Women vs Men in OCR

So this weekend was the 2nd OCRA UK championships. Once again I didn’t go. I don’t take part in OCR to compete. I do it for fun. Not for placings. But as so many friends were taking part I have been following whats happened today like I did last year.

Last year a huge debate occurred involving women in OCR and whether they should be taking part in the same courses as the men or if allowances should be made for the fact that our strengths are different to those of men.

Most sports there are some kind of difference between men and women. Gymnastics for example, there are only two events which both men and women compete in – the vault and floor. Other than that they do different events. Olympic swimmers the men do a 1500m whilst the women only do a 800m.

Its not unusual for differences and exceptions to happen.

Now don’t get me wrong I am very much a men and women should be equal but the fact of the matter remains when it comes to sport physically women will rarely outdo the men, it happens sometimes but not often.

So back to the OCRA Championships. Today they were operating a 2 band system (thats a whole other story). Not a single woman managed to complete the course with 2 bands. Only 13 finished with 1 band. Most of these came down to a ‘rig’ which many men failed, even the top 3 had to have a couple of turns to complete it. One woman is said to have been there a couple of hours giving it a go and trying to get over it.

Theres two separate debates to this really. 1 – was the rig too hard? 2 – should women have a separate rig?

For some women there are going to be obstacles that are much more challenging due to height issues. For example a 10ft wall. Or a sternum checker that is that bit too high.

My personal opinion is that obstacles should be looked at on an individual basis and in situations where 50% of women are not going to be able to complete an obstacle I think there should be an adjustment made or a second one differed slightly.

Its a complex area that is no doubt going to cause a great deal of debate over the next year leading up to the next championships. Should women run a different course? More band chances? Run exactly the same course? Theres a ton of options and arguments that can be put ahead.

I’ll continue to enjoy OCR for the reason I started, to have fun. It makes me sad seeing the way the community has become divided between those who want to ‘win’ and those who do it for enjoyment.

 

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