This is the standard guidelines
document. Please refer to the Covid WNL guidelines document for the changes
relevant for these Covid times.
1. All WNL events will be a
score event, usually of sixty minutes duration. The recomended
entry fees are £6 seniors, £3 juniors.
2. The total points available
should come to a total in the range 500 to 600, with each control worth no more
than 50 points, and penalty points will be applied at one penalty point for
each 6 seconds or part thereof a competitor exceeds the allotted time. If any
competitors visit all the controls their score will have added to it one point
for each 6 seconds his time is less than the allotted time. This scoring allows
the league scoring system to be consistent. It allows some limited lateness to
be beneficial to the score which helps avoid ties and encourages the competitors
to go for that one extra control.
3. Start times should run from
night fall and will normally be allocated at least one minute intervals. So
that organisers can expect to pack up promptly, no competitor should expect to
be able to start later than one hour after the first start time. Courses should
close approximately 80 minutes after the last start time which should be
4. Organisers should plan
between twenty and thirty controls, at least six of which should be planned to
form a yellow standard course. Remember that night-time orienteering does make
all controls more difficult. These yellow standard controls should be sited on
line features, and should form a logical course for NOVICES. Some high-valued
controls should be available near to the start/finish area.
5. The controls for novices
referred to in 4. above carry reflective tapes,
together with those other controls for which reflectors are deemed appropriate,
at the organiser’s discretion.
6. Experience has shown that it
is beneficial to have a controller for all of these events. On the day,
organisers will find that they do need at least one other person to help with
registration/start/finish. 1000 Handicap points are available for each of up to
2 nominated Officials for each event.
7. The league will be based on
competitors’ best six events. This number may be amended for a future
season, at the pre-season meeting.
8. At each event, the organiser
will give to each competitor, a details sheet which will contain at least the
following minimum information:
penalty points system
descriptions in both large and small formats suitable for wrist holders.
points value of each
information as to
which controls form the yellow standard course
information as to
which controls if any have reflective tape
relevant safety information, (see also section 12.)
Whistles and Backup lighting being compulsory should be emphasised.
Safety bearings for
lost competitors should always be provided.
pub for after-event relaxation, bore-o etc. There will be no organised pub of the night during Covid.
of the type of punching, electronic or otherwise.
as to how to get results.
9. If an event requires a
map-exchange, consideration must be made as to whether the proposed system for
this is fair. The preferred method is to
split the controls into an odd and an even half. Competitors can do either half first and can change only the once. Scoring should be split evenly between the
halves. Choosing the half to do first
and where to change becomes a significant tactical decision for
competitors. Care should be taken with
the beginners controls to explain the order they can be taken in and where the
recommended changeover is.
10. Results. Organisers are requested
to use an Excel Spreadsheet created by Ian Fleming to input controls visited
and time penalties (+ or -), together with the points value of each
control. This forms the basic result
sheet, and a sheet to use by the Organiser is provided before the event The
Organiser should return this to the Results co-ordinator (with any comments) so
that the Handicapping calculations can be carried out. These are subsequently
forwarded to the Web master who places them on the WNL Website. It is in everyone’s interest that
results should go out within a week or well before the next WNL event. Results
can usefully appear on other club websites quickly along with Splits before the
final league scores are worked out.
11. Pub of Night. Not Relervant during Covid. Whilst not part of the competition, it is
normal for the organiser to select a local pub for winding down purposes. Having a good number of the competitors all
in a known place for a period after the race also adds considerably to the
safety element in the event of a search being needed. In selecting such a pub organiser should consider:
If juniors under 18 would be welcome
If food is available at the likely finish times
If we would be likely to be welcome there, and give the operator some
idea on numbers. This
is difficult but a minimum of about 6 and a maximum of about 16, would be usual.
Whilst competitors run at
their own risk, weather and lighting conditions can make WNL events subject to
greater risks. ALL Organisers are required do a safety audit prior to the event
and ensure that all competitors have adequate equipment and reserve lighting.
British Orienteering insurance requires Whistles
and Backup lighting to be compulsory. The organiser needs to check these as
competitors start. See below for details. Mobile phones are also recommended
and the organisers number should be on the map. Competitors should be able to satisfy the
organisers that they have suitable back up equipment for the likely climatic
conditions. E.g. making cagoules
compulsory is not an unusual occurrence if conditions are at all bad. Organisers should not only be aware of the
clubs search and rescue procedures but be in a position to implement them if
necessary. This involves the officials having adequate reserve lighting, and
equipment to be used to execute the search plan. Rucksacks with standard mountain marathon
equipment are a good starting point. It
is recommended that the last starters be asked to stay in the assembly area
after their runs until the last finisher returns, so that appropriate search
facilities can be implemented if necessary. The number for the pub of the night should be
known so that if needed the
pub can be called and the competitors already there summoned back
Special attention should be
given to newcomers to night O especially with limited day experience as
well. The most critical thing is to
emphasise the easier controls and the time limit. Make it clear that they should be aiming to
be back a bit early for a first outing.
Make it clear that if they are seriously late the organiser will start
asking people not to leave so they are available to help with a search which
would be started soon after everyone else has finished.
Safety bearings for lost competitors should always
If you have any doubts regarding safety, please seek advice from more experienced club colleagues and/or regular WNL competitors.
The following is from British Orienteering detailing the
exact additional requirements imposed by the insurance scheme with regard to
Our insurers base their risk assessment
on our track record and on their understanding and appreciation of our rules
and the steps we take to mitigate risk. Therefore it is important that
organisers apply our rules strictly and are able to demonstrate and evidence
good risk management.
For night events the current Safety
Appendix to the rules state:
4.10 Night events
4.10.1 When the event is to be held during the hours of
darkness the risk assessment must take account of additional hazards arising
from this. The Organiser may require competitors to wear an article of high
visibility and/or reflective clothing.
4.10.2 Competitors should be reminded of their
responsibility towards their personal safety. It should be mandatory
for them to carry a whistle and back-up lighting. Checks should be
made before they start. If the weather justifies it then wearing or carrying a
waterproof hooded jacket needs to be mandatory.
4.10.3 For Urban night events in which competitors may
encounter moving traffic, the Organiser may require competitors to wear an
article of high visibility and/or reflective clothing.
4.10.4 It is advisable to notify the local police about the
event in case they receive reports of suspicious lights. It is also good
practice to inform local residents.
So, the wording could be clearer and
will be updated shortly but 4.10.2 says “…. It should be mandatory
for them to carry a whistle and back-up lighting. Checks should be made before
The insurers assume that
‘mandatory’ means mandatory and consequently this is what is
required to be delivered for night events.
Clearly some will argue about the
clarity of the rules and whether or not they agree with them; regardless of
this it will be expected to be enforced by the insurers and if there was an
incident this is what the insurers will expect.
So, at the moment until the rule is
changed, please protect yourself, your club and British Orienteering by
delivering the Rule and checking people have what they should have before they
start. This will place you and us in the most defensible position if an
Add to your event information:
“Please note that British Orienteering have confirmed that every competitor must carry a whistle
and a backup light and that the organising club must physically check at the
start that a reasonable percentage of participants are complying with this
rule. Please bear with us while this kit check is performed.”
If and when the rule is updated I’ll let you know.