This is an interesting little video of the GPS plot for the final leg of the Women’s relay at the 2012 WOC. It needs a little explanation. The Finish team make a terrible mistake at the second control, visiting control 6 on the way, but fight back throughout the whole leg, to win by a matter of metres at the end.
What surprised me was the way the relay was gaffled, with mostly common controls and only three different blocks of three controls.
Moral: Never give up in a relay!
This is worth a look. Some nice forest.
This week I tried a new way of introducing compass work, and specifically bearings.
I made up a number of map cards, each showing a Start, control, connecting line and North lines. They were designed to have bearings that were spaced 30 degrees apart around the compass. In the room I set up a circle of 12 cones, separated by 30 degree intervals and aligned to North, with a central cone. To give more space I also put in a second circle that overlapped slightly (using different styles of cones). There were identifying letter at each cone (in this case the letters were A to M clockwise around the circle). I put a small pile of maps at each cone. I also had a list of which letter each numbered map should point to. Adam and I both had a list of the answers, to confirm they had got the bearing correct.
After another introduction, where everyone checked they could take a couple of accurate bearings, I paired people off and we had a little relay race. A pair had a starting map and the race was to find the first team to have completed 4 maps. Each person picked up a new map when they reached the correct cone.
This all worked rather well, with the majority coming to terms with taking bearings. One or two had more problems, specifically with holding the compass out in front of them and turning their whole body to point in the correct direction. I did a written “crib sheet” for one of them, which was almost identical to the Silva 1-2-2 system. This seemed to help.
There are pdfs of the resources here and here.
After a late break we had a simple map jigsaw relay, which everyone seemed to enjoy.
Overall, a much better session. I ordered some compasses, so that I don’t have to scrounge from others.
I did some accounts today, and, discounting everything except for hall booking fees, we are in profit by £7 since last November.
The bulk of this weeks session was taken up with introducing using compasses to orientate the map. We used the Go4O session Number 6 for this.
After spending some time introducing how to align the map with the compass and how to take a bearing, people started doing the exercises. The first few were quite straightforward, but when the maps started having artificially moved North lines, some people got rather confused.
After the break we did a little more compass work, then had some fun with the photo symbol cards doing a relay.
The Go4O session was a little bit too complicated for a first compass exercise for some. I hope to do something different with compasses next week.
Went to the Coaching Conference. Will put more thoughts on here later (hopefully).
This week we spent the whole time mapping, planning and running a course.
Using a simple 5×6 grid, laid out with large cones, containing a number of intersecting lines, made up of small cones, they were asked to draw the map to scale. To help with this, I provided paper with a faint grid.
When they had drawn the maps, which they all did really well. They were asked to plan a course, using the SI Units I had placed round the area. We talked about the problems that a planner could set in such an area. All of them “got” this, and some of the courses were very devious.
After the courses had been planned, they were typed into Autodownload, by some of the kids.
The final session involved people running their and other’s courses.
This session worked really well. The mapping to scale was excellent. Their planning was really good. At least two of the kids now have a good working knowledge of Autodownload. This sort of session would work really well as an introduction to running an event and would give potential organisers of small events a lot of confidence in using the technology.
Next week we will run the other courses, before moving on to something else.
We used the Go4O Level 3 exercises for this block of sessions.
The diamond shape made it a little more challenging. Although I had created an Autodownload event we didn’t use this, as I had forgotten a number of important cables. Instead we had the kids trying to remember as many of the control codes as possible. A remarkable number managed to remember all 7 codes.
When that got dull, we switched to adding up the codes. This gave us a small problem in that we had to add them up as well. Most got their sums right.
The key coaching points were to orientate the map at all times and to thumb the map. The reason for orientating the map was given by Derek Allison as follows: “If the map is correctly orientated, then the things on the left on the map are on the left on the ground and the things on the right on the map are on the left on the ground.”
A good session, easy to set up and run.
I wanted to use SI units and Autodownload with the Cloostermans ZigZag 3 exercises. Our SI Boxes were numbered 201 upwards.
So, I’ve created a new Master Map, with the SI numbers instead of those on the original. You can download this here.
I have also created an Autodownload file for use with this. I have put a copy of the backup file of this here.
We use this with a projector and live results with the UVHS kids and my NavNight group. It is a bit of a faff to set it all up, but is good fun. It takes reasonably competent orienteers more than 20 minutes to get through all 12!
Main block tonight was the Go4O Section 3 exercises. We used Autodownload and dibbers, with live results, to make it a little more interesting.
The second block went back to the high knee drills and symbol matching relays.
Good evening, with a couple of newcomers.