Revised 11 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 Metro and Runners Shop Twilight events.
1. Course Planning Information. The following sets of information on specific areas may assist the course planner and controller in the planning of events:
- 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, parking arrangements, 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.
- 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. The normal course requirements for Metro and Runners Shop Twilight events are as follows:
- Moderate 1 – 5 to 5.5 km
- Moderate 2 – 3 to 3.5 km
- Easy – 2.5 to 3 km
- Very easy – 1.5 to 2 km
The Moderate 2 course 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. If necessary, an additional Moderate 3 course can be planned using the less physically difficult parts of the Moderate 2 course.
Remember that the navigational difficulty of Moderate courses is intended to be suitable for children of 14 years of age and others who are still developing their navigational skills. While many of the areas used for the Metro and Twilight events do not offer navigational challenges above Moderate level (i.e. you can make the courses as hard as possible), other areas such as Mount Ainslie, Mount Majura, Mount Taylor, Black Mountain and Red Hill, contain terrain suitable for Hard courses. If using such terrain for Moderate courses, be careful not to make controls or legs too difficult for Moderate level competitors.
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, but should consult with Bob with regard to retaining this updated information for future use.
Maps for Metro and Twilight events are 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 (or upload them to Google Drive) 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.
When arranging for map printing, advise how many maps with all controls should be printed for control collection.
4. Control Descriptions. Control descriptions should be printed on the map and should also be provided as separate loose sheets. For Moderate courses, control descriptions, both on the map and loose, are normally 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. Moderate 1, Moderate 2, Easy, Very easy.
6. Control Flags and Stands. Hanging flags with SI units are normally used for Metro and Twilight events. The available flags and matching SI numbers are 101 to 145. Stands may be used if preferred, or if there is no suitable location for hanging a control flag. All flags or stands should also have backup punches. Flags and SI units for Metro and Twilight events are normally passed directly between successive course planners unless otherwise arranged. Check with the course planner of the previous event to ensure that no numbers are missing. A small number of stands are provided with the flags. If additional stands are required, these may be obtained from the OACT storage shed at Giralang. The 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. 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. The SI units should be turned off after the event using the purple SI stick in the storage case.
7. Water on courses. Under Orienteering Australia Competition Rules, water should be provided on courses if the estimated winning time is more than 30 minutes. At most Metro or Twilight events, the winning time is usually approximately 30 minutes on Moderate courses and less on Easy and Very easy courses. The Moderate 1 course, however, is commonly won by a fit elite-level orienteer and many competitors take much longer. Twilight events are often held under very hot conditions, when the provision of water controls is likely to be appreciated by many competitors, and should be considered. Water controls are less important during the cooler months when the Metro Series is held, but may still be appreciated on some longer courses.
8. The Start. 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. The Start stand with control flag and Start SI unit should be nearby.
9. The Finish. The Finish banner should be obvious from some distance on approach. A control flag should be hung up on the stand holding the Finish SI unit. Where considered necessary, the approach to the finish should be marked by a funnel of bunting tape narrowing down to the finish line.
10. Control Collection. The organisation of control collection is normally 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/strong bag 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 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.
11. Equipment Return. After the event, control flags, stands and SI units for the Metro or Twilight events are usually passed directly to the course planner for the next event. Check the website to find out who this is and contact them to make the necessary arrangements. If your event is the last one in the series, check for any missing or damaged flags and advise the OACT Office. The control stands and flags should be returned to the Giralang storage shed, and the SI units returned to the OACT Office.
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 relevant Series Co-ordinator or event controller, or alternatively the OACT Office at 6182 1815. There are also many experienced members in your club who are able to give you advice and help.