Skills Matrix

Navigation skills are those skills related to map reading and compass use independent of any physical components related to moving through the terrain. Skills otherwise related to the technical rules of the sport such as checking control codes to confirm you are at the right control are also considered navigation skills in this context. These skills span the complete range from holding a map 'properly' in one hand to micro-optimization of route choices and similar tactical navigational decisions. 

Active Start FUNdamentals Learn to Train
Linear Features

The linear features category includes all basic knowledge and all skills related to handrails, collecting features, and catching features as they are used and defined by orienteers at different stages of technical development. 

Practicing running along linear features Know what a distinct linear feature is
Identify features (in the terrain) as linear and distinct
Identify features (on the map) as linear and distinct.
Identify (distinct) linear features as handrails, catching features, or collecting features
Route Choice

This skill category includes the process for identifying route choice legs and finding and selecting routes. This category specifically does not include following through with and executing the route once it’s been selected.

After punching a control, orienting the map and figuring out which direction to go and identifying which trail (if applicable) to take to the next control. Creating a route using multiple linear features and then executing that route
Choose a route from multiple route choice options
Map Holding and Folding

The map holding and folding category includes all skills related to how to hold the map and fold it so the most relevant part of the map is showing and also keeping the map oriented at all times.

Get used to holding maps Holding map in one hand Hold map oriented to yourself
Orient the map using major linear features Fold map parallel to your direction of travel
Orient the map using multiple point features Place your thumb along the handrail (direction) you are going to travel.
Figure out what direction to travel
Simplification

Simplification is the process by which an orienteer selects and uses the important information on a map and in a terrain and filters out those details that are less relevant, allowing them to navigate much faster. This is a category of skills that is introduced in the Train to Train stage of the LTAD with identifying and looking for handrails and attackpoints.

Control Flow

The control flow category includes looking not just the advanced skills related to the process of 'flowing through controls' but also the more fundamental skills related to finding and punching controls, understanding and using control descriptions, and at a more intermediate level, attacking and exiting controls.

Learn what we are looking for (i.e. control flags) Understand that controls are always beside a feature in the terrain Understand that the control flag will be at the feature in the middle of the control circle
Develop basic familiarity with equipment Verify that you're at the right control by matching the map control code to the punch code Identify the feature (on the map) in the middle of the control circle (the control feature)
Develop basic familiarity with equipment Look for the control feature in the terrain as you approach it (i.e. don’t just look for the flag)
Race Tactics

The race tactics categories includes such knowledge and skills as knowing when to use certain strategical orienteering techniques and when to push speed or navigation. Techniques for approaching and executing the various orienteering race formats, such as point-to-point, relay, rogaine, etc. are also included. Sport psychology skills such as focussing are not included in this navigation skills category.

Compass Skills

Compass skills include all skills related to using one's compass effectively such knowing how and in what situations to use the compass, different compass bearing techniques, and more. Fundamental skills such as folding the map properly, and using the compass to find north and travel the cardinal directions are also included here as a precurser to more advanced orienteering skills.

Figure out what direction to travel Hold map oriented to yourself
Fold map parallel to your direction of travel
Relocation

Relocation is an important skill not just from an orienteering race perspective but also from a safety perspective. For this reason relocation skills are included in some form as early as Learn to Train. At this earlier stage, relocation consists mostly of how to bail from a course when lost and progresses from there through the LTAD stages.

Recover from following the wrong trail / feature
Map understanding and interpretation

The map understanding and interpretation category is what many orienteers typically think of owhen they think of map reading. This category includes skills related to looking at an orienteering map and understanding what you are looking at and being able to interpret the map so you can relate it to the terrain. It starts with knowing all the symbols and colours on the maps and progresses to interpreting contours and other subtle features. This category is a very heavy focus of the Learn to Train and Train to Train stages.

Develop familiarity with maps Knowing the key elements of an orienteering map. Identify features on the map and then locate them in the terrain
Know how the start, finish, and controls are marked on the map Know how the start, finish, and controls are marked on the map Identify features (on the map) as linear and distinct.
Learn what the basic map colours represent Understand that the control flag will be at the feature in the middle of the control circle
Learn some common map symbols and what they mean Identify the feature (on the map) in the middle of the control circle (the control feature)
Identify basic features in the terrain and then locate them on the map Understanding vegetation mapping
Map Reading Technique

The map reading technique category refers to the techniques of map reading (using the different forms of map reading) and all such related skills. This is an category is a distinct extension of the map understanding and interpretation category and is a focus of the later excellence stages.

Mentally check off / be aware of features along the handrail you’re following.
Continuous Map Reading and Route Planning

The continuous map reading and route planning category includes those skills and techniques related to 'flowing' through an orienteering course and not having to stop to determine what to do next. This includes, reading ahead, looking for route choices before you get to the decision point and more.

After punching a control, orienting the map and figuring out which direction to go and identifying which trail (if applicable) to take to the next control. Creating a route using multiple linear features and then executing that route
Terrain and Feature Understanding

The interpretation and understanding of the physical terrain and features and the ability to navigate through them. In the later excellence stages of the LTAD this category also includes understanding what features will look like in specific, unfamiliar, competition terrains.

Develop familiarity with trails and other prominent features Learn what some common orienteering features and be able to identify them in the terrain Identify features on the map and then locate them in the terrain
Identify basic features in the terrain and then locate them on the map Identify features (in the terrain) as linear and distinct
Look for the control feature in the terrain as you approach it (i.e. don’t just look for the flag)
Understanding vegetation mapping
Fundamental Orienteering Knowledge and Skills

The fundamental orienteering knowledge and skills category contains the knowledge and skills that orienteers need to participate in orienteering. Knowledge and skills in this category include such things as knowing how the timing system works, how the course is marked on the map and the rules of orienteering. 

Get used to holding maps Knowing the key elements of an orienteering map.
Develop familiarity with maps Know how the start, finish, and controls are marked on the map
Learn what we are looking for (i.e. control flags) Verify that you're at the right control by matching the map control code to the punch code
Develop basic familiarity with equipment Develop basic familiarity with equipment
Know how the start, finish, and controls are marked on the map