What does Orienteering mean?

Orienteering is a family of sports where competitors, using a map and compass, must navigate through an unfamiliar environment (typically a forest) from one control point to another, aiming to complete a course as quickly as possible.

Orienteering: The sport of the intelligent athlete.

How orienteering is practiced?



Orienteering is an exciting athletic competition that challenges you to push your limits in the midst of nature. During the competition, athletes navigate using a map and compass, turning their route into a real-time three-dimensional experience. Strategic choices and navigation skills guide athletes between multiple control points, and the winner is the one who completes the course in the shortest possible time. In addition to competitions held in forests, orienteering is also practiced in urban areas, in Sprint and City-Orienteering events.




How many types of Orienteering can be praticed?

Alongside Running Orienteering, there are also Ski Orienteering and MTB Orienteering. All three branches are widely practiced, especially in Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Hungary, with the World Championship, European Championship, and World Cup stages organized annually worldwide.

In addition to the professional aspect, there are other ways of practicing Orienteering such as Maze Orienteering, Micro-Orienteering, and Indoor Orienteering.




The benefits of practicing this sport:

Increasing cardiovascular health: Orienteering is an excellent way to raise heart rate and improve cardiovascular health. It is a form of cardiorespiratory exercise involving running, jogging, and climbing over varied terrain.

Reducing stress and anxiety: Orienteering is a great way to alleviate stress and anxiety. Being in nature and navigating unknown terrain can be soothing and empowering. It can also help improve problem-solving skills, concentration, and spatial awareness.

Boosting self-esteem: Orienteering is a challenging sport that requires a lot of mental and physical endurance, which can contribute to boosting self-esteem and self-confidence.

Improving social skills: Orienteering is a great way to meet new people and make friends. It’s a social sport often done in groups and can be an excellent way to connect with people who share common interests.

Fun and fulfillment: Orienteering is a fun and rewarding sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. It’s a great way to get exercise, explore the outdoors, and have fun.

A little more about Orienteering

Those who practice this sport run on rough terrain, completely unprepared forest terrain in the true sense of cross country. Therefore, considerable strength and bodily agility are required. Physical condition similar to that of a 3000m steeplechase runner or marathon runner is necessary. There is a wide variety of orienteering events: individual competitions and relays, ultra-short park races, and mountain marathon events. Night orienteering with the help of a flashlight is also a popular form of orienteering. Every year, the world’s best orienteers compete for the title of World Champion. Orienteering became a recognized Olympic sport in 1977.

Equipment: lightweight running gear, cleats, map, compass, control card (SI-card).

Mountain bike orienteering is an endurance sport that attracts both orienteering enthusiasts and mountain bike enthusiasts. The most important orienteering skills required are route choice and map memory. Extremely good bike handling and the ability to cope with steep climbs and descents are an absolute necessity for a top-level athlete. As an environmental protection measure, competitors cannot leave trails and tracks, although exceptions may be allowed in some countries. Mountain bike orienteering is one of the newest orienteering disciplines administered by the International Orienteering Federation. It began in the late 1980s at the club level in countries where mountain biking was a popular outdoor sport. The Mountain Bike Orienteering World Championships are held annually, attracting approximately 25 national teams.

Equipment: map, compass, map holder, bicycle, helmet, control card.

Ski orienteering is a winter endurance sport that combines orienteering and cross-country skiing on rough terrain using prepared cross-country ski tracks. An athlete combines physical endurance and high strength, excellent skiing skills, and the ability to choose the best routes. Ski orienteering events are designed to test both the physical strength and navigation skills of athletes. Athletes use a map to navigate through a dense network of ski tracks and to visit control points in the correct order. Route choice is based on the quality of the ski tracks, slope, and distance, all of which can be read from the map. Having its origins in the 1890s, ski orienteering is a sport with long-standing traditions and is recognized as an Olympic sport.

Equipment: map, compass, map holder, cross-country skis, poles, control card.

Trail orienteering is an orienteering discipline focused on map reading in natural and urban terrain. The discipline was developed to provide everyone, including those with limited mobility, the chance to participate in a meaningful orienteering competition on a level playing field. Manual or electric wheelchairs, canes, and other aids are allowed when necessary for mobility, and ground speed is not relevant for competition.

The challenge is to identify the correct control marker from the information provided by the map. This is done from a distance and often from a road or path, making it possible for people with reduced mobility to participate.

Trail Orienteering was recognized as an official IOF discipline in 1992. World Championships were held annually from 2004 to 2019 and will be held every two years starting in 2023.

Control Description


Would you like to join the club?

Babarunca Sports Club offers you the opportunity to connect with other orienteering enthusiasts. Be part of a club that celebrates sport and personal growth. Through our activities and upcoming events, we invite you to improve your health, develop your skills, explore nature, and enjoy the satisfaction of achieving personal goals.