Directors meeting, 1st Sep 2008

Minutes of the Meeting of the Directors of the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Company Limited held on Monday 1st September 2008 at Dewars Rinks, Perth.

Present: Lynne Walker (Chairman), Andrew Dalgleish, John Emeleus, Anne Hickling, Robin Orr, Murray Strain (Directors), Scott Fraser (SOA Professional Officer), Les Dalgleish, Donald Grassie, Mel Perry (SOA) and Mike Atherton (2007 Event Coordinator) 

1.  Apologies for Absence

Lindsey Knox (Director) and Gareth Bryan-Jones (2009 Event Coordinator).

2.  Register of interests – check and update

A copy was circulated around the table.

3.  Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of Directors on 19th May 2008

These were approved.

4.  Matters arising from the minutes of 19th May 2008

(a) Wifi – on-field instant access to results, using PDAs etc.

No quote has been received from Martin Stone (Sportident UK). At Spey 07 his charge was £60/day.  A DIY system could be set-up for £150-200 but would be the responsibility of AD or someone else within the event.  AD will speak with Dave Nicol (Tay 2009) about the event computer systems and compatibility issues.  He will also check power requirements.  An ideal power supply would comprise 1 large generator and 1 smaller one as a back-up.  AD to contact Davie Frame (TAY 2009).

Actions: AD

(b) The website has been updated by Paul Frost.  Ethos and director remits are up.  Some directors need to send Paul or AD a photo for these pages.

Action: JE, RO, LK, LW

There will be private, pass-word protected areas for placing and retrieving documents: one for the current event officials (single access log-in); and another for the directors (own log-in issued for that).

LW asked for a section of the website in which to put edited versions of the meeting minutes.

All present were asked to contact AD with ideas for things to include on the site.

Action: All

5.  Director remits and liaison with TAY 2009 COC

Remits are now on-line (item 4).  LW will circulate the TAY2009 COC list to facilitate direct contact between board and committee members.

Action: LW

6.  SOA Meeting with Event Scotland

DG explained that SOA wants to host a major IOF event.  It would provide prestige, a focus for juniors and coaching, publicity and a boost for the sport.  A meeting was held with Stuart Turner, of Event Scotland.  Also present were Brian Porteous (FVO & an IOF Vice-President), Neil Cameron and Mike Hamilton (BOF).  Applications for IOF events are made through member federations (i.e. BOF not SOA).  Event Scotland is keen to lend support as such an event would attract a lot of people to Scotland.

Brain Porteous said BOF must understand its potential impact on the world stage.  Other big countries operate on a 10 year revolving plan.  Initial thoughts were for WOC in 2016, preceded by JWOC or a series of World Cup events.  These years would not clash with UK focus on the Olympics in 2012 and Commonwealth Games in 2014.

BOF recognise Scotland as the market leader for such an event.  Event Scotland would like to apply for an event, and to secure funding the event has to be in Scotland.  Brian P’s view is that English orienteering is unlikely to get such funding, putting SOA in a privileged position.

At this stage DG will arrange for an appraisal document to be put together, to set terms of reference for partners.  This would appear towards the end of 2008.  It would be important to devise a ‘total package’ with no competing elements.

AD asked if the WOC event shouldn’t be in a 6-day year.  DG said it could be, in 2015 or 2017.  He noted Brian Porteous’ advice that any bid for WOC from a non-European nation would most likely be accepted by IOF.

MA asked whether Event Scotland’s International tier of funding would be used.  DG did not think they had been specific but thought it would be at that level.

MA noted that the bid needed BOF to be positive in supporting the event in Scotland, so this meeting indicated a positive step by them.  DG said that Mike Hamilton and Neil Cameron seemed to have conceded that such an event would be in Scotland.

DG made some comments about the level of sponsorship required.  Build-up events to a WOC would enable potential sponsors to see what we can deliver.  MA reminded us that sponsorship money was almost non-existent in 1999 but that there had already been big changes.  SF said Event Scotland is keen to be associated with the best, i.e. they would finance accordingly.  He also noted that we should refer to the sponsorship experience of the recent MTB world champs in Fort William.  DG wondered whether a possible option would be to include MTBO at world level in the overall plan.

SF asked for views about including a World Cup series of events alongside the 6 days.  AD asked about how to find suitable sprint areas.  AH said careful thought should be given to scheduling the world level events with or apart from the 6 day.  The contrast between highly popular spectator races in Switzerland (2003) and rather lower quality offerings in Czech Republic (2008) was highlighted (in the latter, spectators used inferior areas to the WOC areas, so what were the issues there?).

LW asked about the possibility of WOC ceasing to be an annual fixture.  SF said there would not be change before 2013.  She concurred with AH’s observations and reminded us that we have a great event and couldn’t place all our resources in another one during a non 6Day event year.

7.  Tay 2009

Gareth had circulated a report prior to the meeting.  One correction was made, that 09 event ads had in fact been taken to the French multi-day event.

The proposal to issue only pictorial descriptions to all competitors, including juniors, was accepted.  No conflicts with IOF or BOF rules exist.

SF proposed that a request be made to World of O that the 6 Day Website be linked in to its news feed.  MS proposed that Nopesport could also take a 6 Day news feed.

Actions: SF & MS

LW said that David Sloan (09 website manager) would like lots of information for the site.

AH commented that marketing must be done to try and maintain the high UK entry.

The proposal to increase entry fees, by £2/day for seniors and £1/day for juniors and students, was discussed.  Figures in Gareth’s report showed a favourable comparison with Swiss O-Week, taking into account the extra costs of compulsory transport to events at SOW.  The international perspective (see also item 9) shows a number of pros: firstly, that we use 6 different areas; and secondly, that there is more than orienteering on offer for the holiday experience.

LW reported discussion with Neil Cameron (BOF) on event fee issues. We may advertise our fees without including the £2 surcharge levied on non-BOF and ‘outside region’ local-BOF members.  Competitors from abroad can be treated as National BOF members.  BOF local members from outside SOA must pay the surcharge.  LW will see Dave Nicol about this.

Action: LW

Colour coded courses would not be duplicates of courses for badge classes and as such could constitute a separate event and be treated separately for levy purposes.

RO explained that the budget including fee increases had been done with traditional levels of attendance.  Break-even is obtained at 3150 pre-entries only by including £15k sponsorship and this fee increase, which should therefore be supported.  (Sponsorship is from Perth & Kinross Council, Leader Plus, Forestry Commission & commercial sources.)  He pointed out that the Pound Sterling was strong in 07 but won’t be so in 09, to our benefit.

AH asked what the colour coded entry fees would be.  The answer is £5/£3 (the same as in 07).  The feeling of the meeting was to keep junior fees very low.

The fee increases, with traditional Jan/Apr/Jun/EOD dates, were accepted.

8.  Finance Report

RO had circulated a report prior to the meeting.  He had proposed to SOA simplification of the funding arrangements, recommending a merger of the PO costs and 50% levy remit, with agreement between SOA and the Company of a fee to cover both elements.  A 2 year agreement with BOF would provide stability in funding.

LW noted that we can now apply to the BOF development fund. Further discussions involving RO with SOA and BOF will take place.

Map printing on demand was discussed, in relation to keeping the colour coded entry fees low (issues of waste vs higher quality of offset litho printing).  Establishing colour laser printing facilities at events was mooted, e.g. at SOLs, as a possible investment by the company. 

9.  Event reports from multi-day events outwith Scotland.

Reports on the following 5 events had been received, collated and circulated by LW: French 6–day (MA), Hungarian 5-day (LW), Welsh 6-day (George Esson), WOC Spectator Races & O-Ringen (SF).  This was seen as a very useful exercise, it being good to remember bad things to avoid and to pick up new ideas and ways of improving practice.  This reporting should continue next year.

10.  Scoring system

A paper describing the Scoring System developed for use at this year’s Welsh 6-day event had been circulated in advance of the meeting and was discussed.

MP thought it was a good system although he considered that the number of times (50%) used in setting the par time in each class was too high.

We agreed that we needed to identify the principles required in the scoring system and that we were prepared to look at alternative systems.  LW said the way forward should be to assign a couple of people to work on this, with MS taking the lead, assisted by MP.

After some discussion, the following brief was arrived at.

      1. Best four out of the 6 days would count.
      2. A points system would be used
      3. It would be easily understandable by competitors, who, for example, would be able to predict what they needed to do in the latter stages of the competition week to achieve a particular points score.

MS should contact the author of the Welsh system, to find out what they used to do the points calculations.

Action: MS & MP

RO noted that the D1 score changes on succeeding days and that this is potentially very confusing.  DG said that it would be good if the system could be used for the SOL.

11.  2011 event – Oban area

SF circulated a report with a map showing proposed locations of competition areas and the campsite/event centre.  His comment on the areas identified is that the runnability is fairly tough.  Discussion of possible easier terrain to use on one day resulted in a few suggestions: to check out the area ruled out for 2001 at N of Loch Creran, E of Port Appin, and to look at Glen Aray (Loch Lomond 89) with a possible extension.  Having a day 6 area on the road south, such as at the latter location, is a possibility.

There is concern that traffic could get choked at the Connell Bridge lights, if the event centre is at Benderloch.

Officials in place: Ross Lilley (Coordinator), Dave Macritchie (Day Coordinator) & Donald Petrie (Mapping).  The Technical Coordinator role needs filling soon.  A meeting will shortly be held, to establish an event committee.      Action: RO

12.  Relationship between the Board of Directors and Event Committees

AH and MA are working on updating this document.  Director responsibility is a big area to include.        Action: AH & MA

13.  Professional Officer Business

(a) 2013 – suggested locations for the event.

Moray was most favoured – that would come 10 years after the previous event there.

Blair Atholl – another suggestion, but it would be too close to the 09 event locations.

For 2015 we might want to have an event in INVOC territory (see item 6). 

We shouldn’t forget the SW of Scotland and the Borders.

LW advised that we wait for the SOA 10 year plan, to allow us to work with that and to avoid repetition. 

(b) New PA System

SF had received a quote from the people who provide this for BOC and the JK, of £2.5k for the week, including delivery each day.

AD ascertained that this meant at least one person would be needed to speak (possible extra fee) and an information feed would be required (to be put in the SI contract).  AH reminded us that information on every competitor could easily be gathered by having a section on the entry form.

With broadcast of music, licences would be needed.  Use of local musicians was suggested!

GBJ may have asked for speaker funding in the Event Scotland Regional Funding Application.

No decision can be made yet – an overall costing is needed.

AD to speak with Dave Nicol to work out what is needed for the 6-day commentary.

Action: AD

At 2009 commentary is planned for days 3 (Tullochroisk) and 6 (Loch Ordie).

SF will ask around for commentators.

Action: SF

LW emphasised that there is scope for wide coverage, not just of M/W21E.

MS suggested class focus days, in the manner of CompassSport’s “Know your class leader” feature.

DG asked about known expertise outside our sport, e.g. at running races.

14.  A.O.B.

(a) Area Embargoes under BOF Rules.

Mike Hamilton & Neil Cameron (BOF) had been involved in discussions regarding the 12 month embargo for regional events.  The previous dispensation of 6 months has been rescinded and adherence to the 12 month rule is being demanded by the BOF Rules group.  George Esson is helping us with on-going negotiation.  One point raised was that area names for events should accurately reflect the terrain being used, notably where a map covers a large area.  If 6-day competition areas are to have 12 month embargoes then few clubs will want the 6-day event near them.

(b) A suggestion to use the Mountaineering Council of Scotland HQ as our meeting place has been made (by G B-J).

Next meeting: provisionally on Tue 9th December 2008.

Minute taker: MS

Venue in the Perth area, date & time all to be confirmed.

01st Sep 2008