Orienteering may be regarded in many different ways, a race against others via the clock, a way to make keeping fit more pleasant, or just a chance to visit nice areas and meet other people with outdoor interests. Anyone may enter any course, setting their own goals at any level of ambition. Here are some of the goals that you can choose from.


A scheme the Club Captain used to run: a special certificate to any child 12 and under who completes three events under his or her own steam. An encouragement to give it a go without Mum or Dad.


The "Orienteer of the Year" (OY) series consists of 6 or 7 nominated events, in which competitors score points within their age/gender class. The formula is "Winner's time over your time, multiplied by 25", and the best four events count. There is an OY website for the rules and the current points.

Normally you can enter whatever course you like, but if you want to score OY points you have to enter in your correct age/gender class (or harder!) These are, for women, W-12 (and under) W-14, W-16, W-18, W21 (open), W40- (and above), W50-, and W60-; and similar for men with the addition of M70-A. Your age is taken at 31 December so that you don't have to change classes part-way through the year.

There are further subdivisions in some of these. There's a M and W21B which is shorter and easier than M and W21 which are "A" classes, and there's a M and W21AS (A-Short) which is shorter but the same difficulty. These last are designed for experienced orienteers who are not as fit as the top in their age-group. Plus there is a M/W-Novice for beginners regardless of age. Which subdivision you enter is up to you, and there's no compulsion to move up.

Close events are listed on a comprehensive calendar on the WOA website.


HVOC Club Champions are determined bv a single event, usually an OY run by another club in the region to allow all our members to compete. The fastest junior under 19 (with allowance for sex differences) used to be awarded a special prize by the Chairman.

Wellington Area Champions and New Zealand Champions are each decided at an annual event, held by clubs in rotation. Anyone can enter these events, and they have a full range of classes including B and A-Short classes. In fact there are only two series of events in the whole world for which there are entry restrictions: the World Championships (held in every odd-numbered year) and the World Cup Series (held in the even years).

There are Area and NZ Championships for the "classic distance" (winning time 30-100min depending on class) and also a "short distance" (about half of this). At world level there is a new, even shorter, distance which may eventually filter down to New Zealand; we've had a couple of trial "Park-Orienteering Championships" in which the winning time is around 15 minutes. There are also Area and NZ Relay Championships, for teams of three.

Major events in our area are listed on the WOA website, if you want to look further away or ahead see the NZOF website.


The National Badge Award scheme provides a means to work towards a target in your class. In certain nominated events, competitors are given credits towards a badge according to closeness to the winner's time. The events usually include the Wellington and NZ Championships, and most multiday events held on the long weekends. When you have three credits at or above a certain colour you are entitled to the appropriate badge. This is a round metal one with a pin on the back so you can wear it on a jersey or jacket. Send $4 and the names of the three events to the NZOF Badge Statistician, whose details you can get from the NZOF website.

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