Requirement for minimum race number size to aid rider identification (road, muni and cyclocross) (Closed for comments)
Comments about this discussion:
There is currently a proposal in the Road committee regarding rider identification aimed at helping manual data recording which proposes that riders "must use the officially provided race number unmodified in any manner."
However in my opinion this proposal will not meet its intent unless there is also a minimum size for race numbers for participants in mass start events (ie road, muni and cyclocross) where manual data recording that is often essential to small events and as backup to large events.
For example USA cycling specifies the minimum number size (for race numbers placed on the riders body) by overall height and length (18cm x 16cm), as well as digit height (10cm) and digit line width (1,5cm) and numbers are commercially available that meet these specifications. Obviously there would need to be some allowance for riders that have lost or forgotten their race numbers and so are forced to use a substitute (something that came up in the Road committee discussion).
Only race numbers for road, muni and cyclocross would have to meet the minimum size specification.
For reference, info regarding number sizes used at the last three Unicons...
Unicon 17 - Number size 20cm x 16cm, Digit height 4,8cm Digit line width 0,9cm
Unicon 18 - Number size 21cm x 14,8cm, Digit height 5,2cm Digit line width 1,0cm
Unicon 19 - Number size 22,5cm x 19,5cm, Digit height 6,7cm Digit line width 1,5cm
Thanks for the information. Interesting that the past 3 Unicons had digit heights much smaller than your recommendation.
Was there any problem with legibility of the used numbers in the past 3 Unicons, in properly attached bibs?
I think not.
Yes, there were problems.
At Unicon 19, the "7" and "1" looked very similar. Not sure if this would have been different if this proposal was passed. The larger numbers (compared to the previous) were nice.
At Unicon 18, the numbers were very small and difficult to read at a distance. Volunteers who did the backup recording did the best they could, but combined with the problems we had with chip data, it was unpleasant at best.
I provided the USA cycling rule for reference an example of a number size specification, not as a recommendation for the minimum size for unicycle racing. My point for opening this discussion was to underline that, without a minimum specification in our rulebook, event organisers are free to use whatever number size they please which could make data recording more difficult than it already is, so I see this as a potential issue worth avoiding with a rule.
I'll also add that, being a mass start race, I'm assuming the criterium (if approved) should be added to the list of events requiring a minimum number size.
I think there are lots of smaller and bigger recommendations for organisers. Kind of the "handbook" for new (Unicon) organisers.
I believe that this handbook doesn't exist (yet?). But IUF do help out in Unicon and ECU organisation. I think the number size issue, together with hundreds of other organisational details, would better fit in such guidance (handbook or otherwise) than in the rulebook.