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What is orienteering?

Punching systems

Map and compass

Types of event

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Punching systems

I mentioned earlier that each control point includes a way of enabling competitors to prove that they have visited that control. There are two different systems for doing this.

In a "conventional" punching system, each control has a pin punch, which
competitors use to mark the appropriate box on their control card.

Each pin punch has its own particular pattern of pins, so the marks in the boxes on a competitor's control card show which controls he or she has visited.

Over the last couple of years we have been introducing electronic punching. Each control has an electronic box and competitors carry electronic control cards, generally called "dibbers". When a dibber is inserted into a control box the box transmits its ID and the time to the dibber. When this information is downloaded at the finish you get a complete record of which controls you visited at what times.

The best way to get a practical understanding of these punching systems is to go along to an event and ask someone to demonstrate the punching system before you go out on your run.

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