How to Use the Course and Class Guidelines

The following provide additional information on how to apply the Canada Cup Course and Class Guidelines. In addition, please be familiar with the footnotes in the current version of the Course and Class guidelines for additional guidance.

  1. These are guidelines which means the recommended course and class structure. Course planners can deviate from these recommendations based on participation levels and special considerations of the event (such an unconventional terrain or course constraints). A common deviation is to split a course because of high number of participants on a single course. A deviation approval from Orienteering Canada is not required for these changes; they can be made by the organizers based on their event’s circumstances. The one issue is map scale. If map scale is different from that specified
    in the current version of the Orienteering Canada rules, then a rules deviation is required for a scale change.
  2. Considering the above, organizers are encouraged to use the Small Canada Cup guidelines if attendance is expected to be modest.
  3. Recommended winning time (RWT) is guidance for the course planner on how long to make the course. A course should be designed to be completed in the RWT by the top Canadian orienteer in that course’s age class, regardless of if that top orienteer is attending the event. For example, the recommended winning time is not based on an elite runner on a masters course; it is for the top Canadian master on the masters course.

    a) Getting the course length right is a challenge for course planners given the breath of participants and classes on a single course. RWT ranges are provided to help accommodate this, but care should be taken not to make courses too long creating a negative experience for participants—in other words, it is often better to err on the short side, rather than being too long.

    b) Course distance will vary depending on the map area and its terrain. Course planners need to have knowledge and experience of the running speed of different classes runners for that specific map area’s terrain. Thick and/or steep terrain will have much lower time-per-kilometers than open flat terrain. As such, course distances will
    need to be shorter to not exceed the RWT. Test running of the courses by orienteers of different abilities is recommended to help “calibrate” running speed and course lengths. Course planning guidance such as the O300 manual can be consulted to help adjust course lengths for different ages and abilities.

    c) It is not uncommon that junior courses (M/F10 and M/F11-12) are longer than higher level courses. This is because these courses are primarily on trail and many juniors can complete the primarily trail-based courses very quickly.

    d) When designing veteran courses (M/F 75+, Course 5), it is common to have very short
    courses. These are challenging courses to plan to give the participants adequate orienteering challenge, but still respect the recommended winning time. In good terrain, it is common for time per kilometers of 25 min/km or more for these older athletes.
    Consider use of alternate starts, walking uphill to the start and use of remote finishes if

Small Event Tip: On-the-day Registration with Assigned Start Times.

A key component of a Canada Cup event is having assigned start times for all non-recreational competitors. This can be a challenge or barrier to smaller Canada Cup events with relatively higher level of local participation. Here’s a trick to both accommodating the local participation and using assigned started times:
Create a start draw/start list with a high number of “Vacant” spaces (25% to 50%). Then
allow registration “on the day” up to 1/2 hr before the first start. Your registration crew
then chooses one of the vacant spots for the “on the day” registrant, assigns that time to the participant and convey the information to the start crew (a paper slip or similar update to the start crew).