While we may not be getting back to our regular orienteering schedules as soon as we might prefer, many clubs have developed an array of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) orienteering options in compliance with gradual relaxing of restrictions on travel and small group activities, especially outdoors. Here at OrienteeringUSA, we have also noticed an uptick in inquiries from the general public about how to try orienteering so this is a great time to review our social-distance-friendly options.
We have begun adding DIY courses to the OUSA website on the Permanent Course page with convenient Google Locator Map. These will include both short-term DIY courses with flags and/or streamers in the woods as well as flag-less electronic courses using UsynligO or O-Range electronic punching.
In order that we may provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of current events and drive potential new orienteers to your club website and events, we would like to ask the event/mapping coordinators in our member clubs to assist us with the following items:
Confirm the currently listed permanent courses and details (club web page URL, location etc) are correct
Advise us if any courses are no longer in use so we can remove them from the map
Let us know when you add new maps / courses to your clubs offerings to keep the map current
Update: As of Aug 15, 2020 we are reverting the permanent course listing to just normal permanent courses. Short-term DIY courses should be promoted on your local club web page as appropriate. Let us know of any DIY courses you are currently implementing
Location/Name of event
Start & End dates of your event – I will automatically remove when the window closes. Please advise if you extend the window to stay on the map.
With physical distancing necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, orienteering clubs are turning to Do-It-Yourself events as one way to continue to provide orienteering for their members and the public. Orienteering USA wants to make sure that such events are handled in a safe manner to protect our members and our organization’s liability.
A Do-It-Yourself event involves participants going to terrain and running a course when they choose. There would not be any on-site event management while the participant is running. This includes both permanent courses and temporary courses without any management on-site.
It is important that participants on Do-It-Yourself courses accept personal responsibility for their safety and release the club, the landowner, and OUSA from liability. Some ways to accomplish this include:
Require signing of a waiver via a registration portal before being granted access to the map.
Post the waiver on the same page as the map download with clear language that downloading the map serves as agreement to the waiver.
Print the waiver on the map itself with clear language that possession of the map serves as agreement to the waiver.
Safety of Participants
We want our participants to have a positive orienteering experience and to come back safe and healthy. For Do-It-Yourself courses it is important that we provide participants with the tools to do so responsibly. It is recommended that clubs provide the following guidance for Do-It-Yourself events:
Very clear information on the technical and physical difficulty of the course(s) with a reminder that management will not be on site and participants should choose a course suitable for their skill level and level of fitness.
Participants should make sure someone knows where they are going and when they are expected to return. A copy of the map left in their car or with a friend will be useful if search and rescue becomes necessary. Clubs may wish to implement some sort of virtual check-in/check-out procedure or leave it up to the participant to take responsibility for this themselves.
Instructions on how to summon emergency assistance in the area of the course and how to get to the nearest hospital. Be very clear on whether cell phone service is available on the course.
A reminder to carry an emergency whistle and water.
Due to continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Orienteering Championships originally scheduled for July (and optimistically bumped to October) have been postponed to Summer of 2022 – late June/early July time frame. Exact dates will be announced in coordination with World Games and other international events.