A successful end to the orienteering season

Posted on | October 21, 2016 | Category: Newsletter

The IOF orienteering Wold Cup and the orienteering season 2016 ended in Switzerland. Traditionally, the last races are organised by Swiss Orienteering, as they have been nine times since 2007. The World Cup races in Switzerland are characterized by thoughtful organisation with attention to details, and the organising committee has over the years gained a good co-operation with sponsors and local authorities.

The Swiss are extremely good at creating a great atmosphere at events, and especially the sprint events attract a lot of spectators who are non-orienteers. There is something to learn about marketing and event promotion for all of us. Many thanks to Brigitte Grüniger Huber, Swiss Orienteering and all volunteers for great work and successful events.

Congratulations to World Cup overall winners Tove Alexandersson and Mathias Kyburz, who have now both won their third World Cup in foot orienteering. The 2016 edition of the World Cup included four rounds, with 10 individual and 4 sprint relay events, in Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland. The event organisers’ ambition levels were really high this year, and we have had high quality live-TV from three of the rounds. The first round in Poland was mainly used as testing ground for the World Games 2017 organisers and the ambition level was set to web-TV standard. One of the targets of the IOF is to secure high quality TV from all World Cup races, and we are quite close to reaching our targets. Live-TV from all events is a mandatory part of the World Cup product in the future. The orienteering world, our partners and sponsors need consistent and high quality TV production from all World Cup and World Championships, at least in foot orienteering.

During the IOF Council meeting held in conjunction with World Cup Final, we spent a lot of time in planning our next period until the 2018 General Assembly. Work on the Strategic Plan 2018-2014 preparation roadmap, Council members’ responsibility areas, regional development, competition rules, commission remits and membership is maybe not so visible, but was an important part of our meeting. Perhaps more interesting news is that the new ISOM, or International Specification for Orienteering Maps, is almost ready and should be published in the coming months. The new ISOM was presented to Council and from a technical point of view there were no world-changing revisions from the previous ISOM2000. However, we felt the need for additional consultation with commissions on some fundamental questions.

Another interesting discussion was held on the topic of a “GPS watch rule” clarification in the IOF rules. The problem we have in orienteering is that we have this rule, which is difficult to control and not properly understood, and therefore not accepted by the majority of orienteers. As we know, the usage of GPS gives advantage only in cases of active support or guidance.  Let’s see where this interesting discussion will end up. The decision will be taken at the next Council meeting in January 2017 in Warsaw.

//Leho Haldna, IOF President

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