800m - definition of the point from which the non-lane racing rules are applied (changing 2B.6.3)This discussion has an associated proposal. View Proposal Details here.
Comments about this discussion:
The current rule 2B.6.3 does not contain a clear and unambiguous definition of the point at which riders are allowed to leave the lane and the non-lane racing rules are applied at an 800m where the start is performed in individual lanes.
Current rule 2B.6.3:
"In the 800m race, riders start in a lane, but at some point (usually the first turn) non-lane racing rules apply."
In my opinion both statements, 1. "at some point" and 2. "usually the first turn", are absolutely meaningless and should be replaced by a suitable definition.
The definition from athletics (IAAF Competition Rules 2018-2019, Rule 163.5) does not give an exact position of the line, but gives the athletes at least an exact definition of how the line looks like, which in my opinion would be a big step forward.
"The 800m event shall be run in lanes as far as the nearer edge of the breakline where athletes may leave their respective lanes. The breakline shall be an arced line marked after the first bend, 50mm wide, across all lanes other than lane 1. To assist athletes identify the breakline, small cones, prisms or other suitable markers, 50mm × 50mm and no more than 0.15m high, preferably of different colour from the breakline and the lane lines, shall be placed on the lane lines immediately before the intersection of the lines and the breakline."
I think it would make sense to include something similar in our Rulebook.
We could indeed add something like that. For what I've seen, all athletic tracks are similar in this respect.
Do we have small cones or such in our 800m races? I never paid attention to it, as I just know where the line is. But if we normally do, it's probably a good thing for less experienced riders - and then it's also good to have it in our rules as per your suggestion.
Yes, any athletics track that complies with the IAAF rules will have the described breakline marked on the ground (The exact position is given in the IAAF Track and Field Facilities Manual).
In Germany, we usually use halved tennis balls to produce the marking described in the IAAF rules. This works very well and gives the riders a clearly visible marking and highlights the corresponding line on the track.
I don't think it is a good idea to use small cones on the lanes as it could be dangerous that someone rides into it. As far as I know the small cones were on the left and right end of the track plus there was a line clearly marked over the whole track. After crossing this line you were allowed to enter into lane 1.
To be honest I think the inner lane boundary is much more "dangerous" than a possible additional marking of the breakline... In Germany we have been using the halved tennis balls regularly as marking on the track for some years now (also for One Foot races to mark the 5m line additionally) and I don't know of a single case where someone has fallen over such a marking.
But first and foremost this topic should not be about marking the breakline, but about a better definition in the rulebook, so that it is clearly determined which point is meant by "some point".
I think that the IAAF rule is too wordy, and seems almost like a recipe how to make the breakline. Let's just assume that a correct breakline is present, and not worry about the width of it, whether it should be arced, be across lane 1, etc.
In the 800m race, riders stay in their lane until the breakline intended for that purpose. After the breakline, non-lane racing rules apply.
This rule may not be "water-tight" but I don't think anyone will try to find and exploit a loophole.
Indeed, the wording of the IAAF rule is certainly too complicated and not necessary. I think the suggestion from Klaas is in any case a clear improvement compared to the current rule.
On the other hand, in unicycle races we often unconsciously use markings and rules from athletics, without these being mentioned in our own rules and regulations. Of course for many people it's quite clear where to leave the track in an 800m race and what this breakline looks like - but this is not explicitly mentioned in our rules.
The majority of unicyclists are probably not Track athletes. I had to learn about all those lines on Athletics tracks from experience over time. The 800m "break" line is a curve, so marking it only at the ends may not be sufficient, but if riders are instructed to use the cones as a guide, and then the pained line for their actual lane departure, that should be sufficient. Except for language barriers, perhaps.
I like the half-tennis ball idea, or anything small that's easy to see, can't be moved by the wind, and doesn't present a hazard to riders. Having actual markers for each lane gives riders a precise spot where they can legally exit their lane.
A proposal is needed please!
Unfortunately, very few committee members participated in this discussion. Therefore we have the short version of Klaas as a suggestion, which is certainly better than the current rule, but in my opinion could be formulated in a more detailed way. I would therefore prefer something like the following:
"The 800m race shall be run in lanes as far as the nearer edge of the breakline where riders may leave their respective lanes. The breakline shall be an arced line marked after the first bend across all lanes other than lane 1. To assist athletes identify the breakline, halved tennis balls can be placed on the lane lines immediately before the intersection of the lines and the breakline. After the breakline, non-lane racing rules apply."
I think the detailed description would help drivers who have little experience with the races to identify the right line and give them some security.
Do you want the tennis balls to be a requirement? Or only a suggestion for hosts?
I prefer a suggestion instead of a requirement.
Yes, of course, that's meant to be just a suggestion for organizers how you could mark it, because of that I wrote "can be placed" - if you would phrase it differently as a native speaker, I would be happy to have an alternative.