a film about an amazing sport
similar to chess
but instead of a chessboard – it uses a natural landscape
where intellectual capacity works in tandem with physical abilities
A Chess Match on the Run
Natural landscapes, winding forest trails and fresh air. This is the arena for Radio Orienteering.
Radio Orienteering is an energetic, and adventurous yet intellectual sport. It requires physical
endurance aligned with a sharp mind. The goal is to find foxes hidden in the forest as fast as possible by
using a radio receiver, a compass, and a map. The sport is also known as Radio Foxhunting.
Just like on a real hunt, you feel the thrill and anticipation of closing in on your goal. Though, the fox is
not a fluffy, red animal. The fox is a radio transmitter that sends out a signal. The foxhunter does not
have a rifle. He is equipped with a special radio receiver. By operating the receiver, the hunter is guided
to where the fox is hiding. Though, like its real fox, these foxes are sly, and finding them requires some
skill on the part of the hunter.
Calculating your strategy begins as soon you receive your map, on which only the starting and finishing
points are marked. You can immediately get a sense of the terrain and map out your route by predicting
where the foxes may be hiding.
This is it. The chess match has begun. The first fox sends out a signal. The second.. The third.. Where to
begin? A skillfully planned route may be the difference between failure and success.
Each hunter is in search of his goal, the fox. It’s hidden where the signal direction is the loudest, and
amplifies even more as you approach it.
Sounds easy? Not so fast. There is more than just one fox. Each fox sends out its own unique signal
Two different bands are used to transmit signals. Each of the two bands is used during the competition.
It is for this reason that the receivers and their antenna have different constructions.
So as not to rush randomly through the forest and lose valuable time, you must estimate the proximity
of each of the foxes by measuring their signal strengths, and strategize an order and a route in which to
hunt them down. Your every action is like the next move in a chess match.
Here is the hide-out of the first fox – a point marked on the hunter’s route. This marker or control point
is represented by an orange and white flag. The radio transmitter is hidden here. The hunter quickly
registers his capture, and runs off to the next fox.
Radio foxhunting has become a spectator sport. Satellite tracking allows spectators to watch
competitions in real-time online. Blips on the map demonstrate the location of each participant, and the
direction they are moving in.
Spectators can watch the competition online and cheer for their runner from anywhere in the world.
On classical routes youngsters and senior citizens hunt only three foxes, women hunt four, and men
In radio foxhunting, running the fastest does not guarantee victory – you also have to be savvy with your
Recently, new competition formats have been introduced: the Sprint and Foxoring.
At last, the home-stretch, the final and most decisive flag. Here is where physical training may make the
The first seconds after crossing the finish line are most emotional.
- Everything was really great. I just want to see how my calculations measured up against the
distance between the foxes.
- I lost my way, and I lost a lot of time on the last fox.
- The terrain was uneven and I missed one of the foxes, which meant that I had to turn around
and run back uphill.
- The course was quite easy, but running with a broken receiver made it more difficult.
- I made a mistake in the route that I chose.
- All my life I ran classical distances but sprint, this is something new for me.
- Excellent! I want to do it again!
Here we have a future fox hunter.
- I am constantly thinking as I am running. This sport is a chess match on the run.
Radio Orienteering is an international sport. The first competitions were held in Sweden over half a
century ago. Today, competitions are held in many countries all across the world. The popularity of
international competitions increases each year. Amateurs compete alongside experienced runners.
The main in international events of Radio Orienteering are the Championship of Europe, the World
Championship, and the Youth Championship. The seventeenth World Championship was hosted by
Kazakhstan. Around 300 competitors from 25 countries came together in the beautiful pine forests of
the Burabai National Park.
The last days of the World Championship: the Sprint and Foxoring competitions.
Just seconds after the finish, each runner is handed their results on control cards. Near the finish line,
monitors display the results of those runners who have finished, as well as those runners who are still
Of course results are important, as is the friendship and the sportsmanship among competitors. During
these emotional moments, even common languages are useless to communicate the feelings they share
with each other.
Medalists from different countries take their places on pedestals while the national anthem of the gold
medal winner plays.
Radio Orienteering is not just a sport – it as immersion in nature, and a break away from the hustle
and bustle of city living. It is an opportunity to travel the world, see new sites, and make new friends.
Simply put, Radio Foxhunting is a fun and exciting time!