Tuesday, 17 April 2018

O is for Orienteering

2018 #AtoZchallenge participation badge
For my A-Z challenge this year I'm taking a look at sports. Olympic ones, ancient ones, weird ones and some just non sporting sports.  I'm not athletic or even particularly fit but there are some sports I enjoy watching and in composing my posts I've come across many that I'd never heard of.  Join me in a sporting journey from the comfort of your couch (or wherever else you're reading this) and thanks for stopping by.

There are no Olympic Sports that start with O so I'm going with Orienteering.  Now I used to think that this was a bit like doing a Treasure Hunt, with a map and a compass being prerequisites plus the set of clues.

Apparently it's a bit more sophisticated than that: Orienteering is a group of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain whilst moving at speed. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points.

Hmm moving at speed? While working out which way up to have the map, finding North and then working out the clue?  Yes I'm one of those annoying people that turns the map around when necessary like when travelling south.  But I do have quite a good sense of direction and I'm pretty good at remembering landmarks.  Very useful when you visit somewhere like a Westfield Shopping Centre with umpteen car park entrances and you need to get back to your car!

You could even go Car Orienteering.  There are lots of different types of Orienteering and different types of event such as team events, relays, short courses, long courses, night courses etc.

There is an International Orienteering Federation and World Competitions are held.  Attempts have been made to have the sport included in the Olympics but so far these have been unsuccessful.   Can't imagine why.  After all, I think it would make for a great televised sport or maybe not, oops the camera positioned over there is a good indication the control point must be nearby!

Anyway I'm happy with my car and my Satnav to get me from A to B so no Orienteering for me.

There aren't many interesting O sports at all - a couple of unpronounceable Martial Arts (there seem to be endless varieties of Martial Arts with or without weird or just plain evil sounding weapons) Oztag which is just a variety of Tag Rugby played in Australia and then the daft sounding sport of Offshore Powerboat Racing.  Well it's hardly going to be Onshore is it?  The clue's in the word boat!

Sport can be overcomplicated at times!  I'm off to practise napping. 


  1. I'm pretty sure I'm not cut out for orienteering. I need a map to find my car again after I get groceries!

  2. I can't follow a map at all. I don't know north from south. But give me GPS and I can do okay!

  3. I've always wanted to try this, but with someone else who can read a map :-)


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