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Orienteering Canada statement and updates re COVID-19

We are in unpredictable and uncertain times. The impact of COVID-19 is changing daily and having a significant impact on our daily lives.

All orienteering clubs and associations must monitor information and advice of the WHO and the Government of Canada and public health authorities in their respective provincial/territorial jurisdictions, as well as that of their municipal and/or local health authorities, to assess the risks and to make the best decision for their organization’s programs.

And to all the people who make up our community, please follow the recommendations of your health authorities in your day to day lives. 

The following resources provide updates from the government and relevant health authorities about the current status of COVID 19 and up to date recommendations and best practices:

Latest update from the Sport Medicine Advisory Committee – May 20, 2020 update – english / french

Updates from the Canadian orienteering community:

  • Clubs and associations, please read Orienteering Canada’s communication (May 25th) regarding orienteering and our insurance.
  • Clubs and associations, please read Orienteering Canada’s communication (March 25th) about organizing semi-permanent events and other activities during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival (including the Canadian Orienteering Championships have been postponed until 2021. More info.
  • Sage Stomp (and Team Trials) have been cancelled. More info.
  • World Orienteering Day 2020 ( May 13-19 ) has been cancelled.
  • Hamilton (Adventure Running Kids), Calgary (SOGO Adventure Running) and Ottawa’s kids programming have been cancelled for the spring.
  • All orienteering clubs in Canada have cancelled events until further notice.

General information about outdoor activity (note that regulations and guidelines differ across the country and will change as needed)

Updates from the global orienteering community:

  • April 17th update from the IOF with info on this events: World MTB Orienteering Championships 2020, European Orienteering Championships 2020, North American Orienteering Championships 2020, South American Orienteering Championships 2020, World Masters Orienteering Championships 2021 (WMOC), The World Games 2021, Swedish O-Ringen Uppsala 2020 (O-Ringen Academy and the IOF Global Development Conference) and the WOC Clinic 2020.
  • 2020 North American Championships have been postponed until 2021.
  • The IOF and the organisers of the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Denmark, which were planned to be held July 7-11, 2020, have agreed to postpone the event to a later date.
  • The IOF recently met and devised various principles regarding the rescheduling of all the major events that have been postponed.
  • World Orienteering Day 2020 which was planned to be held in the timeframe May 13-19 is cancelled.
  • The International University Sports Federation  FISU, have announced the cancellation of the 2020 World University Orienteering Championship that should have taken place in Russia in July.
  • The World Masters Orienteering Championships (WMOC ) 2020 scheduled to be held August 7-15 in Slovakia has to be cancelled. The event will be re-scheduled to be held in Slovakia at the latest in 2023.
  • The International World Games Association (IWGA) and Birmingham Organising Committee (BOC) have agreed to postpone the 11th edition of The World Games until 7th to 17th July 2022. The Games had originally been planned to take place from 15–25 July next year. The move is precipitated by the recent postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to July 2021

Ideas and best practices to responsibly continue orienteering during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Orienteering Canada is offering its conference call line to clubs, associations and event organizing committees to meet virtually as needed between now and April 30th (will extend this offer as needed). Orienteering Canada will pay the costs. Contact tracy@orienteering.ca or Anne at president@orienteering.ca to schedule your call and get the necessary dial-in info.
  • Video conferencing: Orienteering Canada now has a business Zoom license. If your club would like to use it, please contact
    tracy@orienteering.ca.

Your club/association can send updates/ideas to communications@orienteering.ca and we will add them to this page

June Team Canada Fundraiser: Control Bounty

tinyurl.com/controlbounty

Our Team Canada Program Athletes are launching a new fundraising initiative called Control Bounty.

During the month of June, Team Canada Program athletes will record the number of controls they visit while training or competing.

You can help by making a pledge (lots of creative ways to pledge!), and encouraging your Team Canada athletes to get out on a map.

More information can be found at tinyurl.com/controlbounty.

Team Canada Selection Policy for World Cups Round 2 & 3

The Selection policy for the 2021 World Cups Round 2 & 3 is now available here.

Orienteering Canada position (related to COVID) on sending teams to WCs 2 and 3 is available here.

Announcement re future North American Orienteering Championships

Orienteering USA and Orienteering Canada, with approval from the International Orienteering Federation, have made the decision to postpone the next two North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC). Organizers of both events are in full agreement.

The NAOCs in California will now be held in 2023 instead of this summer. The NAOCs scheduled for 2022 in Ottawa, Canada will move to 2024 or 2025.
California OFest, including NAOCs, in 2023 will be hosted with little change from what was planned – first for 2020, then for 2021, now for 2023. This summer Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) will host an alternative event in the Lake Tahoe area for those who can travel and attend.

In Canada, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it has not been possible to get mapping done in time for a major 2022 event, so organizers have requested a move to after the CalOFest NAOCs. The final date of 2024 or 2025 is yet to be determined but will be decided jointly by Orienteering Canada and Orienteering USA, in conjunction with the IOF.

A special thank you to organizers of all orienteering events who have had to make changes and adaptations because of COVID-19. It is you who keep our sport going!

We all look forward to when we can gather and orienteer again without any restrictions!

Anne Teutsch, PresidentOrienteering Canada | Course d’orientation CanadaClare Durand, PresidentOrienteering USA

North American Orienteering Championships moved to 2023

Announcement from the California Orienteering Festival

Announcement re Team Canada participation at WOC, JWOC, 1st World Cup

On February 25th, Orienteering Canada’s Board of Directors met and made the unanimous decision not to send any athletes to WOC, JWOC, and the first World Cup round, as currently scheduled. If any of these events are rescheduled for later in 2021, Orienteering Canada will revisit this decision.

We understand that some athletes had expressed interest in going if they could and we are sorry that those athletes will not be able to compete. However, we feel it is critical that Orienteering Canada play a leadership role within the orienteering community by acting upon our collective responsibility to health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means respecting all public health rules and recommendations. To sanction travel for any orienteers would undermine this position.

A lot of discussion took place and it was not an easy decision but ultimately it was made for the following reasons:

  • Orienteering Canada feels it is important to adhere to public health measures including limiting travel.
  • Orienteering Canada’s insurance is not willing to directly cover Orienteering Canada or its athletes for any COVID-related issues.
  • The situation in Canada and in many places around the world is not improving at a rate that looks like it will be reasonable and safe to travel in July. Rather than waiting to get a clearer picture of what travel restrictions will be in the early summer, making this decision now allows us to work on other plans for Team Canada athletes for the season.
  • Few athletes had expressed interest in participating in these events. It is therefore hard to justify spending money and energy supporting teams in Europe when those resources can be used to develop the Team Canada Program and support more athletes in other ways.

The Team Canada strategic plan that we have been working on for the past 8 months puts the focus on athlete development and teamwork. So the large silver lining here is that we can have an even stronger focus on our strategic plan this year. Here are some of the initiatives that we will be spending our energy and resources on:

  • Local training camps with remote coaching (instruction and debriefs via Zoom).
  • Increased time spent on general program development for long-term gains, such as setting up course planning initiatives and developing relationships with clubs to support the program and our athletes.
  • World Cup rounds two and three. If the COVID situation has improved for these events we will consider sending a full team to one of these events with a coach and team leader to support in place of WOC.

We would not be able to fully support the above items if we had to spend time, energy, and money on WOC, JWOC, and the first World Cup round.

Jeff Teutsch
High Performance Director
Orienteering Canada

Announcing the 2020 inductees of the Orienteering Canada Hall of Fame

We are excited to announce the 2020 inductees to the Orienteering Canada Hall of Fame.

The Orienteering Canada Hall of Fame was introduced in 2017, as part of Orienteering Canada’s 50th anniversary celebrations, to recognize and honour the individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the sport in Canada.

In January 2020, we added to our Hall of Fame process, with additional categories. Nominations were due in February 2020. The next opportunity to nominate individuals will be in January 2022. Nominators are encouraged to resubmit nominations for individuals who have not been selected. The quality of applicants has been extremely high.

The 2020 inductees to the Orienteering Canada Hall of Fames are:

Order of Orienteering Canada (Lifetime Achievement):
Don Bayly, John Charlow, Adrian Zissos

Athlete Leadership:
Pam James, Ted de St. Croix 

Coaching Leadership:
Bill Anderson

Officials Leadership:
Earle Phillips, Malcolm Adams

Administrator Award of Distinction:  
Gord Hunter, Margaret James

Bios of the 2020 inductees, as well as the original inductees are available at www.orienteering.ca/about/halloffame.

Thanks to the 2020 selection committee members: Kitty Jones, Jim Blanchard and Barbara Scheck

Orienteering simulation exercises - currently available at no cost

We are excited to present Orienteering Canada’s Simulation Exercise Program. This program has been designed both as a training program for our High Performance Program (HPP) athletes and as a fundraiser in which orienteers across Canada can gain access to the exercises being done by our HPP athletes. Under normal circumstances we would be provided these exercises in return for a donation to the HPP. However, for the duration of the nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19 we are providing access to these exercises for free. 

The exercises being made available are based on the simulation exercises in Michel Gueorgiou’s 2018 book The Winning Eye. Each exercise consists of some sort of map reading exercise with a map/course (often specifically designed) that is paired with a physical workout or a few options of workouts to do with the exercise.  

Each simulation exercise is designed to work on a specific aspect of your map reading or route planning.  All of the exercises are best done with a running component in order to stress the brain and mimic the conditions of orienteering. Many of the exercises, however, can also be done from the coach and will still be challenging!

Here are the links you need:

  1. “Read Me First” info to get you started.
  2. The Exercises
  3. The Common Answer Sheets


Let's Talk Orienteering Speaker Series

Orienteering Canada will be hosting presentations over the next few weeks and months. Please join us on Zoom to talk orienteering.

Tuesday July 21, 2020
5 pm pacific / 8 pm eastern
Two Generation Orienteering Families
We’ll be talking with some Canadian orienteering families who have several generations involved in the sport. Join Emma & Mike Waddington, Rachel, Abbi & Brian May, Jan Erik & Oivind Naess and Kerstin & Ross Burnett. This moderated chat will talk about orienteering “then and now”, share some favourite memories and talk about growing up in an orienteering family.


Tuesday June 23, 2020
5 pm pacific / 8 pm eastern
Mountain Bike & Ski Orienteering
Have you ever wanted to branch out your orienteering expertise beyond just running? Tune in to the next installment of our Let’s Talk Orienteering Speaker Series to hear all about Ski and Mountain Bike Orienteering from some of our athletes! In two short presentations, we will learn more about Ski-O from athletes Milla Tarnopolsky and Robbie Graham who have both raced at a Ski-O World Cup. We will then listen to Molly and Randy Kemp present about MTB-O and their recent international races in Denmark. These presentations and the stories that accompany them will be interesting for all orienteers, no matter your background in skiing or cycling.


Thursday, May 27, 2020
10 am pacific / 1 pm eastern
National Team Athlete Panel
Ever wondered what’s it’s like to train and compete as an elite orienteer? Join us for this panel discussion with national team athletes Emma Waddington, Robbie Graham, Christian Michelsen, and Emily Kemp. Moderated by Canada’s High Performance Manager, Jeff Teutsch, the conversation will cover everything from training routines and international racing, to travel and life with COVID-19 and without a racing season. With the wide range of topics this webinar should be equally interesting for aspiring your orienteers and for seasoned veterans of the sport.


Thursday, May 21, 2020
5 pm pacific / 8 pm eastern
We love sprint orienteering. And why you should too!
When we think of sprint orienteering in Canada, we immediately think of the Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club (GVOC), host club of the popular annual Sprint Camp. GVOC is famous for inventive sprint formats and using even the smallest of areas for fabulous orienteering, year-round. Join us for this presentation with GVOC member Graeme Rennie. Graeme will talk about the basics (and not so basics) of sprint orienteering, tips for creating basic maps, a bundle of different formats for fun training and events, and how sprint orienteering can help build your orienteering club.
>Apologies for accidentally missing the first bit of the presentation. Oops!


April 29, 2020
Map reading theory
A presentation by Jeff Teutsch (High Performance Manager, ex national team member and coach Jeff Teutsch) on the theory of map reading for orienteering. Learn about various models for map reading and how you can use them to improve your orienteering skills. This presentation is relevant to all levels of orienteer.  

Here are the references that Jeff mentions during the presentation:

>Visionary Head Start article
>Article about Thierry Gueorgiou’s map route planning approach
>Book: “The Winning Eye” by Michel Gueorgiou, for sale at orienteering stores around the world. Available in Canada in French and English at o-store.ca.


Communication to clubs regarding orienteering & COVID-19

March 25, 2020
To Canadian orienteering clubs and associations,

A number of clubs across Canada are setting up, implementing and promoting semi-permanent orienteering courses. This is an innovative way for us to get outside and be active as we figure out how to navigate our new normal for the next few weeks or months. As we do so, it is imperative that we respect the guidelines and regulations of our governments and health authorities. We must also consider our collective responsibility for the health of all. Our intent with this communication is to give you an update and some guidance in regards to the orienteering activities described above. We’ve been talking with our insurance company and a legal expert to help us understand how orienteering clubs across Canada can best deliver programming that still fits within our insurance requirements and guidelines and also within our collective responsibility to “flatten the curve”. 

REGULATIONS
We ask that you please ensure that any orienteering programming that you are offering COMPLETELY COMPLIES AND ADHERES with your local, provincial and federal Health Authorities and Government regulations and guidelines. We cannot stress this enough – please make sure that your programming follows every recommendation and that you stay up to date as the recommendations will no doubt change. 

COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
We also all have a social responsibility to stay home during this crisis. And we all know that being active and being outside is critical for our physical and mental health. Please ensure that your programming is respecting that fine line between the message of staying home and the message of being active and getting outside. Over the weekend, in many places across Canada, we saw parking lots and parks full of people getting outside but not respecting social distancing. As a result, several jurisdictions across Canada have closed parks. Several towns and cities have declared states of emergency. Yesterday, Parks Canada announced that all parking lots at Parks Canada sites across the country will be closed. Several tourism-based towns are asking visitors to stay away. Several cross country ski locations have stopped grooming so that people will not fill the parking lots and ski trails. Please consider if your programming is respecting our collective responsibility to stay home. If there is a not-so-busy park within walking or biking distance of someone’s house and they are able to safely do a semi-permanent orienteering course there, that sounds reasonable given what the current regulations are (as of March 25, 2020). If someone gets in their car and drives to a park and parks in a busy parking lot and does some orienteering in that busy park, that doesn’t sound reasonable given the current regulations. So we ask that each club think carefully about this and make sure that each club’s programming and communications aligns with our collective responsibility to the health of all Canadians.
You can check Orienteering Canada’s COVID-19 Update page for relevant information regarding outdoor activity.

STANDARD INSURANCE GUIDELINES
We also want to stress that in order for your semi-permanent course to best comply with Orienteering Canada’s insurance, your club needs to comply with the following which are the same direction that we have for all orienteering events in Canada at all times:

  • The activity must be set up by a properly trained official
  • The activity fits within the regular standards of the sport and the organizer has made attempts to reduce known risks
  • Anyone who participates in your activity must be a registered member of your club (this can include a “day-of” member) and must have signed a waiver (your club may want to consider an inexpensive “COVID-19 season” membership).

You can learn more about the insurance requirements at: http://www.orienteering.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Insurance-Writeup-for-Website-2017.pdf

@HOME ACTIVITIES
The activities that we are talking about above are only relevant if we stay in the current scenario. We also may be in a “lock-down” scenario where people will not be able to leave their home except for groceries, etc. And there are currently many Canadians who are in quarantine or are self-isolating and are not able to leave their home. To address these situations, we also know that several clubs are working on suggestions and challenges for our orienteering community to do at home (inside or in the backyard). We will be sharing these activities through Orienteering Canada’s social media and the website. If you have an idea that you want to share  or need some help to implement an idea, please reach out to us (charlotteATorienteering.ca). There has been no better time for the entire Canadian orienteering community to work together and share ideas… as we are all in this together. Here’s a link to @Home activities that SOGO Adventure Running is creating for their pre-school program (SOGO Squirts) families – a great example of the type of “at home” activities that we can share and promote.

Please contact us if you have any questions at all about this. You can contact the Orienteering Executive Director, Tracy at tracyATorienteering.ca or the President, Anne at presidentATorienteering.ca.

We have been watching orienteering clubs across the country be so innovative as we tackle this unprecedented crisis. It’s wonderful and inspiring. Thank you.  

Stay safe. Stay healthy. We are all in this together.

Orienteering Canada

Postponement of the 2020 Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival until 2021


With all the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and in line with other sporting events, the 2020 Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival (CROF) including the 2020 Canadian Orienteering Championships (COCs), Western Canadian Orienteering Championships (WCOCs), Crowsnest Barebones events and the Sass Peepre National Training Junior Camp scheduled to take place in July 3-12, 2020 have been postponed until 2021.

This will be a disappointment for many, as it is to the organizers, but we feel at this time, it is the only responsible decision to make. We do not take this decision lightly, as 2020 will be the first time that the Canadian Orienteering Championships will not be held since the first COCs in 1968.

The Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival will be rescheduled for the summer of 2021.

Please see the full statement with more details at: https://crof2020.com/