Ski Orienteering

Ski Orienteering is an endurance winter sport combining navigation and cross-country skiing across a rough terrain using prepared cross-country ski tracks. A ski orienteer combines high physical endurance and strength, excellent technical skiing skills and the ability to choose the best routes.

Ski orienteering events are designed to test both athletes’ physical strength and navigation skills. Ski orienteers use a map to navigate in a dense network of ski trail and to visit control points in right order. Route choices are made on the basis of the quality of the ski tracks, gradient and distance, all of which can be read from the map.

Ski orienteering is time-measured and objective – the fastest time wins. An electronic card verifies that the athlete has visited all control points in the right order.

Ski orienteering is mentally and physically challenging. The sport demands and develops mathematical and spatial ability, short-term memory and other mental capabilities in addition to physical capabilities of a cross-country skier. In comparison with cross-country skiing, ski orienteers are faster on technically challenging narrow soft tracks. The athletes need to read a map and make hundreds of route choices on a course while skiing at full speed.

Ski orienteering uses no fixed structures; the natural environment is the arena. Ski orienteering events can be organised from an existing ski stadium utilising the permanent or specially designed network of ski tracks for biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Having its origins in the 1890s, ski orienteering is a sport with long traditions. Ski orienteering is a Recognised Olympic Sport.

New SkiO Competition Rules have been published

The Special Rules for the Ski Orienteering World Cup 2021 and updated Competition Rules valid for Ski Orienteering 2021 Season has been published. You find the new rules here...


Junior World Championships participation and other decisions from the IOF Council meeting

The IOF Council met via Teams on Friday September 25th. One of the items on the agenda was the potential participation of junior athletes born in year 2000 at the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2021 (JWOC) and t...

Clarification regarding organising of World Ranking Events for the season 2021

IOF Office has received questions from several federations and organisers regarding the WRE application process for 2021 due to COVID-19 and the impact on organising events. Therefore the IOF have made below clarificatio...