First Sprint WOC goes to Denmark

Posted on | August 26, 2016 | Category: News

In 2020 the first Sprint WOC will be in Denmark. Sprint, Sprint Relay and a third format are on the program. The FootO Commission has presented two variants of Knock-Out Sprint for the IOF Council as the third option.

At today’s General Assembly, it has officially been confirmed that the first Sprint World Orienteering Championships goes to Denmark in 2020. The competitions will take place in the Triangle Region cities of Vejle, Kolding and Fredericia. Event Denmark and the regional government (Trekantområdet) has secured considerable external funding for the event. As the only applicant, it is not a big surprise though.

Sprint and Sprint Relay are well known in the context of WOC. From 2020, you have to get used to a third format when the first Sprint WOC takes place in Denmark.

Many possibilities have been considered and now the IOF FootO Commission has narrowed the field down to two different versions of Knock-Out Sprint. Some different criteria have been set for the new format. First of all, it must differ from the individual sprint competition. Second, a ‘first to finish’ winner decision was recommended by the IOF Council.

The two options will be tested until the autumn 2017 and then the final decision will be made. The first test will be in Italy (MOC camp) in the beginning of March where both possible formats will be tested in practice. The feedback from national coaches and the athletes at the event in Italy will give a clearer vision of the best model for the Sprint WOC. In the following period, a large event will be chosen as the rehearsal of the format, before the final decision is made by the IOF Council.

The two variants, which are in the race for being in WOC 2020, are the so-called NORT-model and the chase-model.

The same for both models:

  • The whole event takes place in one day.
  • Consists of three rounds: qualification about 12 minutes, semi-final and final of around 8 minutes running time.
  • The qualification takes place in the morning, and the semi-final and final will take place in the afternoon.
  • A maze could be tested as part of a forking method.

The NORT-model:

  • The name refers to its use in the now closed Nordic Orienteering Tour.
  • The qualification will be a single start qualification-race with the 30 fastest making it to the semifinals.
  • The semifinals will be 5 heats with 6 runners starting mass start. The heat winners and the fastest in second position make it to the final.
  • The final will be a mass start with the 6 runners and first-to-finish.
  • The NORT-model requires a kind of forking to avoid following in the semifinal and final. The tricky thing is that the forking has to be very similar when the courses are so short to decide the winner.

The chase-model:

  • The qualification will be a single start qualification-race with the 32 fastest making it to the semifinals.
  • The semifinals will be 4 heats of 8 athletes with chasing-start according to the qualification results. The two best in each heat make it to the final.
  • In the final 8 athletes start in chasing-start according to the qualification and semifinal results.
  • In this model, forking is not necessary but can be used.

The FootO Comission has considered many options before only having two options left. An urban middle distance has been discussed but with qualification and final it would have to last two days and it would not have the first-to-finish decision. Another option has been a stadium sprint. It would include a course around a stadium and finish inside in an artificial maze. The logistics would mean that a stadium is necessary for organizing the event and it was considered that it gets too far from the essence of orienteering.

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