|Details of The Sport of Orienteering|
Orienteering courses can be set in any environment where an appropriate map has been made. A variety of modes of movement can be used individually or combined to hold an event.
Types marked with an asterisk (*) have international championships sanctioned by the IOF (International Orienteering Federation). Horseback, handicapped, swim and scuba events can also be held.
All participants should:
- have a compass and know a safety bearing. A safety bearing is a compass direction that will bring them out to a major feature such as a road.
- have a whistle
- report back to the finish before leaving for home.
Contents: Map Handling | Route Choices | Control Placement | Course Printing | Control Cards | Course Levels
Map Handling Techniques
- Fold the map to show where you are and just beyond where you are going.
- Orient the map using land features. Use the compass to orient the map when it cannot be oriented by land features.
- Keep track of where you are on the map by placing your thumb on the map where you are located.
Making Route Choices
Factors to keep in mind when making route choices:
- 7.6 meters of climb is equivalent in energy usage to 100 meters of distance on flat land.
- a person can run ¼ mile:
- on a trail in 2 minutes
- in a field in 3 minutes
- in open woods in 6 minutes
- in thick vegetation in 10 minutes
Control sites must be precise locations that are found on the ground and clearly indicated on the map. Generally, if controls are within 50 meters of each other, they must be on different types of features to avoid confusion of the participants. Starting points must be at precise locations just like controls. It is common to use streamers to guide participants from the last control to the actual finish line.
Places where control sites are commonly located:
- Point features (small, distinct objects) such as boulders, knolls, pits, depressions, rootstocks (root systems of uprooted trees), wells, cairns (rock piles), individual trees.
- Corners of larger features: buildings, lakes, fields, swamps, paved areas, building ruins.
- Junctions of 2 or more similar or dissimilar features such as trails, streams, fences, roads, stonewalls, and power lines.
- Bends in a feature such as trails, streams, fences, roads, stonewalls, and power lines.
- Top or bottom ("foot") of features such as cliffs, earth banks, and small knolls.
- Distinct land forms such as reentrants, ditches, and spurs.
When hand-drawn, control points and start and finish locations are best drawn with a fine-point red or purple pen. Staedtler Lumocolor (permanent type) pens are great since you can see the map features though the ink. For higher-level competitions, courses are pre-printed using a special device, or placed on the map during the original printing.
Start location: A triangle with 6mm legs is used to indicate the start point. The start point should be in the exact center of the triangle. One of the points of the triangle must point toward the first control.
Control locations: Red or purple 6 mm diameter circles are drawn around each control feature/site. The location of the control feature should be in the exact center of the circle. For example, if the control site is a building, the center of the circle should be at the corner of the building where the control flag is located. Circles should be broken if they will cover up a feature. The control number is written on the map just outside the control circle. The top of the number should point to north on the map. This allows the competitor to know which way is north on the map without unfolding the map.
Finish location: The finish location is drawn on the map in one of two ways:
If it shares the same location as the start:
If its location is separate from the start:
Connecting lines: Lines are used to connect control points if a participant is to take the controls in numerical sequence (typical). For example, cross country and motala courses are designed so participants must take controls in a specified order. Score orienteering permits the participant to go to controls in any sequence. Therefore, Score "O" controls do not have lines connecting the control points. This line does not necessarily indicate the fastest route to the control site. Lines are drawn on the map from the start triangle to the first control, the