O Canada December 2018
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The newsletter of Orienteering Canada
December 2018

I N   T H I S   I S S U E

Update from Orienteering Canada
Vancouver Sprint Camp
Orienteering Canada Biennial Technical Rules Change
Technical Difficulty 1
ISOM Mapping Standard 2017
Canada Cup Events 
From the Archives
Contacting Orienteering Canada

Update from Orienteering Canada


2018/2019 Board
The Orienteering Canada Board had two new members as of the August 2018 AGM.  Many thanks for offering and a warm welcome to Emma Sherwood and Pia Blake.  Also, many thanks for your years on the Board to retiring Board members Jim Blanchard and Tori Owen.
Mapping Projects
If you are interested in hiring a foreign mapper in 2019, please let us know at
Hosts for future Canadian and North American Championships
The Major Events Committee is currently seeking clubs interested in discussing hosting the 2022 North American Championships and the 2022 and 2023 Canadian Championships, either on their own or as partners with another club.  We would love to hear from you.  Please feel welcome to reach out to committee chair Jeff Teutsch at to ask questions.
2019 Canadian Championships
We are excited to have Montreal Ramblers organizing the 2019 Canadian Championships next summer.  Be sure to mark July 20 to 28 on your calendar for an great week of events!  Registration will open early in the new year.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
From Orienteering Canada to all orienteers young and not so young, across the country, we hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and wish you a Happy New Year, with lots of great skiing, snowshoeing, skating and whatever else you love to do in the winter months. 

Vancouver Sprint Camp

As the days get shorter and the year comes to an end it is time to review the calendar for 2019 and the first event to catch your attention has to be VANCOUVER SPRINT CAMP!

This year Sprint camp will be February 15th - 17th which is the new Family Day weekend. 
Do you have a rival you'd like to beat more often (friendly competition, of course!!)? Want to improve your orienteering skills? Well come to SPRINT CAMP to learn more about Sprint Orienteering! 
Also new this year is that we will be providing every participant with the rental of the new SI Air sticks. These sticks (dibbers) are designed for the high speed of Sprint Racing and can register your visit to a control location by merely waving the stick over the control unit. To learn how to take advantage of this technology we want to give everyone the chance to practice with it. So leave your old stick at home and try out these new units.
In addition, for one fun weekend, orienteers from around the country will flock to Vancouver to train and race. We pack 4 training and 6 races in 2 and a bit days of FUN! You'll get to learn more than you ever thought it was possible to know about Sprint orienteering, as well as meet some of the best orienteers from Canada and the US. And if that wasn't enough, the Coach of the Don't Get Lost Adventure Kids Program and former Sprint Camp Organizer, Meghan Rance, will be on hand to offer coaching, feedback, and instruction throughout the weekend!
We guarantee you'll learn a ton, make new friends, explore parts of urban areas and campuses around Metro Vancouver that you never knew existed, and probably have tired quads by Sunday PM.... 
You can learn more on the website, and register at Zone 4. 
Note that registration closes on February 11th 2019, as we have lots of admin things to finalize in the last few days before camp starts, and we will struggle to accommodate last minute sign ups. 
Questions? I'll be happy to answer them via email!
Looking forward to seeing everyone in February.

Orienteering Canada Biennial Technical Rules Changes

Every two years the Orienteering Canada Technical Committee is required to do a review of the Technical Rules (available on the website).  The Technical Committee has started this process and is seeking input as far as changes to the existing rules or any new rules.  The schedule for this requires that the amended rules must be approved in very early 2019 so that they can be used for the 2019 competition year.  So, if you have any ideas please send them to the Technical Committee at

Technical Difficulty 1

Carol Walker, Technical Committee

Orienteering courses for kids under 10 should have technical difficulty 1. What does that mean? The most important idea is that technical difficulty 1 can never be too easy! We want these kids to be out in the woods finding controls and having fun, not getting frustrated. The course should be like a guided tour around the orienteering map. Every competitor should find all of the controls.

The course should follow distinct linear features like roads and paths. You could also use walls and fences if they are easy to see, perhaps in open areas. If there is any chance of confusion, use streamers between the controls.

For this difficulty level, we don’t want any route choices so there should be a control at every decision point. Watch out for situations like a brief split in the trail; there should be a control at each end of the split. The controls should be placed just after the decision point, leading the competitor in the right direction. We want these kids to get lots of positive feedback so controls should be close together; you might even have controls between decision points.

Channel your inner child and view your control locations from the height of a nine year old! Kids might not be able to see all the same features as you.

Finding the right location for easiest course can be one of the hardest tasks for the course setter! Course 1 might determine your start and finish locations. It’s worth it, though, to make sure our kids get a fun and successful introduction to orienteering. Remember, you can’t make Course 1 too easy!

For more information, check out the Course and Class Guidelines.

ISOM Mapping Standard 2017

In April 2017, the IOF released an update to the ISOM mapping standard – the first update since 2000.  Corrections to the ISOM2017 standard were approved in November 2018. Orienteering Canada has agreed to adopt the new standard because we want our mappers and our elite athletes to be using the same standard as they would expect outside of Canada.  Starting in 2019 it is a requirement that all Canada Cup events use maps that meet this standard.  Maps using the older ISOM standard can continue to be used for B and C events.

In conjunction with the new ISOM2017, and in anticipation of the upcoming release of a new Sprint mapping standard, the control description specification was updated in early 2018. In order to prevent confusion, all orienteering events should now be using the new control descriptions, and Canada Cup events must use them.

A new draft standard for sprint maps has also been released (updating the current 2007 ISSOM), but has not yet been formally adopted by IOF or OC.

All relevant documents can be found at  If you have any questions on this you can contact either the Technical Committee or the Mapping Committee.

Canada Cup Events – Rebranding and Relaunching

In response to comments from the Canadian orienteering community as well as a desire to provide more high standard events for them Orienteering Canada is embarking on a process to rebrand what are currently known as the Canada Cup events.  At the Orienteering Canada conference this past summer it became apparent that many organizers of Canada Cup events felt that some of the current requirements were too onerous for a small group of volunteers.  It was also felt that the name Canada Cup might also be a deterrent.  So Orienteering Canada is forming a task specific committee to look into this.  The committee will be drawn from members of the Major Events Committee, the Technical Committee, and the Officials Committee.  It will also seek input from individuals from the Canadian orienteering community who have shown interest in this topic.  If you wish to contribute please contact the technical committee at and

From The Archives

'tis the season for Ski Orienteering! Check out this blurb from the December 1985 newsletter
The article reads: "The ski-orienteers seem to actually enjoy winter. They attack nearby Orienteering maps with those long sticks on their feet, and get hours of map memory...thanks to having to keep the thumb on the ski pole as opposed to placing it on the map where it really belongs. Ski orienteering is an exciting challenge. It makes orienterring along simple paths interesting. It doesn't take much to confused the orienteer in familiar terrain. Just ask him to ski hard, get his heart rate about 150 beats per minute, make a decision, remember how many trail junctions he has passed, how many he was supposed to pass..."

Contacting Orienteering Canada

Are you wondering who to email at Orienteering Canada with your questions, comments and ideas? Orienteering Canada's email directory is handy. You can find this on Orienteering Canada's contact page.

Please consider making a donation to our 50th Anniversary Endowment Fund Campaign. Tax receipts available.
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