Hertfordshire Youth Orienteering League Rules


The HH Youth league consists of a series of 5 events held in Oct, Nov, Dec, Feb and March.


Entries and payment must be made online via SIEntries, preferably in advance. There will be a link for this on the event details page on the club website. It is still possible to enter on the day but this also has to be done through SIEntries and is subject to map availability

Pupils should be entered individually. If they are inexperienced then they are welcome to run with a friend. The time for each runner will count separately, even if they stick together throughout the course. We do expect that in the spirit of the competition, once they are more experienced, they should run on their own.  If a more experienced person is accompanying a first-timer, then please read the section below on ‘Assistance on the Course’. In essence, they should be there for reassurance and not to show someone where to go!

The courses are school year based. Juniors will need to run the same class all season to get a full set scoring runs since points cannot be transferred between classes. For juniors that orienteer regularly (i.e. club members) they are probably too easy and they may be best to run up. If the relevant HH officers agree in advance that a junior is competent to run up, and their orienteering development requires them to do so, then 85% of their running time on the harder course will be used for Youth League scoring. This will not be granted without evidence of full solo competence on their normal course.


The cost per event for juniors is £2 plus a dibber hire of £1 if required (see Timing below).

Please note that if a pupil joins the Club (£9 per year) then they can run free for a whole year at our Saturday events. There are other benefits too. Our “Join HH”  page explains how to join online via British Orienteering, the national federation.  Junior members who are not part of a family group will only be contacted via parent / guardian to give fixtures information, and they are not included in our distributed membership list. We hope that in due course the family joins us: orienteering is a great family sport.

Classes for the League

Boys and girls compete in separate, age-dependant classes:

Year Course Distance Expected Time
3/4 White 1.0 – 1.5 km 10 – 40 mins
5 White 1.0 – 1.5 km 10 – 40 mins
6 Yellow 1.5 – 2.5 km 20 – 40 mins
7/8 Orange 3.0 – 3.6 km 30 – 60 mins
9/10 Orange 3.0 – 3.6 km 30 – 60 mins
11/12/13 Light Green 3.2 – 4.0 km 30 – 65 mins

Both Yellow and White courses will involve straightforward navigation and are designed so that they can be completed without the use of a compass.

The Orange course is around 3.5km in length and provides a greater navigational challenge. Skilled navigators can risk taking shorter routes away from paths and line features while there will usually be easier, safer but longer routes between controls. Very skilled juniors might complete the course in just over 30 minutes while inexperienced participants can expect to take an hour or more. Inexperienced participants should therefore arrive early so they can take the earlier start slots. A compass, and knowing how to use one, is recommended.

Youngsters tackling the Orange course with no previous experience of orienteering will find it very challenging, and should be prepared to be patient as they develop their skills. They have an option of running down for their first few events, in which case 118% of their running time on the Yellow course will be used for Youth League scoring.


Each participant is loaned an electronic timing chip (known as a dibber) at Registration.  There is a £1 hire fee for this and regular orienteers buy their own. This is used to record the time taken around the course and to show that each control has been visited. The chip is downloaded to a computer back at registration after completion of the course.


Points will be awarded depending on finish position, with the winner of each class scoring 100, 2nd scoring 99 etc.

Assistance out on the Course

Parents, guardians etc are encouraged to accompany first timers on the course. In orienteering this is called “shadowing”. Anyone shadowing a child should avoid ‘doing it themselves’ with the child in tow in an attempt to get a fast time. This achieves nothing as the child gets no sense of achievement and learns very little. Instead, shadowers should allow the child to do all the navigation themselves, and only help out where a mistake has been made or the child asks for help.


Seriously lost children are a rarity in orienteering. However, anyone getting disorientated should not wander about aimlessly. Instead, get on to the nearest track or path and remain where you are and you will be found! If you see a control marker not on your course, remain with it and ask another passing competitor for help. Carrying a whistle is recommended.

Second runs

If a child wishes to go out for a second run on the next level course, they are encouraged to do so – it will be classed as non-competitive. They may go either solo, or shadowed / paired.  This can be arranged on the day if there are spare maps on the relevant course.


Any competitor who has completed 3 events will be awarded a competitor medal. At the end of the series, if they are in the top 3 in their class, they will receive a place medal.

League Table

The league table will be updated after each event. An individual’s best 3 from 5 results will count to their overall standing.

The Youth Group Team result for an event will be decided by adding a group’s best 10 scores from the individual results. The overall Youth Group Team result will be made up of their 4 best event scores.

Maureen Webster Trophy

This trophy is in memory of Maureen Webster, a member of HHOC and a teacher at Wood End School who was a dedicated supporter of the League for many years.

The trophy is awarded to the Organisation that achieves the highest level of participation in the Youth League in a season:

Each competitor will score a point if they punch 5 or more controls on a single course; this can, but need not, include the start and finish. For pairs or larger groups each member will score a point.