Foot orienteering

Foot orienteering

The international orienteering symbol
Highest governing body International Orienteering Federation
First played 28 May 1893, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact Non-contact
Team members Individual
Mixed gender Separate categories
Type Outdoor

Foot orienteering (foot-O) is the oldest formal orienteering sport, and the one with the most "starts" per year. Usually, a foot-O is a timed race in which participants start at staggered intervals, are individually timed, and are expected to perform all navigation on their own. The control points are shown on the orienteering map and must be visited in the specified order. Standings are determined first by successful completion of the course, then by shortest time on course.

Foot-O is one of four orienteering sports governed by the International Orienteering Federation.


The history of orienteering begins in the late 19th century in Sweden, the actual term "orienteering" was first used in 1886 and meant the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass.[1] The first orienteering competition open to the public was held in Norway in 1897.[1] Notable dates for member nations of the IOF are shown below.

First public event National body founded First national championships First international event Other
Norway 1897 1945 (NOF) 1937 (Årnes/Kongsvinger) 1932[1] (Slora, Sørkedalen)
Sweden 1901[2] (SOFT) see below 1935[2] (Skinnskatteberg) or 1937[3]
The first Swedish national body was formed in 1935,[3] [or 1936[2]] to co-ordinate both foot and ski orienteering. In 1938 SOFT took over the sport for all foot races.[2][3]
Finland 1923[4] (1904[4]ski orienteering) 1935[4] 1935 (Vihti)
Estonia 1926 (Pirita) 1959 1959 (Nelijärve) 1973 (1969 ski orienteering)
Australia (OA)
Canada[5] 1967 (COF) 1968 (Gatineau Park) 1976?
India (OFI)
Ireland 1969 (IOA) 1975
Italy 1976 (Ronzone)[6] 1986 (FISO) 1986 1993 (Kastelruth - JWOC)
New Zealand (NZOF)
South Africa 1981? (SAOF)
UK[3][7] 1962 1967 (BOF) 1967 (Hamsterley Forest) 1976 (Darnaway Forest)
US 1967 (Valley Forge, PA) 1971 (USOF) 1970 (Southern Illinois) 1986 (Hudson Valley - World Cup)
Russia/USSR 1959 (Leningrad) 1961 1963 (Uzgorod)

International championships


  1. 1 2 3 "Past & present". International Orienteering Federation. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Milstolpar i utvecklingen" (in Swedish). Svenska Orienteringsförbundet. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Disley, John (1978). Orienteering. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0-571-04930-3.
  4. 1 2 3 "Historia | Suomen Suunnistusliitto". Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  5. Canadian Orienteering Federation (Retrieved on 10 October 2008)
  6. FISO, Italian Federation website
  7. on 14 October 2008)

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