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Map Scales Proposal

Proposal to 2014 AGM

Summary

This Proposal is put forward to delegate to planners and controllers of Level A and B events the responsibility for deciding whether specified map enlargements are provided to competitors at events on particularly complex, intricately contoured terrain.

Proposal

That the British Orienteering Rules of Orienteering, including relevant Appendices and Level A Competition Rules, be amended with effect from 1st January 2015 as follows:

a.     So that the map scales permitted at Level A and B events using ISOM maps are as follows:

Event Type

Age Classes

Map Scales

Current

Proposed

Long (Level A)

18E, 20E and 21E

1:15000

1:15000

18 to 40 excluding Elite classes

1:15000

1:15000 or 1:10000

10 to 16

45 and above

1:10000

1:10000 or 1:7500

Long (Level B)

18 to 40

1:15000 or 1:10000

1:15000 or 1:10000

10 to 16

45 and above

1:10000

1:10000 or 1:7500

Middle and Night (Levels A and B)

18 to 40

1:10000

1:10000

10 to 16

45 and above

1:10000

1:10000 or 1:7500

Relay

(Levels A and B)

Premier, Trophy, 40, 120+

1:10000

1:10000

Other classes

1:10000

1:10000 or 1:7500

 

b.    So that where a decision is required about which map scale to use for certain classes at a Level A or B event, the presumption will be in favour of the smaller of the permitted scales, but the larger of the permitted scales may be used if and only if the Planner and Controller of the event agree that the map at the smaller scale is too difficult for competitors in the relevant class to read while running.

 

c.     So that at Level A events where the Planner and Controller are unable to agree which map scale to use for certain classes, the issue will be referred to Events & Competitions Committee, whose decision will be final.

 

d.    So that at Level B events where the Planner and Controller are unable to agree which map scale to use for certain classes, the issue will be referred to the Constituent Association in which the event is registered, whose decision will be final.

 

e.    So that the Rules give appropriate advice to Mappers on the avoidance of overmapping, and give appropriate advice to Planners and Controllers on the preparation of ISOM map enlargements, including the use of appropriate symbol sizes.

 

 

Supporting Statement

British Orienteering's Rules are very prescriptive with regard to Map Scales. Following IOF Rules, the standard specification for orienteering map scales is 1:15,000 for long distance events and 1:10,000 for middle distance events. Runners of age classes of 16 and under and 45 and over must be given 1:10,000 maps for long distance events.

In particularly complex, intricately contoured terrain, map enlargements have occasionally been sanctioned for use at Level A and B events by Map Advisory Group (MAG), but usually MAG has turned down such applications. When the event officials have been particularly persistent, MAG, or its parent body, now the Events and Competitions Committee (E&CC), has occasionally relented, but often competitors have had to use maps that were too difficult to read on the run.

Orienteering is a sport involving both running and navigation, preferably in challenging terrain. Orienteering is not a test of eyesight and maps should be provided that competitors can read on the run. Lakeland OC has carried out 2 surveys of competitors' preferences at major events on intricate terrain. Both of these surveys have shown that the overwhelming majority of us prefer to be given maps that we can read whilst travelling at speed through the terrain. Participation at major events is declining; one thing we can do to attempt to reduce this decline is to pay attention to what competitors are demanding.

Following the British Middle Distance Championships on Haverthwaite Heights, near Newby Bridge in the Lake District in 2010, for which permission for older competitors to use 1:7,500 scale maps was eventually given, Lakeland OC attempted to get the issue of map scales in complex terrain discussed at the first Association and Club Conference in 2011, but was not successful. The British Orienteering Board offered, instead, to set up a Working Party, but has taken no further action on this matter.

For Day 2 of JK2015, a partly new area for orienteering has been mapped in the Duddon Valley in the western Lake District. Martin Bagness, a very successful elite orienteer in his day and a highly regarded professional mapper, has done the mapping and is now planning the elite middle distance courses. Last November Martin suggested that all competitors, as well as the elites, who use 1:10,000 scale maps on Day 2, should be allowed to use map enlargements on this area. With the support of the other planners and the controller, an application was made to MAG, but MAG turned it down, without any discussion or inspection of the area. Permission has now been given by E&CC, subject to a list of conditions, including a request to withdraw this Proposal.

We do not believe that MAG should have responsibility for deciding which scales of map should be used at major events. MAG's role should be to ensure that, largely through the efforts of their Map Advisers, maps are prepared in accordance with the Rules and that areas are not overmapped. How those maps are subsequently used should be decided by the event officials, particularly the event controller, who already has responsibility for approving the competition area in the first place and ensuring that the courses are planned in accordance with the Rules.

If you enjoy being able to read your map, while you are travelling at your best speed through intricate terrain, please support this application. If you cannot be present at the AGM, please use your proxy vote.

Richard Tiley                                                 Dick Towler

Chairman                                                       Vice Chairman

Lakeland OC                                                  Lakeland OC