Results for Planning Competition 5 - Claife Heights Very Short Green and Orange

Fri 17 Jul 2020

The results from our judge, Derek Allison are below.

Very Short Green

Position Planner Score (points) Link
1st 18 Nick Howlett MAP
2nd= 17 Dave Walton MAP
  17 Jo Cleary MAP
4th= 16 Andy Lewsley MAP
  16 Richard Tiley MAP
  16 Matthew Horne MAP
7th 15 Harry Scott MAP
8th= 14 Jerry Purkis MAP
  14 Andy Robinson MAP


Position Planner Score (points) Link
1st Richard Tiley 18 MAP
2nd Dave Walton 16 MAP
  Andy Robinson 16 MAP
4th Nick Howlett 15 MAP
  Andy Lewsley 15 MAP
  Jerry Purkis 15 MAP
7th Jo Cleary 14 MAP
8th Harry Scott 13 MAP
  Matthew Horne 13 MAP

Note that some of the map links include both Orange and Very Short Green are included as part of a single file.

Derek's comments

Before I explain how I have marked the final of our competition, I wanted to point out something that has become increasingly apparent by entering the competition. Each week, the scores have been very close and although there would have been general agreement amongst the judges, each has different views on some subjective aspects of course planning. So, your position may have been different with another judge ‘on duty’ for that event! Everyone who has entered these competitions will have learned things from the judges, I certainly have. I hope that you will take the comments as a learning point and if you aren’t at the top this week please don’t hold it against me; I am happy to discuss my planning prejudices!

So how have I marked your courses? The course should be fun, fair and challenging and appropriate for the capabilities of the competitors with as much of the course as possible at the defined technical level and the right physical levels. If you as a competitor don’t like flogging up a steep hill without having to think or pushing through thick undergrowth or cross horrid vegetation, don’t plan courses that do! Claife has a number of walls and uncrossable fences which add to the challenge of reducing ‘dead running’.

Plus points:

  • Makes the best use of the available terrain
  • High % of legs at appropriate technical difficulty with map reading required ‘all the way’

Minus points:

  • Dog legs (competitors led in by competitors leaving a control)
  • Dead running, following a line feature without really having to think where you are
  • Legs that climb then immediately descend
  • More than 6% climb; actual guideline says maximum 5%

For the Orange course I have followed Barry Elkington’s guidelines.

For the Very Short Green course, I think that a 70-90 year old competitor would like a technical but not too physically demanding course. I also think that such a course should avoid both steep descents and ascents; they should ideally be able to avoid crossing streams or rivers with steep sides and not involve climbing cliffs, fences or walls. Also, the underfoot conditions should not be rocky, be free of brashings and undergrowth like brambles although you can’t always tell this from the map. With such a short course it’s challenging to set long legs and even more important to reduce any ‘dead running’ which is a bigger proportion. Try to include a variety of terrain available.

Plus points Orange specifically:

  • Simple route choice required
  • Requirement to simplify legs with several (3/6) decision points
  • Through the forest to collecting (before) or catching (after) features
  • Cutting corners rewarded
  • I was expecting a course about 2.0-2.5km with 100-150m climb

Plus points Very Short Green specifically:

  • Control sites as technically challenging as possible with some route choice opportunities              
  • Would I like to run this course
  • I was expecting a course about 2.0-2.5km with 100-150m climb

General feedback on the courses

 - Orange course

Most courses used the best terrain and most used both woodland and open terrain. Some used rougher green striped parts of the map which isn’t as nice for 12 year olds to cross. Almost everyone planned courses on the longer side than I had expected; look back at previous courses for their lengths and climbs for each age class, the ‘last LOC event’ for example. Some of those that calculated climb had underestimated it, you need to count the contours crossed on the shortest reasonable route. There’s lots of guidance on the British Orienteering website about planning courses to the correct length etc. In general, at least 70% of the legs were orange standard. Almost every course had some dead running.

 - Very Short Green Course

Some courses used substantial parts of the map that were green stripes or very steep and rocky and although they were at the correct defined technical level, such terrain can be intimidating to many 70+ year olds so they were marked down. Again I felt that most people planned courses on the long side but the vast majority of all courses were of the correct technical standard.

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