Orienteering Victoria & Covid-19

OV Return to Sport Guidelines for Organisers and Participants

Covid-Safe Orienteering in Victoria

Read more here

CovidSafe Summer

Victoria moved to its CovidSafe Summer from December 7. Community sport can operate with separate groups of 100 participants per group, and a maximum of 1000 participants per event. Orienteering Victoria continues to run events under its CovidSafe Return to Sport Plan, effective 7/12/2020. Our Plan fully aligns with the Industry Restart Guidelines for Community Sport  December 2020.

Orienteering events are categorised as Tier 3 under the Public Events Framework. Because Orienteering Victoria has a CovidSafe Plan, events do not require registration under the PEF.

Find out more about sport during Victoria’s CovidSafe Summer.

Victorian RoadMap for Recovery

The Victorian Government has announced a roadmap containing several steps to bring the state to “Covid normal”.  The steps occur at different times for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.  Organised community sport will begin a phased return from Step 3, initially for outdoor non contact sport.  This is the step when orienteering can resume.  All events and activities will operate in accordance with the applicable Return to Sport Plan.  Orienteering Victoria’s current plan takes effect from November 23 2020.  Orienteering Victoria is a State Sporting Association under the umbrella of the Victorian Dept of Sport and Recreation, who have approved our Covid-safe Return to Sport Plan.

As of November 23, all of Victoria is aligned in Step 4, which allows organised sport to take place, with no travel restrictions, meaning all Victorians may participate in any orienteering event or activity within the State.   At this step, group size for outdoor non contact sport increases to 50 per group, with a total cap of 500 at an event.

Stage 4 restrictions for metro Melbourne; Stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria

August 2 – from 6.00 pm tonight until at least September 13, Stage 4 Restrictions come into effect for metropolitan Melbourne, and Stage 3 Restrictions for regional Victoria, mean further changes for orienteering:

  • Stage 4 – exercise must be undertaken within 5 km from your home, and must be for no longer than 1 hour a day.
  • You can only exercise with one other person, regardless of whether they live with you or not. You must not exercise during curfew, ie 8pm-5am.
  • MapLink and the DIY Library will continue, and we encourage people to set courses, send them to voa@iinet.net.au, and we’ll share them with everyone to use for exercise over the next 6 weeks.
  • If you need help finding maps within 5 km of where you live, contact voa@iinet.net.au and we’ll assist.
  • Stage 3 – no organised events can take place anywhere in regional Victoria.

Park Street Summer Series – a fixture has been compiled, but will only be produced online (ie no print version) until there is certainty for the program going ahead. We will hold as much of the program as we can, as restrictions allow, but will need to be flexible with dates, locations, and operating conditions. Find out more: www.vicorienteering.asn.au/summer

Stage 3 restrictions reimposed on metropolitan Melbourne, July 7

July 7 – the Victorian Government today announced a return to Stay Home (Stage 3) Restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne for the next 6 weeks.  Statement from the Premier

What this means for orienteering:

  • All organised orienteering events and activities in metropolitan Melbourne are POSTPONED OR CANCELLED, effectively July 7 until these restrictions are eased.
  • Bendigo and other regional events may continue, but no-one residing in metropolitan Melbourne can attend.
  • There will be no MelBushO events this year, as even with restrictions easing, it will not be possible to have permits processed in time. The program will be held over until 2021.
  • There will be no Park Street Winter Series in 2020.  If community sport is allowed to resume before the end of September, the restart will be on the same informal basis as the just-completed Preseason. We will look to restart with Summer Series at the start of October.
  • MapLink and the DIY Library will continue, and we encourage people to set courses, send them to voa@iinet.net.au, and we’ll share them with everyone to use for exercise over the next 6 weeks.

Restricted postcodes, July 2-29

The Victorian government has announced that 12 Melbourne postcodes are returning to Stage 3 Stay Home restrictions from July 2 until at least July 29. As a result, no orienteering events will take place within, or immediately adjacent to, these postcodes, during this period.  The full announcement, list of postcodes and suburbs, and updated restrictions can be found here.

The following events will be impacted by this announcement:

  • Saturday July 4, Park Street at Coburg Lake – location changed to Chirnside Park, starting at Rochelle Park (already announced).
  • Sunday July 12, Brimbank Park training sessions – postponed; new date to be announced
  • Saturday July 18, Park Street at Brunswick – location changed to Bulleen Ups&Downs, starting at Sheahans Reserve.

All other events will go ahead as per Orienteering Victoria’s Return to Sport plan. The DHHS directives for community sport are NOT impacted, apart from within the 10 restricted postcodes, where only daily exercise is permitted.

If you live in any of these suburbs:

Please do not attend any orienteering events while these restrictions are in place.  However, please make use of MapLink and DIY Library, to print your own maps for individual exercise within your postcode.

Return to competition from June 22

Important – the change to restrictions for indoor and outdoor gatherings announced on Saturday June 20 DO NOT AFFECT ORGANISED SPORT.  Orienteering events will continue as planned, with training activities and competitions from June 22 onwards.  Groups participating in sporting activity and competition are capped at 20 adults until July 20.

Further easing of Victorian government restrictions from June 22 allow competitive non-contact sport to resume, for groups of no more than 20 adult participants, with no participation limit on under-19s.

Park Street winter series competitions will restart from Saturday July 4, under the applicable DHHS directives.  The OV Return to Sport Plan for organisers and participants will be updated to reflect the latest changes. All events and training activities will operate in accordance with the plan, including physical distancing and hygiene measures.  Bush orienteering competitions can resume from June 22 for groups of no more than 20 adults, and subject to landowner permission.

The new restrictions for community sport can be viewed here.

Return to Sport – orienteering activity resumes on Monday June 1!

Victorian government restrictions from June 1-21 allow non-competition outdoor sport for groups of no more than 20 participants. Orienteering Victoria will offer technical coaching and fitness sessions in line with current DHHS directives for community sport, until competitive community sport is able to resume.

Park Street Pre-Season Reboot sessions will commence three times a week, for groups of 20 participants.  Other small group coaching sessions are being planned as well. All activities must be outdoors, non-contact, and non-competitive.  Physical distancing and hand hygiene measures must be followed at all times.  Our approved Return to Sport plan provides comprehensive guidelines for organisers and participants about how to provide, and take part in, safe orienteering activities.

As Victorian Government restrictions ease further, we will offer larger events. Planning is well underway for bush events to resume as soon as possible, pending government announcements and confirmation of dates and permits.

Read the OV Return to Sport information here.

Find out more about the further easing of restrictions for sport and exercise here.

Exercise Safely, Stay Local and Keep Your Distance

Orienteering Victoria has put together some options for our members to exercise locally. To find out more visit the following pages:
DIY Library

When exercising remember to follow a few simple measures to keep yourself and others safe and healthy:

  • If you’re feeling unwell, stay home
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving home and as soon as you return
  • Exercise and train informally with no more than 10 people
  • Avoid contact with others.  Stay at least 1.5 metres away
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth


11 May – Easing of Restrictions in Victoria, Step 1

The Department of Health and Human Services has released FAQs on the easing of restrictions, effective from 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, until at least 31 May.  Sport and exercise can resume if:

  • you can keep your distance (at least 1.5 metres apart), you are not doing your activities indoors and they are not competitive: and
  • you can do them with a maximum of 10 people.

Sport and recreation FAQs

Further to that, VicSport has provided additional information and clarification on this page:


Orienteering in Victoria is able to resume training only under Step 1, but is planning for our return to sport under later steps, in line with DHHS directives. Read more about our Return to Sport plans here

6 April – What are Victorians allowed to do?

The Department of Health and Human Services has updated the ‘Stay at home’ and ‘Restricted activities’ directions – frequently asked questions. The comprehensive guide on what you can do / cannot do can be found HERE.

31 March  – A message from Carl Dalheim, President Orienteering Victoria

Hi folks,
My experience from 37 years working with large corporations in Europe and Australia has taught me that an important message needs to be delivered once. To that end, OV is trying to bring options to our members but always based upon the correct assumption that every Victorian understands the message from the Premier and the Chief Health Officer. At the risk of contradicting myself by giving health advice – all Victorians should stay at home; and when exercising, do that locally.
At this stage I don’t anticipate sport to restart in Victoria for many months. From an Orienteering Victoria perspective we are managing this month to month, with the latest update being all events listed for April have been either postponed or cancelled. However it is recognised that the Eppalock 3-Day Weekend planned for Queens Birthday Weekend will be impacted. If OV is able to run an event at this time, it will be in a different format and location to that advertised.
There have been questions relating to the Orienteering Victoria finances and lack of income with events cancelled. I am working with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on OV’s financials and the impact of COVID-19. All Sporting Associations including Orienteering Victoria have completed surveys that capture finances. I am optimistic of receiving financial support – however, the resignation of the Executive Officer has removed by far our largest expense. OV will go in to a period of stasis; and I believe we are in a sound position for the moment.
OV is open to advertising any content or activity you wish to lead that you believe is of value, as long as it is in the guidelines dictated by the Government and OA, and follows the OV policies inclusive of our Social Media policy. But, my personal recommendation is no visitors/visiting, stay home unless shopping or exercising locally and look after each other as many are losing their jobs.

31 March – Announcement of stage 3 restrictions in Victoria

Police Minister Lisa Neville
“Unless you are getting medical help, unless you are getting food and essential services, unless you are attending for work and education [where you cannot do that from home] and unless you are exercising you must stay home,”
A full list of the Victorian Government rules, including updates to the DHHS Directions, can be found HERE

22 March – OA Communication to all States

As you will be aware, there have been a number of further developments today. In particular, the Federal Government has advised against all non-essential domestic travel, and Victoria, NSW and ACT have advised of shutdowns of non-essential activities in their states (with other jurisdictions likely to follow in the near future).
Although, to our knowledge, no formal recommendations have yet been made with respect to outdoor sport, OA regrettably finds it necessary in light of today’s developments to recommend that State Associations suspend all remaining organised orienteering events. We are aware that some States have already done so.
We are aware that a number of State Associations are pursuing permanent/virtual course options to allow people to train individually during this period, and encourage the use of such options within the bounds of any restrictions which may be imposed (which may vary from region to region). Experience overseas is that attitudes have varied widely from place to place, with individual outdoor exercise in parks and forests encouraged in some countries and heavily restricted in others.
You may also have seen reports of Federal Government support to small businesses. On our reading of the media release (https://www.pm.gov.au/media/supporting-australian-workers-and-business), we believe that State Associations (and OA) who employ staff and report taxes through the PAYG system should be eligible for this support. If we obtain any more specific information we will pass it on.
We have heard from most State Associations in favour of staging the AGM as a virtual meeting. Once the agreement of all States is received, we will formalise a time and date for the meeting.
Blair Trewin, President Orienteering Australia

22 March – Orienteering Victoria event cancellation notice

Following today’s announcement by the Premier of Victoria of plans to effectively shut down all non-essential services in the State, all orienteering events are CANCELLED until further notice, effective immediately.
More detailed government announcements will be made on Monday March 23 regarding the parameters  of the shutdown, and these will determine our next steps. Orienteering Victoria has contingency plans ready to go, that will permit orienteers to self train if that is allowable, and stay connected to our sport and to each other.
Watch this space.
Carl Dalheim, President, Orienteering Victoria

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