A Short history of MTB-O in Israel   Leave a comment

As the MTB-WOC in Israel gets closer (less than 2 weeks now), here is some background on the MTBO scene in our country.
MTBO started at the IOF Congress in 1996, which was held in Jerusalem. We treated our visitors to a sample MTBO event, on a regular foot orienteering map, which is now being used for the long distance model event.
After that, I remember organising a local MTBO race in Zippori in 1998, but I don't think it was the first competitive event held in Israel.
The first MTBO map according to the IOF specifications was a map I made (based on a foot-o map) of Segev Forest in 2001:

After that, we made about one map a year, until things started moving around 2004 and a lot of new MTBO maps, mostly adapted from foot-o, started appearing. At the same time, the MTBO league was started up, with 7-8 events every season (from 2003, I think), and an average of 50-60 competitors which hasn't actually grown since then. Nowadays there are 8 league events every year, all on dedicated MTBO maps, and a number of other events have MTBO courses in addition the the regular ones. One item to note is that the club rankings combine points from foot and MTBO events, in order to encourage the clubs to invest in MTBO, and for a few years there even existed a dedicated MTBO club.
We proposed to organise MTB-WOC 2009 back in 2005, and our proposal was accepted at the IOF General assembly in 2006 (there were no other candidates). This certainly encouraged foreign MTB orienteers to start visiting Israel, and the first ones started appearing over a year ago. All the others will be here in about 10 days…

Posted 28/07/2009 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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