QOFLs to Saturdays

May I ask who’s hare-brained idea was it to move future QOFLs to Saturdays?
I can not see any positive outcome for doing this.
It has been said that this is to prevent fixture clashes. Can anyone demonstrate any instances of previous fixture clashes (other than the QO/WSX clash last January where the QO event was pulled at the last minute on Access grounds)?
It has been said that moving them to Saturdays would in some way rescue the JOG series. Unfortunately without someone as dedicated as Judy & Roger to put on almost weekly events, the JOG series will die. There seems no point in dragging down the QOFL as well. (Why couldn’t the reminence of the JOG be incorporated into QOFLs on a Sunday?
A lot of people work Saturdays (me included) so this move will reduce the pool of competitors who are able to attend, and in turn will reduce willingness to rejoin at renewal time ( I for one will be taking my allegiance to a neighbouring club that offers events in which I can compete)
The job of finding people to put on the events in the first place will be made even harder, for the above reason plus the fact that planners will also need to be available the Friday before the event to set out the courses. This will be limited to mainly those who do not work, or have very flexible work conditions, of which people like me are neither…

Personally I feel this is a very bad move. No other club in the region puts on Regional events on a Saturday. I’m sure there is a reason for this…

I’m guessing the, as you so rudely put it, “hair-brained idea” is a compromise being suggested by the hard working committee who are doing everything they can to please as many members as possible whilst trying to run as many events as they can. As with all compromises, they never please everyone but are designed to achieve the best possible outcome for the greatest number of members, using the resources available to them.

JOG will not, as you so pessimistically put it, die if we all do what we can to support the committee and volunteer to help in whatever way we can. Roger and Judy are a hard act to follow, especially as most of those people doing their best to keep things running are also in full time employment, but there is no reason why a slightly less frequent JOG series cannot be run and combining it with the QOFL’s is one way of making this happen. If you have a better idea please share it.

As for the planners having to set out courses on a Friday - as far as I am aware courses are usually set out on the day of the event to reduce the chances of controls being tampered with.

I hope you find a neighbouring club that better meets your personal requirements.

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I back the club’s decision. It’s certainly not hare-brained. Even if it was, the committee who work selflessly, knowledgeably and conscientously on behalf of the many, do not deserve to have their decisions labelled as such. “You can’t please all the people all the time” couldn’t be truer and it should logically lead to more of choice of events for those prepared to travel reasonabe distances. This experiment has been a long time coming and NGOC (North Glos) have showed for many years how it can work well.

Events take huge resources to put on (150 hours+ per event) and given this it’s such a waste to have fixture clashes. The sport like any volunteer-run activity, is struggling for an ever dwindling pool of volunteers. Permissions issues have meant the season being squeezed onto fewer weekends, with a glut of clashes in months like November and February. Increasingly, QO members compete outside the region (25 at the JK versus single figures not so long ago), which creates a dilemma between loyalty to a QO event and a ranking event elsewhere.

Our change might even encourage the odd few people travelling from afar to make a ‘weekend of it’ in the SW region. I’ve often though Kerno’s events, on such brilliant areas, might be more popular if they persuaded neighbouring clubs to put on events on the Saturday of the same weekend. Of course, it will also allow folks who work Sunday to compete more often. Yes, it is more pressure on officials working traditional Mon-Fri hours but if I was putting out controls on a Friday, it can it be too much of an inconvenience to take day off if it’s only once in a while?

There’s been plenty of instances of fixture clashes between QOFLs and neighbouring clubs’ events e.g. the Wilmot Pool event I controlled late 2021 which Will himself attended, and which we scraped 60 runners for. On a fine day in a good O area, we could quite feasibly have added another 50% had there been no clash. It was disappointing for the both the planner and myself that day, that the hard work couldn’t be enjoyed by more.

Back to NGOC. They have enjoyed regular bumper entries for their seemingly endless run of Saturday events (150 typical for their generally Local level events).
Local, like ours are again (contrary to what Will asserts) after our brief experiment with Sunday Regionals.
The main difference between NGOC and us is they are a bigger club and they have a bigger hinterland than us with many heading down the motorways from the surrounding conurbations. But they avoid all those nigglesome clashes, the anticipation and avoiding of which must be a real nightmare for permissions officers and officials everywhere.

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Good to see some strong opinions being shared, I’d always rather know what people really think than to keep it to themselves. See thank-you for speaking up!
You’ll have to blame me for this idea. It really came to me at Great Bear where the turnout was low, and I could sense the disappointment in those who had worked hard to put the event on. The problem was a clash with Kerno, which I hadn’t previously thought was a problem, but it drew the Devon crowd away.
One thing not yet decided is the timing on the day. Do we go with Saturday mornings or early afternoons? The first is more common in the orienteering world. But the latter seems to work for JOG, and may suit those who have other things to do on Saturdays.
Please keep the opinions coming!

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Rog has just drawn my attention to the Chat re the change of QOFLs to Saturdays.
I would like to clarify the reasons for the decision.
The committee felt that QOFLs as Local (Level 4) events were attracting too few people to justify the amount of work involved in putting them on, we realised that this was due to Level 4 events not attracting ranking points.
In order to address this it was decided to make QOFLs Regional (Level 3) events on the understanding that SWOA allowed only one Regional event per Sunday on their fixture list. We were confident that with good forward planning we could secure the dates we wanted and thus be the only such event and attract much larger entries.
HOWEVER it seems that SWOA then changed its policy and, after we had put Regional events on the SWOA fixture list, others were allowed to add theirs, so completely undermining the premise of our decision to change levels.
The committee decided that the only way we might attract enough entries to QOFLs was to hold them on Saturdays when we were less likely to clash with other Regional fixtures. At the present we have 5 QOFLs per year, one of which is at a venue shared and planned with Devon. On the understanding that QO will plan only 4 QOFLs a year it was felt that people working on Saturdays might be prepared to take annual leave if they wished to plan, control or enter the event.
If there is to be an argument I feel that SWOA should be approached about its decision to change the rules regarding priorities on the Fixture list.
It is certainly to the disadvantage of small clubs that depend heavily on the income from Regional events that the rules have changed.
Judy Craddock

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It does seem an odd decision on SWOAs part to change the rules. What was their argument for changing it?
Seems to make the job of the ‘SWOA Fixtures Secretary and SWOA
representative on BOF fixtures group’ (whoever that might be😉) a little redundant, if any club can do as they please…