Competition rules

This competition will be run in accordance with the Special Rules for New Zealand Secondary Schools Orienteering Championships. These rules define the specific regulations pertaining to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Orienteering Championships (NZSSOC), where they deviate from the New Zealand Foot-O competition rules. 


Please note that unlike the Get2Go Challenge that some of students may have experienced, the courses are done by individuals (or pairs in some grades) and the controls are found in the sequence listed in the control descriptions.

Please direct any queries during the events to that day's Event Controller. 

Eligibility: A student eligible to compete in the NZSSOC must:
1) Be enrolled as a bona fide (Year 9 or above) student at the school of representation and studying at least 80% of a programme that is part of the timetable provided by the school for at least four weeks immediately prior to the event.
2) Have a satisfactory attendance record at the school. The final decision will be at the principal's discretion.
3) Be under 19 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition. Year 7 & 8 students must meet equivalent criteria as bona fide students in Year 7 or 8. Younger children are not eligible to enter any of the events.

Individual Grades:
1) Competitors are divided into grades based on their gender and current year level at school.

2) Competitors are divided into four separate grades based on their current year level at school, Yr 7&8, Junior (Yr 9), Intermediate (Yr 10&11), Senior (Yr 12&13).

3) There are also maximum ages for each grades as follows:
a) Senior (Yr 12-13) must be under 19 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition.
b) Intermediate (Yr 10-11) must be under 16 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition.
c) Junior (Yr 9) must be under 14 years of age at the first of January in the year of the competition.
If someone if over the maximum age for their grade they must run up a grade regardless of what year they are in at school.

4) Determining year at school:
a) Regardless of what level they are studying at, year at school should be determined by how many years the student has been at school. For example, if someone is in Year 11 but studying a mixture of NCEA Level 1 and 2 papers then they still compete as a Year 11.
b) If someone has skipped a whole year then they compete at their new year level. For example if someone skips straight from Year 9 to Year 11 (missing year 10) then they compete as a second year Intermediate grade.

5) Grades for the individual Long Distance event are further subdivided on skill into Championship, Standard and (depending on grade) Novice categories.

6) The practice of competitors “running up” a grade is not endorsed by Orienteering NZ, however it is recognised that in some cases this may be the best approach for a small number of top competitors with significant past experience. It is recommended that only those who have a chance of obtaining a podium place in the grade above consider running up.

7) Home-schooled students. Under New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council guidelines, home-schooled students that provide current evidence of MoE approval for home schooling may participate in an NZSSSC sanctioned event. However, home-schooled students are not eligible for medal placings although their placing in events will be recognised. The parent or guardian of the home-schooled student must sign off the registration document accepting full responsibility for their student including the event health and safety plans.

Control Descriptions
Control descriptions on the maps will be in text format for the following grades:
Sprint - Year 7/8; Junior; Intermediate.
Long - Year 7/8 Standard and Championship; Junior Standard and Championship; Intermediate Standard and Championship; Senior Standard and Novice.
Relay - Year 7/8; Junior; Intermediate.

All control descriptions available both loose and printed on the map, for Senior courses on the Sprint, Relay and Senior Championship courses at the Long will be in symbol format.

The organisers will also provide symbol format loose control descriptions for Orange courses at the Sprint and Long events.

Estimated Winning Times
On occasions an exceptional athlete is found in the school grades. Courses set for these athletes may become too demanding for other competitors. Under these circumstances, in grades that contain one or two exceptional athletes, the organisers may choose to use the expected finishing time of the second or third place athlete in place of an expected winning time.


Relay specific rules: 
The rules for official teams in the Relay event, as per NZSSSC, are:

  1. The students must be from the same school.
  2. Year 7/8 students cannot run up in the secondary school grades (this would disadvantage Year 9‐13 schools).
  3. Girls cannot run in the boys team and vice versa (this would disadvantage single gender schools).
  4. Within the secondary school competition, students of the same gender from the same school may run up a grade.
  5. All other combinations will constitute a non‐competitive (NC) entry with regard to points contributing to the Top School competition.
  6. The rules for non‐competitive teams from the same school are:
  7. Girls can run equivalent boys grade or higher.
  8. Boys cannot run any girl's courses.
  9. Mixed boys and girls teams will run the ‘boys version’ of the highest grade runner in the team. Eg: JB, IG, SG will run the SB relay – must be ‘boys’; and ‘senior’ is the highest grade runner. These teams should be entered as a ‘Full Team’ when completing the initial entry forms.
  10. Individual students from different schools that have selected to run in a composite team will be placed in teams of the same grade and gender.
  11. Official teams comprise of 3 different competitors, none of whom have completed a leg for another team in the relay in the current competition.
  12. Non-competitive junior teams may be entered in the year 7/8 relay.