Christmas is coming and so, traditionally, are the ITU Competition Rules for next year. ITU’s Media Manager,Olalla Cernuda, has published an article on the ITU website to update us all.
The ITU Technical Committee, upon which sit a number of our European officials, was hard at work a while back and now The International Triathlon Union Executive Board, having met in Edmonton has confirmed that the rule updates are to be in place for 2018.
“Our Technical Committee along with various other committees and the Sport department has worked really hard during this year to adapt our rules to the new circumstances and try to have a safer and fairer field of play ever”, said ITU President and IOC member, Marisol Casado.
“Our team has studied all cases and possibilities and applied new rules, changed some that were obsolete or updated some other in order to guarantee the best conditions for all our athletes. We also wanted to provide a fantastic and engaging spectacle in every single one of our events, and with those changes, I am sure we will”, said Gergely Markus, ITU Sport Director.
There are some significant changes in the competition rules for the 2018 season. The changes, which cover such areas as; withdrawals, penalties, quotas, qualifications and paratriathlon rules updates, will be applied from January 10, 2018.
So, what does this all mean?
Disc brakes: From 2018 onwards, disk brakes will be allowed.
Para-categories: In Paratriathlon, from now on there will be nine sport classes as a replacement of sub-classes for PTVI and PTWC, with six Paratriathlon medal events remaining as in 2017.
Athletes withdrawing from races: To avoid athletes withdrawing from events in the weeks prior, National Federations will only have 48 hours to carry out any substitutions or withdrawals. Penalties for doing so after 30 days before the event can be avoided with the “joker” rule, with a specific amount of opportunities federation by federation
Communication devices: There will be a prohibition on the use of communication devices of any type, including, but not limited to, cell phones, smart watches and two-way radios during a competition in a distractive manner. Also, cameras, phone cameras and video cameras are prohibited unless permission is given by the ITU.
Athletes assisting each other: One of the new rules approved by the Executive Board reads that an athlete cannot physically assist the forward progress of another athlete on any part of the course. This will result in both athletes being disqualified.
Pre-Participation Evaluations: In 2018, an annual pre-participation evaluation (PPE) will be mandatory for all athletes competing in Youth, Junior, U23, Elite and Paratriathlon events.
Missing the Athlete Briefing: To miss the briefing will result in a delayed start for any competitions, including triathlon, for all categories. The delay will be determined by the distance of the event, the same way as the penalty time applicable.
Clothing: Regarding clothing, trisuits must be textile material. Swim caps: if an athlete decides to wear two caps, the second swim cap must be unbranded and the official swim cap must be on the outside from the moment of the athletes’ line-up.
Appeals and Protests: The procedure of appeals and protests has been reviewed to improve its application for any type of events and categories. Penalties received for drafting violations cannot be appealed. The rules have been clarified with regard to overtaking and dangerous riding.
Size of field: The size of the field has been reviewed for all level of competitions and categories, with a general application of the reduction by five athletes, except in the Paratriathlon World Championship, where the field has been increased by 10 athletes. In the meantime, the Open Paratriathlon as a separate category has been removed.
Ranking Criteria: As it was announced before, the various ranking criteria have been reviewed. Some of the significant changes are that the World Cups will not count towards the World Triathlon Series Ranking. The former ITU Points List has been renamed as ITU World Ranking, with all level of events counting towards it, from National Championships up to the Grand Final. Continental Rankings will now be extracted from the ITU World Ranking.
Mixed Relay Rankings: The introduction of the Mixed Relay Ranking will classify National Federations based on their results on the different level of Mixed Relay events.
Besides the Competition Rules, the Paratriathlon Classification Rules have also been updated, with the involvement of the Paratriathlon Committee, to ensure full compliance with the IPC’s directives.