Championship ARDF News

From USA and Around the World

Prince William Park
The beautiful forests of Prince William Forest Park will welcome radio-orienteers in April, 2022.

The 21st USA ARDF Championships
Triangle, Virginia, April 7 - 10, 2022

Backwoods Orienteering Klub logoThe 21st annual USA Championships of ARDF will take place April 7 - 10 near Triangle, Virginia, sponsored by the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK).  Radio-orienteers from all over the country plus visitors from abroad are invited to attend.  The competitive courses are open to anyone of any age, with or without an Amateur Radio license.

The fun gets under way on Wednesday, April 6 as participants fine-tune their skills and align their direction-finding equipment on practice courses.  From Thursday through Sunday, competitors will have the opportunity to comptete in the sprint, foxoring and classic courses on two meters and 80 meters.  Award ceremonies will follow the events.

Ruth and Joseph Primary site of the competition is Prince William Forest Park, adjacent to Triangle, Virginia.  It borders the Quantico Marine Corps Reservation, 19 miles northeast of Fredricksburg and 29 miles southwest of Washington, DC.  This park features almost 17,000 acres of mature hardwood forest including springs, ferns, creeks, and ponds.  It is habitat for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, beaver and large concentrations of woodland birds, including thrush and warblers.

The park is presently under embargo for ARDF, meaning that if you plan to participate in the championships, you may not enter the forested areas there until the first competition day.  The embargo prevents anyone from having an unfair advantage in the competition by virtue of having been in these woods recently.  Public orienteering maps are available and may be studied in advance.

These USA Championships will conclude just in time for final selection of ARDF Team USA 2022 members, who will travel in late August to Zlatibor, Serbia for the 20th ARDF World Championships (see news item below).  USA's team positions will be filled based on performances in these 2022 events in Virginia and the 2021 events in North Carolina.

Organizing Co-Chairs for the 2022 USA Championships are Joseph Huberman K5JGH (Meet Director) and Ruth Bromer WB4QZG (Registrar), shown at right.  They have competed at many USA Championships and also have been on ARDF Team USA to the World Championships.  Course Designer and leader of the setting team will be Charles Scharlau NZØI.

National ARDF Championships are for individuals only.  No teaming or assistance on the course is permitted.  Participants are divided into six age categories for males and six age categories for females in accordance with standard IARU rules.  Awards for first, second and third places will be awarded in each category on each band.

Even if you have never competed in an ARDF event before, you are welcome at the USA Championships.  USA's best foxtailers are expected to attend, as well as experienced foreign visitors.  They are always helpful to newcomers.

Participant registration will open in February.  For more information and updates, visit the Backwoods Orienteering Klub Web site.  You may also subscribe to the ARDF-USA e-mail list for updates and discussions of plans for the championships.

USA 2021 participants
Competitors and organizers of the 2021 USA ARDF championships before the start of the second classic event.  (Photo courtesy Imre Polik KX4SO)

The Twentieth USA National ARDF Championships
North Carolina, October 14 - 17, 2021

NC21 logoAfter being cancelled for 2020 due to the pandemic, the 20th USA ARDF Championships took place October 14-17, 2021 in North Carolina, sponsored by the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK).

Activities began October 10 with practice at Carolina North in Durham.  Then at Eno River, also in Durham, there was informal practice on Oct 11 and 12.  On Wednesday the 13th, the activity moved to Asheboro where there was a model event at Gray Owl.  This included 80m, 2m, sprint and fox-O short courses.  The four championship events were on Thursday through Sunday, in and around Asheboro.

Complete results are posted at the BOK Web site:

   Sprint results, Thursday, October 14
   Classic Day 1 results, Friday, October 15
   Foxoring results, Saturday, October 16
   Classic Day 2 results, Sunday, October 17

Meet Director was Joseph Huberman K5JGH.  Registrar was Ruth Bromer WB4QZG.  Course-designer for the classic and sprint events was Charles Scharlau NZØI.  Course-designer for foxoring was David Waller.

As always, the competitive courses were open to anyone of any age, with or without an Amateur Radio license.  Medals were awarded in six age categories for males and six for females, in accordance with rules of the International Amateur Radio Union.  Stateside winners of these championships will be under consideration for membership in ARDF Team USA, which will travel to the 20th World ARDF Championships (see below).

In years when IARU regional championships are held, the USA ARDF Championships have traditionally also been designated as the IARU Region 2 (North and South America) Championships.  Because of the continuing restrictions on non-essential travel between the USA and Canada, that designation was not made for 2021.  However, visiting competitors from outside USA were welcome, as always.

Zlatibor, Serbia
The resort at Zlatibor, Serbia will be the site of the 2022 ARDF World Championships.

International Championship ARDF Events Rescheduled Due To COVID
Planning Under Way for 2022 and Beyond

ARDF BulgariaThe 20th Amateur Radio Union (IARU) ARDF World Championships, originally scheduled for the first week of September 2020 in Serbia, were rescheduled for the first week of September 2021 due to the pandemic.  But it will be yet another year before the world's best radio-orienteers will be chosen.  COVID is still prevalent in many countries and international travel, particularly in Asia, has been greatly affected.

For the last twenty years, world championships have taken place in even-numbered years.  Each of the three IARU regions have held multi-nation championships in odd-numbered years.  In 2021, only IARU Region 1 held a regional championships.  Bulgaria hosted the 23rd IARU Region 1 (Europe) ARDF Championships from August 28 through September 3.  The host city was Bansko, a ski resort town at 8500-foot elevation at the base of the Pirin Mountains near the southwest corner of the country.

Also taking place at the same time was the Fourth World Youth ARDF Championships for ages 16 and under.  Just prior to August 28 at different sites was the Euro Cup competitions for individuals.  The event Web site has official results.

As for the next IARU world competition, it now appears likely that the Amateur Radio Union of Serbia will host the 20th IARU ARDF World Championships for national teams in September 2022.  The World Cup competitions for individual foxhunters will take place just prior.  After that, the plan is for the 21st IARU ARDF World Championships to be in the Czech Republic in 2023.  Starting in 2024, world championships will be in odd-numbered years and regional championships in even-numbered years.

World Championshps feature formal competitions on two meters and 80 meters, plus sprints and foxoring.  National teams may send only three persons per age/gender category to the IARU World Championships.  ARDF Team USA members for 2022 will be selected from the best stateside performers in the 2021 USA championships in North Carolina and the 2022 USA championships in Virginia.

Listing of Upcoming Championship ARDF Events Worldwide

(All subject to change)

21st USA ARDF Championships, April 7 - 10, 2022 in Virginia.

5th IARU World ARDF Youth Championships, Summer 2022 in Romania.

20th IARU ARDF World Championships, August/September 2022 in Zlatibor, Serbia.

21st IARU ARDF World Championships, Summer 2023 in Czech Republic.

24th IARU Region 1 ARDF Championships, September 2024, possibly in Hungary.

ARRL ARDF Development Fund Seeks Donations

ARRL logoThe ARRL Fund for the Development of Amateur Radio Direction Finding is now accepting monetary donations to support deserving groups and individuals as they expand international-rules ARDF activities in the USA.

This fund was first established in year 2000 with "seed money" from the Colvin Award, the ARRL Foundation and the ARRL General Fund. In its first five years, payments from the fund were made on behalf of 18 individuals to help defray the cost of their participation in three ARDF World Championships. Grants from the fund have also been made to the organizers of two USA ARDF Championships.

No further contributions are anticipated from the original sources, so the fund has been opened to contributions from individuals and clubs. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged by ARRL, a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions may not be designated by donors to be granted to any specific recipient, individual or group.

Grants from the fund may be requested by groups sponsoring ARDF events in the USA and by individuals who have qualified to represent the USA in ARDF competitions sanctioned by the ARRL or the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Requests for grants should be submitted electronically at least 60 days in advance of need to Mary Hobart K1MMH at ARRL Headquarters ( They will be reviewed by a committee that includes ARRL's Chief Executive Officer, Chief Development Officer and ARDF Coordinator.

You can help support ARDF in the USA by sending a donation to ARDF Development Fund, c/o ARRL, 225 East Main Street, Newington, CT 06111. Checks should be made out to ARRL with "ARDF Development Fund" on the memo line.

The not-for-profit American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association of Amateur Radio operators, founded in 1914. ARRL is a member society of the IARU.

Joe Moell KØOV

ARDF Training and Practice

Local ARDF sessions for training and practice are sometimes held in the areas listed below. If you are close to any of them, get involved! If you're not, the task of developing ARDF locally is yours. With the help of other hams in your town, it can be relatively easy and fun. This may be just the activity to shake the doldrums out of your club. Start planning now!

Results and Photos of Other Stateside ARDF Events in Recent Years

Current SoCal sessions -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2021.

SoCal 2019 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2019, including Bonelli Regional Park, Mt. Pinos, Guajome Regional Park, Hillcrest Park, Mission Viejo Community Park, Yuma Hamfest and Lake Los Carneros.

SoCal 2018 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2018, including Hillcrest Park, Lake Los Carneros (2), Mt. Pinos, Santa Fe Dam, Mission Bay Park and Bonelli Regional Park.

SoCal 2017 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2017, including Hillcrest Park, Lindo Lake Park, Mt. Pinos, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Bonelli Regional Park.

SoCal 2016 -- Southern California (and Arizona) practice/demonstration events of 2016, including Hillcrest Park, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Griffith Park, Lake Murray, Mt. Pinos, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Lake Los Carneros (2), Schabarum Regional Park and Bonelli Regional Park (2).

SoCal 2015 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2015, including Lake Los Carneros, El Dorado Park, Angel's Gate Park, Mt. Laguna, Hillcrest Park, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bonelli Regional Park, Vasquez Rocks State Park and Schabarum Regional Park.

July 28 - August 4, 2019 -- Nineteenth USA and Tenth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Raleigh, NC.

June 13 - 17, 2018 -- Eighteenth USA ARDF Championships near Truckee, CA.

July 31 - August 6, 2017 -- Seventeenth USA and Ninth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Cincinnati, OH.

April 6 - 10, 2016 -- Sixteenth USA ARDF Championships near Killeen, TX.

August 27-30, 2015 -- Fifteenth USA and Eighth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Elbert, CO.

For results and stories of events before 2015, see this site's Table of Contents

Additional ARDF Resources In This Site

THRDFS cover Go to International-Style Foxhunting Comes To The Americas -- An introduction to the sport with the history of its development in the Western Hemisphere

Go to Equipment Ideas for Radio-Orienteering -- Simple and inexpensive receiving and transmitting solutions

Go to Radio-Orienteering News for Southern California -- Results and stories of recent radio-orienteering events in southern California, plus announcements of upcoming ones.

Go to Foxhunting for Scouts -- Let's get the kids involved

Go to Extenders Aid Handicapped Foxhunters -- A novel way to include persons with disabilities

HOMING IN logo Back to the Homing In home page

This page updated 30 December 2021