Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Some Thoughts on Turf Competition

Since the last issue of Capital-O, we’ve had two small competitions between ESOC turfers. These were on the first Sundays in August and September, at the start of a new monthly round in Turf. As reported in news items on the ESOC website, everyone seemed to enjoy them.  Hope to see even more of you out there next time!

It’s been great to have so many people taking part, though it is a big change after years of turfing with hardly anyone else, as I don’t hold the zones for very long now. The main downside for me is that it makes it much harder for me to keep my position in the overall league tables (see this article for some description of the league system).

Turf has brought out lots of competitive spirit, and in particular, the medals have caught everyone’s imagination – there are medals for everything, from lowly beginnings (e.g. taking your first 5 zones) to great dedication (e.g. taking a zone every hour for 24 hours). ESOC turfers have already amassed impressive collections.
I’ve been interested to see the different approaches people have taken:

  • Defending their local area against all comers. (It’s amazing how proprietorial some people are!)
  • Exploring new areas, taking as many unique zones as possible. (There are medals for this.)
  • Going out for a regular loop run, perhaps varying the route or going the other way round.
  • Mopping up – taking as many zones as possible, and focussing on those that have been taken by someone else.
  • Targeting zones with higher scores.

Everyone has been seeing more of the city and surroundings, with lots of comments about their discoveries as they explore new places.

The Turf website is very informative – it includes “toplists”, which are tables of the scores, worldwide or country by country, so you can track the latest progress. The most entertaining feature though is the map of all the zones, with little figures showing the players’ locations. You don’t need to have a turf account to look at it - you can watch as they make their way around, stealing zones from one another, and it’s fun to see their routes and predict where they will go. Incidentally, in Sweden it’s considered bad form to turn your GPS off between zones so that others can’t see where you are.

So it’s all good fun, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend it! Simple instructions for getting started are here.

- Crawford Lindsay


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