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St. Mary's College

Date: (Sun.) Oct. 24, 2021
Location: Moraga, CA
Event Director:
Course Setter: Matej Sebo
Type: A; National Ranking Event (NRE) with qualification and final Sprints (2 ranking courses!), and a course for beginners. NOTE: Online registration is REQUIRED for the Sprints.

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

Start times for the Qualifier Sprints are here (

Event Director's October 23rd Update

Many of you have expressed concerns about tomorrow’s weather. Based on the current forecast, I believe we can proceed with the event without risking the safety of our competitors and equipment. I do want to make sure everyone knows what to expect, hence this email. The general forecast for Moraga is:
  • Rain: 0.79” between 5 AM and 11 AM, 0.86” between 11 AM and 5 PM, 1.07” between 5 PM and 11 PM. (Most runners will be done by 1 PM, and the courses close at 1:30 PM.)
  • Strong winds, especially from 11 AM to 1 PM, 28 mph with gusts up to 49 mph. I am hoping the winds at the college will be lower than forecast, because the wind will be blowing north, and the college campus sits directly north of a significant ridge.
  • Temperature range of 58F to 62F during the event window. Relatively mild temperatures will make it easier to stay warm despite the rain and the wind.
In other to make the event as fun and safe as possible, we are implementing the following mitigations:
  1. I am not going to put out any BAOC event signs along the roads, as they will just get blown over. The event center will generally be in the Chapel Lawn area of the college. As you can see from the aerial photo below (you can click on the image to see a larger version), there is plenty of parking nearby. I don’t know exactly where the event center will be yet, because I want to judge the local conditions and see if we can find some partial shelter. I plan to wear an orange bicycle vest over my red jacket to be easy to find. I will be also be carrying my cell phone at the event: 415.602.5468.

    Arena Area
    Arena Area
  2. We will offer clothing return from the remote Start of the Sprint Final. However, we will not be able to separate dry and wet clothes as part of this service, so please make sure to bring additional dry clothes to change into after the Final. Umbrellas will be useless​—​you will need rainproof boots, pants, and jacket (with hood) to stay dry. You might want to bring a towel. Just saying …
  3. Unfortunately we don’t have a classroom reserved at the college, but we do have access to restrooms that are located indoors. Please make sure to wear a mask at all times indoors regardless of vaccination status, as this is the current campus policy. It should also be possible to find some outdoors spots on campus to shelter from the winds. I will scout these out in the morning.
  4. One of my biggest concern is runaway tents. We will carefully choose a suitable spot for the E-punch tent and tie/weigh it down. If we can’t set up the E-punch tent securely outside, we will try to find a van or car as a fallback option. Please bear with us if E-punch is not right next to the Finish, but if we can’t keep the equipment dry, nobody will get their results.
Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes and the start procedure!

Late Notes (Oct. 21)

Masks are required inside any building (e.g., restrooms; the college’s policy is here ( When outside, please practice social distancing if you’re not wearing a mask.
Shoes with metal studs are not allowed​—​rubber spikes/cleats are okay. Shoes with good traction on both mud, wet grass, and pavement are advised.
We recommend wearing attire suitable for mostly urban running, with lawn grass and a little bit of open forest here and there. Shorts should be okay, as should long pants; gaiters are unnecessary. There is some poison oak near one part of the courses​—​it is easily identifiable and avoidable.
Keep in mind that the weather forecast is for steady rain, with a lot of rain in the preceding days as well. The course will wind through both paved and dirt-covered areas, and many grassy or dirt-covered areas will be muddy.

Event Director's October 18th Update

I want to remind you that preregistration is required for the Sprints, with a deadline of Thursday, 10/21, at midnight.
Also note that the Course Setter’s Notes have been posted​—​make sure to read them if you plan to compete.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, we will have only a limited selection of light snacks for competitors. If you need something more substantial before running the Final Sprint, you might want to bring additional provisions.
Finally, we could still use another couple of volunteers for either starts, finishes, or beginners clinics. (Some of the existing volunteers have some flexibility​—​if you are able to help with either of these tasks, please let know.)
Thanks, and I’ll see you soon!

This event will be our free-of-sanctioning-fees National Ranking Event (NRE) for 2021. (Each U.S. club is permitted to put on one such event each year.)

This event was originally scheduled for Mar 22, 2020, but had to be canceled because of COVID-19. We have permission from St. Mary's College, and the NRE sanction from OUSA has been approved. The courses will be the same as for the original event.

Important Notes:

There will be two Sprints: a morning Qualifier Sprint, and later, a Final Sprint. The top finishers in the Qualifier run in an A-Final, everyone else runs in a B-Final. Each round counts separately for OUSA rankings.

Start times are pre-assigned ( for the Sprints. Advance, online preregistration is required for the Sprints.

There will be two courses for each round: an “Elite” course for the classes assigned to Red and Blue courses, and a (single) shorter “Expert” course for all the remaining classes (i.e., those normally assigned to White through Green courses). (See the comments below about these “virtual courses”.) All the OUSA classes ( will be available. (If that link is broken, go to the main rules page ( and click on “Classes” in the Table of Contents.)

In addition to the competitive Sprints, there will be a single, beginner-level, recreational course.

We've used this map only once before (for one of the Sprint San Francisco events in 2018), and Matej Å ebo, the course setter, is expanding it a bit, so this is a pretty fresh venue. And it's in a gorgeous setting, even though the surrounding hills aren't green this time of year.

Note to Beginners:

Normally, BAOC events include beginner (White and Yellow) courses, an intermediate (Orange) course, and up to four advanced courses. However, because of the special nature of this event, we're offering only one beginner course in addition to the two-part Sprint courses. That beginner course will not earn OUSA ranking points, but it should be a fun course for beginners. (See below for more comments on the courses.)
If you are interest in doing a “traditional” (i.e., forested) orienteering course, please look at the Schedule for another event to attend (on that page, select “BAOC” in place of “All Clubs” and click on the Reload button).


    9:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Registration is open for the beginner course (not for the Sprints)
    9:30 AM: Starts begin for the Sprints Qualifier round (with assigned start times (
    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Beginner clinic instruction (free)
    10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Starts are open for the beginner course
    Noon: Starts begin for the Sprints final round (first A-finals and then B-finals)
    1:30 PM: Sprints awards ceremony
    1:30 PM: Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

At registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian (the registration form is available here (PDF/12KB), but note the price differences for this event).

Note that you can register and start on the beginner course anytime during the open times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be “punctual” at 9:00 (but you can if you want, but please don’t show up earlier and expect to be served).

Beginner clinics are 15–20 minute, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner (White) course.

Note that you must return to the Finish by 1:30 PM, and then go to the download tent, even if you have not finished your course. Please do not leave without checking in! If there are unaccounted people after 1:30, we must initiate a search for them.

Also note that each of the NRE Sprint courses has a 1-hour time limit (i.e., per OUSA rules). Anyone exceeding that limit will be classified as overtime (OVT).


Since this is an NRE event, special fees will apply to the Sprint courses. And, before you ask, a one-Sprint discounted price is not available.

The following fees apply to this event:

  $3 for each junior on the beginner course
  $8 for each adult on the beginner course
$12 for each junior on both Sprints (online registration only)  
$30 for each BAOC member on both Sprints (online registration only)
$35 for each non-member on both Sprints (online registration only)
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an E-punch fingerstick rental (if you don’t own one; each group will need one to complete their course[s])


The standard entry form is available online (PDF/12KB) if you want to print it and fill it out in advance to save some time when registering at the event (which is available for only the beginner course). (You will need one entry form for each group of people going on a course together.)

Comments on “fee-free” NRE events:

For each of our first three fee-free NRE’s (2017 Sunol, 2018 Calero, and 2019 Joe Grant), we simply took an existing, high-quality B-meet and superimposed on it the age/gender categories needed for rankings.
This year is different because the St. Mary’s event was created specifically as an NRE, and everyone recruited for the event staff knew that this was going to be an NRE.
The St. Mary’s venue is very expensive, and since people are getting two ranking races out of the event, it seems reasonable to charge about double the normal local-event fees (for pre-registration)​—​which is still less than any day of the Tahoe 2021 event.
– Dennis Wildfogel, BAOC National Events Coordinator

Competition Format

This year, there will be two sets of Qualifier plus Final courses: one set for the Red and Blue age categories (Elite), and one set for the White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, and Green age categories (Expert).

The Qualifier courses and the Final courses will all be interval-started. Pre-assigned start times for the Qualifier are posted in Event Register ( Don’t be late for your start.

Keep in mind that there is a 300–500 m walk to the Quali Start, and a 1.0–1.5 km walk to the Final Start.

Up to eight of the top men and up to eight of the top women finishers in the Qualifier round will be placed in the A-Final for their course (exact numbers to be determined after the number of registrants is known). Everyone else will run in the B-Final for their course. The A-Final runners will start first, with the B-Final starting immediately afterwards. The start order for each Final will be determined by the results of the Qualifier Sprints. The fastest A-Final qualifier will start first, and the rest of the A-Final competitors will start behind them in descending order of Qualifier placement (2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.). Similarly, the fastest B-Final qualifier will start first, and the rest of the B-Final competitors will start behind them in descending order of Qualifier placement.

Start Procedure

There is 1 minute between starters on the Expert courses, 2 minutes on the Elite courses.

We are using a streamlined start procedure for this event.

You will be able to drop off clothing at the Start (for return to the Finish area), but please be mindful of the fact that someone is going to have to carry all your stuff. For the Qualifier (first round) Start, which isn't that far away, you might be better off just going wearing what you intend to go out on the course in.

Think of this event as an adventure!


These five courses will be available:

White/Yellow recreational/beginner
WhiteGreen (Expert) Sprint Qualifier  
Red/Blue (Elite) Sprint Qualifier  
WhiteGreen (Expert) Sprint Final  
Red/Blue (Elite) Sprint Final  

Everyone in the NRE will be competing on one of the two Qualifier courses, and then on the corresponding Final course. Both Qualifier courses and both Final courses are National Ranking Events, and thus each Sprint course has a 1-hour time limit (i.e., per OUSA rules).

The details of the courses, and additional, important information is provided in the Course Setter’s Notes. Be sure to read them.

Be sure to note the course details in the Course Setter’s Notes, and that the maps conform to the ISSprOM 2019 standard, which means there are Sprint-specific symbols. Also note that the maps show “impassable” features​—​things that might be physically passable, but that will result in disqualification if crossed.

As indicated above, there will be a “beginner” (White/Yellow) course, but not an “intermediate” (Orange) course. However, given the nature of the venues and the courses, some people without a lot of orienteering experience may wish to try the Sprint courses. That was the case at previous events like this one, and those who did go out seemed to enjoy themselves.

For each of the four National Ranking races (i.e., two Qualifier races and two Final races), the results will be grouped into the usual OUSA age/gender classes (even though multiple classes will be running the same course).

Comments about ranking courses:

The traditional “color” courses will be “virtual” at this event. That is, everyone whose “official course” is White through Green will actually run the same (physical) course, called "Expert", and everyone on Red and Blue will share the same physical course, called "Elite". A participant’s “virtual course” will be determined by the class they register for​—​that is, their “virtual course” will be the (color) course that is assigned to that class. And their ranking points will be determined from the results of all the people who have that (color) course assigned to their classes.
Now, if that isn’t confusing enough, there is another consideration at this event. In order to earn OUSA ranking points at any event, there must be at least five people running your (virtual) course. For example, a person entered as F–10 would be running the (virtual) White course. However, it’s unlikely that there will be five people signed up for White-course classes at this event, so an entry in F–10 would most likely not earn ranking points at this event. However, that person could sign up for the F–18 class, and run the (virtual) Brown course (which is the same physical course). There will almost certainly be enough people on the (virtual) Brown course for those people to earn ranking points.

Request for Volunteers

I hope you are planning to join us for this very exciting double Sprint event! Matej is working on some fun courses and the map will be slightly expanded to a new part of the campus.

As usual, we will need several volunteers to put on the event. Please reply to directly if you would like to help out.


Mikkel Conradi, Event Director

Embargo Notice

Since the event is a National Ranking Event (NRE), everyone who wants to earn ranking points at the event must not visit the St. Mary's College campus, or the surrounding countryside, before the completion of the event (except while running their courses, of course). (Current students of the college are exempted.)

The embargo area is shown in the image below. You can click on the image to see a larger version.

2021 Embargo Area
2021 Embargo Area

Event Location

St Mary's College is located at 1928 St Marys Rd, Moraga, CA 94575. The coordinates of the parking lot are 37.842910,-122.110404.