Rules and Embargo


All 10 California Orienteering Festival competition areas are embargoed. The embargo map, embargoed areas, and descriptions of the embargoes themselves are here:

Embargo Map

Please note the purpose of the embargoes is fairness. The areas are embargoed for runners and team officials until the competition is finished. Any attempt to survey or train in the competition terrain is forbidden, unless written permission is obtained from the organizer.

We recognise that the embargo areas in some cases include lodging and shopping areas. Without permission, participants may drive, ride or walk on the tarred asphalt highways and access roads, visit amenities and restaurants, and may stay in accommodations at Northstar, Truckee and North Lake Tahoe areas. Participants staying in the accommodations and/or visiting restaurants and similar public amenities may not venture into the forested areas for training or exploration purposes.


The North American Orienteering Championships will follow the rules laid out by the IOF, titled “COMPETITION RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL ORIENTEERING FEDERATION (IOF) FOOT ORIENTEERING EVENTS” with particular reference to Appendix 12.

IOF Competition Rules

The World Rogaining Championships will follow the rules laid out by the IRF, titled “INTERNATIONAL ROGAINING FEDERATION RULES OF ROGAINING” with particular reference to Part D.

IRF Competition Rules


Please refer to the IOF anti-doping rules at the following link.

IOF Anti-Doping Rules


All participants will be required to sign a release of liability.


Participants are expected to provide their own medical insurance.

Description of Punching system and Results display

The SPORTident electronic punching system will be used. Touch-free mode (Air+) will be activated in addition to classic SPORTident punching. Both traditional and SIAC (SI-Air) touchless electronic systems will be supported on all courses.

M/F-21+ Elite, M/F-20 Elite, M/F-18 and M/F-16 are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to use SIAC (SI-Air) cards for the North American Orienteering Championship events.

Contactless SIAC (SI-Air) cards will be available for rent to all competitors.

The contactless SI-Air system will be set to register within approximately 0.4 meters of the control station. Per IOF and OUSA rules, as always it is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that their punch is recorded, using the audio and visual confirmations of the punching system.

There are two fallback positions if a contactless punch fails to be confirmed:

  1. Insert or re-insert the electronic card into the control unit and check for confirmation.
  2. A manual pin-punch will be provided at each checkpoint in case the electronic system fails to work.

Western Race Services will provide near-real-time display of results on large computer screens, as well as printouts of split times. Results will be available on-line within 48 hours of the end of each event.

Additional considerations for the World Rogaining Championships:

  • Checkpoints will have reflectors.
  • Each competitor shall wear one SportIdent electronic punch. The SI-Air card will be provided by the organizers, attached to each competitor with a non-removable unique wrist band, and it must be carried by the competitor from start to finish. Proper attachment will be checked when entering the start corral and at the finish.
  • For safety and in accordance with the rules, teams must stay together at all times. Team members must punch within 60 seconds of each other. Team members should arrive at checkpoints together and leave immediately after punching so that there is no chance of the SI Air system unexpectedly punching due to proximity and thus violating the 60-second rule.
  • The manual pin-punch will only be used to award points if there has been a failure of the SI station or SI-Air card, or the SI station was missing.
  • GPS trackers may be provided as part of team mandatory equipment.