Orienteering has been described as "running while playing chess" and "cunning running". It is easy to learn how to orienteer, but the challenges the sport provides are endless. Orienteering offers an intellectual challenge in addition to ordinary physical exercise.
Orienteering is a sport for everyone, despite the age and experience. Orienteering sport is famous for many mass events, in which elite orienteers and recreational orienteers, men and women, young children and over 90-year-olds can enjoy the sport together. Orienteering is a sport for the whole family - a real sport for all.
Orienteering is not an expensive sport. A map and a compass, and suitable outdoor clothes are all you need to get started.
Orienteering can be practised almost anywhere in the world, in all kinds of terrain from parks to deserts. Orienteering terrain varies from dense, impassable bushes to treeless areas, and from mountains to plains. There are several different forms of orienteering. The international Orienteering Federation (IOF) is the world governing body for foot-orienteering, ski-orienteering, mountain bike orienteering and trail orienteering.
Competitive orienteering involves using a detailed map and a compass to navigate one's way round a course with designated control points which are drawn on the map. On the route, orange and white control markers are set in the places that correspond to the points on the map. The competitors punch their control cards at each control point. The winner of the competition is the participant who has used the shortest time to visit the control points in numerical order. Fast running alone does not make you a winner. You must also choose the best route between the control points and find the markers without wasting unnecessary seconds.
Do you want to know more about orienteering? Please contact the orienteering federation in your country. The address can be found in the IOF Address book.
Copyright © 1999 [International Orienteering Federation]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25th September 1999