What is Orienteering?
Orienteering is an activity involving navigation using a map and compass. You receive a detailed topographic map on which a variety of land features are circled as control points to which you will navigate as quickly as possible.
At the correct land feature you will find a control flag (mostly commonly an orange and white nylon bag) from which a paper punch hangs. Punching a control card given to you at the start will prove that you reached the correct feature. There are two standard types of events: cross country event and a score event.
When and where is the next event?
Select the Schedule link in the menu to see the up to date schedule.
How much does it cost?
Our club charges a nominal fee for events. The fees mainly cover the cost of printing the maps and the upkeep of the club’s supplies, and for developing new maps. Special events may have additional fees.
Fees listed are for a single person orienteering alone or a group orienteering together using a single map. Additional maps can be purchased from the registrar for $3, if sufficient supply is available.
Standard fee – Members: $5.00 Nonmembers: $10.00
Orienteering for Beginners – $15.00
Note: Each orienteer is required to have a whistle with them for safety reasons.
Bring one with you, or purchase one at the event for $1.
What should I wear?
Clothing for orienteering is a very personal decision. You want to be comfortable, so plan for the weather. Also, on the higher level courses, you will go off trail, so you should be prepared to fight through bushes and thickets (and thorns!).
What should I bring?
You should bring a compass and a whistle if you have them. The club does have a limited number of loaner compasses, and $1 whistles at each event. You should bring a small waist pack to carry anything you would want with you on a 2 hour hike.
Is this a race?
Yes and no. NEOOC offers recreational orienteering events (unless otherwise indicated on the schedule). But there is a clock running during the event, and you will get a finish time upon your conclusion, so each participant decides for themselves whether they are there for a purely recreational experience or a more competitive one.
Most of our participants are recreational orienteers and do not consider themselves racing against other participants. They use the finish time to determine whether they did better than they thought they would or better than they did the last time or as a time limit on their nature walk with a map.
But orienteering is a global sport with sanctioning organizations that offer world and national rankings and some of our club members are so ranked. Consequently, some competitive orienteers do attend our events and use them as training (as well as fun) for the sanctioned events that they will compete in. But they are not racing against you. They are racing against the clock.
What is a cross country event?
IA cross country course requires participants to visit control points in a specified order (starting with #1 and proceeding sequentially). We will typically offer 3 to 5 different skill level courses at a cross country event. This always includes a beginner-level course.
What is a score event?
A score course is really not a “course” at all. Instead, there are a large number of controls placed in the field (typically 30 to 40) and each control is given a point value –controls that are farther from the start or harder to find are given a higher point value. The object is for the participant to get as many points as they can in 90 minutes. They can pursue the controls in any order that they choose.
What do the course colors mean?
Color indicates the difficulty and length of the course. For instance:
- White: beginner course with all controls on trails or in fields. Length is typically about 1 mile.
- Yellow: A bit longer than that day’s White course with some controls within 50 feet of the trail or field.
- Orange: intermediate course with fairly easy controls that are farther from the trails. Length approx. 3 miles.
- Brown, Green, Red & Blue: advanced courses of increasing length with difficult controls locations and challenging navigation. Lengths are approx. 3 miles for Brown up to 6 miles for Blue.
We commonly offer White, Yellow, Orange Green and Red at our events.
What is Night Orienteering?
Night orienteering is … … orienteering at night! The course may be a score or cross country type, and the controls will have reflective tape on them. Bring a working flashlight (and fresh batteries!), and mosquito repellent can be handy as well.
What is a Billygoat event?
A Billygoat event is similar to a cross country event, with an interesting twist.
You are allowed to skip either one or two controls (a course designer decision). This makes for some very interesting strategy. Because there is a mass start, “following” is not only possible, it is encouraged. We may offer a short recreational version and a long competitive version of this event.
What is an O For Beginners event?
Orienteering for Beginners events are strictly for teaching absolute beginners and relative novices to orienteering the skills needed to participate confidently in the sport. Instruction is given by a seasoned orienteer to a small group. It includes a lecture session, a map hike with your instructor and a short beginner-level (white) course that you will complete on your own. Plan to spend approx. 3 hours on this program.