Note: Some of the practices described below may vary from country to country, as noted.
WALKING – The most popular Volkssport
First, to participate in any event, you will need to register, either by purchasing a start card or signing a register. Registration fees are very modest, and only sufficient to recover costs. Most often, you may choose the distance you wish to do. Routes of 5 km and 10 km are most frequent, with longer distances available on some walks. For your first walk, especially if children accompany you, we recommend the shorter one. Count on one hour of walking at a fair pace for each 5 km of distance.
Each participant must register according to the local procedure. If you have preregistered for the event, and paid the appropriate fee in advance, you are ready to pick up your start card or sign the register to let the organizers know you are present.
There is often an opportunity to purchase a souvenir award for the specific event. This may be in the form of a medal, a patch, a pin, a certificate or other souvenir. If you have planned to buy a souvenir award, you will receive it after completing the walk. Most often the award will be available at the event; otherwise, the club will mail it to you.
A walker may begin when he has signed the register or completed a start card. A start stamp may be required. Most often, maps and written instructions for the route to be walked are given to participants. Sometimes, a course may be clearly marked, usually with signs of different colours, coloured tape, chalk marks on the ground, etc. Be alert to watch for turns or course intersections, which will also be clearly marked. If in doubt, other walkers will be glad to help you.
For security purposes, you may find checkpoints along the route. Show your start card there to be stamped, or respond to simple questions (if any) indicated on your instruction sheet. There may be first aid supplies at checkpoints and refreshments, usually free or for which you may be asked to pay a small price.
At the end of the walk, the Finish point will be clearly marked. It is almost the same as the Start point. All walkers should check back in, either by singing the registration sheet or returning their start card. If you have IVV Record Books, they will be stamped by the organizers. You will also receive your souvenir award, if prepaid or available.
There may be drinks and food available at the finish point, or places indicated nearby to meet and socialize with other walkers. Members of the host club can give you further information about their program, and there may also be information tables where you will find brochures about future IVV events.
IVV ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS PROGRAM - Record books
Individuals may buy IVV Record Books at a price that is set by the national association. There are two types of books: an Event Book (in which records are kept of the number of volkssport events in which the person participates) and a Distance Book (in which actual numbers of kilometres completed are kept). A person may chose to buy one book or the other, but most people buy both books to keep records of both Events and Distance.
Books are printed in different colours, as determined by the achievement level a person has reached. According to national member policy, differently priced books may be available depending upon your choice of receiving only a certificate as an award, or also a combination of a pin, patch and certificate. The price of the books is set to recover costs only. Books are sold at volkssport events and any other place an association or club may want to sell them.
If travelling, and you need to purchase a new book outside your home country, you may do so, but the first stamp in the book must be for an event done in the country of purchase.
RECORD BOOKS - Purchase and use
IVV Record Books are not transferable. Each participant must have his/her own book. You may be asked to provide personal data as proof of ownership.
Each event is assigned a certain number by the national association. An ink stamp is made that has on it 1) the year; 2) the IVV logo; 3) the symbol of the national association; 4) the event number.
When a participant completes the event, he presents his book and the stamp is placed in the book as documentation of his accomplishment. The Event Book is stamped with no additional notation, but the Distance Book is stamped, and the actual number of kilometres completed is also noted in the book. Distance (kilometres) credit is only given for walking, cycling, snowshoeing and cross-country ski events. Cycling distances are recorded only in special books for cycling events. Participants in other types of events (swimming, kayaking, inline skating, etc.) only receive credit in their Event Books.
Recent revisions to the IVV Rules (2009, 2010) require that walks offer at least a distance of 10 or more kilometres, with other possibilities starting at 5 kilometres. The participant may receive an IVV event stamp per day and kind of sports event. An event stamp per day may given for Permanent Walks, or according to any other period as approved by the national associations.
If an event is held on more than one day (and there is a different course each day), a separate Event stamp may be assigned for each day and each course. Then, a participant may earn a stamp in his Event Book for each course he completes.
It is wise to keep a copy of your book before mailing as proof of the stamps you have received. Books cannot be replicated if they are lost.
Organizers of the events may also answer any further questions you may have about books.
IVV AWARDS - When and how are awards earned?
When a participant reaches various levels of achievement (for example, completes a designated number of events or accumulates a certain number of kilometres), he may present his book to the national association's office to receive his reward. If there is no national association, the person may send it to the address of the national association shown on the front of his book.
IVV AWARDS - Event Book Award Levels
The award levels are printed on the back of the record books and are as follows:
- after 10, 30 and 50 events;
- then, after every 25 events until reaching 600;
- from 600 after every 50 events until reaching 1500 events;
- from 1500 after every 100 events
IVV AWARDS - Distance Book Award Levels
- after every 500 Km until reaching 8000 Km;
- from 8000 Km after every 1000 Km until reaching 22,000;
- from 22,000 Km after every 3000 Km;
- from 25,000 Km after every 5000 Km.
IVV AWARDS - What are the awards?
Attractive pins, patches, and certificates signifying different achievement levels for both Distance and number of Events.
IVV AWARDS - Can a person use his IVV Record Book in other countries?
Yes, the procedures at every "sanctioned" IVV event (an event approved by the IVV or its member) is the same. The same type stamp is used in the books.
IVV AWARDS – Can the book be "processed" (redeemed for an award) in a country other than the participant´s home country?
No. Even if the book was bought abroad, it must be returned only to the office of the participant´s own national association. The office address is on books and this web site.
IVV AWARDS - Are there any other awards a person can earn?
Yes, usually a club will have a commemorative pin, patch, mug, T-shirt etc. that a participant may purchase to remind him of the event. These are attractive souvenirs.