South East Lancashire Orienteering Club

  • Example map of Bolton area
  • Orange/white orienteering control flag
  • Thumb compass
  • Dibber
  • Example orienteering shoes
  • Top UK Orienteer in action
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Event Types

Orienteering events can be characterised in a number of different ways - by level representing the size of the event and consequently the distance people will be willing to travel, by length of the courses on offer and by the type of terrain. Further, there is a nationally recognised system of characterising the length and technical challenge of courses which are identified using colour codes white through to black. 


There are four types of orienteering events from Level A to Level D. Level A events are major national events such as the British Championships, Level B events are high quality competitions for people wishing to travel, Level C events attract participants from around the local Region and Level D events are usually aimed at participants in a 'localised' area such as a town park. Level D events are ideal for newcomers as by defintion there isn't too far to travel, they are low key and people are always on hand to offer assistance and answer any questions. At some events, very young children may also be able to take part on a string courses, where they have their own map and follow a line of string which takes them around a set of controls marked by fun characters. 

Course Lengths

Events are also characterised by the course lengths on offer - Long, Middle and Sprint. The best orienteers will typically take around 60 minutes to complete their courses at Long event, 40 minutes for a Middle event and 20 mintues for a Sprint event.

Terrain Types

Orienteering events traditionally took place in rural locations such as in forests or on open moorland. Such events are described as classic events. This reflects the origins of the sport in Scandanavia, which has vast areas of accessible forests for highly technical orienteering. However, urban orienteering is a fast growing part of the sport and is something many members of the SELOC club are very keen on. Obviously, given our own geographic location urban areas are much closer at hand for orienteering. However, we are fortunate that the West Pennine Moors and Lake District are not too far away.

Types of Orienteering

The SELOC club is predominately interested in the traditional form of on-foot orienteering. However, there are several other forms of orienteering which are growing sports in their own right. Some of these are trail, mountain bike, canoe, ski. We also have a member who is very keen on the more niche activity of radio orienteering. More information is available in the British Orienteering Newcomers Guide.

©2017 South East Lancashire Orienteering Club