As the World Cup features different competition formats from year to year with different requirements, it’s not easy to shape universal rules for all competitions. The World Cup Special Rules are made from scratch every year and it’s the IOF FootO Commission’s responsibility that it’s a good compromise for all stakeholders: athletes, organisers, fans and media.
The Special Rules documents contains instructions for start list creation, the World Cup scoring system and national quotas – both for the Individual and the Team World Cup.
Why do we need this? An interesting example is the last race of the Swiss round 2021, which also doubles up as the European Orienteering Championships Sprint competition. According to the main Competition Rules, the format should have consisted of a qualification and a final race, but after an accepted rule deviation request from the organiser, there will only be a final race with potentially 100-120 athletes running the same course in each class. To ensure fairness and TV-friendliness, an unorthodox starting interval and sequence will be introduced:
- 1st block: for those outside the 40 best-ranked athletes entered, interval 1 minute, men and women running at the same time (either starting simultaneously or with a 30-second offset)
- 2nd block: the 40 best-ranked women, interval 1.5 minutes
- 3rd block: the 40 best-ranked men, interval 1.5 minutes
This is not used in any other competition in 2021 and may be used differently in future years, so should not be regulated in the main Competition Rules document.
Other interesting points from the 2021 World Cup Special Rules:
- In the two long distance competitions, the start interval will be 3 minutes for the 30 last athletes and 2 minutes for others.
- The Team World Cup results are defined as the sum of all scores from both relay and individual competitions. However, much more points can be scored in the relay competitions.
The full World Cup Special Rules can be found here.