... promoting the cause of solo rogaining in Australia and around the world ...

Click to go to our Facebook group page

The NSWRA committee's decision re Solo Rogaining was announced in an email to members just before Xmas in 2018. NSWRA President Trevor Gollan said the committee had decided "Not to have solo entry if the rogaine is longer than three hours" (it was in bold print in the email as well!)

They banned Solo Rogaining in events longer than 3 hours because "The Team is an essential part of this sport, for social and safety purposes. It differentiates rogaining from other similar activities, such as orienteering & ultra-marathons".

If we were mean-spirited we might ask questions like "shouldn't the whole association have been consulted before banning Solo Rogaining?" or "Solo Rogaining is as inevitable as Australia becoming a republic so why not embrace it now?" or "Why is the team not essential for social and safety purposes in 3 hour rogaines?"

But we are not mean-spirited so instead we will look at two other questions - (1) "Are there any real alternatives to Rogaining?" and (2) "Is there a fear of Solo Rogainers?"

As mentioned above, in late 2018 the NSWRA committee discussed the issue of Solo Rogaining and decided to ban Solo Rogaining completely (except for their 3 hour Minigaine - but more about that later) - but they did, however, suggest alternate sports for those who want to rogaine solo in events longer than 3 hours.

Try another sport
Despite trying to increase participation rates in their rogaines, the NSWRA committee has actually advised people who want to rogaine solo to try another sport. They have suggested sports like ultramarathons, long orienteering events and even bushwalking. There is also another very similar sport mentioned below ...

Long orienteering is a bit like Solo Rogaining, except there is no real route planning, checkpoints are done in a set order, the event is based on distance rather than time, and the longest events rarely exceed three hours - so long orienteering events are not really like long rogaines at all.

Ultra-marathons are point to point running races - longer than the traditional marathon distance - on roads or tracks. They can be as long as 24 hours, and even longer, but they require no route planning or navigation skills, they have no "off track" component, they are based on distance rather than time, and unlike rogaines, if you walk in an ultra-marathon event you will probably not be competitive - so they too are not very much like rogaines at all.

Bushwalking is not so much a sport as it is a pastime. It can involve route planning, it can require navigation skills, it can have an "off track" component, and you usually walk when you bushwalk rather than run! However, there is no competitive element in bushwalking, which makes it vastly different to a rogaine. It is a bit like playing Russian Roulette with no bullet in the gun - not as exciting as it could be!

Golf !!!
Golf and Rogaining have a lot in common. They are both physical, they both require special skills, they both require you to continually navigate different distances from A to B whichever way you want in the most efficient way possible, and you spend a lot of time in very rough country!

Golf (like Rogaining apparently) is a social sport, but unlike Rogaining, you can do it solo!

In a post about the Minigaine on the NSWRA Forum in April 2017, former NSWRA committee member Julian Ledger wrote "Looking at the results one has to ask do Rogainers do better on their own? Safety considerations aside, if longer rogaines allowed solo entry would the lone wolves clean sweep the places?"

Chris Stevenson (current [2019] NSWRA committee member) commented on the same Minigaine saying "I recall from previous events the competitiveness of the individuals ... the average score of the individuals was 1,390 whereas the average score in the teams was 855."

On the same forum legendary rogainer Andy Macqueen seemed to indicate that he believed solo rogainers would be more competitive when he wondered "whether some people would be turned off because they wouldn't want to compete against solo hotshots."

Current (2019) NSWRA President Trevor Gollan agrees that solo competitors usually out-perform teams, and has expressed concerns that if Solo Rogaining was allowed in longer events then teams would be forced to split up and go solo in order to be competitive.

Are these fears the reason why Solo Rogaining is banned in long events? Are these fears holding back the sport?

Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Solo Rogaining.

(Next Page)

There is no sport like Rogaining

Pursue something better

A Team - or Nothing

Was Chewbacca a navigator?