The One-Man Event

Or... Planning 101

Guides to planning events tend to be large. Their authors try to cover every eventuality which means that someone who just wants to put a few controls out for practice or for a school group or for a basic park event has to fish through the details of pre-entry events and the theory of course planning.

This is different. It covers the bare minimum you need to know for a low-key event. It comes from notes prepared for an OHV clubnight titled "Planning 101".

  1. Permission to hold orienteering. You might need it, even on public land. If in doubt check.
  2. Maps for planning on. If you haven't got copies in your map collection, ask the Mapping Officer. At the time of writing it was Peter Bakos. If Peter isn't available try Michael Wood
  3. Decide types of courses and whether more than one. You can have regular, score (no waiting, everyone finishes together), star (they keep coming back, you can check progress) etc.
  4. Are you going to put out controls with flags and clippers, other ways are orange ribbons with codes, or question-and-answer.
  5. Where (on the area) is the start going to be. Are there any areas to avoid (owner restrictions, safety reasons?)
  6. Doodle control circles on the map. But the orienteering happens on the legs not just at the controls! If your people are absolute novices look for a network of handrails and stick controls on the junctions (white). If they are a bit better than that look for the network still, but stick controls off the handrails (yellow). That's as far as we go, to learn more on this you'll need those more comprehensive planning books or courses.
  7. Check in the field. Control sites must be on good mapped features, don't hide them. Revise as required. Anything changed since the map was made, avoid. Collect control descriptions or Q&A's.
  8. Do you really need equipment? With Q&A you can run an event with just your wrist-watch:-)) If you need controls, tents etc ask the Gear Custodian. At the time of writing its James Scott at the top of Major Drive. Check the consumables: cards, plastic bags...
  9. Maps for the participants. Don't photocopy a grotty copy, get fresh ones. Ask the Mapping Officer. At the time of writing it was Peter Bakos. If Peter isn't available try Michael Wood. Give them several days, they have to cut the bit you want out of the Hutt Valley supermap, decide where to put the legend and title etc. And printing, allowance for holdups etc. Basically a week.
  10. Put out the controls. Careful: most common cockup is wrong control code (consider not publishing the codes). Doubly careful about anything changed at the last minute...
  11. Run the event. Safety - someone must be in charge, and check that everyone returns. There's only you to shoulder this one. You're also responsible for the good reputation of orienteers with landowners etc.
  12. Tidy up - get controls in, return gear, any money goes to the Treasurer, or ask him for the account and bank it yourself. At the time of writing its Tony van Dyk. It's not done to take expenses out of the till, make a claim with receipts. Results to the Webmaster. At the time of writing its Michael Wood.
  13. Pat yourself on the back!

Written by and installed on 28 Apr 05.