Non Stop Run - What is orientation?

Defining orientation

The orientation is a sport in which competitors go through a series of points marked on the ground (controls) in the shortest possible time, with the help of a map and a compass. The orientation is characterized by navigating career.





Objective of good planning routes

The purpose of itineraries planning is to offer properly designed itineraries to competitors according to their abilities. The results should reflect the technical and physical skills of the competitors.

Golden rules for planning routes

At the time of planning a route, the tracer must take into account the following principles:
• The uniqueness of the orientation as orienteering sport
• The sportiness of the competition
• The enjoyment of the individual competitor
• Protecting wildlife and the environment
• The needs of the media and the public

Own character
Each sport has its own character. The unique character of the orienteering is to find and follow the best path in unknown territory. This activity requires orienteering skills: accurate reading of the map, evaluation of the choice of route, management of compass, concentration under pressure, quick decision-making, run in natural terrain, etc.

The sportsmanship is a basic requirement in competitive sports. Unless a lot of attention has been paid at all stages of the planning and execution of itineraries, luck can be decisive in a competitive orienteering race. The tracer must consider all these factors to ensure that competition is fair and that everyone competing face the same conditions in every part of the route.

Enjoyment of the competitor
The popularity of the orientation can only grow if people are satisfied with the competing routes assigned to them. It is therefore necessary to plan trips carefully to ensure that these routes are suitable in terms of distance, physical and technical difficulties, the location of controls, etc. With regard to these factors, it is very important that each route is designed according to competitors who must go through it.

Wildlife and environment
The environment is very sensitive: the fauna, the flora and the soil can be affected. The plants can be damaged due to heavy traffic by land. The environment also includes people living in the area of competition, walls, fences, cultivated land, buildings and other structures, etc. Usually it is possible to find ways to avoid interfering in the most sensitive areas of the environment without causing harm. Experience and research have shown that even the most important races can be arranged in sensitive areas without causing permanent damage if proper precautions are taken and the routes are planned carefully.
The tracer has to ensure that you can access the property selected and detect all sensitive areas of the ground before the competition.

Media and public
The need to transmit a good public image of the orienteering sport should be a permanent requirement for a tracer. This person should try to offer (to the viewers and the media) the posibility to follow, as closely as possible, the progress of a competition without compromising this.


The land must be chosen so that it can provide a clean competition all participants. To safeguard the character of the sport, the land must be suitable to run and test the skills of the orienters.

The orienteering

An orienteering is defined by the output, the controls and the arrival. The distance between these points, which are located in specific areas of land and are marked on the map properly, are called sections. During these sections the competitors have to use their capability of orienteering. The route should be planned so that people face problems orienteering from the beginning.

The output
The start area must be organized and located so that:
• There is a warm-up area
• Competitors who are waiting can not see the path they have chosen people who have already started the race

The starting point is marked on the ground with a control flag without any marking device and on the map appears as a triangle.

The stages of the race are the most important elements of an orienteering race and largely determines the quality of it. The good stages offer interesting problems to interpret the map and the terrain posing good chance to choose single alternative routes.
In the same race, it should offer different types of stages. Some of these stages should focus on the need to correctly interpret the map and others. At the end, this will allow to choose easiest routes. They must also include variations with respect to the distance and difficulty of the sections to force people to use different orienteering techniques and race speeds. The tracer should also try to include changes in the general direction of consecutive stages, since this requires people to reorient itself frequently. It is preferable that a race has few good stages connected by short stages rather than having more homogeneous stages of less quality.

No stage should include routes that can provide advantages or disadvantages to competitors that can be predicted from the map in terms of competition.
It should avoid sections that help people cross competing prohibited areas or dangerous.
A race orienteering is defined by output, checkpoints and arrival. The distance between these checkpoints, which are located in specific areas of land and are marked on the map properly, are what are called stages, which is when people have to use orientation

The checkpoints are placed on the ground points that are indicated on the map. The competitors have to go through these points in the order listed, if specified, but always following the path they have chosen. This requires planning and testing to ensure accurate test sportsmanship.
It is particularly important that the map accurately describe the area around the checkpoints. The direction and distance from any angle of approach have to be correct.
The checkpoints should not be placed on terrain that are visible only at close range if the map contains no other indications of support.
The checkpoints should be placed in places where any competitor come from any direction to discover the checkpoint from the map or the description of the checkpoint.

The primary function of a checkpoint is to indicate the start and end of a section targeting.
Sometimes we have to put other checkpoints that have specific objectives, such as diverting competitors from hazardous areas.
The checkpoints can also be useful as a refreshment points, press or the public.

The control equipment must comply with the IOF rules.
Whenever possible, the control flag is placed so that people only see when the competitors arrive at the checkpoint described. To ensure fair play, the visibility of the control should be the same whether there is one competitor to the checkpoint or not. The flag should not hide under any circumstances; when a person comes to the checkpoint should not look for the flag.

The choice of the control points has to be made with great care to avoid the effect of acute angle, in which people who are competitors out of control could lead other participants to this point.

Controls from different pathways and that are located too close to each other can confuse orienters who have come to the checkpoint successfully. According to rule 19.4, the controls must be located less than 30 meters away from each other (15 meters for maps with scales 1:5.000 and 1:4.000). Controls can only be placed less than 60 feet away (30 meters for maps with scales 1:5.000 and 1:4.000) when the characteristics of different monitoring points are totally different on the ground and on the map.

The description of the control defines the position of control over the feature shown on the map.
The checkpoint marked down and marked point on the map must be identical. You should avoid controls that can not be clearly defined by the IOF symbols control.

The arrival
At least the last part of the path that leads to the finish line must be a mandatory marked route.

Route choice

The competing alternative routes require people to use the map to learn about the land and draw conclusions. The variety of competing route cause people to think independently and disperse through the field

Degree of difficulty

In any terrain map, plotting routes may pose different degrees of difficulty. The degree of difficulty can vary stretches obliged if those points online competitors to follow more or less continuously.
Those competitors have to extract the degree of difficulty of the approach to control the information available through the map and choose the most appropriate technique.
Attention should be paid to the skill, experience and ability of people competing to read or understand the small details of the map. It is very important to establish the correct level of difficulty in planning races for younger people and children.

Type of competition

Planning a career should take into account the specific requirements of the type of competition that takes place. For example, planning a tour sprint or middle distance should require a detailed reading of the map and a high level of concentration throughout the race. Planning routes for relay competitions should take into account the fact that viewers can follow closely the progress of the competition. Planning a relay race should include a good system to disperse and separate people competing.