Orienteering is the also called the “thinking sport”, because navigating through open country challenges the mind as well as the body. While running, the athletes consult the map and use a compass to decide in split seconds which route is best to get from one control point to the next. The detailed map shows the controls and indicates the types of terrain the athletes have to contend with. Rough ground, dense forest, steep hills – it is cross country in the true sense of the word. In orienteering, the clock is the judge. Fastest time wins! And electronic equipment verifies that the athletes have passed all control points.

Orienteering featured in The World Games 2013; check the event calendar for all details.

Orienteering will participate at The World Games 2017!

Learn more about Orienteering on The World Games Channel.



The object ...

Orienteering demands advanced skills in reading a highly detailed map and in choosing the best route over complex terrain, all the while moving at high speed. The courses are designed to test both the orienteers' physical strength and navigation skills. Orienteering is a sport that uses no fixed structures, the natural environment is the arena.

In 1897, the first ever public orienteering competition…

... was held in Norway. During its first century orienteering developed from an activity invented in a small corner of northern Europe to a modern, high-technology sport practiced by over one million athletes in countries all over the world. World Orienteering Championships have been organized since 1966. Teams from more than 60 countries participated in the most recent editions. The program includes four competitions for both women and men: a sprint race, a middle distance event, a long distance competition and a relay event for teams of three.

Environmentally sound ...

Orienteers are keenly interested in environmental protection. The sport is conducted to minimize or eliminate environmental impact at its events. In doing so, the sport has gained respect in conservation circles.

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