At the latest IOF Council meeting the council discussed a proposal to organise a “virtual” World Orienteering Championships and the IOF Office was tasked to coordinate the work with development of the concept, framework and rules for an initial event later in 2020.
The council proposal was made by the organisation Lockdown Orienteering, a British organisation coordinated by Great Britain national team member Chris Smithard. Lockdown Orienteering has since April provided virtual orienteering competitions whilst real orienteering was cancelled.
The interest in orienteering as an eSports concept has grown as an effect of the Corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic. But there a number of different elements to be considered before being able to organise a championships event. Therefore a first step would be to create an initial unofficial championships to assess formats, platforms and rules.
The proposed format for a World eOrienteering Championships is:
3-4 different competitions:
- Orienteering Simulator Competition – for example Catching Features – Knock Out Format
- Trail Orienteering Competition
- Challenge Competitions (10 different challenges heve been created so far)
- Relay/Team Competition
- Late 2020
- Open to everyone as there really is no limit on number of competitors. As long as numbers are known far enough ahead.
- Individuals enter themselves.
- Livestreamed on orienteering.sport/live and on social media.
The IOF Office has already started the work with development of the concept, framework and rules. A first step is identifying the various activities, vendors and organisers within eSports orienteering and for this consultation with IOF members would be carried out.
One step that will already be proposed to the IOF General Assembly on July 10th is that orienteering as an eSport be added to the IOF Statutes as an area of jurisdiction for the IOF, in other words that the IOF take on a role in developing and governing eOrienteering going forward.
To be able to secure fair play the IOF Office will work with the discipline commissions and also consult external experts in eSports and enthusiasts within the eOrienteering community. The ambition is to present a more detailed concept 2-3 months before the event is supposed to be held.
More information about Lockdown Orienteering and their different challenge competitions (give it a try!), can be found here