National Junior Program
2020 National Junior Program information
Welcome to Orienteering USA’s (OUSA) Junior Team page. The competitive orienteering development program for US juniors is the National Junior Program (NJP) which consists of the Junior Development Team (JDT) and the Junior National Team (JNT) and is overseen by the Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC) along with the Junior National Coach (JNC). The National Junior Program uses a whole-athlete approach. Athletes are trained in three areas: navigational skills, physical running fitness, and strength and agility. In addition to developing physical skills, the program emphasizes self-awareness and individual potential. The program’s goal is to have athletes train so that they keep their bodies healthy, learn to be self-aware, and develop skills that will help them become strong orienteers and to be successful in life.
The National Junior Program has four guiding principles:
- To focus on the process needed to accomplish a goal rather than the result,
- To ensure that all training is backed by principles that transfer to other areas of life,
- To find creative ways to navigate through tough situations, and
- That athletes always strive for the best of themselves.
Each athlete is encouraged to develop self-awareness by reflecting on activities, identifying the best course of action in a given situation, learning to take care of themselves, developing good biomechanical form, and developing a structure for their training and daily life. Each athlete is expected to set goals that better the team, and the team is expected to be supportive of each individual. Dialogue and clear communication are essential to accomplish these goals.
Information is provided below that describes each team more specifically. Read this information, paying particular attention to the commitments required for all members of the NJP and, if appropriate, the JNT, and fill out the application and other required forms. If you are under 18 years of age, talk over the information with a parent or a coach; a parent must complete the application form with you. If you have questions about the information provided here or the application form, please contact the National Junior Program.
The fee for membership in the National Junior Program is $100 payable upon application. JNT membership incurs an additional $100 fee. Fee reduction is available for cases of financial hardship. Please contact the NJP for more information.
Junior Development Team
The Junior Development Team (JDT) is designed to help young orienteers who confidently orienteer on orange-level courses (M/F-16) transition to the advanced level and become nationally competitive. It is also designed to help athletes connect with other juniors around the country so that they become part of the larger U.S. junior orienteering community.
Members of the Junior Development Team will work with regional/local coaches on navigation techniques, racing, physical training, and becoming competitive athletes. Juniors will engage with each other regularly at regional and national meets and in team calls where they learn from their peers. Focus events for Junior Development Team athletes are the Orienteering USA Junior Nationals, previously known as the Interscholastic/Intercollegiate Championships, the US Nationals, and competing on behalf of the USA in the biennial North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC).
Benefits: JDT member benefits include coach-led course reviews at national and NRE meets, opportunities to stay in NJP housing when available, reduced fees at some regional and national training camps, access to the NJP uniform (blue “Eagle”) shirt and other orienteering clothing at reduced pricing. JTESC and the Junior National Coach will arrange for guided course review and possibly training at various meets and inform athletes of these opportunities. And last but not least, building a supportive community of athletes with fellow NJP members.
Timing: Applications to the NJP for JDT membership are accepted year-round. However, we encourage juniors to apply soon after application forms are available so that they benefit from a full year of participation. (Note: applications from JNT candidates are due on December 15, 2019). Regular communication between JDT members and local/regional coaches runs from January through June and from September to the beginning of November.
Applying: Please complete and submit the application forms (2020 NJP Basic Application + Medical and Travel, Waiver, and Athlete Profile) linked below as instructed on the application. Juniors must reapply for the NJP every year.
Eligibility: Juniors between 13 and 20 years of age are encouraged to apply.
Please note: Juniors who have citizenship in another country and are currently living in the U.S. are welcome to apply for and participate in the Junior Development Team. We encourage you to reach out with any questions.
The following guidelines are used to determine if a junior is ready for the JDT:
Racing Performance and Navigational Skill:
JDT members must be comfortable with off-trail navigation and have confidently orienteered on an M/F -16 category (orange) course at either national or local events in the following per kilometer time.
|12 min/km||10 min/km|
Junior National Team
The Junior National Team (JNT) is for US citizens and is focused on helping juniors become internationally competitive. Juniors are selected to the JNT or moved up from the JDT when they have shown a level of orienteering competence and commitment that suggests they are ready for a higher level of engagement. As a member of the JNT, an athlete builds on their orienteering skills focusing on increasing their training and technical skills. Training moves from the fundamentals to more specific applications of skills for various settings and terrains. The main focus races for JNT are the Team Trials for selection to the Junior World Orienteering Championship (JWOC) team, the biennial North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC), and the JWOC races (by selection). Athletes are encouraged to participate in NJP-recommended training camps and National Ranking Events (NRE), and, if there is an opportunity, camps and races in Europe to experience larger elite competitions at the international level.
Benefits: JNT member benefits include coach-led course reviews at national and NRE meets, opportunities to stay in NJP housing when available, reduced fees at some regional and national training camps, access to the NJP uniform (blue “Eagle”) shirt and other orienteering clothing at sponsored, reduced pricing through bulk orders. JTESC and the Junior National Coach will arrange guided course review and possibly training at various meets and inform athletes of these opportunities. JNT members have the privilege to acquire and wear the Team USA uniforms. And last but not least, building a supportive community of athletes with fellow NJP members.
Timing: Junior National Team applications are to be submitted by December 15, 2019. The JNT season runs from January through the middle of November with a break in the summer due to travel and overseas racing.
Applying: To apply to the Junior National Team, please submit the National Junior Program Basic Application along with the Junior National Team Supplementary Application by December 15, 2019. Initially, JNT applicants are placed on the JDT and those who qualify are then named to the Junior National Team. JNT applicants who are placed on the JDT and who improve over the year may be moved up as they reach the targets for JNT membership.
Eligibility: Below are performance guides that are used to select juniors to the JNT Team.
Performance Targets for JNT Membership
Racing Performance: Have previously competed in at least four national races or equivalent international competitions in F18-20 or M18-20 categories.
Navigational Skills: Either forest or sprint average time per kilometer according to course length will qualify.
|Forest||9.5 min/km||12.5 min/km|
|Sprint||6 min/km||8 min/km|
Technique Knowledge: Have attended at least three training days or a weekend training camp where you practiced advanced level orienteering skills.
The athlete should be able to run continuously for at least 50 minutes, be comfortable doing physical training at least four days a week, and provide personal-best times for at least one of the distances shown in the table below. These times are guides that the coaches use to determine physical readiness. They are not hard standards, and navigation is the primary focus of evaluation. The times, however, are set at a level that indicates the physical ability necessary to compete at JWOC and should be worked toward, if not already attained.
These times should have been achieved in 2019 through an
official race on a track, a USATF-certified (USA Track and Field-certified)
road race, or a cross-country race, to ensure that the distances are accurate;
or by time trial with a coach present.
NJP Athlete Commitments
Membership in the OUSA NJP requires athletes to commit to their own training and supporting the team and program as a whole.
NJP Athletes must:
- Be a member in good standing of OUSA.
- Create and maintain a training log on www.attackpoint.org
- Help at NJP fundraisers when and as requested by the Junior National Coach, JTESC, and designated NJP volunteers.
- Assist with local club events at least twice a year.
- Adhere to the National Junior Program Athlete Agreement found on the NJP General Application form)
Note: Juniors, especially athletes applying for the JNT, are encouraged to obtain a U.S. passport as races may take place in Canada or you may be interested in traveling overseas. We recommend that the passport expiration date be at least 6 months beyond the end of any planned trip outside the country. If your passport expires in less than six months, we encourage you to renew it right away.
If you have questions please contact the Junior Program at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional JNT Athlete Commitments:
Athletes selected to the Junior National Team will be expected to perform the following tasks, in addition to their NJP commitments.
- Update www.attackpoint.org log at least once a week as required by the JNC.
- Have a personal/local coach and follow a training plan approved by the Junior National Coach. The JNC and JTESC will help in identifying a suitable local coach.
- JNT members must communicate immediately with the JNC if unable to train due to injury, sickness, or any other reason.
- Participate in weekly coach- or athlete-led training group calls.
- Compete in at least four races at OUSA National Ranking Events or the equivalent when living abroad during the 2020 season.
- Write public communications and blog posts as requested by the JNC or JTESC.
- Set courses, training exercises, or lead orienteering educational activities for at least one event per year as approved by the JNC.
- When representing OUSA, JNT members will wear the Team USA uniform.
- Team members who declare their intent to try out for the JWOC team must hold a U.S. passport valid through March 2021.
NOTE: All of the forms to be submitted with the application for NJP are fillable PDF documents. Please complete the forms and add signatures using Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. You can download the Reader for free at https://get.adobe.com/reader/. This is the preferred method of submission.
Please click the links to download form(s) and open with Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to complete. After completing each form necessary for your application, use “Save As…” and add your name to the title of each file.
The “Basic Application” includes submission information, payment information, as well as a checklist at the end. It may be helpful to print out the checklist and check off steps as you complete them. Also included is a list of links to tutorial YouTube videos for various platforms (PC and smartphones) that may help you if new to filling out and signing fillable PDF documents
Completed applications (all necessary files) should be submitted to email@example.com. Any questions should be sent to the same address.
Applications and Forms
- Basic NJP Application
- Athlete Profile
- Medical and Travel Permission form
- PDF of 2020 National Junior Program information
Junior National Team Members
The Junior National Team (JNT) is for U.S. citizens and is focused on helping juniors become internationally competitive. JNT members build on their orienteering skills focusing on increasing their training and technical skills.
Junior Development Team Members
The U.S. Junior Development Team (JDT) is a group made up of juniors, of all ability levels, who enjoy orienteering. It is designed to help young orienteers who are capable of orienteering on orange-level courses (M/F-16) to transition to the advanced level and become nationally competitive. It is also helps athletes connect with other juniors around the country so they become part of a larger U.S. junior orienteering community.