New To Sprint Orienteering

Sprint orienteering is about thinking and racing hard simultaneously, focusing on quick decision making. These events mainly take place in urban areas such as campuses and parks. They are fairly simple to navigate at a walk or a slow jog, but the task is more demanding at high speed, especially when faced with constant changes of direction and route choice. If you run fast then make sure it’s in the right direction!

It will generally take 15-30 minutes to complete a course.   Courses are line format, where you must find all the controls in a set order, in the fastest possible time.  Course lengths vary from 2 km to 3.5 km, if you choose the best route! These events use the Sportident electronic timing system which enables you to compare the time it took to get to each control with others on your course.

At The Event

If this is your first event, start with the ‘Newcomers’ table, where we will help you choose a course.   Then head to Registration, where you’ll pay your entry fee, and enter your details into our online system, which records your race time.  You can borrow a timing device (“Sportident stick”) and we’ll show you how to use it as you reach each control. We can also lend you a compass if needed. There is no extra charge for borrowing Sportident sticks or compasses, but you must pay to replace them if lost or damaged.

After registering, you will go to the start, and follow the Starter’s instructions.  At most Sprint events, you can choose your own Start time within the advertised timeslots.  You will receive a map pre-marked with your course and a list of descriptions outlining the features the controls are located on.  The Starter will tell you where the Start triangle is, and you will punch the Start control to begin your race.  It’s now up to you to follow your map and navigate to each of the marked controls in order, choosing the best route.

After finishing your course, and punching the final control, walk to the Finish table to have your time recorded in the event database, and hand back any borrowed gear.  Your results will be displayed at the event, and posted on Eventor, our national Results database.  We encourage you to talk to others  at the event about what you did; orienteers are always happy to give advice and encouragement.  Don’t forget to take coming event advertisements, so that you’re all set for the next race!

What To Bring

Click here to find out what gear is recommended at a Sprint event.  If you don’t have a Sportident stick or a compass, simply ask to borrow one at Registration.


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