VOCABULARY IN THIS LESSON:
|To become: convertirse en||Course: recorrido|
|Trail: camino||Readable: legible|
|Detailed: detallado||To hand something: pasar o dar algo en mano|
|To equal: equivaler||Baseplate: base de la brújula|
|To carry: llevar||Direction of travel arrow: flecha de dirección|
|Flag: bandera (aquí baliza)||Magnetic needle: aguja magnética|
|Needle punch: pinza de control||Orienting lines: líneas de meridiano|
|Time trial: carrera contrarreloj||Orienting arrow: flecha Norte|
|Scale: escala||Compass housing: limbo|
Orienteering is an outdoor sport using maps to find one's way.
Orienteering was originally a training exercise for military officers, but it has now become a federated sport. Participants have a map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, and they use it to find control points.
The fastest person who finds all control points wins the race.
The International Orienteering federation recognises four types of orienteering:
→ Foot orienteering
→ Mountain bike orienteering
→ Ski orienteering
→ Trail orienteering ( in wheelchair)
But many times, orienteering is included in adventure raids or mixed with other sports, as horse riding or canoeing.
Orienteering maps are very detailed topographical maps (they show hills and valleys).
Their scales are 1:15,000 or 1:10,000. This means every cm in the map equals 15.000 or 10.000 cms (150 or 100m) on the terrain.
Map symbols are standardized by the IOF.
The orienteering course is marked in purple or red on a map. A triangle indicates the start and a double circle indicates the finish. Circles show control points.
Every other part on the map (rivers, roads, vegetation, etc) has a specific colour.
What is a race like?
Orienteering races are time trials. You can run individually, in pairs or in teams.
Control points are marked in the terrain by white and orange "flags".
Image: Blue Elf for Wikimedia Commons
Control card and punching:
Each competitor must carry a control card, and has to present it at the Start and hand it in at the Finish. The control card is marked at each control point to show that the competitor has completed the course correctly.
Image: Una Smith for Wikimedia Commons
(Usually with needle punches, but most events now use electronic punching).
A needle punch:
Image: Oriel for Wikimedia Commons
The winner is the competitor who has found and passed through all control points with the fastest time.
You can see an orienteering race in this video:
There are maps on the bottom sides to show you how the racer is progressing from one control point to the next one.