Wednesday, 4 February 2009

O-a-blog™ - bizarre tableness

My orienteering club runs an internal league table, just for fun really. It nominates a number of events, some its own and some at near(-ish-)by clubs - 18 last season, 14 this. Then your best n events (for the last two seasons it's been your best 8) in the season are used, alongside a handicap system, to decide your place in the league.

I am bemused to note that last season I came in the twenties, in close proximity to some people whom I respect very much as orienteers. Does this mean I am really that good? Sadly, no: it is an accident of the handicapping system which aims to reflect historical performance (and hence show improvement) and is I think friendly to bad orienteers and initially at least to those who manage fewer events. So I did not really "beat", say, Hedley C, who has actually tutored me in a training session - I've had beginner benefit from the handicap, is all; and he did not. The more events I get to and the more I appear in the league so the more accurate will my handicap become, so I could not expect an apparently good outcome like this another time round.

My orienteering got off to a bad start this season - I managed a few events in the early autumn then none for ages, then restarted around Christmas. So my league place will still, I suspect, be a bit floaty. On the other hand, since Christmas I have been much better about watching the calendar, getting my entries in punctually[1], and so I have a much clearer programme of league-featured (and other) events coming up. This should start to nail down my true league performance and I will not then be expecting to see myself in the twenties! At the moment I'm almost in the fifties, with only two qualifying events (should be three but I mispunched[1] at Eridge! Idiot!!) and I suspect that's maybe a truer picture.

Oh well. It really really doesn't matter. If I did orienteering because I had to win and see myself at the top of league tables it would be different. Fortunately, I do not: indeedy no.


  1. But that's another story.

No comments: