Orienteering Hutt Valley Inc.

Rogaine Planning

Planning a rogaine is a great way of improving your navigation skills and also showing off your favourite part of the city.

The rogaines are all planned by volunteers.  If you are interested in planning a rogaine please email rogaining@ohv.org.nz

The Process

To make this easier to update we list key people by their ROLES, and their names, emails and phone numbers are given at the bottom.


The Rogaine Coordinator will develop a schedule of events in February.
Between the planner and the rogaine coordinator you will choose a date and an approximate area.


Start Planning Early -  preferably at least 2-3 months out.

Start point with PARKING - It is important, with growing numbers, that you identify a start point early on that has plenty of carparking to accommodate the large fields of around 300–400 people.  If there is a building we can hire from the council for the evening let the coordinator know and they can start the booking process.  If possible it is preferable to also have toilet facilities at least within a 2-3 minute walk of the start location.  The club will pay costs for building hire if required.

Contact the Mapper - who will provide you with a blank map of the area.

Permissions for land use - You also need to identify any pockets of private land you want to use and approach the land owners for permission for the date of your rogaine and any planning.  For council or regional council owned land the coordinator will arrange permits but will need a blank map to show them the boundaries, all parks/reserves included, a start location and any other info that may be relevant to a health and safety plan.  Be aware councils may put a caveat on some areas such as new tree planting and it may need to be marked out of bounds.  

Condes Software
We using the Condes software which allows YOU to position the circles on the map instead of the Mapping Officer needing to do it every time. 

For details of how to use and install Condes, click here.

The planning process is an iterative process where you will send the course file back and forward to the Mapper. This is the file Condes makes, it has an extension .wcd.

The club will supply  ribbons for your event and you can get these from the coordinator or you can get them yourself and claim costs back from the treasurer(see below).  Just keep the receipts.  Petes emporium is often a reliable source.
See below for notes on planning a good rogaine below. 

Three Weeks Before

Provide  the Rogaine Coordinator any points of interest to advertise the event, and any deviations from the norm. 
If the area is rugged and weather could be bad consider repeating the recommended gear list in your blurb.
The Coordinator will market the rogaine via the orienteering.org.nz, email to the previous participants database, and posting to Facebook.

It pays to line up a crew of about 4 people to help you on the night for registration and checking people in as well as pizza collection.  If you have any difficulty with this please let the coordinator know and we can put the word out on facebook for helpers.  Tell your rogaining friends it is good karma to give up participating in one rogaine to help out for the greater rogaining good. ;-)

One Week Before

Finalise the map corrections with the Mapping Officer (MO) and send your latest Condes file. Based on this the MO will produce a layout version of the map with border and legend etc. By switching this into Condes you can see how the map is going to look. Re-visit the Condes guide at this stage and read the second half. The MO will look after printing. Give the MO the event contact number too, for putting on the map.

Talk to the local Dominos or Pizza Hut about your pizza order and make sure they can handle an order of around 70 pizzas on rogaine night.  BOth now charge per pizza for delivery rather than one flat delivery fee and are not interested in negotiating on this.  Unfortunately this means you will need a helper who can go and pick them up.

Close of Registrations

Registrations usually close 3 days prior to the event (may need to be earlier for Mon/Tue dates).

The Rogaine Coordinator will close registrations and export a spreadsheet of participants and tell the Mapping Officer how many maps need printing. THey will also advise you of how many pizzas to order for the night.  They will print off this spreadsheet and bring it to the event in case of emergency as well as send you an electronic copy as a back up.
Question/clue  Sheet: You need to create this eg in Word, and provide the file to the Mapping Officer with your Condes file to print on the back of the map. See template. It needs to fit on one page, with a large sized font for reading at night. Ensure your contact cell phone number on the night is on it. 
The Rogaine Coordinator is going to provide team answer sheets with the team names on them, sorted into start waves (3hr and 90min) and within that into alphabetical order of team name. And some alphabetical bins to put them in. 
The MO is going to arrange for the maps  to get to the event. 

Pizza Pre-order the pizza for delivery on the night.  Order three slices per participant, for the three hour event only. Order some meat ones, some vege ones, about 15 gluten free and about 6 vegan. The pizza should be Dominos or Pizza Hutt Traditional Pizzas (i.e. the half-decent ones).  Talk to the local pizza shop prior to make sure they can deliver.  Recommend arranging delivery for 8.35/8.40pm so that you are not dealing with this at the same time as clocking in returning teams. Ideally separate the vege, gluten free and meatlovers pizzas for ease of access for participants.    Keep the receipt and claim back the cost from the OHV treasurer (see below).  Always confirm your pizza order on the day - we have had some dodgy orders go astray!
On the Night

For a 6pm start, arrive by 5pm. The Rogaine Coordinator and Mapping Officer will work to this time for bringing the team answer sheets, bins and maps. The Rogaine Coordinator will also bring two score boards (3hr, 90min) filled in with team names and high vis vests for your team. THey will also bring the list of teams and contact numbers, but normally you wont need to refer to it.
It helps if you wear something distinguishing – so you are the obvious person to come to, ask questions of etc, but for the regulars it should be a self-service operation.
Teams can pick up their answer sheet from the bins when they arrive.  At 5:15pm make the maps available.  Teams then pick up the number of maps they need. If there is a later wave of starts, follow a similar process.

Briefing Briefing. 10 mins before the start. See template.
During You can tell who the no-shows are by which answer sheets do not get collected. While teams are out on the course, enter "DNS" on the score board for all teams who have not started. This is important for easily identifying anyone  missing at the end. 

The busiest time - this is at least a two to three person job.

You need to have an obvious finish point. Again try and make yourself distinguishable in the fluoro vests as there will be a crowd. Turn on your hazard warning lights for example.
As teams come in, ask for "Team Name?" and write the time against the team name on the score board. Send them away to calculate their scores. Keep the finish point clear until 5 minutes past the time. (You need to be absolutely sure who is back and who is not - this is where two people are necessary.)

Thankfully we have stopped recording the seconds, just hour and minutes is enough, and faster to record in the inevitable rush. DO NOT enter into any discussion about a hard-to-find control, tell them to write "claim" for the answer or come back to you later at least 10 mins after finish time to discuss. Provide them somewhere to hand in their completed sheets.  It is ideal if you can record their scores as they hand in their sheets or have someone assigned to this as teams like to see how their scores compare.  It also takes the pressure off you to get the scoring out after the event if you can photograph the boards and we can post the photos as provisional results.

Within 10 mins of finish time the rush will have died down, scan the score board for anyone not back yet. Check your phone for text and/or phone messages. If a team is late back without a message, you want to know ASAP. Certainly before everyone goes home and you've lost the chance to ask for any sightings and recruit search volunteers.
Search and Rescue - hopefully not. But if required you would fish out your list of teams and contact numbers, and try phoning them.
Tidy up rubbish – suggest teams take an empty pizza box away with them and recycle them- you've done all the rest of the work!

Results ASAP to the Rogaine Coordinator. There's a proud tradition of results on the web with 24hrs however we are finding with the larger numbers that this job is getting bigger and we like to aim for before the end of the weekend. A little story is good, but don't hold up results because of it, send it later.  If you have posted photos of the scoreboards this tends to satisfy participants for a couple of days.  Send it as an excel file to the coordinator.


Course Planning Notes

It is a good idea to start as a paper exercise.  Think what would make a good course and think about the good locations for the checkpoints.

Use letters to identify checkpoints at this stage, eg A, B, AA, AB, etc.

40 checkpoints max, better events have less.

  1. Permission
    Afterwork on public roads/tracks doesn't need permission. Sometimes de facto tracks are actually private though. The regional council wants to know if we're using its parks and depending on the ranger we might have to fill in some forms. Wellington City requires us to make an application,  give the Rogaine Coordinator the rough boundaries. OHV has a database of owners for orienteering maps, and is building up data for rogaines. If in doubt ask the rogaine coordinator, below.
  2. Selection of Start/Finish
    This is quite likely to need permission – use your judgement. Visit at the same day/time of day to see if eg carpark is used for sports practice. Preferably in the middle of your area, parking for 100 cars at least sometimes more, sheltered pleasant place for organizers and after-match. School or park is good.  Access to toilets preferred.
  3. Maps
    Afterwork rogaines started out using the 1:50,000 Topo enlarged, with additions before photocopying, but its hard to delete features that have to come off. OHV has 1:20,000 vector mapping in the computer, based on the topo, offers best scope for enhancement, specifically made for rogaining and MTBO. Covers the entire greater Wellington area; eastern boundary Akatarawa Hill Rd, northern boundary Waikanae. Steadily being improved by YOU!
  4. Checkpoint Numbers.  There are usually between 25-40 checkpoints.   Your questions should fit on ONE SIDE of an A4 sheet of paper.
  5. Checkpoint placement
  • Use definite features on the map, no hiding, findable IN THE DARK.  A particular no-no is an off-track ribbon code in slow low-visibility bush.  The skill is in planning a route and navigating BETWEEN points, not wondering which tree out of hundreds. 
  • Recommend not using moveable objects for controls.
  • Balance scores possible in each sector of your map. 
  • Avoid obvious circuits eg big scores all round the perimeter.  Make it tricky to form obvious loops if you can.
  • Aim for the winner to get most but not all. 
  • At the other end aim to provide interesting options for the 90 minute course as well as the three hour.  Dont forget the 90 minute beginners who come and walk the 90 minute and may prefer street controls - they also want to feel successful and  able to reach a decent number of controls and have planning options.

6.  Questions and Answers

7.  Q&A reduces the workload but its harder to set them than it looks. Question must positively identify the feature, then have an unambiguous answer. Separate the two parts of the question: House at #22: colour of letterbox. If in doubt use orange ribbon with code letter, but it must be related to a mapped feature. Best if its always the same orange - same as orienteering flag.  

8.  Try to avoid

Wrongly placed controls. Be careful, its easy to put the circle one block out, or a similar track corner, similar hilltop etc.

  • Imprecise location especially off-track. The map is often not sufficiently precise to postively identify the spot - find another location.
  • Non-unique feature. After choosing the spot, look around for other similar features. If there are, its a bad control. (eg power pole numbers when there are other power poles that could be argued to also be close to the centre of the circle.
  • Subject of question, or ribbon unreasonably hard to find. It is OK if the question tells you specifically where to look, but you shouldn't have to find a ribbon on the backside of a tree at an unknown height above the ground! And in the dark!
  • Questions which will have teams shining bright lights into people's houses after dark!
  • Schoolmaster attitude to marking. It's not an exam, and don't be defensive about your controls. Teams who reckon they couldn't find the ribbon etc were probably there and should get the points unless many other teams found it.   Make the decision objective - decline only the ones where most other teams found it. "Democracy Decides".


You may see a double-up of some of these roles but they could be shared out in different ways in the future.

The Rogaine Coordinator is Nicola Mitchell, Phone 027 207 0895

The OHV Mapping Officer is Michael Wood, Phone 566 2645.

The OHV Treasurer is Alexandra Riddle, Phone 027 8127720