Yes. No ham radio license is required to compete in ARDF. Only about half of the competitors at the World ARDF Champs, for example, seemed to be licensed radio operators. So when spring comes next year all orienteers will be welcome to try it out. We tend to get participants from both the radio and the orienteering communities by and large so it is common for non-radio people to find themselves in ARDF.
You *do* need to be a licensed HAM to *transmit* the radio signals from the control locations...in other words to host an event and set up the transmitters you have to be licensed, but not required to compete/receive the signal. I will be getting my HAM license done soon, on the last chapter of my studying now, so I will be able to host/transmit. Not much of it is new info as I've had lots of professional and volunteer radio experience outside the amateur bands, so just have to get this formality finished and then I'll be good to go.
How rough is the licensing? Do we need someone to set for you to train at all?
It's pretty easy if you already have radio experience which I do, so I should have my license next month. Already getting good scores on the practice tests so I just need to schedule it.
At this point I don't need to train anyone, but if it starts getting popular I forsee having a few of us quald. There's already a guy or two in the radio club that might be good candidates.
And the other piece is the equipment. I'm going to be ordering a set of tiny low power 3.5 MHz transmitters to use in the "Foxoring" race format which is the version orienteers will most easily transfer into. For $150 I get a kit of 10 TXs. The Classic format races, however, are a bigger cost and much more technical to set up. Involves things like building ammo can TX boxes, laying antennas in a tree, and programming software. So I'm planning to start with the easy version (Fox-O) but I'm sure the radio club and my ARDF friends will be able to help get us started with the Classic formats.