Welcome to the Ultimate Orienteering Series

Begun in 2000, this spring and summer series gives you the opportunity to participate in several different types of orienteering, from short distance to long distance, and from day-time events to night events.

2016 Details

This year, we have a record 10 events in the Ultimate Series! Two are hosted by Eastern Washington Orienteering Club and are not included in the online Series registration (see the events page for details). You must sign up for these events separately (see individual event pages for details).

This year, your best 6 events count towards your total score.


One or two courses (juniors or masters may be assigned a different course than open at some events) at each Ultimate event will be designated as the Ultimate course. For each Ultimate course you complete, you (individuals only) will receive points for your placing. Your best scores (see below for how many scores count) will be combined to determine The Ultimate Orienteer.

Age Categories

  • 20 and under - Junior
  • 50 and older - Masters
  • anyone - Open

What if I turn 21 during the year?

You'll use the oldest age you will be in the calendar year. For example, if you turn 21 any time during the calendar year (even in December!), you must enter the Open category for the entire series. If you turn 50 any time during the calendar year, you're eligible for the Masters category for the entire series.

Open Category

Even if you're eligible for the Junior or Masters category, you can still sign up for the Open category if you wish. At some events (such as a Goat or Long event), juniors and masters may be assigned to a different course than the open category.

How do I sign up?

Pre-registration for the series is not required, although there is a one-meet discount if you register for the series online (http://register.cascadeoc.org). Just sign up for the appropriate course and you will automatically be eligible for Ultimate points. The list of events that make up the series will be posted on the Events page by mid-February.

All events will include beginner and intermediate courses. Please see the Events page for more details about each event.


The winner in each category at each event receives 1000 points and everyone else in that category receives points based on the percent behind the winner's time. For example, if the winner has a time of 25 minutes and your time is 50 minutes, you will receive 500 points.

Score-O' Points

Because a score-o is a points-based version of orienteering, we convert the highest number of points to 1000 and scale your score-o points to that number. For example, if the highest number of score-o points earned was 500 and you earned 250 score-o points, you would receive 500 "ultimate" points.

Exception: if more than one person in a category earns the maximum score-o points (in other words, sweeps the course), their "ultimate" points are based on time difference. Everyone else in the category is then scaled to the number of points the slowest "sweeper" received. Example:

Score-O' Result Score-O' pts. Time Ult. Pts. Calculation
 Orienteer #1 1000 60 1000 NA
 Orienteer #2 1000 70 857 (60min/70min * 1000)
 Orienteer #3 1000 80 750 (60min/80min * 1000)
 Orienteer #4 900 NA 675 (750pts * 0.90)

How Many Scores Count?

The number of scores that count towards your Ultimate point total depends on the number of events in the series. See the table below for details. If an event is cancelled, the counting scores will be adjusted accordingly.

Total # events # scores to count
5 3
6 4
7 5
8 5
9 6
10 6

Types of Orienteering

Following are short descriptions of the types of orienteering which may be offered during the Ultimate Orienteer Series. There are other variations of orienteering, but these are the ones we currently choose from. In all types except Score-O, you must visit the controls in a specified order.

Sprint Distance
A short, very fast course characterized by lots of technically easy controls with difficult route choices, and requiring a high level of concentration. Winning time should be 12-18 minutes for elite men and women.

Middle Distance
A technically challenging point-to-point course with a winning time of 30-40 minutes for elite men and women.

Long Distance
A point-to-point course offering route choice and long legs, with a winning time of 80-100 minutes for elite men and 70-90 minutes for elite women.

Ultra Long Distance
A course with characteristics similar to that of a Classic course, but with a maximum winning time of 145 minutes for elite men and 100 minutes for elite women.

An event with a mass start, each control on a Score-O course is worth a specified number of points. Generally, the more difficult controls (because of their navigational difficulty or distance) are worth more points than easier controls. Competitors collect as many points as possible within a specified time limit. Point penalties (for example, 10 pts/minute) are assessed for those returning after the time limit. This is the only race in the series where you are allowed to visit controls in any order.

Night-O, not surprisingly, is an event held in the dark. Control locations which seem easy during the day can become difficult by the light of a headlamp or flashlight.

A “Goat” event is a special variation of Long-O in which you must visit controls in order, but are allowed to skip one or more (quanitity designated by the organizers, but your choice which one(s) to skip). Other course variations may also be allowed. Goats are mass-start events and generally have a 3-hour time limit. Fun and following are encouraged, but not required. For more information about goat events, visit the “official” goat site, www.billygoat.org.

A team event. There are many types of relays, but basically teams of 2-5 people consecutively run individual courses, with the total team time determining the relay winner. For any relay used in the Ultimate O' Series, all team members will run the same or equivalent leg(s) and each individual's score will be based on his/her individual time.

For more information about the different types of orienteering formats, see the Orienteering USA guidelines.

Past Ultimate Orienteer Results