World Orienteering Day & World Orienteering Week

From 15-21 May 2019, orienteers around the world will enjoy a week of activity to encourage new people of all ages into the sport. We have guides to help you organise an event and we want more people across Scotland to enjoy orienteering than ever before!

What is World Orienteering Day & World Orienteering Week?

World orienteering day logo

World Orienteering Day was started by the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) in 2016, to raise the profile and participation in orienteering as a global sport.

It’s now grown to become a week of encouraging people – especially young people – to try or take up orienteering. The aim each year is to break the world record for the number of people participating in orienteering activities globally.

Each year so far, the record has been broken – 250,000 people took part in 2016, 290,000 in 2017, and 360,000 in 2018 – from 81 countries.

Whatever your experience of orienteering, we encourage everybody – non-members and members, clubs, scout groups, running groups and businesses – to get involved or help organise a wee event on one day in the week.

How you can get involved

If you’re a teacher, group leader or activity organiser:

  • Look at the list of activities below and choose the one you think is best for your group, and register your event online at
  • If you have any questions, contact your local Scottish Orienteering Regional Development Officer. They’ve helped many people – even complete orienteering beginners – to put on events and will be more than happy to help you.

If you’re someone who would like your group to get involved, please point your teacher or group leader towards this web page!

2019 World Orienteering Day Activities

While you can register any orienteering event as a World Orienteering Day activity, here are three we recommend, depending on the age and experience or your group:

“First Steps” Activity – Cone Grids

  • Perfect as a first step introduction to orienteering for children, this exercise introduces the basic concept of a map and keeping it set (always oriented in the direction you are going)

“Next Steps” Activity – Maze Challenge

  • Great for older youngsters and those looking for a more challenging session which encourages map reading and competition, this activity gives a chance to choose routes and practice keeping the map set.

“Further Steps” Activity – Simple Courses

  • Setting up a simple course in a park or playground is easier than you think! We can help you make an event for children to practice orienteering, making it a fun and challenging activity more akin to the real sport.

The World Orienteering Day website has further resources you can download – including posters, badges and diplomas

Register your event

If you’re organising an event, remember to register it on the WOD website so it counts towards the world record!

Regional Development Officers who can help you:

Previous World Orienteering Days in Scotland