IOSG Policy Document

Irish Schools Orienteering
A Proposal for Development

It is important that the IOA (Irish Orienteering Association) plays a supportive role in the development of Schools orienteering. Schools orienteering has the potential to be a significant feeder of new members to clubs and can help in the long term growth of the sport.
The IOA views its role as that of supporter, regulator, facilitator and developer. It is a multi faceted role that at times can lead to conflicting outcomes. However, the guiding principle of the IOA‟s approach to Schools Orienteering is inclusivity.
The IOA wishes to promote a system that shall devolve the running of Schools Orienteering to the local clubs and Regional Schools Associations (RSA‟s).
A sub committee of the IOA shall be established called the IOSG (Irish Orienteering Schools Group). It shall be chaired by the Development Officer who shall be a member of the IOA executive. The main aim of the IOSG will be to develop orienteering skills within the Republic of Ireland.
A number of RSA‟s are already in existence. These associations and their associated schools shall affiliate to the IOSG and if they choose shall affiliate as “Closed Orienteering Clubs” to the IOA under the existing IOA Constitution.
These “closed orienteering clubs” mean orienteering clubs which restrict membership to individuals belonging to a school or set of schools.
Approved RSA‟s shall be permitted to organise and promote regional schools activities.

Role of the IOA

  1. the IOA shall be responsible for ensuring that the correct structures are put in place by the IOSG
  2. In the event of a serious dispute between the IOSG, RSA‟s and/or clubs, the IOA executive will act as final arbitrator bearing in mind the rules of orienteering, the IOA constitution, the guidelines developed by IOSG and the dispute reconciliation mechanisms put in place by the Irish Sports Council.
  3. The IOA will ensure that insurance is in place for all registered events.
  4. The fee for affiliation of the “Closed Orienteering Club” shall be set by the IOA.
Role of IOSG 
1. The Development Officer shall form, convene and chair IOSG as a subcommittee of the IOA. The Development Officer shall report to the IOA.  
2. The first subcommittee shall be formed by invitation to all interested parties. Thereafter, IOSG shall propose a system of representation for approval by the IOA. 
3. IOSG shall meet on an informal basis to
    a. Plan and co-ordinate the running of events and coaching
    b. Set out the minimum standards that shall be applied in running schools orienteering events
    c. safety at events
    d. suitability of areas
    e. guidelines for the suitability of courses
    f. risk assessment
    g. parental permissions
    h. numbers attending and the minimum number of event organisers to ensure the safe running of the event
    i. Schools/teachers responsibilities versus the event organisers responsibilities and the communication of this to the individual schools
    j. Code of ethics, child protection vetting etc.
    4. Agree the dates, locations and organising clubs for the championship events: Provincial Schools Orienteering Championships and Irish schools orienteering Championships. A rota for these events shall be drawn up between IOSG, the clubs and RSA‟s 
    5. Run a schools orienteering web page and/or blog ( with coaching advice, calendar and results (all specific to schools) 
    6. The IOSG shall approve all such properly constituted RSA‟s with receipt of officers names and outline of structure. 
    7. The IOSG shall be the officially recognised body and point of contact for the International Schools Federation.(ISF)
    Role of the RSA
    1. To promote orienteering among schools in a defined region
    2. To provide and manage an affiliation process for schools in the region
    3. To support regional schools and clubs in the organisation of regional and local events
    4. To ensure that all minimum standards as set out in the IOSG guidelines are met for any registered event.

    1. Individual schools shall affiliate as an Associate Member of the IOSG for a nominal sum agreed annually by the IOSG. Affiliation shall be done through an IOSG-approved RSA, a registered orienteering club or directly with the IOSG.
    2. An Associate Member is not a full member of the IOA and thus does not have full voting rights at the IOA Annual General Meeting.
    3. Affiliation indicates to the Development Officer that the school is interested in orienteering
    4. If a school affiliates via an RSA or club, the RSA or club shall inform the IOSG of the affiliation and forward the appropriate fee.
    5. Schools shall be encouraged to join their local RSA.
    6. Affiliated schools shall be permitted to take part in all events registered with the IOA
    7. The fee for all affiliating schools shall be agreed annually by the IOSG.
    8. The Development Officer shall take responsibility for recording and monitoring which schools are affiliated
    9. When a school does not affiliate through a club, they shall be assigned a club by the Development Officer. The schools will be assigned using the following criteria:
    a. Large centres of population can be divided equally amongst clubs
    b. The schools may specify a particular club to link with
    c. The club may agree to adopt a particular school (for example the parent of a child may be a member of an orienteering club thus will take on that school)
    d. Only clubs with a trained children‟s officer shall be permitted to „adopt‟ a school.

    1. Events that are registered with the IOA by a club or RSA shall be covered by the IOA insurance policy. Otherwise, they will have to be covered by their own insurance policy.
    2. It is the role of the IOSG to determine how clubs could support schools in provision of coaching and events.
    3. The IOSG shall follow up to ensure that a relationship between the school and the club continues to exist and help foster that relationship
    4. Schools Championship Events
    a. Students in schools affiliated with IOSG shall be allowed to participate at championship events
    b. Members of IOA affiliated clubs and RSA‟s of an appropriate age will be allowed to participate
    c. All Associate members of the IOSG
    d. Others as permitted by IOSG
    5. Clubs may run events/coaching to facilitate the development of schools orienteering as agreed with their partner schools. These events shall be closed events and attract a nominal registration fee. As part of the registration process the individual responsible shall sign off that the rules set out by IOSG shall be adhered to – this shall be a condition of IOA insurance covering the event. This shall be managed as part of the normal event registration process through the Fixtures Secretary of the IOA.
    6. Clubs shall endeavour to charge only a minimal entry fee for events (the objective shall be to get as many school children as possible orienteering).
    7. Role of Individuals
    a. Individuals at local or regional schools events shall represent their school first, the RSA or club second.
    b. Individuals at Irish Schools Championship events shall represent their schools and RSA in equal proportion.
    c. Individuals at open IOA events may represent either an Open club or a Closed Club. In this event the individual names must be submitted to IOSG in advance of the event.