Rogaining is a type of orienteering sport where the emphasis is on long-distance cross-country navigation. Normally undertaken by teams of two to five people, the required skills involve good route planning and navigation between the check points. In addition, a good understanding of maps is also essential as various types are in use during competitions. The sport demands participants to have high levels of fitness and endurance, including a good appreciation of the environment. During main competitions, like a Continental or World Championship, rogaines are 24 hours long. For smaller competitions, it can be as short as two hours.
The International Rogaining Federation (IRF) is the highest authority and international governing body for the sport. The federation was first established in June 1989 by a planning group of Australian, Canadian, and United States rogainers. The important role for IRF is establishing the international rules and maintaining the standards of competitions across all levels. This includes the World Rogaining Championships. The federation also works continuously towards promoting and developing the sport internationally. At the forefront of the growth the sport is experiencing, is also the global awareness of environmental preservation and the responsibility each member nation and participant has in contributing to that vision. IRF is based in the state of Victoria, Australia.
It was in 1992 that a major boost occurred via the first World Rogaining Championships. The flagship competition took place every two years after that until 2012. Since then, they had been held annually until 2017, reverting to a biannual tournament. There are also variants of the sport. Metrogaine is held in urban areas and usually lasts up to six hours. Cyclogaine features mountain bikes, while Snogaine is a winter sport where participants use skis or snowshoes to reach control points. Paddlogaine covers wetlands and lakes where any human-powered watercraft is used, while Moto orienteering involves motorcycles. As outdoor equipment is becoming more sophisticated and encouraging more outdoor activity, rogaining will continue to grow to become a truly worldwide pastime.