Glossary of Orienteering terms and their meaning:
Clear Station – located in the area before entering the start box. This is where you clear the SI dibber of previous information and races this MUST be done before you start. Bricks are cleared prior to hiring.
Control – On the map a circle indicates a control site. There will be a kite, with a unique control number and an electronic timing device.
Control descriptions – Are an additional clue sheet. These describe the feature you are to locate and are printed on the map. On WHITE and YELLOW courses control descriptions are in text. More difficult and technical courses have description symbols these are International Orienteering Federation (IOF) symbols, see here.
Download - usually situated next to registration. This is where the information is collected from your brick or SI dibber and where you will receive a detailed timing record of your progress round the course which you can relate to the map.
Dibber or Brick hire – located close to registration and usually £1.
Finish - there will be a control just prior to the finish banner. Don’t get carried away and forget to punch this before passing the finish.
Kite - A red and white fabric sign which you will see when approaching your control feature (see control above)
Pre-entry - registering prior to the event.
Punching start – immediately after the start box and where your start time is entered into the SI dibber or Brick.
Punching - the act of placing the dibber or brick into the timing device to record your time at the control point
Registration – a building, tent or car where you choose your course, complete a registration form and pay for the map
Registration form - sometimes issued at the parking fee location, can be completed in your vehicle prior to going to Registration.
Start – a taped out area, with lanes appropriate to the number of courses available. The lanes are divided into three sections lengthways to provide 3 x 1 minute separations. Often at small events, only a taped start line is used.
Start Kite - this can be out of sight and REPRESENTS THE START TRIANGLE ON YOUR MAP. This is where the course begins! You will be told where the start kite is located
Whistle - if you get BADLY lost or get into trouble you can blow a whistle. This will ensure you are found quickly. (Incidentally, the internationally recognised emergency signal is six short blasts every one minute, not just for “O”ing). The whistle should only be used in this way in an emergency since other orienteers will stop their race to come to your aid if they hear the distress whistle.