Championship ARDF News

From USA and Around the World

Michigan fall colors
The fall colors in central Michigan are beautiful.  Will you be in this picture during October?

Announcing the 23rd USA Radio-Orienteering Championships
And 11th IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships
Chelsea, MI, October 9 - 13, 2024

Michigan ARDF 2024Joe Burkhead KE8MKRCentral Michigan will be the site for the 2024 USA Radio-Orienteering Championships, combined with the biennial ARDF championships of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (North and South America).  Events will take place over a full week in October.  Event Director will be Joseph Burkhead KE8MKR (at right), who has won numerous medals at USA's championships beginning in 2017.  He brought home a team bronze award for his performance in the 80-meter classic event at the 2018 World ARDF Championships in Sokcho, Korea.  Assisting will be members of the Southern Michigan Orienteering Club and the Chelsea Amateur Radio Club.

Practice and championship courses will take place in well-mapped sites near Chelsea, Michigan.  Chelsea is 50 miles west of downtown Detroit, 40 miles southeast of Lansing and 15 miles west of Ann Arbor.

Championships week begins on Saturday, October 5 with two full days of training at Pinckney State Recreation Area, led by Charles and Nadia Scharlau, NZØI and KO4ADV.  Monday and Tuesday will feature practice sessions for all four events.  The sprint competition will be Wednesday, followed by the 80-meter classic in Thursday, the foxoring event on Friday and the two-meter classic on Saturday.  A banquet and awards ceremony will take place Saturday evening.  After the sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, there will be cultural outings and presentations.

The championship courses are being designed by KE8MKR and NZØI.  Medals will be awarded for each event in each of the IARU age/gender categories.

USA's ARDF Championships are open to anyone of any age who can safely navigate in the woods with hand-held radio gear for several kilometers.  Don't worry if you are inexperienced at radio-orienteering, as this is an opportunity to learn from experts.  An Amateur Radio license is not a requirement.

Bulletin 1 from the organizers has more information, including a listing of planned venues.  To avoid an unfair advantage of familiarity, anyone planning to participate in these championships should not enter the wilderness areas of these venues until the first day of competition.  Headquarters hotel will be the Comfort Inn in Chelsea, now being converted to a Hampton Inn.  The organizers have arranged for a special rate for participants.

A Facebook page has been set up for ongoing developments, including volunteer opportunities.  Also watch for more information in this Homing In site.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend.

Pecs, Hungary
Pecs, the European Capital of Culture, lies on the southern slopes of the Mecsek Mountains, 110 miles southwest of Budapest.  Stateside radio-orienteers are invited to the First Individual Open ARDF Championships near Pecs during August.

Announcing the 24th IARU Region 1 ARDF Championshps
Pecs, Hungary, August 9 - 14, 2024

Pecs 2024Beginning in 2023, the World ARDF Championships take place in odd numbered years.  During even-numbered years, the three International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) regions are encouraged to hold multi-nation championships.  The 2024 Region 1 championships will take place August 9 - 14 near Pecs, open to teams from nations in Europe.

Also included during this time will be the First Individual Open ARDF Championships (IOAC), open to anyone from any country who wishes to take to the championship courses and has the physical capability to do so safely.  Participants in the IOAC will start out after the main competition among Region 1 team members.  There will also be a training camp from August 4 - 8.

At the official Web site of the Region 1 championships, you can download Bulletin 1 with the schedule, accommodations, fees, weather and travel information.

The organizers request that each participating country submit a Letter of Interest with the number of anticipated participants by February 28.  Stateside radio-orienteers interested in participating in the IOAC are asked to contact Nadia Scharlau KO4ADV ( by February 23 to be included in USA's letter submission.  Watch for more information about these championships in this Homing In site.

Team USA Competes in ARDF World Championships
Liberec, Czech Republic, August 27 - September 2, 2023

This article has been expanded and moved here.

The 22nd USA Radio-Orienteering Championships
Sulpher Springs, TX, April 19 - 23, 2023

This article has been expanded and moved here.

Team USA at the 20th ARDF World Championships
Borovets, Bulgaria, 28 August to 3 September, 2022

This article has been expanded and moved here.

Same Sport, New-ish Name

Czech Radio-Orienteering This Homing In site has used the terms "ARDF" and "Radio-Orienteering" interchangeably with respect to on-foot transmitter hunting under international rules.  Both terms are recognized in most countries where the sport is performed (see example at right from Czech Republic).  However, ARDF is often confused with in-vehicle transmitter hunting (which I prefer to call "T-hunting").  Now the ARRL ARDF Committee has decided to emphasize the term "Radio-Orienteering" to help minimize confusion.  The Committee sent this message on June 20, 2022:

"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 our 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.  The Committee believes 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.

The name-change decision will impact certain websites, documents, social media, and other communication media that the ARRL ARDF Committee uses.  Notably, the annual championship event that the ARRL sponsors will be titled the USA Radio Orienteering Championships going forward.

The Committee hopes that Radio Orienteering will gradually gain universal acceptance.  But we recognize that the IARU, and others will likely continue to use the term 'ARDF' for the foreseeable future.  And, for now, even the committee's name will remain the ARRL ARDF Committee.  The transition may be gradual, but we believe that the change will be beneficial to the sport in the long run.

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.  Long live Radio Orienteering!"

Listing of Upcoming Championship ARDF Events Worldwide

24th IARU Region 1 ARDF Championships, August 9 - 15, 2024 in Pecs, Hungary.

23rd USA Radio-Orienteering Championships, October 2024 in Chelsea, MI.

22nd World ARDF Championships, September 2025 in Lithuania.

ARRL ARDF Development Fund Seeks Donations

ARRL logoThe ARRL Fund for the Development of Amateur Radio Direction Finding is now accepting monetary donations to support deserving groups and individuals as they expand international-rules ARDF activities in the USA.

This fund was first established in year 2000 with "seed money" from the Colvin Award, the ARRL Foundation and the ARRL General Fund.  In its first five years, payments from the fund were made on behalf of 18 individuals to help defray the cost of their participation in three ARDF World Championships.  Grants from the fund have also been made to the organizers of two USA ARDF Championships.

No further contributions are anticipated from the original sources, so the fund has been opened to contributions from individuals and clubs.  All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged by ARRL, a registered 501(c)(3) organization.  Contributions may not be designated by donors to be granted to any specific recipient, individual or group.

Grants from the fund may be requested by groups sponsoring ARDF events in the USA and by individuals who have qualified to represent the USA in ARDF competitions sanctioned by the ARRL or the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).  Requests for grants should be submitted electronically at least 60 days in advance of need to the Development Office at ARRL Headquarters.  They will be reviewed by a committee that includes ARRL's Chief Executive Officer, Chief Development Officer and ARDF Committee.

You can help support ARDF in the USA by sending a donation to ARDF Development Fund, c/o ARRL, 225 East Main Street, Newington, CT 06111.  Checks should be made out to ARRL with "ARDF Development Fund" on the memo line.

The not-for-profit American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association of Amateur Radio operators, founded in 1914.  ARRL is a member society of the IARU.

ARDF Training and Practice

Local ARDF sessions for training and practice are sometimes held in the areas listed below.  If you are close to any of them, get involved!  If you're not, the task of developing ARDF locally is yours.  With the help of other hams in your town, it can be relatively easy and fun.  This may be just the activity to shake the doldrums out of your club.  Start planning now!

Results and Photos of Other Stateside ARDF Events in Recent Years

Current SoCal sessions -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2023.

SoCal 2022 -- Southern California (and Arizona) practice/demonstration events of 2022, including Yuma Hamfest, Hillcrest Park and Felicita Park.

SoCal 2021 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2021, including Lake Los Carneros, Hillcrest Park and Bonelli Regional Park.  (There were no events in 2020 due to COVID.)

SoCal 2019 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2019, including Bonelli Regional Park, Mt. Pinos, Guajome Regional Park, Hillcrest Park, Mission Viejo Community Park, Yuma Hamfest and Lake Los Carneros.

SoCal 2018 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2018, including Hillcrest Park, Lake Los Carneros (2), Mt. Pinos, Santa Fe Dam, Mission Bay Park and Bonelli Regional Park.

April 19 - 23, 2023 -- 22nd USA ARDF Championships near Sulphur Springs, TX.

April 7 - 10, 2022 -- 21st USA ARDF Championships in Triangle, VA.

October 14 - 17, 2021 -- Twentieth USA ARDF Championships in North Carolina.

July 28 - August 4, 2019 -- Nineteenth USA and Tenth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Raleigh, NC.

June 13 - 17, 2018 -- Eighteenth USA ARDF Championships near Truckee, CA.

For results and stories of events before 2018, see this site's Table of Contents

Additional ARDF Resources In This Site

THRDFS cover Go to International-Style Foxhunting Comes To The Americas -- An introduction to the sport with the history of its development in the Western Hemisphere

Go to Equipment Ideas for Radio-Orienteering -- Simple and inexpensive receiving and transmitting solutions

Go to Radio-Orienteering News for Southern California -- Results and stories of recent radio-orienteering events in southern California, plus announcements of upcoming ones.

Go to Foxhunting for Scouts -- Let's get the kids involved

Go to Extenders Aid Handicapped Foxhunters -- A novel way to include persons with disabilities

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This page updated 16 February 2024