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USA Triathlon Competitive Rules

Click here for a downloadable PDF Rule Book

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.

Italicized sections of these Competitive Rules shall apply to those athletes holding an elite license at any event with a minimum cash prize purse of $5000.00.  An event with a minimum $5000.00 prize purse must limit the Elite Division to athletes holding a USAT Elite License or an elite license from an ITU member federation.  All individual prize money is reserved for the Elite Division.

Article I: Scope Purpose and Construction
Article II: Membership
Article III: General Rules of Conduct and Penalties
Article IV: Swimming Conduct
Article V: Cycling Conduct
Article VI: Running Conduct
Article VII: Transition Area Conduct
Article VIII: Doping Control Rules
Article IX: Race Officiating
Article X: Protests
Article XI: Hearings and Appeals
Rules Modifications for Paratriathletes
PC Open Division Guidelines
USA Triathlon Supplemental Youth Rules
Most Common Rules Violations
Approved Speedsuits/Skinsuits
2013 Wetsuit Rule FAQ

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:

a. to promote and maintain sportsmanship, equal opportunity and fair play;

b. to encourage and reward individual performance and initiative;

c. to protect the health, safety, and well being of participants;

d. to promote the integrity of sport and triathlon as a positive cultural force in modern day society; and

e. 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.


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 (i) lack of membership, or (ii) ineligibility for the relevant membership class shall be suspended or barred from membership in USA Triathlon and banned 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:

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

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

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

d. a hearing before an impartial and disinterested decision-making body; and,

e. 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 annual member is eligible to receive prize money directly. Any person wishing to apply for an elite annual membership should contact USA Triathlon (http://www.usatriathlon.org) for consideration.

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

Elite athletes holding an elite license from their National Federation or having raced as an elite athlete 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, athletes must disclose their elite status and that failure to disclose such is cause for Disqualification and up to a one year suspension from USAT sanctioned events.

b. Age Group. The following divisions shall be available within the age group category of membership: (i) regular membership; (ii) youth membership (17 years of age and younger as defined in Section 3.2a).

2.5 Prize Money. Distribution of prize money shall comply with the following standards:

a. 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.

b. Prize money for any sanctioned event shall be distributed equally between men and women in both amount and depth.  For each placing where prize money is offered for one gender, including any bonus for swim, bike, or run placing, there must be a corresponding and equal place for the other gender offering the same amount of prize money.

c. Where the depth of prize places exceeds the number of competitors in either gender, that portion of prize money designated for the places for which there are no finishers will not be distributed.

d. Events that feature a gender neutral competition through a handicapped time delay start for the men in order that women and men compete on an equal basis for a bonus prize shall not be construed to be in violation of Article 2.5 (b).

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.


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 age on December 31 of the year of the event.

b. Weight Class Division.  In events where a weight class division is offered, the minimum weight shall be 220 pounds for men and 165 pounds for women, monitored by the event organizer.  The weight class age categories for men and women shall be 39 years of age and under and 40 years of age and over.  Participants are not eligible to compete in a weight class division and in an age group division at the same event. 

3.3 General Conduct. At or during an event, or while at the event site, all participants must:

a. Act in compliance with these Competitive Rules;

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

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

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

e. 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:

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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.

f. 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.

g. 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.

h. 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.

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

j. 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.

k. 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.

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

m. 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 or elite wave in an event with age group waves shall be ineligible for age group awards.

n. Indecent Exposure. Public nudity at any time during the event is prohibited. Any violation of this Section shall result in a variable time penalty.

3.5 Unregistered Participants.

a. 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.

b. 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
  1. Written reprimand or censure
  2. Monetary fines
  3.  Suspension from membership in USA Triathlon (including retroactive suspension), and
  4. 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 3.7B 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, as defined by the length of the cycling course. The variable time penalty for each of the distance categories shall be the following:

Distance Category:

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Youth Events

1:00 minutes

2:00 minutes

Disqualification

Short/Intermediate

Cycle course less than 50K

2:00 minutes

4:00 minutes

Disqualification

Long

Cycle Course 50K to 100K

4:00 minutes

8:00 minutes

Disqualification

Ultra

Cycle course greater than 100K

6:00 minutes

12:00 minutes

Disqualification

 

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/Intermediate Cycle course less than 50K 1:00

Long Cycle Course 50K to 100K 2:00

Ultra Cycle course greater than 100K 4:00

 (a) First Violation – Time Penalty. A variable time penalty shall be imposed for the first violation of these Rules in which a time penalty is expressly authorized.

(b) Second Violation. For a second violation of these Rules the athlete shall be disqualified from the event and shall be required to immediately withdraw from the race and vacate the course.  Any athlete who fails to withdraw from a race and continues on the course after being disqualified shall be suspended from membership in USA Triathlon and barred from participation in any USA Triathlon sanctioned event for a period of one year.

3.7B Assessment of Time Penalties/Conduct of Athletes. Elite Rules.

All variable time penalties imposed under Section 3.7A shall be assessed in accordance with this Section. Except as otherwise provided herein, any violation of or failure to comply with this Section 3.7B 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 these Rules in which a time penalty is expressly authorized shall safely pull over to the side of the bicycle course and shall come to a complete stop, placing both feet on the ground. An athlete charged with a violation while in transition or on the run course shall come to a complete stop. The race official shall properly mark the athlete’s race numbers and the athlete 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 these Rules in which a time penalty is expressly authorized 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. The race official shall properly mark the athlete’s race numbers and allow the athlete to 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. An athlete charged with a violation while in transition or on the run course shall be directed by the official to serve the penalty either in place or at the Penalty Area.

(c) Penalty marking.  For any first violation, the race official shall apply a visible diagonal mark across the face of each race number worn by the penalized athlete.  For any second violation, or for any violation which results in disqualification, the race official will apply a second visible diagonal mark across all the athlete’s race numbers resulting in an X shaped mark. 

(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.

3.8 Acts Warranting Suspension. In addition to other penalties which 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:

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

b. Gross or continued unsportsmanlike conduct;

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

d. 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;

e. Intentionally participating in an event despite failure to register;

f. Repetitive or recurring violations of the Competitive Rules;

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

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

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

j. 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.

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(1).

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. The AAC has set the wetsuit maximum temperature for elite athletes at 68 degrees for swim distances less than 3000 meters and 71.6 degrees for distances of 3000 meters or greater. 
Any swimmer wearing a wetsuit with a thickness measured in any part greater than 5 millimeters shall be disqualified.

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.  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.

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, personal audio device, 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) and which is clearly labeled by the manufacturer as satisfying such standardsHelmets not labeled as approved by the CPSC, but meet one or more of the following standards: Snell B-90, Snell B-95, ASTM 1447-12, CEN European Standard, Canadian Standards Association, Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand AS/NZS, and Japanese Industrial Standard JIS, may be used on condition the participant completes and signs a supplemental waiverRemoval 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.  This section shall not apply to off-road triathlons and duathlons and shall be excluded from enforcement at those events.

a. Drafting.  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 a leading cyclist 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 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 alters 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.

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 reduces 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) Drafting. 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 a leading 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 ten (10) 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 one meter to each side of the vehicle and fifteen (15) meters 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; 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 cyclist directly ahead; no cyclist may maintain a position on 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.  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.

(h) 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.  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.

5.11 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.  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, except where the distance between the center of the chain wheel axle and the top of the saddle is less than 71 centimeters.  In this case the front-to-center distance cannot be less than 50 centimeters.  The "front-to-center" distance must measure not more than 65 centimeters, or seven eighths of the distance between the center of the chain wheel axle and the top of the saddle, whatever is greater.  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 competitors 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) There must be a free-wheeling mechanism between the crank and the rear wheel that allows the bicycle to roll forward while the pedals remain stationary.

(l) 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 Non-Traditional 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.

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, personal audio device, 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.


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 time 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.


Article VIII: Doping Control Rules

8.1 Policy.  USA Triathlon condemns the use of substances or methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency  (WADA) Prohibited List.  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 WADA Prohibited 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, USADA, WADA, and ITU. In addition, USAT complies with USOC Bylaws Section 8.7.j, which provides that, as a condition of membership in the USOC, each National Governing Body complies with the anti-doping policies and with the policies and procedures of the independent anti-doping organization designated by the corporation to conduct drug testing and adjudicate anti-doping rule violations. 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, USOC, IOC, WADA, and USADA, which 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 (OOC) doping controls conducted by the ITU, USADA or WADA. OOC testing of athletes may take place at any place or any time and may include an athlete’s home or training site, USA Triathlon elite-level camps, training sessions at USOC facilities or at other designated sites.  Additional information regarding the anti-doping rules of WADA, ITU, USOC and USADA, may be found at www.triathlon.org, www.usada.org, and www.wada-ama.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 Section 8.7.j, 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 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 Competitive Rules are hereby superceded. USA Triathlon will, without further process, enforce and publish any sanction communicated to USA Triathlon by USADA resulting from adjudication of a doping violation under the USADA Protocol.


Article IX: Race Officiating

 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 USAT Commissioner of Officials 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.


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 judgement. 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 protests 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.


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, the Commissioner of Officials, 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 judgement 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 this 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 affiant's 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 Appeals 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.


Rule Modifications for Paratriathletes

USA Triathlon Rule Modifications for Paratriathletes

P 1.0 General.

Paratriathletes, as defined under rule USAT rule P1.2 shall be governed by all USA Triathlon (USAT) Competitive Rules with the following modifications.

P 1.1 Classification.

Athletes may compete in USAT sanctioned races without official classification in categories set out in rule P1.2.  In order to compete in USA Paratriathon National Championships and national teams, paratriathletes must be classified by a certified USA Paratriathlete Classifier.  Paratriathletes shall provide classification to race directors upon registration.

Each paratriathlete shall be required to:

  a) Provide medical evidence and documentation describing his/her disability.

  b) Be available to the classifier for assessment prior to competition.

  c) Meet the minimum impairment criteria.

Athletes with miscellaneous conditions such as, but not limited to: intolerance to temperature extremes, organ transplants, joint replacements (endoprosthetics), kidney dialysis, hearing impairments, and or cognitive impairment are not eligible for paratriathlon competition or categories.

P 1.2 Competition Categories.

Paratriathlete categories shall be instituted and maintained as follows:

TRI 1 – Handcycle/Wheelchair: Paraplegic, Quadriplegic, Polio, Double Leg Amputee.  Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb.  Must use handcycle for the bicycle portion and racing wheelchair for the run portion. 
TRI 2 - Severe Leg impairment: Above-knee Amputees. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb.  Athlete must ride bicycle and run with approved prosthesis for the affected limbs (as identified during classification) or crutches.  Racing wheelchairs are not allowed.
TRI 3 - Les Autres:  Includes athletes with Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Double Leg Amputee (runners) or Paralysis in multiple limbs. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb.  Must ride a bicycle or tricycle and run. May use cane, braces or prosthesis during run portion.  No racing wheelchairs.
TRI 4 - Arm impairment:  Including Above and Below Elbow Amputees, paralysis, or impairment in one or both upper limbs. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb.  Athletes may use prosthesis, brace or sling on the bike and/or run. 
TRI 5 - Moderate leg impairment: Below-knee amputees. Must have a minimum of 15% impairment of any one limb.  Athlete must ride bicycle and run with approved prosthesis for the affected limb (as identified during classification) or crutches.
TRI 6a – Total visual impairment: No light perception in either eye up to some light perception but inability to recognize shapes at any distance or direction. It is mandatory that only one guide of the same sex may be used throughout the race. Athlete is tethered during the swim portion, must ride a tandem bicycle, and may choose an elbow lead or tether lead.
TRI 6b – Partial visual impairment: Legally Blind.  (20/200 vision or visual field of less than 40 degrees with best corrected vision). It is mandatory that only one guide of the same sex may be used throughout the race. Athlete is tethered during the swim portion, must ride a tandem bicycle, and may choose an elbow lead or tether lead.

P 1.3 Swimming Conduct.

  a) Wetsuits are allowed for TRI 1 participants at any water temperature. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, wetsuits are not permitted for TRI 2, TRI 3, TRI 4, TRI 5, TRI 6a, or TRI 6b categories.

  b) In multiple loop swim courses competitors are not required to exit the water before completing additional loops.

  c) Prosthetic and orthotic devices are considered propulsive devices and are not allowed for any category.

  d) TRI 1 competitors shall have both legs bound together during the swim portion.  The athlete may use a brace as long as it does not provide flotation.  The binding or brace must remain in place until the competitor exits the swim. 

P 1.4 Handlers.

Paratriathletes shall be permitted the following in regard to handlers/aides:

  a) Handlers should be allotted as follows:

     1) One handler for each paratriathlete in categories TRI 2, TRI 3, TRI 4, TRI 5;

     2) A maximum of two handlers for TRI 1;

     3) No handlers for categories TRI 6a and TRI 6b. 

  b) Each paratriathlete is required to identify all handlers and describe their duties to the appropriate race official prior to the start of competition. 

  c) Handlers shall be subject to all USAT Competitive Rules and must sign the USA Triathlon waiver. 

  d) Handlers are specifically allowed to assist competitors by:

     1) Assisting/carrying athletes from the water to transition area;

     2) Helping with prosthetic or other assistive devices;

     3) Lifting participants in and out of handcycles and wheelchairs;

     4) Removing wetsuits or clothing;

     5) Repairing flats and other equipment (in transition only).

  e) A handler may not take action to propel a competitor forward except in extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Head Referee.

P 1.5 Transition Areas.

  a) TRI 1 paratriathletes may use the handcycle in transition.

  b) Except for TRI 1 category, paratriathletes 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.

  c) TRI 1 competitors may use a wheelchair from swim exit to transition.

  d) Bicycles, tandem bicycles, tricycles, and handcycles may not be used from swim exit to transition.

P 1.6 Cycling Conduct and Equipment, TRI 2, TRI 3, TRI 4, TRI 5.

  a) Paratriathletes shall be governed by the following with regard to cycling conduct:
1) All bicycles and tricycles shall be propelled by human force.
2) Rigid prosthetic adaptations that are mounted or affixed to any part of the cycle are not allowed.
3) A rider shall be supported solely by the pedals, the saddle and the handlebars.
4) Category TRI 2 competitors not wearing a prosthesis may use a support for the thigh only if the thigh is not affixed to the bicycle.
5) Any request for an impairment adaptation to any cycle must be submitted in writing to USA Triathlon, with pictures and explanation, at least 30 days prior to the event.  If approved, the competitor will be notified in writing.

  b) Tricycle specifications (For use by TRI 3 Competitors only).

     1) The tricycle is a vehicle with three (3) wheels of equal diameter. The front wheel or wheels shall be steerable.  The rear wheel or wheels shall be driven through a system comprising pedals and a chain.
     2) Recumbent tricycles are not allowed.
     3) All tricycles shall conform to International Cycling Union (UCI) construction and measurements for a bicycle, including the bottom bracket, seat tube and saddle position (excluding the rear triangle).
     4) Wheels of the tricycle may vary in diameter between 70 cm maximum and 55 cm minimum including the tire, using conventional cycle components.  Modified hub attachments may be used if necessary. The width of tricycle double wheels may vary between 85 cm maximum and 60 cm minimum, measured at the center of each tire.
     5) If a tricycle’s two-wheel rear axle does not have a differential, only one wheel must be driven.
     6) A tricycle shall not measure more than 200 cm in length and 95 cm in width.
     7) The tricycle’s top tube may slope down rearwards, to an inclination parallel with the down tube.
     8) The two parallel wheels of a tricycle may be offset a maximum of 10 cm either side of a centerline, which passes through the single wheel and the frame top tube.
     9) Tricycles must have two independent braking systems, a working brake on the front wheel and a system on the double wheels that acts on both wheels.
   10) A tricycle shall be fitted with a safety bar to prevent the front wheel of a following bicycle or tricycle from entering the space between the rear wheels. The safety bar must be fixed to the tricycle so that there is no risk of the bar moving during competition. The distance from the ground to the center of the safety bar should be the same as the distance between the ground and the middle of the hub when the tires are inflated to the pressure used in competition.

  c) No guide dogs will be allowed on the bike course at any time.

  d) Paratriathletes who use catheters or other urinary diversion devices must use a catheter bag at all times.

P 1.7 Cycling Conduct and Equipment, TRI 1.                               

TRI 1 competitors must use a handcycle with the following specifications:

  a) A handcycle shall be an arm powered, three wheeled vehicle with an open frame of tubular construction which conforms to the general principles of International Cycling Union (UCI) construction for bicycles (except that the chassis frame tubes need not be straight.)  For the seat or backrest construction, the maximum frame tube diameter may not exceed the maximum defined by the general principles of UCI.

  b) The single wheel may be of a different diameter to the double wheels. The front wheel or wheels shall be steerable; the single wheel, either front or rear, shall be driven through a system comprising handgrips and a chain. The handcycle shall be propelled solely through a chainset and conventional cycle drive train, of crank arms, chainwheels, chain and gears, with handgrips replacing foot pedals.  It shall be propelled by the hands, arms and upper body only.

  c) All handcycles must have two separate braking systems, one at the front and one at the rear.  The braking system on the double wheels must be dynamic and act upon both wheels.

  d) The horizontal of the rider’s eyeline must be above the crank housing (crank set) when the rider’s hands are on the handlebars facing forward at full extent, the tip of both shoulder blades are in contact with the backrest and the head is in contact with the headrest (when applicable). 

  e) From the seated recumbent position described above (P1.7, d), conforming measurements are calculated as follows; (#1) the distance from the ground to the center of the rider’s eyes and (#2) the distance from the ground to the center of the crank housing (crank set).   Measurement #1 (from the eyes to the ground) must be equal or greater than measurement #2 (from the center of the crank housing to the ground.)

   f) The rider shall remain seated in the recumbent position with bodyweight supported through the seat and backrest. The seat angle must be a minimum of 30O and a maximum of 45O, measured between the horizontal and the back of the rider.

  g) All handcycles must have a mirror fixed either to the helmet of the rider or at some point on the front of the bike to ensure rear-view vision.

  h) Adjustments (except emergency repairs) to handcycle equipment may not be made during the race.

  i) Wheels of the handcycle may vary in diameter between a minimum 406 mm and a maximum of 622 mm.  Modified hub attachments may be used if necessary. The width of handcycle double wheels may vary between 55 cm minimum and 70 cm maximum, measured at the center of each tire where the tires touch the ground.  Wheels must be of spoke construction.  Solid disc wheels and wheel covers are not allowed.

  j) A handcycle shall not measure more than 250 cm in length.  Its maximum width shall be 70 cm.

  k) The shifting device may be located within the extremities of the handlebars, or to the side of the participant’s body.

  l) The largest chain ring shall have a guard securely fitted to protect the rider. The protection shall be made of a sufficiently solid material which fully covers the chain ring over the half of its circumference (180°) on the side facing the rider.

  m) Maximum frame tube dimension shall be 80 mm, irrespective of tube material or profile. Any fillets or ribs, inserted at joins between tubes, shall be for strengthening purposes only.  Non-functional, aerodynamic devices are not permitted for competition.

  n) A quick release body harness is permitted.

  o) A handcycle with two rear wheels shall be fitted with a safety bar that prevents the front wheel of a following bicycle, tricycle or handcycle from entering the space between the two wheels. The bar may not extend outside the width of the two wheels and the bar ends must be closed or plugged.  The bar shall be a round tube with a minimum diameter of 18 mm and must be fitted no less than 13 mm nor more than 17 mm behind the rear wheels.  The distance from the ground to the center of the bar axis must measure no less than 270mm nor more than 290 mm.  The structure and assembly of the bar must ensure that safe functioning is not affected by normal road conditions.

  p) It is the responsibility of the competitor that the handcycle conforms to all the above rules and no event shall be delayed while the competitor makes adjustments to the handcycle.

  q) Competitors shall wear CPSC approved bicycle helmets at all times while seated in the handcycle.

  r) Paratriathletes who use catheters or other urinary diversion devices must use a catheter bag at all times.

P 1.8 TRI 2 through TRI 6 Running Conduct.

Paratriathletes shall be governed by the following with regard to running conduct:

  a) Approved prosthetic devices on affected limbs and/or crutches are allowed.

  b) No footwear other than running shoes or approved prosthetics shall be allowed.

  c) Prosthetic devices are not allowed for any limb that does not meet the minimum impairment standard.

  d) No Guide dogs are allowed on the run course.

  e) Paratriathletes who use catheters or other urinary diversion devices must use a catheter bag at all times.

P1.9 TRI 1 Running Conduct and Equipment.

  a) TRI 1 competitors must use a racing wheelchair during the run portion.

  b) The racing wheelchair must conform to the following specifications:

    1) The wheelchair shall have at least two large wheels and one small wheel.
    2) No part of the body of the chair may extend forward beyond the hub of the front wheel and be wider than the inside of the hubs of the two rear wheels. The maximum height from the ground of the main body of the chair shall be 50cm.
    3) The maximum diameter of the large wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 70cm. The maximum diameter of the small wheel including the inflated tire shall not exceed 50cm.
    4) Only one round hand rim is allowed for each large wheel. This rule may be waived for persons requiring a single arm drive chair, if so stated on their medical qualification cards.
    5) No mechanical gears or levers shall be allowed that may be used to propel the chair.
    6) Only hand operated, mechanical steering devices will be allowed.
    7) Competitors must be able to turn the front wheel(s) manually both to the left and the right.
    8) Mirrors are permitted but are not required.
    9) No part of the chair may protrude behind the vertical plane of the back edge of the rear tires.
  10) It is the responsibility of the competitor that the wheelchair conforms to all the above rules and no event shall be delayed while the competitor makes adjustments to the chair.
  11) Competitors must ensure that no part of their lower limbs can fall to the ground during the event.
  12) Competitors shall wear CPSC approved bicycle helmets at all times while seated in the chair.

  
13) Chairs may be measured in the transition area and may not leave that area before the start of any event. Chairs which have been examined may be liable to re-examination before or after the event by the official in charge of the event.

  c) Propulsion by any method other than pushing on the wheels or push-rims shall result in disqualification.  An overtaking paratriathlete bears responsibility of ensuring full clearance of the chair before moving laterally across the path of the overtaken participant.  A paratriathlete being overtaken shall not obstruct or impede the passing athlete once the front wheels of the passing chair are within sight.

  d) TRI 1 athletes shall be judged as finished when any part of the torso reaches the perpendicular plane extending from the leading edge of the finish line.

  e) Paratriathletes who use catheters or other urinary diversion devices must use a catheter bag at all times.

P 2.0 TRI 6a and TRI 6b Paratriathlete and Guide Conduct.

The following additional rules apply to TRI 6 Paratriathletes and their guides:

a.) TRI 6 competitors must furnish and use one guide of the same gender in competition.

b.) Guides must be a minimum of 18 years of age on the day of the event.

c.) Guides may not hold a current USA Triathlon Elite license.

d.) The TRI 6 competitor may choose to use an elbow lead or tether lead.

e.) All TRI 6 competitors must be tethered during the swim.  The tether may be used around the waist, leg or foot.

f.) During the run portion, TRI 6 competitors may receive verbal instruction only from their guide.

g.) Bicycles, paddle boards or any other mechanical means of transport may not be used by guides on the swim or run.

h.) TRI 6 competitors must use a tandem bicycle.  The specifications of the tandem bicycle are:

     1) The tandem bicycle is a vehicle for two riders, with two wheels of equal diameter, which conforms to the general principles of UCI construction for bicycles. The front wheel shall be steerable by the front rider, known as the ‘pilot’. The guide shall be the front rider and the TRI 6 competitor will ride in the rear. Both riders shall face forward in the traditional cycling position and the rear wheel shall be driven by both cyclists through a system comprising pedals and chains.

    2) The tandem top tube, and any additional strengthening tubes, may slope to suit the morphological sizes of the riders.

    3) The tandem bicycle shall measure no more than 2.70 meters in length and 0.5 meters in width.

i.) At no time shall the guide lead or pace the athlete or propel the athlete forward by pulling or pushing.  Time penalty.

j.) Whether or not a tether is being used, the athlete and guide shall not be more than 0.5meters apart at all times.  Time penalty.

k.) As the TRI 6 athlete crosses the finish line, the guide must maintain no more than the required 0.5 meter maximum separation distance and may not precede the athlete.  Time penalty.

l.) Guides shall be subject to all USA Triathlon Competitive Rules, including membership requirements.

Infringement of any these rules shall result in a disqualification (DQ) unless otherwise indicated. 


PC Open Division Guidelines

Not all athletes with ADA defined disabilities fit into a Paratriathlon medical classification or are able to follow the strict equipment usage rules of Paratriathlon. Accordingly, USA Triathlon offers a PC Open Division as an accommodation for those persons who wish to participate in a sanctioned event but who will not follow some Paratriathlon rules.

Participation in the PC Open Division is available to athletes with a medically verified physical, visual, or neurological impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

As defined in the Paratriathlon rules, athletes with miscellaneous conditions such as, but not limited to, intolerance to temperature extremes, organ transplants, joint replacements (endoprosthetics), kidney dialysis, hearing impairments, and or cognitive impairment are not eligible for the PC Open Division.

Formal Paratriathlon classification into approved categories is not required.

Adaptive equipment used in the PC Open Division must conform to the equipment specifications listed in the Paratriathlon Rule Modifications or in Article 5.11 of the Competitive Rules with the following exceptions:

  • Participants with any disability that may affect balance may choose to use stabilizer wheels on the bicycle. The BIKE USA, Inc. Stabilizer Wheel Kit is an adult training wheel kit and it has been approved for use. For information and pictures of the product, see http://www.stabilizerwheels.com/
  • Recumbent style tricycles are allowed.
  • Hand-cycles that do not meet the Paratriathlon measurement restrictions for length, wheel size, seat angle, and have no safety bars are allowed.

PC Open atheltes may use any of the allowed adaptive equipment in combinations that are not permitted in Paratriathlon.

Any request to use adaptive equipment not defined in the Paratriathlon Rules or in the exceptions above must be submitted to USA Triathlon at least 14 days in advance of the event.

Conduct of athletes in competition, other than equipment restrictions, shall be governed by the Paratriathlon Rules and the USAT Competitive Rules.

Conduct and standards for handlers and guides shall remain as defined in the Paratriathlon rules.

Questions from athletes and event organizers should be directed to USA Triathlon.

USA Triathlon Supplemental Youth Rules

The rules set forth in this document are constructed to supplement the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules and shall apply to all competition sanctioned as “Youth Events.”  For any issue not specifically addressed in these Youth Rules, the relevant USAT Competitive Rules shall apply. 

Penalties.  The type of penalty for violating a specific rule is listed at the end of the rule as either “T” for Time or “DQ” for Disqualification.  Time penalties shall be administered according to the table and are added to the participant’s final time.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

1:00 minutes

2:00 minutes

Disqualification

 

Membership and Eligibility

  1.  All Youth participants shall compete based upon their age on December 31 of the year of the event.
  2. The minimum age for Youth competition is six years and the maximum is 15 years of age on December 31 of the year of the event.
  3. Youth participants must be Youth members of USA Triathlon.  Youth Membership in USA Triathlon is available to all persons, age 17 and under, in good standing with USA Triathlon who, along with their parents or guardians, submits a completed application, pay the required membership fee, and comply with all the requirements determined by USA Triathlon to be applicable to Youth Membership. 
  4. Race officials reserve the right to require proof of age from each participant in the form of a birth certificate or other official proof of age document.  Failure to produce a proof of age document may result in disqualification from the event.

Swimming Rules

  1. Proper swimwear must be worn.  DQ 
  2. No flotation devices of any kind may be used during the swim.  DQ
  3. No artificial propulsive devices such as fins, paddles, or gloves may be used.  DQ
  4. Swimmers must be able to complete the entire course using any stroke.  Swimmers may not make forward progress by pulling on lane ropes, swim gutters or any other inanimate object.  T
  5. Goggles or face masks may be worn but are not required.
  6. If provided by the event, swimmers must wear the assigned swim cap throughout the swim.  T
  7. Participants must follow instructions given by lifeguards and officials including prohibitions against running on the pool deck or diving in restricted areas.  T or DQ at official’s discretion

Transition Rules

  1. The transition area is open to participants and their parents only.  When transition closes for competition to begin, only participants and race officials may enter transition.  Finishers may not retrieve gear until all participants have finished the cycling portion and have begun the run.  T or DQ at official’s discretion
  2. Competition apparel (shoes, socks, shirts) must be placed next to the bicycle at the rack and may not be taken to the pool or swim start area.  T
  3. Bicycles must be placed in the rack according to the directions given by race officials.  Bicycles may be racked in the assigned area, by the handlebars, the seat or by using the kickstand.  Bikes placed on kickstands must be in the designated area, in line with other bikes, and may not extend out into the lane of travel.  T
  4. Participants may not interfere with other participants’ gear.  T or DQ at official’s discretion
  5. After completing the cycling portion, participants must return bicycles to an upright position in the same assigned location before beginning the run portion.  T
  6. No riding bicycles in transition.  Participants must walk or run with their bicycles and may not mount until out of transition and in the designated mount zone.  T

Bicycle Equipment Rules

  1. The bicycle must be road worthy and in safe operating condition. DQ
  2.  The bicycle shall have two wheels.  No training wheels are allowed.  DQ
  3. There must be at least one working brake on each of the two wheels unless the bicycle was manufactured with only one brake, in which case, the working brake shall be on the rear wheel.  DQ
  4. The bicycle may be on-road, off-road or youth style.  No recumbent style bicycles are allowed.  DQ
  5. Only standard drop, straight, or curved handlebars are allowed.  No aero or time trial bars may be attached to the bike or used during competition.  All handlebars ends shall be solidly plugged.  DQ
  6. No disk wheels or wheel covers are allowed.  DQ
  7. Race officials reserve the right to disallow any bicycle deemed unsafe.  Any unusual bicycle must be approved by race officials prior to competition.

Cycling Conduct

  1. Cyclists must wear a helmet approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission for road cyclists age 5 and older.  No time trial, “chrono,” or “aero” helmets with a tail may be used.  DQ
  2. The helmet must be securely fastened prior to mounting the bicycle and at all times while riding the bicycle.  The helmet may not be unfastened and removed until the participant has completely dismounted.  DQ
  3. Cyclists shall wear shoes at all times while on the bike.  DQ
  4. Cyclists shall ride in a safe manner, which includes:
    1. Riding on the right side of the lane;  T
    2. Riding no closer than two bike lengths distance behind a leading cyclist;  T
    3. Passing on the left of the slower cyclist;  T
    4. Riding in a straight line without swerving, veering, or blocking the forward progress of other cyclists.  DQ
  5. Race officials may remove and disqualify any cyclist who appears to ride or behave in an unsafe manner.

Running Conduct

  1. Participants shall run or walk the entire course.  DQ
  2. Participants shall wear shoes at all times while on the run course.  T

General Race Rules

  1. Unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of participants or their parents and supporters will not be allowed.  Participants must treat others with courtesy and respect.  No rude, abusive, or discourteous language or behavior will be tolerated.  T or DQ at official’s discretion
  2. Participants must complete the prescribed course in its entirety.  DQ
  3. No personal audio devices or headsets may be used or carried during any portion of the event.  T
  4. No unauthorized assistance of any kind is allowed.  Parents or other non-participants may not run or ride a bicycle with a participant nor may they provide participants any food, fluid, or equipment aid during competition.  T
  5. Race numbers must be displayed at all times.  Swimmers must be clearly body-marked, cyclists must display their bike numbers, and runners must wear their bib numbers.  T

Competitive Rules

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 service 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. 

 

Published by USA Triathlon

Copyright 1992, 2014 by USA Triathlon

Copying without a fee is permitted provided the source is acknowledged. Updated March 2014.

Additional copies of these rules may be obtained by request writing to:

USA Triathlon, 5825 Delmonico Dr. Suite 200,

Colorado Springs, CO 80919


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