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Grass Roots Orienteering

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 17 May 2017, 10:45 AM  
I'm still on a high after Oceania/WMOC! But back home, my club has no traditional orienteering events planned for the next 6 months.

I think I know what's happening. Our event standard (at the top) is getting soooo high, that the perceived barrier to putting on events stops newish orienteers from contemplating it. It's summed up by the reported comment from a kid at a college-focussed event: "Where's the TV screen?"

I think we HAVE to intertwine participation and planning events. Maybe not for white and yellow orienteers, but for everyone else. Including college kids. And that means low-key events with minimal facilities. The aim is "as easy as kicking a ball around." We can't just have test matches.

I've tried a few things out. This is a thread to report and discuss ideas, details, successes and bloopers.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 17 May 2017, 10:51 AM

Think I've got this formula sorted out now. But... hardly anyone comes. Think the max was about 8. Which is viable, but some had no-one. Have had a mixture of park/sprint terrain and reasonably close forest.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 17 May 2017, 10:56 AM

This has required a bit more preparation, but the idea of a multi-sprint is that several people could plan something REALLY simple, and together they add up to a reasonable amount of orienteering. Will know more after the weekend.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 21 May 2017, 3:52 PM  
Multi-sprint went well from my perspective. There are results on the Exp-O website. Would be good to get comments from participants.

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 23 May 2017, 4:28 AM  
Cut and paste from my AP log:
"General summary: cool format, would race again. And excellent value for money at just $3.50 (the bus fare from Petone back to my car at Avalon) for the whole day! Was worried (especially with the weather on the day) breaks between stages would be difficult to manage, but the only pause that was probably a bit too long was between the first map and starting the run to the second. Which I could have averted by starting the first stage later, but the plus side was it meant that I was sitting in MJW's car when the last nasty shower of the day came through rather than out orienteering or running in it. Was able to carry just enough extra clothing in (or tied onto) a running pack to get through the day."

In addition, it might have been even simpler to ask people to bring stopwatches and self-time the orienteering stages, but I guess using the SI means you didn't have to actively chase people up to get the full results. And while self-timing might have been practical with sunday's turn-out, more numbers would have added more pressure on the results collation. I also enjoyed being able to run straight through the 'no-punch' controls without pausing but still having them flagged so that there was no need to spend time confirming the location.

Show Profile  Gavin Posted: 24 May 2017, 3:07 PM  
Enjoyed doing the three multi-sprints and the link travel by MTB. Good being permitted to choose to temporarily leave bike to do the hard-of-access controls. The time windows of the multi-sprint format for the day worked well. Day was managed without apparent problems by one person!

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 30 May 2017, 9:41 AM  
Thanks for comments. If I was re-running the same event tomorrow, I would tighten up the schedule, there was excessive time for most participants between the stages. Make sure there were obvious short-cuts for the slower participants (think there were.) And as that would make it a bit tight for one person to supervise, enlist an assistant to oversee every second stage.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 28 August 2017, 7:44 AM

Beginner MTBO. Easy terrain, you don't need a fancy bike. Suitable for kids. Ideal for "bring a friend" foot-orienteering too. And (holy grail) the same courses work for sprint-MTBO (though bikers haven't cottoned on yet). Short courses with frequent direction changes are REALLY difficult to do cleanly on a bike, the ultimate knife-edge of speed versus map contact.

In urban areas with parks a sprint map is fine (consider what would be unpleasant/unsafe biking and make it OOB). Recent courses at Aug 2017 C2.pdf and Aug 2017 C3.pdf

Show Profile  Rolf Posted: 2 September 2017, 3:03 PM  
I think O Waikato have cracked it..
We are about to run 10 Urban Rogaines.

1) No mapping or course setting software
2) No controls to put out or collect.
3) Smart phone verification that you made the control correctly (ie no chance of cheating)
4) Instant results online.
5) Course can be set from home.

We did a test run last week and club members loved it.

one small issue is that the maps from don't have contours. Not a problem in Hamilton!
However the tool is UK based and does have 10m contours for the UK, so if there was demand from NZ this potentially could be done.

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 6 September 2017, 12:51 PM  
The map of Taupo on OOB has significant errors from an orienteering point of view. They have mapped about a third of the alleyways. Some of the gullys that are fight are shown clear and vice versa. It would be interesting to know their sources.
We have started running street rogaines for MTB / foot on parts of the map we have of the whole town. Same controls, just different time limits.

Show Profile  Rolf Posted: 6 September 2017, 3:17 PM  
underlying map data comes from Open Street Map.

OOB says it will update from this once or twice a year, so we have started feeding map flaws back to Open Street Map and they should eventually find their way back to us corrected.

Show Profile  Bryan Posted: 7 September 2017, 3:30 AM  
Wouldn't take much to add contours.
Free contour data is available: eg
Lidar 1m DEM Wellington (LINZ data service)
8m DEM for NZ (Linz data service)
15m DEM for NZ (Koordinates)
20m contours (Linz data service)

The DEMs can be loaded into Ocad and 2.5, 5m, 10m contours can be generated in Ocad although the 8m and 15m DEM's not good in flat areas.

Also, lots of useful free data can be obtained: eg
- GPS walking tracks (WCC) - Koordinates
- Building outlines - Koordinates
- Kerblines - Koordinates
- park boundaries
- MTB websites with the ability to download GPS tracks

I've used all these to create fairly accurate base maps around NZ which would be suitable for a rogaine without fieldwork.

You could also have LINZ Data Service imagery as a background to oomap layers in Ocad and quickly edit/fix gross errors.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 7 September 2017, 2:29 PM  
Its an interesting question whether to report updates to OSM or to maintain a set of mapping yourself. I guess in the future the "free maps" will be much more competent but I'm satisfied that the control we have over round Wgtn has been worth it.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 3 November 2017, 10:02 AM

The label T-Max is a "catchall" for short afterwork events run by Wgtn OC and OHV. "T" can stand for "training" or "trial" or a number of other things. Last night's event was evolutionary rather than revolutionary but fits this thread for some of its effort-saving measures.

Primary thing was presenting a park map at two scales - 1:4000 on one side of the paper, a small part at 1:2000 on the other. The small part was a redeveloped playground but could suit anywhere which has a tiny detailed area within a less detailed area. See the maps at -> Map downloads -> Avalon Park (two files).

Course options were (a) a sub-sprint on the tiny area or (b) half the tiny course, flip map for longer course, flip back for the rest of the tiny course or (c) potentially just the longer course. All get exactly the same piece of paper - a single printing.

Other time-savers - SI only for start, finish and transition control. Other controls by honesty system, treat them as Air controls. Splits printer, runs off battery, no computer or generator. Or old-fashioned time yourself. No control codes.

There's nothing magic about 1:2000, there are probably places that would suit 1:1000. The defining idea is to cut free from a single scale. Probably this isn't a "first", others please contribute here.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 28 January 2018, 7:58 AM  
U-Max ticking along OK, filling Sunday gaps for 18 months now. Still very low interest (max 11) but I'm getting training, and some newbies are getting one-on-one attention. Couple ideas for max orienteering/min work:
1. When participants are few, or they choose inappropriate control sites, supplement them with "virtual controls" on solid features purely to set up better legs
2. Making the most of tiny maze: specify "cover all tracks in any order". Controls there would under-use it.
3. After the event, map on the web replaced by course as run. Lead a horse to water...

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 17 June 2018, 4:35 PM  
Rolled the multi-sprint (see above) into "beginner MTB orienteering" and badged it as "sprint adventure racing". Aligns well with the Get2Go programme Darren is running and Onslow College was out in force. But there were big people there too. Maps are on the web, links at

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