Orienteering History

Dandenong Ranges Orienteering Club

A brief history of orienteering around the world.

Year Description
1886The term 'Orienteering' was being used by the military to mean crossing unknown territory with the aid of a map and compass
1897The world's first public orienteering competition held in Norway.
1899The world's first ski orienteering competition held in Norway.
1919Major Ernst Killander, President of the Stockholm Amateur Athletic Association, devised a cross-country competition where runners not only ran a course but had to choose their own routes using a map and compass. He is considered the 'Father of Orienteering'
1922The first night orienteering event was held near Stockholm, Sweden.
1923The first regional championships held in Sweden.
1925The first ladies event was held in Gothenburg
1927A District Relay Championship was organised in Uppsala. Eric Tobe, a member of the winning team, went on to become the first President of the International Orienteering Federation when it was set up in 1961.
1932In the first international match, held near Oslo, Sweden defeated Norway.
1941The first orienteering events in North America started on November 10, 1941
1946The Nordic Committee for Orienteering, a pre-cursor for the IOF was formed.
1949The Swedish Orienteering Association held an international conference in Sandviken in which 11 nations took part.
1955Events first held in Australia.
1960An open international competition held outside Stockholm in 1960 attracted seven nations
1961The International Orienteering Federation was formed with Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Germany, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and West Germany as member nations.
1962The first official European Championships held in Norway.
1966The first World Championships held in Finland.
1969IOF member countries now number 16 with first countries outside Europe - Japan and Canada joining.
1970Orienteering Federation of Australia (OFA) was formed
1973Australia, New Zealand and USA join the IOF.
1973Orienteering Association of Tasmania formed.
1974Orienteering Association of Western Australia formed.
1975First World Orienteering Championships ski event held.
1994First European Championships in trail orienteering
1998The first official World Masters Orienteering Championships held in Czechoslovakia
1998Ski-orienteering held at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
1999The first ever World Cup in trail orienteering
1999The first World Championship in Mountain Bike Orienteering held.
2000The IOF has 58 member countries.
[About] [Events] [Join] [What's New] [FAQ] [Newsletter] [Committee] [History] [Gallery] [Navigation] [Maps] [Feedback] [Guestbook] [Contact Us] [Links]
Unless otherwise noted, all items on this site are Copyright Dandenong Ranges Orienteering Club 2002-2004, All Rights Reserved.
This site maintained and hosted by Momentech Software Services