Orienteering Ability Award, Level One
This award aims to make you familar with the sport of Orienteering.
You are introduced to the map and learn to orienteer through of fun activities and games. Activities can take can place in a classroom, school grounds or local park.
You must demonstrate the following:
- Use the map and legend to recognise how objects on the ground are shown on the map.
The map is an orienteer’s most valued piece of equipment. It is a scaled down picture of the world that uses colours and symbols to represent features on the ground. The key to these colours and symbols can be found on the legend at the side of the map. Beginners will quickly learn to recognise the main colours and common symbols on an orienteering map.
Participants will identify features around them that are shown on the map.
- Orientate the map with the aid of linear features.
As orienteer you must turn the map so it fits the ground around you. This means that the features in front of you on the ground will also be in front of you on the map. You can use prominent linear features such as paths, buildings and fences to help orient or set your map. You will not need to use the compass at this stage.
- Use your thumb to mark their position on a map.
- You must be able to recognise the colour system used on orienteering maps
- You need to be able to navigate a simple orienteering course by following clear line features.
As an orienteer you will be able identify the start, finish and control symbols on orienteering course. The course will follow roads, tracks, hedges and other obvious handrails. Controls will be placed on line features and at junctions where you will need to change direction.
Orienteering Ability Award, Level Two
The Orienteering Ability Award Level Two builds on the skills from the OAA 1. Level Two teaches you the skills and techniques that will enable you to safely and confidently complete a cross-country orienteering course in parkland.
As a participant in the course you will become familiar with the sport of Orienteering through a series of fun activities and games aimed at encouraging simple route planning, feature recognition and familiarity with the layout of an orienteering map.
Activities can take place in at your school or outdoor centre grounds as well as local parks.
Orienteering fosters your self-reliance and confidence as youn learn to navigate and make decisions independently. At this level you should navigate without assistance where possible.
You must demonstrate the following:
- Orientate the map using terrain features
- Recognise and identify handrail features on an orienteering map – tracks, fences, hedges, streams etc
- Identify the principal symbols used on orienteering maps and relate these to the correct features on the ground.
- Recognise simple contour features – uphill, downhill, steep, flat.
- Recognise the colour system used on orienteering maps
- Estimate map the distance between features on the map using the scale bar.
- Identify possible hazards shown on an orienteering map – Roads, out of bounds areas, uncrossable rivers, fences or walls
- Successfully navigate a cross-country orienteering course.
Orienteering Ability Award, Level Three
The Orienteering Ability Award Level Three allows you to builds on the skills you acquired in the OAA 1 & 2 awards. This next step is to provide more of a challenge – it requires you to venture into the woods unguided. OAA3 teaches you the skills and techniques that will enable you to safely and confidently compete in orange and red standard orienteering events in parks and small woods.
You will become knowledgeable with the sport of Orienteering through a series of fun activities and games aimed at developing your route planning, feature recognition and familiarity with the layout of an orienteering map. You will learn to navigate with the use of common orienteering techniques including using attack points and aiming off and to navigate over legs with several decision points. This level also introduces the basic use of a compass to allow short cuts between line features
Activities you will participate in can take place in parks and small woods.
You must demonstrate the following:
Leaving line features to get to a control
- Orientate the map using terrain features and a compass
- Make simple route choice decisions.
Which way shall I go?
Easy route following paths or a shorter, slightly more difficult route requiring navigation along ditches or cutting through the forest.
- Simplification of legs with several decision points.
- Use the compass to make short cuts between two line features.
Navigate a short legs on a rough compass bearing to a control on or in front of a collecting feature.
- .Identify common contour features on the map and on the ground.
Depression, knoll, re-entrant, spur.
- Navigate using collecting features and catching features
- .Practice thumbing and map folding techniques.
- . Navigate with the use of common orienteering techniques including corner cutting, attack points and aiming off.
- Explain how the colour system used on orienteering maps
may influence route choice and running speed
- Use Control descriptions as an aid to recognising a control feature.
- Explain orienteering safety procedures.
•Always stop for an injured competitor
•Report to the finish regardless of whether course has been completed
•Never enter out-of-bounds areas or avoid impassable features
- Attend three public orienteering events at least orange or red standard.
Identify age category, select a course and register an entry.
Navigate with the use of common orienteering techniques including corner cutting, attack points and aiming off.
- Outline procedure for relocation
• Stop – Don’t make it worse; Orientate the map;
• Look – At terrain & Map – Matching the terrain & map to work out your position;
• Return – To last known position;
- .Rules and Ethics
Orienteering is an individual sport with an emphasis on self-reliance and making your own decisions. There should be no following or seeking information from other competitors.
Move away from controls after punching -. Lingering at controls can give away the location to other competitors.
Orienteering Ability Award, Level Four
The Orienteering Ability Award Level Four assesses the skills and techniques you required to safely and confidently compete on light green courses at orienteering league events.*
The OAA 4 is the personal skills award required by you prior to attending an Orienteering Instructor Award assessment.
When successful you will display a good level of map understanding and will be able to navigate using the full range of skills and techniques. You must demonstrate the application of techniques in real situations and provide evidence of your orienteering experience – this should include your attendance at league or championship orienteering events.
- You must provide:
evidence of participation in a minimum of ten orienteering events – at least three events should be of a Light Green (TD 4) standard where they finished within 150% of the winning time.
evidence of participation in three orienteering events – at least two events of a Light Green (TD 4) standard where they finished within 150% of the winning time and complete a OAA4 Skills assessment course at forest or open mountain venue.
- Present a race analysis template to reflect on the race and performance for 2 events.
- Pass the 20 minute short answer examination.
Skills, techniques and understanding to be assessed for OAA4
- Navigation on short legs on rough compass bearings to a control point.
- Interpretation of IOF control descriptions.
- Navigation on long legs on a rough compass bearing to a collecting feature
- Use an accurate compass bearing on short legs
- Navigate over short distances using simple contour features
- Navigate legs with significant route choices.
- Awareness of safety procedures for appropriate to orienteering
- Understand the rules and tactics of orienteering
* light green courses will be Technical Difficulty(TD) 4; courses should not involve complex map reading, all types of controls sites are suitable however controls should have a collecting feature and errors should not involve significant time loss.
The OAA Level 4 Skills Award can only be assessed by a member of the IOA Assessment Panel.