As a sport, we must work together to resume orienteering responsibly and within the relevant Government guidance.
The Board of Directors have committed to following the respective advice of each government, and therefore there are likely to be periods when types of orienteering activities permitted, vary between different parts of the UK, depending on the Government guidelines and regulations.
British Orienteering has developed a dedicated webpage here.
On this webpage the guidance for each of the nations will be updated accordingly as further announcements by local or national Governments are made.
All guidance is subject to any further restrictions that may be imposed by local or national Governments.
This webpage also includes links to key documents and information to support clubs and participants in delivering safe orienteering and includes the following support resources:
No doubt many of you have seen this announcement from the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) on Friday (31 July 2020).
This has meant the cancellation of JWOC 2020 and the replacement of Portugal with Turkey in 2021. Also, EYOC is going ahead, but will be rebranded as EJOC (European Junior Orienteering Championships) and include M/W20's. The precise details of the event have yet to be finalised and the latest notification on the EYOC website states that there will be an update by Saturday 8th August.
So, on this basis, we will continue to look to hold selection races over the August weekend of 28th-30th, as previously notified, for M/W16's-M/W20's and the selection policy for EJOC will be reframed in light of the Hungarian organiser's guidance, in due course. These races will still be used for next season's Talent Squad selection purposes as well.
However, it must be stated that, even though the IOF have given the green light to EYOC/EJOC, there obviously remains significant levels of concern over whether this competition will still go ahead, given the fluctuating nature of Covid19 in both the UK and Europe. We will continue to plan to send a team, but everyone needs to be aware that the situation remains precarious and we will continue to monitor developments in the coming weeks. There will probably be some specific Covid-secure guidelines from the organising body in Hungary, which we will need to react to, and the latest UK government guidance will also need to be adhered to.
On the topic of selection races, I was hoping today to give you more specific details of their location, but the continuing fluctuating situation regarding release of lockdown in the UK, some issues around the securing of access permissions, and compliance with the return to orienteering policy, means that I'm not able to do this with guaranteed certainty at the moment. Discussions are ongoing and, as I realise the urgency of giving everyone as much lead in time as possible, I am working hard to ensure that you have this information by the end of this week. I apologise for the delay and I thank you for your patience in these difficult times!
Head Coach for Talent
International Orienteering Federation (IOF); 31 July 2020.
The IOF Council, at its digital meeting held today July 31st, decided that the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) 2020 scheduled to be held in Turkey in October and the World Mountainbike Orienteering Championships (WMTBOC) 2020 scheduled to be held in Portugal in October are cancelled due to the continuing effects of the Covid-19 virus pandemic. The Council also decided that the scheduled organisation of the European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) in Hungary, 24-26 October 2020, could proceed. As part of the decision about EYOC, Council approved the organisers proposal to include competition classes for junior athletes (Men up to 20 years old and Women up to 20) and to declare these the European Junior Orienteering Championships (EJOC) 2020.
– The decisions made by Council today are consistent with the information the IOF has gathered regarding the difficulty in organising global orienteering events, where different regions of the world are at different levels of restrictions and activity due to the pandemic, states IOF Secretary General/CEO Tom Hollowell. – At the same time, we do see some more positive developments in Europe where we are able to conduct events at regional level, first the European Mountainbike Orienteering Championships and now the European Youth Orienteering Championships. I really need to show appreciation to our organisers and member federations for their continuing understanding and assistance us as we try to find the best solutions for offering athletes opportunities to compete at championship level events in a safe environment.
The Council decisions about the events were largely based upon consultation carried out with members regarding their ability and willingness to participate, as well as the recommendations of the respective organisers and IOF Senior Event Advisers. For the World Championships events it was obvious in the consultation, answered by 46 IOF members, that broad participation would not be possible and that the value of the global championships would be significantly reduced for athletes, organisers, venues and partners. For EYOC, European region members were much more positive about their possibilities for participating, with a clear majority stating that they most likely or certainly would send a team.
The decision about the Junior World Orienteering Championships means that the respective appointed organisers for the years 2020 – 2022 have agreed to move their event one year, i.e. JWOC 2021 will be held in Turkey, JWOC 2022 will be held in Portugal and JWOC 2023 will be held in Romania. The IOF intends to open an opportunity for athletes born in 2000, who had their final year of junior eligibility in 2020, to compete for medals at JWOC 2021. However, the IOF would like to consult with member federations regarding the best method for including their participation prior to making a final decision. The consultation will be carried out immediately and a decision made at the Council meeting on September 25th.
The cancellation of the World MTB Orienteering Championships event in Portugal also means that the Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships and the European Youth MTB Orienteering Championships which were part of the event are also cancelled for 2020. The IOF is working with the organisers to see how the preparations and venue cooperation can be re-allocated to another IOF major MTB event in the near future.
Due to the special situation the European Junior and Youth Orienteering Championships in Hungary would be a one-time event for 2020, but Council further decided it would carry out consultation with member federations to determine if a European Junior Championships should be established as a permanent regional championships as is the case in other IOF regions. The organisers in Hungary presented, as part of their recommendation to Council, a number of preventive actions which will be taken to secure the safety of the participants in light of the Covid-19 situation. These will be communicated to all teams as part of the coming event bulletins.
The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) have recently announced the rearranged dates for the two main junior international competitions, EYOC and JWOC, with them being provisionally tabled now for 6-10th October (JWOC, Turkey) and 23-25th October (EYOC, Hungary). The IOF’s intention is to make a decision by 10th August 2020.
With this in mind, the Talent & Performance team are reviewing their plans for selection for the above events and for the squads in 2021.
In respect of selection for the above competitions and squads, we are provisionally (government guidelines permitting) planning to hold a selection race weekend, incorporating three races (sprint, middle and long) over the weekend of Friday 28 August (evening) - Sunday 30 August (morning).
The races will also be used to inform decisions for the make-up of the Talent Squad in the 2020-21 season.
We are currently reviewing the selection policy for the EYC and JWOC which will be published once approved.
Further information on the specific logistics of the selection races will be released by the start of August.
The situation will continue to be monitored by British Orienteering including the IOF’s decision, the respective government guidelines and risk for the team both domestically and internationally.