Australian Orienteering Championships Tasmania 2020

Participation FAQs

For a taste of what orienteering is all about, you can watch this video.

Yes!  Orienteering is a personal challenge, like a fun run or walk.  But not everyone does the same course.  There are courses to suit everyone, even newcomers, and which vary in length and level of difficulty.  Don’t be intimidated by the title “Championships”.

Unlike a fun run/walk not everybody does the same thing – courses vary depending on what class you run.  Find out about Classes Here

Yes!  There are classes for children starting from M/W10 (with kids younger than 10 participating).  All of our junior classes are especially designed for children and there are A and B options.

Orienteering builds self esteem, resilience and independence precisely by letting children make their own decisions and trusting them to go out alone. Yes – they will make mistakes but they will also find their own way back.


There is a M/W10N class for Kids turning 10 in 2020 or younger.  The “N” stands for “novice”. Guardians can shadow kids around their course. This means to encourage them to make their own decisions and quietly let them know if they are making major mistakes. Ideally you are there just in case they get very lost and upset. No places are awarded in M/W10N. There are kids who go out by themselves in M/W10A and places are awarded here.

Take note, as you enter you can request special start times if child care logistics are needed.

No, Orienteering is an individual sport.

There are different formats of orienteering over the Carnival – Sprint, Middle, Long and Relay.

The formats are based on winning times.  For the Sprint winning times are expected to be 12-15 minutes.  For the Middle,  25 minutes.  And for the Long about an hour.  Relays will take each fastest leg runner about 30 minutes.

Just how long you take will depend on how well you navigate and how fit you are.  Most people will finish well within 90 minutes.

You will have at least 2 hours to do your course.  But on every day there will be an advertised course closure time.  Wear a watch!  You must abandon your course and come back to the finish by this time.  Unfortunately you will be recorded as DNF (“Did not Finish”).  This is a safety rule and is not flexible.

So is everyone else. Pretty much everyone will go the wrong way at some point – even the elites. Having to relocate to find out exactly where you are is a part of orienteering. There will be safety instructions provided every day in case you get really badly lost.  This rarely happens.  And we are orienteers – this means we are really good at finding things including people!

Yes.  You can give up for any reason (injured, don’t feel well, not having a good time, hungry, been out too long) but you must check in at the finish – otherwise we will think you are lost and launch a search and rescue mission.

Your result will be recorded as DNF “Did not Finish”.  At orienteering events there are always a few people who DNF and there is no shame/failure attached to this.  Don’t quit orienteering!

If you DNF on the first two days of the Turbo Chook 3 Days you are still allowed to start the next day(s) – it just impacts on your overall result.

Keep fit and active and go orienteering as much as you can.

Orienteering Tasmania will be holding numerous events in the lead up with coaches on hand.  If you are not from Tasmania for events near you visit Orienteering Australia

Active outdoor clothes – long legs or long socks will help protect your legs from scracthes – and runners.  If it is cold we recommend a thermal top and even a light weight waterproof jacket.  And  definitely a change of clothes for afterwards. There will be pop-up O shops at the carnival selling specialised orienteering pants, gaitors, socks and shoes

  • compass
  • whistle (see FAQ below) (available to buy from Registration)
  • SIAC / SI Stick / P Card if you have one (see FAQ below)
  • watch to keep track of the course closure time
  • competitor number pinned to the front of your top if you are in a championship class

Control descriptions for your course will be available at the Start as well as on your map.

Carrying water is up to you.  Drink stations are at the start, finish and out on your course placed at roughly 30 minute intervals based on anticipated winning times.

The whistle is to be used in the case of emergency, the distress signal being six blasts at 10 seconds intervals, then a minute pause before repeating the pattern.

If you hear a whistle or come across somebody who is injured then you must investigate / help out.  Please report any incidents to the event organisers.

All timing devices. You need to carry one with you to check in at every control and at the finish.

You must download your device after finishing – even if you did not complete your course.

When you download we can tell from your device what controls you actually visited and in what order.  Plus we can let you know your total time as well as the time you took between each control.

We keep track of everyone who has not downloaded by course closure.  Then our safety procedures kick in.

The SI Air Card is the latest touchless timing device – you don’t have to physically punch the control for it to register you’ve been there.  It will beep and lights flash.  You will save valuable seconds.

You need to know these (except if you are entering a B class or M/W 14 or younger – your control descriptions will be in words).  Here is a link OA Control Descriptions for Orienteering Feb 2018  .

There are on-line games to learn Map Symbols and Control Description Symbols.

Other games: and

The Rules are Here.  Briefly, orienteering is about finding your way around a set course independently with the aid of a map and compass only.  Rule 26 is all about conduct.  The answers to the most commonly asked about rules:

  • Navigation devices apart from your map and compass are not allowed to be used (however you may take a watch or phone with GPS functions provided you do not use these functions).
  • No interfering with control equipment.
  • No seeking assistance from other people out on your course except if you are injured and can not get back to the finish unaided.
  • If you come across someone else who is injured you must help them if they need it.
  • Be quiet so you don’t distract others (no striking up conversations).
  • Be fair, honest, respectful and have a good sporting attitude.

All sport carries with it a risk of injury and orienteering is no different.  You will be making your own decisions about route choice and your safety, as well as how hard to push yourself.  In entering the Carnival you participate at your own risk.  Insurance against accidents and in case of injury is your responsibility.  You will need to complete a risk acknowledgment and waiver as part of the entry process.  This is set out in the Entry Terms & Conditions on Eventor which you will see when you enter.