Orientation | There was a serious error in the SM message – a similar case was also revealed in Jukola’s history

The coach of Helsingin Suunnitatije, who won the championship, has filed a complaint about the annulment of the results of the championship. Suunnistusliitto admits that the supervisors it appointed failed in their task.

Helsinki Suunnistajat (HS) is one of the top clubs in Finnish relay orienteering, but this season has been difficult and unlucky for it in this field.

In June, Mynämäki Jukola’s post HS the performance was rejected. The reason was my own fault, stamping with the wrong tick.

Last Sunday, HS thought they had won the Finnish relay championship in Hämeenlinna. It was the other way around. The following day, the Orienteering Association announced that the results of both the men’s and women’s competitions, as well as the other three series, would be invalidated.

The reason was a mistake made by the race organizers in breaking up the competition.

Distractions are a very important thing in message orientation. They aim to prevent free-riding, i.e. a kind of free-riding. If there were no distractions, a less skilled orienteer could figure out the course just by running behind the others.

In practice, the dispersions mean that all the teams run through the same grid intervals, but it does not happen in the same order. For example, one team may have a Rastival in the first leg, another only in the second leg.

Before the results were annulled, the women’s relay championship was won by Tampere’s Pyrintö, who also had bad luck. In Jukola, the performances of Pyrinnö’s men’s first and second teams were rejected, like HS, for marking with the wrong tick.

Responsible coach and selector of the HS team Henrik Tala says that the cancellation of the SM competition was a huge disappointment for them.

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“We’ve had a bit of a difficult season in the posts. This was our main goal for the fall, and we prepared for it almost as carefully as we did for Jukola and Tiomila. The preparation and performance were successful. When it turned like this, it’s a bittersweet thing,” says Tala.

Helsingin Suunnitajat was not one of the teams that had an error in their distributions.

“Already at the competition venue, we heard from other clubs that orienteers from the same team had run the same distance twice. Of course, it started to sound worrisome, but at that point we only knew about a couple of teams. Only in the evening did you see from the interim information that the problem was more extensive.”

According to Tala, there was no problem with the dispersal of the ninth-placed HS second team either. According to Tala’s information, four of the teams ranked in the top ten had a short spread twice.

This is a rare mistake by the race organizers.

“There has never been anything like this so violently. Yes, there have been those cases, but in those cases the results have been accepted.”

Orienteering Association announced on Monday that it will announce the organization of a “possible rematch” of the canceled series at a later date.

The renewed competition has aroused opposition in sports circles.

“I have a pretty firm belief that such a thing will not be organized because public opinion is against it. I also have a strong suspicion that the annulment of the results of the competition has been questioned, so there is a process going in that direction,” says Tala.

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In practice, it is a complaint to the association’s rules group.

When asked separately, Tala admits that at least she herself has filed a complaint about the matter. Tala states that according to the rules, a person can file a complaint, not the club.

“I felt that in terms of the athletes’ legal protection, it is important to ensure that the decision is made on the right grounds in terms of sportsmanship and that it is in line with previous similar decisions. The effect of the mistake was clearly smaller in terms of time than the time differences of the top teams, so it is a sporting reason to reward the best of the race as the results show”, Tala explains and emphasizes that the athletes are not involved in the complaint.

Championship the organizing club Hämeenlinnan Suunnitajat deeply regretted the mistake on their website.

“As the main track master of the competition, I am sincerely sorry for what happened and I apologize for what happened to the competitors, all partners as well as the people of Talkoa who were involved in the arrangements and, of course, the board of my own club for the disappointment that will inevitably be caused by what happened”, the main track master I met Koskela said.

“I’m not going to explain the possible reasons behind the error. The root cause will probably become clear in time, at least I hope so. What happened cannot be undone, but hopefully the report on the race will help future race organizers to avoid similar mistakes,” continued Koskela.

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In the organization of the competition, as usual, there were two external supervisors appointed by the Norwegian Orienteering Association, a track supervisor and a technical expert.

The association’s event and club manager Timo Saarinen admit that the supervisors failed in their duty.

“It’s quite clear. This has been the sum of many things, which of course have been clarified. Through that, we also have to learn that our control system needs to work better. A failure has occurred at this point. Of course, the responsibility rests with the supervisor, but ultimately the union should have made sure that something like this could not happen,” said Saarinen.

Saarinen did not want to comment on whether the association’s rules group has received complaints about the invalidation of the results of the SC relay.

Finnish There is also at least one scattering error in the history of the Jukola message, the crown jewel of orienteering.

Chairman of Jukola’s management team Juhani Sihvonen confirms that in the 2011 Jukola in Virolahti, a dispersal error was found, which affected more than a hundred teams in the first two legs.

“The error was only discovered a week after the event, and it did not affect the top teams”, Sihvonen explained why the dispersion error did not cause any changes to the results of the relay.

According to Sihvonen, lessons were learned from the case in such a way that since then the dispersions of a hundred potential top teams have always been checked by hand, so to speak.

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