Ten Elements of Orienteering - Courses

Post date: Jul 05, 2014 10:47:45 AM

We hope the additional information in last weeks video on Route Choice helped you navigate your way around the course in Ballyannon Wood on Tuesday evening. This week's video in the Ten elements of orienteering video series focuses on - Courses.

This is the seventh in a series of short training videos produced by the Irish Orienteering Association to help you learn the skills needed to orienteer. This video explains the different types of courses on offer at events. We hope you enjoy the video and if you ever have any questions just ask any of our experienced club members at our event in Tracton Wood on Tuesday evening. You will find them at registration and at the start.

Although at our Summer League event there are just two courses on offer at most of our other orienteering events we provide a wider range of courses for all levels of experience, physical ability and technical difficulty.Orienteering courses are graded according to there length and technical difficulty. Competitions for orienteering on foot are organised in various formats:

Cross Country:

The most common form of competition where competitors make their way from control to control in a set order, but selecting their own route as they go. The various ways in which courses are graded are listed below


Points values are allocated to each control site. Within a given time (typically 60 minutes) a competitor tries to accumulate as many points as possible by visiting controls in any order. Late return to the finish incurs penalty points deducted from the score


Teams (of typically 3 or sometimes 4 runners) compete against each other for the fastest team time, usually over cross country courses. The first runner of a team will complete a course and return to the finish/start to release the second runner to do a course and so on.

The following images compare an orange (left) and brown course (right).