News Club Kit
Safeguarding and welfare

Colour coded events explained

The colour coding of courses is related to ability providing a suitable entry point to orienteering and progression for all ages and abilities. When arriving at an event simply visit the enquiries desk, and mention you are new to the sport.

Colour Coded event are the most common types of orienteering events in Britain. There will usually be an event within reasonable travelling distance in most parts of Britain on Sunday mornings. The orienteering season runs from September to June but there often local events available during the summer.

Colour coded courses

Colour Coded courses are graded according to Technical Difficulty with TD1 being very easy and TD5 very difficult.

Colour Level Description Length
White TD1 Easy and short - all on paths, mostly used by under 10 year olds and family groups 1.0-1.5 km
Yellow TD2 Slightly less easy and a little longer - uses simple linear features (paths, walls, streams, etc.), mainly under 12's and families. Try this one if you like a Keyne-O 'Amble'. 1.5-2.5 km
Orange TD3 Not all on paths, and longer again. Progressing to basic use of the compass and route choice, ideal for novice adult orienteers. Similar to Keyne-O 'Trot'. 2.5-3.5 km
Light Green TD4 Navigation skills needed; longer again. The technical ability requirements begin to increase, crossing terrain using simple contours and 'point' features. Ideal for improvers. Might not be as long as Keyne-O 'Run' but a bit more technical. 2.5-3.5 km
Green TD5 The shortest technically difficult course. Uses contour features, 'point' features. Used mostly by experienced under 18's, and adults wanting a short but challenging course 2.5-5.0 km
Blue TD5 Technically difficult but a longer and more physically demanding course in comparison to green. The distances are more varied between controls 5.0-7.5 km
Brown TD5 Physically demanding and technically difficult. For experienced adults only 7.5-10.0 km
Black TD5 A gruelling opportunity for elites to show their friends how tough they are 10-15 km

Choosing a colour course

A youngster would be expected to start on either the White or Yellow courses, whilst an adult novice would begin with either the Yellow or Orange course depending on his or her confidence. A competitor's progression can then be made either towards longer courses with the navigation remaining relatively simple, or on to technically difficult courses up to the appropriate length for his or her fitness.

Colour coded awards

This is an award scheme associated with these courses.A competitor qualifies for a Colour Coded Award by achieving the Colour Coded Standard for that colour course on three separate occasions. Pairs can qualify for Colour Coded Awards on the White, Yellow and Orange courses.

A White Colour Coded Standard is achieved by anyone who successfully completes three White course. The Colour Coded Standard for courses other than White is calculated using whichever of the following two methods gives the larger number of qualifiers:

Colour Coded Badges.

The Controller may extend the qualifying time if there are reasonable circumstances to do so, but may not reduce it. The Colour Coded Standard time for each course is usually calculated and displayed the final results.

How to claim your Colour Coded Award

To claim your Colour Coded Award you must achieve the Colour Coded Standard in three separate events.

The award is a sew-on badge with a background colour appropriate to the colour of the award made. These can be sewn onto O-tops and worn with pride, with the ultimate objective of collecting enough awards to put a Russian general to shame!

SMOC members can claim their awards by sending their details together with the details of the three qualifying events (event name, event date, and organising club) to the Membership Secretary.