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General Information about the Southern Michigan Orienteering Club.


All meets are held rain or shine (or snow!).

Unless otherwise noted, meets start at 12 noon, with the last start time at 2 pm. We begin picking up controls at 3 pm. You have three hours to complete your course, so you may want to begin closer to noon. To avoid an unnecessary search and rescue operation, you must check in with the Meet Director after you come back even if you did not finish your course!


Directions to the meet location are linked to the entries in the schedule. Orienteering signs (pictured at above) along the roads will direct you to the registration area.

New to Orienteering?

Free instruction is available at all meets, just ask when you sign in. You may rent a compasses for a nominal fee with a deposit of your driver's license or car keys.


At a standard O-Meet there are usually four courses:

  • White (beginner)
  • Yellow (advanced beginner)
  • Orange (intermediate)
  • Green (shorter advanced)
  • Red (longer advanced)

control flagAt a standard O-Meet, orienteers must visit each control point on the course in the order indicated. The winner for each course is the person who successfully visits each control point on the course in the shortest time.

Score-O events feature many controls of different levels of difficulty without a designated course between the controls. Orienteers choose the controls they wish to visit within the designated time limit. Sometimes controls that are farther from the start/finish or more difficult to find are worth more points than controls that are closer to the start/finish or more easily found. Sometimes there are streamers at the controls that are removed by orienteers until none remain. Each finisher earns a score determined by a formula based on the number of controls found, the point value of the controls, and the time it takes to finish. The meet director determines the actual formula used. The winner of the event is the one with the highest score.

Night-O events are similar to Score-O events but begin at dusk, usually on the evening of a full moon. Night-O events usually have a mass start (everyone starts at the same time). Be sure to arrive early to register and mark your map. Bring flashlights and/or a head lamp.

A Club Championship meet is held once a year in the fall. This is a standard O-Meet open to the public. Bragging rights (and sometimes a token award) are given to the top male and female finishers on each course. Only current dues-paid SMOC members are eligible to win the club championship. By club tradition, the male and female champions on the red course from one year are responsible for putting on the next year's club championship meet.

Detailed topographic maps are available at each meet. They are $5 for SMOC members and $10 for non-members.


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