On Event Day - Registration & Start
Event Venue: Before you can
try orienteering you need to get to the event!. All event
flyers include the venue location (sometimes expressed as
a grid reference) and directions to the venue car park.
In addition, the venue is often 'O-signed' using large red
and white signs from major road junctions. When details
have been obtained from the internet, online maps with the
venue location can usually be printed off.
On arriving at the venue, an event official will advise
you where to park your vehicle. At some events, the official may also
hand you an 'Event Registration Form'.
Event Registration Form: You should attempt
to fill in as much of the form as you can before registering. Items to
fill in on the form include your name, your age class, course, dibber
details (if you have one) and personal details including a telephone contact
number and car registration number. These latter two items are only used
in emergency situations or if the organising club needs to confirm your
whereabouts after the event.
Registration is usually administered from a tent, car or
building local to the car park. You will need to choose which course you
would like to try. The available courses with details including their
length and height gain will be on display.
At registration you will receive a dibber (if required), a
map and control
descriptions appropriate to your chosen course. In addition,
you may recieve a control card if tradition pin-punching is
being used at the event. In return, you will need to hand
in your completed registration slip and entry fee.
Course Choice: When choosing a course,
try not to overestimate your abilities. Courses may
look relatively short but can take some time especially
if they are have some technical content [see references
to District and Local
courses]. Remember, you can always do an easy
course first and then return to try a harder one if
you wish. If in doubt ask the registration official
who will be happy to recommend an appropriate course
A keen orienteer at registration
Map updates: Saxons go to every effort to
ensure that the map is up to date and accurate. However, rarely, due to
tree felling and rapid changes in vegetation it is not always possible
to maintain a 100% accurate map. Therefore, there may be some map updates
that you will need to copy onto your map. Look out for any map correction
maps around in the registration or start areas.
Results: The usual method of results distribution
is through the website of the organising club. If you'd like the event
results to be posted to you, then envelopes are usually available at registration
for you complete for this purpose. A small fee is charged to cover postage.
Starting Your Course
Before you go to the Start, there are a few things to do.
Your control description sheet will need to be put somewhere accessable
- perhap in your map bag with your map or pinned to your sleeve for quick
access. If you're using a map bag make sure you have it with you. Ensure
that your car keys are somewhere safe - these can usually be left with
officials at registration. Once you are ready to go, proceed to the start.
The route to the Start should be clearly signposted.
The procedure at the start area differs for different types
of events. Regional events typically employ a timed start where each orienteer
will need to present themselves to the start official at a specific start
time. This start time will have been previously issued as part of event
registration. However, most events use a simpler punching start system.
Punching Starts: Most Saxons' events uses what is known
as 'a punching start' system. This means that you start at the discretion
of the Start official. One happy consequence of this approach is that
you do not need to be at the Start at a specific time, but can start when
you and the Start official is happy for you to do so.
Depending on the nature of the event, you may be issued your map whilst
still preparing to start. In this case you may look at the map to familiarise
yourself and attempt to identify any relevant surrounding features. Alternatively,
(and more typically) you will pick up your map immediately after performing
a punching start.
Map sample example
An example map sample is shown on the left. The triangle marks
the position of the Start control. The Start control should be visible
from the Start area and it's important to identify this before dashing
off into the forest. Note that there is no need to punch at the
start control - it merely provides a means for you to establish
your position on the map.
The Finish is marked by the double circle symbol, with each labelled
single circle showing the position of each of the controls on the
course. The lines shown in between the controls represent the idealised
route from one control to the next. However, in practice, not even
the most capable orienteer will actually follow these lines exactly.
In many cases it is more efficient (and often advisable) to follow
linear features (like paths) between controls especially on less