Scottish Relay Champs thoughts

I think it’s helpful to review various competitions, and since the relay is in my mind, here are some thoughts.
Please post a comment with your views and thoughts.
Recent comments added.

18th Sep 11

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Initial comments to Graeme Ackland, Competitions Convenor - Monday 12th Sept 2011.
Updated Rules & Guidelines distributed to Club Secretaries by email & made available on SOA website by Friday 23rd Sept 2011.
Further comments to Graeme Ackland no later than Monday 10th October 2011.
If necessary further changes made to proposed Rules & Guidelines - paper to Terry for distribution to SOA Board by Friday 21st October 2011.
SOA Board Meeting - Saturday 29th October 2011.

The debate

Mens’ Open seem to be fine, but Womens’ open hasn’t managed to attract elite teams for several years, and is habitually the last to finish.  Maybe it is time to combine it with the BCC relay?

Junior courses also seem to function fine.  40+ is a bit generous in that top 14s should maybe not be doing YYO, but team captains seem to be sensibly putting out yellow and orange runners of whatever age.

The handicap enables clubs with almost any combination of people to enter a relay. 
I see three issues with the handicap. 

First, the sport is aging, and a shortest course aimed at M65 is too long for some.  Second, men’s teams seem to dominate: maybe the women should have more points.  Third, some club captains are entering teams which aren’t realistically competitive in the handicap on too-long courses, so that they are eligible.  We need to get back to the idea of first pairing individual people with appropriate length courses, then assembling them into teams and only then worrying about which teams are eligible for the handicap.  I think the way to do this is to retain the overall age-based competition, but make each course open.  This would, of course, rely on the good sense of club captains not to stack short course teams with elite athletes, but if it results in some new faces on the podium, that’s good. 

Link to the existing guidelines for reference.

Specifics for discussion

Retain existing courses ABC, BCC, BDC, CDC and DDC.
Womens Open = BCC
All women +1 handicap point
ABCD Courses aimed at 35mins winning time for top M21E, M45/W21E, M60/W45, M70/W60
Overall points for veteran eligibility teams on courses 3-8 8+ 11+ 14+ 17+ 20+
Awards for first team in each course 3-8.
String course relay?

What do you think?

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