Additional Logging Requirement
An Additional Logging Requirement (ALR) is a task (beyond finding the container and signing the physical log) that a cache owner requires of those who post online Found logs. As of April 2009, Groundspeak's guidelines consider all such tasks to be optional, and prohibit cache owners from deleting Found logs based solely on such optional tasks. Thus, Additional Logging Requirements are not allowed, and any stated ALRs are considered Additional Logging Requests.
Since 2003, Groundspeak's guidelines have assigned cache owners the responsibility of quality control, instructing them to delete any logs that appear to be "bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or not within the stated requirements." The last phrase ("within the stated requirements") may have led to cache owners adding requirements to the cache page, and then deleting logs that were not within those stated requirements. Generally, these added requirements were intended to be fun enhancements to the geocaching experience, and many cache owners gave finders a lot of leeway. In many cases, the requirement was de facto optional, because the cache owner didn't delete the logs of those who did not comply with the stated requirement.
Paperless geocachers would find such caches, unaware of the ALRs. When they discovered an ALR, they would be upset that it prevented them from logging a Find online, or that it required them to write their Find log in a particular format (e.g., rhyming poetry or "pirate" dialect). In 2007, Groundspeak updated their guidelines to acknowledge ALRs, and to require that caches with ALRs be listed as mystery/puzzle caches. Since paperless geocachers shouldn't expect to look for a mystery/puzzle cache at its posted coordinates without checking the cache description for additional information, no one should have been surprised by an ALR.
However, acknowledging ALRs in the guidelines created a new problem. Some ALRs were unacceptable to Groundspeak, for example:
- racist ALRs
- requiring geocachers to hide caches (which they might not be ready to maintain)
- demands that logs say only positive things about the cache
- burdensome, complex requirements that allowed the cache owner to delete any logs they wanted to delete
As ALRs became more extreme, it became more of a burden for the volunteer reviewers to deny publication of caches with unacceptable ALRs, and to deal with cache owners who wanted to push the limits with their ALRs anyway. In April 2009, after much discussion between the reviewers and Groundspeak, the guideline were changed again. All additional tasks (beyond finding the container and signing the physical log) would be optional, and cache owners could no longer delete Found logs simply because someone didn't complete such a task. Caches that requested additional tasks no longer needed to be listed as mystery/puzzle caches. There was no longer any point to making the kinds of extreme requests that come cache owners tried to make. However, cache owners can still make fun requests, and those who enjoy these additions to the geocaching experience still do them.