DIY Orienteering in the Coronavirus Era

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:

  1. Please review the OUSA Permanent Course maps for your area
    • 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
  2. 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.

Email information to

Permanent Course at Hurd SP, East Hampton, CT

EventReg Administrator Wanted

(Position is Closed – Following is for reference only)

Orienteering USA seeks a part-time at-home contractor to serve as the Event
Register Administrator.

Duties to include:

  • Serve as the primary interface to OUSA clubs for Event Register
  • Assist event registrars with their events, as needed
  • Serve as primary manager for Github team developing Event Register code
  • Make minor bug fixes as necessary
  • Work closely with the OUSA Tech committee on EventReg projects and usage
  • Other duties as assigned

Desired Skills:

  • Clear and timely communicator
  • Customer service skills
  • Software and database development including PHP and MySQL
  • Software development management: ability to work with and manage others on a development team
  • Organizational skills. Ability to track and report on bug reports, feature requests, and development projects.
  • Knowledge of the sport of orienteering (experience with orienteering/sports registration a plus)

Note: Event Register is the property of Orienteering USA. Any future code
improvements and/or changes are the property of OUSA.

Salary and Budget:

  • Expected Average 10 to 15 hours a month
  • Proposed rate – $250/month = $3,000/year
    • Larger development projects to be budgeted separately

Please send resume and cover letter via email to Clare
Durand, by June 15, 2020.
Deadline extended to June 20th, 2020.

OUSA Safety Recommendations for Do-It-Yourself Orienteering Events

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.

Liability Waivers

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.

WOC 2020 (Denmark) moved to Summer 2022

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.

Read the full release.

World Ranking Events (WRE) cancelled through end of July

IOF Council has decided to extend the period of no WREs, from May 31, to July 31, 2020.

The main reason for this decision is to make sure that the World Ranking System is applied fairly. As World Rankings are in some cases used for determination of qualification and starting positions at our major events, it is important that the fairness of the system is upheld globally. 2 aspects of this decision:

  • There are still significant restrictions on movement and travel which means that athletes do not have equal opportunities to participate in events across international borders.
  • Although it may be possible to organise WREs in some countries, it is far from possible in the majority of countries. It is unfair if athletes in those countries where it is possible to participate in WREs could gain WR points and improve their World Ranking, while others may not.

IOF Council has determined, by looking at the length of current restrictions in place across member countries, that this decision should be valid until July 31. This will be reviewed again approximately July 1 to see if a further extension is required.

For clarification you can still arrange the event, IOF will, of course, not interfere whether local organizers carry out the arrangements themselves, as long as you meet the requirements imposed on you by your local / national authorities. But the competition will not have WRE status.

The WREs for this period will be cancelled in IOF Eventor.

New USA Junior National Coach announced!

The USA Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC) is excited to welcome and introduce to you our new Junior National Coach, Oskar Andrén!  Oskar is a 25 year-old Swedish elite orienteer, with some impressive results, and continuing ambitions for his own orienteering career.  He is currently living in Trondheim, Norway, where he is studying Science of Human Movement at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Oskar Andren
Photo Credit: Kateryna Dzema

Last year, representing the Swedish National Team, he ran his first World Cup races in China, achieving 36th place in the Sprint, and 45th in the Middle.  Other 2019 results included the Norwegian champs (Sprint 4th, Middle 5th, and Long 16th), and the Swedish champs (Sprint 4th, Sprint Relay 2nd, and Relay 5th).  Oskar also had success during his junior years:  He made the podium three times at the 2014 Junior European Cup (JEC): Sprint gold, Long silver, and Relay silver.

Oskar has almost 4 years of prior experience coaching younger orienteering athletes.  He worked one year at the orienteering high school in Hallsberg, Sweden, and, has worked 2.5 years (so far) at the Orienteering high school in Trondheim.  Beside coaching at the schools, he helped organize training camps for the Norwegian junior national team and was a team leader at the 2019 JEC in France. 

Oskar’s own words to National Junior Program (NJP) members… “My ambitions for this job [are] to combine my knowledge, experience and ideas together with the experience that previous coaches had, [and] to help inspire you into being as good as you can be.”

Please join JTESC in saying…
Välkommen Oskar!

FootO Event Advisor clinic in the US is postponed

The postponement of the North America Orienteering Championship 2020 means that the associated IOF FootO Event Advisers Clinic, which was scheduled for the 28 July, will also not happen this year.

The clinic might be organised next year, in conjunction with NAOC 2021, but no confirmation on this can be made before dates for NAOC are decided. More information will come.

Senior Team Announces New Coach

The US Senior Team has recently named elite Estonian orienteer Lauri Sild as their new head coach.  Lauri comes to this role with a strong background in coaching and exercise science as well as an impressive record of performances on the world stage both at JWOC & WOC.  He runs for Koovee and was a member (3rd leg) of the winning team at the 2018 Jukola Relay in Lahti-Hollola. 

Stay tuned for more updates from the Senior Team in the months ahead!

JWOC Postponed

JWOC 2020 in Turkey has officially been postponed. No new date has yet been set.

OUSA will be going ahead with our JWOC team selection based on petitions submitted by TODAY, Fri. Apr. 10.  Team USA will be able to train to be ready when the new date of JWOC is announced.

CalOFest is postponed until summer 2021

The California Orienteering Festival organizers, after much deliberation, have decided to postpone the festival, including the North American Championships (NAOC) and World Rogaining Championships (WRC), until the summer of 2021.  The global health emergency, with its travel and assembly restrictions, means that we cannot hold regional or international championships while protecting the health and safety of our competitors.

The 2021 festival program and event locations will remain the same.  We are trying to schedule the event at a similar time frame; we expect the new dates to be confirmed within weeks.  Once the dates are approved by the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) and the International Rogaining Federation (IRF) and after we have confirmed with landowners, sponsors, and other stakeholders, we will announce the new dates.

Current registrations are automatically transferred to 2021; you do not have to do anything, your fees will not increase, and you are guaranteed entry!  We encourage you to leave your registration in place;  however, for those interested in a refund, please visit our updated website registration page for details, or contact the registrar. 

We wish you all the best in these difficult times; stay healthy and fit, and we look forward to seeing you in beautiful California for an exciting summer in 2021!  


The Steering Committee of the California Orienteering Festival