Impassable Features!

Our sport is all about fair play and sadly I heard of several people disregarding the rules on impassable features recently at the Craigavon WEE. I hope that this is due to some novices / newcomers not really understanding the rules rather than regulars flagrantly disobeying them, but either way it would seem that a little more education is needed.

Urban / sprint orienteering is different from normal orienteering in that it takes place in an area where property boundaries fenced / or unfenced and public or private flower beds need to be respected by competitors. They are OUT OF BOUNDS!! These areas are shown on the map as ‘olive green’. Anyone found entering any of these areas will be disqualified, if not eaten by the local canines.

Likewise with regard to impassable walls, fences, and hedges. The symbol does not mean that the feature is 2m high and hard to climb over. The symbol is used to show a feature that SHOULD NOT BE CROSSED either for safety or because you are taking an illegal route. These features are shown clearly on the map as a thick black or green line so they can’t be missed, and as above if anyone is found crossing these, other than likely ending up at A&E, you will be disqualified.

Equally with closed gates: If these are shown on the map as closed irrespective of whether they are open on the day and you think it is a valid route / shortcut, you will be disqualified.

If anyone is still unclear on this please ask.

Drumgor Junior Courses

I received a good question about the junior courses for Drumgor and their age suitability:

Both runs take place in a large housing estate that is covered by a comprehensive network of footpaths, alleyways, and cycle paths. Whilst I can’t guarantee that the courses will be traffic free, the only roads to be crossed are minor estate roads that are usually very quiet, and the courses have been purposefully planned to make use of the path network so that the majority of crossings, if any, take place at cul-de-sacs or parking areas as shown on the image. Both the morning and afternoon runs do have one minor estate road crossing, but even for this we have deemed that a marshal is not required unless the visibility is poor due to bad weather, but instead will be marked by “caution runners” signs.

We also have a beginners urban course for the morning and afternoon events. In the morning this crosses two quiet cul-de-sacs and even these can be avoided by taking a different route. In the afternoon we have a couple more but they are quiet.

Whilst I can’t make a decision for each individual, we have tried to cater for almost all juniors unsupervised, or all if accompanied.

Hope this helps and look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

NI Sprint Series – Drumgor

And so to Drumgor…

For all those thinking of coming there are a couple of notes to read in advance with regard to the map:

Due to the nature of the estate, with its comprehensive path network and large number of housing blocks, purely in the interests of clarity we have made some decisions which mean that the map no longer fully complies with the ISSOM standard. We follow the letter of the law but have applied the rules obliquely:

Impassable Features:

The definition of an impassable wall / fence symbol does not necessarily mean that the feature is actually impassable but more that the feature SHOULD NOT BE CROSSED. Most of the housing is surrounded by either, high walls, 2m high fencing or fencing as shown in the photo. None of these features should be crossed, but to show this on the map would make it almost unreadable. Instead the residential blocks have just been outlined with a thinner black line with olive green fill as this effectively has exactly the same result: i.e. no access – Forbidden Area!

Impassable wall / fence symbols have then only been used where they are essential for the purposes of navigation and safety on the map. Anyone found crossing any of these features will be disqualified!!!

Individual or Prominent Trees:

Again due to the nature of the estate, and the need for clarity it has not been possible to follow ISSOM by the letter of the law. Instead we have altered the sizing of the trees shown to make the map more legible. As a consequence instead of two sizes of tree we have three:

o   Small Trees: Young individual trees with a trunk of less than 0.2m are represented by a small green dot as per orchard trees.

o   Individual medium to large sized trees as per the photo: Trees with a diameter of 0.25 – 0.8m are being represented by the symbol for a prominent bush or small tree – a green dot.

o   Large prominent trees whose trunk is over 0.8m are represented by a green circle (as per standard.

Areas where there are several young trees and no joined canopy have been represented by the open land with scattered trees symbol.


The competition takes place in an estate with lots of pedestrian and cycle paths, alleyways, and open spaces. Most of the hard surfaces are tarmac but many of the paths are paving slabs that can become treacherous when wet. Most of the courses are on hard surfaces but some routes could be over open grassland. I don’t know if we are due rain, but select your footwear carefully.

See you on Saturday!