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Sydney Summer Series – Guidelines for Participants and Code of Conduct

The SSS is the entry point to orienteering for the majority of people in our sport. Unlike bush orienteering, it’s highly visible and as such it’s imperative that participants and organisers obey the rules and all landowner instructions.

The wellbeing and safety of all participants, and goodwill with local residents, is paramount.

Some “Do Nots”

Participants must abide by the following, most of which are consistent with standard orienteering rules:

Please DO NOT:

  • Scale or cross any fence or wall mapped as high/uncrossable (the fence symbol with two tags), even if you find a hole in it
  • Cross or cut through any bush section where the organisers have specified you must stay on the tracks
  • Cross a road at any point other than “compulsory road crossing locations” where such roads are marked with an uncrossable purple stripe symbol
  • Cut through any sporting event being held during an SSS event, even if the field itself is not marked OOB. Please navigate around the perimeter of the sporting fields in such situations
  • Swim at any time between control sites. You may wade, if safe, through shallow water
  • Cross boundaries on the course other than at marked “Enter/Exit” points if these are shown on the map by the organising club. Contravention with any of the above will render the participant subject to disqualification.
  • Go home without checking in at the finish table and downloading


Participants may compete in their age class (based on age at Dec 31 of the year the series commences), or in any younger class (except Juniors) and will remain in that class until the conclusion of the series.

Once the age category has been nominated by the participant, it may not be changed during the series. (This is to ensure that series results in lower age classes cannot be manipulated by participants changing classes during the course of the season).

The exception is if a participant who normally competes in an age category is injured or incapacitated for some reason, then he or she may compete in the Walking category.

Any person of any age may compete in the Walking categories.

The Sydney Summer Series is an individual sport. To be scored in a category, participants must complete their course alone and not have anyone accompany them on their course. The exception is that a parent or friend may shadow a child in the junior classes but not render any assistance.

If two or more people run together, they must enter the “Group” category. The Group will receive an official result but the category will not qualify for scores or awards.

Walking Categories

There are two Walking categories: Men and Women.

Walkers must not break into a run at any time, ie they must have at least one foot on the ground at all times. SSS regards fair play as paramount.

Commencement of Timing

After beginning their course, participants may not at any time (except by permission of the organising club under exceptional circumstances) return to the Start, clear their timing sticks, and start again. Anyone found guilty of this offence will be disqualified.

Recording of Points from SI Controls

It is the responsibility of each participant to ensure that the SI unit flashes and records a response at each control. Unless the organisers confirm an SI unit has malfunctioned, participants will not be awarded points for a control where the SI unit has not been activated but has registered correctly for all other participants. If an SI unit has malfunctioned during an event, all participants who visited that control will be awarded the appropriate points. Participants should notify the organisers of any problem with SI units immediately upon finishing their course.

Out of Bounds

It is imperative that participants do not deliberately enter any area on the course marked on the map and in event publicity material as “out of bounds”. Anyone doing so will be disqualified from the event. Disqualification may be based on evidence such as split times, GPS routes and complaints from other persons.

If a participant accidentally enters an “out of bounds” area, as a general rule they will not be disqualified as long as they reverse out of the area along the same route. Eg it is sometimes possible to mistake a private driveway as a marked path between houses. In such instances, disqualification will be at the discretion of the organising club.

Any participants who find themselves in “out of bounds” areas but do not depart the area by retracing their route into it, must notify the organising club upon finishing and will be disqualified and receive zero points for this event.

Participants must not cut corners through residential properties, etc. Respecting private property and all OOB environments is crucial to the future of the series.

Assistance with Placing Controls, etc.

The course setter for each event will not be eligible to compete in their event but will be awarded 100 points in their category. Only one person will be awarded the 100 points. Joint course setters should nominate the person to receive the 100 points before the event.

The course controller and anyone assisting in putting out controls will be allowed to officially enter the event unless it is obvious they are so doing to deliberately gain an unfair advantage from leading competitors in their class.

Lending Assistance to Injured Participant

Any participant encountering an injured competitor during their run must stop running and render assistance.

Once the injured participant has been rescued and (a) taken back to the finish, or (b) handed over for medical treatment, or (c) has continued their course, any participants who rendered assistance may resume their course by returning to the last control site that they punched and punch it again. Upon completing their course, the participants should inform the organising club of the circumstances and the organising club will adjust their official times to discard the period that expired while rendering assistance.

If it is not practical for the participants who rendered assistance to recommence their course, their time will be calculated to end at the time they punched their last control, and they will receive an official score for the total value of the control sites they visited.