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Amateur Radio Direction Finding

Radio Orienteering

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Breaking_News_web.jpgRegistration Open for the 23rd USA Radio Orienteering Champs

Michigan2024_525x468.jpgRegistration for the 2024 USA and IARU Region 2 Radio Orienteering Championships is now open!  The event will be held in the area of Chelsea, Michigan from 5-13 October 2024.  

All radio transmitter hunters, from beginners to experts, are invited to participate in a full week of radio orienteering (ARDF) competition and other fun events as Michigan's  autumn colors begin to set in and cider mills start humming in October!  

Visit the website for the championship for the latest information:

A direct link to registration is available here:

Heed the following registration deadlines, as registration fees increase the longer you wait:
Early registration deadline - 30 Jun
Regular registration deadline - 15 Aug
Late registration deadline - 15 Sep
The following events are lined up for the exciting week:

o 2-day training camp coached by Charles & Nadia Scharlau the weekend prior (5-6 Oct)
o 2 practice days (8-9 Oct)
o Cultural / social outings to Henry Ford Museum & F-150 factory (7 Oct), cider mill (10 Oct), & German restaurant (10 Oct) among other opportunities
o Guest speaker & casual dinner on the Wed night info meeting night (9 Oct)
o 4 days of challenging championship-level racing including prior USA orienteering champs and team trials venues (10-13 Oct)
o Sprint, Foxoring, and 2m & 80m Classics (10-13 Oct)
o A search and rescue exhibition team contest (12 Oct)

We are already expecting competitors from USA, Canada, Australia, and China, so this will also be a great week of connecting with radio and orienteering friends from across the globe both familiar and new! 

We hope to see you here in Michigan in October for what will surely be the most exciting week of radio orienteering we've seen since 2023!   And please spread the word and bring friends!  


Joseph Burkhead, KE8MKR
Event Director
23rd ARRL USA / 12th IARU Region 2
Radio Orienteering Championship


Seventh IARU World Youth ARDF Championships Coming in 2025

The Czech Radio Club has been entrusted with organizing the 2025 IARU World Youth ARDF Championships. The event is planned to be held in Mariánské Lázne, Czech Republic, where the IARU R1 ARDF Championships was held in 2015. The dates are slated to be July 2-5, 2025.

If you know of a young USA competitor who will be age 16 or younger in 2025, and would like to participate in the youth championships, contact the ARRL Radio Orienteering Committee.


Same Sport, New-ish Name

An announcement from the ARRL ARDF Coordinators:

The name Radio Orienteering has been around for a very long time and has frequently been applied to the sport of ARDF, but it hasn't been recognized in any official sense. Because Radio Orienteering is more descriptive of the sport (especially to the orienteering community), and because Amateur Radio Direction Finding is often confused with other radio direction-finding activities (like mobile t-hunting), the ARRL ARDF committee has decided to officially favor the use of the term Radio Orienteering. We believe that a transition to that name will result in less confusion, and perhaps, quicker acceptance of the sport by orienteers and others who will more readily grasp the essence of the sport. So look for more references to Radio Orienteering going forward, and don't be confused: it is the same radio navigation sport we all enjoy, but with a more descriptive name.
Note: this web page now links from and, as well as


Future USA Radio Orienteering Championships

It is always a good year to bring the biggest annual USA Radio Orienteering event to your town. Download and share the trifold brochure to drum up the excitement, then apply online to host the USA Radio Orienteering Championships. The ARRL ARDF Committee is standing by to help you arrange for everything you need.


About Radio Orienteering

In this sport there are no vehicles, traffic jams, or exhaust fumes. Radio Orienteering (aka, Amateur Radio Direction Finding, or ARDF) brings radios into the great outdoors with maps and compasses, providing a uniquely enjoyable way to learn new radio skills. This radio sports activity deals with the taking of radio bearings to navigate through wooded areas in search of transmitters. It involves constructing direction-finding equipment, training amateurs in the rules of the sport, and organizing events in the USA and other IARU countries.

Interest and participation in Radio Orienteering activities are growing, and ARRL provides encouragement and support for Radio Orienteering activities across the United States. Events often take place at amateur radio conventions and hamfests as a magnet to amateur radio for youth and others. Championship competitions are held annually to help decide membership on the US team at the ARDF World Championships.

Join Team USA!

Would you like to represent the USA at international radio orienteering competitions? There are World Championships held biannually, and World Youth ARDF Championships (WYAC) have been held annually since 2017. Citizens of the USA, Green Card holders, and those who have lived in the USA for the previous year and have not competed for the title of Champion in any other country during that time, are eligible for membership on Radio Orienteering Team USA.

The only way to ensure an invitation to join the team is to prove your mettle by competing in ARRL-sanctioned radio orienteering competitions such as the USA Radio Orienteering Championships. But occasionally there are open team positions available that can be filled by qualified individuals lacking competitive results. A limited number of non-competing visitors may also travel with the team. USA Team members and visitors are responsible for all expenses associated with their participation, including paying for their own transportation, room, board and entry fees. Contact the ARRL Radio Orienteering Committee for full details.

Radio Orienteering Schedule

Take a look at this list of Radio Orienteering activities to find out what is happening in your area. If you are planning to hold an ARDF activity then please email the Radio Orienteering Committee to get it added to the list!

ARRL Learning Network ARDF Webinar Video

We hope that ARRL members took advantage of the opportunity to learn the basics of The Sport of Finding Hidden Transmitters On Foot, presented by Robert Frey, WA6EZV. For those who missed it, and those who would like to see it again, please view the video online.

  • Find Radio Orienteering Activity Near You!

    Find Radio-O activities near you! Learn More

    Find Radio Orienteering Activity Near You!

  • ARRL Radio Orienteering Committee

    Find out more about the committee that administers the sport in the USA. Learn More

  • Radio-O in the Americas

    Help expand radio orienteering throughout IARU Region 2! Learn More

    Radio-O in the Americas

  • ARDF News

    Keep tabs on radio orienteering news provided by Joe Moell KØOV Learn More

    ARDF News

  • ARDF Defined

    See what Wikipedia has to say about ARDF. Learn More

    ARDF Defined

  • ARDF the Movie

    See what ARDF is all about in this YouTube video. Learn More

    ARDF the Movie

  • ARDF World Championships

    The ARDF World Championships are held on even-numbered years. Find out about the next one! Learn More

    ARDF World Championships

  • The ARDF Handbook

    The ARDF Handbook has all the information you need to become involved in this great sport! Learn More

    The ARDF Handbook

  • Email List

    Join the Radio Orienteering USA email list to receive the latest ARDF information direct to your inbox. Learn More

  • USA Championships 2024

    Make plans to attend the premier USA radio orienteering event. Learn More

Contact the ARDF Committee

Questions or comments? Please contact the ARRL ARDF Committee at


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