2018 California Orienteering Week (COW)

California Orienteering Week (COW)

Seven National Events Over Nine Days

Date: Mar. 17 - 25, 2018
Location: San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento area
Event Directors: - 510.407.1876, - 916.220.0224
Course Setters: Matej Å ebo (BAOC), Steve Gregg (BAOC), George Minarik (BAOC), Matias Arola (BAOC), Dwight Freund (GCO), Heidi Cusworth (GCO), Bill Cusworth (GCO)
Type: A; Seven (sanctioned) National Events spread over 9 days, including 5 Middle events, 1 Long, and 1 Sprint — organized by BAOC and GCO

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Latest Changes:

Stage 6 & 7 Driving Directions changed. (3/22)
Note about Stage 4 E-stick capacity. (3/18)
March 22 Training Event added. (3/15)
Details for March 24 dinner added. (3/13)
Start times (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/cow2018) have been assigned. (3/12)
Use of Eventbase App added. (3/12)
Criteria for All-Around awards modified. (3/11)
Details for March 17 dinner added. (3/11)

Also see "Latest Changes" on Stage pages!

Table of contents

This year's COW will be a seven-day National Event organized by the Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) and Gold Country Orienteers (http://goldcountryorienteers.org/index.html) (GCO).

Special Note: The trials for the U.S. team that will compete in the 2018 Junior World Orienteering Championships (http://www.jwoc2018.hu) (JWOC) will be held at the final three days of COW! The team selected will compete at JWOC in Hungary in July 2018.

Event Information Available On Eventbase App

To quickly get essential information about California Orienteering Week, install the free Eventbase app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet. Then click the magnifying-glass icon, and search for "Orienteer" or "California Orienteering". That should be enough to find the event. You can get the event schedule, maps to the venues, and even make personal notes such as start times for each event.
The event information stays on your phone, so you will still have it without Internet access, and it gets updated when the app can connect to the Internet. The information on the website remains the official source, but we'll try to keep Eventbase updated as much as possible.

"Believe the Website"

The printed material in your registration packets went to press as information was still being added to the event webpages (i.e., this page and the seven "Stage" pages). Thus, if there is a conflict between the printed notes and the website, believe the website. We apologize for any confusion that might occur.


Registration Deadlines

Note: As of February 27th, permits for all the events have been issued.

Stage 1 – Saturday, March 17

Stage 2 – Sunday, March 18

Stage 3 – Monday, March 19

Stage 4 – Wednesday, March 21

Training Event – Thursday, March 22

Stage 5 – Friday, March 23

Stage 6 – Saturday, March 24

Stage 7 – Sunday, March 25

Visit Tri-Valley logo

Support Our Sponsor

Event Headquarters for Stages 1 through 4 will be in the lovely "Tri-Valley" area, including Pleasanton, Livermore, Danville, Dublin, and the venue for Stages 1 and 2, Morgan Territory. Visit Tri-Valley has generously agreed to be a sponsor for COW. There are many things to do in the Tri-Valley area, many places to eat, many outdoor and cultural activities available. Your registration packet will contain more details; meanwhile, you can click on the Visit Tri-Valley logo to go directly to their website (http://visittrivalley.com). We hope you will be able to take advantage of the fine and varied opportunities this area affords.

International Flags

More than twenty of the COW entrants are coming to Northern California from foreign countries. At international orienteering meets around the world, there are displays of the flags of the nations represented at the events, so we are going to do that, too. We’ve stretched the definition a bit: we’ll also include flags for nations where our entrants were born and raised. Look for our flag display. Can you name all the nations represented by these flags?


Information about the National Event courses (and other event-specific information) are available on the webpages for the individual stages: Stage 1 (Sat), Stage 2 (Sun), Stage 3 (Mon), Stage 4 (Wed), Stage 5 (Fri), Stage 6 (Sat), Stage 7 (Sun).

Recreational Courses

For beginners and people who do not want to compete, White (Beginner), Yellow (Advanced Beginner), and Orange (Intermediate) recreational courses will be available on all the event days, except at Sierra College (only White and Yellow recreational courses at that event). Registration will be at the events, and regular BAOC and GCO (http://www.goldcountryorienteers.org/about.html) fees will apply (i.e., BAOC fees at the first four days and GCO fees at the final three days).

Again, advance registration is not available (or needed) for recreational courses​—​simply show up at the event, register, pay, and enjoy your course(s). Beginner Clinics will be available​—​they are short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete a beginner course.

Start Procedure

The following start procedure will be used at every Stage of the COW event. Recreational entrants will need to ask the Start Crew member at the call-up line for a start time, and then will follow the procedure below.

Assigned start times for competitive entries are available here (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/cow2018).

You will be called to the Start three minutes prior to your actual start time. The display clock in the Start area will be set three minutes fast, so that it is displaying the start time that is being called up. Every minute, a whistle will sound as the clock turns to a new minute.

Please do not be late for your start. If you are, you may have to wait a long time for a new start time. Be sure to take into account the walking time to the Start, which for some stages is quite long.

At 3 Minutes Before Your Start Time ...

The Start Crew member at the call-up line will announce the start time being called, and the names of the people with that start time. You check in at that point, clear and check your E-stick, and receive further instructions.

At 2 Minutes Before Your Start Time ...

When the whistle sounds again, you move up to a second line, where the control description sheets will be available. Control descriptions will also be printed on the maps.

No fastening devices (i.e., tape, pins, etc.) will be provided, so make sure you have the means you need to attach your sheet to your person, if you so desire.

At 1 Minute Before Your Start Time ...

At the next whistle, you proceed to the map-pickup line. There, maps will be arranged by course in clearly marked bins.

You will be asked to write your name or number on the back of your map. You must leave your map in the bin, though you may ask the Start Crew member to verify that you have the correct course.

That crew member will give you instructions regarding the Start Triangle. In some cases, the Start Triangle will be right where you are standing; in other cases, there will be a short run to the Start Triangle. In the latter case, there will be a control marker in the Start Triangle, but no punch unit​—​you do not punch at any such remote Start Triangle.

At Your Start Time ...

When the next whistle sounds, you punch the START unit, pick up your map, and off you go.


"All-Around" awards will be given out at the event on Sunday, March 25th, at noon. The results of all seven events will be used to determine one set of All-Around awards for each National Event class (http://orienteeringusa.org/rules#A38) (age-based and Open) for the week-long event.

You will earn a points score each day you compete based on this formula:

1000 × (your class winner's time) ÷ (your time)

(Course setters and vetters for a particular stage earn a score for that stage equal to their best score among all their other COW stages. The same policy applies to any early runner whose result is affected by the discovery of a problem reported to meet officials.)

The final standings will be based on each person's five best performances for the event. That is, each person's five best scores will be added together to determine that person's overall score.

All-Around awards will be presented in each class to the top-three overall competitors. Note that you do not have to be present for all seven races to be eligible for an All-Around award, but you must start at least four races and have at least three valid finishes in the class.

Electronic Punching

SPORTident electronic punching (E-Punch) will be used for both National Event and recreational courses. Thus, each "team" will need an E-Punch card/stick. Rental E-Punch cards/sticks can be preordered through the National Event registration, and also will be available at the event (e.g., for recreational courses).

An explanation of E-Punch is available here. More information about the use of E-Punch is available in our User's Guide to Electronic Punching, and will be available in Beginner Clinics at the events.

Event Dinners

There will be two Saturday evening dinners, on March 17 and March 24. The cost for each dinner is $25 per adult or junior, $15 per child (under 12). You can sign up during event registration.

The March 17 dinner will be 5:00–7:00 PM at the Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar (http://www.lazydogrestaurants.com/location/Dublin), 4805 Hacienda Dr, Dublin, CA (https://www.google.com/maps/place/4805+Hacienda+Dr,+Dublin,+CA+94568/@37.7043372,-121.8895343,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x808fe94cd6fc16f1:0xea0f8eeb617bd30b!8m2!3d37.704333!4d-121.8873456) (phone 925-361-3690; at the corner of Hacienda Dr and Hacienda Crossings).

The March 24 dinner will be 5:15–7:30 PM at BJs Brewery & Restaurant (http://www.bjsrestaurants.com/locations/ca/folsom), 2730 East Bidwell St, Folsom, CA (https://maps.google.com/?q=2730+East+Bidwell+Street,+Folsom,+CA) (phone 916-404-2000, at the corner of East Bidwell St and Power Center Dr).

Salad, four types of pasta, four types of pizza, non-alcoholic beverages (bring cash if you want beer or wine), vegetarian options.
Note: If you must have vegan or gluten-free, inform your server when you arrive, and we will try to accommodate.
Note: As of March 14th, this dinner is sold out. You can ask at event registration if there have been cancellations.

Embargo Notice

Because these are National Events, the areas close to the races are embargoed (ref. OUSA Rule A.7 (http://orienteeringusa.org/rules#A7)). This is done for the purpose of fairness.

Thus, from September 20, 2017 through the completion of the events:

Anyone who visits the embargoed areas can still participate in the event, but will not be included in the official results, will not receive awards, and will not earn OUSA ranking credit.

(This notice does not apply to people who will participate on the recreational courses.)

COW Personnel

COW is hosted jointly by the Bay Area Orienteering Club and the Gold Country Orienteers. It takes many people to plan and organize an event like this, and many more to help at the actual events. A great big thanks to all of you!

Below are the people who put in substantial time and effort to make COW 2018 a reality.

Volunteers Needed

As always, this event can't occur without a lot of volunteer help. Please consider signing up for tasks on the online rosters linked below. If you're not sure what you'd like to do, you can simply add your name to the list at the bottom of the roster with a note about the days you're available and possibly your preferences.

Vicki Woolworth, Event Director for the Bay Area events

Sample Maps

Sample maps of the five venues are available by purchase as mentioned above. They are also available as the following PDF downloads (the dimensions shown are the width × height of the full-size pages):

Mapping Workshops

There will be mapping workshops on the first and third days of the COW events (i.e., Saturday, 3/17, and Monday, 3/19). The details are here.


Stages 1 through 4 (San Francisco Bay Area)

We have a 25-room block at the Marriott Courtyard Pleasanton (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/oakpl-courtyard-pleasanton/) (5059 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton, CA 94588), which will serve as the headquarters hotel for the event. The rate for King rooms is $109.00 plus tax per night, and for Queen-Queen (2 Queen beds) is $109.00 plus tax per night. Parking and wireless internet are complimentary.

Call 800.321.2211 and ask for the "Bay Area Orienteering Club Room Block" rate at the Courtyard Pleasanton. Or you can use this link (http://www.marriott.com/meeting-event-hotels/group-corporate-travel/groupCorp.mi?resLinkData=Bay%20Area%20Orieentering%20Club%5Eoakpl%60baobaoa%7Cbaobaob%60109%60USD%60false%604%603/16/18%603/21/18%602/16/18&app=resvlink&stop_mobi=yes) to make your own reservations online.

Reservations must be made before Friday, February 16th to receive the Courtyard Pleasanton group rate.

There are many, many hotel/motel possibilities in the Livermore/Pleasanton area. A quick search on a travel website yielded dozens of hits, with prices ranging from under $100 to about $300 per night.

Camping is also available: Probably the best camping location is at Del Valle Regional Park (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/del_valle) just south of Livermore. Another centrally located campground is at Anthony Chabot Regional Park (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/anthony_chabot). RV parking is available at Del Valle and Anthony Chabot Regional Parks, the Alameda County Fairgrounds (http://www.alamedacountyfair.com/Fairpark.php) in Pleasanton, and other locations. (Unfortunately, RV parking is not allowed at the Livermore Walmart store that is a few miles from the Stage 1 & 2 events.)

Stages 5 through 7 (Sacramento Area)

There are three good areas that have decent hotel options:

Courtyard Sacramento Folsom (https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/SACFO-courtyard-sacramento-folsom/)
Hampton Inn & Suites Folsom (http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/california/hampton-inn-and-suites-folsom-SACFOHX/index.html)
We have a block of 25 rooms reserved at Hampton Inn & Suites Folsom under the code "CHXORE". The rate is $119 for either two queen beds or a king suite, including breakfast. Hampton Inn is conveniently located a short distance from Hwy 50 at 155 Placerville Road, Folsom, CA 95630 (https://maps.google.com/?q=155+Placerville+Road,+Folsom,+California,+95630&entry=gmail&source=g). Call 916.235.7744 or reserve online here (http://hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/groups/personalized/S/SACFOHX-ORE-20180323/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG). The group rate will be available until March 12 (it will end earlier if the block is sold out). (For the record, the group name is "Orienteering Event", and the group code is "ORE".)
The $119 rate is good for Thursday through Saturday nights. Unfortunately the text on the hotel website (currently) says the quoted rate is for Friday and Saturday nights only, but the hotel agreed to include Thursday night. If necessary, use the drop-down calendar to adjust the nights you want for your reservation.
Staybridge Suites Sacramento-Folsom (https://www.ihg.com/staybridge/hotels/us/en/folsom/smffc/hoteldetail?qRef=rr&qDest=1745+Cavitt+Drive+Folsom+California+United+States&qRpn=1&qChld=0&qAAR=6CBARC&qSrt=sBR&qSHp=1&qSmP=3&qIta=99618783&qGRM=0&qSlH=SMFFC&qRms=1&srb_u=1&qAdlt=2&qPSt=0&qFRA=1&qRtP=6CBARC&qCiMy=102017&qHtlC=SMFFC&qrtPt=137.00&qCoD=21&qCiD=20&qCoMy=102017&qRmP=K.O.T.X.C&qRRSrt=rt&qRpp=20&qBrs=6c.hi.ex.rs.ic.cp.in.sb.cw.cv.ul.vn.ki.sp.nd.ct&qWch=0#)
Fairfield Inn & Suites Sacramento Folsom (https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/SACFL-fairfield-inn-and-suites-sacramento-folsom/)
Larkspur Landing Folsom (https://www.larkspurhotels.com/folsom/)
Hilton Garden Inn Folsom (http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/california/hilton-garden-inn-folsom-SMFFHGI/index.html)
Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, Rancho Cordova/Folsom (https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/hawthorn-extended-stay/gold-river-california/hawthorn-suites-by-wyndham-rancho-cordova-folsom/overview?CID=LC:BH::GGL:RIO:National:30633&iata=00065402)
Comfort Inn & Suites Near Folsom Lake (https://www.choicehotels.com/california/rancho-cordova/comfort-inn-hotels/cab34?pmf=yext&mc=llyxyxpx)
More likely to have budget options
There are 10+ hotels/motels right off Hwy 50

Camping is also available: Participants can camp at Beal's Point (https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1352) on Folsom Lake in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=500). RV sites with full hookups ($48) and tent-camping sites ($28) are available with restrooms and showers. Contact ReserveCalifornia.com (https://reservecalifornia.com/CaliforniaWebHome/) or call 1-800-444-7275 to make reservations.

Beal's Point is located between the two locations for the Gold Country Orienteers events, and is a couple miles from the Folsom Historic District (http://www.historicfolsom.org), which has lots of restaurants, shops, and entertainment.


Online registration for the California Orienteering Week has closed. Registration will be available at the events, including for recreational courses.

If you preregistered online, and want to modify your registration, contact the directly.

If you need to send something to the (e.g., your registration payment), the address is:

Gary Kraght
78 Robinhood Dr
Novato, CA 94945

The up-to-date list of people who have registered, and assigned start times, are available here (https://www.orienteeringusa.org/eventregister/a40/reglist/home/cow2018).


Entry fees for the National Events are given in the table below. You must register and pay by the deadlines shown. For members of OUSA/COF/IOF, a discount ($4 Adult, $2 Junior) will be applied to each event entered.

2018 California Orienteering Week National Event Fees
  Number of  
  Early Registration  
(deadline February 11)
  Regular Registration  
(deadline March 9)
 Day of Event 
  Adult     Junior     Adult     Junior     Adult     Junior  
  1   $32 $16 $36 $18 $45 $18
  2   $64 $32 $72 $36 $90 $36
  3   $84 $42 $96 $48 $123 $48
  4   $100 $50 $116 $58 $152 $58
  5   $114 $57 $134 $67 $179 $67
  6   $126 $63 $150 $75 $204 $75
  7   $134 $67 $162 $81 $225 $81
  Notes:     • The registration deadlines are at 11:59 PM PST on the indicated dates.
  • Adult = age 21 & up, Junior = age 20 & under
  • Yes, the Regular and Day-of-Event fees for Juniors are the same.
  • The fees above include discounts for three or more events, but not the OUSA/COF/IOF discounts.
Note: We want everyone to participate in California Orienteering Week!! If you are a student or senior on a fixed income, or otherwise have challenging finances, please contact the to discuss a possible reduced entry fee.

Standard BAOC and GCO (http://www.goldcountryorienteers.org/about.html) event fees will apply to the recreational courses each day (i.e., BAOC fees at the first four days and GCO fees at the final three days). Those fees will be collected at the event (i.e., advanced registration is not available). Note: There will not be a recreational intermediate-level (Orange) course for Stage 5 at Sierra College.

Additional, optional fees:

E-punch rental: $5 per day (see Electronic Punching)
T-shirt: $20 Adult, $15 Youth
Sample maps: All venues available, $4 per map (also available as PDF download below)
Saturday dinners: $25 per adult or junior, $15 per child 12 and under


The event T-shirts are designed by BAOC's resident artist Stephanie Maclean. The artwork is shown at the top of this page. The fabric is gray, 4.7-ounce, 100% filament polyester, jersey knit with rolled seams and antimicrobial and wicking properties. The shirts are "classic fit". The ladies’ shirt has a V-neck. The prices and available sizes are as follows:

More details of the T-shirts than you might want to know are available here.

The deadline to order T-shirts is February 22. Don’t miss out!


¹ Sanctioned by Orienteering USA (https://orienteeringusa.org) (OUSA)