GPHXO Classic Courses


A classic (point-to-point) event is the traditional orienteering course where the competitor must visit the control markers in the sequence shown on the map. Unlike a Score-O, there is no set time limit to complete the course. Instead, your rank is based on the time it takes to complete the course. You must visit all the controls in order to have a finish time.

There will be several different courses offered that differ in difficulty and length, so that orienteers of all levels can have fun and compete against orienteers of the same skill level. Here is a list of the standard course types, although not all of these courses may be offered at a particular GPHXO event:

Since all competitors on a classic course must follow the same legs betweeen controls, classic courses have some interesting features. First, the course setter will strive to offer route choices between controls (is it faster to take the trail around or go straight over the hill?). This adds to the mental challenge of efficient map interpretation that is the core of orienteering. Second, since all competitors will be running the same legs, it is always fun and enlightening to compare stories and route choices after the event.

Course Navigational Difficulty Length (km) Winning Time for elite orienteer (min)
White Easy/Youth 2.0 3.0 20 - 25
Yellow Beginner 3.0 5.0 35 - 40
Orange Intermediate 4.5 7.0 50 - 55
Brown Advanced 3.0 5.0 45 - 50
Green Advanced 4.5 7.0 50 - 55
Red Advanced 6.0 10.0 70 - 75
Blue Advanced 8.0 14.0 75 - 80

Sprint Events

In addition to the classic courses listed above, the Greater Phoenix Orienteering Club sometimes offers "sprint" events. The sprint events are shorter navigation events that include easier-to-find control locations meant to force quick navigation decisions. For the beginners, the easier control locations and shorter courses mean that most participants are likely to complete the course. Experienced orienteers benefit from having to make quick navigation decisions in a short time.

The GPHXO Sprint events typically include one or two Clasic point-to-point courses. For events with a larger attendance, we may offer courses for different skill levels like the classic courses listed above. More often, we offer one or two sprint courses for all participants.

Course Navigational Difficulty Length (km) Winning Time for elite orienteer (min)
Sprint Everyone 2.0 4.0 12-15


Results for the courses are separated into the following categories:

  • M (open male)
  • F (open female)
  • TM (all male team)
  • TF (all female team)
  • TX (mixed male and female team)


See the specific event description for schedule details

What to bring:

Whistle Mandatory for all. Available for purchase for $1
Compass Mandatory for all. Available for rent for $1
Sun screen. There is no shade on the desert courses.
Water There will be water at the start/finish . We will also have one or two water stations on the course. However, you are strongly encouraged to bring your own water bottles or a camelback.
Sturdy hiking shoes and
Long pants
You will encounter cactus, cat claw, and loose terrain.