The School League (Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League) offers students from elementary to high school age a chance to enjoy orienteering as a competitive sport, empowering them to make sense of new surroundings and get outdoors in an immersive way.

While learning to orienteer, students learn to read topographic maps, use a compass, make route choices, and problem solve when things don’t go as expected. As students improve, these skills are used while running, providing a challenge for both mind and body.

School League is open to all students; previous experience or belonging to a team is not required. Students complete courses individually for points, while adding to their team score if they have one. Courses are separated by age, difficulty, and gender, providing an appropriate challenge for all levels. The categories are:

  • Elementary Girls
  • Elementary Boys
  • Middle School Girls
  • Middle School Boys
  • Junior Varsity Girls
  • Junior Varsity Boys – North
  • Junior Varsity Boys – South
  • Varsity Girls
  • Varsity Boys

School League events ascend in challenge as the season goes on. Events in the first half of the season are held in beginner-friendly venues, some of which are trails-only, while events in the second half move to more forested and challenging venues. The season is capped off with a championship event and an awards ceremony to recognize top individuals and teams in both the series overall and championship event.


2018 – 2019 Schedule:

Sat, Oct 13 2018-2019 WIOL Training Lynnwood, WA
Sat, Nov 3 Winter Series / WIOL #1 Seattle, WA
Sat, Nov 17 Winter Series / WIOL #2 Shoreline, WA
Sat, Dec 1 Winter Series / WIOL #3 Shoreline, WA
Sat, Dec 15 Winter Series / WIOL #4 Seattle, WA
Sat, Jan 12 Winter Series / WIOL #5 Lakewood, WA
Sat, Jan 26 Winter Series / WIOL #6 Coupeville, WA
Sat, Feb 9 Winter Series / WIOL #7 Tacoma, WA
Sat, Feb 23 Winter Series / WIOL #8 – Championships Carnation, WA

Learning to Orienteer

The quickest way to begin orienteering is to just show up at an event, talk to a beginner instructor, and try it with a friend. However, if you’d like more preparation than that, here are some resources for getting started:

  • Visit the Newcomer’s page on our website, so you’ll know what to expect at an event
  • Find a permanent course on the Maps page, to try it out at a park near you
  • Read the orienteering map legend

Sample Maps

Orienteering maps are highly detailed, with colors and symbols that are unique to orienteering. The course is marked with magenta circles and lines, but you are not expected to travel on the line, rather, you get to choose your own route! Here are some sample courses of varying difficulty at the same venue:

For Coaches

As a Coach, orienteering may be as new to you as it is to your students. We recommend that all coaches read the Orienteering Coach’s Handbook by Bob Forgrave.

This handbook details what skills each school category needs to master, plus steps for building an excellent team.


To register for the School League, click the button below:

For those discovering School League mid-season, your registrations are welcome, but will include a $10 late fee.

If you prefer to use a paper waiver and mail a check, print the form below:

WIOL Registration & Waiver 2018-2019

Questions about registration? Contact Kathy Forgrave.



Participants in WIOL have a choice about how to enter. For most students, a Season Pass makes sense, but Day-of-Meet also has advantages in certain circumstances:

• Season Pass. A $50 Season Pass effectively combines the convenience of one-time registration with a “bulk discount” on meet fees, saving $30 across the full 8-meet season. Even if you sign up late and miss the first two meets, a Season Pass will still save you money over day-of-meet. (If registering after October 13, then add a $10 late fee). After you’ve paid for the season, you won’t need to visit WIOL Registration at each meet.

If you purchase your own e-punch, you can also save another $10 per WIOL season and save at every offseason meet as well. Ask for details by emailing Kathy Forgrave.

• Day-of-Meet. Day-of-meet is the pay-as-you go option. Maybe you’re just trying WIOL and want to start with one meet. Or, if you are planning on missing half the season due to schedule conflicts, or want to use the first few WIOL meets to run on the public course with someone else before soloing, then Day-of-Meet might be for you. Cost is a $5 one-time registration fee paid now, plus $10 per meet paid from the line at WIOL Registration.

General note: Administration. Make sure both the student and parent have signed the form. Students who do not have completed forms will not be allowed to compete. Also, postmark before October 13 to avoid the $10 late fee.


Coaches and participants alike should read and understand the rules, which cover these topics:

  • Choosing the right competition course
  • Specific rules for each competition course
  • Start times
  • Embargoed areas
  • Running on the right course
  • Safety
  • Teams
  • Scoring
  • Awards
  • Disqualification

The rules are available as a PDF: WIOL Rules 2018-2019