JEC course setter - all the truth (07.10.2018)
Kategorie: Wettkämmpfe
Karte/Gebiet: Bretaye
The JEC long distance ended in a dramatic way. Not as expected. As a course setter, I invested several hundreds of hours for this competition, including the national event on the same day. In the next lines, I just want to clarify what happens and what I live during this crazy day.

After a short night, the control setters and I are ready for the last JEC competition. Just after a beautiful sunrise behind the mountains, we begin to set sport ident units. Almost no cloud on the horizon, wonderful autumnal colors, quiet nature and technical orienteering. What a feeling I had by running through the terrain.

Mass start is approaching; I will stay in the changeover arena to check that everything is working well in the beginning and then move to the finish line. What a feeling to see all these runners preparing for this race. When the M20 are starting, the emotion is quite high. The W20 just follow 5 minutes later. After some minutes, the first runner is coming in the arena. Alone. Forkings seem to work well :-). I enjoy the spectacle in the arena. A bit later, I stop and save a swedisch runner who took the map of the third lap instead of the second one. I’m waiting to see which route the runner will chose to the last control. The first woman is running up the ski slope, that choice works.

Suddenly, I saw several W20 running through the forbidden arena. I haven’t expected it. Without waiting, I just sprint out the arena to catch them and to take their start numbers. Some of them lost it and I have to ask them. I’m glad that all the runners answer me. The flow of W20 running on this path is not stopping. I’m quite shocked. How can it be that so many athletes run through this forbidden arena? I immediately send the number bibs of the disqualified athletes to the finish arena. Some M20 are also running on the forbidden path. The list of disqualified athletes is dramatically growing. I felt guilty, what did I wrong? Is the map bad printed? Not possible, we checked all of them, one after the other. I move back to the start arena, another people of the organization wrote the start numbers. We check our list, all numbers are matching together. Now W18 and M18 are coming in the forbidden arena. What is going on? Instead of enjoying the finish, I’m disqualifying runners one after the other.

Some control setters come to me, they don’t understand either, they checked the map again and they all think it’s clear. The course setting was controlled by several experienced people and nobody told me that this big forbidden area may lead to so many problems. I’m so sad. I ask me what I should have done such that this situation doesn’t happen. At this moment, I receive a call from live results team. The jury thinks that it wasn’t clear on the map. All the national trainers as well as the JEC event director decided together not to disqualify any athletes and to stop the race at the second last control. I can’t believe it. This is nonsense. The running order at some random control during a mass start race has no meaning for the final results. A runner at the end of a pack, preparing the route choice (and seeing the forbidden area) is not fighting for a place at this moment of the race. Moreover this control was a refreshment point, so if one drinks before punching, he may lose the podium. Ridiculous.

I speak with a lot of other runners, some well-known retired swiss orienteers and everybody says me that it’s clearly forbidden. I still feel bad. I see a lot of happy runners finishing the national race congratulating me for the course setting, saying that the terrain was wonderful. But I can’t enjoy it. I don’t even see the JEC finish line. Later in the evening I still can’t think about something else, I’m literally destroyed.

So what happens? The jury was composed of 2 national trainers and the national advisor. A majority of trainers!?! How can the jury take objective decisions if its majority is directly concerned by the athlete disqualification? I should have thought about it, when I read the bulletin 4 before the publication. I should have asked about that point. I can now say this is my biggest mistake. I heard that they think that the decision of stopping the race at the second last control was the fairest one. Wtf. Some athletes who did alright were penalized because others didn’t respect the rules! Is that fair? I heard things like: there are juniors, it’s better to find a solution which is not so bad for everybody. I have been a junior, I have been running JEC 4 times as athlete and I can say you, these athletes are taking the competition seriously, they trained hard for that, they aren’t children. Such compromises have nothing to do with high level competition sport.

The jury (at least its majority...) said it wasn’t clear on the map. I hadn’t the strength of reading again carefully ISOM 2017 on Sunday evening, neither on Monday. But on Tuesday, I fell finally better, so it was time to clarify the situation. Dear athletes and coaches, this is what ISOM says: “All overprint symbols shall be printed over the map content (transparently). They shall never mask out other map details”. Transparently! Don’t say it’s not clear, these are rules. After the race, I thought that I should maybe have hidden the symbols below the forbidden area to make it clearer. But no, ISOM doesn’t allow it. “No line indicates no marking in the terrain”. I was thinking about putting tapes in the terrain but it was problematic with the national race using the same area. And the forbidden area was so big and several centimeters long over a path (well over the minimum area of 2x2mm), that it seemed quite clear for me. Following the ISOM still doesn’t seem to be clear enough.

I read what some athletes wrote on the social networks. Really few were happy with the decision, except the ones who runs through the forbidden area. I read funny numbers like 60% of runners have been running through the forbidden area. If you don’t know the number, please don’t publish wrong information. I have the numbers. 73 athletes (of 246) should have been disqualified. It’s less than 30%. It’s a lot but it’s a clear minority. A lot of them were running in pack and therefore seems to follow the pack leader. It’s probably the first part of the explanation. I thought a lot about the reasons. The small rectangle cut off in the forbidden area was done to put the control number on the first two loops. I could have exported all the variants in different OCAD files and correct that for the last loop but I had enough other important things to prepare before the competition. Moreover the embargoed area is still broad enough on the path east from the cut off. I did another cut off along the control line to improve the readability. It was probably a little bit too broad. But I sincerely don’t think that 2 mm of supplementary forbidden area on a total area of several centimeters would have changed something. A high number of athletes don’t seem to know the rules accurately enough.

I have been really sad. But when I definitely realized, I strictly respected the ISOM 2017 and I saw how many runners have been disappointed by the decision, I feel angry. As I had no power of decision (I was anyway not consulted at all before the decision), I’m only able to do one thing: publish the results like they should have been. Here is the link:

Dear national coaches, you destroyed my day, my work, the results of a lot of athletes as well as their training and preparation for this competition. How can you prepare your athletes for high level if you protect them when they don’t respect the rules?

Dear athletes who respected the rules and were penalized by the final decision, I feel so sad for you. I would do everything possible to change this situation. I’m just powerless. I hope you enjoyed the race before the decision. As a runner, I had a lot of injuries but I always came back. As a course setter, I lived a real nightmare, it will take time but I hope to come back again. We should try to remember the good moments of that day, the challenging orienteering and the nice terrain instead of just speaking about that stupid decision. I hope all of you learn something from this competition. Dear athletes, don’t give up, train hard, fight again injustice and enjoy orienteering life.

And finally, thanks a lot to every person supporting me in the last days. After writing my thought and my opinion, I can close the book and think about normal life again.
Kommentare verstecken (30)
steph : U are just perfectly right!! most unfair decision!! thank you for your opinion!! totally understand u
Pascal : Tellement injuste. J’ai vu une photo de la carte et ça me paraissait clair. Je comprends ta déception! Mais en tous cas, les parcours avaient l’air vraiment cool! Je regrette de ne pas avoir été là!
Thierry Gueorgiou: Full support! Stay strong!
Marcus Millegård: Very coward decision by the jury! I think we are quite many that by accident have run into a forbidden area at some time but here it was clear on the map. The fact that nearly 30% of the runners seem to think it's okay to run through a forbidden area just because someone else is doing it shows that the runners need a lot more education in fair play.

However the jury are the ones that need the most education. Scandal decision.

Regarding masstart I am a conservative person who only think it will work out well in Relay and perhaps ultralong. That said I think your courses made the best out of the competition format and were very well planned. The terrain looked fabulous. Well done!
Magne : Whow! That does shed some light on the situation...

I sat in front of my computer watching the race live on YouTube, live results and GPS tracking (great service, thanks!). As the map on the online GPS tracking didn't have all the out-of-bounds areas on it, I was quite surprised when Simona Aebersold went up that ski-hill towards the end! And what was Synne Strand doing on the edge towards the small lake, and then she ran down there! I was quite puzzled... She was then passed by runners choosing the road, so "it must be allowed" I thought, knowing that I did not look at the competition map.

Then came M20. Thight battle. Leading group made a mistake in to the second last control, but no one else (with a GPS) where even close, so they might get away with it - no! - Erling Hjermstad (no GPS) had been there - nearly a minute lead. Then the route choice - from where I was sitting the only sensible options where either east to the road and follow it all the way, or through the terrain to the start triangle, and then follow the road. Then Eirik Langedal Breivik leaves the pack and heads down to the small lake! The two others (with GPS) continue on to the road. This seemed VERY strange!

Just after the M20 leaders had reached the finish, the live feed commentators announced that there where disqualifications, and that it affected the M20 result list. Based on who was DSQ'ed, it was quite clear that the issue had to be the road towards the start. That was underpinned when Vilma Blennow turned just at the triangle, and headed up the ski-hill (she was of course all ready far into the out-of-bounds area, but still an indication that the road was OOB).

Then it was announced that the DSQ's might be lifted, and that the jury was summoned.

Started to speculate on how it was marked on the competition map: Just X-ed out? Noted in the bulletin 4 (no, I confirmed)? Could it be hard to see?

Based on the assumptions that it:
1) had to be hard to see on the competition map
2) the organisers did not know who actually ran on the road (and that the first DSQ's where based on complaints from other runners, and the GPS tracking)
I expected the race to be cancelled... Second option, but less favourable, would then be result at second last control (as they did).

I got a photo of the competition map from one of the competitions, and then I was really puzzled again. This is not beginners! You do not run into OOB areas. They are elite... OK, so the OOB could maybe have been taped off, but they should never have been there... If the road was intended to be OK through the OOB, then there is a clear requirement for a gap in the OOB which leaves the road clearly free.

At that point I was sure the problem was that the organisers did not know who ran the road.

Now, knowing that you had a full list, and that the first DSQ messages was in fact organiser based (not complaint/GPS tracking based), I am of the clear opinion that the list you have linked above is the "true" results.

The course looked very nice, and the route choice at the end should have been interesting.

Keep up the good work!

PS: For the runners who did run the road, could this be an effect of the difference between symbol "520 Area that shall not be entered" (often used for private gardens in sprint, olive green), and "709 Forbidden area" (purple pattern, often used in the forest for protecting either runners or wildlife)? For 520 roads passing through is OK (with a gap of 0.15 mm on each side), while for 709 it is not, unless there is a clear gap. And as you say, 709 is an overprint symbol, and shall not mask the details beneath it...
Athlete: I was one of the runners who run through the out of bounds area and i wanna explain why i took this route. I stood there at second last control and looked at the route on the road. And i saw no single red line over the road. So i thought it was okey to run on the road (we didn‘t got the map bellow). Imagine i was tired, stressed and logical i didn‘t saw a gap of 0.15mm between the road and the red crosses. This is just normal that you don‘t see that gap. That is just to small to see that during a race, when the red is hard to see.
But now i totally agree with Terence and we should have dsq. But now with all the comments i feel i am the stupiest person on earth. Everybody is saying we should now the rules. And i know those damn rules, but it was just not clear. Terence has investeduch time in that race. But i can i have given to same effort for this race. And now everybody is making my race bad, by saying i acted unfair. And sorry that is also not fair for me. And it was never my aim to act unfair. But i JUST didn‘t saw that it was closed. I think it wasn‘t my fault. For me it is the fault of the ISOM 17 with that stupdid rule. Would the map have looked like the one below, there would have been no problems.
The map runners were handed. Not the same as the digital one.
Lukas: Well written, I totally agree with you!

I feel sorry for all those runners who should have earned a medal or a better rank but instead, they see runners on the podium who have clearly violated against simple rules in this amazing sport.
Keep up the good work!
Valerio : Two distinct points:
a) I am a home trainer of some of the runners there, one went through, two others didn't. She told me "I should have felt better if I was disqualified". Of course the fact that 30% should be disqualified is not an excuse for not doing it. They would have accepted it and learned from it. I also agree with you, ending at the second last control is nonsense.
b) But why in the first place the forbidden area???? To make the route choice (and execution) more tricky? Or more serious reasons? I think our sport is difficult enough. In sprint ok, but in the forest? I remember at the WOC in Trondheim they also made in the Middle an artificial barrier. It may be necessary then (to make the arrival where they did including spectator control) but in the JEC map definitely not! We should try to avoid additional complications if we want our sports to develop.

Finally: thanks for your work. The athletes had a lot of fun and I hope they learned a lot.
Knut Wiig Mathisen : Thank you for clarifying what happened. Your story makes it even more difficult to understand the jury decision (that I criticized on worldofo). I agree 100% with your views. The terrain, course and map looked really excellent, always varying and demanding. Hope you find motivation to organize orienteering events also in the future.
Knut Wiig Mathisen : PS. To "Athlete" and all other who ran the illegal road. We do not think you intentionally tried to cheat or act unfair. You misread the map, were not familiar enough with orienteering course print symbols and made a mistake. Not more, not less. DS
Athlete2: A little tip to avoid this problem - do not put unnecessary out of bounds areas on the map!

It is a slippy slope - you could end up doing a corridor exercise and disqualifying those who go outside it. It reduces the respect of real out of bounds. It creates problems like this which is completely unnecessary. The terrain is great, use it to create good legs.
Mario: Absolute incomprehension for such a decision!
This decision is absolutely unworthy for such an event and means a slap in the face for those who follow the rules! I can understand the frustration that someone has put so much effort into planning this event and the routes. But I can not understand how the jury decided here. Why are there rules when only enough athletes need not adhere to it to override them? The athletes and their coaches should scrape up the last bit of sense of honor and apply for a subsequent disqualification, if this is even possible. I would like to express my sympathy to the honest and fair sportsmen/-women and above all the course setter, and to encourage them to continue to do their best in spite of such decisions!

For this sport, this is a clear step backwards!
Laurits Bidstrup Møller: I was also one of the runners running through the out of bounds area and after the race I fully agree that I and the other ones running through it should be disqulified. If you followed the rules making the course then I think it's fair that the ones who didn't follow the rules while running the course should be penalized. The ones who understanded the out of bounds area and took one of the legal routechoices made an ekstra effort and therefore it would be unfair if they were penalized for trying to win on a fully legal way. So I neither understand the decision of ending the race at second last control thinking about that people may have used a lot of time thinking about which route choise to take on such a dessive leg on not who would be the first at the second last control.

But the fact that I think the rules should be followed doesn't mean I don't think that you could have done something else to prevent this from happening. I wouldn't discribe me and the others who ran through the area cheaters or headless chickens and I think there is things that make it unclear. In Generel I think forked loops are the best way to fork a mass start competition such as they do it on the Norwegian race Blodslitet. People are splitted up very much already after the first loop and everybody has been running the same legs after all loops. Here I will already point out one of the things that I think you could have made better. The way you made the loops was totally fair as everything else you did on the course but as you mention you needed to tell a swedish girl while the competion was on going that she took the wrong map because she should run 3 loops and not 2. I can tell that one from my nation did the same mistake and took the last map instead of the second and therefore ran too early back to the finish. I feel it is unfair that one was given an information that others didn't get and in some way it is like you are trying to make some kind of mystery race. There stands nothing about how many loops that should be run and we were told before hand that when somebody asked on team leaders meeting how many map changes there was. Then they were just answered that they wouldn't tell because they would like to have some fun. I know it isn't commanded that you need to give that type of information but if you want to make the competion go as you expected you could just have told people how many loops they should run in the bulletin. I did a similar race last year and told exactly how many loops each class was supposed to run. If you look at Blodslitet which have made this type og forking many years they also tells have many loops they need to run:

"Splitting system
There is no splitting system in N Åpen, D/H10, D/H11-12, D/H13-14, D65- older and H75- older. D/H21-, D/H17-18 and D/H19-20 will first run 2 forked short loops, while H21- will run 3 forked short loops, with a map exchange after each loop. New maps are available at the map stand. Remember to take the right map according to your start bib. Map for the last loop in D/H17-18 and D/H19-20 are available from marked boxes at the end of the map stand. «Butterfly systems» are used for splitting in other classes." (from Blodslitet Bulletin 2014, link: )

Moving on to the last leg that everybody is talking about. When you have made they first forked loops and sorted out the ones who didn't manage to get through without mistakes the course should change character. In this part of the race it is about making the right decisions and favor the ones who take the right decisions. Therefore there need to be some wery decisive legs as you are trying to make in the last loop. Looking on the last leg it gives the runners many opportunties and would be very decisive but now I will move on to why I think it should have been made in an other way. First of all I don't understand the decision to try to make more route choise option by using out of bounds areas placed in random places. It is a thing that is often made on sprint orientering and is always done in places where there is no doubt were it should be in the area. They also do some of the same things in Blodslitet making fields out of bounds area because the farmers don't want them to be used for running which give the course setter and actual cause for making these areas which the runner fully understand. Here I would again point out one thing they do great at Blodslitet when they are telling what to expect to se in the terrain and not just telling that there can be out of bounds areas which there can be in every race:

"The terrain is divided by agriculture area. Some areas have restrictions for runners crossing. This areas is marked by red hatches on the map. Corridors for passing this fields are marked with parallell red lines. The corridors are also marked in the terrain."

"Out of bounds
Forbidden areas are marked on the maps using the out-of-bounds symbol. Running through forbidden areas will lead to disqualification. It is allowed to run on fields which are not marked on the maps with the out-of-bounds symbol. Border running along the fields marked with the out-of-bounds symbol is allowed. It is forbidden to run through areas which have olive green colour at the map. Special awareness has to be taken regarding the nearby Golf field."

(both from the same bulletin as earlier referred to)

If I should tell you why I made the decision to run on that path it is beacuse of 2 reasons. The first one is the one that the 2 other runners who have commented your statements talks about. The map we were given doesn't look as the the picture below where the big path is clearly marked as out of bounds area. On our map it is clearly that the black path isn't covered by anything. Talking about the rule from the new ISOM 2017 I was actually looking for a gab between the path and the out of bounds areas. When taking the decision it actually looked like there was a gab because of the curves on both sides of the path. So when you were talking about it was totally clear on the maps that were printed you maybe should have tested it from a runners perspective by making somebody run the course without telling about the out of bounds area. The second reason why I did it is because I thought they had a cause that didn't effected me running on the path. As I mentioned earlier the most out of bounds areas have a cause which runner know because they were told before hand or because it is obvious or because they have seen that type of course planning before as in sprint orienteering. So when I ran on the path I thought you were just trying to mark the areas which the national race had their starting area and finish area and the fact that the green area with cliffs where dangerous which I wasn't effected by when i ran on the path. So when you are just placing random out of bounds areas in places that isn't obvious then I think you need people to understand the cause of it or try too mark it in a way that the runners understand. If not it is like placing out of bounds areas in a sprint with out marking it. People will know where it is on the map but it will always be a discussion exactly down to a mm precision where it is in the terrain.

So as I see it there are 2 options you could have made as a course planner if you didn't want people to misunderstand the concept. The first one is pretty simple and may lead to a discussion about how you should make good route choise legs but in my opinion you could just have tried to place the control in another place where there were more obvious routes and not making the out of bounds areas. I know it isn't possible to make as good a leg as the one you did with the out of bounds areas but for sure there will be no misunderstanding and everything would be clear. The other option is the one I have mentioned before and is not trying to hide anything of the concept but just tell about the things that can be misunderstood. Im sure that even if people knew there would be out of bounds areas to make more route choises they wouldn't be preparede for such a difficult leg as the leg to the last control. In my opinion orienterings is not about surprising people with concepts they have never seen before. It is about giving them a fair technical challenging course and then it will still be the most well prepared who will win. As a courseplanner my self I dont understand why you didn't worried about people misunderstanding what you was doing before hand. When I made this type of course I knew many simply wouldn't understand the concept beacuse the never tried it before. So to make it fair for everybody I just told them what it was all about in the Bulletin.
B: "Athlete" and "Athlete2" are perfect examples on how far we are from a good level of fair play.
Athlete: If you did not see a 0.15 mm gap, why did you automatically assume there was a gap, when you could not see it? "I have no idea if what I'm doing is OK or not, but let's do it" is an example of unfair play, whether you like it or not.
Athlete2; All out of bounds shall be respected, they are FORBIDDEN AREAS for a reason. No 'real' or 'fake' OOBs exist.

Runners must read ISOM, juries must not be stupid. Then we won't need to experience a disgrace like this in the future.
Simon : I think the restricted area marks the pre-start and the way to the start for the JEC and the specatator race (It is usually not allowed to pass the area of ??the pre-start/quarantine). I do not think it was chosen arbitrarily.
Térence: Thanks for the impressive number of comments or private message I received today. I have nothing against athletes which run through the forbidden area. As a runner I also have been running unintentionally into an olive area. Everyone is doing mistake.

@athlete, @runner, @Laurits Bidstrup Møller: sorry, I just took a digital map I had on my computer. It wasn’t intentional, I was tired and some pictures of the real map had already been published on internet. As some of you ask me, I did a scan of a reserve map, which you can see in my map archive (next map). Colors are a bit different, purple is transparent, conform to ISOM 2017.

@Valerio, @athlete2: the forbidden area is here because of the path between train station and start. As a national event took place simultaneously, 1200 runners were expected on that path. I would avoid chaotic situation between runners on the way to the start and JEC competitors. We decided to put the finish line at the train station, ideally placed for spectators. And then I thought about this route choice with many variants giving the possibility to runners to make the difference if they still were in groups not only physically but also by route choice or technical execution depending on the route. It’s a choice I did; I understand that some of you don’t like it. I don’t think it’s totally surprising or new because this is used since years in sprint.
Old Man : I just wonder if I wouldn't have broken the line between controls across the OOB area, as if it was an uncrossable boundary with options for crossing it (in British Orienteering Rules)? That may have alerted athletes to the fact that they could not 'follow the line'.
Guntars: Even without knowing any details behind I think most of you will agree that 30% of DSQ athletes on high level event means that the organizers did something wrong :). With all the respect to the time spent by organizers to prepare the map, courses etc. this case seems more like course setter's and controllers fault. These guys successfully confused ~30% of runners by making quite stupid shape of out-of-bounds area on the map. For high level event it is not really an argument that the shape was made because of National Event, multi-loop course etc.
I think there were a lot of possibilities for organizer to improve the situation - If you cannot show forbidden area clearly on the map due to some reasons then you can change the course, start times for Nat.event etc. In worst case adjust the out-of-bounds area for the last loop manually. As a controller I will not accept that kind of out-of-bounds shape because it is quite confusing.

I fully agree with Terence that the jury's decision was not good and quite unfair. But that's a different story :)
Present during the race: @Guntars Best arguments yet.
Radim H.: Well, the main problem is that out-of-bounds hatches in ISOM 2017 looks exactly the same as dangerous area in ISOM 2000, which is not forbidden to enter. And since this is the first season that new ISOM is used, this is quite misleading. Such unusual thing (out of bound area in forest discipline to make routechoice leg) should have been definitely communicated both at Bulletin and TLM.
I believe that when more than 20% of runners are disqualified, it is always (!!!) a mistake of the organiser, no matter the level of the competition.
And concerning the jury decision: finishing the race at 'last unaffected control' is not an option that international rules allow, as far as I know. This is for example allowed in Czech rules (although hardly anybody is happy with that).
Markus Puusepp : I agree with Guntars and Radim H., that the high percentage of DQ-s shows that even with the best intention and a great work by the course-setter, the situation was not entirely clear for the runners. Runners' actions are the actual proof quality.

While looking at the linked (printed) map extract, seeing the OOB on top of the black road is not that obvious. Yes, OOB on both sides of the road may indicate the intention of the course-setter but it's not up to the runner to guess. Runners need clear answers in the fraction of a second and the answer wasn't there.

An unfortunate situation in the end that has no very good solution. An acceptable end result would have been voiding the race in classes where the OOB affected the final positions of, let's say 6 top runners. The current jury decision is not that great, but it's not easy to make a decision that makes everybody happy.
Having organised some races in Estonia in 2017 we also had a mistake with marking of OOB-s. In case of the sprint, it was the jury that reinstated the runners that had, according to the map, commited a crime most foul. The intention and the mapping did not correspond with the reality and WOC organisers accepted that we had made a mistake. Sometimes you just need to suck it up.
Markus: Correction of my sentence in the second paragraph: "Runners need clear answers in the fraction of a second and the answer was there - no visible red/purple on top of the black".
Following ISOM 2017 isn't always enough and and extra efforts needs to be put in to secure clarity.
anon: Sorry, but you need to get your act together. The decision was not made by the jury but by the organizer. Following a discussion with all team leaders there was no protest and no jury was convened. Now we have an official result list published by the organizer and an unofficial result list also published by the organizer. What next? An unofficial result list from WOC 2005 without runners co-operating in the forest? You are setting a dangerous example!
Tomas: @anon: with all due respect, but the unofficial result list created by the course-setter is just that - neither official nor from "the organiser". Not only that, but after reading the statement that the official person(s) noting down the start-numbers of OOB athletes were not consulted before a decision was made, and that that decision is backed by no international or Swiss rule whatsoever, the organiser has pretty much fallen to pieces anyway.

@Guntars: assuming you being the national controller of a very high-level event this year, and knowing what things were far from perfect there, I suggest you keep very quiet with accusations that "mistakes made by so many people must be a failing of the organiser".

Sadly, face-protection has a history in orienteering too, with untaped OOB-areas on the way to the last control being publically accessible open areas with loads of spectators on it; walls switching from passable to unpassable along their length and never reaching more than 50cm height... we have seen such cases, and rarely were the official rules followed.

To Térence I would like to say: be strong, and may you find happiness knowing that the courses were great, but the combination of the stars just didn't work out this time. Please do try again, and may the stars be better next time!
athlete: I'm one of the athletes that don't run through the forbitten area and for me it was clear. After I heard that the second last control ist the finish, I'm very unpleasant about this end. Nevertheless I enjoy the competition, the course and the nice terrain.
I know your nightmare, when it doesn't work like it was planed. This is very horrible.

Thank you for this fantastic course in this terrain. I also know other athletes, that think like me and enjoy the course.
Lars Lindstrøm: Radim >> Partly true.. Dangerous areas in ISOM2000 was not forbidden, but the competition rules §17.2 states: "Out-of-bounds or dangerous areas, forbidden routes, line features that shall not be crossed..." Anything in the competition rules using the word "shall" is mandatory and therefor passing a dangerous area is not allowed and will lead to disqualification. This both applies to the current IOF competition rules of 2018, and previous competitions rules since at least 2007... ;-)

I've been around many competitions and involved in many jury decisions and we can all agree this decision was wrong, but it was not only wrong it was also against rule §24.15 stating "The results must be based on competitors’ times for the whole course. It is forbidden to eliminate sections of the course on the basis of split times unless the section has been specified in advance (e.g. a short section containing a busy road crossing)."

I my opinion this leaves out four options:
1: Disqualifying the runners passing the forbidden area
2: Rule the athletes were not to blame for their mistake, and therefor not disqualify them
3: Rule the organizers did a mistake, but it did not affect the results in an unfair manner
4: Rule the organizers did a mistake and void the race

Those are the options a jury would have in such a situation... I my opinion it would be very hard to justify the later two... The rules and map are and was very clear on the issue. Option 2 would have been a possible outcome, but leaves many questions about fairness. The first option is the tough ruling but also has some issues build into it. How can so many athletes misread the map?
Jury work is not easy, but only skilled people who knows the rules in detail should be included. Too often jury decisions are made based on emotion, this is always bad.
Térence: @Markus Puusepp: printing transparent purple following ISOM rules on black road gives you what you see on the map, there is nothing else to do, it’s a color principle, black is dark. But there is no gap between the embargoed area and the path; path is therefore in the embargoed area.

@Guntars, @Radim, @Markus: as other said, I think, the 30% of athletes is a quite difficult number to interpret. Some athletes follow the runners in front and some didn’t know exactly the ISOM 2017 rule or were confused with the old ISOM 2000 (look also @Patrick’s comment on worldofo).

@anon, @Aleksandr Alekseyonok (on worldofo): I try to clarify it. After seeing the first runners running through the forbidden area, I contacted someone of the results team who was in the finish arena. He immediately goes to the technical adviser (one of the three jury member) and give him the start numbers of the concerned runners (I was still at the phone, so I’m sure about this point). Disqualifications were communicated by the speaker. A bit later, all the national coaches, the event director and the technical advisor meet and began to talk. As the jury is composed of the technical advisor and 2 national coaches, all jury members were involved in the discussion. I have no idea about who says what and I don’t think it’s important. They all together decided to stop the race at the second last control. There was no protest at all, meaning nobody disagrees (at least officially) about a decision which is forbidden in the international rules (as well as in the Swiss ones). The result list I published is a personal decision (nothing to do with the organization).

@athlete: thanks for your comment, I’m happy to hear that you and others totally enjoy the race.

I hope I could clarify what happens during the JEC long distance. I know that the embargoed area wasn’t absolutely perfect but it wasn’t wrong. It was clear for most of the runners as well as orienteers who speak with me or wrote me after the race. I have nothing more to say. Thanks for your comments.
Raoul Gendroz : En tant qu'orienteur amateur, bénévole et traceur et/ou contrôleur de quelques courses populaires je suis bouleversé par ton récit. Je ne sais quoi te dire pour tenter de te remonter le moral, je ne peux qu'essayer d'imaginer une toute petite partie de ta déception en regard du travail énorme que tu as fournis pour le traçage de ces parcours. J'ai le sentiment que nous pouvons être déçus que tant de coureurs ont traversé la zone interdite et aurait dû être disqualifiés, et par l'injustice de la décision du jury, mais aussi par le fait que tous ces coureurs n'ont pas pu profiter pleinement de l'arrivée dont tu rêvais. Comme tu le dis si bien, beaucoup de personnes ont revu ton traçage, et n'ont rien vu de faux, du coup, cela nous rappelle l'importance d'être attentifs aux moindres détails, et que si qqn t'avais soumis cette hypothèse que les coureurs se trompent tu aurais fait tout ce que tu aurais pu pour éviter ce qui s'est passé. Maintenant cela est fait,tu as fait juste, ce qu'il fallait, tu as fait de ton mieux, alors garde cela en tête et les compliments que les coureurs contents t'on fait et ne t'attarde pas trop à comprendre pourquoi le jury a pris une telle décision. Courage Térence, et vive la CO!
Anon: Well, JEC is not (to my understanding) an official IOF event so following IOF rules, as announced in the bulletins, is purely voluntary. But is that even allowed under Swiss rules? There was no IOF Adviser only a national adviser. According to IOF rules the Adviser is calling the jury together and presenting the issues but can not be a voting member! Neither can coaches! There are also provisions for conflict of interest cases. It seems like you (the organisées) have picked and chosen among the rules as suitable. But I maintain, the jury did not or should not have convened as there was no protest. The decision lies with the organiser, that of course has the right to consult team coaches. This is also what the homepage says.
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JEC course setter - all the truth (07.10.2018)