The IOF and Verein Swiss Cup have made an agreement for the Orienteering World Cup 2020 and beyond.
The IOF has over the past few years been working on the development of the Orienteering World Cup to increase its attractiveness to athletes, the media and orienteering fans. The goal being to develop the quality and attractiveness of the World Cup as a premiere orienteering event, second only to the World Orienteering Championships.
The development path chosen has been to cooperate with established organisers with experience of high-level elite orienteering events. This led to advanced discussions with Verein Swiss Cup, organiser of the World Cup final for many years, and the Swedish Orienteering Federation and O-Ringen. The intent was that each of these organisers would organise one round of the annual World Cup and the IOF would take responsibility for the third annual round. In fact, a letter-of-intent was agreed at the beginning of February this year regarding the establishment of a consortium between the IOF, Verein Swiss Cup and the Swedish Orienteering Federation, with the intent to sign final agreements prior to the IOF Council Meeting April 12-13.
Unfortunately, a final agreement with O-Ringen has not been possible to achieve and the parties have therefore chosen to break off the negotiations for having O-Ringen be a fixed part of the Orienteering World Cup.
– During our final discussions we have noticed that integrating the World Cup into the mass-participation event O-Ringen has a number of practical, financial and organisational challenges which are difficult to overcome if we want to raise the profile of the World Cup long-term, says Tom Hollowell, IOF CEO – Simply said it is too difficult to coordinate the long-term objectives of the World Cup and the objectives of O-Ringen, so it is better to take consequences now instead of trying something that may not work.
This does not mean however that the goals for the Orienteering World Cup do not remain the same. The IOF and Verein Swiss Cup have made an agreement to continue the work of investing in the attractiveness of the World Cup together. They will initially work as a consortium of 2 and will seek cooperation that further the overall goals.
The fact that O-Ringen is no longer involved causes a change for the 2020 season where O-Ringen was scheduled to be round 2 of the World Cup. The make-up of the 2020 World Cup season will be announced soon.