Proposal for a new World Orienteering Championships programme taking shape

Posted on | January 28, 2011 | Category: News

Following the decisions at the 2010 IOF General Assembly in Trondheim, the IOF Council appointed a project group to develop a proposal for the future World Orienteering Championships (WOC) programme. The group, known as “WIF” (WOC in the Future), presented an intermediate report to the IOF Council at its meeting in Helsinki 21st of January.

Guiding principles

Besides the decisions from the 2010 General Assembly, the WIF group has concluded on guiding principles for the continued development. The intention is to raise the attraction of the World Championships for athletes, media and spectators, to broaden the participation and open up the Championships for new orienteering nations, and to strengthen the World Championships as the primary showcase for orienteering by positioning it for high quality TV coverage.

The WIF group proposes a WOC where every competition day is a medal day. The number of medal races is proposed to be extended from the current four to five or six. According to the group, the qualification race for long distance should be removed. The programme should be formed to support the attendance of new orienteering nations, e.g. by being structured so that it is possible to take part in only part of the WOC. Also, all runners who completed a course should have a place in the result list of a final.

Development in keeping with tradition

The WIF group has in its intermediate report concluded that a future WOC should be developed in keeping with the tradition. Both the long distance as an individual interval start format and the relay as it is known today, a separate three leg relay for men and women, are proposed to be part of the future programme. Furthermore, the group is proposing to introduce a sprint-style relay with mixed teams of two men and two women, such as on the World Games program.

What next?

The project group is now working to finalise its proposal for the programme model and to conclude on principles for participation and qualification. This will be subject to consultation with the IOF member federations, and a final proposal will be presented to the IOF Council in May 2011. It will then be a matter on the agenda for the Presidents’ Conference during the World Orienteering Championships week in Chambery, France in August 2011.


The WIF project has 13 members appointed by the IOF Council representing various stakeholders in the WOC. These include athletes, coaches, organisers, IOF, media and television. The project is lead by IOF Vice President Leho Haldna and Sports Director Björn Persson.

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