’23 Wilson Community Growth Grants

So many of you are deeply dedicated to growing youth involvement in Orienteering. We know the critical role that these same youngsters have in spreading the word and inspiring their peers. That’s why we created the Wilson Community Growth Grant. The grant provides $1,000 to projects and organizations dedicated to growing youth Orienteering.

One need only look at the growth of Navigation Games, a 2017 Wilson Community Growth Grant Winner, led by Barb Bryant. As the organization matures, we begin to see alumni of its program being the next generation of coaches and leaders. Awards have also funded construction of permanent courses including at the Madison School Forest (WI) and our 2022 awardee, Scout Troup 4090 of Washington State.

Scout Leader Eric Stone writes enthusiastically “Being located on an isolated island (San Juan Island, WA), an hour’s boat ride from mainland Washington, provides enough challenges for our local youth community to participate in orienteering meets and competitions. The Wilson Grant Foundation has provided us with all of the tools and navigational aides necessary for us to run a multi-faceted Orienteering, land navigation program.”

“The Wilson Community Growth Grant enabled us to not only obtain compasses, orienteering flags, stamps, and cards, but has allowed us to begin laying out permanent long distance courses connecting our two US National Historic Parks at opposite ends of the island.”

The Troop is planning an April 2023 inaugural event, “We will be inviting teams of scouts to navigate a course through the neighboring national park. We already have our patches in hand, and will start advertising soon.”

Applications for the 2023 Wilson Community Growth grants are currently being accepted and will close on February 1st, 2023

Desert Orienteering Festival Event Recap

January 14-15, 2023

Page is a work in progress – looking for media to include – email clinton.morse@nullorienteeringusa.org

  • Host: San Diego Orienteering
  • Venues:
    • The Goat (& The Lamb):
    • The Sprint:
    • The Classic (NRE):
    • The Maze:
  • Event Director: Mark Prior
    • Course Setter (Goat): Chris Day
    • Course Setter (Sprint): Mark Prior
    • Course Setter (Classic & Maze): Matej Sebo
  • Event Website

Results

Maps

  • Coming soon….

Links

Photos

  • OK Folks – whatcha got? Please send me photos or links to social media

2023 OUSA Junior Nationals & Georgia Navigator Cup Event Recap

January 13-16, 2023

  • Host: Georgia Orienteering Club
  • Venues:
    • Friday Middle: Lake Delanor, F.D. Roosevelt SP, Pine Mountain GA
    • Sat/Sun Classic: Lake Franklin, F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain, GA
  • Event Director: Fred Zendt
    • Registrar: Rick Shane
    • Extreme O Director: Anne Mathews
  • Event Website

Course Review

YDP is sponsoring an online course review session on Saturday, January 21 at 7PM Eastern Time. We’ll start as a large group and talk about a few key legs from the courses at Georgia Navigator Cup / Junior Nationals, then offer the opportunity to break out into small groups for further discussion by course. Interested in participating? Sign up here to receive the link and nominate your favorite course and leg for the large group discussion.  All GNC / Jr. Nationals participants are welcome to join in.

Photo Galleries

Video

Results

Maps & RouteGadget

On Open Classes, Competition, and Inclusion

Have you ever wondered what was up with the Open classes at a competition? After all, we have plenty of age group classes, why would we need to have Open classes as well?

For starters, it’s a requirement per the Orienteering USA Rules of Competition unless an event is sanctioned as a restricted event. According to section A.11.1.2, Open Classes are:

  • Competitive White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Green, and Red courses 
  • Open to competitors of any age, and therefore ‘age-appropriate’ for everyone

For M/F-Yellow and above, Open courses are: 

  • Classified by gender (F for female competitors; M has no gender restriction)
  • Ranked in the OUSA rankings (F.1.1b)

Open classes are not:

  • Championship classes. Competitors are not eligible for OUSA Championship medals (A.11.2.3).  
  • Recreational classes. Competitors pay the same event fees as those in championship classes, and organizers pay NRE sanctioning fees for Open Class starts. 

Why does this matter? As with other sports that offer Open categories, it’s important to be inclusive. Here are some examples of people who might consider an Open category their competitive class on either a short- or long-term basis:

  • A new orienteer who wants to travel to a competition on their own or with their team and compete at the level they are ready for
  • An orienteer with cognitive or socio-emotional differences who can independently complete a shorter and/or less technical course 
  • An orienteer in the advanced stages of pregnancy who would prefer a shorter advanced course 
  • An orienteer coming back from injury or illness who wants to test themselves at a shorter distance (Long COVID, anyone?)
  • Someone who prefers a less technical or shorter course than that of their championship age class

These are all people who see themselves as competitive orienteers for whom a championship class is not appropriate. If we exclude or minimize those who seek to participate in Open categories, it can sound like we are saying that these people are not part of our competitive community, that they are not “good enough.” One part of Orienteering USA’s mission is to promote the sport of orienteering, and the Open classes are an important part of achieving that. 

On a personal note, this has meaning to me because my son’s independent competitive course is an open course. Seeing his sense of accomplishment when he completes a course, even when he is the last to finish, has been a high point in his development towards adulthood. He may not win any age-group championships, but the opportunity to compete just like his friends and family is of incalculable value.

I hope you’ll think of this and other such examples the next time someone says “oh, it’s just the open course.” It is, and it’s open to everyone. 

See you in the woods!    

Tori Campbell
OUSA VP Youth Development

Applications for 2023 National Team now being accepted.

Since 2022, the National Team, aka TeamUSA, has consisted of three tiers: the Elite Squad, the Performance Squad, and the Junior Squad. The Elite Squad consists of those athletes who consistently perform at a high level and are deemed most likely to be selected for world-championship or elite-competition teams. Performance Squad athletes also perform at a high level but may not yet be consistent picks for international team selection. The Junior Squad encompasses all TeamUSA members aged 20 and under; all three tiers are fully eligible to take part in all team activities and to compete for spots on the international-event teams (subject, of course, to age restrictions or other qualifications for individual competitions.)

This year, the National Team Selection Committee (Peggy Dickison, Eric Weyman, Matt Smith) has published selection criteria that refine what has been done previously and will be used in making selections to the 2023 National Team. The Committee feels it is important to publicize the metrics and qualifications that go into selection decisions to increase the transparency of the process, to recognize the significant accomplishment it is to qualify for the Team, and to establish targets for goal-setting and other efforts of those wanting to qualify. While the performance level required to qualify for the National Team is particularly high of necessity, the Selection Committee reinforces that those who qualify have earned the opportunity to be considered for the Team.

These criteria are guidelines for the Selection Committee and will be considered in total and in context for each applicant. While the Committee values the quality and consistency of training, dedication, attitude, etc., ultimately the highest value is placed on performance and results. OUSA and IOF ranking numbers, results and info from individual races, and consistency of performance are the primary consideration of the Committee who rely on the high confidence of such data. However, these criteria are not strict cut-offs, and the Committee will consider trends and groupings and are willing to make mid-year revisions and/or promotions.

Athletes residing outside the United States who do not have an OUSA or IOF ranking are encouraged to apply if they feel their results qualify them to the Team. In such cases, athletes are requested to submit any national or international level results for the Selection Committee to review. Those who qualify for TeamUSA demonstrate they are the fastest and top athletes of the USA and are capable of performing on the world stage on behalf of the USA. Everyone who meets, exceeds, or approaches these qualifications is encouraged to apply. 

The 2023 USA National Team Selection Criteria are published here [https://docs.google.com/document/d/19i3s2tR8BPyCp3O3ERT5cjh04n0SCVj6/view]

To apply to the 2023 National Team, complete the 2023 National Team Application Form, due by 18 January 2023, here [https://forms.gle/Supz5ZjNpTy8fNsm7].

2023 World School Sport Games to be held in Brazil

Bulletin 1 for the ISF World School Sport Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 19-27, 2023 has been published. Up to 12 boys and 12 girls born in 2008-2010 who attend school in the US may participate in the orienteering events. The program includes both individual & team competition in the sprint and middle distance disciplines and educational content on topics such as fair play, healthy lifestyle, respect and inclusion.

There is no requirement for affiliation with Orienteering USA to participate; however, the YDP Steering Committee (ydp-steering-commitee@nullorienteeringusa.org) requests notification if athletes or adults from the US register to participate and can advise group organizers on lessons learned from planning for JWOC / WUOC travel in the past. 

OUSA Clubs Present at a PE Teachers Conference

On November 5th and 6th, 2022 two Orienteering USA clubs, Navigation Games (NavGames) and Quantico Orienteering Club (QOC), teamed up to present workshops at the annual convention for Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (VAHPERD).

The convention was attended by several hundred teachers and others involved in PE education. We were invited to present by Austin Kulp, the president of VAHPERD, who previously had a map made through Orienteering USA’s Youth Mapping Program for his school. 

Barb Bryant shared the Youth Mapping Program (YMP), which is an OUSA program to get good orienteering maps made for schools and other youth-serving organizations, and to help teachers with ideas for how to use them.

Navigation Games presented its school lesson plans for elementary and high school students. We set up our fun Geometric Animal-O activity indoors for the attendees to try out. There was a lot of laughter as they scurried about the conference room trying to find the right animal control. We also had SPORTident courses and Poison Score-O in a tiny park across the street from the conference venue. Andrea Schneider of OUSA’s YMP created a base map on short notice, and Barb created the map remotely using Google Street View. Several people took advantage of the spectacular fall weather to enjoy the outdoor courses. 

Don Fish from Quantico Orienteering Club gave examples of how the club works with local schools, and invited the teachers to attend a QOC meet. He also asked them to get in touch with him if they want advice or collaboration on getting started. Don feels strongly that we need to bring more young people into the sport, because many of us orienteers are getting older! 

The participants were enthusiastic about the possibility of including the demonstrated activities in their teaching. 

We’d like to encourage clubs to connect with their state’s PE conference. We’d be happy to give advice for a fun and informative session. We created a companion website for our presentations; feel free to take anything you find useful! The website includes the slide presentations that we went through at the beginning of our 50-minute sessions.


This post was authored by Navigation Games president Barbara Bryant. If your club has news items of general interest to Orienteering USA clubs and members, please contact us at webmaster@nullorienteeringusa.org.

2023 JWOC Team Selection Criteria Announced

The 2023 Junior World Orienteering Championships will take place from July 1-9, 2023 in Baia Mare, Romania. An official pre-JWOC training will be hosted the week prior to the championships, with the US Team intending to participate for at least a portion of it. Orienteering USA’s JWOC Selection Committee will choose up to six young male and six young female athletes to represent the USA at JWOC ’23.

As we return to more normal post-pandemic customs, this year will see a return to a full Team Trials selection event for the 2023 team. The 2023 JWOC Selection committee has coordinated with the organizers of the 2023 Orienteering USA Nationals / Flying Pig XXV to include the 2023 JWOC Team Trials. The event will take place the weekend of March 24-26, 2023 in Kentucky/Ohio and will consist of three races: Sprint, Middle & Long. The latter two are scheduled to be at Carter Caves in Kentucky and the sprint venue has not yet been announced but will be located nearby.

The full JWOC Team Selection Criteria document has now been uploaded to the Orienteering USA Library.

Note to Petitioners: Petitioners who can not attend the Team Trials will still be required to register for the Team Trials as Non-Compete and fill in the declaration page. Petitioning information will be collected through EventReg during registration – whether competing in the trials races, or entering as Non-Compete.

Interested athletes can view Bulletin 2.1 from the JWOC ’23 organizers for more information.

What do you know about SafeSport?

SafeSport helps leaders establish an inclusive environment that makes everyone feel safe and welcome.

What would it be like if everyone who tried orienteering felt welcome, included, challenged, but most of all, safe? Chances are, your organization has already deliberately thought through how to make this happen through registration, newcomer instruction, course design, results, and more. If you haven’t, you should. And if you have, now’s a great time to review your practices.

November is SafeSport campaign month in OrienteeringUSA.  We’re approaching club recharter, which requires you to identify someone to take the SafeSport Trained course and ensure your club is aware of requirements to protect minors under federal law. But it’s so much more than that. SafeSport also helps us structure our interactions so no one can abuse a situation of power over another, regardless of age or ability.  We’re largely a sport run by volunteers, and we need to look out for each other.  SafeSport training will help your leaders recognize and properly react to situations that could be problematic, and it helps us all establish the inclusive environment we need to conduct our sport safely.

SafeSport training is free to OUSA members. Those in key roles must take the 90-minute SafeSport Trained full course every 3 years. But there are also a range of much shorter courses tailored to specific audiences, such as youth, parents, and volunteers. See the OUSA website for more information and to sign up. Let’s all do our part to make orienteering appropriately challenging, inclusive, and enjoyable for everyone!

Not convinced, yet?  Consider this: if minors cross state lines to attend your orienteering event, the federal SafeSport Act applies to you. You need to know what that means for your organization.

2022 Orienteering USA Nationals Event Recap

November 11-13, 2022

  • Host: Los Angeles Orienteering Club
  • Venues
    • Sprint: Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA
    • Middle: Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, Aqua Dulce, CA
    • Long: Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA
  • Event Director: Clare Durand
    • Registrar: Allan Pincus
    • Sprint Course Setter: Scott Schmitz
    • Middle Course Setter: Bruce Garbaccio
    • Long Course Setter: Kim Pincus
    • Course Consultant: Jim Hall
  • Event Website

Misc Links

Fri, Nov 11, 2022 – Sprint @ Pierce College

Sat, Nov 12, 2022 – Middle @ Vasquez Rocks

Sun, Nov 13, 2022 – Long @ Red Rocks Canyon