Safety Plan for Orienteering Practices and Meets

Last update: 7 September 2018


The boundaries of any practice or competition area will be clearly delineated to all athletes before the start. In addition, the athletes will be given a safety bearing that will get them to a known road or building in case they become lost. Attendance will be taken before setting out on any training or race and all athletes will check back in after completing the exercise. A hard time limit for completing the exercise or race will be communicated clearly to the athletes before starting. When practice takes place in a forested environment all athletes will carry a whistle and will be instructed to give three short blasts in the case of an injury requiring assistance. All athletes will be instructed to respond to whistle blasts and check in with any potentially injured athlete.


A First Aid Kit will be available at all practices and all coaches will have First Aid/CPR training. In addition, for forest practices and events the coaches will determine which emergency facility is closest before leaving for the event.


In the event that a participant is believed to still be out on the course after the hard closing time the head coach, or someone they designate as the search coordinator, will direct a systematic search.

  1. Begin by calling the athlete’s phone and searching the immediate area, bathrooms, etc.
  2. Ask all athletes whether they have seen the missing athlete and determine their last known location.
  3. Assemble a search team and ensure all searchers or pairs have a communication device (cell phone or radio) and are able to contact the search coordinator.
  4. Divide the area into zones for each search team/pair.
  5. Each team will walk the area and should check back in with the search coordinator every 15 minutes.
  6. If the athlete is not found with a reasonable search, the weather becomes hazardous, or it is after sunset, the search coordinator should call 911 for additional assistance.