General Information

The object at an orienteering meet is to find your way from point to point using a map and your navigation skills.

Many participants choose to walk through their course. In heated competition, however, the object is to complete the course in the shortest possible time. While running speed is important in orienteering, so is the ability to read a map and associate it with the terrain while making quick decisions on the move. A fast runner can be bettered by a slower runner or walker who has strong map reading skills.

Orienteering can be done alone or in a group. All RMOC meets offer courses for varying technical and physical abilities; no experience is necessary. RMOC's meets typically attract families, kids, and scout troops in addition to JROTC students, competitive orienteers, and adventure racers.

  1. When you arrive at an orienteering meet, you'll need to check-in at the Registration table to sign our standard liability waiver, pay your entry fee, and get a punchcard.

  2. If you need Beginner Instruction, tell the person at the Registration Table; that person can direct you to the Instructor.

  3. When you're ready to start your course, check in with the Start/Finish Timer to get your start time. Orienteering participants start one at a time, usually staggered at one- or two-minute intervals. Therefore, there may be a line if several people are waiting to start the same course.

  4. When the starter gives you a map and tells you to go, you are on the clock. At most of our meets this year, the course will be pre-printed on your map. At some meets, however, you might have to copy the course onto your map from a master map. Be sure to do this carefully and accurately.

  5. Find your way to each control location -- in order -- using your map, compass, and clue sheet as a guide. When you arrive at each control location, check the control number to confirm that you're at the right control. (Remember, there are multiple courses and you may have inadvertently ended up at a control that's not part of your course.)

  6. After confirming you're at the right control, punch your punchcard in the corresponding box -- control #1 in box #1, control #2 in box #2, etc.

  7. Proceed to each subsequent control in the order indicated on your map.

  8. Return to the finish when you're done. Hand your punchcard to the Start/Finish Timer so they can record your time. If the Start/Finish Timer is distracted, yell "finisher!" to get their attention as you approach.

  9. For safety reasons, remember to always check-in at the finish, even if you don't complete your course.

Have fun!

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