Month: January 2024

2024 sees Course Allocation changes and a new BOF Trans Policy

BOF updated rules

As your club controllers will be aware the BOF Rules of Foot Orienteering have been amended as of 1st January 2024 in order to bring rules into line with the IOF policy to equalise men’s and women’s winning times for all age classes. The rules can be found here and include changes to the course which certain age classes are to run and course length ratios.  Course tables in the rules have been updated to show which course each age class will now run.

Addition of new Age Class for Scottish Orienteering League

Following the amendment of the BOF rules, the SOA Board has reflected on the change to the age classes and decided that it would be appropriate for all Scottish events to adopt the changes within the new BOF rules for all Scottish Championships, Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) and Scottish Orienteering Urban League events.

However, the SOA Board considered the feedback which has previously been received from Juniors in respect of the step up for M/W16 age classes in the Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) – long distance events. Juniors and parents have previously fed back that, at a time when they are physically developing at potentially very different rates, the step up from Light Green courses (Technical Difficulty 4) in the M14 age classes to the Blue course (Technical Difficulty 5) for M16 could be very large for some juniors. The amendment of the BOF rules has meant that M16 continue to be classified as running Blue courses but W16s are classified as running Short Blue courses.

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Orienteering Edinburgh Report

The main focus of the Orienteering Edinburgh initiative is to increase the profile of the
sport as part of the build up to WOC2024 and to engage newcomers, with a view to them
going on to participate in local events, join their local club or even become a volunteer at
the World Champs! The key target audience is young (20-35 years old) local professionals
who have an interest in getting outside and being active, however any newcomers
participating is taken as a success. The events are all urban based, as this keeps it WOC
relevant but is also an easier introduction for beginners. The idea is that the vast majority
of participants will know the area already, we are just providing them with an extra
challenge to make their lunchtimes more exciting!

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Coaching Courses this Spring

Would you like to help others to improve their orienteering? This spring, Scottish Orienteering has several courses available to teach you to use your skills and experience in orienteering to help and encourage others. Read on for what we have available.

Young Coach Assistants encouraging their athletes at Glenmore Lodge.
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SOA Development Director – Mary Williams – talks about her role

In May 2023 Keith Dawson, the President of SOA, bemoaned the fact that the SOA might fall apart due to the lack of people volunteering for SOA Board roles. The SOA is the channel that funds the various tours, coaching, training courses and international competitions that has given me and my family many hours of enjoyment and it was a wakeup call that I it was time for me, as a retired person, to give something back to the sport. 

I have been orienteering since my student days at Bangor University, when I beat Carol MacNeil in the British University Championships.  I have since competed at a lower level for ESOC; run for my country a couple of times and have feedback about the top athletes through my daughter Claire Ward who represented the British Orienteering Team for a number of years. I haven’t been that active in the club’s organising and planning scene as I am not a very precise or neat person. I spent the last 20 years of my professional career as a Vocational Curriculum Development Manager at home and abroad.  This involved working with both the teachers, the ministries of education/training and the Industrial lead bodies to develop training systems and curriculum that matched the needs of all the interested parties.  I see the role of Development Director as a similar role, but working with orienteers, clubs, SOA and Sport Scotland as the main players – all of whom want to see the sport of orienteering grow and flourish as a fun sport for all.  At the SOA Board meeting on the 4thSeptember 2023, I was coopted onto the SOA board as Development Director. This post had been vacant for over 6 months!

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