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Tweet Tuesday 22nd September 2020

COVID-Secure Orienteering Update 22 September 2020

British Orienteering continues to keep our guidelines for event organisers, coaches and participants under review as the government COVID-19 guidance evolve across the UK. Protecting the health of all our participants, members, volunteers and staff, and ensuring that we play our part in suppressing the spread of COVID-19, remain our highest priorities.

Our initial understanding is that the new Government restrictions announced in England on Tuesday 22 September will continue to permit orienteering events to be held in line with the current British Orienteering guidelines. However, we will review the detailed Government guidance as it emerges and will make any necessary changes to the British Orienteering guidelines as soon as possible.

British Orienteering will also continue to work with SOA, WOA and NIOA to review the impact of the restrictions announced by the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.

We will issue a further update once the revised Government guidance for sport has become available.

Tweet Thursday 10th September 2020

Review of Return to Orienteering Guidance (England)

Following the review of the Return to Orienteering guidance in England by the Board of British Orienteering on Tuesday 1st September, please find the link to the full document.

The key changes are:

  • If allocated start times are used, a maximum of two starters per minute is permitted from each start location.
  • If start windows are used (rather than allocated start times), a maximum of one starter per minute is permitted from each start location.
  • There is no limit to the number of separate start locations that may be used at an event.

Subject to a further review of the implementation of these revised guidelines, British Orienteering will aim to move in future revisions towards a higher start rate of up to four starters per minute from each start location, with allocated start times.

British Orienteering would welcome further feedback from clubs about their experience of operating within the current COVID-19 guidelines, and about any challenges they have encountered in obtaining permissions from landowners or local authorities.

The Board plans a further review of the guidance in October, subject to any further changes in the government guidance.

To view the current guidance visit:  COVID Safe Orienteering  

Tweet Tuesday 29th September 2020

Bristol Orienteering Klub Junior Summer Series of Virtual Orienteering

Report by Amy Curtis member of Bristol Orienteering Klub

During the summer, Bristol Orienteering Klub (BOK) organised a very successful series of Junior Sprint Virtual Orienteering Courses using mobile phone technology.

History will doubtless remember 2020 for the onset of the Corona virus pandemic: in the Orienteering World, we will remember it as a time where our experience of orienteering changed and widened.

For a while, there was no orienteering at all but then members started using their local Permanent Orienteering Courses (POCs) or their old kept maps of local areas to challenge themselves, but this wasn’t quite enough and so it quickly developed from a ripple to a typhoon of activity throughout BOK members. 

One of our BOK members, Scott Bailey started using and sharing the Norwegian GPS virtual orienteering App “UsynligO” (Norwegian for invisible orienteering) which was already very widespread and well used in Scandinavia and which BOK embraced. He presented a webinar with British Orienteering on Virtual Orienteering using the UsynligO App which was well watched and as a result the App has also been taken up by some other clubs.

With many members taking new-found time during lockdown to map new areas and update older maps, we were able to use our library of georeferenced maps to rapidly produce a plethora of virtual events. We now have a very large mapping team with highly developed skills in digital mapping technology and many members surprised at their new-found ability to not only download a mobile phone App, but also to successfully navigate the App and even enjoy its technology!

At least 29 different virtual orienteering events were made available over the lockdown period – generally one a week, and it has proved an effective and safe way to maintain orienteering training, skills, races and series/leagues.

Accurate figures are not available for the Virtual Orienteering Courses (VOCs), which have continued throughout the summer months. However, we know that participation exceeded 300 runs by late July and is now probably considerably greater.

By the beginning of the school summer holidays, there were enough local areas mapped to the correct specification to add them to UsynligO that Jamie Hayward who leads BOK Juniors set up a brand-new, local challenge, open to any juniors (and seniors!) in the area.

The events were based in the many wonderful parks in and around Bristol and courses were planned so that roads and trickier terrains were avoided for the junior routes. Most were within a larger map available as a virtual urban race, so that families could making a whole day of it!

Using the UsynligO App, maps could be printed from home and then the course run in your own time, using your own smartphone to record the checkpoints you've visited.

Names and times were added to a scoreboard, so there was a little bit of friendly competition which was communicated via our weekly email newsletter. There were eight events in total and the top four scores on one standard of course counted.

We advertised and promoted the new BOK Junior Summer Series both to all our members, and to other local running groups and families with an interest in outdoor sports and health.

Three courses were offered for each week in each location. The White course was recommended for primary aged juniors who have limited experience of orienteering with very easy to follow line features like paths, fences and hedges between controls no more than 100m apart; the Yellow course for experienced primary aged juniors, newcomers and younger teens with easy to follow line features, but where they might have to make decisions between controls and where some corner cutting might be fastest; and the Micro-sprint for experienced juniors and adults who fancied a new challenge with a variety of  difficulty where it does not follow line features with some more challenging terrain and route choices.

Clear and precise instructions were provided about how to download and use the App and then users encouraged to print off their chosen map, go to the location, upload the app following the way to the start and then turn up the sound and Go! As simple as that!!

Each time you hit a virtual control; your phone makes a jingle that tells you you've found the correct one. Depending on your phone GPS, this can sometimes take a few seconds, but there is also a noise for finding the wrong control which makes it easier to distinguish. As you reach the Finish, you will get a fanfare sound.  It’s so fun it always makes you raise your arms in cheer!  You are done! UslynligO saves your result and BOK added it to their score sheet.

Encouragingly, this summer series attracted and included a number of runners not previously involved with BOK events.

The leading competitors were:

White Course:

1. Tessa Johnson

2. Rachel Dudman

3. Laurie Taylor


Yellow Course:

1. Daniel Wareing

2 (Joint). Isla Overy and Connie Rogers


Micro-Sprint Course:

1. Marcus Perry

2. Megan Wareing

3. Rachel Peatfield


Both Rachels and Laurie are newcomers to the sport. Laurie, who is 8 years old and just going into year 4 had never orienteered or even heard of BOK before, but until lockdown he was doing parkrun each week. He does hillwalking with his family, so he was already involved to some degree with map reading and he had also used his navigation skills in his Beavers group.

Laurie’s mum added: “We were told by a friend about the summer series and managed as a family to complete a few of them. It was great to explore green spaces in and around Bristol that we hadn't been to before. We also really enjoyed the flexibility of the event, being able to take part as and when suited us. Thanks for a lovely introduction to the sport, we look forward to trying more soon!”





We are hoping that Laurie and both Rachels will join us at some of our restart events and hopefully join BOK Juniors. 


Megan Wareing who came second in the Micro-Sprint and is aged 11 years old, says:
"I've enjoyed orienteering as I don't like just going for a run, but love the challenge of map reading and running the route on my own."
Megan's brother Daniel aged 9 years old adds: 
"I haven't done much orienteering before but have enjoyed having a go at the yellow courses."  








Daniel won the yellow course!

Megan and Daniel's Mum commented: 
“We have really enjoyed the Junior Summer Series with Usynligo. We were doing the Virtual Orienteering Courses already and enjoying exploring some new places, but the junior series gave the kids some races they could do on their own. It has been a good focus for our exercise other than walking the dog!“






We are supremely proud and happy with how engaged BOK members have been in working together to keep orienteering alive and running during this strange time and thrilled to have been able to introduce the sport to newcomers which we welcome with open arms. 

Bristol Orienteering Klub Chairman Charles Daniels, adds: 
"A silver lining is perhaps that we are reminded that orienteering is not just about formal events; there is also technical training, coaching, the social side and generally having fun. As events return it is certainly my hope that these virtual orienteering activities will continue in parallel.”







Are you and your club celebrating the re-starting of orienteering?

What activities or events has your club organised? Have you recently attended a re-start event?  Was it your second or third?  How did you find it?
Maybe you have downloaded a Permanent Orienteering and/or Virtual Orienteering Course and enjoyed it with your family?  Or you have recently enjoyed taking part in a local MapRun course or even designed your own MapRun course for members of your club to take part in?  
However, you have been taking part in orienteering, share your experiences with others who may not have re-started orienteering at their club yet.

Share your orienteering news and send your snippets, and photos to Jennie Taylor Communications Officer for publishing on the British Orienteering website. Email: 

Or share direct on social media channels - don't forget to tag British Orienteering into your posts.
Facebook:  @britishorienteering
Twitter:  @GBRorienteering



To view the current British Orienteering Guidance visit:



Junior Summer Series of Virtual Orienteering 
Tweet Thursday 27th July 2017

The World Games Sprint relay: Denmark back on winning form

The first three runners from Denmark were able to stay with the pack before Maja Alm made a gap on the rest of the field in a fast and tight sprint relay race around the soggy Wroclaw Zoo. Their lead was 26 seconds over Switzerland, and Russia took third place, 40 seconds behind.

1st Denmark
2nd Switzerland
3rd Russia
5th Great Britain

Great Britain finished in a very impressive 5th place only 1:20 behind the winners and 42 seconds from a podium finish! Here's what the athletes thought of the experience:

Tessa, Peter, Ralph and Megan after the Sprint Relay

Tessa Strain said:  “I was happy with my race. I know my fitness isn't as good as the best and so I just focussed on getting my controls right and was pleased to be within touching distance of the lead.”

Peter Hodkinson said:  “I think we performed well as a team and I'm happy with a strong run on my leg. I started with a small gap ahead of the main group of favourites and worked hard to gradually close this throughout the course. By the end, I had gained time on the leaders and set Ralph off with the main pack so I'm satisfied that I did the job that needed to be done. There were a lot of routes doubling back in the zoo so I was often able to see the teams ahead which really helped me to push on as I saw the runners ahead getting closer to me.”

Ralph Street said:  “I was really excited to be going out amongst some good runners, there were a lot of 50/50 decisions to start with and we stayed together as a pack. Around halfway through the zoo, I saw an opportunity to potentially gain time and this put me into the lead of the pack. From there I tried to push on and close the gap to Kyburz, unfortunately, my orienteering suffered a little bit but overall I feel I did gain time by making this tactical decision.”

Megan Carter Davies said:  “Tessa, Peter and Ralph sent me out in a great position. I knew that realistically I was not going to hold our 2nd place so there was no point worrying about it but instead have a good run for me. I did that and was happy to see that I was actually able to keep with the other girls out there. I misread the hedges after the arena passage allowing Helena to overtake but otherwise, I am really happy with how that went and am very proud of my teammates for doing such a great job today.”

Congratulations to all the athletes that have taken part in The World Games 2017. The GB team will now look ahead to World Cup Round 3 in Latvia which takes place on 25th - 27th August 2017.

The full set of reports on the World Games 2017 are available below:

The World Games 2017 continues with the Sprint Relay

Tessa Strain finished in 13th place at the World Games Middle Race

The World Games moves on to the Middle Distance tomorrow

Seventh Place for Ralph Street at the World Games

The World Games 2017