Optional Race-End Cut-Off Time (delete 2D.9) (Closed for comments)
Comments about this discussion:
I think this rule is only important for long distance races and dates back to a time when Road Races and Track Races had a common chapter in the rulebook. We should delete the rule from the rulebook at this point, as it has no relevance for the disciplines mentioned in chapter 2 Track: Racing and is inappropriate at this point.
I tend to agree.
On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt to still have this rule in case things start to take a very long time (like very slow riders taking 8 or 10 minutes for 800 meters). In practice, this would be quite rare and then only occur in one or very few heats.
It’s also relevant for a 1500 or 1600m track race if the organizer chose to host it. This rule is still useful in track, if perhaps only rarely used.
The proposal is about Chapter 2. 1500 or 1600m Track races are not in Chapter 2.
By the way, I don't like the split between Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, and am preparing to start a discussion about it.
Scott I totally agree with you that at 1500m / 1600m or even longer races it can make sense to set a maximum time. But these distances are no disciplines covered by the rulebook. And if an organiser hosts a discipline outside the disciplines mentioned in the rulebook, I think it is also his freedom and his responsibility to communicate the appropriate rules in advance.
I believe this rule can still be applied for 800m races. I've known more than one person who set out to prove something, mostly to themselves, at the cost of everybody else's time.
As a Track Referee, I will share one of my most agonizing moments. 800m race at Unicon 12, Tokyo. Two competitors in the 70+ (Yes! Gotta love Japan!) Women's heat. Both of them, I'm pretty sure, were grandmothers of younger riders at the convention. This wasn't about cutting them off but was, in its own way, worse. The faster lady got partway around the track, and had a UPD. She had been going about twice as fast as the other rider. But she wasn't good at freemounting (I think she didn't really have that skill, or was nervous). But she was trying, and never gave up. Then the other lady passed her, going really slow. She kept trying. There was a small crowd of people along the side of the track now, all shouting encouragement and itching to help her. C'mon, there are only two of them! They're grandmothers! But it's not allowed! Whatever was being said in Japanese was lost of me, but body language is obvious. Finally the second lady passed her a second time. I deliberately turned to face away, and waved my hands in a "do whatever" manner. I don't know what happened after that, but then she was riding! She finished one lap, and everyone was happy. Call me a bad Referee.
https://tinyurl.com/grandma800 (3 pictures from that race. Yes, the photographer is sometimes a Referee)
So what does that story have to do with this question? Not a lot. But let's say Grandma #1 wanted to finish her two laps, without any help. This particular grandma would never have done that, but I can picture a stubborn person who insists on it. So for non-predetermined race cut-offs, like the example above, the Referee or lead official of that event should have the authority to declare that the race is over, or announce a fixed amount of time remaining for any riders to finish. For longer races where you want to pre-set a time limit this can be announced in advance.
Yeah, of course in absolute exceptional cases it can also happen that an 800m race would take a very long time... but in my opinion rule 2D.9 is much too complicated and contains too many unnecessary aspects for such realy exceptional cases. Wouldn't it make more sense to introduce a section on the powers and responsibilities of the referee and to regulate a potential race termination there? Basically, I have no objections if the referee - but only the referee - has the authority to stop a race under specified circumstances.