IOF meetings in Aichi, Japan: Micro Orienteering and Future Elite Events Programme high up on the Agenda

Posted on | August 30, 2005 | Category: News

At its recent meeting held in Aichi, Japan, the IOF Council decided to accept the Danish World Orienteering Championships organiser’s request for inclusion of the micro orienteering (Micro-O) element in the middle distance final of the 2006 WOC.

The reason for the organisers to make this request was their ambition to secure and maximise the TV coverage of the Championships in line with the aims of the Leibnitz Convention. The Danish television company DR and the Norwegian television company TV2 Norge have offered to produce comprehensive coverage of the WOC 2006, provided that the Micro-O element is introduced in one of the finals.

The Micro-O concept and the rationale behind the proposal were presented to the representatives of the member federations attending the recent Presidents’ Conference in Aichi, Japan. Although concerns regarding continuity and fairness issues were raised, the general feeling was that, for the long-term benefit of the sport, it would be acceptable to introduce the Micro-O element in one of the races of the 2006 Championships.

The Council, in line with the recommendation of the IOF Foot Orienteering Committee (FOC), and appreciating the commonly agreed need to get increased TV coverage of orienteering and the fact that, on certain conditions, such an opportunity exists for the 2006 WOC, decided to grant the requested rule deviation. The decision is, however, conditional, the preconditions being that

– The WOC organiser and the involved broadcasting companies sign a contract on extensive TV coverage of the World Championships by the end of September 2005;

– The FOC, in co-operation with the IOF Senior Event Advisor and the WOC organiser, and involving the IOF Rules Commission in the work, establishes proper rules for the Micro-O element. The rules must be published before the end of 2005, and that,

– For fairness reasons, the FOC, in co-operation with the organiser, ensures that the athletes are provided with appropriate possibilities to practice Micro-O prior to the WOC. These plans shall be published before the end of the year 2005.

Organisers of orienteering events in the period leading up to the 2006 WOC will have the opportunity to try out this format.

New Elite Events Programme in 2007

At the IOF General Assembly held in September 2004, it was decided that the World Cup, as it exists today, shall be discontinued from the end of 2006. Following this decision, the Council delegated to the Foot Orienteering Commission to work out a proposal for a new world elite events programme for implementation in 2007

The event programme concept was presented to the member federations at the Presidents’ Conference in Aichi, Japan. The proposed programme is based on the World Orienteering Championships, regional orienteering championships and a small number of high quality existing events.

The new type event series will be called the World Cup, as this is already a well established and recognized name. There are, however, several differences between the current and the future World Cup. In the past, events have been specially created for the World Cup while, in future, the World Cup will be part of already existing events. The new World Cup series will also include fewer events than the current model, the aim of which is to facilitate the runners’ planning. Equally, the number of World Cup events in one round is planned to be only one or two, while at present a round contains quite a big number of events stretching over many days.

The FOC will work out, and submit to the IOF Council, its final proposal by the end of September 2005. Invitations to apply to organise World Cup events will be circulated to the federations in November, and the deadline for applications is 31 December 2005. The 2007 programme will be finalised and announced in March 2006.

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