O Log - Replying to Eddie

[20-Nov-03] 

    Eddie wrote the following on AttackPoint today, in dismay over the news that USOF scheduled NAOC at the same time as his rogaine:

    May 29-30, 2004 is Memorial Day weekend. SVO has (had?) a ROGAINE scheduled for that weekend. Just got final permissions from the state forest last week, and still waiting on the state park base permissions. This sucks. If I get my event posted on the ROGAINE calendar before the NAOC is posted on the USOF schedule do I get priority?

    [I had written up a reply in the NAOC thread on AttackPoint, but did not feel that was the place to editorialize about the USOF sanctioning process, so it ended up here instead, for what it is worth.]

    The first irony is that the date chosen for the NAOC also conflicts with APOC. APOC had the date first. Thus, North Americans cannot attend both championships, despite being eligible for both. USOF knew this, and pressed on anyway with the May 29-30 date. Admittedly, USOF posted this issue on the clubnet for discussion, but I'm not sure how many North Americans read clubnet. (In this discussion, USOF claimed that APOC changed their dates; I'm not sure where USOF was getting its information, but a brochure I received from the APOC organizers in October, 2002, has the May 21-30 dates, as to present web sites).

    I think the sense was that not many North Americans would go to to APOC, being in Kazakhstan, but there was some dissent. My dissent (on principle, mainly (these are the two biggest championships I can attend, I should not have to choose))), was eaten by either the clubnet moderator or the e-mail gods (in all fairness, most likely the latter).

    Anyway, fair enough, Kazakhstan was not viewed as a conflict, but I think it sends the wrong message to those organizers (and the international O community) anyway ... it just seems to show what I would call a parochial attitude (at least to outsiders).

    The other dilemma in all this is the USOF sanctioning process itself. The date of the NAOC was probably known about in sanctioning for a long time (I believe it was stated just last year during the failed elite championship bid at Harriman that at least 12-18 months lead time is required for a championship bid event, so this was known about for a long time, or USOF may be selectively applying these deadline rules) (and as another example, I have an A meet in the sanctioning queue submitted in August, and cannot even get a status of the request from sanctioning).

    The upshot of all this is that if sanctioning were faster, or sanctioning kept a list of requests in the queue for everyone to read, people like Eddie and other clubs would not be wasting so much time working with park people and other third party logistics when the date is already reserved. I'm just waiting for some other club to plan some race against my meet (but we'll trump them because we have offset maps :-))

    The sad thing is that at least one person has volunteered to keep an up to date list of sanctioning requests on a web site so Eddie and others would not run into this problem, but apparently that offer has not been accepted.

    The bottom line, I think, ends up to be lower quality and hurt feelings. People do work, then learn their date is taken, then must rush, even tho they may have started with plenty of lead time. It doesn't have to be this way; these problems are not difficult to solve. But the volunteers who are willing to solve them are being ignored, and the process remains dysfunctional.

    Apologies for the rant. Certainly the wrong place and time. I just felt the need to write this. I don't know how to solve my USOF sanctioning issues, so I guess this is just blowing off frustration with the process. Given the limited volunteer capacity in USOF, its a shame to see effort like Eddie's go up in smoke when the problems are tractable and volunteers stand waiting to solve them.

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