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Event Types - General

Orienteers can attend a wide range of different types of event including club, district, regional, national, championship and international.


These are small and informal and usually take place on Saturday mornings. SO organise these events for club members and beginners to the sport. Membership of British Orienteering is not necessary for these events during your first year. Subsequently all participants are required to become National or Local British Orienteering members. They are advertised in the Southdowner and on the SO ansaphone (see below for number). Examples of these events are the SO Gallopen series, where points scored at each event are combined to find the individual winner of the series over the whole season. Further information on these events can be found here.

There are several different types of events, which may be held as Local Events, either as part of one of the series or as individual events. Some of these are described below.


These events are open to all and will normally offer a range of colour coded courses. Colour coding is designed to provide comparability between the course standard at different events i.e. a green course at a SO event should be similar in length and technical difficulty to other green courses in Britain. Open events can always be entered on the day of the event (EOD).

Seven colours are used with each colour representing a certain level of difficulty (both technical and physical). The darker the colour the longer and harder the course. These courses are therefore not related to age as are the BOF National badge scheme courses.

Colour Distance Difficulty Average finishing time
White 1 - 1.5K Very easy, written instructions 30 mins
Yellow 1.5 - 2.5K Easy, novices, line feature controls 25 - 40 mins
Orange 2.5 - 3.5K Easy, progressing novices 35 - 55 mins
Red 4.5 - 6K Medium, longer, simple route choice 50 - 80 mins
Green 3.5 - 5 K Hard, short, technical problems 35 - 55 mins
Blue 5.5 - 7K Hard, long with technical problems 50 - 70 mins
Brown 8K+ Hard, physically and technically 60 - 80 mins


These are medium-sized events, the timing of which is coordinated by the Regional Associations (SEOA in our case), the results sometimes are used to calculate the Club Leagues. Each Orienteer scores points for the club depending on his/her position in the race. A Regional/Badge Scheme also operates.


High class orienteering events which test the orienteering ability of the leading competitors in each class. Open to all National British Orienteering members.


High class orienteering events to decide the British Champions in each class. Open to all National British Orienteering members who hold a British passport or have been present in the UK for at least three of the six months preceding the competition.


A variety of levels of competition for all orienteers from the elite to the novice. Southdowners regularly travel abroad to compete. Recent trips include Portugal, France, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Hungary.

Posted by Jaquie Drake on 01st Jan 07






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