Governance and organisation

The International Orienteering Federation (IOF) is the international governing body for orienteering sports. The IOF governs four orienteering disciplines: foot orienteering, mountain bike orienteering, ski orienteering, and trail orienteering. The IOF was founded in 1961 and was recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1977.


Orienteering is the most attractive adventure-based sport for all ages


We promote the global growth of orienteering and develop competitive and recreational orienteering

Main Goal

Our main goal is to increase the attractiveness of orienteering:

  • to participants, and
  • to external partners

so as to be included in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.



Orienteering provides mental and physical challenge, builds life-skills and self-confidence and promotes a healthy lifestyle. We are respectful of the natural environment and promote environmental good practice. Orienteering events require limited infrastructure and a low threshold for participation. We are progressive in our response to changes in society.


We equally include people from all ethnic, religious and social backgrounds. Success by women and men is equally recognised. Orienteering is a sport for people across all generations and with varying physical abilities.


We are characterized by good governance, democracy and transparency. We are committed to fair play – characterised by the spirit of friendship. Everyone shall conduct themselves with the highest ethical standards of fairness, honesty and respect for the rules and for one another. We are committed to being a doping free sport and support the enforcement of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Strategic Plan

To fulfill the above Vision and Goals the IOF works in accordance with a Strategic Plan decided by the IOF General Assembly.

Strategic directions 2018 – 2022 with focus areas until 2022


The IOF is made up of the national orienteering federations that have been admitted to membership. Only one legally constituted orienteering organisation from any one country, defined as an independent member of the IOC, may be admitted as a member. Each member has one vote at the biennial General Assembly of the IOF.

The IOF may provide for provisional membership of a national organisation when first admitted to membership. A provisional member may retain that status for two Congress periods during which time the provisional member must, in the view of the IOF Council, have actively developed the sport of orienteering in that country.

At the moment, the IOF has 76 member countries.

IOF Structure

Statutory institutions

The statutory institutions of the IOF are:

IOF Commissions

The IOF Commissions are:


Reference Documents

Introduction to the IOF (Brochure)

How the IOF works 2021
(Information for members)

Working within the IOF 2021
(Information for volunteers and staff)

Expenses-Claim-IOF (new version to be used from 1 January 2020)
(For reimbursement of volunteer expenses)

List of Acronyms used within the IOF