WOC in the Future

WOC in the Future News’

Qualification for World Orienteering Championships 2014, nation slots (17 July 2013)

WOC qualification model from 2014 onwards (17 July 2013)

WOC Qualification and Starting Order, hearing replies (10 April 2013)

WOC Qualification and Starting order – Summary of proposal (7 February 2013)
Full detail proposals:
WOC Qualification Models Proposal (7 February 2013)
WOC Starting Order Proposal (7 February 2013)

WOC in the Future: IOF Council proposal accepted (20 July 2012)
WOC in the Future: IOF Council decision
(January 2012)
WOC in the Future process until now
(December 2011)
WOC in the Future proposal from the IOF Council (November 2011)
A request for feedback from the national federations (November 2011)
WIF in the O-zine 03/2011 (October 2011)
WIF PowerPoint at the IOF Presidents’ Conference (August 2011)
WIF in the O-zine 02/2011 (July 2011)
WIF News 21 May 2011

WIF News 16 March 2011

WIF News 28 January 2011

WIF in the O-zine 03/2010
(September 2010)


WOC in the Future project aims to create a new programme for the World Orienteering Championships (WOC).

The project has its roots in the Evaluation of Elite Events group, which was launched after the General Assembly in Prostejov, Czech Republic in 2008. An extensive survey of opinions on Elite Events programme was carried out online in 2009. The survey included 35 questions and got 466 replies from 42 nations in all 6 IOF Regions. Most replies – 55 % – came from athletes. The results were presented at the Presidents’ Conference in 2009.

Based on the survey answers, the IOF Council presented guiding principles for a new WOC programme at the General Assembly in Trondheim, Norway in August 2010. The three guiding principles were: the WOC programme should diversify, the WOC week should remain within eight days, and a new relay should be introduced.

At the same General Assembly, Norway’s proposal to introduce a mass-start in the World Orienteering Championships was carried.

A project group has now been set up to develop a detailed programme for a new WOC week. The group is coordinated by the IOF Sports Director Björn Persson. News on the development will be published on the IOF website throughout the year, and a draft programme is going to be presented at the Presidents’ Conference in France in August 2011.

WIF News 21 May 2011

WOC in the Future – Summary and Conclusion

1 Background

Following the 2010 IOF Congress in Trondheim Norway, the IOF Council formed a project group to develop a programme for the World Orienteering Championships based on the decisions and discussions at the General Assembly. After six months of intense work, the group presented its proposal, the main points being:

– Qualification events should be removed from the WOC with the exception of sprint qualification
– Every event day should be a medal day
– The number of medals to be awarded should be extended to six
– The programme should support the attendance of new and developing orienteering nations

More specifically, the proposal included:

– Dividing the WOC week into three logical blocks, “sprint”, “middle” and “traditional”
– Introducing a sprint relay for mixed teams (two women, two men)
– Introducing a first-to-finish event in the form of a prologue + chasing start

2 Comments received from member federations

The proposal was circulated to the IOF member federations on 15th March 2011 asking for comments and views. Replies were received from the following 14 federations: CAN, DEN, EST, FIN, GBR, IRL, JPN, NOR, NZL, POL, RUS, SUI, SWE, USA

The opinions and comments expressed were rather wide-spread, but some trends could anyway be observed:

– Removing of qualification races is generally accepted
– Chasing start is clearly preferred over mass start as a “first-to-finish“ format.
– Qualification by WOC is favoured to a higher degree than qualification by World Ranking
– Six medal events were felt to create a too heavy a programme for both athletes and organisers
– Some argued for having a WOC week shorter than 8 days
– New formats should be well tested before being introduced on the WOC programme
– Hesitation to the sprint relay among some federations
– The possibility to have a separate sprint WOC, or to have alternating sprint and “forest“ WOCs every second year were mentioned by some federations.
– The need for live quality TV broadcast from WOC is seen differently – highest priority for some, no priority for others

3 Council’s view

The IOF Council, at its meeting in Helsinki on 6th May 2011, discussed the results of the consultations at length. The Council concluded that the material received does show some trends and common views that need to be considered in finalising the new WOC programme. At the same time Council recognised that the WIF proposal is a carefully designed “package solution”, which is not entirely easy to break up and re-design in parts.

Council concluded as follows:

– WOC should remain an annual event with the same programme from year to year.
– Views expressed indicate that the number of medal events should be limited to a maximum of five.
– The proposed changes concerning the qualification events are supported.

Concerning models for qualification, Council requested that a more detailed proposals, based on WOC and/or on World Ranking, is developed and presented for further consideration.

4 The continued process

Council concluded that the WIF project group presented a well considered proposal. Council expressed its gratitude to the group and its members for the engaged work. The group was released.

The Council will, under the leadership of Vice President Leho Haldna, finalise the work of formulating a final proposal based on the group’s proposal and the views expressed by member federations. The WOC programme issue will be a part of the agenda of the President’s Conference in Chambery, France.

WIF News 16 March 2011

WOC in the future – proposal from the IOF project group

On 15th March the IOF project group “WOC in the Future” presented its proposal to the IOF member federations. The proposal includes the structure and contents of the future World Championship programme, as well as principles for participation and qualification.

The main points of the proposal are:
• Qualification events should be removed from WOC with the exception of sprint
• Every event day should be a medal day
• The number of medals to be awarded should be extended to six
• The programme should support the attendance of new and developing orienteering nations

Programme formed as three blocks

It is proposed that WOC is divided into three blocks, “Sprint”, “Middle” and “Traditional” with a rest day in between each block, to give the organisers, TV, etc. time to re-group equipment and set-up in a new arena.

Day Block Event Alternative

Day Block Event Alternative
1 SPRINT Sprint individual (qualification+final) Sprint relay
2 SPRINT Sprint relay (mixed teams) Sprint individual
3 Rest day    
4 MIDDLE Middle individual  
5 MIDDLE Prologue + Chasing start  
6 Rest day    
7 TRADITIONAL Long individual Relay
8 TRADITIONAL Relay Long individual
More nations will run in the finals

In the new programme a general idea has been to provide more opportunities than in the past for nations to be represented in WOC finals. The principle that maximum three (3) athletes per nation can participate in a final, as today, is maintained. On top of that is proposed that the reigning World Champion is given a personal free place. In five out of six finals all nations are guaranteed to start with at least one athlete. Additional slots up to the maximum can be earned by the nation’s strength measured by either World Ranking or performance in earlier WOCs. This principle of measurement is still subject to discussion and has not been finally concluded.

Format Participation Qualification based on
Sprint Qualification: 3 per nation + reigning ChampionFinal: According to results of qualification -Qualification at current WOC
Sprint- relay 1 team of 2 women+2 men per nation
Middle 1 per nationAdditional based on nation’s strength+ reigning Champion -WRL or WOC
Chasing start Prologue: 3 athletes per nation + reigning ChampionFinal: All athletes completing the Prologue
Long Based on nation’s strength+ reigning Champion WRL or WOC
Relay 1 team per nation (men + women)
Continued process

The IOF member federations now have until the 10th April 2011 to give their views and comments to the proposal. The input received will be analysed and the program possibly adjusted before a final proposal will be delivered to the IOF Council for its meeting on 5th May 2011. The Council will then decide on the further presentation of the matter to the 2011 President’s Conference in conjunction with the World Orienteering Championships in France.

WIF News 28 January 2011

Proposal for a new World Orienteering Championships programme taking shape

Following the decisions at the 2010 IOF General Assembly in Trondheim, the IOF Council appointed a project group to develop a proposal for the future World Orienteering Championships (WOC) programme. The group, known as “WIF” (WOC in the Future), presented an intermediate report to the IOF Council at its meeting in Helsinki 21st of January.

Guiding principles

Besides the decisions from the 2010 General Assembly, the WIF group has concluded on guiding principles for the continued development. The intention is to raise the attraction of the World Championships for athletes, media and spectators, to broaden the participation and open up the Championships for new orienteering nations, and to strengthen the World Championships as the primary showcase for orienteering by positioning it for high quality TV coverage.

The WIF group proposes a WOC where every competition day is a medal day. The number of medal races is proposed to be extended from the current four to five or six. According to the group, the qualification race for long distance should be removed. The programme should be formed to support the attendance of new orienteering nations, e.g. by being structured so that it is possible to take part in only part of the WOC. Also, all runners who completed a course should have a place in the result list of a final.

Development in keeping with tradition

The WIF group has in its intermediate report concluded that a future WOC should be developed in keeping with the tradition. Both the long distance as an individual interval start format and the relay as it is known today, a separate three leg relay for men and women, are proposed to be part of the future programme. Furthermore, the group is proposing to introduce a sprint-style relay with mixed teams of two men and two women, such as on the World Games programme.

What next?

The project group is now working to finalise its proposal for the programme model and to conclude on principles for participation and qualification. This will be subject to consultation with the IOF member federations, and a final proposal will be presented to the IOF Council in May 2011. It will then be a matter on the agenda for the Presidents’ Conference during the World Orienteering Championships week in Chambery, France in August 2011.

Project Group

– Leho Haldna chair, Vincent Frey, Mike Dowling, Steering Group members
– Foot orienteering: Konrad Becker, FootO Commission Chair
– Athletes: Emil Wingstedt, Sarah Rollins
– Media/Arena/TV: Jørn Sundby, TV commentator and production coordinator
– Coach: Thomas Bührer, Swiss national team

Reference persons

To be asked for advice on particular matters:
– Organiser: Sören Jonsson, adviser to WOC 2010
– EEE Background: Edmond Szechenyi, former EEE project member
– TV production: Karel Jonak, TV director Czech TV
– Out-of-Europe nations: Shin Murakoshi JPN

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