be enough content so that you'd only have to do it once every five years! Think about it.

1997 finished in great style with the WAOC Club Championships and SMOC challenge match at Rowney Warren. There was an excellent WAOC turnout, with 73 competitors against SMOC's 34. As a result, we won the Challenge match by 125 points to 82 on the Green course and by 6-3 on the Orange course. The scoring system was arranged so as not to disadvantage the smaller club (SMOC), so the result represents strength in quality as well as quantity. One slight disadvantage of the scoring system is that, in classes where we had a lot of runners and SMOC had very few, many of our runners did not score any points despite having good runs. Nevertheless, I'd like to thank everyone for turning up. Even if you didn't score points on this occasion, your presence might have been critical if SMOC had been able to field a few more competitors.

Within the next couple of months, there's two more competitions with inter-club rivalry. On Saturday January 24th there's the CUOC Icenian badge event. As well as being a normal badge event, this is an inter-club competition for the Icenian Trophy. We won it last year, by a decisive margin over NOR and the other East Anglian clubs, so we want as many of you as possible to turn out this year to defend the trophy. If you haven't competed in a badge event before, why not take this opportunity to give it a go? All club members are eligible ( you don't need to be a BOF member to take part in badge events in your own region ). More details about the Icenian, and badge events in general are later in Jabberwaoc.

The next inter-club competition is the CompassSport Cup. This is a knockout competition based on colour-coded events over the course of the year. For the first round, we're drawn against NOR. There's more details later in Jabberwaoc from Sue and Roger, the club captains.

In both these competitions all age groups contribute to the result, so it has to be a total club effort. Clubs are often eliminated simply because they didn't have enough people in each of the age classes to get all the available points. But that won't happen to us, will it?

Good luck in your Orienteering and in general in 1998.


WAOC on the International stage

A second WAOC International superstar emerges: congratulations to Lindsey Freeman who finished 24th in W45A at the Veteran World Cup Final, held in Minnesota on October 24th.

A rather more frequent name in this column, Abi Weeds had a busy October, representing Britain at both the Nordic Orienteering Championships in northern Denmark and the Junior 5 Nations International in Osnabruck, Germany. In Denmark Abi finished 30th in the W20 Classic Distance race and 25th in the Short distance. In Osnabruck she was part of the 3rd placed women's relay team.

Well done Abi and Lindsey.

Going for Gold - An introduction to Badge events

Been Orienteering locally for a few years at colour-coded events, but never tried a Badge event? Not sure what its all about?

Badge events are the next stage up from colour-coded events. They're so called because there's a Gold,Silver,Bronze badge scheme associated with them. There's several differences between badge events and colour-coded events:

Firstly, at badge events, you run on designated courses for your age/sex class, so when you compete, you're only really competing against people in your own class. Each class has a short and a long course option ( or A and B for junior classes ). The short or B courses are approximately 2/3 the distance of the long or A courses. When you enter, you specify which course you're competing on ( eg. M35L, or W16B ). If you're really good, you can run "up", ie. run on a harder course than the usual one for your age-group. For example, an M35 competitor can run competitively on an M21L course if he wishes or a W16 can run on a W18A course. You cannot run "down" competitively, and its not usual to do so. At most badge events, there are usually a limited number of colour-coded courses for those who do not want to run competitively on the badge courses. The age classes catered for at badge events are M/W10 through to M/W75.

The next major difference is that badge events are usually pre-entry. ie. you have to send an entry form, together with your entry fee, to the organiser a couple of weeks before the event. You'll be sent back your control card, marked with your start time. ( You can usually specify on your entry form if you'd like an early, medium or late start, or if you have special requirements, for example: parents may want "split" starts, ie. one early and one late, to make child supervision easier. The organiser will usually try to accommodate any preferences ). There is often some "Entry on the day" (EOD) available as well, but it's sometimes limited.

With the control card will be the event details, giving directions, information about what to do when you get there, and details of course lengths and climb and a description of the terrain.

Its also becoming more common for the organiser to send out the control descriptions with the control cards, so that you can copy them onto your card in the comfort of your own home. If not, the control descriptions will be pinned-up somewhere near the event car-park, so that you can copy them down just before you go the start. In either case, the control descriptions for your course will always be attached to the map as well.

The third major difference is that the control descriptions are usually in the form of international symbols, rather than as a written description. This might look rather daunting at first, but most of the symbols are quite obvious, and often look similar to the way the feature is shown on the map. Ultrasport sells lookup cards to decode the symbols, and almost anyone will help you if you ask and explain that you've never seen control descriptions done in this way before. At most badge events, control descriptions for the junior courses are available in both the symbol form and in English.

The final major difference is that the maps are usually pre-printed with your course - you don't have to copy the course down from Master Maps. Consequently, you don't collect your map from Registration, you pick it up on the start line. The maps will also be sealed in plastic bags, so you don't have to provide your own. It's because the maps are pre-printed that Entry on the Day is usually limited: the organiser will have prepared some spare overprinted maps for each course, but when they run out, thats it!

So, to summarise, the procedure is:

Badge events are mean't to be on better quality terrain and therefore be physically and technically more challenging than colour-coded events. In practice, in East Anglia, there is limited good quality badge standard terrain, so you'll find the events technically not much harder than colour-coded ones, although the courses may be longer than you'd normally run at a colour-coded event. For example, the last CUOC Icenian Badge event at Bush Heath Woods had M14A = 4.7km, W14A = 3.3km, M21L = 11km, W21L = 7.6km, M60L = 6.2km and W60L = 4.0km. If you travel further afield, especially north, the courses are often significantly more technically challenging ( lots of "contour features" ) and have more climb, but will therefore be shorter. In general, there is the usual wide variation in finishing times, with the winners of the senior long courses usually completing in about 1hr and the tail-enders taking 90 mins to 2hrs.

What about the badges? The "base" time for each long course is calculated as the average of the first 3 finishers. Gold standard is "base time + 25%", Silver standard is "base time + 50%", Bronze standard is "base time + 100%". The standard times for the short and B courses are calculated pro-rata the corresponding long or A course. If you achieve the standard on three occasions in a two year period, you can claim an appropriate badge.

Most "competitive" Orienteering revolves around badge events, and people often travel a long way to events. WAOC members regularly travel 80 miles or more to badge events, especially to the more technically challenging areas. Events are advertised in CompassSport ( the National Orienteering magazine ), in the BOF Bulletin ( the BOF newsletter ) and at other events. To compete regularly in badge events, you must be a BOF member: you're required to state your BOF number on the event entry forms. However, club-only members are entitled to enter badge events in their own region without joining BOF ( eg. WAOC club-only members can take part in badge events put on by WAOC, CUOC, NOR, SOS, WASH, SMOC and SUFFOC ). If you're trying out badge events for the first time, its also permitted to try up to three events outside the region before having to join BOF.

Going to try the Icenian? ....

If that's whetted your appetite, a very good badge event to start with is CUOC's Icenian Trophy Badge event at High Lodge Warren, Thetford on Saturday 24th January. ( Most badge events are on Sundays, CUOC had to re-arrange this one due to land access problems ).

By the time you receive this edition of Jabberwaoc, the pre-entry closing date will probably have passed ( Jan 11th ), so you'll have to enter on the day. This shouldn't be a problem, but it might be wise to turn up early. If the worst happens and entries for your course have run out, you can always enter one of the colour-coded courses. There's also a string course for the very young.

Entry on the day registration is very similar to normal colour-coded registration. Entry fees are: Seniors: 6-50, Juniors/Students: 3-50. The colour-coded fees are: 3-50/2-00. Registration is from 10am to 12:30.

High Lodge Warren is on the B1107 Brandon to Thetford road, grid ref. TL811852. Enquiries to the organiser, Catherine Ashton. ( Phone: 01223-516020, email: cmla2@cam.ac.uk ) There's also further information at the CUOC web-site: http://www.cam.ac.uk/CambUniv/Societies/cuoc/icenian.

Look forward to seeing you there, as we try to keep the trophy for a second year.

Other badge events

Other nearby badge events coming up in the next few months are:

Feb 8th HH Burnham Beeches and Egypt Woods, Slough
CD: 19/1/98, 6.50/2.50, SEF, Chq: HHOC
Entries: Susan Marsden, 24 Glen Way, Watford, WD1 3HL
Feb 15th DVO Shining Cliff, Matlock
CD: 25/1/98, 6.00/2.50, Family: 14.50, SEF, Chq: DVO
Entries: Mike Godfree, 26 Rangemore Close, Mickleover, Derby, DE3 5JU
Feb 15th TVOC Chiltern Challenge, Whiteleaf, Princes Risborough
CD: 26/1/98, 6.00/2.50, SEF, Chq: TVOC
Entries: Simon Ashford, 23 Knights Templar Way, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP11 1PX
Feb 22nd SAX Saxons Shield, Hindleap Warren, East Grinstead
( No further details )
Organiser: Bill Griffiths, Fothersby Cottage, Hawkhurst, Kent, TN18 5DB
Mar 22nd GO OO Trophy, Redlands, Dorking.
CD: 2/3/98, 6.00/1.50, SEF
Entries: OO Trophy, Cleves Cottage, Pyrford Woods, Woking, Surrey, GU22 8QL
Mar 29th NOR Double Dumpling, Kelling Heath and Bodham Wood
CD: 28/2/98, 4.50/2.50, SEF, Chq: Norwich Orienteering Club
Entries: Barry Pilgrim, Boundary House, Low Common, Swardston, Norwich, NR14 8LG

CD indicates the closing date for pre-entries. All these events also have limited entry on the day. Late entries and/or entry on the day usually incurs a 1.00 surcharge. SEF means use a Standard Entry Form. If you haven't got one, most competitive WAOC members will and will gladly photocopy one for you. Or I (Dave) can give you one.

WAOC Championship Gallopen

Following my proposal in the previous Jabberwaoc to base the Club Championships on a "gallopen" of the club's colour-coded events, I've been sifting through the deluge of responses. Since both of them were in favour, thats what's going to happen. The first event in our Club Championship Gallopen will be the Mildenhall colour-coded event on February 1st. There'll be regular reports here in Jabberwaoc.

Note that this event will also be our CompassSport Cup match against NOR. Please, Please, Please enter the correct CompassSport Cup course for your age ( Roger and Sue will have details ), it won't make any difference to your "gallopen" points.

Stop Press ... WAOC/NOR team wins Peddars Way Relay

The Iceni Chasers, a team made up of Steve Hardy, Dave Wotton and Clive Baker (NOR) won the Peddars Way Relay on January 4th, twice! They were the first team to finish in the handicap relay, covering the 46 miles in 5hr 18mins and also the quickest team overall and so carried away both trophies ( or would have done, if the trophies hadn't been lost ). Full report in next Jabberwaoc.

Annual General Meeting

The Club AGM will take place

at Springfield House Community Centre, Stevenage

on Saturday 28st February 1998

from 7:00pm

Directions: ****** To be supplied *********

Please bring a contribution to a finger buffet. ( Sweet or Savoury ). We may have the facilities to heat up any food which requires it ( eg. Sausage rolls, mince pies etc ), but please confirm with me beforehand if you want to make use of this.

The actual "business" part of the AGM should only take about 3/4 hr and will start at 8:00pm approx. The rest of the evening will be "social" with games, quizes, puzzles etc. ( vaguely Orienteering based ). This event will be suitable for children of all ages ( ie. from 10 to 70, and beyond! )

AGM agenda.

  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Chairman's Report
  3. Acceptance of Accounts
  4. Election of Officers
  5. Awards / Presentations
  6. Any other Business

Election of Officers/Vacancies

There are two unfilled committee posts at present: Club Coach and School's league co-ordinator. In both cases, enthusiasm is more important than experience, so if you think you might be interested in either of the roles, but don't have the necessary experience, don't let that put you off.

The Club Coach role needs someone who is a competent Orienteer ( not necessarily a very good Orienteer, merely competent ), who is interested in actively improving both their own Orienteering skills and those of other club members. The job would involve encouraging others to develop by putting on training events or providing 'clinics' at local colour-coded events. Exactly how you provide the coaching would be up to you. BOF puts on courses and seminars for club coaches and there are numerous books to help you. Many of WAOC's experienced Orienteers would be willing to lend a hand and offer advice where needed.

The School's league co-ordinator is similar. Currently, WAOC joins forces with Happy Herts and SMOC to provide a 6-event School's league on Wednesday evenings in the second half of the Easter term, with each club putting on two events. The minimum that would be required of a School's league co-ordinator would be to arrange WAOC's two events and to be WAOC's contact-point in the administration of the league. This doesn't mean that the School's league co-ordinator is responsible for planning or organising the two events ( although you could do, if you wanted to ), rather, you would be responsible for finding the planners and organisers for these two events and providing them with moral and practical support.

In practice, the minimum responsibilities for the Schools league co-ordinator would extend over a period of about 6 weeks in the year. However, if you would like to develop the role then there is much that could be done to promote and develop Orienteering in schools, and someone with sufficient enthusiasm could contribute a great deal to this key task.

Both posts are committee positions, which means that the holders would also have a say in the overall management of the club. However, if you'd prefer not to be involved in that aspect of the post, but would prefer simply to concentrate on the specific job, then that's fine.

Although committee positions have no fixed duration, it is healthy if there is a regular turnover of people within the committee, so you should not feel that the task might become a "job for life". Why not start by offering your services for a year?

Other committee posts: Although there aren't any other explicit vacancies at present, if you feel that you would like to contribute to the management of the club, let me know. Vacancies crop up from time to time, and there may well be some current committee members who would be willing to stand aside if there was a willing volunteer to take over.

Finally, remember that the AGM is your best opportunity to question the committee, make suggestions, influence the club's direction, and, if you think it's warranted, criticise. Become involved - it's your club. See you at the AGM.


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