There are different systems for controlling passage at controls and to take the times in orienteering events, from a simple punch card to different electronic control devices.

This article presents the SPORTident electronic control system. To find out more about the other control systems, see our Control card and puncher and EMIT pages.

This system includes the following elements:

  • Chip (SI-Card) carried by the athlete (normally attached to the finger) to record passage through controls;
  • Electronic stations at controls where the athlete must use their SI-Card (by inserting it into a hole in older models or just approaching it in more recent models)
  • Electronic station for the athlete to “download” their SI-Card after finishing the race, connected to a computer system that checks the correctness of the control points and the race time to automatically generate a classification.

Um atleta pode adquirir um SI-Card. No entanto, todas as organizações de provas de Orientação têm SI-Cards para alugar para essa prova.

An athlete can purchase an SI-Card. However, all orienteering events, organizations have SI-Cards to rent.


If you participate in Orienteering events that use the SPORTident system, you will need a SI-Card chip. All SI-Cards are compatible with all SPORTident control stations.

There are several models of SI-Cards (pCard, SI-card8, SI-card9, SI-card10, SIAC), which differ in recording speed and memory size for data storage. The control numbers and their passage times are stored internally on the SI-Card until they are cleared at a “CLEAR” control station.

Below we detail the various models, from the most recent and advanced to the oldest:


The SIAC (SPORTident ActiveCard) has AIR+ functionality, which means that passage through controls is recorded without contact (i.e., you do not need to insert the SI-Card into the station). The brand announces that registration can be done up to 3 meters, however athletes are recommended to pass closer to the station.

This device can be used in both AIR+ mode and “normal” mode where remote detection is turned off.

In AIR+ mode, as there is no contact, the SIAC itself emits a sound signal and another light signal when a control is registered (which is why athletes are seen bringing the chip closer to their ear after passing a point). SIACs can be configured to produce only the light signal (“blink only” mode).

Because they have a contactless system and produce sound and light signals, SIACs (unlike other SI-Cards) have an internal battery. This battery only goes into consumption mode when the athlete does the “Check” (at the dedicated station) and turns off when he passes the finish station at the end of the race. Therefore, an athlete who withdraws from his race must always go to the finish to register at the finish control and only then the SIAC will be deactivated. When the SIAC is configured and used in “normal” mode (AIR+ off), activation is not required and there is no battery power consumption.

  • Capacity: 128 points
  • Data exchange speed: 60 ms
  • Number range: 8 000 001 – 8 999 999


The SI-Card10 inaugurated the third generation of SI-Cards, being the first model with a data recording speed of just 60 ms (the SI-Card9 only manages 115 ms) so it is almost twice as fast as previous models .

It also has a much higher storage capacity, with capacity for 120 points (the SI-Card9 only stores 50 points).

  • Capacity: 128 points
  • Data exchange speed: 60 ms
  • Number range: 7 000 001 – 7 999 999


The SI-Card9 belongs to the second generation of SI-Cards with a storage capacity of 50 points, which was a great improvement compared to the SI-Card8 (which only recorded 30 points, which was limiting for routes with many points).

  • Capacity: 50 points
  • Data exchange speed: 115 ms
  • Number range: 1 000 001 – 1 999 999


SI-Card8 inaugurated the second generation of SI-Cards and is the oldest SI-Card model still on sale by SPORTident.

  • Capacity: 30 points
  • Data exchange speed: 115 ms
  • Number range: 2 000 001 – 2 999 999


pCard is an economical solution fully compatible with the classic SPORTident system. Compared to other SI-Cards, pCard has a different shape and only stores 20 points.

However, it has the speed of second generation SI-Cards (115 ms).

This pCard can be personalized with full color printing on both sides, e.g. with the organizer or sponsors logo.

  • Capacity: 20 points
  • Data exchange speed: 115 ms
  • Number range: 4 000 001 – 2 999 999

Estações eletrónicas

SPORTident stations are the main infrastructure devices to enable timing and identification at control points.

Currently the stations are quite robust and waterproof. They can be used without having to carry out any configuration, however, it is possible to configure them to change some characteristics of their operation.

The stations consume a very low level of energy, which allows for very long operating times before the battery needs to be changed or recharged.

SPORTident stations are RFID readers that work at low frequencies, meaning they even work underwater and generate very homogeneous RFID fields, which allows time recording with high precision.

Outras informações

Comparative table of all SI-Card models, including some that have already been discontinued.