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HELSINKI, FINLAND — The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) Council — the final authority on all European MTBO competition rules — has approved new Competition Rules for IOF Mountain Bike Orienteering Events effect January 1st, 2010, and replaced the July 2008 version. These rules cover the World MTB Orienteering Championships, World Cup, Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships, World Masters MTB Orienteering Championships, Regional MTB Orienteering Championships, and IOF World Ranking Events in MTB Orienteering. MTBO America shows you what’s changed and why you should (or should not) care!

Significant Changes to the Previous Version

  • Introduction of the World Cup
  • Introduction of the World Masters Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships (WMOC)
  • Introduction of Regional Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships (ROC)
  • New options in authorized map scales for Sprint events
  • Adjustments in competition winning times
  • Option in start intervals for Sprint events
  • An Appendix with rules for European Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships
  • Appendix 6 (Criteria for Selection of Host Country for MTBO WOC Events) removed and subsequent appendices renumbered

Sections of Interest

ROC 1.9 The Regional Orienteering Championships (ROC) are the official events to award the titles of Regional Champions in MTB Orienteering for each IOF Region. They are organized under the authority of the IOF and the appointed Federation. The IOF Regions are Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America.

MTBOA: Found it interesting that the IOF now considers North America as part of the “IOF Regions”.  This could possibility mean that the IOF is now considering North America (i.e. The United States of America) as a potential venue for future Regional Orienteering Championships. Hopefully this change wasn’t just for the benefit of Canada!
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3.9 Regional MTB Orienteering Championships take place every two years.

MTBOA: Hopefully this will change with time.
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WCup 4.6 Applications to organize World Cup competitions shall be received no later than January 31st two years prior to the competition year.

MTBOA: Nothing like trying to plan a major world-class event during a recession with a 2-year lead time.
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15.2 The maps shall be drawn specifically for MTBO at an appropriate scale which will normally be: Sprint: 1:5000, 1:7500 or 1:10000, Middle and Relay: 1:10000 or 1:15000, Long: 1:15000 or 1:20000.

16.1
The valid technical specifications and standards for MTBO published by the IOF shall be followed when setting the courses. The format specifications (appendix 7) must be followed.

MTBOA: These ares actually a great changes since it brings some standardization to MTBO map scales.
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19.7 If the estimated winning time is more than 60 minutes, there should be at least one refreshment point.

MTBOA: This must be a European thing since we Americans carry our water with us while mountain biking.
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21.11 The organizer may require the cycles to be fitted with a silent GPS recorder in order to avoid the need to marshal the course.

MTBOA: This is actually a BIG deal since the technological capability to track racers in the field has finally caught up with the IOF Rules Committee. GPS tracking was first seen at the 2009 Worlds in Israel but completely overlooked by the IOF and orienteering community at large. By including this rule in the 2010 changes, the IOF is legitimizing GPS technology as a valid means of tracking racers by organizers.
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Appendix 3: Approved punching systems [Competition Rule 20.1 states that ‘Only IOF licensed electronic punching systems may be used’.]
The only licensed control punching systems (January 2007) are:
– the Emit Electronic Punching and Timing system
– the SportIdent system

MTBOA: I find it ironic that the IOF as legitimized GPS tracking in MTBO, but still maintains that Emit and SportIdent are the only approved punching systems allowed at official events. Since both of these systems are exclusively European with limited competition, it would make since that a company that can create an improved RFID system with superior customer services and production quality could easily change this.
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Download a copy of the new IOF MTBO rules: 2010 Competition Rules for IOF Mountain Bike Orienteering Events