Home - Chicago Area Orinteering Club
Intro to Orienteering
Upcoming Events
E-mail lists
Membership Info
Photo Gallery
Related Links
Meet Director's Area

Dave Macaulay Answers Your Questions About Bramble Ramble—Extreme

What is an "A-meet?"

An "A-meet" is a national orienteering event sanctioned by the United States Orienteering Federation. Courses are held on up-to-date maps and are very carefully set according to USOF guide-lines. CAOC is hosting an A-meet April 27 and 28 on a newly revised Palos North map (near Palos Hills, IL). Competitors will vie for USOF ranking points that permit comparison with orienteers across the U.S. We expect competitors from all regions of America and perhaps even some from other countries will compete. In every class awards will be given to competitors who have the best two-day combined times within 43 separate age groups.

I'm not world-class, is there a place for me at an "A-meet?"

Yes. If you run slowly or like to walk you still will enjoy the courses that are more carefully designed than at local meets. People of all ability levels compete at A-meets. And you can never tell, within your class and age group, you might find that you are better than you thought and actually win a award.

What courses are offered?

In addition to the normal courses there are two other choices. The Blue course is 25% longer than Red and the Brown course is 25% shorter than Green.

The registration form seems complicated... what should I register for?

First determine your age as of December 31, 2002. If you are a man between the ages of 21 and 34 you may enter either your championship class which is the M-21+ class and competes on the Blue (longest) course, or you may enter any of the shorter courses in the Open class, such as -M-Green.+ USOF Ranking points are awarded only to those who sign up in their respective championship class.

If you are a man between the ages of 35 and 39 your championship class is the M35+ class which competes on the Red course. But a unique feature of orienteering competition is that older orienteers may "run up" and register and compete in younger classes. Thus a strong 35 year old man may register in the Blue M-21+ class. Many orienteers like to see how they rank against young ter competitors; by "running up" on four A-meet days, they will be ranked for the year in two age groups. Similarly a 50 year old woman, whose championship class is F50+ (Brown course), may register in any of the younger age groups instead: F35+, F40+, and F45+ on the Green course, or F-21+ (Red course).

I'm a man aged 40 and I'd like the challenge of Blue rather than my championship-level Red course. Can I compete on a more difficult course?

Yes. The M-21+ class is available to any man. The "+" in the designation M-21+ means the class is for all ages 21 and up, and the "-" in front of the 21 means the class is also for those under 21. If you are 40 you have a choice of competing on the Red course in class M40+ or on the Blue course in class M-21+. First choose the course that best suits you and then choose a class that competes on that course.

I'm a man aged 40 and the Red and Blue courses are both too difficult. What options do I have?

You could compete on any course in the Open class. You could chose the M-Yellow class on the Yellow course, the M Orange class on the Orange course or the M-Green class on the Green course.

What about junior orienteers?

The White course is used for class F-10 (girls up to age 10) as well as for class F-12 (girls ages 11 and 12). Class F-14 (girls ages 13 - 14) competes on the Yellow course. The Orange course is used for class F-16 (girls ages 15 and 16), the Brown course is for class F-18 (girls ages 17 - 18) and the Green course is home for class F-20 (girls 19 - 20).

The "-" in the class designations means it is for all younger age groups. Thus class F-14 is for all girls up to age 14. A 12 year old girl could compete on White in class F-12 or on Yellow in class F-14 or even on Orange in class F-16.

Okay. What does class "Gr-Orange" mean?

"Gr" is for competitive groups. A group of orienteers could compete on the Orange course in class Gr-Orange.

I'm still confused. What class should I use if I have so many choices?

First pick the course you want to compete on. Then study the classes that compete on that course. There will be a class for you on that and every course.

Do I have to compete both days?

It is common to participate both days but you can choose to compete on one day only. If you compete both days you will be eligible for awards given to the top orienteers in each of the 43 classes.

Why are the entry fees higher than for normal CAOC meets?

There is a greater cost in setting up and running the event when it must meet demanding USOF standards. All net revenue (if any) will stay with CAOC and help pay for new maps. Register before April 1 to get the early registration discount. USOF members get an additional discount. And juniors pay lower fees than adults.

Sorry, I can't afford the $18 fee; can't I just orienteer for the normal $8 charge?

Yes. You may enter as a Map Hiker on the White, Yellow or Orange courses. But Map Hikers have a different starting location, are not eligible for awards and do not enjoy the fun of a multi-day event. Map Hikers do not pre-register—you'll register the day of the event. However, if you wish to run Brown, Green, Red or Blue you must register for the A-meet by April 1 and pay $10 per day if a junior or $18 per day if age 21+. If you're a USOF member you save $3 per day—USOF membership forms are available at the USOF web site.

What happens if I miss the April 1 deadline for Early Registration?

After April 1 event fees increase to $20 per day and then after April 15 event fees increase to $25 per day. This is necessary so that we can prepare premarked maps for you, and to order the needed awards and tee shirts.

Is an A- meet just like a normal CAOC meet?

A-meets are more exciting. You will be assigned a start time. Other runners may have the same start time but they will be competing on different courses; you will be the only one on your course for a 4-minute interval.

You will report to the starting area several minutes before your start time. At 2-minute intervals you will move ahead to a new location and will finally be given a pre-marked map and clue sheet (sealed in a plastic bag). You are not permitted to look at the map until you actually start the course. The actual starting location will be out of sight of other competitors and they will not be able to see in which direction you begin.

At the Club's A-meet next month, a World Ranking Event and the U.S. Intercollegiate Championships will be held simultaneously. This is the first time such elite events have been held in Chicago. Club members should consider registering for them.

Home | Intro | Events | Meet Results | E-mail lists | Newsletter | Bulletin Board
Training | Contacts | Membership | Photo Gallery | Links | Meet Directors
© 2001-2006 Chicago Area Orienteering Club
Please send questions or comments to the webmaster.