Types of courses - and difficulty levels

Courses are typically of two types:

  1. Line Courses - these are courses where you need to navigate to the controls in the order shown on the map.  Most line courses are colour coded as outlined below. Line courses are usually timed - with the course winner being the person that has finished the course in the quickest time.
  2. Score Courses - these are courses where there is no set order - and you choose how many of the controls to visit and in which order - picking up a 'score' for each one that you visit.  Score courses sometimes have a time limit, and the course winner is the person that has the highest score within the time limit.

Our permanent and virtual courses have both Line and Score courses to try.

Most Line courses are “colour-coded”, where the colour represents the length and navigational difficulty. White, Yellow and Orange courses are normally recommended for newcomers, or Light Green if you’re confident. The course length is the straight-line distance between the controls and you will run/walk quite a bit further than this, depending on the route you choose between the controls.

The table below shows typical courses, who they are aimed at and the typical lengths:

White The easiest course, with controls on paths Children, family groups 1.0 - 1.5km
Yellow Fairly easy, uses linear features like paths & streams Newcomers, children, families 1.5 - 2.0km
Orange More challenging - use of compass & route choice Adult newcomers, children, families 2.5 - 3.5km
Light Green Challenging - uses contours and more route choices Improvers and experienced orienteers 2.5 - 3.5km
Green Very challenging & shorter - lots of route choice Experienced orienteers 3.5 - 5.0km
Blue Very challenging & longer - lots of route choice Experienced orienteers 5.0 - 7.0km
Brown Very challenging & long - lots of route choice Experienced orienteers 7.5 - 10km


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