Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Glossary of Orienteering Jargon - ORIENTEERING TASMANIA INC


									                                 ORIENTEERING TASMANIA INC.

                                    POLICIES AND GUIDELINES

PAGE 1 OF 10                                                 GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

This glossary was compiled from many Australian and international sources, and edited by
Jenny and Ian Atkinson to include most orienteering terminology in use in Tasmania. It is
intended as a guide for young and old, but is not comprehensive. Anyone looking for more
detailed and 'official' information should consult the OT, OA and IOF websites. The facts are
usually there, even if sometimes a bit hard to find. We regard this as a work in progress, and
welcome constructive suggestions.

Use the Find facility in Acrobat to quickly find the term you want.

Aiming off: When a control point is on a long line feature, deliberately aiming to left or right of it so
     that when you reach the line feature you know which way to turn.
Armchair O: The study of maps and courses while indoors, to analyse route choice and to set
     theoretical courses.
Attack point: An obvious and recognisable feature, ideally within 150 m of the control feature, from
     which the orienteer makes a careful approach to the control.
Australian Orienteer: Official magazine of Orienteering Australia, published four times a year.

Badges/Badge Event: Designated high standard events, including State and National Championships,
     at which accreditation for Gold, Silver and Bronze badges can be gained by being within a
     certain percentage of the winner's time.
Base plate: The part of the compass that holds the housing - the bottom bit.
Base plate Compass: One form of orienteering compass consisting of a rectangular base supporting a
     movable housing which contains the compass needle. Most serious competitors these days use
     the thumb compass (see below) but the base-plate version is often simpler for beginners.
Bearing: Direction of travel, taken from the map by setting a bearing on the compass.
Bingo Control: Control where luck can be as useful as skill in finding it, e.g. a point feature within a
     patch of thick bush (green). Also called ‘Mickey Mouse” controls. These are poor control sites!

Cartography: Drawing maps.
Catching Feature: See Collecting Feature.
Check Point: An obvious feature on the map and ground, which can be used to check that you are
     keeping to your chosen route.

AUTHOR                              Ian and Jenny Atkinson

RESPONSIBILITY                      Ours alone

LAST UPDATED                        March 2008

PAGE 2 OF 10

                                                       GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Coach: An experienced orienteer trained and accredited in accordance with OA requirements. (See
      OA website for more detail). Clubs and OT have coaches available to assist orienteers at all
      stages of experience and skill.
Collecting Feature: Obvious linear feature which collects orienteers if the control is missed, or an
      obvious feature used at the end of a rough orienteering section to check location on a leg.
Compass: A navigation instrument which indicates magnetic north. Orienteers use protractor
      compasses or thumb compasses (see below). O maps are drawn with magnetic north lines.
Competition Rules For Orienteering Australia Foot Orienteering Events: The rules for foot
      orienteering in Australia. Although applicable in all their provisions for National and major State
      events, the principles apply for all orienteering.
Complaints: There is provision in Competition Rules For Orienteering Australia Foot Orienteering
      Events for complaints and protests. (See Rules 27, 28 and 29). These are normally only made in
      major events where a competitor considers that they have been disadvantaged by some aspect of
      the event organisation or other competitor's behaviour. At local or other low key events, any
      concern is best discussed with the organiser or club official.
Contour Interval: Distance in height between adjacent contour lines (usually five metres on 1:15,000
      maps, but always check as they may be different on some maps). The closer the contour lines,
      the steeper the terrain.
Contour Lines: Lines on map, joining points of equal height. Specific landforms show characteristic
      patterns – gullies, spurs, knolls, saddles etc.
Contouring: Keeping at a constant height. Useful technique in steep spur/gully terrain, to avoid
      having to climb down and up.
Control card: A card carried by a participant and used to record start and finish times. It is punched
      by competitors at each control to prove they have visited the correct controls.
Control: A checkpoint that the competitor must visit. An orange and white flag marks the control.
      There is a punching or electronic device to verify the visit.
Control circle: A circle drawn around a feature on the map to indicate the location of a control
      marker. The control site should be in the exact centre of the circle. Normally drawn 6 mm in
      diameter, so that, for exaple, on a 1:15,000 map the circle represents a diameter of 90 metres.
Control code: Numbers or letters on a control marker to enable participants to verify they have
      reached the correct one.
Control description: Description of the hysical location or feature on which the control is situated.
      Includes the types of feature, its size etc. The description of each control is based on the
      International Specification for Control Descriptions 2004 (Available on the OT website via the
      Policy page).
Control Description List: Available to each participant before commencing. Shows course length,
      climb, number of controls, control codes and descriptions. Also drink stations, manned controls
      or radio stations. Described by international symbols, or in English for beginner and junior
Control Feature: A natural or man-made feature at which the flag is places or hung.
Control Flow: The way a participant flows through a control site, approaching the control, rapid
checking of code, punching of card or e-card and split time watch (if applicable) and leaving quickly
along a pre-determined line.
Control Marker: Orange and white flag which is hung at control site.

                                                                                     Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 3 OF 10

                                                     GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Control Number: The number drawn beside each control circle on the map. On a standard foot
     orienteering course, the numbers show the order in which the controls must be visited. The top of
     each number should point to North.
Control Picking: A training exercise with many close controls. Encourages fast decision making and
     a smooth flow through the controls.
Control Punch: A small clipper with various designs of pins (sometimes referred to as a braille
     punch) for punching the participant's control card to verify that each control feature has been
     visited (unless an electronic device is used, e.g. SPORTident).
Control Site: The place on the feature where the flag is hung. On the map it is at the centre of the
Control Stand: A metal T-Bar on which punch or electronic device is secured. The control marker
     shows where the stand is, and the control code is attached to the stand.
Controller: A trained adviser and observer who ensures that the technical and organisational standards
     of the event are within the rules.
Course: A sequence of control points that are marked on the map to be visited in turn by the orienteer
     doing a standard event course.
Course planning: The skill of designing fair courses to suit different levels of navigational ability,
     fitness and age.
Crossing Point: Where legs cross unavoidable areas of dense vegetation or uncrossable rivers, a
     crossing point should be constructed. It is marked with tapes and also shown on the map to
     ensure fairness (so that crossing points are not found by luck).

Dark green: See Fight.
D.N.F. Abbreviation for “Did Not Finish”. An orienteer is deemed to have DNF’d if the course has not
     been completed. May be due to injury or navigational problems. It is vital to report back to the
     finish even if you have not completed the course so organisers know you're safely back and can
     check off your name and avoid unnecessary searches at the end of the event.
D.N.S. Abbreviation for “Did Not Start”
D.S.Q.: Abbreviation for “Disqualified”
Direct line orienteering: Straight line running between controls. May be favoured by advanced
     orienteers in some terrain.
Distance estimation/measurement: Use of map scale and pace counting to judge distance accurately.
Dog Leg: Where approach and exit legs from a control site form an acute angle. Can result in a
     participant who is leaving the control inadvertently showing its location to participants
     approaching. Poor course setting! Avoided by ensuring a wider entry/exit angle, e.g. by adding
     an extra control.

E-Card or e-stick: Small plastic stick containing electronic chip which records timing information
    for the orienteer e.g. SPORTident (used in Tasmania) and EMIT (used in some other countries)

Fight: Thick vegetation shown as dark green on maps. Very slow or impenetrable.
Fine compass: Precise use of the compass.

                                                                                   Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 4 OF 10

                                                      GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Fine orienteering: Very careful use of the map, compass and pacing. Used in complex terrain and
       when approaching the control from an attack point.
Finish symbol: Double concentric circles on the map indicating the end of the course. May coincide
       with start triangle if the start and finish are at the same place.
Folding the map: Orienteers usually fold their maps to aid concentration on the leg being run, and to
       facilitate thumbing their position.
Follow the leader: Training exercise where the follower, who has a map, has their location checked
       by the leader at periodic stops. Helps learn thumbing and map orientation. Advanced orienteers
       must recall route taken and be able to relocate.
Following: Not allowed in competition (Competition Rules For Orienteering Australia Foot
Orienteering Events Rule 26.2). It is a disqualification offence (Rule 26.11). (This does not apply for
training and introductory assistance for novices and younger juniors.) Staggered starts are used to help
force partcipants to do their own navigation.
Foot orienteering: One of the four official IOF disciplines.
Form Line: Intermediate contour drawn as a dashed brown line. Used where a distinctive land form is
       not shown satisfactorily by the set contour interval.

Green: Vegetation that affects rate of progress. May be designated as pale through to dark according
    to orienteers' pace being slowed to slow run, walk, fight.

Handrail: A linear feature such as a fence or road that can be followed easily. Should be obvious
     feature on junior and novice courses, but should not be available on advanced courses without
     involving significant extra distance or climb.
Hare and tortoise sport: Orienteering nickname. The slow careful participant, the ‘tortoise’, may beat
     the ‘hare’ who is fast but erratic.
Hidden control: A control that is obstructed from view so that luck, not skill is involved to find the
     control. To be avoided in course planning.

Index contour: Every fifth contour line on the map is thicker. This assists calculation of climb on a
     chosen route choice.
IOF control descriptions: An international system of graphic control descriptions. Used at national
     events and major State events, except for junior and novice courses. See link in OT website
     Policy page for complete listing.
IOF: International Orienteering Federation. Australia affiliated in 1969.

JWOC - Junior World Orienteering Championships - international championships conducted
      annually under the auspices of the IOF. Comprises a series of events for men and women under
      age 21 in the year of the event.
Kilometre Rate: Time taken for the course (minutes) divided by its straight-line length (km). Varies
      with the type of terrain.
Kite: Another word meaning control flag.

                                                                                    Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 5 OF 10

                                                      GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Knoll: A small obvious mound or small hill , normally shown by a brown dot, ring contour or form

Leg: The section of a course between two controls. Good course planning will require navigational
     decisions to be made over the whole length of the leg, not just as the control is approached.
Legend: The key to all symbols on a map. Orienteering maps all over the world use standard symbols.
     Usually shown on map or available from event organisers.
Line Event: Training or novelty event where maps are marked with a line indicating the exact route to
     be followed. Participants mark the precise location of each of the controls they find along the
     route (or punch only at controls on the line).
Linear or line feature: A long feature such as a path, fence or stream which appears as a distinct line
     on the map and can be followed on the ground.
Lockable control: A plate holding the control punch which is chained and secured by a padlock so
     that it cannot be stolen. May lie on the ground or be fastened around a tree or pole. Used in
     public streets and other insecure locations. Should be marked by a control flag which may be set
     higher than usual.

Magnetic north: The direction to which the red end of the compass needle points. The north lines on
     an orienteering map show magnetic north.
Manned Control: Observer to check that controls are taken in correct order, particularly if a course
     has crossing legs (not necessary when electronic system is used).
Map: A two-dimensional depiction of the terrain. Orienteering maps are highly detailed and drawn to
     an international standard using IOF approved colours and symbols, usually at a scale of
     1:15,000, but may be 1:10,000 or less depending on the terrain and the intended use.
Map Corrections: These are displayed before the start if there are errors or omissions on the map. If
     competitors are provided with their map before their start time, they can enter the amendments
     on to the map before proceeding to the master map. Map corrections should also be shown on
     master maps. For major events when maps are made available as co mpet itors start, the map
     should have all corrections on the map provided.
Map reading: The art of understanding and interpreting the map detail. The basis of orienteering.
Map walk: A training exercise for novices. Orienteers are led through the bush following the route on
     their maps while the coach stops frequently to ask “where are you?” and points out interesting
     map features.
Marking up your map: Usual at all but major events. Participants copy their course onto their map
     from the master copy for their course provided at the start. This is usually done 6 minutes before
     the allocated start time, but for some events where pre-entry is available the organisers may
     stipulate that the markup is to be done after the start time for those competitors who chose to
     enter on the day. It is better for novices to mark their maps before being started as accuracy is
     essential. At major events, the courses are pre-printed on participants' maps.
Mass start: All participants start at the same time. Used in score events, scatter events and relays.
Master map: A separate map for each course provided at the start, from which participants must copy
     their own course onto their map. They are placed on boards and pens are provided.

                                                                                    Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 6 OF 10

                                                       GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Misplaced marker: A control located in a place other than that shown on the master map or pre-
     printed map. At a major event, if a protest is lodged due to this error, the jury may cancel the
     course (see Rules 26 - 30).
Mountain bike orienteering: Competitors participate on mountain bikes on tracks or like terrain and
     using similar maps to foot orienteering. Courses tend to be correspondingly longer. Mountain
     bike orienteering is one of the four official lOF disciplines.
Multi-day event: An event occurring over two or more days of competition.
Multi-Master Maps: Use of a second (or even third) set of master maps. These are placed out on the
     course for competitors to copy the remainder of their course. Sometimes needed when there is a
     cross-over, or to give sufficient length to courses in a restricted area. Use of electronic punching
     (Sportident) has reduced the need for this practice.

Navigation: The skill of finding your way through unfamiliar bush using a map and compass. The
     basic skill of orienteering.
Needle punch: See control punch.
Night O: Orienteering in the dark. Torches or head lights are used and small lights or reflectors are
     placed with the control stand and marker to aid the orienteer. Course setting requires particular
Novice Course: Cannot be too easy. Needs careful setting using handrails, controls placed on obvious
     features within sight of the handrail, and a control at each main change of direction. Novices like
     lots of controls to find, even over a short distance.
Novice: The beginning orienteer.

O: Abbreviated term for Orienteering, as in O map, O-shoes, etc.
OCAD: A computer program widely used for drawing orienteering maps.
OA: Orienteering Australia. (Orienteering Federation of Australia.) Formed in 1971.
Optimum route: The best, most efficient route between controls for an individual orienteer,
      considering his or her level of fitness and navigation skills.
Orientating: See orienting.
Orienteer: One who enjoys the challenges of orienteering.
Orienteering: A sport in which the competitors visit a number of points marked on the ground,
controls, in the shortest possible time, aided by map and compass. The term competitor means an
individual of either sex, or a team, as appropriate. Can be a competitive or recreational sport.
Nicknamed the “thought sport”, “cunning running”, the “hare and tortoise sport”.
Orienteering Tasmania: Orienteering Tasmania Inc. is responsible for the organisation and
promotion of orienteering throughout Tasmania, and is the Tasmanian member association of
Orienteering Australia.
Orienting the map: Turning the map so it is held in true relationship with the features on the ground
      (i.e. the magnetic north lines on the map point to magnetic north). It is the secret to successful
      navigation and should form the first lesson for any novice group. The map can be oriented either
      by comparing the map directly with the terrain or by using a compass to orient to north.
Out of bounds: Prohibited areas shown by black vertical lines or a khaki green. May be private
      property, or dangerous areas. Must not be entered during the event.

                                                                                      Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 7 OF 10

                                                      GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Overshooting: To go past the control. If this mistake is not quickly noticed, e.g. by recognition of a
     collecting feature, many minutes may be wasted looking for the control in the wrong location.

Pace counting: Measuring distance using your own (known) pace length.
Pacing: Determining distance fairly accurately using personal pace-counting. Can be assessed by
     each person by counting double or single steps over a measured 100 metres. Pacing then also
     must allow for slope, thick vegetation, rough ground and deviations, and whether running,
     jogging or walking.
Parallel Error: Mistakenly finding a feature similar to the correct one and close to it. Course setters
     may site controls where terrain features are repeated to ‘tempt’ orienteers into making these
Park orienteering: A spectator-friendly type of orienteering which is run in a public park or reserve.
     Usually has a limited number of courses, suitable for all abilities, with participants starting at
     short (one or two minute) intervals.
Permanent Course: See Public Course.
Photogrammetry: Making a base map by plotting contours from pairs of aerial photos using a stereo-
     plotter. The accuracy of the base map photogrammetry will largely determine the accuracy of
     the final contour patterns. Mainly done commercially by experts.
Point feature: A feature which does not have any appreciable length and is easy to miss if the
     participant is slightly off bearing, e.g. a small building, a knoll, a boulder or a pit.
Post mortem: Debriefing exercise after the event where route choices and errors are analysed – with
     the help of hindsight.
Pre-entry: For some (usually major) events, participants must submit their entry to the organisers a
     specified time before the event.
Pre-marked map: A map on which the course is already marked. Standard at larger events, especially
     pre-entry events; competitors usually receive a pre-marked map as they start their course.
Pre-start: The area into which competitors are called a few minutes before their start time.
Protest: There is provision in Competition Rules For Orienteering Australia Foot Orienteering Events
     for complaints and protests. (See Rules 27,28 and 29). These are normally only made in major
     events where a competitor considers that they have been disadvantaged by some aspect of the
     event organisation or other competitor's behaviour. At local or other low key events, any concern
     is best discussed with the organiser or club official.
Protractor compass: Also known as a base plate compass. The conventional “Silva type” compass
     with a 360° dial swivelling on a transparent base plate with a direction arrow.
Public Course: Area of public land with permanent posts or other markers available for use by
     individuals to practice orienteering skills.
Punching: Marking the control card with the punch.
Punching technique: The skill of holding the control card and marking it at a control. Various
     methods are used including one and two handed punching methods.

Recommended Course Lengths: Based on estimated winning times for that terrain, not on distance.
Recommended Winning Times: OA gives guidelines in Competition Rules For Orienteering
    Australia Foot Orienteering Events Appendix 1 Section 4. Application should take into account
    the type of event, age and ability of participants, difficulty of terrain and time of year.

                                                                                     Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 8 OF 10

                                                        GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Re-entrant: A gully or small valley shown by one or more contour lines. The opposite of a spur. On a
     map, the contour lines which describe a re-entrant point uphill.
Registration: The place where competitors sign up for an event, pay their fee, and gain any pre-entry
     information. Also refers to the process of pre-entering. A competitor not completing/abandoning
     their course should always report back to the organisers at the registration venue before leaving
     the event to avoid an unnecessary search for them late in the day.
Relay: An event where the distance is divided between members of a team. Usually uses a central
     point as the start and finish and change-over point, with legs arranged in a clover leaf pattern. A
     mass start is used and a scatter strategy must be employed to minimise following.
Relocation: Ways of re-establishing position after getting lost. The skill of finding out the correct
     location after making an error. Ranging from going back one control – through heading for the
     nearest big line feature – to matching a “set” map to the landscape in detail. Many elite
     orienteers rely on rough orienteering coupled with rapid relocation near the control circle.
RICE: Formula for treating soft-tissue injuries - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Ride: A linear gap in the trees or forest such as a fire-break.
Rogaining: Long distance score event. Map scale is generally 1:25,000. The maps are pre-marked and
     the events vary in duration from 6 ,12, 15 to 24 hours. Organised by a separate association in
Rough Navigation: Fast navigation using rough compass bearings across areas where collecting
     features will keep you in map contact.
Route choice: Choosing your best route on a particular leg as an alternative to the straight line route.
     May avoid thick vegetation, climbing or provide safer navigation. Good course setters offer
     many route choices.
Run: Terrain which allows rapid progress. Usually mapped as white (forests) or dark yellow (open) on
Runnability: The ease or speed at which a participant is able to run through a given type of terrain.
     Forest terrain is marked as white or with varying shades of green, and open terrain with varying
     shades of yellow. A rough surface, many fallen logs and density of vegetation all affect the
     runnability of terrain. Vegetation is mapped accordingly, e.g. slow run, walk, fight.

Saddle: A low point between two higher points: usually a lower ridge joining two spurs or hills.
Safety Bearing: A compass bearing issued prior to the event for use if lost completely. The bearing
      directs participants to a major linear feature such as a road.
Safety whistle: A whistle which can be used if a participant is injured or lost. The International
      Distress Signal is six (6) short blasts repeated at one (1) minute intervals.
Scale The distance on the ground represented by distance on the map. Usually orienteering maps are
      1:10,000 (1cm on the map represents 100m on the ground) or 1:15,000 (1cm on the map
      represents 150m on the ground).
Score Event: Participants visit as many controls as possible within a fixed time, e.g., 30 minutes.
      More distant or difficult controls are often allotted a higher point value. Points are deducted for
      the length of time the orienteer arrives after the allotted time is up, say 5 points for every minute.
      The person with the most points wins.
Setting the map: See Orienting the map.
Shadowing: A training exercise in which the coach follows the orienteer around a course, observing
      techniques used. Not allowed during competition. (See Following.)

                                                                                        Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 9 OF 10

                                                        GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Simplification: Ignoring the small details on the map and picking out the information that is essential
      to get to your next control. (See Rough Navigation.)
Site: The location of the control.
Ski orienteering: Competitors participate on skis over similar terrain and using similar maps to other
      orienteering disciplines. Courses are correspondingly longer. Ski orienteering is one of the four
      official IOF disciplines.
Spike: To ‘spike’ the control means to find it immediately without any loss of time.
SPORTident: A system using electronic means of recording. A participant carries a device about
      5cm (2in) in length, which must be inserted into a slot at each control and an audible tone
      indicates that the device has registered the visit.
Spur: A contour projection or 'nose' rising from the surrounding ground.
Staggered Start: The practice of starting competitors on the same course at set intervals, often of two
      minutes, to minimise following.
Stake control: A metal or wooden stake, usually painted red and white and marked with letters or
      numbers. Used on Public Courses.
Star Event: An event in which participants must return to the start between controls. This can be used
      for relay or memory events, or for keeping close contact with novices.
Start Triangle: The centre of the triangle is the start location; on the map its sides should be 7 mm
      and one apex should point to the first control. The start point must be described on the control
      description list.
String Course: A course marked with a continuous string or streamer line. These courses are often
      used with very young children to give them familiarity with the forest. They like lots of controls
      to punch.
Stub: The tear off portion of the control card with participant details and start time, used by some
      clubs. Handed in before the start of an exercise or competition so that it can be used as a safety

Tags: Short brown lines drawn at right angles to the contours on some complex maps. They always
      point downhill and help the orienteer sort “up” from “down”, e.g. to distinguish a large
      depression from a knoll.
Thumb compass: A small compass fixed onto an angled base plate with an attachment to fit over the
      thumb. The map is held in the hand with the compass placed on the map, parallel to the route
      being taken. It enables the orienteer to maintain correct map orientation and to ‘run the needle’.
      (Available for both left and right hands; immovable and movable compass housings; regular and
      fast-setting needles.) It is quick to use for setting the map but is not ideal when beginners need to
      take accurate bearings. Thumb compasses allow an orienteer to carry the map and compass in the
      same hand more easily.
Thumbing: Keeping track of your position on the map by folding the map and holding it with your
      thumb beside your chosen route.
Traffic light orienteering: A useful method of leg simplification. Think of some parts as "green"
      (fast, rough orienteering), "yellow" (slower speed, more care with navigation), and "red" (for
      fine orienteering, particularly near the control site).
Trail orienteering: Orienteering for disabled people. Trail orienteering is one of the four official IOF
Vegetation boundary: A distinct boundary between different types of trees or vegetation.

                                                                                       Last Updated March 2008
PAGE 10 OF 10

                                                     GLOSSARY OF ORIENTEERING JARGON

Vegetation: The type of growth (trees, grass, bushes) that occurs in a particular area.
Visibility: The distance that you can see through wooded terrain. Visibility may be good even where
      runnability is poor, e.g. low bracken with burnt logs.

Walk: An area in which the participant is likely to make slow progress. Usually indicated with mid-
    green on the map.
Window O: A training exercise whereby rough orienteering is used to reach the control area as
    quickly as possible. The orienteer then relocates inside the ‘window’ and navigates to the
WOC: World Orienteering Championships - international championships conducted annually under
    the auspices of the IOF. Comprises a series of events for men and women.

                                                                                  Last Updated March 2008

To top