Electronic punching is a fast, reliable replacement to the traditional pin punching on paper punch cards. Because the electronic punching tracks the sequence and timing for reaching control points, the scoring is more accurate, provides "split times" between control points, and provides immediate scoring results.
We use the SPORTIdent (SI) system for electronic scoring. Each orienteer runs with an SI card (aka e-stick aka finger stick) worn on one finger. The SI card (available for rent) is an electronic storage device, which records information (time and station number) from every control point that you visit.
When you reach a control point, you will see the usual orange-and-white control marker, but there will also be an SI station. To get credit for reaching that control station, simply insert the tip of the SI card into the SI station, until it beeps. This indicates that the station information and time stamp has been transferred to your SI card.
After you finish your course, you will go to a download station. The attendant will assist you in downloading the information from your SI card onto the computer. The computer software has been programmed to know the proper sequence of controls (for a classic course) or the point value (score-o), so your timing results are available immediately.
Before you start, make sure that you visit the clear/check stations (near the start area). The clear unit deletes any old data that may be on the stick. The clear unit confirms that the SI card has been cleared and is ready for use. Each station will beep when the clear or check functions are complete (the clear station may take several seconds before it beeps).
Your start time begins when you punch the START station. In the case of a Score-O (with a course time limit), the clock starts when you punch--not at any pre-specified start time
Listen for that beep every time you punch
For classic courses, you must visit the controls in the specified order, or you will be disqualified. Make sure that you check the number on the SI station and compare it with what is on the control description. If you punch a wrong control by mistake, or punch controls out of order, it doesn't really matter, as long as you eventually punch all of the controls in order. The software is smart enough to ignore intermediate punches that are not part of the course sequence. Also, it doesn't hurt to punch the same control twice. So...at that water stop, you may want to punch as you leave the control, even if you may have already punched when you got there--much better to punch twice than to possibly miss a control!
Make sure that you punch the FINISH station at the finish line. This records your final time for the course. Also, make sure that you didn't miss the "Go" control (last control on all the classic course) before the finish--it may be close to the finish, and easy to overlook.
After the finish, make sure you go to the download station...or you won't have any results! Please check in at the station, even if you didn't finish your course. This is how we track who is still out on the courses. We don't want to send out a search party for someone who has left the site.