Brian Parker (GBR)
This Clinic is about elite Trail Orienteering.
It is about controlling elite Trail Orienteering to a
high and consistent standard on behalf of the International
Orienteering Federation (IOF).
This is the first clinic for IOF Controllers in Trail
Orienteering. Much of the material presented here is new and
specially produced for this Clinic. It is intended that it should
provide a base of reference for Trail Orienteering at elite
level. As such it is the first word on the subject.
But it is not claimed to be the last word on the subject. It
is hoped that the information and guidance presented here
represent best practice at this time and will assist in the
further development of this version of orienteering as it becomes
Trail Orienteering has potential, especially at elite level.
Most people observe the small number of events and the low
participation in them and conclude that Trail Orienteering does
not have significant potential.
It is argued that they are wrong to conclude so because the
number of good orienteers who are familiar with a form of Trail
Orienteering is actually quite high. I am referring to all the
Planners and Controllers of major Foot Orienteering events. They
have all experienced Trail Orienteering, but without being aware
Trail Orienteering is sometimes called Precision Orienteering
because it deals with precise map reading and careful analysis of
flag placing. These are exactly the skills employed by all those
top grade Planners and Controllers in their selection of control
sites and the preparation of descriptions for those sites. Trail
Orienteering is simply formal competition involving those
At its highest level, elite Trail Orienteering can be extremely testing, but it has to be fair and enjoyable. There is an analogy here with the best cryptic crosswords. It is easy enough to set a crossword which is difficult to solve but setting a puzzle which is elegant and enjoyable as well as testing requires a special skill. So it is with elite Trail Orienteering and it is the Controller's task to guide and advise so as to achieve this aim.
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