Summer Solstice Series


June 2022 Because of the WCOC and COC events following close after our final 2022 event, we will not be holding a pizza party this year and total results will not be announced until later in the summer.  

May 2022 Yes, our popular Summer Solstice events are back.  We had made changes in 2018 everyone should read through to understand the new handicap system.  Be sure to enter your group or individual  handicap, as you will need it at registration.

Our Summer Solstice Series has been running for over 25 years.  The  Series consists of four events held Tuesday evenings in the Greenbelt and other city parks throughout June. These events are easy to get to, a lot of fun, and a great way to get started with orienteering. Through the use of a handicap system which evens the playing field we often have newcomers to the sport at the top of the results list alongside national team members.

At these Summer Solstice events we have a mass start and a set time for finishing so that everyone comes back at once and you have a chance to compare your route with others you saw on course - those who did better than you, those to whom you can give some advice, and those who took a completely different route. Following the final event, we try to hold a social event, to wrap up our spring season.


These events are all score-o format. This means there are a number of controls scattered throughout the map and terrain that you can get in any order in a set amount of time (60 min.). One minute prior to the designated mass start time you can pick up your map and start to select the best route for your race. You need to figure out how many controls you can get to in the time limit, which ones to get, and which order to get them in. It is a good idea to plan a route that leaves you choice at the end to cut off some controls or add more depending on how quickly you got through the first part of the course.

The more controls you get in the time limit, the more points you get. If you can collect all the controls you need (based on the handicap system) and make it back to the finish before the time is up then you get bonus points. If you are back late then you lose points.

Mapping of Controls

There will be a range of control types from easiest (novice) thru most difficult (advanced). For those of you new to the sport or running with small children you will want to tackle the novice and intermediate controls and let your handicap account for the advanced ones. Novice controls will be mapped as 31A-39A, intermediate controls will be 40B– 59B and advanced controls 60 and up.  The controls will carry the number only - no letter.

Mini Clinic

If you are running with youngsters or are in your first couple of years of orienteering, we offer a short mini clinic starting at 6:15 pm at which you will receive your map well in advance of others and have time to relate to the map and plan your course. Look for the O flag hanging from a tree in the registration/start area.


Base scoring for each event is as follows:

  • 5 points per control collected (capped at the total number of controls on course minus your handicap)
  • 5 points per handicap point (see below)
  • 1 point per full minute early if you cap out your points above 
  • -2 points per minute or portion of a minute late to the finish (ie if you are 30 seconds late you lose 2 points)

These points are then normalized to 1000. Say the winner got a base score of 137 then someone who got a base score of 90 points would get 90/137 x 1000 = 657 points.

Your score for the series is the sum of your points from your best 3 out of 4 events.

The splits will be posted soon after the event.  The series accumulated and normalized totals will be posted later in the week.

Note:  As this is a series, if you change teammates from one event to another, you will need to change your team name and handicap or take the lower handicap for all.


Age as of next Dec. 31st Male Female
80+ 9 12
75-79 8 11
70-74 7 10
65-69 5 8
55-64 3 6
45-54 2 5
35-44 1 4
21-34 0 3
17-20 2 4
15-16 3 5
13-14 4 5
11-12 6 6
9-10 7 7
<9 8 8

A handicap system is used to provide everyone a chance to be at the top. The handicap is based on age, gender and experience. You will be given credit for the number of controls equal to your handicap the minute you start. For example, if there are 28 controls on a particular evening and your handicap is 5, you will only have to get 23 controls in order to get them “all” . If there is still time before the time limit you can run back to the finish to get the bonus points for finishing early. If you decide instead to get a 24th control that is OK of course, but you will not get credit for it.

The table at the right shows the handicapping for age and gender.  If you are an inexperienced orienteer you can add to the age/gender handicap from this table:

Experience Handicap(12 month periods since starting orienteering) Add to Age Handicap
Within first 12 months of orienteering  6
Within second 12 month period 3
third year or more 0

Please submit your handicap before your first SS meet.  At each meet make a note of the total number of controls (likely somewhere between 28 and 30) and calculate the number of controls you will need in order to get them ´all´ (total controls minus your handicap). Then plan your route accordingly.


If you wish to run with a friend or family members please note the following:

Handicap for the team is the average of the 2 rounded down.  More than 2 in the group - select the 2 eldest and average their handicaps.

Examples: man and women each aged 35-44.  His hdcp = 1 , hers is 4.  The average is (4+1)/2 = 2.

family : Dad (35) with children 10, 8 and 6   -  Dad is 1, 10 yr. old is 7 - total 8 /2  - team handicap is 4.     

Teams with children younger than 13 years of age – If an adult is 'shadowing' a child please see below. 


Shadowing is a way to allow a youngster to run their own race while still providing the safety factor of a parent or older sibling to follow – for safety purposes only. The shadow will be given a map and should follow the child at a discrete distance keeping track of where the child is. The shadow should NOT intervene in the child's race unless necessary and at that point the pair become a team with a handicap as noted above. You should report this at the time of download by completing a handicap form available at that time. If you plan to shadow your youngster, register him/her with an individual handicap, collect a map for yourself at either the mini clinic or the start gathering. If you do have to intervene in the course of the run, get a handicap form available at the download to complete and your results will be adjusted before posting of the final race results.


5:30 pm - 6:30pm Registration desk is open
6:15pm Mini clinic for families and newcomers
6:40pm Instructions and map distribution
6:45pm Start
7:45 - 8 pm Finish - exact time will depend on actual start time

We cancel only in case of severe weather conditions presenting dangerous situations. 

Don't forget to bring a watch and your own water bottle.

We do have ticks in our area now.  Read our safety and ethics page to understand how to avoid and otherwise live with these creatures.


6:15 - 6:40 pm Registration desk is open
6:45 pm Start
7:30 - 8:00 pm Finish - exact time varies from course to course

With refreshing post-race snacks and drinks on hot days and warm drinks on cold days, we run regardless of the weather.


Costs may vary but a typical meet cost for a single race event is :

Standard Meet Costs per start Adults Jrs (8-20 yrs) 2 persons running Novice course 3 or more running any courses Enfants (0-7 ans)
Annual members $10.00 $7.00 $15 $24 free
Day-members $14.00 $8.00 $22 $35 free
Additional fees
Timing chip rental (no charge for the novice course) $2.00
Compass rental $2.00 + $10 rental deposit
Whistle purchase (whistles are mandatory) $2.00