Begun in 2000, the Ultimate Orienteer series offers different types of orienteering in a variety of terrain types. From night navigation to score courses to long-distance courses; from the thick wet forests of Western Washington to the open forests of Eastern Washington, there’s a lot to choose from!

For those who love competition, your best results (the number depends on how many total events there are) count towards your series score. If you’re not interested in the competition element, that’s okay too! Ultimate Orienteer events are open to everyone. All events will include Intermediate (and usually Beginner) courses in addition to Advanced courses.

For 2019, it’s best 5 out of 9 events.

Please note: Ultimate #8 will be organized by the Eastern Washington Orienteering Club. You will need to register and pay for this event as instructed on the EWOC website. It is not included in the Ultimate Season Pass.

How do I sign up?

Participating in the series is easy: just register for the event in the appropriate category, and you will automatically be eligible for Ultimate Orienteer points.


To participate in the Ultimate Orienteer series, you must compete in one of the following categories:

Juniors – 20 and younger
Masters – 50 and older
Open – Any age

Some events will feature shorter distances for Juniors and Masters classes.

Juniors and Masters may compete in the Open category if they wish.

Your racing age is the oldest age you will be in the current calendar year. For example, if you turn 21 any time during the current calendar year (even in December), you must enter the Open category (and not Junior) for the entire series.



For each event and category:

The winner receives 1000 points and everyone else receives points based on their 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.

Because a score-o is a points-based version of orienteering, the highest number of points is converted to 1000, and your score-o points are scaled to that number. For example, if the highest number of score-o points earned was 500 points and you earned 250 points, you would receive 500 Ultimate Orienteer points (50% of 1000).

However, if more than one person in a category earns the maximum score-o points (“sweeps the course”), then Ultimate points are based on the time difference. Scores for those who did not sweep are scaled against the number of points the slowest “sweeper” received.

For example:

Orienteer #1   –   1000 pts   –   60 min   –   1000 Ultimate Pts (NA)
Orienteer #2   –   1000 pts   –   70 min   –   857 Ultimate Pts (60min/70min * 1000)
Orienteer #3   –   1000 pts   –   80 min   –   750 Ultimate Pts (60min/80min * 1000)
Orienteer #4   –   900 pts   –   n/a   –   675 Ultimate Pts (750pts * 0.9)


Types of events

Each season, we include as many different types of orienteering as we can. Possible events types are:

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

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, with shorter winning times for other categories.

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, with shorter winning times for other categories.

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 (quantity 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.

Individual Relay
In this format, you’re teaming up with yourself! There are usually several different “loops,” which each individual runs but not necessarily in the same order.