Competition formats will be adapted to the needs of the participants who the activity is prepared for. The most important part is that participants start at set intervals, to prevent them from following each other and to prevent groups from forming at each control. So, participants start every 20, 30, or 60 seconds depending on the number of participants.
As these are shorter races than normal, it becomes almost necessary to hold one, two, or three rounds in which the level of difficulty of each course continues to increase. This allows everyone to get familiar with the map and those who are new to the activity can see how races work. It also means that, in the final rounds, the most experienced participants can enjoy the highest difficulty.
The activity’s total duration—with all the rounds—can also be adapted to the needs of participants and facilities, but it normally takes around two hours. This is enough time to take part in a full activity, but it never becomes tiresome.
Courses can be held during the day or at night, making darkness and the use of a headlamp components which increase the difficulty participants must adapt to.
To make the event more competitive, differences can be made between the rounds, making the last round into a final. In the final, the best 6, 8, or 10 times from the previous rounds can compete for the victory, meaning participants must have the best time to advance to the final. In terms of the final, it is very common to have a mass start of qualifiers. In other words, they all start running at the same time, with different forkings, so that the first person to arrive at the finish who has done the entire course correctly is the winner. Once all the qualifiers have finished running, the other runners can start separated by a set time as in the previous rounds.