OT has identified a need for a regular communication mechanism to:

  • Impart technical information to planners and controllers
  • Provide useful advice to planners and controllers
  • Provide information to event organisers (e.g. policy changes)
  • Educate organisers on available software tools (Condes, SITiming etc)
  • Other stuff will no doubt come to mind…

The intended audience for the newsletter is all those involved in event organisation however anyone else with an interest in event organisation is welcome to join the mailing list.  The plan is to have regular contributions from those responsible for the more technical aspects of our sport, but others with something to share, e.g. what went wrong or worked really well at an event, are more than welcome to contribute. Contributions should be sent to Lindsay Pender.  Suggestions for other discussion items relating to the more technical aspect of Orienteering are also welcome.

We plan on the newsletter going out monthly. Links to the newsletter as sent can be found here. Past articles included in the newsletter follow. Use the website search box if you wish to find out whether information exists about specific issues.

June 09, 2021

CONDES tricks and tips (Greg Hawthorne)

Have you ever wanted to have a partial marked route (e.g. for a leg that contains some difficult navigation for the classes running the course - in the example below from the start to the track, but once competitors reach the track you want them to navigate the rest of the leg), you can have a partial marked route to the track, as in this example: The control description will appear as follows: This indicates that there is a marked route of 400 metres to the track, but there are no markings beyond the track and competitors are expected to navigate to the next control from the end of the… ...Read Full Article
June 09, 2021

SI Unit numbers in Condes (Jeff Dunn)

Each control you create in Condes is assigned an SI Unit number. If you already know which SI units are available for your event then put the lowest number in the dialogue box when you create the first control, and the number will increment for all following controls. The control numbers are passed from the Condes file to the SITiming event software so it understands the courses. When taping control sites in the bush, write the SI number on each tape to help ensure that each unit is at its intended site. I saw an Aus MTBO Champs organiser grieve when he realised that the last couple of… ...Read Full Article
June 09, 2021

Safety at Events (Sally Wayte)

At the last OST event at Royal George a young competitor became injured and disoriented, necessitating a search and rescue operation at course closure. Fortunately she was found safe and well by one of the search teams. This is a good reminder that organisers need to be aware of the appropriate safety precautions as well as search and rescue procedures. Safety at events is the ultimate responsibility of the controller of the event. All event organisers must read OT's Event Safety Policy (on the Organiser’s Toolkit) prior to events. A copy of this is also in the trailers, and a brief version… ...Read Full Article
June 09, 2021

Crossing points and marked routes. (John Brammall May 06)

At times the course planner has to consider the possibility that the route choices might be restricted because of various hazards or other limitations Let’s think about each of the following examples: There are dangerous features, such as high cliffs, in the area (eg. Sandstone Valleys, Golden Fleece). There are numerous watercourses with thick vegetation (eg. Littlechild Creek). The land manager has asked that certain areas be avoided because of stock or protected plant species. There are difficult fences which some competitors might have difficulty crossing. In the interests of risk… ...Read Full Article
May 11, 2021

Controllers Corner - Control placement (John Brammall)

The most crucial aspect of an orienteering course is that every control is exactly where it is meant to be. An incorrectly placed control will almost inevitably mean the cancellation of any course that uses that particular control. One of the main tasks of the controller is to ensure that controls are correctly and fairly placed for an event. There are a couple of basic "rules" that govern the placement of controls in general: On easy navigation courses, there needs to be a control at every major change of direction. The controls need to be placed on the approach side of the feature so they… ...Read Full Article
May 11, 2021

Event cancellation (Sally Wayte)

Due to the large amount of work that goes into planning, orienteering events are rarely cancelled. Yes, I can hear you all laughing - last year probably set a record for the number of events cancelled. Not only did we cancel numerous events due to COVID, we cancelled the Tasmanian Middle Champs in St Helens at the last minute due to high winds and fire. It’s pretty stressful making the decision to cancel. On the day of the Tas Middle Champs last year (which would have been the day of the Australian Long Distance Championships if COVID hadn’t already cancelled that) the organisers, as well as… ...Read Full Article
May 11, 2021

Condes leg lines (Jeff Dunn)

Recently Condes imposed a gap between the control circle and the red line to the next control. For very close controls this can result in no red line at all, or worse, just a red dot midway between. This is a deliberate attempt to prioritise map detail over red line, but you might not like it and it can be changed. Such settings are found in Canvas > Course overprint symbols and dimensions, and this particular one is in the submenu Additional dimensions and fonts > Gap between circle and leg line. Changes apply to every control so if you want to tune this differently for each control you need… ...Read Full Article
May 11, 2021

Control numbers and control codes (Greg Hawthorne)

At the recent Australian 3-Days, some courses had a leg from 5-6 that for many competitors (myself included) became 5-9 when the nearby control 9 was mistaken for a 6 (unfortunately it's only an obvious mistake when you look at the actual map - I defy anyone to work out the legs by looking at the Livelox version of the M70 course for Day 1). "How could you be so dumb?" I hear you say, and that's a fair comment, but should the controller have noted it and suggested a course change? Identical control codes and controls within the proscribed limits It’s unlikely to happen in Tasmania, but where… ...Read Full Article
May 10, 2021

Checking Control Sites for a Twilight Event (Cathy McComb)

So you've set the courses and now it's time to check the control sites for twilight event - but what exactly are you checking for?.. Here's a list of things to go through at each site: 1. Is the map correct in the area of the control? This is important - do things look right? Are there any new buildings or obstacles (construction work, new paths). Does it all make sense to you? If it does, then it's fine. If it doesn't, consider moving the control or getting a map update before using that site (contact Greg Hawthorne to discuss a map update) 2. Will you need a lockable control (most likely if… ...Read Full Article
March 24, 2021

Navigating to the finish versus following a marked route (Greg Hawthorne)

When using Condes to plan courses, ever wondered why the leg from the last control to the finish appears dashed instead of a solid line? The default option in Condes is to indicate a marked route from the last control to the finish (for a full description of the different options, see the “Nature of route from the last control to the Finish” section of the IOF Control Descriptions 2018 manual). If you don’t have a marked route, right click on the finish point on the map and select the “Finish point/No markings” option in the “Finish route markings” drop-down box. ...Read Full Article
March 24, 2021

Map collection point and marked route to the start triangle (Greg Hawthorne)

How to have a marked route from the map collection point to the start triangle if they are not the same location and you feel the distance or terrain warrants it. If the actual start is some distance from the timed start (the map collection point), for example, fifty metres or more, you can show a marked route from the timed start to the start triangle in Condes by right-clicking the start triangle and selecting the “Marked route from time start” check box in the Start point dialog box. If you want to indicate on the control description that there is a marked route to the start triangle,… ...Read Full Article
March 24, 2021

Controllers Corner - Bingo Controls (John Brammall)

What is a bingo control and how do I identify one when course planning and control checking? A bingo control is one where there is no good attack point within reasonable distance of the control – for example a boulder on a broad hillside. It becomes a "bingo" because competitors are more likely to get to it by good luck rather than good navigation, or because they see another competitor at or near the control. Course planners most typically make the mistake of setting a bingo control when setting up a contour leg which is probably too long. Remember, if you are course planning, you need to… ...Read Full Article
March 24, 2021

Ask Turbo

Everyday orienteers ask Turbo the questions they have always wanted to know, but have been afraid to ask. Dear Turbo, While orienteering the other day I spent ages looking for a control then finally found it in the wrong spot. Should I have moved to the correct spot so everyone who came after me didn't have to suffer like I did? S. Oshure Mt Nelson Dear S.Oshure, I'm assuming from your letter that you didn't actually move it ? If this is the case, you did the right thing. The placement of the controls is the organisers & controllers responsibility and even if you are completely right in your… ...Read Full Article
March 24, 2021

WCGWWGW (What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong) (Cathy McComb)

In this edition of WCGWWGW we look at how efforts to improve a course led to a misplaced control on the day of the event. A month before a scheduled event, the organisers of an OST event visited the relatively remote area and spent the weekend taping control sites. One particular site was to be used on a moderate course and they weren't totally convinced of its suitability when they visited it. As they weren't going to get a chance to revisit the area before putting out controls the day before the event, they taped the site anyway, but made a mental note of a few alternative locations nearby… ...Read Full Article
March 24, 2021

Organising an Event on PWS-managed Land (Sally Wayte)

Orienteering Tasmania has an agreement with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service to conduct orienteering events on Reserved and Crown land. This agreement is reviewed and renewed each year. This means we do not need to seek permission for each event, but we do need to inform the relevant park manager at least four weeks before the event, and abide by some regulations. The maps that come under this agreement and the contact details for the park managers are listed on the agreement (which you can find on the Organiser's Toolkit of course - did I mention that before?). · Inform relevant park… ...Read Full Article
February 17, 2021

Course Planning Symbols (Greg Hawthorne)

Course planning symbols and their dimensions are defined for forest competition in ISOM2017-2 (International Specification for Orienteering Maps 2017), and for sprint competition in ISSprOM 2019 (International Specification for Sprint Orienteering Maps 2019). Both these documents are available from the IOF (International Orienteering Federation) website Competition format Start triangle Control circle Control number Finish circles Sprint (1:4 000) 7 mm sides 6 mm diameter 4 mm height Concentric circles, diameters 5 mm and 7 mm Forest (1:15 000) 6 mm sides 5 mm diameter 4 mm height Concentric… ...Read Full Article
February 16, 2021

Controllers Corner - Dog Legs (John Brammall)

Starting back in June 2005, John Brammall who sadly departed a couple of years back, started a regular contribution to what was our monthly newsletter, O-Know. John’s comments which he named Controllers Corner, are as relevant today as they were back then. Valerie has kindly allowed us to reuse John’s Controllers Corner columns so they will become a regular contribution to our newsletter. Valerie sees it as a fitting tribute that his contribution and passion for orienteering lives on and that through the column he continues to give back to the sport. Those he had encouraged or controlled… ...Read Full Article
February 13, 2021

What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong (WCGWWGW) (Cathy McComb)

I think we all agree that from a participant’s perspective, orienteering is great fun. I think we would all also agree that organising an orienteering event is challenging. It’s not rocket-science difficult, it’s just there’s a lot to things to think about, and there are so many ways that things can go wrong. What is ‘wrong’ ? Unfortunately there are also many different types of ‘wrong’! There’s the obvious mistake like a misplaced control. There’s ‘wrong’ in terms of the courses being wildly too long or too difficult for their audience. There’s other ‘wrongs’ when the queue for the toilets… ...Read Full Article
February 12, 2021

Organiser Updates (Sally Wayte)

This section of the technical newletter is intended to keep organisers up to date with anything new you need to know. For our first newsletter we have a bumper edition because we have made a few changes recently. ‘READ THIS FIRST’ – The Organisers’ Toolkit The first thing you need to know about is the Organisers’ Toolkit. Here you can find lots of resources: orienteering rules; advice on how to organise events and set courses; information on Condes; our safety and cancellation policies; documents you may need to provide to landowners; and templates for providing information about your event.… ...Read Full Article
February 09, 2021

Condes Tips (Jeff Dunn)

In praise of broken circles Condes is the tool we use for course planning. It is awesome software and can do more than any of us know, yet it doesn't take long to learn enough to create most events. Your finished courses in Condes will be very satisfying to you, but this is not the end product. What really matters is the piece of paper (damp, wrinkled, possibly blood-spattered) in the runner's hand. Good courses can be spoiled unless the printed map gives the runner all possible information. Condes provides functions to help maximise the clarity of the printed map. This is all explained in… ...Read Full Article