Hoyle's Mill

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December 5

Hoyles Mill Bridge

Registration is now open! and will close Friday, December 3rd at 6 pm. There will not be any day-of registration.

Welcome to QOC’s 05 December 2021 National Ranking Event at Hoyles Mill Conservation Park in Germantown Maryland, about 20 miles northwest of Washington DC. The area was mapped by QOC’s Nadim Ahmed and was last used in May 2021 for the US Team Trials.

Hoyles Mill is a mostly trailless and flat wooded area. Contours are subtle and some areas are bland. Small rocky point features tend to be abundant for orienteering in the Washington, DC area. Green vegetation varies widely across the map but is well defined.

Course setter Sam Listwak has prepared a full set of fun classic courses (detailed notes below) for this NRE. What's an NRE (National Ranking Event)? Excellent question - for the answer, see the video below!

COVID-19 Risk Reduction: QOC’s COVID risk reduction protocols, as also enumerated here, are in effect. Please read these guidelines carefully. Key points:

  • PROPERLY WORN MASKS ARE REQUIRED at all times when near registration, epunch areas or other concentrations of participants or others.
  • Water will not be provided. Provide for your own hydration needs before, during and after the event.
  • No food or snacks will be provided.
  • There is no planned, on-site beginner instruction, but beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst
Pre-registration:This event requires pre-registration which will open on Monday, Nov. 15 at noon. Pre-registration will be accessed from this webpage (via the Registration section below), Each registration will have the option to choose group or individual registrations. Note that group participants are ineligible for National Ranking.

During pre-registration, all runners will select a check-in window. The corresponding start window for that runner is the window immediately following the check-in window. Example: if your check-in window is 9:40-10am, your start window is 10-10:20am (and so that's when you should be at the start).

The windows run from 10 am to 1:30 pm. The pre-registration site will show how many slots in each window are left at any given point in time. Payments must be made at time of registration. Entry fees are detailed below.

Note that all starts between 10 am and 12pm afford NRE runners a full three hours to complete their courses; starts after 12 do not.

QOC will not issue refunds except in the case of event cancellation, participant illness or quarantine. However, if you do decide not to attend after having pre-registered, please use our Contact Us form to let us know.

Embargoed Area: Per OUSA rules, the Hoyles Mill Conservation Area North and West of the Soccerplex are embargoed for visitation.

Directions: See below for directions.

Parking: The directions should take you to the parking area in the Soccerplex for Fields 12 and 13, where event registration and check in will be located. To promote COVID 19 risk reduction, we ask that everyone follow a "come, run, leave" approach to this event. Arrive only when you need to in order to check in on time, and once your run is completed, please vacate the area.

Check-in and Start: The event check-in location will be along the north edge of the parking lot for Fields 12 and 13. Event check-in will begin at 9:40 am. After check in go to your starting area. We are using start windows to spread participants out evenly across the day and minimize concentrations of people in any one location, so please arrive at check-in and your start location in accordance with the check in window chosen during pre-registration.

You need to check in with both registration and e-punch. Registering means you have a starting time window and we’ve planned for the right number of maps to print, but we understand that changes happen. Checking in with both registration and the e-punch team means you’ll have the right course in the system before you reach Start.

There are two start locations planned:

  • White, Yellow, Orange is about 90 meters west from Registration and check in near the parking lot for field 13.
  • Advanced courses start across field 15, about 300 meters from the registration area, an estimated 5-minute walk at max from the parking lot for field 13.
There will be a clothing drop near Start. Clothing will be periodically moved near the Finish. The last action runners will take before departing check-in for their starts is to pick up their clue sheets. The start location for the Advanced courses is about 300 meters (5 minutes walk) southwest from check in and will follow a streamered route. The start location for White, Yellow, and Orange is about 90 meters ( less than a minute’s walk) west from check in.

Keep in mind that you will NOT be assigned a specific start time. Instead, you will arrive at the line leading to the start during your start window and move up in line until you reach the map pick-up and then the start control where the timer will give the instruction to punch start. All courses have distinct first points. Start volunteers will re-order the line as necessary to ensure that runners on the same course do not directly follow one another and that there is a minimum two-minute interval between same-course runner starts.

Note for those new to orienteering at a national event: When your map is issued to you at the start, keep it folded or face-down until you have punched start at the timer's instruction. At that point, you can turn the map over and look at it. Also, it's considered cheating to use a GPS watch or any type of electronic/navigational aid to figure out where you are. [Both of these are best to follow for local events as well, by the way.]

Finish and Departure: Finishers will proceed immediately to the e-punch table to download and then pick up any dropped clothing. Since we are operating under a COVID-induced "come, run, leave" policy, runners will NOT have to surrender their course maps for subsequent retrieval. Do not show your map to any competitor who has not started yet; we ask that you fold your maps and move immediately to your vehicle for departure. Please download at the e-punch table even if you did not finish your course, so we know you have cleared the area.


  • Observe all COVID-19 risk reduction measures as described above, especially the guidance on being prepared to meet all your own hydration needs
  • Come prepared for early December weather in Germantown MD; average high in mid-upper 40s; average low in low-mid-30's
  • White, Yellow and Orange courses all cross the Soccerplex entrance road to the Parking Area or cross the Parking Area itself. We do not anticipate non-Orienteering traffic, but we ask drivers and runners to remain alert.
  • The nature of the terrain will lead you to want a change of shoes and socks (at least) if the weather has been at all wet. Prudence strongly suggests bringing a change.
  • 911 is primary medivac number
  • Local urgent care centers are:
  • Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, 19801 Observation Drive, Germantown, Maryland 20876, 301-557-6000
  • Medical Access Urgent Care, Germantown, 12321 Middlebrook Road, Suite 101, Germantown, Maryland, 20874, 301-453-8146
Other Points:
  • ALL SOCCER FIELDS ARE OUT OF BOUNDS! DO NOT RUN OR WALK ON THEM! You MAY ONLY USE the grassy borders around/between the fields for your route choices. More on this in the Course Setter’s notes below.
  • Everyone must be out of the woods by 3:00pm, which is when we will begin picking up controls.
  • Any groups planning to attend the event or anyone with questions should contact the Event Director.
  • Wondering which course to run (to get ranked) given your age? Use our age class calculator or look it up in this table, both based on the OUSA Rules of Competition. For example, a female born in 1963 is ranked based on running a Brown course (F55+ age group). You are welcome to choose a course other than the one based on your age category, but if you do, you may not gain OUSA ranking points. If you don't really care about ranking, just use the M-Open/F-Open default choice when registering.
  • None of the three rest room facilities at the Soccerplex will be open. Port-a-johns will be on site near check-in.
  • There are no pavilions or park shelters at the Soccerplex. Bring appropriate cold and wet weather gear for mid-December.
  • The size of start teams (groups of individuals orienteering together with one e-punch) on a course must be no more than four (4) individuals (juniors and adults combined).
  • Pets are not permitted on the course at this event; they are permitted elsewhere but must be leashed.


Maryland SoccerPlex, Fields 12-13 Parking, Germantown, MD (Classic/NRE)

RegistrationRegistration for this event will open at Noon on Monday Nov. 15 via this link. Registration will close no later than 6pm on Friday Dec. 3.
Who's registered? Check by clicking here. Sorting by column is possible too - just click on the column name.

Start TimesStart times will be by windows (to be defined for this event before registration opens).
ScheduleSunday, December 5
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic/NRE:
Event Director:Dave Levine
Course Designer:Sam Listwak
Course Vetter:Michael Dickey
Course Vetter:Francis Hogle
Location Details

Maryland SoccerPlex
Fields 12-13 Parking
Germantown, MD
Google Map

From Germantown Road (Rt 118), drive 0.65 miles west on Germantown Park Dr, to the roundabout at Schaeffer Rd. Continue straight on Central Park Circle. Loop around (either clockwise or counterclockwise) towards the parking for fields 14-17. Continue straight toward parking for fields 9-13, which is the lot north of the Adventist Healthcare Fieldhouse. Follow signs and look for the QOC canopy and flags. See locator map HERE.
Course DetailsClassic/NRE
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2307
Yellow 2.5408
Orange 4.66011
Brown 5.36011
Green 6.36512
Red 8.28016
Blue 1115019
Course NotesClassic/NRE

The area being used for this meet is somewhat unique when compared to most of QOC’s usual ridge and valley terrain. The advanced courses are relatively flat and lack a lot of prominent terrain features (think Mason Neck with rocks and more vegetation). Instead, relatively small (usually less than 1.5 meters in height) rock features predominate. These include individual boulders, boulder clusters and small cliffs (essentially elongated boulders) and are well mapped.

The numerous small mappable rock features (for QOC land) in this venue are used for many control locations. A general guide to these features is:

  • Individual boulders: mapped as black dots, are just that, standalone unique rocks.
  • Boulder clusters: mapped as a black triangles are tight groupings of multiple boulder-like rocks.
  • Cliffs: mapped as a black line, are essentially elongated (not rounded) boulders and generally not over 1 m in height.
  • Rocky ground: mapped as a grouping of small black dots, are areas of small rocks that do not make the size criteria of an individual boulder or boulder cluster, but are distinctly present in the terrain.
Many of these rock point features are used for control locations, requiring precise navigation skills. As a bit of advice, DO NOT lose map contact, know where you are at all times on the course. Slow down if you have to because, while the features are well mapped, they can start to appear as similar features in the area and you will lose time.

The advanced courses are bisected by a relatively large stream, which is technically crossable, but can be deep and fast flowing in sections. All the advanced courses were designed with the logical route choice being to cross this stream at a bridge, so USE THIS BRIDGE. All of the smaller streams that are on the courses should not present a problem.

There are areas of vegetation that may present some challenge and alter route choices, especially transitioning from forest to open areas or from stream/road to forest (where briars may be present), but one can weave their way through these areas. Small clumps of barberry may also be present along routes. The green slash in reclaimed open areas usually indicates somewhat thick briars that’ll impede progress, but the courses are designed to provide route choice options through these areas. Portions of the open area under the power line have been mowed, portions not.

All the advanced courses stay in the forested portion of the park, they do not venture into the SoccerPlex area (with the exception of the Start/Finish).

The Intermediate course, Orange, will have a portion in the forest and a portion in the SoccerPlex area, while both the White and Yellow courses remain exclusively in the SoccerPlex area. An important comment about the courses in the SoccerPlex area, THE ACTUAL SOCCER FIELDS ARE OUT OF BOUNDS! You are NOT permitted to cross these fields, you must go around them one direction or another, that is and integral portion of the course design.

Map Scales for this event are: 1:7500 for the White, Yellow, Orange and Brown courses; 1:10,000 for Green, Red and Blue.

To give one an idea of the mapped area being used for this meet, I refer you to RouteGadget in the QOC website (under Results) for the following map images:
2021-05-08, Team Trails, forested section
2021-05-07, Team Trails sprint, SoccerPlex section
2021-02-06, Bumble, both the forested and SoccerPlex sections

Entry Fees

Individual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

Club Member, adult Club Member, junior Non-Member, adult Non-Member, junior
$10 $5 $20 $5

Group Entries

Participants are welcome to orienteer together as a group (up to the maximum for that event; usually 4). Each member of a group is charged their individual rate as shown above, up to a group total of $30 (maximum), and each receives a map. A group receives one epunch. Individuals or groups desiring to compete on a second course after completing their first can do so for a reduced fee of $2/map subject to approval at the event by the Event Director.

Important Notes
  • If you wish to become a QOC member you should join online in advance via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional.
  • Most of our events use an 'epunch' timing chip for electronic timing. Individuals or groups without their own epunch will be loaned one for that event. Loaned epunches that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee. Epunches (also known as SI-cards or finger sticks) can be purchased from online vendors as described here.
  • Former QOC members who have let their membership lapse pay non-member fees.
  • Compasses are available at no charge, but if lost incur a $15 replacement fee.
  • Please provide collateral (such as car keys) when borrowing a compass or epunch.
  • There is no planned, on-site beginner instruction, but beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst