Orienteering EventsTypes, Formats and Competitions

Last updated: Thu 16 Feb 2023

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships. Virtual events are where there are no physical controls being used. Your presence at a control is registered using an App on your mobile phone, normally the free MapRun6 App.

The important thing to remember about orienteering events is that, with the exception of a handful of really big events and some night events, all our orienteering events have courses suitable for everyone from young juniors and complete beginners to experienced orienteers. Many Devon events are accessible by public transport.

Event Formats

Normal: There are a fixed number of controls to visit in a specific order.

Score: There are a number of controls, from which you select which ones and how many you will visit, you score points at each one. Sometimes different controls have a different number of points. There is usually a time limit and the winner is the one with most points in the shortest time.

Relay: A team (usually 3 people, but sometimes up to 11) run separate courses, one handing over to the other. The team's total time is what counts.

Virtual: Any of the above, but there are no physical control markers. You use a App (MapRun) to record you visiting a control, using the GPS in your phone (or watch).

Night: Any of the above, but in the dark!

Urban: Any of the above, but on city/town streets.

Leagues and Competitions

Orienteering events are organised into many different leagues and competitions. Leagues and competitions can be competitions for clubs or individuals. You don't normally have to do anything special to enter them, just turn up on the day and your score will automatically be calculated.

Ranking events: Larger events where competitors gain ranking points for the national rankings.

Multi-day and holiday events: Friendly, family focused events, usually in more remote areas with technical orienteering, often with a campsite and event centre. These events can be very popular (sometimes with several thousand competitors) and are held throughout the world.