Revised 1 October 2019

See Document 2, Successful course planning, for general advice on course planning. The following document contains further information that is specifically relevant to the Classic Series, which incorporates ACT League events.

1. Course Planning Information. In addition to the general information on the website, there are two sets of information on specific areas which are available to assist the organiser, course planner and controller in the planning of events:

  1. Event Planning and Management Guidelines. These location-specific guidelines are being prepared progressively for all areas used for OACT events and, if available, are provided electronically (or in printed form if necessary) from the OACT Office or through Google Drive. They contain information such as location of suitable assembly areas, directions to assembly areas, landholder contact details, comments on map quality and reliability, safety and environmental factors to be considered in planning and conduct of events, and other conditions which are normally specified by the land owner or manager.
  2. Event Planning Kits. These are available for most areas and contain most of the above information, plus courses and results from some previous events, which may be useful in providing course planning ideas and identifying typical running speeds for the area. They are large folders which need to be collected from the OACT Office, and returned after the event.

2. Courses. As a general rule, courses to be offered for Classic events (other than Badge and Championship) are as follows:

  • Hard 1, 2, 3 and 4, Moderate 1 and 2, Easy, Very easy
  • The Classic Series may include other special events (e.g. team events) when the course structure varies.

The expected length and duration of the ACT League courses are set out in the ACT Event Format Guidelines.

The shortest Hard and Moderate courses at Classic events should be set with particular regard for the needs of older or less fit competitors to avoid steep, rough terrain as far as practicable, while still offering an appropriate level of navigational challenge.

The course lengths quoted above do not apply to Sprint or Short course events. Advice and guidelines relating to Sprint and Short course events for all series are contained in Document 15.

Coloured flagging tape for marking control sites is available from the OACT storage shed at Giralang or from the OACT Office.

3. Maps. Maps for course planning are available in electronic format as OCAD files from Bob Allison or through Google Drive. If you don’t have access to the full OCAD or OCAD CS software, OCAD map files can be opened for viewing and printing (but not revision) using Purple Pen software, which is recommended also for preparing course maps (see Document 13 for further information). Existing printed maps may be available from the OACT Office, but you should check that they are the latest version (i.e. as will be used for the event), as maps are periodically updated.

If you see a need for map updating for your event, please consult with Bob Allison, , to arrange this. Course planners who are competent at field mapping and OCAD use may undertake their own updating. If doing so, please forward the corrected map to Bob Allison, as well as a separate map highlighting where the corrections have been made.

Maps for Classic events are normally provided with the courses and control descriptions added, as well as an emergency contact number. The course planner can prepare these pre-marked course maps using OCAD, Purple Pen or other suitable software, and forward them to Bob Allison, who will check them then forward them to the OACT Office as PDF files for printing. If the course planner does not have the skills and/or facilities to prepare pre-marked course maps, they can be prepared by Bob Allison who should be contacted well in advance of the event to make the necessary arrangements. The procedure for obtaining pre-marked maps is set out in Document 13.

4. Control Descriptions. Control descriptions should be printed on the map and should also be provided as separate loose sheets. For Hard and Moderate courses, control descriptions, both on the map and loose, should be in international symbols only, although additional loose sheets with English descriptions may be offered for Moderate courses where there might be large numbers of inexperienced orienteers. For Easy and Very easy courses, control descriptions on the map should be in international symbols and, if there is space available, also in English, to assist new orienteers in learning the symbols. Loose sheets for Easy and Very easy courses should be provided in both international symbols and English.

5. XML File for Event Computer. The control numbers for each course need to be loaded into the event computer prior to the event. This is normally organised by Bob Allison in conjunction with the map printing. If arrangements have been made to send the map files directly to the OACT Office (i.e. not through Bob Allison), it is necessary also to provide an XML (Version 3) file of the courses to the person loading it onto the event computer The XML file should list courses from hardest/longest to shortest/easiest, i.e. Hard 1, Hard 2, Hard 3, Hard 4, Moderate 1, Moderate 2, Easy, Very easy.

6. Control Flags and Stands. The usual arrangements for control flags, stands and numbers are as follows. Check when collecting flags or numbers for stands that no numbers are missing.

Depending on the importance of the event, Classic events can use either stands with SportIdent (SI) units and un-numbered flags or numbered hanging controls with SI units and backup punches. For events of championship or badge status, stands must be used. Hanging controls may be used if necessary for regular ACT League events, although stands are preferable if this is within the resources of the course planner.

The available SI units are 101 to 188 plus 199 and 200 (twice, can be used on sawhorse stand). Stands should also have backup punches. Hanging controls are numbered from 101 to 149, and should be supplemented with stands if additional controls are needed. Stands, numbers and flags for Classic events are kept at the OACT storage shed at Giralang. SI units are kept at the OACT Office.

The Giralang storage shed is located in Coree Place, which is off Tucana Street. The keys to the storage shed can be obtained from the OACT Office or from Anita Scherrer (0457 584 459) or Pat Miethke (0428 830 201, ). There is no lighting at the shed so a torch is needed if visiting at night.

SportIdent units. The SI units are pre-programmed and do not require programming by the course planner or organiser. If practicable, it is desirable to activate them with an SI card within two hours of the event to check that they are working and to avoid disadvantaging the first competitor through a slight delay in registering. While weekly programming is not required, they should be returned to the OACT Office periodically for checking and reprogramming if necessary. This includes the Clear, Check, Start and Finish units. SI units should be turned off after the event using the purple SI stick in the storage case.

7. Water on courses. Orienteering Australia Competition Rules, rules 19.8 and 19.9, and Appendix 4 set out the requirements in regard to water controls. Water should be provided on courses if the estimated winning time is more than 30 minutes. This usually applies to several, if not all, of the Hard and Moderate courses at Classic events. Course planners should also take into account the competitors who might take much longer than the winning time in determining the need to provide water controls and their placement. This is particularly important on hot days.

Points which the course planner should consider in siting water controls include:

  • the ease of access for transporting large volumes of water;
  • the opportunity for common controls between courses, thus minimising the total number of locations where water needs to be transported; and
  • the stage on different courses at which competitors will reach the drink control – if located too early or too late on the course, their value would be reduced.

In some situations, water may be placed on tracks between controls but, if so, this should be done in a way that does not unduly influence route choice.

8. The Start. For Classic events, ideally the Start location should be sited so that later starters cannot observe what route choices are made by earlier starters. If the Start is remote from the assembly area, the route from registration to the start should be clearly indicated by signs, streamers or tape. The Start banner should be positioned so that it can be seen from some distance away on approach. A control flag should be hung on the stand holding the Start SI unit (if used).

9. The Finish. The Finish banner should be obvious from some distance on approach. Where considered necessary, the approach to the finish should be marked by a funnel of bunting tape narrowing down to the finish line. A control flag should be hung up on the stand holding the Finish SI unit.

10. Control Collection. The organisation of control collection is the responsibility of the course planner and controller, but the organiser is responsible for ensuring that sufficient helpers are available. Any tape hanging at control sites or on taped routes, or other debris (e.g. drink cups) left behind, must also be cleared from the forest as controls are brought in. Control collectors should carry either an SI vest or a small backpack for collecting SI units. Do not carry SI units on the stand in case they fall off. All SI units must be checked, turned off using the purple SI stick in the carrycase provided, and placed in the carrycase in numerical order prior to being returned.

Numbered control flags should also be checked and placed in numerical order in a bag or box. Someone should remain at the assembly area until all control collectors have returned.

11. Equipment Return. Control flags, stands, numbers and water containers used on the course should be returned to the OACT storage shed as soon as practicable after the event. If the equipment is wet, it should be dried before it is returned. SI units should be returned to the OACT Office, unless they have already been collected by an OACT official.

12. Event Folder. If an event folder has been borrowed, this should be returned to the OACT Office soon after the event, together with a master map showing the location and description of all controls used, a set of maps and/or control descriptions for each course and any relevant new information.

REMEMBER – If not sure, ask someone. For clarification of any of the above points, don’t hesitate to contact the controller or alternatively the OACT Office at 6162 3422. There are also many experienced members in your club who are able to give you advice and help.