Orienteering Association of Hong Kong

Orienteering Competition By-law


  ( ______ Amended Items in 2008 )



  1.   Definition

  2.    General Provisions

  3.    Competition Programme

  4.    Event Application

  5.    Classes

  6.    Participation

  7.    Costs

  8.    Starting Order

  9.    Terrain

10.      Maps

11.      Courses

12.      Restricted Areas

13.      Control Descriptions

14.       Control Set-up

15.      Control Cards

16.      Equipment

17.       Start

18.       Finish and Timekeeping

19.      Results

20.       Fairplay

21.      Complaints

22.       Protests

23.       Jury

24.       Appeals

25.       Event Control

26.       Event Reports

27.      Advertising

28.       Media Service


Appendix A                      Ranking League Competitions and Colour Coded Events

Appendix B                      Approved Control Cards and Marking Devices

Appendix C                     Code of conduct for Orienteering


(By-law Version July 2008)

Orienteering Association of Hong Kong

Orienteering Competition By-law



1.        Definition


1.1       Orienteering is 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.


1.2      Types of orienteering competition may be distinguished by:


Ÿ                the mode of movement:

Ÿ                on foot

Ÿ                on skis

Ÿ                on bicycle

Ÿ                other modes

Ÿ                the time of the competition:

Ÿ                day (in daylight)

Ÿ                night (in the dark)

Ÿ                the nature of the competition:

Ÿ                individual (the individual performs independently)

Ÿ                relay (two or more team members run consecutive individual races)

Ÿ                team (two or more individuals collaborate)

Ÿ                the way of determining the competition result:

Ÿ                single-race competition (the result of one single race is the final result. The competitors may compete in different races: the A-race, the B-race and so on, with the placed competitors of the B-race placed after the placed competitors of the A-race and so on)

Ÿ                multi-race competition (the combined results of two or more races, held during one day or several days, form the final result)

Ÿ                qualification race competition (the competitors qualify for a final race through one or more qualification races in which they may be allocated to heats. The competition's result is that of the final only. There may be A- and B-finals and so on, with the placed competitors of the B-final placed after the placed competitors of the A-final and so on)

Ÿ                the order in which controls are to be visited:

Ÿ                in a specific order (the sequence is prescribed)

Ÿ                in no specific order (the competitor is free to choose the order)

Ÿ                the length of the race:

Ÿ                classic distance

Ÿ                short distance

Ÿ                other distances



2.        General Provisions


2.1      This By-law shall apply to all orienteering competitions organised in Hong Kong,  


2.2      This By-law is recommended as a basis for all orienteering events organised in Hong Kong.


2.3      This By-law and any additional regulations shall be binding to all competitors, team  officials and other persons connected with the organisation or in contact with the competition.


2.4      Sporting fairness shall be the guiding principle in the interpretation of this By-law by competitors, organisers and the jury.


2.5       In relays the rules for individual events are valid, unless otherwise stated.


2.6      The Technical Secretary may decide special rules or norms which shall be followed. The Technical Secretary may also allow deviations from these rules and norms. Requests for permission to deviate from them shall be sent to the Technical Secretary at least 1 month prior to the event.


2.7      Additional regulations which do not conflict with this By-law may be determined by the competition organiser. They need the approval of the Event Controller.


2.8      The Orienteering Association of Hong Kong is hereafter referred to as the Association.


2.9       The term club means a club affiliated to the Association. 


2.10     The term member means a registered member of the Association, including a full member, associate member and student member of the Association.


2.11    The term competition embraces all aspects of an orienteering competition including organisational matters such as start draws, team officials' meetings and ceremonies. A competition may include more than one race.



3.        Competition Programme


3.1       The Orienteering Competition season in Hong Kong begins in October and ends in May the following year.


3.2       The Orienteering Championship Competition is the official event to award the title of OAHK Champion.  It is organised under the authority of the OAHK. Orienteering Championship Competitions shall include Classic distance, Middle distance and Sprint competitions.  There is one class for women and one class for men, with no age restrictions.


3.3       The Ranking League Competitions are open orienteering competitions selected by the OAHK to rank its members based on their performance in the competition season.  Winners of the Ranking League shall be awarded the title of OAHK ‘Class’ Champion.  Ranking League Competitions shall comprise of not more than five individual, day, classic distance open orienteering competitions. Competitors are divided into classes according to their sex and age. 


3.4       The Birney Memorial Competition is a pair, day, score competition. The Night Orienteering Championship is an individual, night competition. The Sport Festival Relay Competition is a day, relay competition. And, the Youth Orienteering Championship is an individual, day, classic distance competition for competitors below the age of 24.  These competitions are other annual competitions organised under the authority of the OAHK.


3.5      The Colour Coded Events are orienteering competitions opened to all runners.  Different courses are designed to provide different levels of technical challenge and physical demand and runners are allowed to enter any course in any event irrespective of age and sex.


3.6      Open Orienteering Competitions are orienteering competitions organised by the Association, or by clubs on behalf of the Association, or by any club appointed by the Association for members of the Association and/or open to all runners.  Competitors are divided into classes according to their age and sex.


3.7       Ranking League Competitions shall not be organised with less than 14 days in between.



4.        Event Application


4.1      Any club may apply to the Association to organise an orienteering competition.


4.2      Applications shall be forwarded by the club to the Fixture Secretary with the Association’s Competition Application Form, and the applications shall contain all required information and guarantees.


4.3      The Association may impose a levy on an Orienteering Competition. The amount of the levy shall be announced at least one month before the closing date for applications for that event.


4.4      The Association can void the sanctioning of a competition if the organiser fails to comply with the rules, the norms, the event controller's directions or the information submitted in the application. The organiser cannot claim damages in these cases.


4.5      Applications to organise an orienteering competition shall be received before the orienteering competition season.  The Fixture Secretary may waive this requirement.  The organising club shall be appointed by the Fixture Secretary before September.



5.        Classes


5.1      Competitors are divided into classes according to their sex and age. Women may compete in men's classes.


5.2      The main competition class for women is called W21 and M21 for men.


5.3       Additional competition classes may be opened for competitor of different age group and sex.  For competitors younger than 21, the classes W20 and M20, W18 and M18 and so on with intervals of 2 years are used.  For older competitors, the classes W35 and M35, W40 and M40 and so on with intervals of 5 years are used.


5.4      The age of a competitor on the 1st of January in the competition season shall decide the class the competitor should register for the competition season.


5.5       Should a class have too many entries, it may be split into parallel classes based on the competitors’ previous performances. 


5.6       Each class may be divided into subclasses according to the difficulty and/or length of the courses.  Subclasses according to difficulty and course lengths are named E (elite), if  applicable, A, B, C and N (novice). Subclasses according to course lengths only are named S (short) and L (long).


5.7      Competitors aged 20 or younger are entitled to compete in older classes up to and including 21.


5.8      Competitors aged 21 or older are entitled to compete in younger classes down to and including 21.


5.9       W21E and M21E (WE, ME) classes in the Ranking League Competitions are for elite runners selected by the Association. 


6.        Participation


6.1      A member shall register in only one competition class and represent only one club during a competition season.


6.2      Competitors participate at their own risk. Insurance against accidents shall be the responsibility of themselves, the club or the organiser, according to regulations.




7.        Costs


7.1      The costs of organising an event are the responsibility of the Organiser.  The organiser may charge an entry fee for the competition. This fee shall be approved by the Fixture Secretary.


7.2      Late entries can be charged an additional fee. The amount of the additional fee shall be approved by the Fixture Secretary.


7.3      If the use of official transport to the competition sites is mandatory, the competitor shall be responsible for defraying these costs.



8.        Starting Order


8.1      In an interval start, the competitors of the same class start singly at equal start intervals.  In a mass start, all competitors in a class start simultaneously; in relays this applies only to the team members running the first leg. In a chasing start, the competitors start singly at start times and intervals determined by their previous results.


8.2       The normal start interval for the WE and ME classes should not be less than 2 minutes.  The normal start interval for all other classes should not be less than one minute.


8.3      The start list shall be published prior to the competition.  The start list shall also be displayed at the Event Centre and the Start.


8.4      Before mass start draws, start numbers shall be allocated to each of the various course combinations. The course combinations shall remain secret until after the last competitor has started.



9.        Terrain


9.1      The terrain shall be suitable for setting competitive orienteering courses.


9.2      The competition terrain shall not have been used for orienteering for as long as possible prior to the competition, so that no competitor has an unfair advantage.


9.3      The competition terrain shall normally be embargoed as soon as it is decided by the Organiser.  If that is not possible, then arrangements for access to the terrain must be published as soon as possible.


9.4      Permission for access into embargoed terrain shall be obtained by the organiser if needed.


9.5      Any rights of nature conservation, forestry, hunting, etc in the area shall be respected.



10.      Maps


10.1    Maps, course markings and additional overprinting shall be drawn and printed according to the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) International Specification for Orienteering Maps (2000 ed.) or the IOF International Specification for Sprint Orienteering Maps.  Deviations need the approval of the Technical Secretary.


10.2    The map scale for classic distance races shall be 1:10,000. The map scale for middle distance races and for relays shall be 1:5,000 to 1:10,000.  The map scale for Sprint shall be 1:5000 or larger.


10.3    Errors on the map and changes which have occurred in the terrain since the map was printed shall be overprinted on the map if they have a bearing on the event.


10.4    Maps shall be protected against moisture and damage.


10.5    If a previous orienteering map of the competition area exists, colour copies of the most recent edition must be displayed for all competitors on the day prior to the competition.


10.6    On the day of the competition, the use of any map of the competition area by competitors or team officials is prohibited until permitted by the organiser.


10.7    The competition map must not be larger than required by a competitor to run the course.


10.8    The Association shall have the right to reproduce the event maps with courses in their official publications without having to pay a fee to the organiser.



11.      Courses


11.1    The IOF Principles for Course Planning shall be followed.


11.2    The standard of the courses shall be worthy of a competitive orienteering event. The navigational skill, concentration and running ability of the competitors shall be tested. All courses shall call upon a range of different orienteering techniques.  Courses for short distance shall require, in particular, a high level of concentration throughout the course, detailed map reading and frequent decision making. Courses for classic distance shall require route choice.


11.3    The course lengths shall be given as the length of the straight line from the start via the controls to the finish deviating for, and only for, physically impassable obstructions (high fences, lakes, impassable cliffs, uncrossable thickets, etc.), prohibited areas and marked routes.


11.4    The total climb shall be given as the climb in metres along the shortest sensible route. Given the local terrain, under normal circumstances, the maximum climb should not exceed 6% of the course length.


11.5    In relay competitions, the controls shall be combined differently for the teams, but all teams shall run the same overall course. If the terrain and the concept of the courses permit it, the lengths of the legs may be significantly different. However, the sum of the winning times of the legs shall be kept as prescribed. All teams must run the different length legs in the same sequence.


11.6    In individual competitions, the controls may be combined differently for the competitors, but all competitors shall run the same overall course.


11.7    In any event, the maximum running times shall not exceed:


Ÿ                short distance - 60 minutes

Ÿ                classic distance - 150 minutes

Ÿ                relay - 4 hours


11.8    If the estimated winning time is more than 45 minutes, refreshments shall be available at least every 25 minutes at the estimated speed of the winner.



12.      Restricted Areas


12.1    Rules set by the organiser to protect the environment and any related instructions from the organiser shall be strictly observed by all persons connected with the event.


12.2    Out-of-bounds or dangerous areas, forbidden routes, line features that shall not be crossed, etc shall be marked on the map. If necessary, they shall also be marked on the ground. Competitors shall not enter, follow or cross such areas, routes or features.


12.3    Compulsory routes, crossing points and passages shall be marked clearly on the map and on the ground. Competitors shall follow the entire length of any marked section of their course.



13.      Control Descriptions


13.1    The precise location of the controls shall be defined by control descriptions.


13.2    The control descriptions shall be in the form of symbols and in accordance with the IOF Control Descriptions.


13.3    The control descriptions, given in the right order for each competitor's course, shall be fixed to or printed on the front side of the competition map.


13.4    For interval start competitions, separate control description lists for each course shall be available at the pre-start, (for each competitor on the course).



14.       Control Set-up


14.1    The control point given on the map shall be clearly marked on the ground and be equipped to enable the competitors to prove their passage.


14.2    Each control shall be marked by a control flag consisting of three squares 30 x 30 cm arranged in a triangular form. Each square shall be divided diagonally, one half being white and the other orange (PMS 165).


14.3    The flag shall be hung at the feature indicated on the map in accordance with the control description. The flag shall be visible to competitors when they can see the described position.


14.4    In Classic Distance Event, controls shall not be sited within 30 meters of each other and controls within 60 meters shall have different feature. In Sprint Distance Event, controls shall not be sited within 15 meters of each other and controls within 30 meters shall have different feature.


14.5     Control shall be sited so that the presence of a person punching does not significantly help nearby competitors to find the control.


14.6    Each control shall be identified with a code number, which shall be fixed to the control so that a competitor using the marking device can clearly read the code. Numbers less than 31 may not be used. The figures shall be black on white, between 5 and 10 cm in height and have a line thickness of 5 to 10 mm.  Horizontally displayed codes shall be underlined if they could be misinterpreted by being read upside down (e.g. 161).


14.7    To prove the passage of the competitors, there shall be a sufficient number of marking devices in the immediate vicinity of each flag.



15.      Control Cards


15.1    Only control cards and marking devices approved by the Technical Secretary may be used.


15.2    When non-electronic or combined systems are used, competitors are allowed to prepare the control card, e.g.. by writing on it, by reinforcing it or by putting it into a bag, but not by cutting-off parts of the control card.


15.3    When electronic systems are used, the competitors shall have the possibility of practising before he/she starts the competition.


15.4    Competitors shall be responsible for marking their own card at each control using the marking device provided. Competitors are responsible for correct marking.


15.5    The control card must clearly show that all controls have been visited.


15.6    A competitor with a control punch missing or unidentifiable shall not be placed unless it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor’s fault and that the competitor visited the control. In this exceptional circumstance, other evidence may be used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from control officials or cameras or read-out from the control unit.  In all other circumstances, such evidence is not acceptable and the competitor must be disqualified.


15.7    When systems with visible punch marks are used, at least a part of the punch mark must be in the appropriate box for this control or in an empty reserve box. One mistake per competitor is acceptable, e.g.. punching outside the correct box or jumping one box, provided all punch marks can be identified clearly. A competitor who attempts to gain advantage by inaccurate punching may be disqualified.


15.8    The organiser has the right to have the control card checked by officials at appointed controls and/or to mark the card.


15.9    Competitors who lose their control card, omit a control or visit controls in the wrong order shall be disqualified.


15.10 In Mass start events using non-electronic punching systems, the control cards may be included on the maps and not handed out separately in advance.



16.      Equipment


16.1    As long as the rules of the organiser do not specify otherwise, the choice of clothing and footwear shall be free.


16.2    Start number bibs shall be worn on the chest and clearly visible at all times. The bibs shall not be larger than 25x25 cm with figures at least 10 cm high. The number bibs may not be folded or cut.


16.3    During the competition the only navigational aids that competitors may use are the map and control descriptions provided by the organiser and a compass.


16.4    A whistle shall be carried by all competitors to be used in emergency. Other telecommunication equipment may only be used in the competition area with the permission of the organiser.



17.       Start


17.1    In individual competitions, the start is normally an interval start. In relay competitions, the start is normally a mass start.


17.2    A warm-up area shall be set up next to the start area.  Only competitors who have not started and team officials shall be allowed into the warm-up area.


17.3    The start may be organised with a pre-start before the time start, situated at one edge of the warm-up area. If there is a pre-start, a clock showing the competition time to team officials and competitors shall be displayed there, and the competitors’ numbers shall be called or displayed. Beyond the pre-start, only starting competitors and media representatives guided by the organiser are allowed.


17.4    At the start, a clock showing the competition time to the competitors shall be displayed. If there is no pre-start, competitors’ numbers shall be called or displayed.


17.5    The start shall be organised so that later competitors and other persons cannot see the map, courses, route choices or the direction to the first control. If necessary, there shall be a marked route from the time start to the point where orienteering begins.


17.6    The competitor is responsible for taking the right map. The competitor’s start number, name or course shall be indicated on the map so as to be visible to the competitor before he/she starts.


17.7     The point where orienteering begins shall be shown on the map with the start triangle and, if it is not at the time start, marked in the terrain by a control flag but no marking device.


17.8    Competitors who are late for their start time through their own fault shall be permitted to start. The organiser will determine at which time they may start, considering the possible influence on other competitors. They shall be timed as if they had started at their original start time.


17.9    Competitors who are late for their start time through the fault of the organiser shall be given a new start time.


17.10 The changeover between the members of each relay team takes place by touch. The changeover may be organised so that the incoming team member collects the map of the outgoing team member and hands it over as the changeover touch.


17.11 Correct and timely relay changeover is the responsibility of the competitors, even when the organiser arranges an advanced warning of incoming teams.


17.12 With the approval of the Event Controller the organiser may arrange mass starts for the later legs for relay teams that have not changed over.


17.13 Once a relay team has accepted its disqualification, no further members of that team shall be allowed to start.



18.       Finish and Timekeeping


18.1    The competition ends for a competitor when crossing the finishing line.


18.2    The run-in to the finish shall be bounded by tape or by rope.  The last 10 meters shall be straight.


18.3    The finish line shall be at least 1.5 meters wide and shall be at right angles to the direction of the run-in. The exact position of the finish line shall be obvious to approaching competitors.


18.4    When a competitor has crossed the finish line, the competitor shall hand in the control card including any plastic bag and, if so required by the organiser, the competition map.


18.5    The finishing time shall be measured when the competitor’s chest crosses the finish line or when the competitor punches at the finish line. Times shall be rounded down to whole seconds, or to whole tenths of a second in Sprint races if suitable equipment, approved by the Association, and suitable procedures are used. Times shall be given in either hours, minutes and seconds or in minutes and seconds only.


18.6    Two independent timekeeping systems, a primary and a secondary, shall be used continuously throughout the competition. The timekeeping systems shall measure times of competitors in the same class, relative to each other, with an accuracy of 0.5 seconds or better.


18.7    In competitions with mass or chasing starts, finish judges shall rule on the final placing and a jury member shall be present at the finish line.


18.8    The organiser may set maximum running times for each class with the approval of the Event Controller.


18.9    There shall be medical facilities and personnel at the finish, who are also equipped to work in the terrain.




19.      Results


19.1    Provisional results shall be announced and displayed in the finish area or the assembly area during the competition.


19.2    The official results shall be published no more than 4 hours after the latest allowable finishing time of the last starter.


19.3    The official results shall include all participating competitors. In relays, the results shall include the competitors’ names in running order and times for their legs as well as the course combinations that each ran.


19.4    If an interval start is used, two or more competitors having the same time shall be given the same placing in the results list. The position(s) following the tie shall remain vacant.


19.5    If a mass start or chasing start is used, the placing are determined by the order in which the competitors finish. In relays this will be the team member running the last relay leg.


19.6    In relays where there are mass starts for later legs, the sum of the individual times of the team members shall determine the placing of the teams that have taken part in such mass starts.  Teams taking part in mass starts for later legs are placed after all teams which have changed over and finished in the ordinary way.


19.7    Competitors or teams who exceed the maximum time, shall not be placed.


19.8    Copies of the results shall be published on the Internet within 15 days of the event.



20.       Fairplay


20.1    All persons taking part in an orienteering event shall behave with fairness and honesty. They shall have a sporting attitude and a spirit of friendship. Competitors shall show respect for each other, for officials, journalists, spectators and the inhabitants of the competition area. The competitors shall be as quiet as possible in the terrain.


20.2     In an individual interval start race, competitors are expected to navigate and run through the terrain independently.


20.3    Doping is forbidden. The IOF Anti-Doping Rules apply to all competitions and the Technical Committee may require doping control procedures to be conducted.


20.4    The organiser, with the consent of the Event Controller, may decide to publish the venue of the competition in advance. If the venue is not made public, all officials shall maintain strict secrecy about the competition area and terrain. In any case, strict secrecy about the courses must be kept.


20.5    Any attempt to survey or train in the competition terrain is forbidden. Attempts to gain any information related to the courses, beyond that provided by the organiser, is forbidden before and during the competition.


20.6    The organiser shall bar from the competition any competitor who is so well acquainted with the terrain or the map, that the competitor would have a substantial advantage over other competitors. .


20.7    Team officials, competitors, media representatives and spectators shall remain in the areas assigned to them.


20.8    Control officials shall neither disturb nor detain any competitor, nor supply any information whatsoever. They shall remain quiet, wear inconspicuous clothing and shall not help competitors approaching controls. This also applies to all other persons in the terrain, e.g.. media representatives.


20.9    Having crossed the finish line, a competitor may not re-enter the competition terrain without the permission of the organiser. A competitor who retires shall announce this at the finish immediately and hand in the map and control card. That competitor shall in no way influence the competition nor help other competitors.


20.10 A competitor who breaks any rule, or who benefits from the breaking of any rule, may be disqualified.


20.11 Non-competitors who break any rule are liable to disciplinary action.



21.      Complaints


21.1    A complaint can be made about infringements of these rules or the organiser’s directions.


21.2    Complaints can be made by the organiser or team officials, competitors or anybody else connected with the event.


21.3    Any complaint shall be made in writing to the organiser as soon as possible.  A complaint is adjudicated by the organiser. The complainant shall be informed about the decision immediately.


21.4    There is no fee for a complaint.


21.5     The organiser may set a time limit for complaints and must publish it before the competition.





22.       Protests


22.1    A protest can be made against the organiser’s decision about a complaint.


22.2    Protests can be made by team officials, competitors or event officials.


22.3    Any protest shall be made in writing to the organiser/a member of the jury no later than 30 minutes after the organiser’s has announced the decision about the complaint.


22.4    There is no fee for a protest.


23.       Jury


23.1    A jury shall be appointed to rule on protests.


23.2    The Event Organiser shall appoint the jury.


23.3    The jury shall consist of 3 voting members from different clubs and not being a member of the club organising the event.  The Event Controller shall lead the jury but has no vote.


23.4    A representative of the organiser has the right to participate in the jury meetings but has no vote.


23.5    At least one jury member shall be present at all major activities during the event.


23.6    The organiser shall act according to the jury’s decisions, e.g. to reinstate a competitor disqualified by the organiser, to disqualify a competitor approved by the organiser, to void the results in a class approved by the organiser or to approve results declared invalid by the organiser.


23.7    The jury is competent to rule only if all members are present.  In urgent cases preliminary decisions may be taken if a majority of the jury members agree on the decision.


23.8    If a jury member declares him- or herself prejudiced or if a jury member is unable to fulfill his or her task, the Event Controller shall nominate a substitute.


23.9    Arising from its ruling on a protest, the jury — in addition to instructing the organiser — may recommend that the Association excludes a person from some or all future Association events in the case of a major violation of the rules.


23.10 Decisions of the jury are final.




24.       Appeals


24.1    An appeal may be made against infringements of these rules if a jury is not yet set up, or if the event is over and the jury has dispersed.


24.2    An appeal may only be made by clubs.


24.3    An appeal shall be made in writing to the Technical Secretary as soon as possible.


24.4    There is no fee for an appeal.


24.5    Decisions about an appeal are final.


24.6     The Technical Secretary shall deal with the Appeal.



25.       Event Control


25.1    All orienteering competitions, for which these rules are binding, shall be controlled by an Event Controller. The Event Controller shall be appointed at the time of the appointment of an organiser.


25.2    The Technical Secretary shall appoint Event Controllers for Champions League and Colour Coded Events Competitions.  The Technical Secretary shall decide for which other orienteering competitions he will appoint the Event Controller.


25.3    If the Event Controller is appointed by the Technical Secretary, he or she is the official representative of the Association to the organiser. He or she is responsible to the Technical Secretary.


25.4    The club organising the competition shall always appoint an Event Organiser. This Event Organiser shall assist the Event Controller appointed. If the Association does not appoint an Event Controller for the event, the Event Organiser appointed by the club will be the Event Controller. The controller appointed by the club need not come from the same club.


25.5    All Controllers and Event Organisers shall hold the Association’s controller licence. No Event Controller, Event Organiser or Event Controller’s Assistant may have any responsibility for a participating team.


25.6    The Event Controller shall ensure that rules are followed, mistakes are avoided and that fairness is paramount. The Event Controller has the authority to require adjustments to be made if he or she deems them necessary to satisfy the requirements of the event.


25.7    The Event Controller shall work in close collaboration with the Event Organiser, and shall be given all relevant information. All official information sent by the organiser to clubs and/or competitors, such as bulletins, shall be approved by the Event Controller.


25.8    As a minimum, the following tasks shall be carried out under the authority of the Event Controller:


Ÿ                to approve the venue and the terrain for the event

Ÿ                to look into the event organisation and assess the suitability of the proposed accommodation, food, transport, programme, budget and training possibilities

Ÿ                to assess any planned ceremonies

Ÿ                to approve the organisation and layout of start, finish and changeover areas

Ÿ                to assess the reliability and accuracy of the timekeeping and results producing systems

Ÿ                to check that the map conforms with the IOF standards.

Ÿ                to approve the courses after assessing their quality, including degree of difficulty, control sittings and equipment, chance factors and map correctness

Ÿ                to check any course splitting method and course combinations

Ÿ                to assess arrangements and facilities for the media

Ÿ                to assess arrangements and facilities for doping tests


25.9    The Event Controller shall make as many controlling visits as he or she deems necessary.  The Event Controller shall record his comments and suggestions made to the club-controller and include them in his final report to the Technical Secretary.


25.10 One or more assistants may be appointed by the Technical Secretary to help the Event Controller, particularly in the fields of mapping, courses, financing, sponsoring and media.



26.       Event Reports


26.1    No more than 4 weeks after the event, the organiser shall submit the Competition Report to the Event Controller with the Association Competition Report Form.


26.2    No more than 2 weeks after receiving the Competition Report, the Event Controller shall complete the remaining sections of the Competition Report and submit the report to the Technical Secretary.



27.      Advertising


27.1    Advertising of tobacco and hard liquor is not permitted.


27.2     The names ‘Annual Orienteering Championship’, ‘Champions League’, ‘Colour Coded Events’, ‘Birney Memorial Competition’ and ‘Night Orienteering Championship’ shall not be associated with advertising companies or other sponsors of the events.


27.3     Start and finish banners shall be designed to allow no more than 40% of the area for advertising.


27.4     Start number bibs shall be designed to allow no more than 30% of the area for advertising. The legibility of the start number shall not be disrupted by the design of the bib.


27.5    The Association may issue specific rules for advertising and Sponsorship.




28.       Media Service


28.1    The organiser shall offer the media representatives attractive working conditions and favourable opportunities to observe and report on the event.


28.2    The organiser shall make every effort to maximise media coverage as long as this does not jeopardise the fairness of the event.
Appendix A                 Ranking League Competitions and Colour Coded Events



A.1      Ranking League Competitions


A.1.1   The following classes shall be offered in a Champions League Competition :



Age of Competitor

W10 M10

Not older than 10

W12 M12

Not older than 12

W14 M14

Not older than 14

W16 M16

Not older than 16

W18 M18

Not older than 18

W20 M20

Not older than 20

W35 M35

Not younger than 35

W40 M40

Not younger than 40

W45 M45

Not younger than 45


Not younger than 50

W21 M21

No Limit


No Limit


A.1.2   The minimum age limit in Ranking League Event is 8.


A.1.3   Competitors aged below 18 must get the approval of parents.


A.1.4   Competitors aged 10 or below must complete an OAHK registered training course and finished successfully a registered open event (excluding park events), and also recommended by clubs.


A.1.5   The following maximum course length and expected winning time shall be observed by the course planner. The expected winning time shall be the decisive factor in course planning.



Expected winning time

Maximum course length


70-90 min

8.5 km

WE, M21, M35, M40

60-80 min

7.5 km

M20, M45, W21, W35

50-70 min

6 km

M18, M50, W18, W20, W45, W40

45-65 min

5 km

W16, M16

40-50 min

5 km

W12, W14, M12, M14

30-40 min

4 km

W10, M10

20-30 min

3 km


A.1.6   The Organiser shall allow all the runners of WE and ME classes to start before other classes.


A 1.7   Not more than 30 competitors shall be selected by the Technical Secretary (in consultation with the Training and Coaching Secretary and the Selection Secretary) to run in the WE or ME classes respectively in the Ranking League Competitions for a Competition Season.  Overall Ranking League results of the WE, ME, W21A and M21A classes and other Championship results of the previous season shall be the main consideration but runners of other classes with comparable results shall also be considered.


A.1.8   Ranking scores of a competitor in a ranking competition is calculated as follows:


Competitor’s Ranking Score


1000 x Fastest finish time in the class /

Competitor’s Finish time


A.1.9   The overall ranking score of a competitor in a competition season is the average of his or her three highest ranking scores. 


A.1.10 The overall ranking score of a competitor who has assisted in the organisation of a Ranking League competition, who is unable to participate in that competition, shall be the average of his or her two highest ranking scores.  The name of the competitor must be registered by the Organiser with the Technical Secretary at least two weeks before the competition.  Not more than twenty officials can be registered by the Organiser.


A.1.11 A competitor’s result in a Ranking League Competition shall be counted towards ranking if he or she has registered as a member of the Association three weeks before the competition.


A.1.12 A club shall not organise more than one Ranking League Competition in a competition season. 


A.1.13 The organiser of a Ranking League competition shall provide the Association with a complete results list of all competitors in the specified format.


A.1.14 Clocks with digital display shall be put up at the Event Centre and the Start showing the official event time.  The official time shall not be earlier than the time of the observatory.


A.2.     Colour Coded Event


A.2.1   A maximum of seven courses shall be offered in a Colour Coded Event. 





A.2.2   The following maximum course length and level of difficulty shall be observed by the organiser. 



Maximum Length

Level of Difficulty


2 km

CATI and Family


3 km



4-5 km



3-4 km



5-6 km



4 km



6 km



A.3     Guidelines on the organization of orienteering event for youngsters in League Events


A.3.1   The course must be set along distinctive handrail.


A.3.2   Control points must be placed at distinctive map features.


A.3.3   Leg distance should not exceed 500m.


A.3.4   Length and duration of course must adhere to course setting guideline (Item A.1.5).


A.3.5   May use a map of a larger scale.


A.3.6   The course must avoid the use of hazardous landscape.


A.3.7   Course marshals must be deployed on the course to render assistance and security.


A.3.8   Coach may be deployed at the event centre and start to assist the young competitors.



Appendix B                 Approved Control Cards and Marking Devices


B.1.      Only control cards and marking devices approved by the Technical Secretary may be used.


B.2.      The only automatically approved control registering systems are :

            i.          the traditional pin punch and control card system;

            ii.        the Emit Electronic Punching and Timing System;

iii.         the Chinahealth Electronic Punching and Timing System.

            (for electronic system, competitors should be given adequate opportunity to use it          beforehand)


B.3.      With respect to the traditional system of punching, the control card must satisfy the following specifications:


Ÿ                it must be made of resistant material and not exceed 10 cm x 21 cm in size

Ÿ                each punch box must have a minimum side length of 18 mm

Ÿ                three boxes must be clearly marked as reserve boxes.


B.4.      With respect to the Emit system, the label attached to the competitor’s electronic control card for back-up marking must be such that it will survive the conditions likely to be encountered during a competition (including immersion in water). It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that the back-up card is marked so that it can be used if the electronic punch is missing.


B.5.      With respect to the Chinahealth system, a backup unit must be present at each control - either a second electronic unit or a needle punch. It is the competitor's responsibility to ensure that the electronic punch is in the e-card by not removing the e-card until the feedback signal has been received. If, and only if, no feedback signal is received, the competitor must use the backup unit.


B.6.      The control card, electronic or otherwise, must clearly show that all controls have been visited. A competitor with a control punch missing or unidentifiable shall not be placed unless it can be established with certainty that the punch missing or unidentifiable is not the competitor’s fault and that the competitor visited the control. In this exceptional circumstance, other evidence may be used to prove that the competitor visited the control, such as evidence from control officials or cameras or read-out from the control unit. In all other circumstances, such evidence is not acceptable.


B.7.      When systems with visible punch marks are used, at least a part of the punch mark must be in the appropriate box for this control or in an empty reserve box. One mistake per competitor is acceptable, e.g. punching outside the correct box or jumping one box, provided all punch marks can be identified clearly. A competitor who attempts to gain advantage by inaccurate punching may be disqualified.


B.8.      The use of any other control registering system requires prior approval of the Technical Committee.

Appendix C                Code of Conduct



C.1.     General Provisions


C.1.1   Sporting fairness is the guiding principle of the conduct of persons taking part in any orienteering competition.


C.1.2   Rules on Fairplay in the By-law shall be observed by all persons taking part in any orienteering competition.


C.1.3   Safety instructions given by the organiser shall be observed.


C.1.4   A competitor must carry a compass and a whistle in an orienteering competition.


C.1.5   A competitor shall observe the maximum running time allowed and must return to the finish before the closing time of the course.


C.1.6   A competitors must report back to the finish after starting, notwithstanding he or she may have been disqualified, has withdrawn or has exceeded the maximum running time. 


C.1.7   A competitor who breaks any rule, or who benefits from the breaking of any rule, may be disqualified.


C.1.8   Non-competitors who break any rule are liable to disciplinary action.



C.2.     Respect for the Environment


C.2.1   All persons taking part in an orienteering competition shall respect the environment, protect wildlife, flora and fauna.


C.2.2   All persons taking part in an orienteering competition shall observe local regulations, respect the right of local residents and other people in the competition area.


C.2.3   All persons taking part in an orienteering competition shall not litter, pollute the environment or start any fire.



C.3.     Disqualification


C.3.1   A competitor shall be disqualified if he or she :


Ÿ                assists or interferes other competitors,

Ÿ                follows another competitor deliberately,

Ÿ                uses a map not issued by the Organiser,

Ÿ                fails to wear a number bib on the chest,

Ÿ                falsifies a control card,

Ÿ                fails to run the course and punch controls in the correct sequence in cross-country event,

Ÿ                interferes with any course equipment,

Ÿ                uses any form of technical equipment in his or her competition,

Ÿ                after finishing a course, gives information regarding the event to those waiting to start ,

Ÿ                after finishing, return into the competition area without the approval of event officials



C.4.     Participation in International Orienteering Events


C.4.1   All persons taking part in an international orienteering event inside or outside the territory of Hong Kong representing Hong Kong or the Association or as a participant entering from Hong Kong shall behave in a manner bringing credit to the reputation of the Territory and the Association.


C.4.2   If an official team is organised by the Association and a Team Manager and/or Coach has been appointed by the Association, all official representation to the organiser shall be handled by the Manager or Coach.  Official representation shall include official contacts, entries, enquiries, alterations, complaints and protests.  In addition, all contacts with the media on behalf of the Association and the Team shall be handled by the Team Manager or Coach.


C.4.3   All participants shall follow the official itinerary, schedules and lodging arrangements of the official team.


C.4.4   Team uniform shall be worn by all participants at official functions of the events.


C.4.5   Without the expressed authority of the Association, no person shall solicit sponsorship or support, and enter into any form of travel, sponsorship arrangement with any party on behalf of the Association, its official team and any persons taking part in an international orienteering event.


C.4.6   Individual departures from these directives shall require the endorsement of the Association, the Team Manager or Coach.


C.4.7   Participants in an International Orienteering Event is advised to take out their own travel insurance.