Orienteering and Rogaines

NZOF General Manager to Orienteering Club Secretaries, 1 Oct 09

For many years we have toyed with long easy courses to attract fit runners with low navigational experience.

We have generally given up through low numbers when they ARE offered, and runners’ inability to see beyond the number of kilometres on a course.

However an interesting thing has happened with rogaines. Initially very long distance in the countryside, the afterwork rogaine phenomenon has seen events become shorter and shorter and come into town. Participants who would not go to an orienteering event are running events around Wellington for example as short as an hour, convinced they are rogaines.

This is good. There isn’t any fundamental difference anyway, just long and short and fixed order and score and night and day orienteering. Clubs which don’t run rogaines should consider using this label – it works. What’s more, “rogainers” often from adventure racing circles are planning and running these events.

There is a slight administrative problem. NZOF has an event levy policy which has a lower (12.5%) levy for “rogaines”. For the levy (if not for promoting events) it is necessary to distinguish a rogaine from an orienteering event. At the 2002 AGM this was defined as “under the NZ Rogaining Rules, when they are formed”; and until then with a minimum length of 3 hours.

NZOF and the (separate) NZ Rogaining Association have now agreed on a set of NZ rules, based on international rogaining rules. They define rogaining as: “long distance cross-country navigation for teams travelling on foot. The object is to score points by finding checkpoints located on the course within a specified time. Checkpoints may be visited in any order.” There is now no mention of a minimum length. For the levy, the NZOF Council, with advice from the NZOF Rogaine Committee, has decided on 2 hours, because this is consistent with the International Rogaining Federation’s own views, as stated on their website.

So you are welcome (and encouraged) to promote short score events, either for individuals or teams, as rogaines; but to qualify for the rogaine levy it needs to be a team event of at least two hours.

The rules are attached and should guide rogaining events held in New Zealand. Clubs or individuals who have any questions are invited to contact either of the undersigned.

Regards, Rob Crawford (NZOF General Manager) and Michael Wood (Convenor, NZOF Rogaine Committee).

Assembled by and installed on 6 Oct 09.