Unsporting Conduct

It has been brought to my attention that several teams, including some good ones, crossed out of bounds on the weekend. If this was deliberate then this is very unsporting conduct. If this was unwitting, then I am sure they feel guilty and will be a little more careful next time.

As a rule, I try not to cheat on rogaines but let me give you a few scenarios that involve me cheating and nearly cheating from the weekend:

  1. I actually went out of bounds on the weekend. I visited control 30. I didn’t realise that at the last minute this control was made out of bounds. (That will teach me for socialising and not listening to the course setter briefing). I got to where control 30 should have been and was cranky because there was no flag. I even stopped and took a photo to prove I had been there. It wasn’t until the event finished that I realised that the control had been made out of bounds and I could have (should have?) been disqualified then and there.
  2. Just before the event started I was also planning to break the rules. My starting course was planned to be 46-32-24-74. This would have meant crossing the out of bounds area. I hadn’t realised the road had an out of bounds corridor next to it. By chance I was talking to Ted Woodley before the event and he pointed out the fact that my planned course was breaking the rules, so I changed my course to make it legal.
  3. I wore a GPS watch. Rule 7 states: “The possession of other navigational aids, including pedometers, altimeters and GPS receivers on the course is prohibited except when event organisers provide a means by which information on the devices cannot be accessed whilst on the course.” I do not wear my GPS watch to cheat and for most of us there is no on course benefit to having a GPS watch during a day time event (night time is a different matter where distance is more difficult to judge). I love wearing a GPS watch so I can review my track afterwards. In a championship events we make provision for bagging GPS devices, but we do not provide sealable bags for non championship events, mainly due to the admin overhead.

I have competed in over 80 rogaining events and I too cheated on the weekend and intended to cheat more, but in two of the cases, inadvertently. I suspect the other teams that cheated also failed to notice the out of bounds. Is not noticing a good excuse? Not really, but in the absence of a team lodging a formal protest the results will stand. If the offending teams crossed the out of bounds knowingly then that is very unsporting.

My message:

  1. Take careful note of out of bounds areas
  2. Listen to the pre-event briefing
  3. Don’t cheat deliberately and try not to do it accidentally.
The planned course of an unwitting cheat.

6 Replies to “Unsporting Conduct”

  1. Does that mean the only way from HH to CP24 was through the round about and road on the east side of that screenshot?

    1. I and many others used the bridge which was near 47. It was not marked as out of bounds. On the way to 24, I picked up 48 and 74 as well. The creek was fenced so it was a very obvious out of bounds area. I think the road was fenced too.

      As I was climbing the hill towards 72? I could see a few teams in the distance searching for 30. It was obvious they were on the course with the big maps flapping around.

  2. If you’re going to start banning people from using their GPS watches then you face rebellion amongst the massed ranks of the rogainers!

    And there is no need to do so. What’s important is that you don’t make use of GPS to aid your navigation. But being able to download one’s route after finishing and finding out exactly where you did go when lost on that hillside for an hour is all part of the fun! As well as being a useful training tool to learn how to navigate better next time.

    1. This one’s clearly stated in the technical rules of Rogaining.
      You can still record your route by using a GPS (even a watch one) that’s in your pack. In championship events you are required to have it bagged before the start.

  3. My big ‘cheating gripe’ is in non-championship events where not all team members get a wrist tag and not everyone goes to the flag. Particularly when the flag is down a steep hill, creek etc. I’ve caught a few teams and made the point that they’re actually cheating and explain that all team members need to be at the flag at the same time. I try and make a joke as I puff past (I’m not the world’s fittest rogainer) saying if I can get to it so can they! I try and give the benefit of the doubt that they are new teams and may not legitimately know the rules.

  4. C’mon people, ‘fess up, tell me I wasn’t the only one to (unwwittingly, unintentionally, desperately) drift across Cecil Hills OOB after falling into the age-old ‘unmapped track’ trap between 60 and 53!
    Disqualify me if you will, regardless it was a top-notch event in a top-notch area. Congrats to all.

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