O Log - Percolating on 7 by 7, Team Trials, and Championships

[10-Aug-04] 

    At the US team meeting in Laramie, the question came up of sending a full roster of seven men and women to WOC (presently we send 4 each). It was suggested that we percolate on this. Additionally, questions of championship format came up.

    I wrote a rather lengthy exploration of this from many angles (money, etc.), and wanted to conclude that 7x7 made sense, but in the end came to the conclusion that the present system 4x4 + 3x3 alternates selected going down the list is almost ideal given the present reality. The overriding consideration turned out to be the fact that WOC rules only allow 3 per race, and it made sense to race the top people as often as possible. I guess this is why it is the way it is.

    The changes I would make would be to enlarge the roster if someone proved to be a specialist in a particular WOC discipline but otherwise did not make the cut, or if lower runners were within a very tight, pre-defined margin of the lowest qualifier. Thus the size of the roster could change each year, but the criteria would be objective and pre-defined. If this happened, all runners would be reimbursed equally from whatever kitty was available for WOC expenses.

    I would favor 7x7 unconditionally if WOC expanded the number of runners per race (like WC), or "regional qualifiers" were implemented that had the same rules.

    (I decided against posting my long ramble of thoughts. Perhaps later if this issue is ever discussed at length).

    Later, I thought about the specialist issue. Brad had made the comment at the trials that perhaps the winner of a trial race should automatically make the WOC team. Additionally, I had been thinking alot about how to simplify USOF's championship/trials problems, as I feel it is too much, considering the hassle of finding clubs for all the races, arguments about JWOC selection, etc.

    I came up with what I would do if I had a blank slate to work with:

    • Move the US Championships to the spring.
    • Keep classes M/F 10 -> M/F 18; M/F 35+ as a 2 day combined classic championship (unless they want something else).
    • For M/F 20, replace the current championship with a one day middle distance championship and one day long distance championship set to IOF JWOC middle and classic distance final specs.
    • Have the M/F 20 championship double as a JWOC qualifier. The winners of each race would automatically qualify to the JWOC team as a specialist in that discipline even if they didn't otherwise make the cut.
    • For M/F 21, replace the current championship with a one day middle distance championship and one day long distance championship set to IOF WOC middle and classic distance final specs.
    • Have the M/F 21 championship double as a WOC qualifier. The winners of each race would automatically qualify to the WOC team as a specialist in that discipline even if they didn't otherwise make the cut.
    • Either eliminate the US Short Championship, or replace it with a Sprint Championship, set to IOF sprint race standards. If the latter is implemented, the winners would automatically qualify as specialists to the next WOC/JWOC team.
    • Either eliminate the US Long Championship, or replace it with either an Ultra Long Championship (set to IOF ultra long standards), or a goat championship (set to local goat standards; one course for all classes, USOF championship medals by age/gender). If the ultra long is implemented, the winners would automatically qualify as classic distance specialists to the next WOC/JWOC team.
    • Keep other championships as is (tho I would personally be inclined to eliminate any individual championships at IS and IC. The focus of these races should be team championships, and attempting to merge them with a junior individual championship/JWOC qualifier would be a complicated mess, and a distraction/dilution of both races).
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