Event LevelsAn explanation of terms
The UK rules of orienteering specify 4 classes of event, namely Level A, Level B, Level C, and Level D, and the rules state the minimum standards that the event must meet in order to reach that classification. However, events are often advertised using the terms Major, National, Regional and Local. This article explains what these terms mean and how they are related.
Level A events are also called "Major" events, and correspond to major national or international fixtures such as the British Championships, and the JK (Jan Kellstrom festival of orienteering).
Level B events are now also called "National" events. These are events which would be expected to attract entrants from a wide area, beyond the host region.
Level C events correspond to the "Regional" category. These are events which would be expected to attract entrants from within the host region, not just the organising club.
Level A, B, and C events must all lay on a suitable range of courses to a known standard, so that competitors can earn national ranking points from taking part.
Level D events are one class of Local event. These are events which are intended mostly for entrants within the home club, and they may have a more limited range of courses, which need not exactly match defined standards. Nevertheless they do meet the standards laid out in the rules of orienteering. In practice most of WAOC's Level D events meet Level C requirements.
Local events also include low key events that do not meet Level D standards.
Be aware that these levels mostly relate to the scale of the event (numbers taking part), and the facilities laid on by the organiser. The most technically "interesting" (difficult) terrain might tend to be reserved for higher level events, but otherwise you might find courses at a Level D event just as challenging as those at level A or B. Similarly, all levels tend to offer courses suitable for novices and juniors.