Trail orienteering is an orienteering discipline centered around map reading in natural terrain. The discipline has been developed to offer everyone, including people with limited mobility, a chance to participate in a meaningful orienteering competition.
Manual or electric wheel chairs, walking sticks, and assistance with movement etc. are permitted as speed of movement is not part of the competition.
Trail orienteers must identify on the ground control points shown on the map. As this is done from a distance, both able-bodied and participants with disabilities compete on level terms. Proof of correct identification of the control points does not require any manual dexterity, allowing those with severely restricted movement to compete equally. Most trail orienteering events have classes open for everyone.
European Championships in trail orienteering have been organised every year since 1994. Athletes who cannot participate on reasonably equal terms in the sport for able-bodied people because of a functional disadvantage due to a permanent disability are eligible for the event (i.e. the same criterion as for participation in the Paralympics).
The first ever World Cup in trail orienteering was held in 1999 and the inaugural World Trail Orienteering Championships were organised in 2004. The World Championships is organised every year.
MOBILITY AIDS: Any recognised mobility aids, apart from a combustion engine vehicle, are permitted. Requested physical assistance is also permitted.
MAP: The competitor interprets the map to choose which one of the control markers in the terrain represents the one marked at the map.
CONTROL CARD: Trail orienteers use a multiple choice control card.
Photo: Pirjo Valjanen