Effective 1 January 2024
Approved at ARA AGM on 11 September 2023

Australian Rogaining Association Technical Regulations

Rogaining is an amateur sport to be enjoyed by social and competitive participants and event organisers. These technical regulations have been drafted with simplicity and enjoyment as primary guides and govern the conduct of all rogaining events organised by any rogaining association affiliated with the Australian Rogaining Association (ARA). The regulations are composed of four parts as follows:

  • Preamble
  • Competition Rules
  • Technical Standards
  • Australian Championship Requirements


P1.  The Preamble, the Competition Rules and the Technical Standards apply to all state championship rogaines as well as the Australian Championships. The Australian Championship Requirements apply to that event only.

P2. State Associations may adjust the technical regulations for specific minor (ie non-championship) events, where they consider this appropriate, by decision of their association management committee. They may also adjust the technical regulations for a specific state championship event where there are compelling reasons to do so. Any adjustment proposed for an Australian Championship rogaine requires the written approval of the ARA executive, acting on the advice of the ARA Technical Subcommittee.

P3. The Technical Standards set out the minimum requirements for championship rogaines. Improvements beyond these minimum standards are encouraged. In this context the ARA reaffirms as policy the “Guidelines for Organisers” published in the latest edition of the manual “Organizing a Rogaine” published by the International Rogaining Federation. The ARA recommends the techniques described in that manual except where they are superseded by these Technical Regulations.

P4. The ARA supports the policy promulgated by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) on the prohibition on the use of performance enhancing substances by participants in sport.

P5. In interpretation and use of these technical regulations, participants, organisers, committees and jury panel members shall at all times be guided by a sense of fair play.

P6. Apart from the event specific adjustments set out in P2. above, these technical regulations can only be altered by decision of the ARA Council.

P7. For the majority of participants, rogaining is a social and recreational activity. The purpose of these regulations is to introduce a standard based on wide experience that will enhance the sport in general and allow for a competitive element to the sport that is based on fairness. Many of the competition rules relate to safety and etiquette on which the reputation of rogaining with government and landowners is founded and which, if contravened, will threaten the survival of the sport. Organisers must pay particular attention to ensuring that all participants in an event, irrespective of their competitive status, are aware of the importance of abiding by the regulations on which the sport’s reputation depends. In particular competition rules; R1, R2, R5, R9, R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R15, R18, R19, R20, R21, R22 & R29 are fundamental to the continued survival of the sport. Participants who contravene these rules may be banned from future rogaines.

Competition Rules:

Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation for teams travelling on foot. The object is to score points by finding checkpoints located on the course within a specified time. Checkpoints may be visited in any order.


“The course” means anywhere a team travels during the time of the rogaine but specifically excludes the access road and areas in the proximity of an administration area designated by the organisers for non- competition use, for example for parking or camping. “Event site” includes the course and any administration, access and non-competition areas.


R1. A team shall consist of two, three, four or five members.

R2. A team that has a member under fourteen years of age shall also have a member eighteen years of age or over.

R3. Competition placings are awarded in several sections based on the age and gender composition of teams. Each team shall be deemed to be entered for all sections of the competition for which it is eligible.

R4. No member of a team shall have been involved with the organisation of the rogaine so as to have a prior familiarity with the rogaine course or the fieldwork of the rogaine map.

Respect for Land and Property

R5. Competitors shall respect public and private property.

(a) Competitors shall not cross newly sown ground or growing crops, except if specifically permitted by the organisers, or any area deemed out-of-bounds by the organisers and shall keep a reasonable distance from dwellings and stock with young.

(b)  Competitors shall take due care when crossing fences, crossing at corner posts, solid posts or between wires wherever possible. Each team shall leave gates in the same state as they were found.

(c)  Competitors shall not discard litter or light fires at the event site nor smoke on the course.

(d)  Competitors shall not unduly damage or disturb native flora or fauna.

(e)  Dogs and weapons of any kind, including firearms, are prohibited at the event site.

Conduct of Competitors

R6. Competitors shall not enter the course until the official start is signalled.

R7. Navigational Aids

(a)  The only navigational aids that may be carried on the course are magnetic compasses, watches and copies of the competition map.

(b)  The possession of other navigational aids, including pedometers, altimeters and GPS receivers on the course is prohibited except when event organisers provide a means by which information on the devices cannot be accessed whilst on the course.

(c)  The possession, at the event site, of maps that provide additional information not shown on the competition map is prohibited.

R8. The use of aids for course planning other than for distance measurement and scoring estimation is prohibited

R9. Competitors shall travel only on foot.

R10. Members of a team shall remain within unaided verbal contact of one another at all times whilst on the course. A team shall demonstrate compliance with this requirement to any event official or other team on request.

R11. Organisers shall issue checkpoint recording devices, which shall be a scorecard &/or an electronic recorder to one or more members of each team. Electronic recoding devices shall be attached to the competitors by a tamper-proof device, such as a wrist band, before the commencement of the event. Tamper-proof devices shall only be cut or removed by event officials.

R12. A team shall surrender its recording device(s) to any event official, and shall advise their team number to any event official or other team, on request.

R13. A team shall not accept assistance from, nor collaborate with, other people, nor deliberately follow another team.

R14. No food nor equipment shall be left on the course before the event for a team’s use, and no food or equipment shall be discarded on the course unless retrieved by the team during the event and brought by the team with them to the finish.

R15. Competitors shall carry a whistle at all times whilst on the course. In an emergency a competitor shall give a series of short blasts on their whistle.


R16. All team members shall approach to within 5 metres of each checkpoint for which points are claimed.

R17. In order to gain points for a checkpoint teams must record their visit to that checkpoint using the recording device provided by the organisers in the correct square, where a scorecard is used. If a team punches an incorrect square, they must notify the organisers of the details of this immediately upon returning to the administration to be eligible to be credited with that checkpoint.

R18. Where more than one electronic recording device is provided to a team, all devices must record a visit to a checkpoint to gain points for that checkpoint.

R19. Teams shall fill in any intention sheet at the checkpoint with the time of arrival, the team number and the number of the checkpoint that they intend to next visit.

R20. If a recording device is lost, a team may present in its place a record of punch marks or a record of the electronic “punch” human readable back-up codes on any single sheet. The organisers will accept this single sheet from the team provided that the punch/record marks are discernible, and the team can identify to the organisers the checkpoint number for each of the marks.

R21. Competitors shall not deliberately rest within one hundred metres of a checkpoint unless the checkpoint is also a water drop.

R22. Competitors shall not adversely interfere with a checkpoint, water drop, any other facility placed upon the course by the organisers, or the equipment of any other team.

Administration Areas

R23. Whenever a team visits an administration area, all team members are required to report together to the organisers and surrender their team’s scorecard and/or “check-in” their electronic recording device(s). The team shall only collect its scorecard and/or “check-out” their electronic recording device(s) immediately prior to leaving that administration area.

R24. A team is considered to have completed the event when:

a)  all team members have reported together to the designated finish administration area and

b)  they have surrendered their recording devices.

The team finish time is the latest time recorded for any member of the team.

R25. If a competitor wishes to withdraw from a team for any reason the entire team shall return to an administration area and notify the organisers. The original team shall be deemed to have finished the event. If a new team is formed it may be admitted to the competition at the discretion of the organisers but no points shall be credited for checkpoints already visited.

Penalties and Protests

R26. The penalty for breaching these rules is disqualification except for rules R16, R17, R18 and R19 for which the penalty is the loss of points for the checkpoint under consideration. Any team disqualified under this rule shall be recorded as DSQ.

R27. A team may voluntarily withdraw, by advising the organisers immediately upon their finish, if they have breached any rule for any reason and shall be recorded as W/D.

R28. A team may report in writing to the organisers about any team thought to have breached these rules, or may protest in writing to the organisers about any actions of the organisers that they consider made the competition unfair.

a)  Within 45 minutes of the nominated finish time, if the violation was detected on course

b)  Within seven days of the results being published, if the violation is only evident through examination of the results or admission after the fact by a competitor.


R29. The event shall end at precisely the set number of hours after the actual starting time, both times as defined by the organisers’ clock. Where multiple timing devices are in use, the organisers shall ensure all clocks used to record finishing times are synchronized. Teams finishing late will be penalised at the rate per minute or part thereof specified in advance by the organisers. Teams finishing more than thirty minutes late shall be deemed ineligible for a placing and their result shall be recorded as LATE.

R30. A team’s score shall be the value of the checkpoints visited and correctly verified in accordance with these rules, less any penalties. The team with the greatest score, or in the event of a tie the team that finished earlier, shall be awarded the higher placing.

R31. In the event of a checkpoint being damaged or deemed misplaced or missing by the organisers, teams shall be awarded the checkpoint score:

a)  If the punch is missing or damaged but the team has a correct record on the intention sheet.

b)  If the punch is missing and there is no intention sheet, but the team can satisfy the organisers that they visited the correct site.

c)  If a checkpoint is missing or misplaced but the team can satisfy the organisers that they visited the correct site.

d)  For a correctly recorded visit to a misplaced checkpoint.

e)  If an electronic “punch” fails but the team has either (where applicable) a punch on a backup control card or record of the human readable back-up code for that checkpoint.


R32. Any team hearing a distress signal must abandon their course and help in any way needed. No team shall be penalised for any rule breached in the course of giving such help.

R33. Communications devices such as mobile phones may be carried for safety purposes when event organisers provide a means by which the devices cannot be accessed whilst on the course. Use of a phone whilst on the course is prohibited.

Technical Standards:

These Technical Standards apply to all championship rogaines held by ARA affiliated associations.

T1. All championship rogaines shall be of 24 hours duration and shall start and finish at 12 noon or such other time as may be agreed that will give essentially equal duration of daylight both before and after the period of darkness. State championship rogaines shall not be run in competition with the Australian Rogaining Championships and state associations shall notify the ARA of the proposed date for their championships by not later than the ARA AGM of the year prior to the event.

T2. The course shall be so designed that “finishing the course” by visiting every checkpoint is unlikely, but that the winning team is likely to visit a significant majority of the checkpoints.

T3. The organising team shall include one or more Course Vetters who are suitably experienced rogainers approved by the organising association. The Vetters shall ensure the fairness of the event and that the style, balance and length of the course are appropriate to the event. The Vetters shall also inspect the course looking for any unwanted problems that it could present to competitors, including the location and number of water drops, any inaccuracies in checkpoint placement or description, and potential safety hazards. The Vetters, operating independently of the person who set that checkpoint, shall check the location of each checkpoint. The Vetters shall check to ensure the map, the checkpoint description, the terrain accuracy and checkpoint locations are fair from all obvious attack points in all reasonably expected light conditions. In the event of an unresolved dispute, the Vetters shall refer the matter to the organising association.

T4. Each competitor shall be provided with a copy of the event map. The map shall:

a)  Be at a scale between 1:24,000 and 1:64,000.

b)  Have a contour interval that is not more than 20 metres and is suitable for terrain legibility.

c)  Be clearly readable under natural and artificial light.

d)  Be pre-marked with grid or magnetic north lines, magnetic north, checkpoint locations and numbers, water drop locations and known out of bounds areas

T5. Advance information for the event shall be available at least 2 weeks before the event and shall state the map scale and shall give a brief description of the terrain. It shall also state the starting and finishing times, the time at which maps and checkpoint descriptions become available and the points penalty for finishing after the nominated finish time.

T6. A copy of the Competition Rules shall be referenced in the pre-event information. In addition, a copy of the Competition Rules shall be on display at the administration area from the time that maps become available until the finish of the event.

T7. Each competitor shall be provided with a complete list of checkpoint descriptions. Descriptions shall follow the guidelines promulgated in the IRF “Organizing a Rogaine” manual, and in particular the “the-a” convention whereby features explicitly shown on the map are prefixed by “the” and those not so shown are prefixed by “a”.

T8. Maps and checkpoint descriptions, together with any known map changes and other essential information, shall be available as written handouts at least two, and not more than four, hours before the start time. Every reasonable effort shall be made to ensure that any necessary last minute changes are communicated to all teams.

T9. The identifying numbers allocated to checkpoints shall be allocated in ascending order of points value in order to facilitate route planning. It is preferred that the leading digit(s) of the checkpoint number reflects its points value.

T10.  Each checkpoint shall be allocated a single points value that shall not change during the competition. Additional points shall not be available to competitors for visiting specific combinations of checkpoints or specific checkpoints at specific times.

T11.  Markers used at checkpoints shall be:

a)  three-dimensional with a minimum of three vertical faces,

b)  a minimum 800 cm2 on each face,

c)  of bright colours, preferably orange and white,

so as to be clearly visible in the open in daylight from at least 50 metres.

T12.  Each marker shall be placed in such a manner that competitors who successfully navigate to the correct position have little or no trouble finding the marker. Unless located on a specifically defined point feature or otherwise indicated on the checkpoint description sheet the marker shall be generally visible from at least 25 metres in most directions in clear daylight and shall be between 0.5 and 2 metres above the ground (preferably near eye level). Any punch or recording device attached to the marker shall be easily reached. Markers shall be as close as possible to the checkpoint feature. Where it is necessary to place a marker in a position which is either more than 10 metres, or not obviously visible, from the feature then a magnetic bearing and distance to the marker from the feature shall be included in the checkpoint description.

T13.  Where electronic checkpoint visit recording devices are used the organisers shall establish a procedure for fairly dealing with a failure of such devices and/or the enabling software and shall advise competitors of this procedure in the pre-event information.

T14.  During the event, the organisers shall not release any information relating to provisional results, the progress of any team, or the route chosen by any team.

T15.  Competitors shall be able to obtain suitable food and drinks at one or more “hash houses” at all times not later than six hours after the start until at least one hour after the finish of an event. If there is more than one hash house it is not necessary that all remain open for the full time, but when maps are distributed competitors shall be informed of the hours between which food is available at each one.

T16.  In the event of there being inadequate sources of naturally occurring drinking quality water on the course, organisers shall provide sufficient water drops that competitors do not have to carry an excessive quantity of water. Organisers shall ensure that water is available at these water drops for the duration of the event. Water drops shall be placed on obvious navigational features and described on the checkpoint description sheet. Their locations shall be vetted in the same way as checkpoints. Water drops may be at checkpoints. Organisers may provide fruit or other food on the course at either water drops or checkpoints for the use of participants. Any such food points, including the times of food availability at the point, shall be so noted on the checkpoint description sheet. General details of water and food provided shall be included in pre-event information.

T17.  Competition categories shall be provided as follows:

a) There shall be three gender classes of competition:

  • Men (all team members must be men)
  • Women (all team members must be women)
  • Mixed (all other teams)

b) There shall be three age categories of competition within each gender class:

  • Open (no age restriction)
  • Veteran (all team members must be 45 years of age or over on the 31st December of the year of the competition)
  • Super Veteran (all team members must be 55 years of age or over on the 31st December of the year of the competition)

c) At the discretion of the organising association, there may be additional age categories, for example Junior (under 18 years), Under 23, Ultra-veteran (65 years and over). See Clause C6 for Australian Championship categories.

d) Teams are deemed to compete in every category for which they are eligible.

T18.  The full results of the event shall be made publicly available as soon as reasonably practical after the event. These results shall show the team members’ names, team number and points score for every team, together with their overall placing and their placing in every class for which they are eligible. Withdrawn, late and disqualified teams shall also be shown.

T19.  Any report of an alleged rule breach by a team, or protest by a team against the organisation of an event under R28a shall be considered and determined by a three person jury prior to the announcement of the results for that event. The jury shall be drawn from a panel of suitably qualified and experienced rogainers nominated by the organising association. The names of panel members shall be made known to the association members either by publishing at least annually in the association newsletter or website, or by setting out in the pre-event information distributed to participants. For the Australian Rogaining Championships, the panel shall be as specified in Clause C8. The panel members selected for any specific jury shall be selected by the organisers and shall meet the following criteria:

a) Members of the team protesting, reporting or being reported against shall not be on the jury.

b) Members of the organising team shall not be on the jury.

c) No member of the jury shall have a vested interest in the jury’s determination to the extent that disqualification of any team, who is the subject of the jury’s determination, would move that member’s team’s placing into or within the first three placings in any age/gender category.

The event organiser and Course Vetter shall assist the jury in hearing any report or protest as required, but shall not have a vote in the determination. In hearing any protest or report, the jury shall use all reasonable means to gather as much data as is reasonably necessary, and shall give a fair hearing to both the team making the report/protest, and the party being reported/protested against.

T20.  Organisers may charge a fee of up to $20- for the submission of a protest, provided that this is stated in the pre-event information distributed to participants. This fee shall be refunded if the protest is upheld, or if the protest is dismissed, but the jury considers that the protest was well intentioned. No fee shall be charged for teams making a report pursuant to rule R28.

Australian Championship Requirements:

These Australian Championship Requirements apply to all Australian Championship rogaines.

C1.  Australian Rogaining Championships (Championships) are the Championships of the ARA and are conducted annually, but their organisation is the responsibility of the designated ARA affiliated state association. Each ARA affiliated state association will be required to conduct the Championships in turn on a rotation basis. Some flexibility is permitted to allow associations to exchange their allocated years by mutual agreement with one another to suit their specific requirements. The “roster” of states allocated the Championships for at least the following five years shall be notified to the ARA Annual General Meeting, with confirmation of the state to hold any specific Championships and the dates upon which it will be held similarly notified at least two years in advance. The date of the championships for the following year shall be reconfirmed at the AGM. There shall be at least six months between consecutive Championships.

C2. The Course Vetter for the Championships shall be an experienced rogainer who has participated in at least three prior Australian or state championship rogaines and is approved by the ARA. The organising association shall advise the ARA of the names and experience of all key technical organisers of the Championships, including the Course Vetter, not less than one year prior to the date of the event. Any changes to the Course Vetter following their approval by ARA shall be notified to the ARA as soon as practical.

C3. A perpetual trophy is awarded to the winning team in each age and gender category as defined in Clause T17 and Clause C6 of the ARA Technical Standards (ie a total of 15 trophies). These trophies are to be held by that winning team until the following year’s Championships. Six months prior to each Championships, the ARA Secretary shall contact each holder of a Championships perpetual trophy and agree how these trophies are to be transported to the Championships. Every effort shall be made to transport all trophies with Championships participants, but where this is not possible the cost of the transport shall be borne by the ARA. It is recommended that the Championships organisers contact the ARA Secretary six months prior to the event to confirm the status of the perpetual trophies. Immediately following the Championships, the organisers shall notify the names and contact details of the holders of all perpetual trophies, in writing, to both the ARA Secretary and the organisers of the following year’s Championships.

C4. The map to be used for the Championships shall meet the following additional requirements:

a)  Be at a scale in the range 1:25,000 to 1:50,000.

b)  Be printed in at least four colours.

C5. The use of reflectors or reflective material to enhance checkpoint visibility is not permitted.

C6. The following age categories shall apply for the Australian Rogaining Championships:

a) Open (no age restriction)

b) U23 (all team members must be 23 years of age or under on the 31st December of the year of the competition)

c) Veteran (all team members must be 45 years of age or over on the 31st December of the year of the competition)

d) Super Veteran (all team members must be 55 years of age or over on the 31st December of the year of the competition)

e) Ultra Veteran (all team members must be 65 years of age or over on the 31st December of the year of the competition)

The year of birth shall be collected for each team member to verify age category and may be used to provide pre-qualifying status for world championship or similar events.

C7. The team with the highest score in the Championships in each gender class shall be the Australian Rogaining Champions, irrespective of which age category they are entered in.

C8. The jury of three persons for the Championships shall be drawn from a panel consisting of the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Technical Subcommittee Chair of the ARA plus all members of state association committees and all state representatives on the ARA technical subcommittee.

C9. Interstate and Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy

a)  Each team entering shall nominate for each member the Australian state/territory or other country that that member is representing. This shall be included in the results and used for Interstate and Trans-Tasman Challenge point scoring.

b)  Placings in each of the categories in C6 for mens, womens and mixed may earn points toward a jurisdiction’s Interstate and Trans-Tasman Challenge score.

c)  For the purposes of determining placings in the Interstate and Trans-Tasman Challenge, any team that does not contain an Australian state/territory representative or a representative of New Zealand should first be removed from the results table. In the text below, ‘jurisdiction’ refers to the state or territory the competitor is representing, or New Zealand in the case of members who identify themselves as representing New Zealand. The ‘hosting jurisdiction’ is the home state/territory of the association that is organising the Australian Championships in that year. Points should be awarded as follows:-

i) If only the hosting jurisdiction is represented in a category, then no points will be awarded in that category.

ii) If only one team is genuinely participating in a category and i) does not apply, then

  • First place scores one point

iii) If only two teams are genuinely participating in a category and i) does not apply, then

  • First place scores two points
  • Second place scores one point

iv) Otherwise,

  • First place scores three points
  • Second place scores two points
  • Third place scores one point

d)  If a team has representatives from more than one jurisdiction, the points scored by that team shall be shared proportionally among the team members’ jurisdictions. (e.g. If a team consisting of two Queenslanders and a Tasmanian win a category, then two points are awarded to Queensland and one point is awarded to Tasmania.)

e)  If a team has both Australian/NZ members and members from other countries, the points scored by that team shall be shared as in item (d), but with no points being allocated to the competitor(s) that are not from Australia/NZ. (e.g. If a team consisting of a Victorian, a New   Zealander and a Canadian win a category, then 1 point is awarded to Victoria and 1 point to New Zealand.)

f)  A team scores Interstate and Trans-Tasman Challenge points in every age category for which they are eligible.

    C10. Scoring at the Australian Championships

a) Scoring must be implemented using an electronic system approved by the ARA Council

b) Electronic recording devices must be provided to all members of all teams

c) At each checkpoint, at least two electronic punches must be provided