At a team competition, the runners of each team start together. The start list is drawn like for individual events so that all teams are starting with an equal start interval. However, mass starts are also possible.
Each team runs a normal O course (obligate controls). Additionally there are distributed controls. Each runner in the team must visit the obligate controls. The distributed controls have to be visited by at least one runner. Thus, the team has to find a solution how to distribute the team controls in the best way according to their expected individual performances. The goal is to finish as close together as possible. The time of the last runner counts for the team result.
This can be done either using a single or using several SI cards.
OLTeam V.10.2 (OT2003) supports several methods which differ in how the obligate controls will be computed.
The obligate controls must be punched in the predefined order like a normal course. Distributed controls can be punched inbetween.
Each runner must punch the first obligate control as the very first one and the last obligate control as the very last one. All distributed controls which had been punched before and afterwards, will not be counted.
This method is used in Germany for team O championships.
This method is nearly the same as the German method. The difference is that it is allowed to punch distributed controls at any time, also before and after all obligate controls.
This method got its name from the Harris event, which is held every year by the British Army as a part of their O championships.
There is no predefined order for the obligate controls. Every runner can punch them in arbitrary order.
Special case: courses without distributed controls
OT2003 also supports team competitions where the teams run an ordinary O course (only). Just define the course as obligate controls and leave the distributed list empty.
With the open method, you have the possibility to allow arbitrary punch orders.
OT2003 covers those methods by special functions, for example course definitions, code checking, SI card evaluation and results. Additional functions had been copied partly from OE2003 (f. ex. the start list draw), and partly from OS2003 (f. ex. entries and all reports).
A first version of OLTeam had been used at the German Team Championships 1999, which I had organised myself with my club