OA competition rules are closely aligned to the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) rules, which have been updated for 2022 with minor wording changes to make it obvious to non-English speaking competitors which rules “must” be obeyed. In previous editions of the rules, the use of “shall” and “must” were considered to be synonymous, but in the latest version “shall” has been replaced by “must”, or both words omitted if the mandatory requirement is obvious (e.g. “The jury shall consist of …” becomes “The jury consists of …”).

The most significant change is to rule 19.4 (proximity of controls). In previous versions of the rules (both OA and IOF), the requirement that the minimum distance between controls on similar features should be 60 metres (or 30 metres for map scales 1:4 000 or 1:3 000) was specified in an appendix, and the use of “should” resulted in many controllers considering the requirement as good course-planning practice, rather than a mandatory requirement. In the 2022 rules, this requirement is now included in rule 19.4:

19.4 Controls (including the start control flag) must not be sited within 30 metres of each other. For Sprint, this may be reduced as follows. For map scales 1:4000 or 1:3000, the minimum running distance between controls is 25 metres and the minimum straight line distance is 15 metres. (See also Appendix 2, #3.5.5). When the control features are similar (not distinctly different in the terrain and/or not distinctly different on the map), the minimum straight line distance between controls is 60 metres (30 metres for map scales 1:4000 or 1:3000).