Rankings Methodology

Rules Applicable to U.S. Foot Orienteering Rankings

F.1.1 The Chair of the Ranking Committee shall publish the annual rankings of all orienteers who meet all of the following conditions:

  1. Are Orienteering USA members at anytime between January 1 and November 15 of the ranking year.
  2. Earn Daily Ranking points in at least four races on the same color course in any class except M/F-White.


F.1.2 Daily Ranking points from competition are earned by:

  1. Competing in one race of an individual Orienteering USA sanctioned A-meet (including restricted events), on a course proper for your age that is not invalidated by the Jury or Meet Officials, and completing the course or receiving a disqualifying designation as in section F.1.3 below.
  2. Completing a course above the course that is proper for your age at a meet satisfying the criteria in F.1.2.a above.
  3. Completing a course at the North American Orienteering Championships, even when held outside of the U.S., in a class equal to or higher than the Orienteering USA class in which the person will be ranked.


F.1.3 Persons who are disqualified (DSQ), do not finish the course (DNF), or who are overtime (OVT) – for any reason, including injury – are assigned a Daily Ranking score of 0.

F.1.4 Daily Ranking points earned by competition are calculated as follows: The Course Difficulty is calculated from the average of the Personal Course Difficulty of each competitor, which is the competitor’s ranking points for that race multiplied by their time in minutes.

  1. This calculation is circular, so the Iteration Method is used to determine each competitor’s ranking points. All competitors start with 50 points, and the calculations are repeatedly performed until the results converge.
  2. The average Personal Course Difficulty is a harmonic mean, which is the reciprocal of the arithmetic mean of the reciprocals. This causes the results in (a) to converge and results in non-drifting (i.e., significant) results.
  3. Daily Ranking scores of zero are excluded from this iterative calculation process.


F.1.5 Daily Ranking credits are only used to qualify for annual ranking by those otherwise unable to meet the required number of races. Daily Ranking credits are obtained from:

  1. Administration of a day of an Orienteering USA sanctioned A-meet in such a capacity that, at the discretion of the meet director, the person cannot physically or fairly enter the event.
  2. Being assigned a "Sporting Withdrawal (SPW)” for assisting in an emergency or as determined by the jury as in sections A.23.4.3, A.29.10, and A.31.16.
  3. Starting a course that is voided by meet officials.
  4. Completing a course at an Orienteering USA sanctioned class A-meet that does not meet the requirements of F.1.2.a, such as a Relay.
  5. Completing a course at an Orienteering USA sanctioned class A-meet that has fewer than five finishers (three for white and yellow courses). These courses will not yield statistically significant ranking results so will not count numerically towards a ranking score.


F.1.6 No more than two credit days may be used toward qualification for annual ranking.

F.1.7 Calculation of annual ranking points are as follows:

  1. For each qualifying person, take their best 4 daily ranking point days and average them to the nearest tenth of a point. Competitors who need credits (Section F.1.5) to meet their minimum requirements shall have the points from all their point qualifying competitions (Section F.1.2) on courses of one color averaged for their ranking in their class on that color course.
  2. Next, determine the top three ranked individuals on the course for the year, average their annual ranking points, and divide the result into 100, calling the result the Normalization Factor (NF). Multiply the ranking points of everyone ranked on the course by NF to determine their final ranking points, to the nearest tenth of a point.
  3. Finally, separate the persons on the course into their classes and list them in order.


F.1.8 Persons who qualify for ranking on a course shall be ranked in the class on the course that is nearest their own age, regardless of the class(es) they actually ran.

F.1.9 A person may receive annual rankings on two different courses, provided that on one of the courses, they obtain daily ranking points (no credits) for the full number of days needed for ranking, else they shall only receive ranking on the course and class nearest their own Orienteering USA age class. If they meet these more stringent requirements on one course, the second course need only meet the normal requirements.

F.1.10 Persons failing to meet the minimum annual ranking requirements for any class may be listed at the bottom of the class (in the unofficial rankings), with their points and number of qualifying days, at the discretion of the Ranking Committee.

F.1.11 Persons failing to meet the ranking membership requirement but meeting the minimum number of races requirement may be listed in their appropriate place in the rankings at the discretion of the Ranking Committee, but Orienteering USA members and their separate rankings shall be made clear.

F.1.12 Ranking Awards: At the end of the orienteering year those competitors meeting the requirements of section F.1.1 and appearing in the official ranking list shall be eligible for awards as follows:

  1. The top three finishers in the rankings in each Championship age class shall be presented the gold award by Orienteering USA.
  2. Orienteers in each Championship age class not receiving gold awards and acquiring points no less than 80% of the average of the gold award winners in their class shall receive silver awards.
  3. Orienteers in each Championship age class not receiving gold or silver awards and acquiring points no less than 70% of the average of the gold award winners in their class shall receive bronze awards.