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Schools Information

South Island Schools Championships Rules


Eligibility: A student eligible to compete in the schools champs must:

1) Be enrolled as a bona fide student at the school of representation and studying at least 80% of a programme that is part of the timetable provided by the school for at least four weeks immediately prior to the event.

Individual Classes

1) Competitors are divided into classes based on their gender and current year level at school.

2) Competitors are divided into five separate grades based on their current year level at school, Yr 4/5/6, Yr 7&8, Junior (Yr 9), Intermediate (Yr 10&11), Senior (Yr 12&13).

3) There are also maximum ages for each grades as follows:

a) Senior (Yr 12-13) must be under 19 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition.

b) Intermediate (Yr 10-11) must be under 16 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition.

c) Junior (Yr 9) must be under 14 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition. If someone if over the maximum age for their grade they must run up a grade regardless of what year they are in at school.

4) Determining year at school:

a) Regardless of what level they are studying at, year at school should be determined by how many years the student has been at school. For example, if someone is in Year 11 but studying a mixture of NCEA Level 1 and 2 papers then they still compete as a Year 11.

b) If someone has skipped a whole year then they compete at their new year level. For example if someone skips straight from Year 9 to Year 11 (missing year 10) then they compete as a second year Intermediate grade.

5) Classes for the individual Long Distance event are further subdivided on skill into Championship, Standard and (depending on grade) Novice categories.

6) The practice of competitors “running up” a grade is not endorsed by Orienteering NZ, however it is recognised that in some cases this may be the best approach for a small number of top competitors with significant past experience. It is recommended that only those who have a chance of obtaining a podium place in the grade above consider running up.

Definition of Grades and Difficulty Colours
The following is provided to guide team managers in which course to enter individual athletes for the long event. Orienteering courses are colour coded by difficulty. The skills required for each difficulty level are indicated below. We expect that many athletes will not securely have the requisite skills for the championship course at their age grade. We strongly encourage these less experienced athletes to enter the standard course for their grade. Competing on the right course will improve an athlete's enjoyment and confidence in the sport.

RED: Red courses are set to make the navigation as difficulty as possible. They require competitors to be very competent at reading contour detail, using bearings and handling the full complexity of an orienteering map. Frequently fences are left off maps used for red courses, requiring greater dependence on terrain recognition for navigation. Control sites on red courses can be on small features with no catching or collecting features. Competitors should be experienced at running red courses and have good route planning skills. Inexperienced runners can find it difficult to relocate if they do not navigate successfully to a control.

ORANGE: Orange courses competitors must be competent at reading distinct contour features, very competent at reading vegetation patterns, watercourse, rock, track types and building features, and be able to set and follow a basic compass bearing and have some ability to judge distances in event terrain. The best route between controls will often be away from simple navigation features like fences and tracks. Competitors should have extensive experience in running yellow courses and have some experience at the orange level of difficulty prior to entering the championship. Orange courses are set so that there is a catching feature (e.g. a distinct track, fence or stream) some distance after the control. This means that inexperienced runners should be able to relocate if they overrun a control.

YELLOW: Yellow courses follow linear features (e.g. tracks, fences, vegetation boundaries and streams), however controls are frequently sited off the route being followed. Competitors need to be able to orient their map using a compass in order to choose their direction to go in and be able to recognise features that will lead them from their linear feature and into the control. The fastest route between controls may be away from the network of linear features. Competitors should be confident running white courses and have run yellow courses successfully before entering the championships. The structuring of courses around linear features means that an athlete with good recognition of these features on the map and the ground should be able to relocate easily.

WHITE: White course competitors need to be able to read basic map features, follow linear features (e.g. tracks, fences, vegetation boundaries and streams) to control points and use a compass to orient their map to north. There will be controls at each significant decision point around the course. The white course is designed to minimise the chance that a competitor will become lost and need to relocate.