Orienteering/Videos/Start procedure

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The Presenter approaches the start area, where a number of orienteers are waiting for their starts.


Orienteering is a sport that involves physical fitness and navigational challenges. I’m on my way to the start of my first race, where I’ll set off on my course at my pre-allocated start time. Like a cycling time trial, most orienteering races are run individually, against the clock. Whoever has the fastest time at the end of the day, wins.

The presenter spots the Elite (script 1) near the start area, who waves ‘Hi’. Then presenter moves over to him.


I’ve just spotted [Name], an elite Australian orienteer. Let’s see what he does to prepare for the start of a race.

PRESENTER (to Elite)

Hi [name], what course are you running today?


I’m running Course 1


And how long will that take you?


Hopefully about 40 [or whatever] minutes if I have a good run.


I’m running a course 8. How long do you think that will take me?

ELITE (laughs)

Hard to say.


Why does everyone laugh when I ask that?

(more laughter)

So is there anything special you do to prepare for the start of a race?

ELITE (ad-lib, along the lines of…)

Make sure I get there in plenty of time! I also make sure I remember to clear and check.


Clear and check? What’s that?


I’ll show you.

They walk a short distance to the clear and check boxes.


Every race, you need to clear the information from your previous race from the electronic chip in your stick. This box clears the stick [CLOSE UP of Presenter clearing] and this box checks that the chip is empty [CLOSE UP of presenter checking].


Anything else I should do?

ELITE (ad-lib…)

I also make sure I’ve had a good warm up and that I’ve taped my shoelaces...


You shoelaces? I never would have thought of that!

Over general chit-chat, no sound, looking at his shoes etc…


There are actually several of different types of starts in orienteering. As well as individual start, like today -

(footage of normal start in a big competition)

- there are also ‘mass starts’ that take place for relay events, where everyone starts together.

(footage of relay starts)

Back to Presenter and Elite.


So what’s your favourite type of start?

ELITE (ad-lib)

[whatever it is]


Seven o’clock starters can go, seven o-six starters to the map.


That’s my start.


Good luck!

The Presenter heads to the map.


Because this is a small local competition, today I have to draw my own course on the map. But in bigger competitions, the maps are pre-marked and competitors don’t see them until the moment they start. (if available, more footage of start procedure at championship event, focused on the competitors picking up maps)

CLOSE UP of presenter marking course on the map – she is just about done and we see her completing the task.

PRESENTER (spoken while marking on course)

I have six minutes to carefully mark my course onto my map. I want to get it exactly right, because the control flag that I will be looking for is located in the centre of these circles. The start is marked with a triangle, here –

(points to triangle)

And the finish is marked with the double circle, here –

(points to double circle).

CUT TO presenter and a few other competitors standing near the starter.

PRESENTER (to camera)

One really important thing I need to take with me on the course today is this little piece of paper (she holds it up) called a control description. Some people have special holders for these –

(CLOSE UP of a control description holder on another competitor’s arm)

But I have just taped mine to the front of my map.


Not only does it tell me what kind of feature I’m looking for on the map, it also tells me the unique code that I should see on the control that will tell me it’s the one I’m looking for.


Seven o-six starters can go, seven twelve to the map.

The competitors all start, dibbing at the start control. The Presenter dibs last.


Once my chip has registered a time at this start control – I’m officially on my way.

She places the compass on the map and turns around, trying to orientate the map.


Now how did this thing work, again?