Various changes to starting rules

This discussion has an associated proposal. View Proposal Details here.

Comments about this discussion:


Starting in Track races is regulated in 2B.6.7 and 2C.3. I see a couple of issues with it, including:

1. The usual option for starts is the regular starting beeps. The four-count start should be the alternative (if used at all).
2. "Rolling starts are not permitted in any race" - wrong: they are permitted in Slow Balance.
3. The four-count is too loosely described in 2C.3. Especially identical amount of time in between the counts is important.

Do people see more important issues in these two sections?

I intend to create a proposal which completely rewrites these two sections, because I see some smaller issues too.

I will then proceed to do the same for Road Racing, without first starting a separate discussion there (in view of the deadline of 22 May).


2. Chapter 2 does not regulate slow balance starts, if I understand correctly. 


That is correct until we merge Chapters 2 and 3. See discussion # 143.


I agree that the start beep should be the preferred start signal and the four-count start should be the alternative.

I also agree that some parts of rule 2C.3 would fit better into rule 2.B.6.7 as they are also interesting for the riders. Especially the paragraph about how to deal with false starts belongs in my opinion in the part that is also relevant for the riders.
Some time ago I translated and summarized some rules for a German competition. The back-translated version of my merged start rule is as follows:

"Riders start mounted, holding onto a starting post or other support. Unicycle riders need to be leaning forward before the starting gun fires, so the Starter will give a four-count start. Example: “One, two, three, BANG!” This allows riders to predict the timing of the gun, for a fair start.

As an alternative a start-beep apparatus can be used. In that case we have a six-count start. Example: “beep - beep -beep - beep - beep - buup!” The timing between beeps is one second. The first 5 beeps have all the same frequency. The final tone (buup) has a slightly higher frequency, so that the racer can easily distinguish this tone from the rest. The proper moment to start is the beginning of the final tone.

Riders start with the fronts of their tires (forward most part of wheel) behind the edge of the starting line that is farthest from the finish line. Rolling starts are not permitted in any race. However, riders may start from behind the starting line if they wish, provided all other starting rules are followed. Riders may lean before the gun fires, but their wheels may not move forward at any time. Rolling back is allowed, but nothing forward. Riders may place starting posts in the location most comfortable for them, as long as it doesn’t interfere with other riders.

A false start occurs if a rider’s wheel moves forward before the start signal, or if one or more riders are forced to dismount due to interference from another rider or other source.

If a heat has to be restarted, the Starter will immediately recall the riders, for example by firing a gun or blowing a whistle or other clear and predefined signal. It is only the earliest false starting rider who gets assigned this false start and might get disqualified.

There are two options on how to deal with false starts:
• One False Start Allowed Per Rider: In case of a false start, the heat is restarted. Any rider(s) who caused their personal first false start may start again. Any rider(s) causing their personal second false start are disqualified.
• One False Start Allowed Per Heat: In case of a false start, the heat is restarted. For the first false start of a particular heat, all riders may start again. Thereafter, any rider(s) causing a false start are disqualified. This option should not be used without an electronic false start monitoring system."


As you can see I integrated the false start rule into the start rule in the summary, because a false start can only occur logically during the start process and therefore belongs logically to the description of the start process for me. Of course you could formulate some things more beautifully and change the preferred start variant, but I think such a summarized start rule would be logical and easier to understand than if things were distributed over the rulebook.


I like moving much of the text of 2C.3 (perhaps all of it) to the Riders subchapter (2B).
Indeed I have already identified a few phrases I would formulate differently, which I will get to when I create a proposal.

Do you suggest that all of your italic text goes into a single section, or would you distribute over 2B.7 and 2B.8?


The whole thing with the false starts is a bit unclear, in my opinion (see the other discussion), but in the end false starts are part of the starting process. Maybe they would be best kept as a subitem in the section Start - perhaps also without own numbering. But I think there are some things that need to be reworked, for which we don't have the time at the moment.


Jan's retranslation from the German sounds very good. I don't have an opinion on how to arrange it within the sections.


The Proposal (#70):

- If a start-beep system uses 1-second delays, we should probably recommend that starting gun-type starts also use a 1-second delay. The 3/4 second thing came off the top of my head, but everyone is familiar with start-beep systems, if not from unicycle racing, from watching other sports on TV.

Beyond that, I think it looks great!


I'm neutral on 1 second or 3/4 second. I just kept what we had.
3/4 second is somehow easier to grasp a rhythm for than 1 second.
It isn't really that important - who uses counting out these days?

Do others think we need to change to 1 second (in proposals 69 and 70)?


I don't think we should change that.


You may be right about being able to follow the rhythm of a 3/4 second count better, I think that's why we settled on it back when we originally did (before that, the problem was that many starters used a longer gap before firing the pistol, and we were tired of explaining to Athletics experts why our riders MUST know when the gun will go off; most didn't like that).


I conclude we won't change the 3/4 second in the 1 2 3 BANG.

For the record: I'm happy with the one second start beep interval. It has more counts than 1 2 3 BANG, so you have enough time to lock in on the rhythm. And many riders have figured out when to start leaning forward with respect to the beeps as they are. This would be messed up when we would change it.


Klaas I think your proposal is good, but I have a few comments:

1. You wrote: "Rolling starts are not permitted in any race, with the exception of Slow Balance."
I don't think there are any start variants described in this section used for Slow Balance anyway - so I would put this rule in the new section "X.1 Races" and leave the Slow Balance out of it, because they would belong to a different section ("X.2 Technical Disciplines").
(If only the rule's affiliation to a section is not clear enough to you, we could also change the first sentence to the following: "This procedure is used for all disciplines mentioned in X.1.1 Racing Disciplines".)

2. We have now removed some text from section 2C.3, which is very relevant for the starter. Even if the judges should also read the part of the rules for the competitors, I think it would be good to give an explicit reference to the tasks. However, I do not want to duplicate the text and would suggest something in the following form:
"The responsibilities of the starter result from 2B.6.7 Starting and 2B.6.8 False starts."



1. I am not really clear on the structure of the merged chapters 2 and 3, with the X's.
My intention was to have this section somewhere "before" the split between Races and Technical Disciplines so that it applies to both - in which case we need the exception for Slow Balance. If it would be after this split, we would have to duplicate almost all of it.

In any case, there should be no need to put in the rule to what section(s) it applies, this must be clear from where the rule is in the text.

Can you clarify where 2B.6.7 and 2B.6.8 go in the X structure, in your view?

2. I'll go with that, except the first word (The). There are still some responsibilies under 2C.3, so it's just "additional" responsibilities that follow from 2B.6.7 and 2B.6.8.


I think we wouldn't have to duplicate anything of the start rule, because the described start variants are only used for races. In the technical disciplines there is either no start command at all (Coasting, Gliding & Stillstand) or another signal and start rule is used (Slow & IUF Slalom). Therefore, I would have considered the rules common for the races and would list them under X.1.2 / X.1.3.

X.1 Races
  X.1.1 Racing Disciplines
    X.1.1.1 100m
  X.1.2 Starting
  X.1.3 False Starts
  ... (more common rules for the Racing Disciplines)

X.2 Technical Disciplines
  X.2.1 Technical Disciplines
    X.2.1.1 IUF Slalom


I understand. I will remove "with the exception of Slow Balance".

Hopefully Scott (who I understand is going to implement the restructuring) reads the above.


I'm reading!


I wrote a lot. But now I'm calling it a day.


If you want, you can replace the reference to Slow Balance by just saying "Rolling starts are not permitted in any regular race."


Slow balance is NOT a race. That’s why it’s been renamed. 


It's so not a race! It's an un-race.

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