O Log - Throwing Out Legs with E-Punching

[25-Mar-04] 

    This is a quote from a post to the USOF yahoogroup, which I believe was quoting an IOF recommendation --

    "It is tempting, but almost always wrong, to try to make use of the electronic punching split times to 'remove' a problem control.

    (a) that some competitors are still disadvantaged because they will have spent extra energy searching for the missing control

    I'm glad to know this issue is being thought of, and USOF isn't going blindly into the throw out a bad leg if you have e-punching trap. I've thought about this alot, and being the geek and cynic that I am, have thought of other scenarios that could occur if this is done, and possibly be argued are unfair --

    Assume runners know beforehand that epunching will be used to remove a mishung control, and a runner finds a mishung control. At that point, it is basically free time for the runner to

    a) study the rest of the map/plan routes b) rest c) hydrate or take Gu d) study other nearby (or far away) control sites

    (there are other even more cynical scenarios (that have even been reported to have occurred)). And one can't counter that it will be the same for everyone when this occurs -- the advantage in skill of those that can do a) on the fly will be lost, at the very least.

    I'm not sure these things would occur in the US, and I'm not sure some of them (d), would even be classified as "cheating", but I have observed cheating in the woods in the US, so you never know. I just hope we don't rely on e-punching to throw out bad legs; it just doesn't feel right. I can also envision a slippery slope where the splits show "most" of the field boomed a control (and they are whining about it), therefore, the "map was wrong or something", not that the O was beyond their ken. I dunno, it just doesn't feel right.

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