Switzkill Farm Score-O Non-Contact Orienteering Rules and Notes

The rules for this event are similar to the rules and arrangements for previous Non-Contact events, but there will be differences, so read carefully:

This is a Score-O!
  • It will run from Thursday April 1 through Friday April 30.
  • All control locations will be marked by a ribbon, with no number or anything written on it to show the control code; it should be very obvious if you are at the correct control; these ribbons will be standard survey ribbons, some shade of orange (there are some other ribbons around marking trails or who knows what)
  • There will be no punching, either SportIdent or physical paper punch
  • Timing is on your own, but the UsynligO program has the course, and it will record your split times as long as you hear it chime near a control location (this can sometimes take a little while; be patient, move around for a minute or so)
  • In order to successfully “record” that you reached a control, your hand MUST come within one foot of the ribbons (you cannot just see it in the distance and move on; this makes it more consistent with a normal O event); however, if you get close enough for UsynligO to record it, that is sufficient
  • There are no facilities near the course or anywhere on the course, except one port-a-john near the Start/Finish
  • There will be no water or refreshments or food (bring your own)
  • Links to download maps will be sent for printing, in PDF format to those who register
  • OUSA has sent out some guidelines on how to do these sorts of events, and their primary concern is that we need to have “signed” waivers; the downloadable maps will have the waiver form on the back; by downloading the map, you agree to the terms of the waiver
  • If you don’t have a color printer to produce your map, let me know early enough, and I will mail you one
  • Registration can be done via e-mail to me and payment can be made via my PayPal account (EMPO’s is under redevelopment) or mailed check (see below for addresses)
  • It is not required, but it would nice if you would e-mail back to me the time for your course; if you have a watch that does splits, or if you use UsynligO, those might be interesting as well; you can also “share” your route from UsynligO
  • Prices are the normal EMPO entries: $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Score-O Timing and Points Rules
  • The event is self-timed. There will be no one there to record the Start/Finish of your course.
  • This not an MTB-O event, and bikes are not allowed.
  • Partly because of the self-timing, and partly to allow maximum flexibility, you may choose how long you wish to participate/compete. There is no way to control this, so you can choose how long to participate on the fly. I suggest that you choose a time in the range of 1 hour to 6 hours.
  • If you are a Team, you must stay together. You cannot split up and have one person go to one control while another rests or goes to another control; UsynligO will only record one phone at a time on a course.
  • You must stay within the red boundary borders shown on the map. We have no permission to enter any private lands. There will be no monitoring of use of private property, and you will not be disqualified if you cross it. But, I have not given you permission, and you might be shot. I have tried to set the course so that this should be a non-issue.
  • There are 24 controls. Each control successfully attained and recorded will be worth the points as indicated by its Control Number if you drop the last digit. Thus, you can see on the map itself what any control location is worth, without resorting to the Clue list. So,
  • 31 = 3 points (9 controls)
  • 42 = 4 points (3 controls)
  • 53 = 5 points (9 controls)
  • 102 = 10 points (3 controls)
  • There are no overtime penalties, since you choose you course time. For comparison purposes I will be rounding your time on the course up to the next full hour.
  • Any ties in points will be decided by fastest time recorded at the finish. If still tied, the one with the most controls wins.
  • Parking will be near the Start/Finish off of the buildings in the Town of Berne’s “Switzkill Park”, located at the upper end of Game Farm Road, off Switzkill Road (Albany County Route 1).

While it is highly unlikely for many folks to be participating at one time, it is understood that you should be practicing “social distancing”. None-the-less, have a mask with you in case you meet up with others on the trail or in the parking area.

  1. The one major stream which runs north to south in the middle of the map (and roughly divides Switzkill Park from Cole Hill State Forest) is running freely. There is ONE bridge crossing the stream near the middle of the map. You are not allowed to cross the stream south of the bridge, as the banks get too steep for safe passage. Immediately north of the bridge there is significant open water. Further north, the stream becomes crossable.
  2. The area is mostly bounded by roads. The safety bearing is towards the center, so it very much depends upon where you last thought you were. If you run into trouble, get to the nearest road, and work your way back, generally west as a last resort.
  3. Cell phone coverage is mediocre, so do not count on that as a safety feature. There is coverage along Switzkill Rd (Albany County Route 1).
  4. While deer season is long over, there are still some hunters going after game birds or small game like rabbits. They have to be very close to their targets, so they are not much of a safety issue. Still, wearing bright clothing is a good idea.
Map Notes
  1. The map is printed at 1-10,000, with 5m contours.
  2. This is an orienteering map, not a Ski-Orienteering map or a Rogaine/Snowgaine map. That means:
    1. Trails are shown in foot-O black, and their different levels reflect the most common uses of those trails:
      1. The “vehicle track” symbol is used for trails which are wide enough for ATVs or snowmobiles (which are not allowed)
      1. The “footpath” symbol is used for trails which are narrower;
      1. The “small footpath” and “indistinct footpath” and “narrow ride” symbols all show semi-open paths which are much less likely to have been recently used by anyone (until this event).
    1. The town and state land is outlined in Red, with the tag lines pointing towards the town and state land. This is the only land you are allowed on. There are 3 “in-holdings” shown on the map, which are both surrounded by the red boundary line and marked with the “Out-of-Bounds” symbol.
  3. Clues are on the map; they should not really be needed.

My e-mail address you can see above for any replies or questions, but if not it is philht@gmail.com . And that is the address to use to tell me you plan to attend, so I can send you the map file link. That e-mail address is also how you link to paying. You just go to PayPal.com, enter my e-mail, and send me money! How easy is that? Prices are the normal EMPO entries: $5 for members, $10 for non-members. I do have a list of our membership status, though it is often a bit off, so if you are not sure, let me know, and I‘ll tell you what I have on file or remember. Individual memberships are $10, and Family memberships are $20. Checks should be mailed to:

Philip Hawkes-Teeter, PO Box 8, Berne, NY 12023

I think that covers it. If you have any questions, let me know.