Updated on March 25, 2021
Updated on Nov 26, 2020
Updated on Nov 12, 2020
Updated on Aug 25, 2020
Updated on July 16, 2020
Originally published June 17, 2020

Purpose of document (Read First):
This document is intended to provide recommendations to mitigate the risks associated with a (modified) traditional orienteering event. This document must be used in conjunction with the relevant guidelines, recommendations and requirements from your local health authority and relevant levels of government. This document provides recommendations of ways to mitigate risk. You may determine other options to mitigate risk based on your club's circumstances in conjunction with well-informed decision making based on your regional circumstances. Orienteering Canada understands that every option that we recommend in the document may not be relevant to every orienteering club and association across Canada and that what is permissible in one area of the country may not be permissible in another area at any given time. Your club/association's responsibility is to ensure that you are mitigating risk appropriately in every element of the delivery of your orienteering events. You may choose a different mitigation measure which achieves the same effect of lowering risk. Contact us if you need assistance with an area that we have not outlined in this document (

As of August 25th, 2020 we are permitting competitive orienteering at the club level (Prior to Aug 25th, we requested that all activities be viewed as training activities only). Inter-club competition will not be sanctioned. Although we are permitting competitive club events, we do want the focus to remain on on the opportunity to be outside, doing a sport we enjoy, respecting our collective responsibilities to health and safety and being extra-appreciative to the officials who are creating opportunities to orienteer. Orienteering Canada supports covid safe local events that can be run within your public health regional and Provincial guidelines. *added Mar 25, 2021

We are not permitting any inter-club competitive orienteering at this time. Travel to events hosted by another club should not be encouraged. Exceptions may be made for geographically close “partner” clubs that usually and regularly share events. No championship events (ie provincial or territorial championships and up) were sanctioned in 2020. No championship events (ie provincial or territorial championships and up) will be sanctioned at this time. We will next review this guideline on May 31st, 2021. *added Mar 25, 2021

Absolute Requirements:
We understand that your club may make slight modifications with respect to the recommendations in this document. There are items which are an absolute requirement and your event will not be approved (sanctioned) by Orienteering Canada if you do not implement these requirements. These requirements are listed in the 1st section below.

Additional Documents:
This spreadsheet is part of a package that comes with the Orienteering Canada Management Plan for COVID-19 Risk. Also included in that package, in addition to the cover document, are the required waiver (one for adults and one for children), the required Declaration of Health, and the Orienteering Canada Guidelines for Individuals for Training activities (modified from traditional orienteering events).

Club orienteering activities (modified from traditional orienteering events)
Club orienteering activities (modified from traditional orienteering events) would include activities where there is one or more race officials on site, where there is a limited start window, and it is expected that a significant number of people will be participating on the course over a restricted (less than one day) time interval.

Self-directed orienteering activities
Self-directed orienteering activities would include activities where you go out on your own time, by yourself (or with a group from your household “bubble”), where there are no race officials onsite, and where courses and markers have been made available for people to use over an extended, usually multi-day period of time. 

Coached Group Programming
Several Canadian orienteering clubs deliver coached programming for children, youth,and adults (for example weekly programs, clinics, summer camps).
Absolute Requirements (required for approval / sanctioning by Orienteering Canada)Control Measures
All participants must sign a waiver once per yearParticipants must sign the new OC waiver provided before their first event after June 1, 2020; it can be done online, with an electronic signature; must be signed by guardian for children under 13, both participant and guardian for youth from 13 to age of majority in your jurisdiction.
**updated November 26, 2020
Individual Declaration of Health Declaration completed on EVERY event day by each individual (participant, official, spectator). For details, see the Orienteering Canada Event Management Plan for COVID-19 RisksParticipants, spectators, officials bring completed form from home.
Event record keepingThe following items must be recorded and kept for a minimum of 5 years:
- names of officials and volunteers at the event
- names, start and finish records of all participants
- date, time and location
- all completed Declarations of Health forms, both paper and electronic
**updated November 12, 2020
Participants and officials practice regular hygieneHygiene practices for COVID-19 include encouraging:
- washing hand with soap and water or using hand sanitizer regularly
- wearing a mask when near other people (not expected when on course)
- any other suggested hygiene practices suggested by your local authorities
Physical distancingParticipants, officials, all others on site practice physical distancing as per health authorities' guidelines at all times
Personal healthAll participants and officials must not participate and must stay home if:
(a) they feel unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by health authorities; OR
(b) they have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
If you have recently been tested for COVID-19 follow the instructions from your health authorities.
First Aid First Aid should be given if anyone requires it. First aiders should always follow guidelines to use proper personal protective first aid procedures as per their training and protect themselves first using gloves and facemask
Recommended ActionsControl Measures
On site First Aid KitFirst Aid kit should be on site and should contain
- CPR pocket mask with one way valve
- gloves (not to be re-used)
Older and vulnerable participantsAllow a specified start window for these participants to avoid mixing with other participants
SignageHave clear signage and reminders for participants regarding:
- procedures different than normal
- special instructions
- hygiene, health and safety
- physical distancing
Communicating Expectations to ParticipantsPost Return to Orienteering Guidelines for Individuals on site and make it available on club website or online registration page.
This is a reminder that the focus of orienteering
is still on being outside, active and training, and NOT on we start back into more traditional events is on being outside and being active. The focus is not on competition. The use of SI units unless using touchless SI Air finger sticks, official timing, results and awards are all discouraged. Updated July 16, 2020 ** Updated August 25, 2020, Updated March 25, 2021
Specific Elements of a Traditional Orienteering EventCOVID-19 HazardsRisk Rating - BeforeControl Measures for Training Activity modified from Traditional EventRisk Rating - After Control Measure
Course planner / event organizer selects event locationPhysical Distancing - if location is not appropriate (eg. small start/finish area, busy park, busy parking lot)Low-MediumSelect appropriate event location based on current health authority/government guidelines and recommendations.
Think about mode(s) of transportation available to the site remembering that carpooling is not recommended.
Course Planner selects activity formatPhysical distancing, if there is a mass start involvedMedium-HighActivity should not involve mass starts (eg. no relay, no mass start score-O)Low
Course planner sets initial courses at homeNoneNoneNoneNone
Course planner checks courses and hangs flagging tapeContact - course planner is handling flagging tape LowNoneLow
Course controller (if applicable) checks all control sitesContact - initialling the flagging tapeLowCourse controller does not initial flagging tape.None
Course planner sets out control flags and SI unitsShared contact point for participants during event (see additional note for details)MediumOption 1: SPORTident (SI) control are used. Controls need to be sanitized before and after each use.
SI controls are not used unless using touchless SI Air finger sticks (in which case controls need to be sanitized before and after use),
Option 2: SI is not used. Pin Punches are not permitted. Flags are used and not touched by participants, or just flagging tape is used, but flags are recommended particularly for novice participants; another options is an app (such as MapRunF or UsynligO) that allows the participant to download the map onto their phone before the activity and their phone will track their location while doing the activity. Flags need a control code on them. A possible option is to laminate paper with the control codes printed on them and attach this laminated card to the flag by string, clip or staple. Course planner should exercise proper COVID-19 specific hygiene measures when hanging flags.
Updated July 16, 2020 **Updated August 25, 2020
Option 1: Low
Option 2: Low

**Updated August 25, 2020
Course planner prints maps for the event Touchpoint / contactLowOption 1: Course planner does not print maps. Participants download and print their own maps at home.
Option 2: Maps are printed in advance and available at the start area.
Option 1: None
Option 2: Low
Course planner / registrar bags mapsTouchpoint / contactLowOption 1: Participants bring their own map bag.
Option 2: Maps are pre-bagged in advance with sufficient lead time to minimize risk.
Option 1: None
Option 2: Low
Club website is updated to include eventN/AThis is a good place to list changes from regular orienteering activities and to make sure participants know any information that may help their comfort level with participating (eg. parking situation, start and finish locations etc.). This is also a good place to post Guidelines for Individuals for Modified Traditional Orienteering Activities.
Participants register online, in advanceNoneNoneNo changes neededNone
Participants pay registration fees online, in advance, prior to the eventNoneNoneNo changes neededNone
Waiver requiredNoneNoneWaiver with reference to COVID-19 must be signed (see template in the Orienteering Canada Management Plan for COVID-19 Risk). None
Participants complete registration form on siteTouchpoint / contactLowOption 1 (preferred) : Registration done only online in advance.
Option 2 (in exceptional circumstances acceptable) : Registration is done on site with no or minimal contact.
*Updated Mar 25, 2021
Option 1: None
Option 2: Low
Participants hand completed registration form to registrarTouchpoint / contactLowOption 1 (preferred) : Registration done only online in advance.
Option 2 (in exceptional circumstances acceptable): With onsite registration, registration form is deposited in registration box by participant
*Updated March 25, 2021
Option 1: None
Option 2: Low
Cash payment is made for registration feeTouchpoint / contactLowOption 1 (Preferred) : Payment is done online in advance.
Option 2 (in exceptional circumstances acceptable): Payment is made on site using touchless payment methods (Square, e-transfer, exact change dropped into bin, etc.)
*Updated Mar 25, 2021
Option 1: None
Option 2: Low
Waiver, if not already completed, is signed by participant and handed to registrarTouchpoint / contactLowWaiver is signed online, in advance.None
Rental compasses or SI timing sticks are handed to participant
Touchpoint / contactMediumConsider lending compasses and SI sticks instead of renting them, to avoid the contact involved in a cash transaction. If renting, consider having a bin for participant to deposit exact change in. Borrowed or rented units should be sanitized before and after use.
No rental compasses or SI timing sticks or any other items at event.
**Updated August 25, 2020

**Updated August 25, 2020
Map, in map bag, is handed to participantTouchpoint / contactMediumOption 1: participants download and print their own maps at home.
Option 2: participants pick up map and use their own map bag, sanitize hands after.
Option 3: participants pick up bagged map from bin (maps were bagged multiple days at least 24 hours in advance and are not handled by officials on day-of), sanitize hands after.
** Updated August 25, 2020
Option 1: None
Option 2: Low
Option 3: Low
Control Description sheet is handed to participantTouchpoint / contactMediumParticipants print their own control description sheet at home, or use the control descriptions printed on the map.None
Daily Declaration of Health form is handed in or submitted electronically
**updated Novmeber 12, 2020
Touchpoint / contactMediumHave a bin for participants to deposit their completed Declaration; official checks it without touching it. Have some copies on hand for anyone who forgot to bring their completed form (or who does not have a printer; have hand sanitizer on hand for those people to wash their hands after completing the form.
For electronically completed Declarations of Health, officials confirm online that it has been completed and submitted.
** updated November 12, 2020
Participants start on their own time, no assigned start times Physical distancingMediumOption 1; when people register online, they sign up for a start window (for example a 30 minute start window with 10 starts allowed). Encourage participants to arrive close to their start time.
Option 2: officials assign start times well spaced out to prevent bunching on course.
Option 1: Low
Option 2: Low
Volunteers set up tents, tables, other equipment for registration, timing, etc.Touchpoint / contactMediumLimit equipment set up on site. With decreased on site activity (no registration, no timing, no snacks, etc) less equipment is required.Low
Tables are set up with water and possibly snacks for post-raceTouchpoint / contact / gatheringsMediumEveryone brings their own water, drinks, food; nothing available from organizers.None
Participants carpool to the eventGroups / gatheringsMedium-HighRecommend to participants in advance that they DO NOT carpool with anyone outside their "bubble".None
Participants congregate, socialize and wait for start in registration areaGroups / gatheringsMedium-HighOption 1: Cap registration so that the total group size (including officials) does not exceed the regulations of the local government/health authority.
Optin 2: Require physical distancing as mandated by your local government/health authority.
Option 3: Have people sign up for a start window during registration.
Option 1: Low
Option 2: Low
Option 3: Low
Organizers host intro clinic for newcomersGroups / gatheringsMedium-HighOption 1: Provide newcomers with links to on-line resources to help them learn the basics. Orienteering Canada lists a number of helpful resources at:
Option 2: Offer an online clinic or coaching session in advance of the orienteering activity
Option 1: None
Option 2: None
Some participants register to participate as a group on courseGroups / gatheringsLowOnly groups in family/friends "bubble" (as per local health authorities) permitted to sign up / participate as a group.Very Low
Participants move from registration area to start areaPhysical distancing - too many people in close quartersLow-MediumRemind participants to maintain appropriate physical distancing (as per local health authorities) at all times; use signage to reinforce message.Low
Participants await their turn to startPhysical distancing - too many people in close quartersMediumHave markers showing participants where to stand in order to maintain appropriate physical distance.
Very Low
Race official at start line monitors time between startsPhysical distancing - too many people in close quartersMediumIncrease time between starts to prevent bunching on course; official maintains appropriate distance (as per local health authorities), from participants.Low
Multiple people start at the same time - usually one per course, so up to 4 people.Physical distancing - too many people in close quartersMediumAllow only one participant (not one per course) to start at a time.Low
Participants handed map at start instead of at registrationTouchpoint / contactLow-MediumOption 1: Participants print maps at home and bring it and their own map bag, with them.
Option 2: Participants pick up their map from a box of printed maps, participants supply their own map bag.
Option 3: Participants pick up a pre-bagged map from a box of maps. (maps have been pre-bagged well in advance)
Participants punch the start control when they start out on course. This is the record of all starters.Touchpoint / contactMediumIf not using With no SI, a start official must keep a accurate record of all starters and their start time for safety purposes. If participants choose to do multiple courses, record must be made for EACH course they do.
** Updated August 25, 2020
Participants walk or run from control to controlPhysical distancing especially when on trailsLowParticipants must avoid close contact with other participants when passing in either the same or opposite directions. On trails participants should be mindful of staying well ahead or behind others, and should step off-trail when passing each other.Very Low
Participants use SI timing stick or control punch to record being at each controlTouchpoint / contactMediumOption1: SPORTident (SI) may be used for timing. It is important for participants to avoid touching controls when punching. Consider recommending participants carry a personal bottle of hand sanitizer with them; or consider having a bottle of hand sanitizer available at each control site.
SI and control punches are not used unless using touchless SI Air finger sticks.
Option 2: MapRun F or equivalent is used. Participants do not touch the flag. Being a metre from the control is acceptable.
If MapRunF or equivalent is used it can help participants as a learning tool.
** Updated July 16, 2020 **Updated August 25, 2020
Option 1: Low-Medium
Option 2: None

**Updated August 25, 2020
Participants know the course closing time and that they must be back by thenN/ANo change. Participants should be reminded of this requirement.
No water provided on courseTouchpoint / contactMediumParticipants will bring own water **updated July 16, 2020 Very Low
Participants arrive at finish control in finish areaPhysical distancingMediumHave finish control somewhat removed from finish area so that participants have a chance to slow down, walk, catch their breath before arriving in the area where multiple people are.Low
Participants hand in punch card or download SI stick at results computerTouchpoint / contactMediumOption 1: Participants download their SI at the download control. Participants do not touch the control Hand Sanitizer is available at this location.
Option 2: If not using
With no SI or punch cards, officials must record every finisher for safety reasons. If participants choose to do multiple courses, record must be made for EACH course they do.
** Updated August 25, 2020
Option 1: Low
Optin 2: None

**Updated August 25, 2020
Participants return rented equipment to finish area officialsTouchpoint / contactMediumRental equipment is deposited in a bin by participants. Items are not touched by officials for at least 24 hours after return.
No rentals at event.
**Updated August 25, 2020

**Updated August 25, 2020
Before packing up and going home officials confirm that all participants have returnedN/AIf not using With no SI, confirmation must be done manually, comparing start list and finish list. Note that this procedure has changed because of the change in equipment, not to mitigate risk itself. Follow-up criteria regarding missing participants is as per regular orienteering events respecting physical distancing requirements.
** Updated August 25, 2020
Water, other drinks, snacks are available for participantsTouchpoint / contactMediumNo water, food or drink is available for participants; participants bring their own food and drink; water and energy food (eg. granola bars) should be onsite for emergency purposes (eg. dehydration, heat exhaustion).None
Event results are posts in the finish areaInvites lack of physical distancing, larger groupsMediumDo not post results on site. Refer participants to check online results from home.None
Participants socialize after raceGroups/ physical distancing, larger social groupsMedium-HighParticipants should not linger at the event location after they have finished their course; Instead of gathering on site after the event to discuss the race, the club can organize an on-line session (Zoom, Google Meet, etc) later in the day for that purpose to encourage the social interaction. Contact Orienteering Canada ( if you wish to use Orienteering Canada’s Zoom license (which allows for meetings over 40 min).Low
Participants wait for friends and family travelling togetherGroups / gatheringMediumEncourage participants to wait for their travel cohort away from the finish area with appropriate physical distancing.Low
Awards may be presented to participantsGroups / gatheringsMedium-HighDo not have any awards or results presentations. If participants self-time or use an app, collect and post results on-line after the event. Because there is not an emphasis on competitive orienteering, there is not a need for awards. **Updated August 25, 2020None
Course planner or designate picks up the controls after the eventTouchpoint / contactLow-MediumOption 1: Leave control flags in the forest for a number of days at least 24 hours prior to retrieving them.
Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer after handling / removing flags.

Option 2: If flags need to be retrieved quickly, collector should follow Follow proper COVID-19 specific hygiene measures when retrieving flags.
**Updated August 25, 2020, updated March 25, 2021
Option 1: Low
Option 2: Low

Updated March 25, 2021