General Event Information
Course Types |
Start and Finish Times |
O-meets can range anywhere from meticulously planned, multi-day, international events down to small,
informal gatherings. O-meets are categorized as "A", "B", or "C" level, and will offer multiple courses for
different combinations of age, skill, and conditioning. Each course has a standard color that describes its
length and difficulty.
- Beginners are always welcome and people are always available to share information on
how to register, start and complete a course!
- Registration and start times are from 12 noon to 1:30 pm for summer meets. You must
complete your course by 3:30 pm. Please consider arriving earlier in the start window if you
intend to take more than two hours on your course. Fall and winter meets are generally
an hour or so earlier because of the earlier sunset, with a corresponding change in course
closing time. Check the schedule for specific times.
- Meets are only cancelled for extreme weather conditions in winter. A
meet will be cancelled if the wind chill is a sustained -20°F or
below at the start time of the event. At other times of the year, extreme
weather can occur with little or no advance warning, therefore: In case of
lightning or other severe weather, participants should take shelter and/or
proceed at their own risk.
- Wear old clothes, jeans, long-sleeved shirt, running or hiking shoes. Dense brush,
poison ivy, and bugs are hard on exposed skin!
- Bring a protractor
plate compass and a whistle. Plan to arrive early if you need instruction on using a map and compass.
You can also rent a compass at the meet, and purchase a whistle if you don't already have one.
- We ask that you follow some rules of etiquette
while participating in one of our events. Most of them are common sense, but there are a few
peculiar to the sport.
MNOC uses standard colors to represent the length and difficulty of courses:
||Controls are located
||2 - 3 km (1.2 - 2.0 mi)
||On the trail
||3 - 4 km (2.0 - 2.5 mi)
||On/near the trail
||4 - 5 km (2.5 - 3.2 mi)
||On/near the trail
||3 - 4 km (2.0 - 2.5 mi)
||Mostly off trail
||4 - 6 km (2.5 - 3.8 mi)
||Mostly off trail
||5 - 8 km (3.2 - 5.0 mi)
||Mostly off trail
||7 - 12 km (4.4 - 7.5 mi)
||Mostly off trail
Start and Finish Times
In order to provide a safe event and respect our volunteers' workload, our meets have a few rules about start and finish times. You can start a
course anytime during the start window, and need to be back at the finish no later the course closing time.
For regular meets, these times are listed below. Some special events may have earlier or later start/finish times, so be sure to look at
the schedule for the event you're planning to attend. If you expect to take a long time on a course, we suggest
that you arrive early in the start window so you can complete the course before it closes. Volunteers will begin picking up controls
after the course closes, and you don't want to be looking for a control that's already been removed.
In addition, each course itself has a time limit of three hours, unless specified otherwise as part of a special event. This means, for example,
if you start a course at 12:15, you should be back at the finish by 3:15 even though the course may not be closed yet. Any results over
three hours are automatically marked OVT (overtime). We ask that you return to the finish within this time, even if you haven't completed
|Season||Start window||Course closing||Time limit|
|Winter (January 1 - start of Daylight Savings Time)||12 pm - 1 pm||3 pm||3 hours|
|Spring/Summer/Fall (during Daylight Savings Time)||12 pm - 1:30 pm||3:30 pm||3 hours|
|Fall (after Daylight Savings Time ends)||11 am - 12:30 pm||2:30 pm||3 hours|
|Minnegoat (usually Fall)||11 am mass start||3:30 pm||4 1/2 hours|
MNOC charges only for the cost of maps that you use. Up to 3 people may go out together, share one map, and pay only one fee.
Larger groups should have additional map(s) for safety.
|Junior members (under 20)||$6.00 per map|
|Adult members||$7.00 per map|
|Non-members||$10.00 per map|
|Electronic punch rental||Free, if required for the event.|
|Compass rental||$1.00 each|
|Whistle purchase||$1.00 each|
|Additional maps||$3.00 each|
|Online preregistration (if offered)||$2.00 discount per map|
MNOC has compasses available for rent at all events. We will ask that you leave your car keys or an ID card as deposit
until you return the rented item. Lost compasses will incur a charge of $10, enough to cover the cost of replacement.
At events that require electronic punching, finger sticks will be provided free of charge for the courses that require them.
Lost E-punches incur a charge of $35 - just enough to cover the cost of replacement.
You may also purchase an MNOC whistle to keep for $1.00. We do not rent whistles for reasons of hygiene.
Finally, please take advantage of our $2 online preregistration discount! You can register for almost all MNOC events right
from the Schedule page, pay online via Paypal or credit card, and not have to worry about
registration at the event - just show up ready to orienteer. Preregistration also helps us to plan for the right number of people,
and have the right number of maps available.
Note that some MNOC events may have fees different than listed above, depending on the nature of the
event. If so, the prices will be listed on the schedule and posted at the meet site. Also, keep in
mind that most regional and state parks have entry fees.
MNOC uses electronic punching on selected courses at some meets. A rented finger stick is used that records the time
at each control. This stick is then downloaded at the finish to give a record of the total course time and the
time for each leg of the course. This allows for discussions of time taken for each leg of the course, as well as
on-line "armchair" orienteering with splits analysis. An example of split times is
MNOC also offers RouteGadget, a browser plugin that allows you draw your route on a course map and compare
with other orienteers on the same course. It even offers an animation feature so you can compare the consequences
of your route choices with others' route choices.
Routegadget is usually available for all E-punch courses. Click on the link in the menu to the left for recent E-punch events.
Sometimes we will hold special event types to provide other kinds of orienteering challenges. Some of the events that MNOC has organized in the past are:
|Sprint||less than 2.5 km||Beginner-Intermediate||A sprint event is a short course, usually less than 2.5 km, with beginner to intermediate
level navigation. Sprints are often held in a compact area, with many control points close together and rapid changes of
direction. They are best suited for a compact or urbanized area such as a city park. The key to sprint events is quick
decision making and good micro route choice, although participants are also welcome to take the course at a slower pace
and enjoy the park. MNOC's sprint events are part of the national
Sprint Series, and
participants can choose to earn Sprint Series points.|
|Adventure Run||around 6 km||Intermediate||This is a new orienteering format introduced the fall of 2005. Teams of two or
more people mass start on a short (45 minute) intermediate-level course in a city park. A series
of runs are held on consecutive weeks at the same location, but with different courses. Points are accumulated to
determine the series winners.|
|Long||10 km or more||Any, usually Advanced||As the name suggests, a Long-O is
a course that covers a greater distance than usual. Typical distances
10 km or more. Although the course can be of any level of difficulty,
a Long-O often combines a lower level of difficulty with a longer course.|
|Minnegoat||around 15 km||Intermediate-Advanced||The Minnegoat is a Long-O.
It is a special annual event that tests the endurance and
orienteering skills of its participants. It is typically 15km
long and may involve multiple maps and optionally skipped controls.
Navigation is intermediate to advanced. There is a mass start at
11 AM and participants are allowed 4 1/2 hours to complete the course.|
|Score||Variable||Any||The object of a Score-O
is for the participant to visit as many controls as possible in a
preset time. Many controls are usually scattered around the meet
area, with no set course between the controls. The participant
can choose which controls to visit (or not visit) and in which
order. The challenge of a Score-O is to decide the most efficient
order to visit the controls within the alloted time.|
|Night||Variable||Any||A orienteering event held at night. Flashlights and headlamps are allowed
(no floodlights, please - be courteous!) Night orienteering gives you a chance to practice more navigation,
since it's not easy to spot the controls unless you're right on top of them.|
|Adventure-O||around 40 km||Intermediate||An Adventure-O shares a lot with the
fast-growing sport of adventure racing. Teams of two to four people
will run several legs with different modes of transportation such as run,
bike, swim, or canoe. Each leg is based around finding control points and
there is a heavy orienteering component to the race. There are often team challenges that
must be completed between the legs (and they are kept a surprise until race day!)|
|Rogaine||20 km or more||Intermediate-Advanced||A Rogaine is a long foot
orienteering event, both in length of courses and time allowed.
Rogaines usually have at least a 4 hour time limit, and can be as
long as 24 hours. For safety reasons, participants are usually
required to team up with at least one other person. Rogaines are
usually set up as a Score-O, where each team can choose the
route to any control.|
|Beginner||less than 4 km||Beginner||A special event held
for the first time or beginning orienteer. There will be several
people ready to provide an introduction to orienteering, a map
and compass introduction, or basic instruction to anyone who asks
for help. There will generally be only beginner (White) and
advanced beginner (Yellow) courses set. These courses are
suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. The controls
are placed on the trails.|
|Permanent||Variable||Beginner-Intermediate||These are courses that are permanently
set in a select few parks. You may make use of the course as it fits your
schedule for recreation or training.
MNOC has set permanent courses at five locations around the Twin Cities,
one in northern Iowa, and one near Sioux Falls, SD.
See the POC page for more information.|
|Bike||Variable||Beginner-Intermediate||The only difference for a Bike-O is that the
mode of transportation is a bicycle. Controls are on or near bike trails.|
|Ski||Variable||Intermediate-Advanced||A course set in winter, on or near trails. Participants
use skis to complete the course. Ski orienteering is mostly on-trail and relies heavily on route choice.|
|Snowshoe||less than 6 km||Any||A course set in winter, usually off-trail and requiring
snowshoes to complete. Difficulty is similar to foot-O courses in the warmer months, and length is adjusted for snow conditions.|
|"Tri"||Variable||Any||An orienteering event involving
three modes of transportation, like a triathlon. These modes are usually run or
walk, bike or rollerblade, and swim or boat.|
|Mail-in||Variable||Intermediate-Advanced||This is a special orienteering course, not an
event. A MNOC original idea, the Mail-in O is an
unattended orienteering course set for 3-5 weeks at a time. The
course is set exactly as one of the A-level courses set by
the club in the past. Instead of controls you will find a piece
of orange tape with the control code on it.
If you have a map, an
Mail-in O is an excellent training opportunity because you can take
your time and read the terrain, rather than hurrying to the
finish. Since the Mail-in course was used for an "A" meet, the
course will be of excellent quality and provide a real challenge.
You may choose to do the course
as many times as you like, and attack the controls in any order you like. Please
be careful, file a trip plan with someone you know and take
adequate precautions when venturing into the woods. For more
information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
|Other||Occasionally MNOC will host various activities
designed to teach orienteering skills. These can be the perfect way to hone
your own skills and benefit from the experience of other orienteers.|
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