Orienteering EventsTypes, Formats and Competitions

Last updated: Tue 18 Oct 2022

Local events are usually low key and in the 'localised' area, ideal for newcomers to try the sport and Training events are non competitive and used for training and coaching, aimed at members of the club, but they can attract people from neighbouring clubs, and are often ideal for newcomers to try the sport. Regional events attract participants from around the local Region, National events are high quality competitions that will attract people from far away, Major events are Major Events such as a British Championships. Virtual events are where there are no physical controls being used. Your presence at a control is registered using an App on your mobile phone, normally the free MapRun6 App.

The important thing to remember about orienteering events is that, with the exception of a handful of really big events and some night events, all our orienteering events have courses suitable for everyone from young juniors and complete beginners to experienced orienteers. Most DFOK events are accessible by public transport.

There are 10 other orienteering clubs in the South East of England, and between them there is orienteering several times a week somewhere in the south east of England.
This map lets you see all events within a distance of your postcode

Event Formats

Normal: There are a fixed number of controls to visit in a specific order.

Score: There are a number of controls, from which you select which ones and how many you will visit, you score points at each one. Sometimes different controls have a different number of points. There is usually a time limit and the winner is the one with most points in the shortest time.

Relay: A team (usually 3 people, but sometimes up to 11) run separate courses, one handing over to the other. The team's total time is what counts.

Virtual: Any of the above, but there are no physical control markers. You use a App (MapRun) to record you visiting a control, using the GPS in your phone (or watch).

Night: Any of the above, but in the dark!

Urban: Any of the above, but on city/town streets.

Leagues and Competitions

Orienteering events are organised into many different leagues and competitions. Leagues and competitions can be competitions for clubs or individuals. You don't normally have to do anything special to enter them, just turn up on the day and your score will automatically be calculated. Most DFOK members will pick and choose from the many events on offer. The following competitions are the ones DFOK members most frequently attend:

North West Kent Series: Friendly Saturday morning events in Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich. 1 per month in the warmer months. There is just one course, a 45 minute score* course (visit any number of controls in any order) with everybody starting and finishing together and prizes given out within 20 minutes of the last finisher, making these very friendly events. This type of course suits all levels of orienteers. There are individual leagues for women, men and juniors.

Kent Orienteering League (KOL): Friendly Saturday informal events. Very popular with DFOK members and juniors. Yellow (very easy), Orange (easyish) Light Green (moderate) and Blue (hard). 10 events in the league. There is an individual leagues and a schools league.

Kent Night Cup (KNC): Midweek evening 60 minute score events held every week between September and March. Generally in forests but sometimes street events. Popular with DFOK night orienteers and adventure racers. Some controls are easy and DFOK have a powerful head torch you can borrow if you need one. Evening meal in local pub or similar after the event. There is an individual league.

CompassSport Cup: Very popular inter-club knockout competition. In the past few years we have been narrowly beaten by Mole Valley and Essex Stragglers, but hope to make the final soon.

South East Leagues: Large events held in technically challenging terrain with generally longer and harder courses. However there are always easy courses for beginners. There is an inter-club league (with two divisions). Read more about the South East League and Championships.

South London Orienteers (SLOW) street O series: Similar to Kent Night Cup, but always street events in South / West London. Individual league.

London Park series: Summer evening park events, cross country format, fairly easy navigation in open parks which suits orienteers who want a fast run and also runners. These events are popular with London based DFOK orienteers and runners and there is an individual league

SAXONS and SLOW trail challenges: Long but technically easy courses aimed at orienteers who want a faster run, and runners who want to try something different.

GLOSS series: Used to be known as Frolics. 5 Sunday morning events in June and July in or near London. Yellow, Light Green and an extra course for those who want a longer run. Includes a club league.

DFOK club championship: Once a year competition to see who is the best in the club!

Ranking events: Larger events where competitors gain ranking points for the national rankings. Includes South East League events and national events such as the British Championships.

Multi-day and holiday events: Friendly, family focused events, usually in more remote areas with technical orienteering, often with a campsite and event centre. These events can be very popular (sometimes with several thousand competitors) and are held throughout the world.

London City Race: A big annual event where hundreds of orienteers race across the streets of Central London.

* a score course is where competitors can visit any number of controls in any order. A cross country orienteering course is a course where competitors visit a set number of controls in a set order.