’21 Georgia Orienteering Festival Recap

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April 9-11, 2021

Friday Middle Distance at McIntosh Reserve

Saturday Classic Distance at Don Carter State Park

Sunday Classic Distance at Don Carter State Park

Overall

OUSA Juniors at Georgia O-Fest ’21
2021 Southeastern Interscholastic Championships Recap Video

Update on JWOC 2021 Dates, Team Selection, and Policies

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JWOC 2021 has been postponed to September 5-10, 2021 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on preparations for the event.  The deadline for the submission of petitions for selection to the US JWOC team has been extended to June 5, 2021 with the announcement of the team to be made no later than June 15, 2021.  Team selection criteria can be found here.

The IOF has announced general COVID-19 policies to minimize risk at world orienteering events.  These policies mean that the JWOC experience will be very different this year.  All participants at JWOC 2021 will enter and remain in an Event Bubble dependent upon negative PCR tests and there will be strict rules to avoid contacts outside the Bubble and minimize contacts within the Bubble.  OUSA will be upholding all of the IOF and local organizer’s COVID-19 restrictions.  Please take these policies into consideration when deciding to submit a petition for JWOC team membership.

NAOC Postponement

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Orienteering USA and Orienteering Canada, with approval from the IOF, have made the decision to postpone the next two North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC).  Organizers of both events are in full agreement. 

The NAOCs in California will now be held in 2023 instead of this summer.  The NAOCs scheduled for 2022 in Ottawa, Canada will move to 2024 or 2025.

California OFest, including NAOCs, in 2023 will be hosted with little change from what was planned – first for 2020 then for 2021, now for 2023.   This summer Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) will host an alternative event in the Lake Tahoe area for those who can travel and attend.

In Canada, due to COVID-19 restrictions,  it has not been possible to get mapping done in time for a major 2022 event, so organizers have requested a move to after the CalOFest NAOCs.  The final date of 2024 or 2025 is yet to be determined, but will be decided jointly by Orienteering Canada and Orienteering USA, in conjunction with the IOF.

A special thank you to organizers of all orienteering events who have had to make changes and adaptations because of COVID-19.  It is you who keep our sport going!

We all look forward to when we can gather and orienteer again without any restrictions! 

Anne Teutsch
President
Orienteering Canada  | Course d’orientation Canada

Clare Durand
President
Orienteering USA

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The World Games 2022 – First Call for Volunteers

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The World Games 2022 are coming to the USA! July 7 – 17, 2022 will see athletes from around the world unite in Birmingham, Alabama to compete in over 30 sports. There will be three Orienteering events:

  • Middle Distance at Oak Mountain
  • Sprint at Birmingham Southern College
  • Sprint Relay in downtown at Rail Road Park

Vulcan Orienteering Club (VOC), is in charge of managing the volunteers, of which many will be needed. We will need people to man the Quarantine, Start, Finish areas, Control Testers and Watchers, Traffic Control and help with the Spectator Events. This is a chance to show the world’s best orienteers that OUSA can put on a first class event. It will be exciting and fun.

Do you want to be on the world stage as the “Start Official”?

We will have more details as the Volunteer Program rolls out, but if you are interested in participating you can contact Anne Mathews at bamaanne@nullbellsouth.net

YMP Map of the Month: April 2021

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The map of the month for April 2021 features Santiago High School in Corona, CA. Orienteering USA president Clare Durand (LAOC) served as remote mapper for this project. The field checking was performed by the Santiago HS Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (AFJROTC) cadets and instructors.

This project serves as an excellent example of the types of field checking questions prepared by the remote mapper (after the initial map drafting) and the responses returned by the remote field checkers. For this map the cadets reviewed the map areas in question and returned their response to Ms. Durand in only 3 days! This sort of team collaboration results in a very quick turnaround of maps in the YMP program. View the full map.

Image: Santiago HS website

Some excerpts from the mappers notes followed by examples of the field checker responses:
(Download the complete response document here.)

General Notes on what to look for:

Safety – make sure any major items that affect the safety of participants are accurately represented on the map.

Stairs and Ramps – I found it difficult to tell where there was stairs vs just a ramp. Please check that I didn’t miss any important stairways.

Building/Canopy – Canopies are places where there is a roof, but you can walk underneath. I was able to identify some of this, but I imagine there are some that I couldn’t see. Please let me know if I have missed any significant canopy areas. If any architectural drawings exist that show the difference between the roofs and where the actual building walls are, that could be helpful.

Traffic Islands – some seemed to be dirt and others paved. Check that I got them right.

Vegetation – I mostly mapped trees with the smaller dot symbol because they seemed to mostly be smaller or else they were very tall palm trees with only a thin trunk near the ground. If any tree is noticeably larger and you want me to change the symbol just let me know.

Out-of-bounds – The private land in the NW corner is mapped olive green to show it’s out-of-bounds. I’ve also used this for some smaller areas in the campus where it seemed reasonable. This symbol can be used anyplace that you want to restrict runners from entering. Let me know if I’ve missed anything important.

Specific questions. These areas are outlined in red and numbered on the map. Some numbers appear more than once. 

  1. Could use some pictures of this area. I can’t determine what are the paths/ramps and what is not a travel path.
  2. Are gates generally open or shut? Should the fence continue across the driveways and/or sidewalks?
  3. Crossable or Uncrossable Fence? It looks like it might be easily crossable, but mapping as uncrossable makes it illegal to jump the fence.
  4. Dirt as yellow or as brown? Yellow would indicate an “open area” not normally used as a walking path. Brown would indicate a more regularly traveled area.
  5. Is there something here that should be mapped? I can’t tell what is there.
  6. Are these properly mapped as canopy? Are they closed wall on any side other than the backstop?
  7. Is the northern wall here an uncrossable wall or just a curb or low wall? I can’t tell under the trees what’s going on. Perhaps a picture of this area would be helpful.
  8. What are the details on these corridors? It looks like they are two floors with a stairway and maybe an elevator shaft? And then they open to the ground in opposite directions depending whether you are on top or bottom? Pictures would be helpful.
  9. Please check that I’ve interpreted this area correctly and that there aren’t any hidden features under the trees that should be mapped.
  10. Is it possible to get to this courtyard without entering a building? Perhaps via a canopied corridor either under the circular area or the SE building gap? If it is accessible to a runner, then I could use some pictures from inside the courtyard. I especially want to see the extent to which there is canopy around the edges. If it is not accessible, then don’t bother. Also will need picture(s) of the access points to map them properly.
  11. What is here? Is it worth mapping?
  12. Are storage containers permanently here? Should they be mapped?

Be sure to check out the Youth Mapping Program pages to find out more about how to get a map made for your school or youth organization as well as information on how to join the growing team of YMP mappers.

’21 World School Championship Orienteering postponed to September 2021

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The World School Championship Orienteering for 2021, originally scheduled for June in Belgrade, Serbia has been moved to September 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The WSCO is organized by the International School Sport Federation (ISF) and is independent of the International Orienteering Federation (IOF).

A Memorandum of Understanding promoting cooperation between the IFS and IOF was signed in 2016, without a requirement for participating school teams to be members of IOF. In addition, the teams need to be teams representing schools from a nation rather than national teams composed of students of various ages. Any school can participate, without any requirement of an affiliation with the IOF and thus with the national federation (OUSA).

ISF World Schools Championships (WSC) are events characterized by a balanced program between sport and educational content: the balance between sport and education is to create awareness about the role of sport in putting forward topics such as fair play, healthy lifestyle, respect, inclusion. The event is a little more comparable to a Jamboree, with mandatory participation of all athletes in all the planned activities, including non-sport ones.

Photos: ISF WSC Orienteering Facebook page

The dates for WSOC 2021 have been moved from July to September, with the updated bulletin published here. The registration fee for a school is dependent on whether it is affiliated with the country’s IFS member organization, which for the USA is the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), however, orienteering is not a sport currently listed with the AAU. Schools interested in participating with a team at the WSCO may want to contact the AAU directly to see what options would be available to take advantage of AAU’s membership in the IFS.

Schools are not required to be affiliated with Orienteering USA or OUSA member clubs in order to participate in the WSCO events, but many OUSA clubs have liaisons with local schools to facilitate promotion of the sport at the school level.

JWOC 2021 – Moving to September

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Following a meeting on April 23, 2021, the IOF made the following announcement regarding the 2021 JWOC:

“The organisers and regional authorities in Turkey have requested that the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) 2021 be postponed from July to new dates in September 2021. The July dates are no longer possible due to planning difficulties caused by the pandemic. The new dates will be confirmed next week.”

Following confirmation of the new dates for JWOC, JTESC will publish a new deadline for the petitions and team announcement, as well as added information regarding any IOF or JWOC Covid-19 pertinent information. The current IOF Bulletin Covid-19 may be found here: https://orienteering.sport/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/iof-covid-19-bulletin-10-feb-2021.pdf.

Wisconsin and Idaho based Clubs garner 2020 Wilson Community Growth Grants

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Congratulations to Badger Orienteering Club (BGR) and City of Trees Orienteering Club (CTOC), the 2020 Wilson Community Growth Grant winners. Grantees receive $1,000 to be used for equipment and development projects. Nominated by Derek MacKenzie and John Murray respectively, winners were chosen through a selective process after a delay due to Covid-19. Established in 2016, the Wilson Community Growth Grant seeks to develop and implement programs aimed at expanding access to orienteering for youth. Read more about the 2020 awardees in the official press release.

Photo credits: Charlie Shabazian, Jen Fafinski

And don’t miss out, a little less than a week remains to apply for the 2021 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award and the Wilson Community Growth Grants. Each program includes a $1,000 payment to support individual or community-based youth Orienteering programs. Apply by April 30 via the links below,

Email iainwilsonaward@nullcomcast.net or click here to learn more about the Awards and their impact.

California O-Fest moved to 2023

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California Orienteering Festival 2021 has been moved to 2023.

In its place a new Tahoe 2021 event that encompasses the same range of dates is planned. This new event will include the 2021 US Orienteering Champs and NA Rogaining Championships {pending sanctioning}.Difficult decision to be sure, but this allows the CalOFest to still be held, albeit a few years down the line, and yet still allows a quality series of summer events this year for those able to travel to California.