Welcome to WIOL (2014-2015 Season)
INTRODUCTION: Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League (WIOL) offers students from elementary school to high school, or even home school, a chance to enjoy outdoor navigation as a competitive sport. Students in fall or winter sports often find the November-February season an excellent cross-over sport for winter conditioning.
WIOL consists of eight events, roughly every other Saturday throughout the winter, from early November to the WIOL Championships in late February. Each event explores a different park in the Puget Sound area.
It's a great way to exercise your body and your mind at the same time. And the WIOL season scoring format—best four of seven meets—allows the flexibility to learn from or miss some meets and still have a highly successful season.
Students complete courses individually for points, and may qualify for season and championship awards. Students in Middle School or High School may also sign up as teams with other students from their schools, still competing individually but adding their points together to qualify for seasonal and championship team trophies.
To participate in WIOL, a student should be comfortable completing a course solo, although shadowing by an adult for safety is allowed on elementary courses. No prior experience or club membership is needed to participate, and students who discover that they are not yet comfortable soloing can switch to a recreational category to complete courses with friends or family. Newcomers are welcome, even after the season has started. All junior orienteers at all levels must carry a whistle.
PARENTS: Looking for something to do while your student runs a course? Check out the volunteer opportunities, or try out a recreational course (where you don't have to go solo) with friends or family at the same park. There's even a competitive series for adults, called the Winter O' Series.
SEASON INFORMATION: For meet locations and dates, see the meets labeled "WIOL" on the Cascade Orienteering Club Event Calendar.
Register for the 2014-2015 WIOL season before Saturday, October 11 to avoid a $5 late fee:
2014-2015 Registration & Waiver (includes mailing location).
On the surface, orienteering is easy; just read a map to find orange & white markers. But the more you know about what's on a map, and the more courses you do now, the better you'll do during the season.
- Starting a School Team. Sometimes, the best first step is a non-competitive outdoor club that loves to explore parks. The 2014-2015 WIOL Season Schedule & Info Flyer is useful for printing and forming your own school team.
- If there is time before WIOL season, consider trying an event in the Choose Your Own Adventure series, which features low-key, mass-start events at local parks in the summer and fall--perfect for an outing with friends or family. Beginner training is available. See the event schedule.
- If there are no meets available, you can still download a map and try a course at a park near you. There are Permanent Courses at ten parks for learning to navigate at your own pace.
- If you are new to WIOL, strongly consider the FREE Pre-Season WIOL Training on October 11.
- Orienteering symbols quick-reference. Orienteering, as a worldwide sport, uses international symbols as descriptions of navigation features--for example, the boulder shown at right. Find out what the symbols represent, then test yourself.
- Sample maps. These sample previous courses show the progression in course complexity as junior orienteers grow in ability. (Start at the triangle and finish at the double circle):
- Orienteering Coach's Handbook. The best skills for success at each level of WIOL.
- Tutorial for using Route Gadget to analyze route choice decisions.
2014/2015 REFERENCE INFO: Still have a question about how the league works? Look at these or contact the WIOL Director:
- WIOL Rules 2014-2015. Everything we can do to make solo competitions fair and enjoyable.
- WIOL Course Designer Guide 2014-2015. The "inside scoop" on how those courses are created.
- IOF Control Symbol Reference. 17 pages of guidance about how international symbols are used.
- Frequently asked questions (Coming later).