The clubs that constitute NI Orienteering aim to stage a Northern Ireland Colour Series League, a Northern Ireland Urban League and 5 Northern Ireland Championships Events during the calendar year. Participation is open to all, however to to gain points in the leagues and to be declared a NI Champion it is necessary to be a member of NI Orienteering. You may join NI Orienteering and your local club here and check event fees here. It is possible to “shadow” children, beginners and adults with learning difficulties, with details at Shadowing at NI Orienteering Events.

The NI Colour Series League is the backbone of orienteering suitable for novice, progressing and experienced orienteers alike using the colour coded courses with the following courses offered:

  • Brown (TD5)
  • Blue (TD5)
  • Green (TD5)
  • Short Green (TD5)
  • Light Green (TD4)
  • Orange (TD3)
  • Yellow (TD2)
  • White (TD1). Depending on the terrain it may not always be possible to provide a white course.

See here for a useful explanation of  Colour-Coded Courses and Technical Difficulty (TD).

NI Orienteering members are awarded points for each event in the league. See Northern Ireland Colour Series League for details of the calculation.

If shorter or middle distance courses are to be offered, the organiser should make this clear, but the colour names will still be used to avoid confusion with the league.

A Northern Ireland Urban League was trialled in 2022. Typically 3 courses were offered:

  • Long 7-8km
  • Medium 5-6km
  • Short 2-3km with no major road crossings and therefore suitable for unaccompanied under 16s.

The Score Championships and Night Championships are normally held on a Saturday afternoon and evening in February, with the prizegiving from the previous year in between while darkens falls.

The time limit for the Score Championships is usually 45minutes for juniors (M/W18-) and ideally 60 minutes for Seniors. However this may not be possible due to the terrain. It is ideal that no competitor would be able to visit all controls. Two sided maps, loops or dumbbells are possible methods to extend an area, which should be communicated in the pre-event instructions and explained at the start.

Categories for the Score Championships are M14- (Fir Shield), W14- (Pine Shield), M18- (Plane Cup), W18 (Olive Cup), MOpen (Ash Cup), WOpen (Aspen Cup) and M45+, W45+

Course/Classes for the Night Champs usually are:

  • Course 1: TD4 – MOpen (Horn Beam Cup)
  • Course 2: TD4 – WOpen (White Beam Cup), M45+
  • Course 3: TD4 – Junior Men M16- and Junior Women W16- (Cedar Cup), W45+

The Sprint and Middle Distance Championships are normally held on a Saturday morning and afternoon in May or June, with the NI Orienteering AGM in between.

Course/Class Combinations for the Sprint usually are:

  • Course 1: TD3 – M Open (NIOA Sprint Men Shield)
  • Course 2: TD3 – M40+ (Vet), W Open (NIOA Sprint Women Shield)
  • Course 3: TD3 – M55+ (Super Vet), W40+ (Vet)
  • Course 4: TD3 – M65+ (Ultra Vet), W55+ (Super Vet), W65+ (Ultra Vet)
  • Course 5: TD3 – M16- W16-
  • Course 6: TD2 – M12- W12-

Course/Class Combinations for the Middle Distance usually are:

  • Course 1: TD5 – M Open (NIOA Middle Distance Men Shield)
  • Course 2: TD5 – M40+ (Vet), W Open (NIOA Middle Distance Women Shield)
  • Course 3: TD5 – M55+ (Super Vet), W40+ (Vet)
  • Course 4: TD5 – M65+ (Ultra Vet), W55+ (Super Vet), W65+ (Ultra Vet)
  • Course 5: TD4 – M16- W16-
  • Course 6: TD2 – M12- W12-

The Northern Ireland Orienteering Championships normally takes place on a Saturday in September or October, sometimes with a Home International individual event preceding. Each class from M/W10 to M/W80 is competed separately. Normally colour coded courses at Light Green, Orange and Yellow are offered for progressing competitors. M/WOpen are non-competitive classes offering a shorter course for senior orienteers.

Course/Class Combinations for the Long Distance usually are:

  • Course 1: TD5 – (Black) M21 (Mountain Ash Cup)
  • Course 2: TD5 – (Brown) M18 (Elm Cup), M20 (Scots Pine Cup), M35 (Chestnut Cup), W21 (Silver Birch Cup)
  • Course 3: TD5 – (Short Brown) M40 (Yew Shield), W18 (Lime Cup), W20
  • Course 4: TD5 – (Blue) M45 (Oak Cup), M50 (Silver Fir Cup), W35 (Alder Cup), W40 (Hazel Cup)
  • Course 5: TD5 – (Short Blue) M16 (Spruce Cup), M55 (Blackthorn Cup), M60 (Walnut Cup), MOpen*, W45 (Cherry Cup), W50 (Douglas Fir Cup)
  • Course 6: TD5 – (Green) M65 (Cypress Cup), M70 (Sitka Spruce Cup), W16 (Larch Cup), W55 (Hawthorne Cup), W60 (Laburnum Cup), WOpen
  • Course 7: TD5 – (Short Green) M75 (Rowan Cup), M80, M85, W65 (Juniper Cup), W70 (Magnolia Shield), W75, W80 (Gold Star Trophy), W85
  • Course 8: TD4 – (Lt Green), M14 (Sycamore Shield), W14 (Willow Shield)
  • Course 9 : TD3 – (Orange) M12 (Poplar Shield), W12 (Laurel Shield)
  • Course 10: TD – 2 (Yellow) M10 (Acorn Shield), W10 (Beechnut Shield)

* M/WOpen are non-competitive classes offering a shorter course for senior orienteers

Relays Championships are not normally held, however the available trophies are MOpen (Maple Cup), WOpen (Holly Cup).

Curent and previous holders of Championship Trophies are at Results>Trophy Winners.


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