OOC - Frequently Asked Questions
Has this answered your questions? If not your question in and we'll get back to you. If it is a question of general interest, it will be posted, so check back for answers to questions you didn't think to ask.
Yes the sport of orienteering will give you a better feeling of confidence in the woods - use and understanding of a map, sense of direction, use of compass if you wish and just a general good feeling about the woods.
Orienteering is not just for runners. Many folks walk the course (rather than running) and get thorough enjoyment from that (sometimes they do better as well because they take time and don't make mistakes) Our main activity periods are late April to end of June and September to mid November - as the weather allows.
Although the club operates primarily in English, we have many french members. Beginner courses use verbal instruction and we try to have this available in both languages. Intermediate and up use international symbols which you would quickly learn.
Dogonit, O is fun! But not for dogs.
Although dogs like to go orienteering, on leash or, especially, off, some runners and the club have concerns. Many folks are uncomfortable around dogs and find their presence a distraction which, at the least, causes them to lose concentration.
In addition, OOC is concerned about land-owner relations. Many of the sites we use, particularly NCC sites, do not permit dogs off leash, or even on-leash if off trail. Although others have their dogs in the woods, we would prefer that orienteers did not, lest we loose our rights Ė and yes we do need NCC (or other landowner) permission to hold our meets.
Yes - groups of 2 or more (called Wayfarers) are welcome and this is a good way to start, to gain confidence in the woods or to help a friend who is learning. However, orienteering is an individual sport and to be competitive in orienteering you must learn to run as individuals so at some point give this a try as well
I suggest you start at intermediate and when you do that easily go to an advanced course. Note that you are required to return to the start within 3 hours and we'd like you to be back within 2 as the meet director has to go out and collect controls once everyone is in - and supper gets calling.
Yes absolutely! Orienteering makes a wonderful family sport. You can go out as a group. You can 'shadow' a child who understands the basics and wants some independence. Older children with some experience might tackle the novice or intermediate courses on their own or with a friend - your judgment pending.
Yes! However, nothing is very formal. Sometimes we'll have a barbecue following the meet or arrange to go to a local restaurant for supper after an evening meet. At our AGM we have a potluck supper with some orienteering games and or slides. Keep your ear to the ground, and make sure you are on the OOC email list.
Yes, certainly! But be sure to let the organizer know how many people of what ages and levels of experience will be coming.
If the schedule shows a link for pre-registration, please do register ahead of time. This gives the organizer a better idea of the number of maps that will be needed. If you are a beginner and would like a quick orientation be sure to tell him/her. There will be a contact email given with the event information.
We do have a few international calibre athletes in the club but for most it is more likely the latter! The sport is a great excuse to travel, to explore new and interesting terrain, and to meet new people. Orienteering was developed in Sweden, and some events in Scandinavia have tens of thousands of participants! There are less technical courses for less experienced orienteers, so you really donít have to be an elite competitor to travel to far flung events. Talk it up, search the web, and start packing your bags!
Keep in mind the ďgolden ruleĒ that you should never go faster than a pace at which you can keep track of exactly where you are on the map at all times. Even if you are superbly fit and fast, until your ability to read the map and choose a route on the fly develops, you will need to keep your speed down. If you donít, you are quite likely to make major errors or to completely lose track of where you are, and get frustrated. Start slowly, and speed up gradually as your map reading improves. It does take time ...but thatís what makes the sport challenging and interesting.
Bring a compass, if you have one. An inexpensive (base plate) compass is just fine. If you donít have one, we usually have rentals available. Bring a whistle, if you have one or we have them for sale. Dress yourself comfortably, as you would for a hike or a run. Keep in mind that, at some events, you may get a little (or even a lot) muddy. As your navigation skills increase, you may start to make route choices that lead you through bushy areas where long and snag resistant pants and sleeves would be an asset.
OOC offers basic instructional courses periodically. Keep an eye on this website for information. You can always get an introduction that will allow you to go out and safely get started. Orienteering is best learnt by doing! A great way to improve your understanding is to compare the exact route that you took with someone else who did the same course as you. At the end of the event, take time to compare notes with others for some constructive sharing of ideas. If you had difficulties or have any questions after your run, don't hesitate to ask the meet director or any others mingling about. We are quiet, secretive folk in the woods but happy to chat after.
We now have this at many of our meets. The runner carries a small finger-like device that is inserted into control boxes to electronically record the time they reach a control. This gives each runner split times and gives the course setter electronic calculation of results.
There are a number of good sites on the web with pointers at all levels. Here are some we might recommend.
Read through some of these and don't hesitate to ask club members to discuss further clarification.
In the spring we have, for the past few years, held a 'Beginner's clinic' where we teach the basics in a 1 hour evening course in Vincent Massey Park. The group is split into smaller groups of 6-10 folk and we always have a french speaking person ready to take their group in french. So that might be the first step.
At each meet we will do an informal instruction for any new comer(s) (just one on one) and if the newcomer prefers to speak french we will find an instructor who can help in that language. When you bring your boys to their first meet, mention to the registrar that you would like some pointers in french.
On the teacher's page of our website I give a link to a Swiss site - in French. It has instructions and 'games' a teacher might present for a young class.
The junior program may run a program for novice juniors whereby the advanced juniors run short clinics before some of the meets. If there is sufficient interest, and we can find advanced juniors who are comfortable enough in french, this may be another avenue. Our junior coordinators have been notified of your interest.
Yes, but unfortunately, the rules differ from a Sprint map to a forest map - two different international standards. The forbidden areas are designated so for safety reasons and also to protect private property or areas our land owners do not want us to enter. This article explains this clearly.