1. Original letter from Peter, plus comments from Kristin, Tom, John, Suzanne, Pavlina, Boris, Eddie, and Viktoria.
2. Summary from Peter
Rules for WOC-2007 Team Selection
1. Original letter from Peter
We may be 100% happy with the rules we used to select the WOC-2006 team, or we may want to make some changes. If we do want to change anything, then I'd suggest we decide this fall so that everyone knows well in advance. And if anything needs to be approved by the USOF Board, then we can present that to them for their November meeting.
Here are some of the current rules that I remember having been discussed in the past year or two:
1. Team size. We opted for adding the next person on the scoring list as a 5th team member if that person had one score of at least 88 points.
2. The preliminary scoring list is determined by the best 3 of four possible scores (one each for sprint, middle, classic, and ranking).
3. The ranking score is based on ranking covering the period from 13 months to 1 month prior to the Trials.
4. The Review Panel can only consider petitions either from (a) someone out of the country for at least 9 of the previous 12 months, or (b) someone who was in the top 5 in both the Classic Champs and the ranking list of the previous year. At most one name may be inserted in the top four of the scoring list by petition, and at most one other name outside the top four.
So, do we want to make any changes?
Here are some of the things that I can think of that we might consider.
1. We ended up with a WOC team of 5 men and 5 women. Was that the right number? Should we have the possibility of 6th as well? The 5th person needed one score of at least 88 points. Should we raise that threshold?
2. Does the 13 month to 1 month in advance for the rankings work best? There were some suggestions that 12 months to 0 months in advance would be better.
3. Should we including the results of sanctioned night-O's in the ranking score?
4. Should we change either of the criteria that we use to determine if someone is allowed to petition?
5. Should we change the rules to make it more likely (or automatic?) that the winner of each race gets on the Team?
6. Are there any situations in which we want to give the Review Panel any more discretion?
I'm sure there are others....
My own opinions, subject to change when presented with superior logic: :-)
-- We should raise the 88 point threshold to at least 90 and maybe 92 or 94.
-- 13-1 month vs. 12-0, not a big deal as long as we decide well in advance.
-- No for night-O in the rankings.
-- I'd make it 6 out of recent 12 months out of the country. And I think any of at least the top 3 in the rankings should be allowed to petition, regardless of their performance (or presence) at the classic champs.
-- There may be cases where we'd want a 6th person, and we should have a mechanism for doing so.
So, I don't know what you all think. Let's see what the feelings are, then the ESC can put together a proposal. Feel free to raise issues other than what I've raised above. I'm just trying to get the process started.
Comments from Kristin
1. I agree with raising the threshold somewhat. 92 seems reasonable to me.
2. I like this system. Puts a little more pressure on unranked folks, but many of them have the petition option as a back up.
3. No to night O - too different, too many other factors (like how good or bad your head lamp is ...)
4. I like both of Peter's suggestions (6 of 12 months and attendance at Champs not needed if ranked in the top 3.
5. I don't think a winner needs an automatic slot. But we could give them some sort of bonus to make it more likely ... (how many winners of trials races have NOT made the team in the past few years??). I don't really like automatic slots ...
6. I think 6 is possible for the future ... but I don't think that it is needed yet. If we were to send 6 I would want to raise that threshold to at least 94!! As it was, Zan only got one race this year, and it is a long way to travel for that. And a lot of team funds to send 6 and 6. When lots of folks start making finals, then maybe we need to think more about 6 and 6.
Guess that is all for now! Thanks all for your thoughts at the meeting. Wish I could have been there, but email is a wonderful thing.
Comments from Tom
I do think we should up the 5th person points criteria from 88 to something like 92. Same rules to apply for 6th (and 7th?) person at the selection committee's discretion. I.e. if we have 6 people scoring in the mid 90's we should be able to select 6.
Night-O scores shouldn't be in the scoring, the level of US night-o familiarity doesn't yet justify that.
With a large number of people outside the country now, the petition rules should be a little less stringent in numbers of petitioners/championships participation etc., but maybe stricter in requiring proven international results.
The 12/0 month window makes sense to me as long as rankings can be produced within the required timeframes.
Comments from John
I'll throw my opinions into the mix...
1.) As I don't have the numbers in front of me I can't really say how well the current number works, but 88 does feel a little low. I think that the points from recent years should be looked at closely before any change takes place though
2.) I see no reason that you wouldn't want the system to take into account the most up-to-date rankings. What was the reasoning for the 1 month gap anyway?
3.) Definitely without the Night-O.
4.) I agree with Peter that presence or high placement at the Classic Champs should not be a requirement to be eligible to petition. Top 3 in the rankings is much more relevant and more than enough.
5.) Since we are sending people over to run in specific races, it would make sense to select people for those individual races using only that discipline. However, I don't think that we are quite ready for that step since our best runners are still usually the best across multiple disciplines. I do think that it would be a step in the right direction though to automatically select the winner from each race at the Team Trials. If someone is good enough at a specific discipline to win that discipline at the Team Trials, I would want that person representing us in that discipline at WOC. This shouldn't have much effect yet since I think that the individual race winners at the Team Trials almost always make the team anyway, but if it ever did happen that a winner ended up not making the team, I think it would be important to have this rule in place to avoid such a scenario. Of course in such a scenario that person should only run that specific race again at WOC, but I gue ss that is up to the coach anyway.
6.) As I have never actually been to WOC, I can't really comment on team size...
Comments from Suzanne
Team trials- Number of Competitors I wouldn't want to
send six... it would stretch the races too thinly
among the competitors. Sending 5 women was certainly
good this year... doing so helped make it possible to
get two Americans into the WOC sprint finals.
Also... if you are the fastest American when it
matters (on the day of the team trails race), it seems
like you have shown that you deserve a spot in that
race at WOC. It's hard for me to imagine exactly what
the ramifications of this change will be. I guess the
argument against it would have to do with looking for
consistancy... but it might be better at WOC to have
someone who can have a great race on an important day
rather than someone who is always pretty good.
Team Trails- Seeded Starts: On another team trials
related note: I was also wondering about the seeding
of the races that determines the backwards starting
order based on each previous race (and the sprint
based on the ranking). I know there was some talk
about this just before the 2005 trials and I thought
I'd bring it up again now because I don't know why it
is done the way it is. It seems to me that if start
order is irrelevant, then it doesn't matter and
therefore it doesn't make much sense to seed it. If
start order matters and there is an advantage to
having those ranked below you starting ahead of you,
then seeding each race weights the ranking points (and
then sprint race, etc) more than the others by giving
an advantage in latter races. Unlike WOC finals where
the seeding is earned through qualification races
which do not count towards final results, each day of
team trials and the ranking points contribute to the
competitor's final score independently already. I'm
not proposing a specific method but rather just wanted
to bring it up for discussion.
Comments from Pavlina
1. We ended up with a WOC team of 5 men and 5 women. Was that the right number? Should we have the possibility of 6th as well? The 5th person needed one score of at least 88 points. Should we raise that threshold?>>>>may be at least 90.
2. Does the 13 month to 1 month in advance for the rankings work best? There were some suggestions that 12 months to 0 months in advance would be better.>>>>as close as possible to 0 months in advance, especially if there are A meets or even championships a week or so ahead of the trials( like this year).
3. Should we including the results of sanctioned night-O's in the ranking score?>>>> no
4. Should we change either of the criteria that we use to determine if someone is allowed to petition?>>>> no comment.
5. Should we change the rules to make it more likely (or automatic?) that the winner of each race gets on the Team?>>>> I don't think so.
6. Are there any situations in which we want to give the Review Panel any more discretion?>>>> no comments.
Comments from Boris
Well, everyone is commenting, so I'll throw my opinion in as well.
First of all, I think we already have an excellent WOC team selection system that is well-suited to the current orienteering scene in the US. Also, having talked to a bunch of people from different countries (Canada, Sweden, Australia, UK, Russia, Ireland) at WOC, it sounds like we have a lot less controversy and a lot fewer problems with selections than many other countries do. This, i think, is partly due to the overwhelming objectivity and straightforwardness of the rules and relatively small amount of discretion. I like that. So if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Tweaking, however, is totally fine, so here are some thoughts, most of which have already been stated:
1) Team size: 5 and 5 seemed perfect this year. More would be too many.
2) The 88 that Peter selected as the score for the 5th person was arbitrary and do es seem a bit low. 90 or 92 seems more appropriate.
3) Night-O should not be ranked, but that's not up to us to decide, but rather up to the rankings folks.
4) Automatic selection for the winner of a Trials day: as Kristin pointed out, i can't remember a case when the winner of a day didn't make the team - our system takes care of that pretty well. And there is not nearly enough specialization in US orienteering yet to warrant accounting for the scenario of someone showing up out of the blue just to run the sprint...
5) Petitioning: 6 or 9 months out of a country won't make much of a difference, i think. In other words, who do we have that will have been out of the US for 6 BUT NOT 9 of the last 12 months as of next year's team trials? I suppose Suzanne will be close, so maybe it's justified... Another thought i had with regards to petitions: perhaps anyone without a ranking can be allowed to petition? That would take care of that phantom amazing sprinter who is waiting to show up at the Trials out of the blue, win the sprint and hope to get a spot on the team...
Mine are essentially all the same as Boris' (and everyone else for that
matter). I'll echo what Boris said - I very much like the objectivity of the
system we have now too.
Comments from Eddie
> 1. We ended up with a WOC team of 5 men and 5 women. Was that the right
> number? Should we have the possibility of 6th as well? The 5th person needed
> one score of at least 88 points. Should we raise that threshold?
88 or 92 doesn't make much difference to me. Either is fine.
> 2. Does the 13 month to 1 month in advance for the rankings work best? There
> were some suggestions that 12 months to 0 months in advance would be better.
I'd prefer 12 months to 0 months
> 3. Should we including the results of sanctioned night-O's in the ranking
> 4. Should we change either of the criteria that we use to determine if
> someone is allowed to petition?
Adding points leaders to the champs leaders is a
good idea. opening it up to anyone is not such a good idea.
> 5. Should we change the rules to make it more likely (or automatic?) that
> the winner of each race gets on the Team?
no, not at this juncture of US orienteering. I'm not big on small number
statistics. Anyone can have a really good day or a really bad day, but
our odds are better if team selection is based on who can lay down
at least a few good numbers in a row. Specialization will come someday.
> 6. Are there any situations in which we want to give the Review Panel any
> more discretion?
no, I think the discretionary bits as already defined (or changed based on
folks' opinions in #4 above) are fine. I really like the idea of earning the
right to petition with measured results, and giving the review panel
discretion at that point. I think this helps tremendously with morale in the
event someone is bumped off the bottom. There is an objective result to
point to and a well-defined rule that says why the review panel had
descretion in that situation.
Comments from Viktoria
1. We ended up with a WOC team of 5 men and 5 women. Was that the right
number? Should we have the possibility of 6th as well? The 5th person
needed one score of at least 88 points. Should we raise that threshold?
I'm not sure what the score actually means, so i won't comment on it. I
don't think that the number of team members should increase beyond the 5
we have now. At least until everyone is qualifying for the A finals :)
2. Does the 13 month to 1 month in advance for the rankings work best?
There were some suggestions that 12 months to 0 months in advance would
i think 12 to 0 months is better. This year, the there were A-meets
almost every weekend the month before the team trials. These races would
contribute a lot to the rankings, i think.
3. Should we including the results of sanctioned night-O's in the
no, although i doubt it makes much of a difference, it's only 1 day.
4. Should we change either of the criteria that we use to determine if
someone is allowed to petition?
changing the minimum time out of the country from 9 months to 6 months
would benefit me, as i'm out between the end of june and the end of
december, making it exactly 6 months. So, I guess i'm in favor of this
rule I think top 3 ranked should be able to petition without having
attended the classic champs. Others allowed to petition would be the top
5 ranked and top 5 classic both. everything else sounds good
5. Should we change the rules to make it more likely (or automatic?)
that the winner of each race gets on the Team?
Almost automatic, i'd say. Perhaps bonus points for winning a
qualification race. Just something to make sure that person can have
somewhat decent results in the other races, as well. I don't think this
change would have much impact, though. It works out this way anyway.
6. Are there any situations in which we want to give the Review Panel
any more discretion?
I'm not sure. I think rankings should count for more, but i also see the
importance of running good races on the days it really counts.
2. Summary from Peter
I think I see sufficient consensus to proceed on consideration of the following:
1. Raise the threshold for taking a 5th member to 90 points (it can be raised further in future years). Keep the maximum at 5+5 for the time being.
2. Change the ranking timeframe to 0 to 12 months before the Trials. I'm assuming this can be done (with West Point a week before the Trials).
3. Not include the results of any night-O' in the rankings.
4. Regarding petitions, (1) change the out-of-country time to 6 of the previous 12 months (instead of 9 of 12), and (2) allow someone ranked in the top 3 for the previous 12 months to petition (in addition to someone ranked in the top 5 and placing in the top 5 at the classic champs).
5. Special rules for the winner of each race at the Trials -- not at this time.
6. More discretion for the Review Panel -- not at this time.
So, to proceed --
ESC (or team): Any further comments/proposals?
Wyatt/Clare: Do any of the above require Board approval? Or is an ESC vote sufficient?
All: Anything else? Remember, the intent here is to get this decided this fall and not at the last minute.
All: Remember that the Trials are scheduled for the first weekend of May in southern Michigan. WOC is in late August in Ukraine.