Bay Area Orienteering Club California Outdoor Orienteering League
Shadowing on BAOC COOL Courses
- Shadowing is a very good idea for beginners—no matter how old they are.
- Shadowing rules are needed so that people don't feel like they are cheating, and so that others know what's going on.
- The issues around fairness need be addressed only if they may change the results, and this should be up to the Meet Director to decide. However, Meet Directors should not be put in the position of making subjective adjustments that decide the outcome of a race or ranking points.
- It is impossible to enforce shadowing behavior rules, since people disappear into the woods. And in any case, the shadower could call out or signal instructions from behind. We have to rely on integrity and honesty, and we should. There should not be rules for shadowing behavior—there should be guidelines and advice, but not rules.
- If we have any other rules for shadowing, they should be measurable and enforceable and clear, and we have to be willing to enforce them. Meet Directors will not want to deal with complaints about enforcement.
Goals, Objectives, and Constraints
- Provide a safe environment, and prevent a negative experience.
- Educate a beginner.
- Be supportive and provide a conversation basis later on.
- Orienteering is a sport and a recreation. BAOC COOL supports both concepts, and permits Shadowing in both circumstances.
- A Shadower is a mentor who accompanies a young or novice competitor on a course.
- A "Competitive Course" (CC) is one in which a competitor is competing for a title, prize, or ranking points.
- An "Experienced Competitor" is one who has run and finished at least two equivalent courses un-shadowed in the past.
- "Equivalent Course" means same color.
Guidelines for Shadowing
- Stay several paces behind the competitor.
- Do not communicate with the competitor about his or her course, except as a matter of safety.
- If the competitor is new to the sport, the entire course may consist of a conversation with the shadower regarding techniques.
- If the competitor makes a mistake, we suggest two levels of assistance:
- Ask the competitor "Where do you think we are on the map?", and
- "Would you like to know which way I would go?"
- This help should not be offered immediately after the mistake. Allow enough time for the competitor to find the mistake on their own, say twice as many minutes as the course length for #1 and four times for #2. For example, this would mean for a 2-km course, 4 minutes for #1 and 8 minutes for #2.
- A Shadower is encouraged to take their own map.
Rules for Shadowing
- BAOC COOL permits shadowing on any course for the following:
- Any Elementary School student (Grades K-5 or K-6).
- Any student with special needs.
- Any beginner.
- The competitor and their responsible adult must approve of the shadower.
- Time adjustments to compensate for shadowing will not be made by anyone.
- No shadowing complaints will be entertained by the Meet Director. We rely on the integrity and honesty of the students and the shadowers.