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USAT Rule Book

Table of Contents

Competitive Rules

Article I: Scope, Purpose and Construction
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Construction
1.4 Rules Exceptions and Additions

Article II: Membership
2.1 Membership/ Permit Requirements
2.2 Membership Eligibility
2.3 Athlete's Membership Rights
2.4 Membership Categories
2.5 Prize Money
2.6 Single Event Permits

Article III: General Rules of Conduct and Penalties
3.1 Preparation and Training
3.2 Age Group Competition
3.3 General Conduct
3.4 Race Conduct
3.5 Unregistered Participants
3.6 Penalties and Prohibited Conduct
3.7 Time Penalties
3.7A Time Penalties for Elites
3.8 Acts Warranting Suspension
3.9 Effect Of Suspension
3.10 Reinstatement
3.11 Notice Of Disciplinary Action
3.12 Acts of Agents

Article IV: Swimming Conduct
4.1 Permissible Strokes
4.2 Bottom Contact and Resting
4.3 Emergencies
4.4 Wetsuits
4.5 Notice Of Wetsuit Policy
4.6 Measuring Water Temperature
4.7 Official Equipment
4.8 Goggles
4.9 Illegal Equipment

Article V: Cycling Conduct
5.1 Propulsion
5.2 Forward Progress
5.3 Knowledge of Course
5.4 Traffic Laws
5.5 Endangerment
5.6 Accidents
5.7 Dismounting
5.8 Illegal Equipment
5.9 Helmets
5.9A Helmets - Elite Rules
5.10 Position Fouls
5.10A Position Fouls - Elite Rules
5.10B Position Foul Penalties - Elite Rules
5.10C Assessment of Time Penalties/Conduct of Athletes - Elite Rules
5.10D Suspension Periods - Elite Rules
5.11 Bicycle Specifications
5.12 Untraditional or Unusual Bicycle Equipment

Article VI: Running Conduct
6.1 Permitted Conduct
6.2 Knowledge of the Course
6.3 Permitted and Illegal Equipment
6.4 Run Example

Article VII: Transition Area Conduct
7.1 Entering and Exiting
7.2 Placement of Equipment
7.3 Bicycle Placement
7.4 Obstruction and Interference
7.5 Glass Containers
7.6 Indecent Exposure

Article VIII: Doping Control Rules
8.1 Policy
8.2 Incorporation of Rules
8.3 Adoption of USADA Protocol

Article IX: Race Officiation
9.1 Race Officials
9.2 Head Referee
9.3 Powers of Head Referee
9.4 Duties of Head Referee
9.5 Official Race Results
9.6 Race Marshals
9.7 Judges
9.8 Head Timer

Article X: Protests
10.1 Proper Subject of Protest
10.2 Protests Involving Eligibility
10.3 Standing to File Protest
10.4 Summary Dismissal of Protest
10.5 Time for Filing Protests
10.6 Contents of Protest
10.7 Notice of Protest
10.8 Protest Committee
10.9 Protest Hearing
10.10 Protest Ruling
10.11 Effect of Protest Decision
10.12 Announcement of Official Results
10.13 Presence of Participants

Article XI: Hearings and Appeals
11.1 Board of Hearings and Appeals
11.2 Proper Subject of Appeal
11.3 Appeals of Protests and Other Matters
11.4 Disciplinary Hearings
11.5 Appeal to Board of Directors
11.6 Emergency Hearings and Appeals
11.7 Investigations and Inquiries
11.8 Compliance with Final Ruling

Addendum: Physically Challenged
PC 1.0 General
PC 1.1 Classification 
PC 1.2 Competition Categories
PC 1.3 Swimming Conduct
PC 1.4 Handlers
PC 1.5 Transition Areas
PC 1.6 Cycling Conduct
PC 1.7 Running Conduct

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Competitive Rules

The Competitive Rules are intended to provide for the orderly and consistent administration of events sanctioned by USA Triathlon and are not designed to establish standards of care for the safety of participants or other persons. Every participant, official, volunteer and spectator should consider all safety issues and make related decisions prudently without reliance upon the Competitive Rules.

USA Triathlon makes no express or implied warranty, guarantee, or representation regarding the degree of safety, which may or may not result from compliance with the Competitive Rules. Examinations or inspections of equipment at sanctioned events are undertaken solely to monitor compliance with the Competitive Rules and do not guarantee or ensure safety from personal injury or property damage. The safety of race equipment is the sole responsibility of each and every participant.

Article I

Scope, Purpose and Construction

1.1 Scope. These Competitive Rules ("Rules") are adopted by USA Triathlon and govern the administration of all races and events sanctioned by USA Triathlon. These Rules are binding on all members of USA Triathlon and all persons who enter or participate in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon.

1.2 Purpose. These Rules are designed to set forth a standard set of parameters within which athletes can participate in triathlons and compete in a positive atmosphere of equal opportunity. These Rules are intended:

  • To promote and maintain sportsmanship, equal opportunity and fair play;
  • To encourage and reward individual performance and initiative;
  • To protect the health, safety, and well being of participants;
  • To promote the integrity of sport and triathlon as a positive cultural force in modern day society; and
  • To foster the foregoing ideals through the establishment and enforcement of punitive rules.

1.3 Construction. These Rules shall be interpreted and construed in a manner consistent with their purpose. Whenever the context so indicates, the masculine or feminine gender, and the singular or plural number, shall be construed to include the other.

1.4 Rules Exceptions and Additions. For any particular event, a race director may request from USA Triathlon a specific exception or addition to these Rules. Any such request should be made with the consideration of the participant's safety as the highest priority. All requests for Rule changes must be made in writing. All exceptions or additions to these Rules must be expressly approved in writing by the Executive Director of USA Triathlon and must be announced to all participants prior to the event.

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Article II

Membership

2.1 Membership/ Permit Requirements.

All participants in events sanctioned by USA Triathlon must be members of USA Triathlon and be able to present a valid annual membership card or must purchase a USA Triathlon single event permit. Any athlete who intentionally participates in an event despite lack of membership or ineligibility for the relevant membership class shall be suspended or barred from membership in USA Triathlon and barred from participation in any sanctioned event for a period of up to one year.

2.2 Membership Eligibility.

Membership in USA Triathlon is available to all persons in good standing with USA Triathlon who submit a completed application, pay the required membership fee, and comply with all the requirements determined by USA Triathlon to be applicable to the specific category of membership desired. No person shall be denied membership on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2.3 Athletes’ Membership Rights.

All athletes shall be entitled to due process with respect to any action revoking or suspending the athlete's membership in USA Triathlon. Due process shall include:

  1. Reasonable notice (usually in writing ) of the charges or allegations made against the athlete;

  2. A reasonable time within which to prepare a defense and to answer the charges or allegations;

  3. The opportunity to respond to the charges and the ability to have the assistance of legal counsel in the preparation of any defense;

  4. A hearing before an impartial and disinterested decision-making body; and

  5. The ability to appeal an adverse decision and notice of the proper procedure for making such an appeal.

No person shall be suspended from USA Triathlon or declared ineligible to participate in USA Triathlon sanctioned events without fair notice of the allegations against such person and the opportunity for a hearing.

2.4 Membership Categories.

Annual membership in USA Triathlon will be available in the following categories and subject to the following requirements:

  1. (1) Elite. Elite annual membership will be available to certain qualified, highly competitive, and experienced athletes. An Elite is eligible to receive prize money directly. Except as otherwise determined by USA Triathlon, no person may be granted Elite membership unless that person submits proof that, in at least three (3) different USA Triathlon sanctioned events occurring within a twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the date of application, the athlete has officially finished as one of the top ten (10) males or females overall and within ten percent (10%) of the winning male's or winning female's time, whichever the case may be. For the purposes of this Rule, sanctioned events with less than 200 finishers shall be disregarded.  

    * Any person wishing to apply for an exception to the above requirements in order to obtain an Elite annual membership should contact USA Triathlon (info@usatriathlon.org)  for special consideration.

    (2) Elite Collegiate: Athlete who qualifies according to the criteria listed above, and does not accept prize money. 

    Foreign Elite athletes holding an Elite license from their National Federation or having raced as an Elite in international events are prohibited from competing within age group categories as an age group athlete or for age group awards in events where there is an Elite division or awards. Prior to entering any USAT event, foreign athletes must disclose their elite/pro status and that failure to disclose such is cause for Disqualification and up to a one year suspension from USAT sanctioned events.
     

  2. Age Group. The following divisions shall be available within the Age Group category of membership: (i) regular membership; (ii) youth membership (7 to 17 years of age).

2.5 Prize Money.

When prize money is available in any event, no restrictive rules or conditions which have the effect of impeding performance may be placed upon any one category of members or group of participants unless such rules or conditions are imposed equally upon all those participants who are eligible for prize money.

2.6 Single Event Permits.

At the discretion of USA Triathlon, persons who are not annual members of USA Triathlon may be allowed to participate in certain sanctioned events through the issuance of a single event permit. USA Triathlon shall determine the fee and establish the requirements necessary to obtain a single event permit. Any person obtaining a single event permit shall be subject to all of the Rules, Regulations and Policies of USA Triathlon.

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Article III

 

General Rules of Conduct and Penalties

3.1 Preparation and Training.

No person shall participate in a triathlon or other multi-sport events unless such person;

(a) is trained adequately for that specific event, as might be expected of a prudent person entering a similar competition, and

(b) is in excellent health, based on recent training, physical examinations, if any, and generally accepted standards of good health.

3.2 Age Group Competition.

(a) All age group athletes must participate and compete in the age group division corresponding to the athlete’s actual age on the date of the event.

(b) Clydesdale/Athena Categories - The official minimum weight standards for this category is 200 pounds for men, 150 pounds for women, to be monitored by the local race director. The age breakdown will be 39 years of age and under and 40 years of age and over.

3.3 General Conduct.

At or during an event, or while at the event site, all participants must:

  1. Act in compliance with these Competitive Rules;

  2. Conduct themselves in a matter that is not offensive in any way to fellow participants, spectators, officials or volunteers and is considered reasonable and acceptable in the community;

  3. Treat all participants, officials, volunteers and spectators with fairness, respect and courtesy;

  4. Refrain from the use of abusive language or conduct; and

  5. After violating any of the Competitive Rules, report such violation to the Head Referee or retire from the event.

3.4 Race Conduct.

All participants in USA Triathlon sanctioned events must adhere to the Rules in this Section 3.4:

  1. Entire Course. Participants must cover the prescribed course in its entirety. It is the participant's responsibility to know the course. Any violation of this section, even if no advantage is gained, shall result in a variable time penalty, unless the Head Referee in his sole discretion determines that (i) the violation was substantial and resulted in an unfair time advantage, or (ii) the violation constituted endangerment under Section 3.4(l). In the event the Head Referee makes such a determination, the penalty shall be disqualification.

  2. Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Participants shall refrain from unsportsmanlike conduct, including the improper use of language or conduct directed toward an official. Violations of this Section shall result in disqualification or a variable time penalty depending on the severity of the violation as determined in the sole discretion of the Head Referee.

  3. Obstruction. Participants shall refrain from intentionally or accidentally blocking, charging, obstructing, or interfering with the forward progress of another participant. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

  4. Unauthorized Assistance. No participant shall accept from any person (other than a race official) physical assistance in any form, including food, drink, equipment, support, pacing, a replacement bicycle or bicycle parts, unless an express exception has been granted and approved, in writing, by USA Triathlon. The receipt of information regarding the progress, split times, or location of other competitors on the race course shall not be considered the acceptance of unauthorized assistance. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

  5. Re-entry. Upon leaving the course, a participant shall re-enter the course and continue at the same point of departure. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty, unless the Head Referee in his sole discretion determines that (i) the violation was substantial and resulted in an unfair time advantage, or (ii) the violation constituted endangerment under Section 3.4(l), in which case the penalty shall be disqualification.

  6. Race Numbers. Participants shall plainly display their race numbers at all times, and shall maintain the race number in an unaltered, unobstructed and readable state at the start and finish gates, in the transition areas, and on the course. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

  7. Unfair Advantage. No participant shall use his body, head, arms, or legs to gain an unfair advantage, or to push, pull, hold, strike, or force through one or more participants. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

  8. Abandoned Equipment. No participant shall leave any equipment or personal gear on the race course. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

  9. Unauthorized Accessories. No participant shall, at any time during the event, use or wear a hard cast, headset, radio or any other item deemed dangerous by the Head Referee. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

  10. Glass Containers. No participant shall utilize any glass bottles or glass containers at any time during the event. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty, unless the Head Referee determines that such conduct constituted endangerment under section 3.4(l), in which case the penalty shall be disqualification.

  11. Unauthorized Equipment. No participant shall use any equipment which the Head Referee determines to be improper, including but not limited to equipment which might provide an unfair advantage or endanger other participants. Unless otherwise provided for in these Rules, any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

  12. Endangerment. No participant shall commit any dangerous act which could cause injury to any participant. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

  13. Wave Starts. When the beginning of any event is commenced by starting designated "waves" or groups of participants at different times, all participants shall start in and with the proper wave or group. Any participant who violates this section by starting in an improper and earlier wave or group shall be disqualified. Any participant who starts in an open, elite or other special wave shall be ineligible for age group awards and USAT national rankings.

3.5 Unregistered Participants.

  1. Any person who participates in any portion of a sanctioned event without first properly registering and paying any required registration fee shall be suspended or barred from membership in USA Triathlon and barred from participation in any sanctioned event for a period of up to one year.

  2. Any person who in any way assists another athlete to violate Section 3.5a by providing or selling a race number to that athlete shall be suspended or barred from membership in USA Triathlon and barred from participation in any sanctioned event for a period of up to one year. 

Any second violation of this Section shall result in a lifetime suspension or ban from membership in USA Triathlon.

3.6 Penalties and Prohibited Conduct.

Penalties, including disqualification and suspension, may be imposed upon race participants and/or members of USA Triathlon who violate any of these Competitive Rules or who solicit, encourage, or assist a violation of these Rules. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, the specific penalty to be imposed in any given case shall depend on the nature and severity of the violation as determined by the Head Referee or USA Triathlon. The following penalties may be imposed for a violation of these Rules:

  1. Assessment of a time penalty

  2. Disqualification

  3. Written reprimand or censure

  4. Monetary fines

  5. Suspension from membership in USA Triathlon ( including retroactive suspension) and

  6. Permanent expulsion from USA Triathlon.

3.7 Time Penalties.

  1. In General. A time penalty may be imposed for a violation of any Section of these Rules in which a time penalty is expressly authorized. In the event that a participant is assessed a time penalty, the applicable time period shall be added to that participant's aggregate finishing time in calculating official race results. Except as otherwise provided in Section 5.10B of these rules, time penalties shall be cumulative and a participant may be assessed more than one time penalty for violations of the same rule.
     

  2. Variable Time Penalties. A "variable time penalty" as used in these Rules shall mean a time penalty that varies in accordance with the distance category of the event. The variable time penalty for each of the distance categories shall be the following:

 

Distance Category

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Short or Sprint

1:00 minute

2:00 minutes

Disqualification

International & Olympic

2:00 minutes

4:00 minutes

Disqualification

Long

4:00 minutes

8:00 minutes

Disqualification

Ultra

6:00 minutes

12:00 minutes

Disqualification

USA Triathlon or the AAC shall determine and publish the criteria pursuant to which distance categories are defined for purposes of this Section. The "long" distance category shall include events equal to one-half of the Ironman distance, and the "ultra" distance category shall include Ironman distance events.

3.7A. Time Penalties for Elites. 

A "variable time penalty" as used in these Rules shall mean a time penalty that varies in accordance with the distance category of the event. The variable time penalty for each of the distance categories shall be the following: 

Distance Category      Time Penalty in Minutes
Short or Sprint :30
International  1:00
Long 2:00
Ultra 4:00

3.8 Acts Warranting Suspension.

In addition to other penalties that may be imposed at the discretion of USA Triathlon, the following acts may be grounds for suspension for a period of time designated by USA Triathlon:

  1. A flagrant or willful violation of the Competitive Rules;

  2. Gross or continued unsportsmanlike conduct;

  3. Physical violence directed toward a race official, participant, volunteer, spectator, or other person;

  4. Any fraudulent act, such as falsifying name or age, filing a false affidavit or protest, or providing false information to USA Triathlon, the Board of Hearings and Appeals, or race officials;

  5. Intentionally participating in an event despite failure to register, lack of membership, or ineligibility for the relevant membership class;

  6. Repetitive or recurring violations of the Competitive Rules;

  7. Failure to notify a race official after withdrawing from a race;

  8. Violation of the Medical Control Rules as set forth in Article VIII;

  9. Refusal to abide by the final determination by USA Triathlon on any matter relating to these Rules or the sport of triathlon; and

  10. Any act which disgraces or brings discredit to the sport of triathlon.

3.9 Effect of Suspension.

Any person suspended from membership in USA Triathlon shall be ineligible to participate in any USA Triathlon sanctioned event and shall be disqualified from any USA Triathlon sanctioned event during the suspension period and until such time as that person has applied for and received written notice of reinstatement from USA Triathlon.

3.10 Reinstatement.

Any person who has been suspended must apply in writing to USA Triathlon for reinstatement after or immediately preceding expiration of the suspension period.

3.11 Notice of Disciplinary Actions.

Any person reprimanded, censured, suspended, or expelled from USA Triathlon shall be entitled to receive reasonable notice of such disciplinary action.

3.12 Acts of Agents.

The conduct of any agent acting with apparent authority on behalf of a participant shall constitute grounds for penalizing such participant if such agent's conduct violates any of these Rules.

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Article IV

Swimming Conduct

4.1 Permissible Strokes.

Swimmers may use any stroke to propel themselves through the water, and may tread water or float.

4.2 Bottom Contact and Resting.

A participant may stand on the bottom or rest by holding an inanimate object such as a buoy, boat, rope or floating object. Excluding the bottom, a participant shall not use any inanimate object to gain forward progress. A violation of this section shall result in a variable time penalty, unless the Head Referee in his/her sole discretion determines that (i) the violation was substantial and resulted in an unfair time advantage, or (ii) the violation constituted endangerment under Section 3.4(l).

4.3 Emergencies.

A swimmer experiencing difficulty and in need of assistance shall raise an arm overhead, and pump it up and down, and call or seek assistance. A swimmer who has received official assistance, whether voluntary or involuntary, must retire and withdraw from the remainder of the race unless such assistance did not aid the swimmer in making forward progress. No swimmer shall return to the race if the official rendering assistance requests that the participant withdraw from the race or receive medical assistance. 

4.4 Wet suits.

Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wet suit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wet suit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who wear a wet suit within this temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Age group participants shall not wear wet suits in water temperatures equal to or greater than 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The wetsuit policy for elite athletes shall be determined by the USAT Athletes Advisory Council.

4.5 Notice Of Wet Suit Policy.

The wet suit policy for any particular race shall be included on all race literature that is intended for distribution to potential participants. The wet suit policy shall conform to Section 4.4, unless a change is granted in compliance with Section 1.4. The wet suit policy on such literature shall include the following information, if applicable:

(a) Any changes from Section 4.4;
(b) Any specific restrictions on equipment;
(c) Any disparity between the wet suit policy for age group athletes and the policy for elite athletes.

4.6 Measuring Water Temperature.

It is recommended, but not required that the water temperature for a race be finally determined by a measurement made within 2 hours of the race start. Measurements should be made in at least three locations on the swim course, spaced so as to divide the entire swim course into approximately equidistant segments, and measured at a depth of 18 inches below the surface of the water, at points where direct sunlight can strike the water. The water temperature for the race should be determined by averaging the three temperature measurements taken. A water temperature measurement should also be taken prior to any pre-race meetings in order to forecast to the athletes as early as possible the likely water temperature on race day and the likelihood of whether wet suits will be allowed on race day.

4.7 Official Equipment.

If provided by race management, a swimmer shall wear the proper official swim cap corresponding to his wave. The penalty for an infraction of this rule is a variable time penalty. For safety reasons if no official cap is provided, all swimmers should wear their own brightly colored swim cap.

4.8 Goggles.

Swimmers may wear, but shall not be required to wear, swim goggles or face masks.

4.9 Illegal Equipment.

Any swimmer wearing any artificial propulsion device, including but not limited to fins, gloves, paddles, or floating devices of any kind shall be disqualified.

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Article V

Cycling Conduct

5.1 Propulsion.

All bicycles shall be propelled only by human force and human power. Other than pushing a bicycle, any propulsive action brought on by use of the hands is prohibited. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

5.2 Forward Progress.

Participants shall not make any forward progress unaccompanied by their bicycle. If a bicycle is rendered inoperable, a participant may proceed on the cycling course, running or walking, while pushing or carrying the bicycle, so long as the bicycle is pushed or carried in a manner not to obstruct or impede the progress of other participants. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

5.3 Knowledge of Course.

The sole responsibility of knowing and following the prescribed cycling course rests with each participant. No adjustments in times or results shall be made for participants who fail to follow the proper course for any reason whatsoever.

5.4 Traffic Laws.

All participants must obey all traffic laws while on the cycling course unless otherwise specifically directed by a USA Triathlon official, race monitor or designee with actual authority. Unless otherwise directed in accordance with the preceding sentence, all participants shall come to a complete stop when required by a traffic sign or traffic control device and shall not proceed through any intersection unless such intersection is clear of oncoming traffic. In no case shall a cyclist cross a solid yellow line indicating a no passing zone. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification or a variable time penalty as determined in the sole discretion of the Head Referee.

5.5 Endangerment.

No cyclist shall endanger himself or another participant. Any cyclist who intentionally presents a danger to any participant or who, in the judgment of the Head Referee, appears to present a danger to any participant shall be disqualified.

5.6 Accidents.

All participants shall exercise extreme caution and shall decrease speed if necessary in passing the site of any cycling accident. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

5.7 Dismounting.

A participant may dismount, but shall not interfere with other cyclists. A violation of this Section, which does not also constitute a violation of Section 5.5, shall result in a variable time penalty.

5.8 Illegal Equipment.

Any participants who any time uses, wears or carries a headset, radio, headphones, or any other item described in Section 3.4(i) shall be assessed a variable time penalty.

5.9 Helmets.

(a) Type of Helmet. All participants shall wear a protective head cover, undamaged and unaltered, which meets or exceeds the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Helmets manufactured prior to March 10, 1999 must meet or exceed the safety standards of (i) the American National Standard Institute (ANSI Z-90.4), (ii) The Snell Memorial Foundation (Protective Headgear for Bicycle Users), or (iii) ASTM F-1446 or F-1447, and which is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standards. Removal of helmet cover, if required for that helmet to meet such safety standards, shall constitute an impermissible alteration in violation of this Section 5.9(a). Any violation of this Section 5.9(a) shall result in disqualification.

(b) Chin Strap Violations. The helmet must be fastened before the participant first mounts the bicycle, at all times when the participant is on the bicycle, and must not be unfastened until the participant has dismounted. Any violation of this Section 5.9(b) which occurs while the participant is in the transition area shall result in a variable time penalty. Any other violation of this Section shall result in disqualification. This Section 5.9(b) shall be enforced at all times while at the event site on race day.

5.9A Helmets. Rule for Elites

(a) Type of Helmet. All participants shall wear a protective head cover, undamaged and unaltered, which meets or exceeds the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Helmets manufactured prior to March 10, 1999 must meet or exceed the safety standards of the American National Standard Institute (ANSI Z-90.4) or the Snell Memorial Foundation (Protective Headgear for Bicycle Users) and which is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standards. Removal of a helmet cover, if required for that helmet to meet such safety standards, or the addition of elastic to the helmet strap shall constitute an impermissible alteration in violation of this Section. Any violation of this Section 5.9A(a) shall result in disqualification.

(b) Use of Helmet. The helmet must be properly placed on the head and fastened before the participant first mounts the bicycle, at all times when the participant is on the bicycle, and must not be unfastened or removed unless the participant has dismounted. Any violation of this Section 5.9A(b) shall result in disqualification. Not withstanding the preceding sentence, a participant shall not be disqualified if the helmet strap unintentionally and temporarily becomes unattached, and the participant immediately comes to a full stop and repairs the strap and replaces the helmet while fully stopped with both feet on the ground.

(c) Chinstraps. The helmet strap must be unsnapped at the start of the race and must remain unsnapped until the athlete is prepared to begin the bicycle portion of the event. The helmet strap must be snapped in the transition area immediately prior to beginning the bicycle course.

5.10 Position Fouls.

In accordance with the Rules as set forth in this Section, a participant is not permitted to position his bicycle in the proximity of another moving vehicle so as to benefit from reduced air resistance. While on the cycling course, participants shall not work together to improve performance, efficiency, or position by teamwork or other joint conduct. A variable time penalty shall be imposed for any violation of this Section.

(a) Illegal Positioning. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, while on the cycling course, no participant shall permit his drafting zone to intersect with or remain intersected with the drafting zone of another participant or that of a motor vehicle. With respect to a motor vehicle (including authorized race vehicles), it is the athlete's responsibility to move out of the vehicle's drafting zone or to continually communicate to the vehicle to move away.

(b) Definition of Drafting Zone. The term "drafting zone" shall refer to a rectangular area seven (7) meters long and two (2) meters wide surrounding each bicycle. The longer sides of the zone begin at the leading edge of the front wheel and run backward parallel to the bicycle; the front wheel divides the short side of the zone into two equal parts. With respect to a moving motor vehicle, the "drafting zone" is a rectangular area extending 15 meters to each side of the vehicle and 30 meters behind the vehicle.

(c) Right-of-Way. A participant is generally entitled to assume any otherwise proper location on the cycling course provided that the participant arrives in the position first without contacting another participant. When taking a position near another participant, however, a cyclist shall not crowd the other participant and shall allow reasonable space for the other participant to make normal movement without making contact.

(d) Blocking. Cyclists who have established the right of way must not block or obstruct the progress of another participant.

(e) Passing. A participant who approaches another cyclist from the rear or from another unfavorable position bears primary responsibility for avoiding a position foul even if the cyclist being approached decreases speed. A participant must not attempt to pass another cyclist unless adequate space is available and the athlete is confident of his/her ability to pass the other cyclist. All passing is to be done to the left of the cyclist being overtaken unless otherwise specified.

(f) Position. Except for reasons of safety and when no advantage is gained, all cyclists shall keep to the right of the prescribed course unless passing.

(g) Being Overtaken. When the leading edge of the front wheel of one cyclist passes beyond the front wheel of another cyclist, the second cyclist has been "overtaken" within the meaning of these Rules. A cyclist who has been overtaken bears primary responsibility for avoiding a position foul and must immediately move to the rear and out of the drafting zone of the passing cyclist. The overtaken cyclist shall first move completely out of the drafting zone of the other cyclist before attempting to re-pass the other cyclist. In no case, however, shall a participant move into the path of another participant possessing the right of way.

(h) Exceptions. A participant may enter the drafting zone without penalty only under the following conditions:

(1) When entering the drafting zone from the rear, closing the gap, and overtaking all within no more than 15 seconds.

(2) When cyclist reduce speed for safety reasons, for course blockage, for an aid station, for an emergency, when entering or exiting a transition area, or when making a turn of 90 degrees or more; or

(3) When USA Triathlon or the Head Referee expressly excludes a section of the bicycle course from the position foul Rules because of overly narrow lanes, construction, detours, or a similar reason.

5.10A Position Fouls. Rule for Elites

(a) Illegal Positioning. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, while on the cycling course, no participant shall permit his drafting zone to intersect with or remain intersected with the drafting zone of another participant or that of a motor vehicle. With respect to a motor vehicle (including authorized race vehicles), it is the athlete's responsibility to continually communicate to the vehicle to move away.

(b) Definition of Drafting Zone. The term "drafting zone" shall refer to a rectangular area surrounding every bicycle which shall be two (2) meters (approximately six feet) wide and shall extend ten (10) meters behind the bicycle. The longer sides of the drafting zone begin at the leading edge of the front wheel and run backward parallel to the bicycle extending ten (10) meters behind the bicycle; the front wheel divides the short side of the zone into two equal parts. The drafting zone therefore extends one meter (or approximately three feet) to each side of every bicycle and ten (10) meters behind every bicycle. With respect to a moving motor vehicle, the "drafting zone" is a rectangular area extending three (3) feet to each side of the vehicle and fifty (50) feet behind the vehicle.

(c) Exceptions. A participant may enter the drafting zone without penalty only pursuant to the following exceptions:

(1) When entering the drafting zone from the rear, closing the gap, and overtaking all within no more than 15 seconds; a participant may not, however, enter the drafting zone of another cyclist through side to side movement when not attempting to overtake or making forward progress to overtake the other cyclist; or

(2) When cyclists reduce speed for safety reasons, for course blockage, for an aid station, for an emergency, when entering or exiting a transition area, or when making a turn of 90 degrees or more.

(d) Position on Course/Right-of-Way. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, a participant is generally entitled to assume any otherwise proper location on the cycling course provided that the participant arrives in position first without contacting another participant.

(e) Staggered Positioning. All cyclists must assume and maintain a staggered riding position relative to the cyclists directly ahead; no cyclist may maintain a position of the course directly in line with a cyclist directly ahead. This staggered position must be maintained even if the cyclist is outside of the drafting zone and following at a distance of greater than ten (10) meters.

(f) Blocking. Cyclists who have assumed a proper position must not block or obstruct the progress of another participant.

(g) Position and Passing. A participant must not attempt to pass another cyclist unless adequate space is available and he is confident of his ability to overtake and pass the other cyclist.

(h) Being Overtaken. When the leading edge of the front wheel of one cyclist passes beyond the front wheel of another cyclist, the second cyclist has been "overtaken" within the meaning of these Rules. A cyclist who has been overtaken bears primary responsibility for avoiding a position foul and must immediately move to the side or to the rear and out of the drafting zone of the passing cyclist.

(i) Overtaking. A participant who approaches another cyclist from the rear or from another  unfavorable position bears primary responsibility for avoiding a position foul even if the cyclist being approached decreases speed.

(j) Re-Passing. An overtaken cyclist shall first move completely out of the drafting zone before attempting to re-pass another cyclist. In no case, however, shall a participant move into the path of another participant possessing the right-of-way.

5.10B Position Foul Penalties. Rule for Elites

(a) First Violation – Time Penalty. A variable time penalty shall be imposed for the first violation of Section 5.10A in any event.

(b) Second Violations. For a second violation of Section 5.10A in the same race, a fine shall be imposed in the amount of $200 and the athlete shall be disqualified from the event and shall be required to immediately withdraw from the race and vacate the course. An athlete charged with any second violation of Section 5.10A shall safely pull over to the side of the bicycle course, shall come to a complete stop, and shall abide by all instructions from race officials.

(c) Two Violations/Three Races. In addition to the above penalties, if an athlete is penalized for committing two (2) violations of Section 5.10A in each of three (3) separate races during anyone calendar year, the athlete shall be suspended from membership in USA Triathlon and AAC for a period of four (4) weeks plus one day.

(d) Two Violations/Six Races. In addition to the above penalties, but in lieu of a second four-week suspension under subsection (c), if an athlete is penalized for committing two (2) violations of Section 5.10A in each of six (6) separate races during any one calendar year, the athlete shall be suspended from membership in USA Triathlon and AAC for a period of three (3) months plus one day.

5.10C Assessment of Time Penalties/Conduct of Athletes. Elite Rules.

All variable time penalties imposed under Section 5.10B shall be assessed in accordance with this Section. Except as otherwise provided herein, any violation of or failure to comply with this Section 5.10C shall result in disqualification.

(a) First Violation – Stop and Go System. Unless a Penalty Area System is being used pursuant to subsection (b), an athlete charged with a first violation of Section 5.10A shall safely pull over to the side of the bicycle course and shall come to a complete stop, placing both feet on the ground. The athlete shall properly attach the penalty indicator and shall remain stopped under the direction of the race official for a period of time equal to the applicable variable time penalty. When the official indicates that the time penalty has expired, the athlete may continue with the race.

(b) First Violation – Penalty Area System. Notwithstanding subsection (a), if a Penalty Area is being used in the event, an athlete charged with a first violation of Section 5.10A shall (1) safely decrease speed while maintaining a straight line of movement, (2) come to a complete stop, and (3) place both feet flat on the ground while completely stopped. Provided that, in the judgment of race officials, the athlete complies with the full stop requirement, the athlete may continue with the race. After completing the bicycle course and properly securing the bicycle, the penalized athlete shall immediately report to the designated penalty box or penalty area, which shall be located within or adjacent to the transition area (the "Penalty Area"). The penalized athlete shall remain in the Penalty Area for a cumulative amount of time equal to the variable time penalty assessed against the athlete. After such time has expired as determined by race officials, the athlete may exit the Penalty Area and continue with the race. Any time served in the Penalty Area shall become incorporated into the athlete's official time for the event.

(c) Use of Penalty Indicator. While stopped on the bicycle course for a first violation of Section 5.10A, an athlete shall be required to wear or affix to the bicycle a penalty indicator. The penalty indicator may be a florescent tape, wristband, or any other marker designated by race officials. Each athlete is required to carry the proper penalty indicator during the bicycle portion of the event. If charged with a penalty, an athlete who has accidentally lost the penalty indicator must alert race officials and obtain a replacement indicator. The penalty indicator will serve as notice to officials and spectators that the athlete has been penalized. No athlete shall intentionally remove the penalty indicator until all professional athletes have completed the event. This rule shall apply notwithstanding the athlete's disqualification from the event. Any violation of this Section 5.10C(c) shall result in disqualification and suspension from AAC and USA Triathlon for a period of three (3) months.

(d) Penalty Area Conduct. While in the Penalty Area, no athlete shall dress, undress, change uniforms, or adjust any race equipment. Running shoes may be worn into, but shall not be carried into the Penalty Area. While in the Penalty Area, no athlete shall accept any form of aid or assistance, including food, drink, or equipment, from any other person, including race officials. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

5.10D Suspension Periods. Rule for Elites

All periods of suspension imposed under Section 5.10C shall commence on the day following the day of the race in which the violation giving rise to the penalty was committed or, if a different date is specified therein, on the date so specified in any notice received from USA Triathlon or the AAC. All suspensions must be served between the date of the sanctioned or endorsed by USA Triathlon in the United States for the calendar year. Any suspension period remaining on such later date shall be continued and served beginning on the date of the first Category race of the following year.

5.11 Bicycle Specifications.

All bicycles and bicycle equipment used in USA Triathlon sanctioned events must conform to the specifications set forth in this Section. Any participant using a nonconforming bicycle or otherwise violating this Section shall be disqualified.

(a) Length cannot exceed two meters, and width cannot exceed 75 centimeters.

(b) The distance from the ground to the center of the chain wheel axle must measure at least 24 centimeters.

(c) A vertical line touching the front most point of the saddle may be no more than 5 centimeters in front of and no more than 15 centimeters behind a vertical line passing through the center of the chain wheel axle, and the cyclist must not have the capability of adjusting the saddle beyond these limits during competition.

(d) The "front-to-center" distance, which is defined as the distance between a vertical line passing through the center of the chain wheel axle and a vertical line passing through the center of the front axle, must measure not less than 54 centimeters and no more than 65 centimeters, except that in the case of bicycles for taller participants (where the distance between the center of the chain wheel axle and the top of the saddle is greater than 80 centimeters), the front-to-center distance cannot exceed 68 centimeters and, in the case of bicycles for shorter cyclists (where the distance between the center of the chain wheel axle and the top of the saddle is less than 71 centimeters), the front-to-center distance cannot be less than 50 centimeters. Applicability of the two foregoing exceptions is determined by measuring from a point on top of the saddle which is 14 centimeters behind the front most point of the saddle.

(e) There must be no protective shield, fairing, or other device on any part of the bicycle (including frame, wheels, handlebars, chain wheel, and accessories) which has the effect of reducing resistance. Aerodynamic carriers for food, water, and or cycling provisions may be attached to or be an integral part of the aero-handlebars if they meet the following guidelines:

(i) the carrier can pass from front to rear, through a rectangular loop with dimensions of 10 inches (25 cm) in width and 8 inches (20 cm) in height.

(ii) The front of the carrier is behind the cyclist's hands when the hands are placed in their customary position on the end of the aerobars, and

(iii) The length of the carrier is no greater than 10 inches (25 cm) front to rear.

When the carrier is an integral part of the aerobar, this integrated unit must be able to pass through the rectangular loop defined in (i) above and the carrier portion of the unit must meet criteria (ii) and (iii). In the event that compliance with this section is in doubt with respect to any particular carrier or integrated unit, a member of USA Triathlon may submit the carrier or integrated unit to USA Triathlon for evaluation.

(f) No additional equipment, whether it is worn under the competitor's clothing, over the competitor's clothing, or is otherwise attached to the athlete's body, which has the effect of reducing wind resistance is permitted. An exception is the use of safety helmets as described in Section 5.9. Such helmets may have the effect of reducing the wind resistance of the head only.

(g) Except as otherwise determined by the race director in the interest of safety, the front wheel may be of a different diameter than the rear wheel, but the front wheel must be of spoke construction. The rear wheel may be either spoke or solid construction. Wheel covers shall only be permitted on the rear wheel.

(h) No wheel may contain any mechanism, which is capable of accelerating the wheel.

(i) Handlebars and stem must be fashioned to prevent any danger. All handlebar ends must be solidly plugged to lessen the possibility of injury.

(j) There must be one working brake on each of the two wheels.

(k) All aspects of the bicycle must be safe to the user and to other participants in the event. Minimum safety standards include, but are not limited to, properly glued and sealed tires, tight headset and handlebars, and true wheels.

5.12 Untraditional or Unusual Bicycle Equipment.

Any unusual bicycle construction or equipment to which the specifications in Section 5.11 cannot easily be applied shall be illegal unless prior approval is received from the Head Referee before the equipment is used in the event. Any violation of this Section shall result in disqualification.

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Article VI

Running Conduct

6.1 Permitted Conduct.

A participant must run or walk the entire portion of the run course. Except for reasons of safety and when no advantage is gained, all runners shall follow and remain within the prescribed course. A participant who gains forward progress by crawling or otherwise violates this Section shall be disqualified.

6.2 Knowledge of the Course.

The responsibility of knowing and following the prescribed course rests with each participant.

6.3 Permitted and Illegal Equipment.

Any participant who at any time wears or carries a headset, radio, headphones, or any other item prohibited by Section 3.4(i) shall be subject to a time penalty. A participant may carry a water bottle on the run portion of the course, provided that such container is not made of glass. Glass containers are prohibited.

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Article VII

Transition Area Conduct

7.1 Entering and Exiting.

A participant must reduce cycling speed to an acceptable and safe level when exiting and entering the transition area. Failure to do so shall result in a variable time penalty.

7.2 Placement of Equipment.

All participants shall place equipment only in the properly designated and individually assigned bicycle corral and shall at all times keep their equipment confined to such properly designated areas. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

7.3 Bicycle Placement.

All participants must return their bicycles to an upright position in the properly designated bicycle corral after completion of the cycling course and before beginning the next segment of the event. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

7.4 Obstruction and Interference.

No participant shall impede the forward progress of another participant or interfere with another participant's equipment while in the transition area. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty, unless such obstruction or interference renders another participant unable to complete the event, in which case the penalty shall be disqualification.

7.5 Glass Containers.

Any participant who brings any glass container into the transition area shall be disqualified.

7.6 Indecent Exposure.

Public nudity in the transition area or at any time during the event is prohibited. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

 

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Article VIII.

Doping Control Rules

8.1 Policy.

USA Triathlon condemns the use of substances or methods on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) list of classes of prohibited substances and methods. Additionally, USA Triathlon condemns the use of substances or methods aimed at artificially enhancing athletic performance. The use of prohibited substances or methods or the use of substances or methods aimed at artificially enhancing performance, frequently referred to as "doping," contravene the ethics of both sport and medical science, threaten the integrity and dignity of Olympic sport, erode public confidence in the Olympic Movement and jeopardize the well being of athletes. Additionally, the use of substances on the ITU prohibited substance list or the practice of artificially enhancing performance is inimical to the concept of sportsmanship and frustrates the desire to conduct fair athletic competitions. As a member National Governing Body of the United States Olympic Committee ("USOC") and as a member Federation of the International Triathlon Union ("ITU"), USA Triathlon adheres to the anti-doping rules of the USOC and the ITU. In addition, USAT complies with USOC Bylaws Chapter XXIII, Section 2(G), which provides that, as a condition of membership in the USOC, each National Governing Body complies with the procedures pertaining to drug testing and adjudication of related doping offenses of the independent anti-doping organization designated by the USOC to conduct drug testing. The USOC has designated the United States Anti-Doping Agency ("USADA") as that organization.

8.2 Incorporation of Rules.

It is the responsibility of each member of USA Triathlon to comply with the applicable anti-doping rules, regulations and policies of the ITU, the USOC, the IOC and the USADA, that are hereby incorporated in full by USA Triathlon. It is also the responsibility of each member of USA Triathlon to submit, without reservation or condition, to in-competition and out-of-competition doping controls conducted by either the ITU or the USADA. Out-of-competition (short notice) testing of athletes may take place at USA Triathlon elite-level camps, training sessions at USOC facilities or at other designated sites. Out of competition testing (no advance notice) testing of athletes may take place at any time for those athletes designated by USA Triathlon for inclusion in USA Triathlon's Out-of-Competition testing pool. Additional information regarding the anti-doping rules of the ITU, the USOC and the USADA, may be found at www.triathlon.org and www.usantidoping.org. Athletes may also contact the USADA Drug Reference Line at (800) 233-0393 for information on medications and other substances.

8.3 Adoption of USADA Protocol.

Pursuant to USOC Bylaws Chapter XXIII, Section 2(G), the conducting of doping controls of members and the management of positive, elevated test results and/or other doping violations for USA Triathlon members (post October 2, 2000) is the responsibility of the USADA.  Any inconsistent provisions with USADA’s full responsibility of anti-doping matters including the testing, adjudication/results management or sanctioning of doping violations, elsewhere in USA Triathlon’s Competitive Rules are hereby superceded. USA Triathlon will, without further process, enforce and publish any sanction communicated to USA Triathlon by the USADA resulting from adjudication of a doping violation under the USADA Protocol.  

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Article IX.

Race Officiation

9.1 Race Officials.

The race officials at all events shall consist of a Head Referee, Marshals, Judges, and a Head Timer. The race officials shall conduct each event in accordance with these Competitive Rules and shall uphold and enforce these Rules and any other regulations or policies of USA Triathlon in an impartial manner.

9.2 Head Referee.

Beginning with the start of the event and until all scores are finalized, the decisions of the Head Referee are final and binding with respect to all competition matters pertaining to the event, with the exception of decisions by the Protest Committee.

9.3 Powers of the Head Referee.

The Head Referee shall be empowered:

(a) To interpret and enforce these Competitive Rules and any other regulations or policies of USA Triathlon;

(b) To supervise and control the general conduct of all participants, to require that a participant withdraw from an event, and to intercede during a competition at any stage to ensure that the Competitive Rules are observed;

(c) To invoke and impose penalties for violations of these Rules and to prominently post a list of all violations and penalized participants designated by race number at a site located near the finish of the event;

(d) To make decisions on any point not specifically covered in these Rules;

(e) To instruct, direct, assign duties to, and delegate authority to all other race officials;

(f) To overrule any Judge, Marshal, or other race official on any point of interpretation of these Rules, and to resolve differences of opinion between or among Marshals, Judges, or other race officials;

(g) To examine the equipment or other items of any participant at any time to check compliance with these Rules, and to make the final and binding decision as to whether any equipment or other item is improper or unauthorized;

(h) To establish all aspects of protest procedure, including the time and place of hearing, to impose sanctions for noncompliance with established procedure, and to assess penalties in accordance with the resolution of any protests; and

(i) To prepare a report of actions taken and decisions rendered by the Protest Committee and to make recommendations on improving race operations.

9.4 Duties of the Head Referee.

The Head Referee shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

(a) The Head Referee shall wear distinctive clothing or other means of identification;

(b) The Head Referee shall establish an officials' headquarters located near the finish of the event;

(c) The Head Referee shall use and maintain a violation posting board erected by race management;

(d) The Head Referee shall process violations reported by Marshals diligently and as soon as possible and shall review every violation with the appropriate reporting Marshal;

(e) The Head Referee shall determine the relative severity of any offense or violation;

(f) The Head Referee shall assess an appropriate penalty;

(g) The Head Referee shall retain the results of reported violations and decisions and shall review the information in connection with all protests; and

(h) The Head Referee shall submit all appropriate data which affects final results to the Head Timer for incorporation into final race results.

9.5 Official Race Results.

Final results will reflect all decisions made by the Head Referee and the Protest Committee.  Results are subject to review by the Head Referee at or after the event.  Any changes made by the Head Referee shall be reported to the competitor, the Race Director, and the Executive Director of USAT in writing no later than 10 days after the event, at which time the results will be deemed final, subject to any appeal filed by a competitor, including anyone affected by the change in results.

9.6 Race Marshals.

Race Marshals will be assigned to the swim, cycle, and run portions of the event and to the transition areas and will follow all instructions of the Head Referee. Race Marshals shall have jurisdiction over all persons in their respective areas of assignment. Race Marshals shall enforce these Competitive Rules by reporting violations to the Head Referee in writing. The Head Referee, and not the Race Marshal, shall assess penalties.

9.7 Judges.

Judges shall hear and rule on all protests as members of the Protest Committee. Judges shall also assist other race officials as instructed by the Head Referee.

9.8 Head Timer.

The Head Timer is responsible for collecting and processing all data relevant to the calculation and determination of official race results.

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Article X.

Protests

10.1 Proper Subject of Protest.

No protest may be filed with respect to matters which were observed by or previously ruled upon by a race official. No person may file a protest which requires a judgment call. A "judgment call," as used in these Rules, means the resolution of a dispute involving one or more material facts which cannot be determined with certainty solely through the production of tangible physical evidence. The term "judgment call" shall include but shall not be limited to a resolution of:

(a) any purported violation of the cycling position foul Rules (including alleged drafting violations);

(b) allegations of blocking, obstruction, or interference; or

(c) allegations of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Any protest filed in contravention of this Section shall be summarily dismissed under Section 10.4.

10.2 Protests Involving Eligibility.

Protests contesting the eligibility of any participant to compete or to represent an organization in an event shall be made in writing to USA Triathlon or to the Head Referee before the event begins. A participant may be allowed to compete under protest if USA Triathlon or the Head Referee deems it appropriate.

10.3 Standing to File Protest.

Protests may only be filed by participants who directly observed the subject of the protest, who were directly and personally involved in any incident relevant to the protest, and who possess direct, detailed, and personal knowledge of the subject of the protest.

10.4 Summary Dismissal of Protest.

With respect to each protest filed, the Head Referee shall make an initial determination as to whether the protest complies with all of the provisions of the Article and whether the protest is factually sufficient to support a ruling by the Protest Committee. If the protest is improper or deficient in any respect, the Head Referee shall summarily reject and dismiss the protest and shall not be required to submit the matter to the Protest Committee. If the defect is curable in the opinion of the Head Referee, the Head Referee may allow the protest to be resubmitted within a reasonable time, even if the time period in Section 10.5 has already expired.

10.5 Time for Filing Protests.

All protests must be filed in writing and submitted to the Head Referee within sixty (60) minutes after the person filing the protest has completed the event.

10.6 Contents of Protest.

All protests must be factually sufficient to support a just ruling by the Protest Committee and must contain the following:

(a) The specific Competitive Rule or Rules alleged to have been violated;

(b) The location and approximate time of the incident;

(c) The person or persons involved in the incident;

(d) A detailed statement of the specific facts, including a diagram if necessary or appropriate; and

(e) The signature of the person filing the protest, which shall constitute an affirmation that the facts stated therein are true.

Failure to comply with any aspect of this Section shall subject the protest to summary dismissal.

10.7 Notice of Protest.

All persons involved in or affected by a protest shall be notified thereof and shall have access to the contents of the protest.

10.8 Protest Committee.

The Protest Committee shall be comprised of the Head Referee and two Judges appointed by the Head Referee. The Head Referee shall serve as chairperson of the Protest Committee and shall have full authority to conduct the protest and maintain order. The Protest Committee will issue a final determination with respect to all protests timely filed and not subject to summary dismissal.

10.9 Protest Hearing.

In hearing a protest, members of the Protest Committee shall weigh the evidence and testimony impartially and shall render a decision in accordance with their best judgment. During all protests:

(a) the Head Referee will read the protest;

(b) the person who filed the protest and all participants involved in the incident must be present, unless medically unable to attend in which case the Head Referee shall postpone the hearing or allow a representative to participate on behalf of the injured person;

(c) All persons required to be present shall be allowed three minutes to relate their accounts of the incident, or such additional time as the Head Referee may allow;

(d) A maximum of two witnesses for each participant involved in the protest may be allowed to speak for three minutes each; and

(e) no spectators or partial observers shall be allowed to participate in the hearing.

10.10 Protest Ruling.

After dismissing all parties, the Protest Committee shall review the evidence and render a prompt decision. The decision will be posted immediately.

10.11 Effect of Protest Decision.

The summary dismissal of a protest by the Head Referee or the decision of a Protest Committee shall be final, and official race results shall reflect those determinations. Official results and the determination of any Head Referee or Protest Committee can be subsequently modified only by USA Triathlon pursuant to an appeal duly filed in accordance with Article XI of these Rules.

10.12 Announcement of Official Results.

Until all protest are finally determined, the official results of any event shall not be announced, and no prizes for that event shall be awarded unless any outstanding protest is officially withdrawn.

10.13 Presence of Participants.

All race participants are required to be present and to participate in the hearing of any protest in which they were involved. A Protest Committee may render a decision in the absence of any participant who fails to appear timely. Except for medical reasons, all participants shall remain available for participation in any protests until such time as official race results are announced, the period for filing all protests has expired, or permission to leave the vicinity is granted by the Head Referee.

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Article XI.

Hearings and Appeals.

11.1 Board of Hearings and Appeals.

USA Triathlon shall establish a Board of Hearings and Appeals which shall consist of at least twelve (12) members, including the chairpersons of the Legal Committee, chairpersons of the Safety and Rules Committee, at least four (4) athlete representatives, and such other members as may be selected by the Executive Director. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, the Executive Director shall appoint a panel of at least three members of the Board of Hearings and Appeals to address and determine any matter requiring resolution. The Board of Hearings and Appeals shall be empowered:

(a) To impose and enforce penalties for any violation of the Competitive Rules or other policies or regulations of USA Triathlon;

(b) To review any punitive action or decision taken against any person and to affirm, reverse, stay, or modify such action or decision;

(c) To investigate any pertinent matter as directed by the Executive Director or the Board of Directors;

(d) To determine the eligibility of any person to compete in USA Triathlon sanctioned events;

(e) To determine the USA Triathlon membership status of any person and to reinstate or revoke membership rights;

(f) To issue conditional orders prohibiting or requiring certain conduct or action as a condition to maintaining membership rights;

(g) To interpret any Competitive Rule, regulation, or policy of USA Triathlon; and

(h) To conduct hearings, gather evidence, take testimony of witnesses and determine any appeal properly filed with USA Triathlon.

11.2 Proper Subject of Appeal.

No person may file an appeal with respect to a judgment call as defined in Section 10.1. Members may appeal the final decision of a Protest Committee, and punitive action affecting their membership in USA Triathlon, or any other matter involving an interpretation of the Competitive Rules of which an appeal is not otherwise prohibited by this Article.

11.3 Appeals of Protests and Other Matters.

Except for appeals from disciplinary hearings which must be made under Section 11.5, unless otherwise provided in these Rules all appeals shall be made and processed in accordance with this Section.

(a) Time and Fee for Filing Appeal. An appeal must be filed in writing with the USA Triathlon Executive Director postmarked within 30 days after the date of the decision or determination being appealed and must be accompanied by a $100 filing fee. The filing fee shall be refundable only if the appeal is finally determined in the appellant's favor.

(b) Contents of Appeal. The appeal shall be in the form of a petition and shall contain the following:

(1) The petitioner's name, address, and telephone number;

(2) a detailed description of the factual background including the date, time, and precise location of any relevant incidents and an identification of the decision being appealed and the person or persons who rendered the decision;

(3) any relevant Rules, regulations, or policies and an application of the facts to those Rules, regulations or policies;

(4) a detailed explanation of all of the grounds for the appeal;

(5) all of the evidence that the athlete wishes to be considered and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses;

(6) a request to participate orally at the hearing if so desired; and

(7) a request for additional time if desired, not to exceed 14 days, within which to submit additional written materials. Requests to participate orally at hearings will be granted only in exceptional circumstances, and all petitioners should therefore ensure that their appeal contains all relevant information when submitted.

(c) Determination of Appeal. The appeal shall be heard and determined by a panel of three (3) disinterested members of the Board of Hearings and Appeals who shall be selected by or under the direction of the Executive Director. If the petitioner has requested to participate orally at the hearing, the panel, with advice of counsel, shall determine whether such oral participation will be permitted and, if permitted, the panel shall notify the appellant of the hearing time and date. If the request for oral participation is denied, the panel shall notify the appellant of such denial and shall proceed with a determination of the appeal based upon the submitted materials.

(d) Hearing of Appeal. The Executive Director shall appoint, or the panel shall elect, a chairperson to conduct the hearing. Hearings may be conducted by an attorney at law retained or appointed by USA Triathlon for that purpose, but any such attorney shall have no vote in the panel's decision. Any hearing may be conducted by telephone conference call or otherwise at the discretion of the panel. The appellant shall have the right to be represented by counsel.

(e) Appellate Decision. The appellate panel shall issue a written memorandum explaining and containing its decision within fourteen (14) days after the appeal has been duly filed or the hearing has been concluded, whichever is later. The appellant shall receive a copy of the decision. The decision of an appellate panel under the Section shall be final and there shall be no further right to appeal.

11.4 Disciplinary Hearings.

Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, and whenever the time and circumstances permit, a disciplinary hearing will be held to determine whether an athlete should be fined, sanctioned, censured, suspended, expelled, or otherwise rendered ineligible to compete in USA Triathlon sanctioned events. Disciplinary hearings shall be conducted in accordance with this Section.

(a) Notice. The proposed subject of the hearing (the "respondent") shall be given written notice personally delivered or sent to his last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall apprise the respondent of the specific charges made against him, the specific Rules, regulations, or policies alleged to have been violated, the potential penalties which may be imposed, and the date, time, and place where a hearing will be held. The hearing date shall be set for a date not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the date of the notice. The hearing panel may continue or postpone the hearing in its sole discretion for good cause shown.

(b) Answer. The respondent shall file a written answer to all of the charges not later than ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing addressed to the Executive Director and sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. Any statements submitted by the respondent or other parties in support of the answer shall be in the form of a sworn affidavit and shall contain a certification that the statement is true and correct.

(c) Right to Counsel. The respondent shall have the right to the assistance of legal counsel in the preparation of a defense and the right to be represented by counsel at the hearing.

(d) Hearing Panel. The hearing shall be held before a panel of three (3) or five (5) disinterested members of the Board of Hearings and Appeals who shall be selected by or under the direction of the Executive Director. Any hearing may be conducted by telephone conference call or otherwise at the discretion of the panel. In no case, shall elected members of the USA Triathlon Board of Directors constitute a majority of the hearing panel. The chairperson of the hearing panel shall be elected by the panel members or appointed by the Executive Director. Hearings may be conducted by an attorney at law retained or appointed by USA Triathlon for that purpose, but any such attorney shall have no vote in the panel's decision.

(e) Hearing Decision. The hearing panel shall issue a written memorandum explaining and containing its decision within fourteen (14) days after the conclusion of the Hearing. The respondent shall receive a copy of the decision and notice of any right to appellate review by the Board of Directors.

11.5 Appeal to the Board of Directors.

Any respondent adversely affected by a disciplinary hearing convened under Section 11.4 shall have the right to appeal to the USA Triathlon Board of Directors by filing a written petition along with a non-refundable $100 filing fee within twenty (20) days after mailing of the panel's decision. Upon timely petition to the Executive Director, and for good cause shown, the time for appeal may be extended. The Board of Directors shall appoint at least three disinterested directors to decide any appeal under this Section. Oral hearings will be granted only in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Board, and petitions should therefore contain all relevant information when submitted. Any hearing may be conducted by telephone conference call or otherwise. An appellate hearing, if any, shall be scheduled not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the filing of the petition.

11.6 Emergency Hearings and Appeals.

If the circumstances require a speedy determination of any appeal or disciplinary matter such that compliance with the procedures outlined in Sections 11.3 or 11.4 would not be feasible, an emergency hearing or appeal may be conducted by a member or members of the Board of Hearings and Appeals. Notice (which may be oral) and an opportunity to respond shall be provided to all affected participants as may be reasonable under the circumstances, but in all cases, procedures shall be designed to safeguard the due process rights of participants. The emergency hearing may be conducted at the site of any athletic competition or by telephone conference, if necessary. If an emergency appeal of a Protest Committee's decision is conducted and decided, there shall be no right to further appeal that decision. If an emergency disciplinary hearing is held in lieu of the normal procedure under Section 11.4, within fourteen (14) days after the emergency hearing, the decision shall be reduced to writing and mailed to the interested participants along with notice of a right to appeal under Section 11.3. The time period for filing an appeal under Section 11.3 shall commence on the date the written decision is mailed.

11.7 Investigations and Inquiries.

The USA Triathlon Board of Directors or the Executive Director may appoint members of the Board of Hearings and Appeals to investigate, report, and issue a decision or recommendation with respect to any matter deemed relevant to USA Triathlon. All persons shall cooperate with any such investigation and shall comply with all reasonable requests and inquiries made by any such panel.

11.8 Compliance with Final Ruling.

All persons shall abide by the final determination by USA Triathlon of an appeal or any other matter relating to the Competitive Rules or the sport of triathlon/duathlon. In the event USA Triathlon resolves an issue in a manner that changes official race results or the order in which athletes are deemed to have finished an event, all affected athletes shall abide by such ruling and shall return or agree to return any prize monies or awards in such manner and at such time as USA Triathlon may request. Failure to comply with this Section shall be grounds for suspension from USA Triathlon.

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Addendum

Physically Challenged

PC 1.0 General
Physically challenged athletes (hereafter known as ‘PC’ athletes), as defined under rule USAT rule PC1.2 will be governed by all USA Triathlon (USAT) competition rules with the following modifications.

PC 1.1 Classification
Athletes may compete in USAT sanctioned races without official classification in categories set out in rule ‘PC1.2’. However, in order to compete in USAT/PC National Championships and national teams, PC athletes must be classified and placed in a competition category in accordance with those outlined in rule ‘PC1.2’ by a physician. Athletes shall provide classification to race directors upon registration.

PC 1.2 Competition Categories

USAT/PC categories shall be instituted and maintained in accordance with International Triathlon Union (ITU) competition categories (ITU rule P2.) as follows:

T1) Handcycle (Paraplegic, Quadriplegic, Double lower extremity amputee)
-Handcycle, racing wheelchair on run. 

T2) Lower Extremity (Below knee amputee)
-Bicycle, prosthetic device's) on run.

T3) Lower Extremity (Above knee amputee)
-Bicycle, prosthetic device's) on run.

T4) Upper Extremity (Below elbow amputee)
-Prosthetic device's) allowed on bike.

T5) Upper Extremity (Above elbow amputee)
-Prosthetic device's) allowed on bike.

T6) Blind (Legally blind: 20/200 with best correction)
-Competes with Guide. Tethered on swim and run, Tandem bike.

T7) Impaired (Including but not limited to: Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Arthritis, Spina Bifida, Nerve damage and Multiple Sclerosis.)
-Prosthetic device's) allowed on bike and run.

PC 1.3 Swimming Conduct

Physically Challenged athletes shall be governed by the following with regard to swimming conduct:

Wetsuits are allowed but not required at any water temperature.

PC 1.4 Handlers

Physically Challenged athletes shall be permitted the following in regard to handlers/aides:

1) Each ‘PC’ athlete is required to identify all handlers and describe their duties to the appropriate race official before the start of each competition.

2) Handlers are specifically allowed to assist ‘PC’ competitors by: 
a) Assisting/carrying athletes from the water to transition area.
b) Helping with prosthetic devices.
c) Lifting participants in and out of handcycles and wheelchairs.
d) Removing wetsuits or clothing.
e) Repairing flats and other equipment.

PC 1.5 Transition Areas

1) With the exception of the ‘Handcycle’ category (T1), ‘PC’ athletes must ambulate (walk/run) through transition by the use of either crutches or prosthetic device. If crutches are used, handlers may accompany the competitor to and from the “mount line” of the bike portion as long as they do not impede the progress of any other participant. 

PC 1.6 Cycling Conduct

Physically Challenged athletes shall be governed by the following with regard to cycling conduct:

1) Category ‘T1’ equipment (handcycles) must conform to specifications as established by the USHF (United States Handcycling Federation) under ‘USCF rule 1J5’.

2) All bicycles and handcycles shall be propelled by human force (either legs or arms).

PC 1.7 Running Conduct

Physically Challenged athletes shall be governed by the following with regard to running conduct:

1) Prosthetic devices and/or crutches are allowed.

2) Category ‘T1’ equipment (Racing wheelchairs) must conform to specifications as established by the WSUSA (Wheelchair Sports USA).

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Logo Use & Trademarks

The "USA Triathlon" logo is a trademark owned by USA Triathlon and is protected by federal trademark law. USA Triathlon may develop additional logos or designs for special events such as national teams or championship races. Use of any of these logos is strictly prohibited without the prior consent of USA Triathlon. Certain clubs and organizations may be authorized to use the principal USA Triathlon logo on stationary, newsletters, and other materials in order to delineate such organization's affiliation with USA Triathlon. USA Triathlon will vigorously enforce its legal rights with respect to any unauthorized use of trademarks or services which USA Triathlon now owns or later develops.

 

Disclaimer

 

USA Triathlon makes no express or implied warranty, guarantee, or representation regarding the degree of safety, which may or may not result from compliance with the Competitive Rules or sanctioning criteria. Examinations of race courses and inspections of equipment are undertaken solely to monitor compliance with the Federation's rules and guidelines and do not guarantee or ensure safety from personal injury or property damage. Safe participation in any event and the safety of race equipment is the sole responsibility of each and every participant.

For a complete list of banned substances, please refer to the U.S. Anti-Doping Association web site: www.usantidoping.org.

Published by USA Triathlon
Copyright 1992 by USA Triathlon
Copying without a fee is permitted provided the source is acknowledged. Updated February, 2002
Additional copies of these rules may be obtained by request writing to:
USA Triathlon
616 W. Monument St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
(719) 597-9090 

 

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