Entry criteria for the World Rogaining Championships
The popularity of rogaining is growing globally. This is reflected in the growing number of participants at the World Rogaining Championships. In the past, the World Rogaining Championships have been open to all without qualifying conditions. However, at the last two WRCs (7WRC2006 Australia and 8WRC2008 Estonia) organizers have been forced to apply waiting lists and ad hoc entry criteria to address the high demand. We may expect that many future World Rogaining Championships will be oversubscribed, if registration remains open to everyone. While the sport can take pride in its growing popularity, these developments simultaneously have led to a necessity to develop transparent qualifying conditions and a fair process for allocation of entries to the future WRCs.
WRC entry limits and qualifying conditions are based on a number of considerations, in particular, the desire to:
1) raise the profile of the World Rogaining Championships as the prime event of the sport;
2) take the event to the highest possible competitive standard, as elite competition is a major factor in credible World Rogaining Championships;
3) maintain the basic traditions of the sport by endorsing rogaining as a sport for all ages and a sport for a lifetime, whilst recognizing that participation and volunteering underpin the whole sport;
4) ensure global and geographically diverse representation at the WRC;
5) limit the environmental impact of the event;
6) ensure continuously high standards of event organization;
7) make organization of the WRC feasible for a wider range of rogaining groups by easing the work burden related to registration phase;
8) limit the financial risk to the Host Organization.
The WRC entry criteria suggested in this discussion paper are broadly based on the IRF Rules of Rogaining and the Strategic Plan of Rogaining “Rogaining towards 2010“. However, some proposals would pre-require amendments to certain rogaining rules and to some items of the strategic plan in view of the recent developments.
General entry limits
The overall entry limit
Championship rogaines are often held in nature reserves or national parks where environmental considerations may require limits on the number of participants. Notwithstanding environmental considerations, there are also a number of organizational aspects which speak in favour of limiting the total number of entries at WRCs. A very high number of participants would place extra demands on organizers, e.g. in terms of the number of volunteers needed to run the event. Given the format of rogaining events (in particular, the need for a swift delivery of maps; mass start; mass finish; hash house crowding after the finish), the overall entry limit would facilitate ensuring the quality of the event and atmosphere of the hash house. At the same time, the entry limit (provided it is reached) will facilitate financial planning by providing predictability as regards entry fee revenues.
The entry limit should be sufficiently high as to provide sufficient competition and to allow economies of scale for event organization.
The overall entry limit at the WRCs is 500 participants. (The entry limit can be raised to 600 by the WRC Manager taking into account the type of the WRC terrain).
To limit the team size at WRCs
Currently, rogaining rules permit teams of 2-5 members. As a rule, teams of 4 or 5 members are social teams with little competitive ambitions. As the focus of the WRC is on competition, it is feasible to limit the team size. This derogation would apply only to the WRC. Teams participating at the WRC would still have a strategic choice as regards the number of team members, either to have two or three members. This is often relevant in mixed and junior categories, but depending on terrain type may also be a consideration for elite men and women teams.
At the WRC teams of 2 or 3 members are permitted.
WRC entries are allocated under three broad categories of criteria, in the order of precedence:
- participation and volunteerism
The following persons have a right to enter the WRC:
1) all past world champions in open categories (MO, WO, XO);
2) members of top six teams in the last three WRC;
3) world champions in any age and gender category and any member of top three teams in open categories in the last two WRC;
4) regional champions in ERC, NARC and ARC in any WRC age and gender categories and any member of top three teams in open categories in the last two regional championships preceding the year of the relevant WRC;
5) any member of top three teams in the national championships of the WRC host country in the year preceding the relevant WRC.
On one hand, these criteria acknowledge previous achievements. At the same time, the criteria will help to ensure competitiveness and regional diversity of the WRC. Since entry to the WRC will be restricted, the criteria will also set regional rogaining championships – ERC, NARC and ARC – as the main qualifiers to the WRC. In turn, this is expected to raise the international profile of regional championships.
In addition to the above listed previous performance criteria, a wild card may be awarded to a limited number of participants who have shown outstanding performance at national or international rogaines, orienteering or adventure race events. However, as this procedure is an exception to the general entry rules, the number of wild cards is limited.
Up to 10 teams may be granted a wild card.
Participation and volunteerism
In this category, the following persons have a right to enter:
1) persons who have participated as a competitor or organizer at four of the previous WRCs. For each subsequent WRC, the number of qualifying WRCs would increase by one;
2) key event organizers (event director, course-setter, mapper) of any of the last three WRCs;
3) long-time volunteers with at least 10 years of service to rogaining, who have held key organizing roles in at least 3 major international rogaines;
4) IRF Members and Observers.
WRCs are a major meeting and networking opportunity for the International Rogaining Federation, and hence it is imperative to have as many leaders of the sport present as possible.
The basis for this entry category is to acknowledge legacy-builders of the sport and reward those who have contributed as long-time participants, event organizers or leading volunteers to bringing the sport of rogaining to its current status.
On the other hand, participation of key event organizers and leading volunteers at WRCs will help in sharing the practical know-how about various aspects of event organization, and thereby facilitate sustaining high organizational standards for future championship rogaines.
In this category, entry may be granted to:
up to 5 teams from each new or under-represented rogaining country (up to a total of 30 entries).
This entry category complies with the IRF mission to support the development of rogaining in as many countries of the world as practicable and aims at achieving geographic diversity of participants. Entrants under this category are expected to be missionaries who could take the ideas and experience acquired back to their respective countries to develop the sport in their country. However, while participants eligible under competitiveness and volunteerism categories have an individual right to enter, the diversity category remains discretionary – the committee allocating entries has a right to decide which teams shall be granted entry. In allocating entries under this category the committee will be firm on genuine long-term residential addresses.
Two dates will be set for registration. Until the date of ‘restricted registration’ (about 9-12 months ahead of the WRC) any of the eligible teams under the guidelines above can register. Their registration must include the basis on which they are eligible. After the ‘open registration’ date, if places are still available, any other team can register. When the quota is reached, remaining teams can be wait-listed.