Why is Solo Rogaining allowed in NSW Minigaines?
If the social aspects of Rogaining are of such importance that Solo Rogaining is banned in longer Rogaining events, and Rule #1 forces people into teams to ensure the survival of the sport, why is Solo Rogaining allowed in NSW in the 3 hour Minigaine? Why is it also allowed in short rogaines in other parts of the world?

What is the Minigaine?
Every year since 2010 there has been a 3 hour rogaine called the "Minigaine" in New South Wales. The blurb for the 2019 Minigaine said "This is the one of the few NSW rogaines where you can fine-tune your skills as a solo participant, or enter as a team."

Fine-tune your skills?
Is the NSWRA admitting that competing as a solo rogainer is actually better for the development of your navigational skills than competing in a team?

History of the Minigaine
The Minigaine has been going since 2010 when it first appeared on the NSWRA calendar - and it has allowed solo rogainers into the event since its inception! Strangely, there appears to be nothing on the NSWRA website that explains why Solo Rogaining is allowed in the Minigaine, or why it was introduced.

An attempt to attract orienteers to Rogaining?
There is a school of thought that suggests Solo Rogaining was allowed in the Minigaine as an attempt to attract orienteers who occasionally compete in long orienteering events that can go for 3 hours or more. Given the similarities between short rogaines and long orienteering events, it is likely that someone thought that a 3 hour rogaine - with solo entries allowed - might attract orienteers to the sport of Rogaining and perhaps lead to greater participation in the longer events as well. However, this may well just be conjecture.

How many people go solo in the Minigaines?

 YearTeamsSolo
 20107532
 20115336
 2012131114
 2013119131
 201411686
 20156537
 20168858
 20179560
 20189967
 20199172

In the Go Your Own Way post on the NSWRA forum in 2018, the author stated that he had "examined the results of the NSW Minigaines and found that the percentage of competitors who chose to go solo varied from a low of 13.5% (in 2010) to a high of 28.73% (in 2013) – with an average solo participation rate of 21.8%.

He went on to report that "For the six ACT rogaines where solo entries have been allowed, the percentage of competitors who chose to go solo varied from 9.7% to 21.15% with an average solo participation rate of 16.2%.

The author wondered "Whether the solo entries were made up of teams that had split up" and he figured that "at least some of the solo entries would have been competitors who would not have been at the event if solo entries were not allowed".

So how do the solo rogainers fare against the teams in the Minigaine?
In 2011 teams came first and second and a solo rogainer came third. In 2012 the online results indicate that one team and five solo rogainers cleared the course. Exactly the same thing happened in 2015 with one team and five solo rogainers clearing the course. In every other event, the solo rogainers won easily!

How much better do solo rogainers go?
In the first two Minigaines the competition was pretty even between teams and solo rogainers, but from 2012 onwards the solo rogainers have been clearly superior.

In the 2013 Minigaine, 18 solo rogainers scored 2500 points or more compared to only 9 teams. In 2014, 40 solo rogainers scored 2000 points or more compared to only 4 teams. In 2015, 11 solo rogainers scored 2000 points or more compared to only 4 teams.

In the 2016 Minigaine, solo rogainers filled the first 9 places, with a team coming 10th. In 2017, 25 solo rogainers scored 1500 points or compared to only 7 teams. In 2018, 31 solo rogainers scored 1200 points or more compared to only 12 teams, and in 2019, 16 solo rogainers scored 1500 points or more compared to only 5 teams.

Do other Rogaining associations allow Solo Rogaining?
Strangely, yes. The ACT Rogaining Association allowed Solo Rogaining in the 5 hour Metrogaine rogaine in 2011. 12 teams finished in the top 20 places, but the top 3 finishers were all solo rogainers. There were only 16 solo rogainers in the event, but half of them finished in the top 20.

Since 2014 the ACTRA has allowed solo rogainers into all of its annual 6 hour Metrogaine events. In 2014 and 2015, 11 of the top 20 finishers were solo rogainers, and they filled the top 6 positions in 2014, and the top 3 positions in 2015.

In 2016, the first 12 places in the Metrogaine went to solo rogainers. In 2017, 8 of the top 10 places went to solo rogainers. And in 2018, 17 of the top 30 places were taken by solo rogainers, including the top 5.

Do any other states or countries allow Solo Rogaining?
Apart from NSW and the ACT, no other Australian states allow Solo Rogaining, but there are some countries around the world that do allow Solo Rogaining in some of their shorter events.

Solo Rogainers are accepted in short rogaines in New Zealand, including a 6 hour event.

The United States allows solo rogainers in some shorter events, and in the 2016 North American Rogaining Championships, solo rogainers were allowed in the 4-hour division.

And in the Rogaine Ireland 2018 event there was a 6 hour option where solo entries were allowed!

Because solo rogainers do so well when they are allowed to compete in shorter Rogaines, are our administrators afraid of them being allowed into longer rogaines where they might win everything? Are administrators afraid that team rogainers will leave the sport when they discover that Solo Rogainers are constantly beating them?

Let's have a look at how Solo Rogainers could secretly enter long rogaines ...

(Next Page)





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