The future for penalties in OCR

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Italian version here

Instagram interviews by Mauro Leoni, president of FIOCR (Italian OCR Federation), keep going on. Popular colleagues from international OCR organizations are coming to talk to him.

Stefan Biedermann, deputy president of OCRA Germany (OCR Germany Association), came to his screen.
The chat focused on the situation of athletes in Germany and Italy. Training at home, temporary solutions, ideas. They talked about all this issues during the 30 minutes interview

The most interesting part of the whole chat is the final one. In fact, when Stefan asked “what about penalties to be used for OCREC?”, Mauro Leoni replied in a very talkative way (“political“, was the definition used by himself during the interview).
He provided what we could define – in our humble opinion – the vision of FISO (International Federation of Obstacle Sports) and World OCR, about obstacle course races. The penalties to be applied to obstacles and the number of bands are – according to this vision – a coherent consequence of what we want to reach during competitions.

The purpose of OCR according to FISO should be to favor fast and precise athletes on obstacles, therefore to favour the technique. An obstacle should be feasible by everyone, even by beginners. The difference is in the capability of athletes: the best ones can overcome it quickly. In case of less fit athletes or easy going athletes, obstacle might be overcome with less technique and more caution (but still can get over it). Mauro took the example of slalom on skis. Everyone can face (or must be able to face) a slalom. Obviously the strongest athletes face it in a certain way, while the less experienced ones can do it by taking their time.

Assuming this concept, this vision, the obstacles may be a little different from the ones in the field now. Not massive and long rigs, not difficult obstacles, but shorter obstacles that make the moment challenging, but not extremely technical.

So, here is how the penalty could change: the obstacle could become to a limited attempts obstacle(one? Two? Three? On this point Mauro did not provide a clear figure: all these thoughts are hypotheses on the discussion table of the decision-makers), and the cutting the band is therefore evidence of the penalty, not the penalty itself. This penalty would be paid at the end of the race, before the finish line, as a loop, in a way which is still be settled(short run? carry?).

We take the liberty of expressing completely personal considerations. The following was no expressed in the video:
– the race would be a time race. The ranking would be drawn up by arrival terms, not in terms of remainig bands and time. Could runners be favourite, versus technical athletes? Does this format remind us of something?
– the organizers would be very advantaged, because there would be not too big investment in terms of “obstacle lanes”. This means we could have “richer” obstacle courses
– the control of obstacles by the mashalls would be easier, assuming one or two attempts. Crafties would be in trouble!

As clearly repeated live, these above are all hypotheses. We appreciate the fact that all these situations (interviews and chats between managers) are opportunities to share the development of this discipline, making the direction of the competitions (at all levels) in contact with the athletes.