IRF Rules of Rogaining - Current as of the 1st January 2015

IRF Rules of Rogaining - Current as of the 1st January 2015

Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation for teams travelling on foot. The object is to score points by finding checkpoints located on the course within a specified time. Checkpoints may be visited in any order. 

Rogaining is an amateur sport to be enjoyed by social and competitive participants and event organisers.

The IRF Rules of Rogaining are binding for all national, regional and world championship rogaines. However, they govern the conduct of all rogaining events organised by any group affiliated with the International Rogaining Federation.

The rules include provisions on the conduct of competitors (Part B), technical standards for organisers of rogaining events (Part C) and some special requirements for the World Rogaining Championships (Part D). 

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What is Rogaining?


What is Rogaining?
Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation. The championship rogaine is of 24 hours duration but there are several shorter variants. Teamwork, endurance, competition and an appreciation of the natural environment are features of the sport. Rogaining involves both route planning and navigation between checkpoints using a variety of map types.
Rogaines are generally day and night events in which teams of two to five members travel entirely on foot, navigating by map and compass. Teams select their own order of visiting checkpoints in terrain that varies from open countryside to hilly forest.
A central base camp provides hot meals and teams may return at any time to eat, rest or enjoy the fellowship. Teams travel at their own pace, and anyone from children to grandparents can experience the personal satisfaction that comes from cross-country navigation at individual levels of competition and comfort.

What is Rogaining? More Detail

What is Rogaining? - More detail

Several hundred people milling around me. Suddenly a voice booms out: "You have 24 hours from … NOW. Good luck". And we were off. At least everyone else was off, scattering in all directions. Within two minutes we were alone - myself, Manuel and Sue - and our maps. Our first rogaine. My previous experience walking on tracks somehow seemed inadequate. "Need some help?" It was the event co-ordinator. She spent fifteen minutes helping us choose a route that would get us back in time for a hot dinner and we set off. I have never looked back!'

The author of that paragraph has now completed thirty rogaines and been part of the extraordinary growth of the sport. Within twenty years of the first rogaine at Melbourne, Australia, events were being held around the world and regularly attracting several hundred competitors. This popularity stems from the emphasis on participation rather than just competition, the sense of challenge and the opportunity to experience the outdoor life. Teams travel at their own pace and everyone from children to grandparents can experience the satisfaction of navigating by map and compass between checkpoints knowing that someone else has vetted the course, obtained permission from landowners, produced a map and provided meals and rest areas. Teams choose their own route and all teams finish at the same time, so there is no feeling of being left behind. It is a great way to spend a weekend.

Some teams rogaine competitively and championship rogaines are run regularly. For the fastest teams, rogaining demands first class navigation both day and night in all terrain along with sustained physical and mental endurance. Yet competitive rogaining is secondary to the primary philosophy of participation. Many rogainers have little interest in speed and find the sport provides opportunities to spend a day or weekend in pleasant company, in empathy with the outdoors and with whatever self-set challenges suit them. Novice participation is actively encouraged and all rogaining events are designed to be suitable for beginners.

A key factor in this broad appeal is that all participants start and finish at the same time. Unlike a long distance run where slow runners arrive to find everyone is packing up, slower rogainers often spend the last hours at the finish, enjoying the spectacle of competitive teams racing in at the last minute. Non-competitive teams may have chosen to sleep for most of the night in warm sleeping bags at the camp area before finding more checkpoints the next day.

Expert, novice or family group, one aspect unites all rogainers, namely the satisfaction of being able to navigate in rural and forest environments.


Copyright 2002 International Rogaining Federation Inc. All rights reserved.