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Fee Structure of Orienteering

Show Profile  addison Posted: 9 December 2007, 3:28 PM  
Heres a question for everyone, what is the ideal fee structure for orienteering?

Our membership throughout the country has been relatively stagnant for a large period of time, which does raise the question of if we have the ideal fee structure. This is for both membership as well as competing.

Many other clubs for other sports pay a larger membership fee and have competing for free, with a fee for larger events (eg Golf). Golf also has it free at its club, with the requirement to pay a small fee to go to others courses. Is this a system that could work for us in orienteering?

I suspect there is a wide variation in membership fees out there, as well as for event fees. What do people find has worked best, what hasn't worked etc?

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 10 December 2007, 6:35 AM  
Good question Simon! I'm guessing that changes in fee structure would have to be part of a change of what we offer as orienteering - so as to to keep a balance of traditional (OY) orienteering as well as town-based low-key events and big-event carnivals/nationals/Oceania etc, and not exhaust the volunteer base...

Personally I love the small weekly events that cost say $5 (omax and rogaines with bbq) and are easy enough to commit to organising occasionally. And I love the bigger carnivals with the atmosphere and high level of competition and course setting etc, although familylife does preclude those sometimes.

One nice system I've seen is in Canberra, where members of athletics clubs can join the Canberra CrossCountry Club for an annual fee of $15. This gives free entry to a huge number (90) of x/c series and races over the year as well as a large quarterly newsletter.Non members pay $5/$2 to enter per race.Actually just checked and it's gone up to $20.

Hopefully there's lots of crazy ideas out there and clubs/squads/organisers keen to try them. Who would have thought for example that Waitangi weekend would develop into an annual, week long carnival, with WREs and Katoa Po and great atmosphere and international interest? Or the city safari in wellington or Ak Attack MTB-O to be such landmark local events? And so on around NZ...

Show Profile  Tane Cambridge Posted: 11 December 2007, 10:01 AM  
DOC has been trying some sort of 'o-pass' system for a year or so with some mixed success. I dont have any of the details or anything but you can probably check it out on their website.

Show Profile  Greig Posted: 11 December 2007, 1:02 PM  
Ravinen (Swedish orienteering club) have a yearly membership fee and then have a separate race entry fee.
Basically they charge $80 a year to be a member
Then $120 to do as many races as you want. (There are some exceptions to this but not many) Read more at (in Swedish though)

The yearly membership is quite high but that includes clubrooms, training twice a week etc.
The $120 covers everything except O-Ringen and the casual weekday events. Basically it encourages you to enter lots of events because the more you enter the cheaper each event ends up being.

Maybe having an option for a yearly race fee would encourage people to come to more events.
eg $80 for the year for races or $10 an OY and $5 a normal event.
Exclusions would be the big national events I guess.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 11 December 2007, 1:29 PM  
I think Sweden also has a set entry fee over all races, done by the Swedish Federation, so every event (except O-Ringen and probably the casual weekday events) cost the amount set down by the federation. Al knows more about this in terms of if there is a tier system etc.

So you know (or the club does) how much each event is going to cost throughout the year, would stop clubs charging huge amounts to "recover mapping costs" (which I'm totally against but that another story) and also the same old people complaining that events cost too much in comparison to.... etc

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 13 December 2007, 3:33 AM  
Sounds like putting a a bob each way Greg..

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 16 December 2007, 3:20 PM  
Off the cuff, I think that my club expects subs to cover the expenses that are not associated with participating in events, and event income to cover events. The sub income is less than 10% of the event income. To have a sub which would pay for some of the event costs would require a significant shift.

Having said that, most of the event payers are not members of our club. Some are members of other clubs, but by measured by dollars most of it comes from non-members of any orienteering club. There are suggestions that this is a societal trend - reluctance to join.

Would you like to flesh out the changes that you have in mind Simon?

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 17 December 2007, 9:44 PM  

Your original question makes a link between membership and fee structure. First you have to question whether that is valid. While the financial structure of a sport does have a bearing on its membership, imo the effect is overstated. Yet whenever anyone raises the question of stagnant membership the first area looked at is financial, as if there is something wrong.

There may be a better way to structure the sport's economy, there probably is, but to think by doing so you will magically solve membership problems is wishful thinking. There are far greater factors at play - mainly societal - that affect membership of sporting clubs.

And you need to be careful looking at other countries/other sports for inspiration. Some sports have critical mass, others don't. Looking at how Swedish orienteering clubs structure things financially is about as useful as a Swedish Rugby union club getting some ideas off the Chiefs about money matters. Yes you can get ideas from other sources but care is needed in applying them in a different situation.

having said all of that, personally I think the lack of a discount most orienteering clubs in NZ provides (i.e. does not provide) to its members re event entry fees hasn't helped fulfil the sport's potential here - but that's just an opinion.

And one final thing - what's more important? getting club members or getting people actually doing the sport?

Show Profile  addison Posted: 18 December 2007, 2:10 AM  
I am just of the same belief pretty much as you Rob. In general, most clubs do not look after their own members very well in terms of discounts etc.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 18 December 2007, 3:43 AM  
There are some interesting attitudes among us. There's a strong desire to charge as little as possible for events. (It's even written into some rules I think.) As most participants are members the entry fees are set on this basis. Then to have a member discount, the non-member fee has to start out significantly higher. To committee members used to cost-recovery fees this then seems too high.

It's not until you make the comparisons with other recreations that you realise that our fees are quite low.




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