Revised 11 October 2019

The following advice has been prepared primarily for use by controllers for Classic events. It may need to be expanded or amended for major events such as the ACT Championships or National Orienteering League events. It may also be applied in a simplified form to the controlling or vetting of Metro and Runners Shop Twilight events.

A controller shall be appointed for all Classic events. The primary duty of the controller is to ensure the fairness, safety and adherence to established standards for the class of event being organised. The controller shall have the deciding voice in these matters. If an irresolvable difference of opinion arises, the Classic Series Coordinator should be consulted.

The general responsibilities of the controller are as follows:

  • To ensure that the course planner and organiser know the scope of their jobs.
  • To ensure that the timetable of event preparation is observed.
  • To supervise all aspects of the event, right up to ensuring the correct publication of results and submission of reports.
  • To ensure adherence to the Orienteering Australia Competition Rules.
  • To attend the event and to sit as a non-voting member of the jury (if one is convened).

It is the responsibility of the controller, several months before the event, to confirm that the course planner has received advice of map details, nominated parking areas, and any other matters affecting course setting. It is the controller’s responsibility to ensure that the required tasks are carried out by the course planner and organiser.

The controller should not personally carry out any tasks.

Controlling Schedule

The following schedule provides a checklist for activities for typical ACT League events. 
It may be modified for major events, e.g. ACT Championships.

Task Time to complete

Before the Event

Meet with course planner to agree on a timetable of event preparation, and to visit the site to discuss various alternatives for the courses, position of Start, Finish and parking areas.
10+ weeks
Approve information for the OACT website in conjunction with organiser and course planner.
10+ weeks
Discuss on-line entry arrangements with OACT Office Manager and organiser (pre-entry events only).
10+ weeks
Approve armchair course plans.
6-7 weeks
Check taped controls, control descriptions and map corrections
4-5 weeks
Confirm final arrangements for hire of toilets and other special equipment.
4-5 weeks
Meet with course planner to confirm final courses, control sites and printed control descriptions.
3-4 weeks
Confirm arrangements have been made for transport of equipment to the event site.
3 weeks
Confirm map and final courses for printing
2-3 weeks
Confirm final administrative arrangements, in particular the number of helpers, especially those with knowledge of the computing and timekeeping SI equipment, are rostered.
2 weeks
Approve final instructions for website.
2 weeks
Confirm conduct of the start draw (pre-entry events if required).
8+ days
Confirm start lists and event instructions are published on website (pre-entry events only).
7 days
Confirm all personnel and equipment (including toilet delivery or towing).
7 days
Ensure control stands (if used for SI units) are out.
7 days
Check that organiser has emergency telephone numbers, satellite phone (if required) and keys if required for access.
7 days
Check that printed maps (including maps with all controls for control collection) are satisfactory and in sufficient numbers.
5 days
Check arrangements for transporting/placing water.
5 days
Ensure controls are put out (see also ‘At the Event’).
1 day
Confirm transport of equipment to assembly area.
1 day

At the Event

Ensure all SI units are out and activated.
Be available as required, including convening a jury if necessary.
Ensure all competitors return and confirm that there is no need for a search or there are no significant injuries or incidents that require further action.
Check results to ensure that there are no outstanding issues.

After the Event

Ensure control collection is done, and assembly area is clean and tidy.
Same day

Approval for Armchair Courses (6-7 weeks)

Before the planner goes out to tape, the controller should check the initial course plans. This is done to minimise the amount of changes that need to be made to the courses after taping controls. In particular, you should check the following:

  • Are all the required courses planned?
  • Do the courses comply with OACT guidelines?
  • Are the courses a fair test of orienteering skills?
  • Do any of the possible routes cross out-of-bounds or dangerous areas?
  • Are planned drinks controls appropriate?
  • Is the number of courses using common controls such that the number of competitors in the area may result in unfair situations arising?
  • Are the course lengths and climb such that the expected winning times will be near the suggested winning times?
  • Are excessive numbers of competitors passing through controls in potentially sensitive areas?

Field Checking Taped Control Sites (4-5 weeks)

There are a number of things to check when looking at taped control sites. As a final checklist for controllers, refer to the points below:

  • Are the controls and the surrounding features correctly mapped?
  • Are the relevant attack points correctly mapped? ·Are the tapes correctly located as indicated on the map and control descriptions?
  • Are the number codes of nearby controls sufficiently different to avoid misreading? Watch for 161 & 191, 378 & 387, 234 & 432, etc.
  • Can each control site be described with IOF control description symbols? Watch out for circles that will be larger at the scale of the final map.
  • Do the control descriptions correctly describe the control site’s feature as drawn on the map?
  • Do the control descriptions give correct dimensions for the control site feature?
  • Do the control descriptions correctly describe the position of the marker with respect to the site feature?
  • For Pre-entry events, is the Start adequately concealed from the map issue and Pre-start if necessary?
  • Is there any need to include map corrections such as new roads, tracks, changes in vegetation etc?

Approve Final Courses (2-3 weeks)

Approval of final courses includes checking course maps, master maps, control descriptions, control numbers and master control descriptions, possibly in collaboration with the course planner. A short checklist is shown below:

  • Do all control descriptions, numbers and positions match between course maps and master maps?
  • Are the control descriptions in accordance with the IOF publication ‘Control Description Symbols – Australian Edition’?
  • Are English control descriptions provided in addition to international symbols where required?
  • Is an emergency contact number provided on the maps?

Confirm Personnel and Equipment (1-2 weeks)

Transport of equipment and rostering of personnel is the organiser’s responsibility, however some equipment (e.g. maps, controls, water for drinking on courses, etc.) may be handled by the course planner. The controller should confirm with both the organiser and course planner that adequate personnel are assigned for:

  • Registration
  • Computer, timekeeping and resolving issues with results.
  • Results display (if required)
  • Start, timing, map issue (if required)
  • Finish, timing, map collection (if required)
  • Protest jury (if required)
  • Also, the controller should confirm who in the organising party is responsible for which equipment.

Check Final Maps (5 days)

The final check of maps by the controller, possibly in collaboration with the course planner, is very important. Controllers need to check controls and descriptions for every map to be used (either master maps or pre-marked maps). Check the following:

  • Are the courses accurately drawn, are all map corrections and control descriptions shown on each map?
  • Are there adequate master maps and blank maps in case the number of pre-printed maps is found to be insufficient?
  • Do control descriptions match the course?

Putting Out Controls (1 day)

After the course planner has put out controls, the controller needs to check every control site. The controller should never put out controls. At each control, check the following:

  • Is the control flag placed at the site marked by the course planner and stated in the control description?
  • Is the control flag placed at the appropriate height to be visible when the competitor is at the described location and is not hidden?
  • Are the correct SI units on each control (if already put out)?
  • Are the backup punches working?
  • Are taped routes marked well?

On the Day

The controller should be satisfied that a process is in place to ensure that all SI units have been placed at the correct controls (if not already checked) and desirably that they have been activated within two hours of the first runner reaching them (or an appropriately longer time if they have been reprogrammed for the event). This process can also confirm that there has been no late disturbance to the controls since the SI units were put out. If necessary, the controller may assist personally in this process.

During the event the controller should have no set tasks. It is the controller’s job to oversee the entire event and to confirm everything is running smoothly. (The only exception is, if a protest occurs, the controller may be required on the jury.) At some minor events, where helpers are scarce, the controller may help the course planner or organiser with low-priority tasks.

In the event of a search or other major incident, the controller may need to provide support to the organiser.