Orienteering is a competition where the goal of the participants is to find checkpoints in nature or in the city using a compass and a map. In the traditional version, athletes move by jogging. The winner is the one who finishes first, having checked in at all points. In addition to running skills, an orienteer needs to be able to build the shortest route, since he is free to get to the next point on the map as he wishes.
Despite the external complexity, this sport is available not only to professional runners. People of all ages and all skill levels are involved in orienteering. Sometimes beginners cover the first distances on foot, gradually acquiring skills and experience.
Orienteering originated in Scandinavia, in 1886. They were mainly engaged in it in the army. But in the civilian environment, the discipline began to spread in 1918, and thanks to it, interest in athletics increased again.
Orientation came to our country in 1957, during the existence of the USSR. Initially, it had a tourist orientation and adults were engaged in it. But in the 1990s. young athletes became interested in the discipline, children and youth competitions began to take place.
The discipline is still popular today. The launches are held annually at the regional and state levels. The most ambitious competition - "Russian Azimuth" - gathers about 200 thousand orienteering athletes.
Literally the term means "movement in unfamiliar terrain using a map." That is, the participant of the competition overcomes the distance with the control points located on it, which he finds by reading the map, and is marked on each using a special chip. The length of the distance is 20 km or more and goes not only on asphalt, but also on unpaved surface. Moreover, the track can be complicated by bumps, tree roots, stones, branches, etc. Therefore, the athlete has to constantly change the style of movement, adapting to new conditions.
Orienteers build their route according to the map data, on which roads, forests, water bodies, etc. are marked with conventional signs. And here you cannot do without reading skills. It only seems that it is not at all difficult to pave the way from point A to point B. Athletes do not have time to look at the map for a long time and think about how best to get to their destination. Most often, the route has to be laid in the direction of travel. At the same time, it is important to follow the map and not miss the landmarks, otherwise you can get lost. The runner needs to look under his feet, otherwise he may fall and be injured.
When planning the trajectory of movement to the next checkpoint, it is important not only to find the shortest, but also to calculate your strength correctly. You can run in a straight line and end up in a swamp, spend most of your time getting out of it. Or go around, increasing the distance by 05-1 km, but in the end come first.
Orienteering has another distinctive feature - the factor of psychological pressure. Athletes strive to spend as little time as possible on the route, as well as find an easier way, while realizing that his opponents are trying to do the same. In such conditions, mistakes are often made, runners are simply lost along the way. Therefore, stress resistance becomes an important quality of a runner.
Before the start of the competition, athletes need to familiarize themselves with the problems and learn the rules. This is important as many violations will result in disqualification.
In addition, before the start, the runner cannot leave the warm-up area and get acquainted with the map. This rule makes it possible to put all orienteers on an equal footing so that no one can calculate control points in advance.
The orienteering rules change quite often, so you need to familiarize yourself with them before each competition. Although the main principles remain the same.
Having overcome the next distance, the runners switch to more difficult tasks, simultaneously mastering biathlon, triathlon, orienteering. In the first case, cross-country skiing is combined with rifle shooting, in the second, running is combined with cycling and swimming (skiing in winter). But as soon as it comes to orienteering, few people can understand the specifics of sports.
This is not surprising, because the case from the category "if you don't try, you won't understand." And, as practice shows, after the first run through the wild and solving interesting logical problems in the company of like-minded people, everything becomes simple and clear. However, before proceeding to practice, be sure to understand the basic rules of sports, acquire special equipment.
To the question: what is orienteering? - there is no definite answer. Everyone can choose something for themselves from the four disciplines that make up this exciting sport:
Of course, it is much easier for a physically strong and enduring runner to win the competition. However, poor health or disability should not become an obstacle to engaging in fun sports.
Pay attention! Elite orienteers are among the most trained athletes in running.
Don't believe it if you hear that only a super strong runner can master orienteering. This is not true. And many aspiring athletes of all ages walk their first routes, slowly but surely mastering orienteering skills.
An athlete's skill level is determined by the degree of mastery of each technique:
It is impossible to prepare in advance for certain conditions, because the competitions are held in different parts of the world. Athletes start in mountains, forests, fields or in urban environments.
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