Trail orienteering is an orienteering discipline centered around map reading in natural terrain. The discipline has been developed to offer everyone, including people with limited mobility, a chance to participate in a meaningful orienteering competition.
Manual or electric wheel chairs, walking sticks, and assistance with movement etc. are permitted as speed of movement is not part of the competition.
Trail orienteers must identify on the ground control points shown on the map. As this is done from a distance, both able-bodied and participants with disabilities compete on level terms. Proof of correct identification of the control points does not require any manual dexterity, allowing those with severely restricted movement to compete equally. Most trail orienteering events have classes open for everyone.
Athletes who cannot participate on reasonably equal terms in the sport because of a functional disadvantage due to a permanent disability are eligible for the paralympic class.
Trail Orienteering was recognised as an official IOF discipline in 1992. The first ever World Cup in trail orienteering was held in 1999 and replaced with World Trail Orienteering Championships in 2004. The World Championships are organised every year.
MOBILITY AIDS: Any recognised mobility aids, apart from a combustion engine vehicle, are permitted. Requested physical assistance is also permitted.
MAP: The competitor interprets the map to choose which one of the control markers in the terrain represents the one marked at the map.
CONTROL CARD: Trail orienteers use a multiple choice control card.
Photo: Pirjo Valjanen, Cover photo: Joaquim Margarido