General Meet Information

All events hosted by SMOC are held rain or shine (or snow!).

Unless otherwise noted, events start at 12 noon, with the last start time at 2 pm. We begin picking up checkpoints at 3 pm. You have three hours to complete your course, so you may want to begin closer to noon. To avoid an unnecessary search and rescue operation, you must check in with the Meet Director after you come back even if you did not finish your course!

Directions to the meet location are linked to the entries in the schedule. Orienteering signs (orange and white square with an arrow) along the roads will direct you to the registration area.

Free instruction is available at all meets, just ask when you sign in. You may rent a compasses for a nominal fee with a deposit of your driver's license or car keys.

At a standard orienteering event there are usually four or five courses, color-named as follows:

  • White (beginner) - checkpoints on trails, takes about 45 minutes to walk
  • Yellow (advanced beginner) - checkpoints near trails, takes about an hour to walk without mistakes
  • Orange (intermediate) - checkpoints on larger off-trail features, takes 75-90 minutes to run, two hours to walk
  • Green (shorter advanced) - checkpoints in detailed, complicated terrain, takes two to three hours to walk, one to two hours to run
  • Red (longer advanced) - a longer version of green: detailed, complicated terrain, three hours to walk with a mistake or three, 90-250 minutes to run with mistakes

At a standard orienteering event, orienteers must visit each checkpoint on the course in the order indicated. The winner for each course is the person who successfully visits each checkpoint on the course in the shortest time.

Score-O events feature many checkpoints of different levels of difficulty without a designated course between the flags. Orienteers choose the ones they wish to visit within the designated time limit. Sometimes checkpoints that are farther from the start/finish or more difficult to find are worth more points than checkpoints that are closer to the start/finish or more easily found. Each finisher earns a score determined by a formula based on the number of flags found, the point value of the checkpoints, and the time it takes to finish. The meet director determines the actual formula used. The winner of the event is the one with the highest score.

Night-O events are similar to Score-O events but begin at dusk, usually on the evening of a full moon. Night-O events usually have a mass start (everyone starts at the same time). Be sure to arrive early to register and mark your map. Bring flashlights and/or a headlamp.

Detailed topographic maps are available at each meet. They are $5 for SMOC members and $10 for nonmembers.