Orienteering

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is orienteering ? Where do events take place ?
Where did orienteering originate ? When do events take place ?
Is orienteering a global sport ? Does orienteering have a season ?
Are there many orienteers in Britain ? How much does it cost ?
Does orienteering only take place on foot ? Do I need any equipment ?
Can anyone take part ? Do I need to join a club ?
Is orienteering an individual sport ?

What is orienteering ?pg1_1.jpg (14571 bytes)

Orienteering is a sport in which competitors navigate their way around a course with a map and compass. Courses are marked by a series of orange and white control flags.

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Where did orienteering originate ?

Orienteering originated in Scandinavia over a hundred years ago, although it didn't get started in the UK until about forty years ago. As you may have noticed, SROC were the first club in England.

Is orienteering a global sport ?

Yes, the International Orienteering Federation now has almost 60 member federations.

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Are there many orienteers in Britain ?

The British Orienteering Federation is made up of twelve regions with approximately 5000 members.

Does orienteering only take place on foot ?

Not any more. There's now Mountain Bike (MTB), Ski and Trail orienteering, which was devised for disabled competitors. Unfortunately there aren't too many of these types of event in Britain.

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Can anyone take part ?

Yes. That's the great thing about orienteering, it's a sport that everyone can enjoy. It doesn't matter whether you're an elite runner or someone who'd like something slightly more challenging than a ramble through the woods. Courses are available for ages 8 to 80, so there's something for all the family.

Is orienteering an individual sport ?

In most events, competitors compete alone. However, if you're just starting you could go round with a friend.

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Where do events take place ?

Originally events were held on common land and in woods and forests. More recently the sport has evolved to include open fell and city parks.

When do events take place ?

Events are generally held on a Sunday morning. For example, here are the current Fixtures. Visit the Event Types page for more information.

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Does orienteering have a season ?

Events are held throughout the year, although the majority occur between September and June / July.

How much does it cost ?

For a basic event, an adult entry fee would be around 3. This increases to around 10 for the National Championships. Junior (under 18s) and Student entry fees are approximately half this.

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Do I need any equipment ?

Not to start with, outdoor clothes will be fine. If you enter more events then at some point you'll probably decide to buy a compass. Beyond that there's specialist O-kit and O-shoes but there's no need to worry about them at this stage.

Do I need to join a club ?

If you're new to the sport and just want to try it, no. Further details regarding club and national membership can be found on the SROC Membership page.

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Last Updated : 08.02.09