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Airienteers, Orienteering in Airedale and Wharfedale and Leeds and Bradford

Local Event Organisation

Last edited: Mon 4 Apr 2022

Purpose: To give members of Airienteers and other local people regular opportunities to enjoy ‘O’ locally and cheaply, to develop skills and fitness, to share information and ideas.


To give members of Airienteers and other local people regular opportunities to enjoy ‘O’ locally and cheaply, to develop skills and fitness, to share information and ideas.


Keep things as simple as possible to fit the purpose; possible for one, easier with two. You will find it easier to manage if registration, start, finish and timings are all in the same place. If registration is distant from the start/finish make sure that everyone signs out with a start time at the start and signs back in with a finish time when they finish.

Currently we are using pre-entry and allocated start times as covid precautions. Payment is by contactless payment at the event.


You must keep a record of all entrants for insurance, safety and results purposes. (Currently pre-entry covers this)

It is an insurance requirement that you get a contact phone number for all runners who are not a member of British Orienteering, which must be entered on the registration sheet. This record needs to be kept for 5 years. Please forward the Registration Sheet to the Equipment Officer in electronic or hard copy. This is currently Ken Patterson

The Results must be published on the website – again for levy and insurance purposes. Email them to Chris Burden or any other official who requests them for this purpose.

(If SI is used, even only limitedly, the SI manager will handle the results. Similarly for any event using MaprunF)

Controller (Printing and Risk Assessment)

For insurance purposes we have to have a controller, or risk assessment checker, who approves and countersigns the Risk Assessment. For your convenience this will usually be the person who supplies your map and arranges the printing - usually either Chris Burden, Richard Foster or Tony Thornley.

There is a blank copy of the Risk Assessment in the Useful docs section of the website - but Chris Burden can provide you with a more comprehensive model RA, which you can adapt for your event. (There is currently a covid version of the RA available. Chris Burden wil circulate)

Please send maps and risk assessment to Chris Burden or Ricahrd Foster for Ocad maps and Open orienteering maps, and to Tony Thornley for Illustrator maps at least 2 weeks before the event. The Event planner on the website will show who is the Risk Assessment Checker for your event. Chris, Richard or Tony will send the maps off for printing and the printed maps will be left with the informal kit ahead of the event.

Particularly if you are an inexperienced planner, giving the risk assessment to a checker and an early sight of your planned courses is a good idea. Whether or not they need to do more is a matter for them to decide, in conjunction with you.


Make sure the grid ref for the car park on the club website, BOF website and Aire website is correct – email Chris Burden if not.


Saturday Local Events: Registration from 12:30pm, start times 1:00 – 2:00.

Spring and Summer Wednesday Events : Registration from 6.15 pm. Starts 6.30 to 7.30 pm. Courses close 8.30 pm. Be careful of beginners starting late or you might be collecting-in in the dark!

Night Score Events: Registration from 6.30 pm. Mass start at 7.00pm. Mass finish by 7.45 pm.


£4 adults, £2 juniors. These prices are per map; so two or more people who go round together with one map only pay once. Cash container, small float. Keep a tally of the fees paid on Registration Form Night Score Registration Form (i.e. how many people paid £4 and how many paid £2) as the treasurer needs these figures to pay the BOF levy. Also keep a record of the number of seniors and juniors who accompany runners with the map. Use the Events Treasurers Return 0421 to record the figures.


Always visit the area and all your control sites before the event. The most recent survey may have been some time ago and the map not accurate in places, unless the mapper can alter it in the time available. Some potential control sites may be unusable due to seasonal vegetation.

Saturday Local Events

Green: 3.5-4.5k depending on terrain. As hard you can get it.
Orange: 2.0-2.8k suitable for adult beginners
Yellow: 1.5-1.8k suitable for junior beginners.
White: 1.0-1.5k suitable for accompanied or shadowed younger children and total junior beginners.

Spring and Summer Events

Provide a Long Course and a Short Course. The Short Course should be suitable for Juniors at an Orange/Light Green standard. It should not cross any roads wih traffic above 15 mph. If this is unavoidable, Juniors aged under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

If you are confident that your event will attract youngsters at a Yellow Course standard then try and provide such a course. experience suggtsts this is only likley to happen if you learn a scout group or similar are likely to attend

We are not placing limits on the length of course you provide, but would strongly recommend you are kind to yourself and not make the long course too long. The longer the course the more time pressure you will be under before and after the event in getting the controls out and back in again. A maximum 4.5k may be a reasonable upper limit - and definitely not an essential target.

Some areas you are given will be more suitable to sprint planning than normal long, middle distance or urban planning. Do not be afraid to plan sprint courses, if that is what best suits your area.

Sprint planning requires a winning time for an elite orienteer of no more than 15 minutes. For our fastest areas, i.e. largely grassy and not very hilly, a maximum distance of 3.5k is sufficient. For areas where the running is very slow a minimum distance would be approximately 2.5k. The essence of sprint planning is having lots of controls with lots of changes of direction from one leg to the next, and legs no more than 200m in length, with many less than that.

The spring and summer events will have start and finish controls, and 3 SI controls which you can place at random controls preferably on both courses, but definitely on the Long Course, in the order 1-2-3. It is best to place these on controls that are least likely to be seen by the public, although they can be grippled to a fixed object.

Night Score League

Street Events This year (2017/18), we are looking to mix things up from the usual lampposts and postboxes format.

Having attended several of the excellent MDOC night races, I am recommending that we adopt their control locations and question and answer format this year. I’ve attached a copy of an example answer sheet, and crib sheet explaining the codes. Note this allows use of bespoke items, e.g. dates on benches, phone numbers on signs etc. The use of dashes and partial answers to indicate the number of digits to be filled in is useful as it gives some indication of if you are in the right place, e.g. if you arrive at a lamppost marked ‘2’ but the answer box indicates a two digit answer is required, then you aren’t in the right place. I would also hope this would make marking the answers easier – I know this hasn’t been done strictly in the past, but it adds to the event if proper answers and results are required. Clearly this requires accuracy in the marking of control locations, but using the different street furniture and giving partial answers on the answer sheet should remove ambiguity and mean if the answer given is wrong the person went to the wrong place!

Map Files Should be available from Chris Burden or Richard Foster (Ocad maps) and Tony Thornley (Illustrator maps) if not use an open street map (see below) Open Street Map.

I would hope this is straightforward and almost self explanatory to use A4 at 1:15000 should usually give sufficient area to cope with a 1 hour event It is worth experimenting with where the map is centred as this can make a big difference.

Controlling and Risk Assessments Before the maps are printed, there is a generic risk assessment form which must be checked, and it is often worth considering the notes at Chris Burden or Leon Foster can supply a draft Risk Assessment which you can tweak for your event.

Please send maps and risk assessment to Chris Burden or Richard Foster for Ocad map and Open orienteering maps, and to Tony Thornley for Illustrator maps at least 2 weeks before the event. Chris or Tony will send the maps off for printing and they will be left with the informal kit ahead of the event.

Formats and Scoring The ideal, as last year, is to run a shorter and a longer event. 45 and 60 minutes. Multiple maps particularly for the off-road events will probably be needed, and there are different ways of doing this, such as Rob’s piecemeal effort at Esholt Woods, or the compulsory controls at Roundhay. Feel free to be inventive. It is best to get the details on the website in advance , if possible.

One important aspect to planning with different durations is having a fairly even spread of controls. It is good, and indeed beneficial to have a cluster near the start for those who won’t cover as much distance, but the key is probably to avoid significant outliers which those doing the longer format are obliged to go for, meaning the shorter runners end up with more points per minute.

Standard scoring is usually 10 points per control with 5 point penalty per half minute late. You may note from the MDOC examples, they use a vast scoring system, from 10s to 60s (I’ve done events with 10-90s!). For this first expanded year, I feel this might be a complexity too far, unless the event is based on one map alone, in which case that could add a bit of spice.

For the results, please use the multiplier as per last year to give a ‘points per hour’ result, and as mentioned, I am keen that we mark the results properly.

Equipment I am hoping to streamline the equipment down to one box of kit, two chairs, a table and a set of flags and poles. So if anyone requires a tent, flag or other equipment this will need to be sourced separately, and returned accordingly. Hopefully I am going to stick some spare hi-viz kit in as well.

Venues I have listed a base, in terms of food and drink afterwards, and a meeting point, sometimes the same in order to keep things simple. If anyone has any desire to change these to fit their event, then this needs to be done ASAP so the flyer/website can be kept up to date.

Post Event Results need to be emailed to Chris Burden or David Murgatroyd to be put on the website, and the treasurer needs to be sent the money, preferably electronically (details on the form) and the return form

Feedback As the first year of an expanded winter league, all feedback is good to try and improve next year. Ideas for venues welcome too. I am going to endeavour to get the word out there to encourage regular runners and running clubs to attend, any similar efforts would be appreciated!

Leon Foster 22/08/17


Usually obvious from the Grid Reference on the Aire website, the Series flyer, and on BOF Fixtures and in Aire Affairs.


Ideally use Ocad or Purple Pen (free to download) to plan (see planners guidelines) and email to Chris Burden to print pre-marked maps. If using an Illustrator map contact Tony Thornley and use the clubs copy of Condes for planning.
10 maps for the White course, 15 for Yellow and Orange, 30 for Green should be adequate, unless you know your area is likely to attract more than this number. Ideally obtain map file and use OCAD to plan and print pre-marked maps.


Please use normal kites (when required). These are numbered 31-71. We tend to lose the lower numbers most frequently, so try and use the numbers at the higher end of the range. These are available from the store or previous Local event organiser
Remember to collect controls and leave the area as found.


Provide clock / watch, paper and pen for signing in and out – for safety as much as timing. Not necessary if SI or MaprunF are being used.

For sprint events contact the person named on the Future Race planner on the websitef or support with SI timing. It is best to have the start and finish both at registration. If using pin punching provide control cards. For sprint events we have used 3 random controls with SI punches - preferably at sites least susceptible to vandalism. The remaining controls just require competitor to touch the kite.


Think about safety, time, range of ability and the orienteering challenge. For sprint courses try to plan courses with fast runnable legs but challenging in terms of change of direction and control precision. Aim for a winning time (top M21E) of 15-18 minutes or less.


It is usually preferable to print a generous number of maps. If you expect a group, be ready with extras – especially for beginners. Tony Thornley or Chris Burden will arrange printing.

Control descriptions

Have the CD on the map. Pictorial descriptions are best, but get someone to be with you to help explain them to anyone who is unfamiliar with them. It is also possible to put textual descriptions alongside the pictorial symbols to help competitors learn what the symbols mean.

Training exercises

If a coach is able to attend the event give them copies of the shorter courses which they can plan exercises around.

After the Event

Collect controls.

  1. Pass on the equipment to the next organizer.
  2. Transfer the income less your expenses to the Airienteers bank account, together with a completed return form - available in Useful docs. The Treasurer will provide you with instructions if you have difficulty.
  3. Return any spare maps, particulalry if you have had a low turnout, due to bad weather, or whatever. We can probably use them another time.
  4. Remember to forward your Registation Forms to Ken Patterson (Equipment) after you have completed the results.

Thank you for providing the opportunity for others to orienteer.

Other Events Resources pages