Update 4B.3 Rider IdentificationThis discussion has an associated proposal. View Proposal Details here.
Comments about this discussion:
This discussion is for organizers rather than competitors. I expect some competitors will not like this rule; however I’m proposing a change to an existing rule that makes it better for organizers and volunteers.
4B.3 Rider Identification
Riders must wear their race number clearly visible on their chest so that it is visible during the race and as the rider crosses the finish line. Additionally, the rider may be required to wear a chip for electronic timing.
4B.3 Rider Identification
Riders must wear their race number clearly visible on their chest and on their back so that it is visible during the race and as the rider crosses the finish line. The race number must be the officially provided race number unmodified in any manner (no folding or cutting in any manner). Additionally, the rider may be required to wear a chip for electronic timing.
It must be clear that on their back can mean on a hydration pack and does not have to be on their physical back. Also, I don't think we need to require a number on their back for all events. For large event, it is helpful.
I agree with the intent of this (ie clearer rider identification) and would suggest that the current rider identification rules for some other disciplines (muni? cyclocross?) would benefit with being updated similarly.
With the goal of clear rider identification, I suggest that the minimum number and digit size should also be specified - for example USA Cycling defines the min size for as 18cm high x 16cm wide with a minimum digit size as 10cm high with 1.5cm digit line width. Could we do something similar? USA Cycling rules also have useful verbiage that prohibit tampering with race numbers that we may want to consider adopting ("Numbers may not be folded, trimmed, or otherwise defaced.").
What happens to riders who don't show up with the official race number? Are they not allowed to start?
I am planning on adding this for Muni, but not for Track or Urban events.
Scott - suggested wording to be clear about the back?
Mirjam - in the past we have allowed riders to use a piece of paper or thicker paper to write their number on and then worn. Obviously this works with the old rule, but not the proposed rule. On the one hand, I prefer to be nice ... However, it makes it much more difficult for the volunteers to read a hand-written number that is often not visible from a distance or completely disintegrated by the end of the race.
I am behind this change for Road and Muni (including Cyclocross).
Perhaps we could explicitly add that a bib must be fixed on all four corners. If you fix only at the top, weird aerodynamics often cause the bib to be blown upside down and be illegible.
Another Rider Identification issue is the use of number stickers on the side of helmets. I think this has only been used in Track (Lane Number) so perhaps it's not appropriate in this Road Committee? Anyway, I have often heard that no stickers should be put on helmets, as the glue/solvent weakens the helmet. Peeling them off immediately after the race usually doesn't help: they often disintegrate and the glue part remains.
Based on comments above, I've changed the text:
4B.3 Rider Identification
Riders must wear their race number fixed at the four corners clearly visible on their chest and on their back so that it is visible during the race and as the rider crosses the finish line. The race number must be the officially provided race number unmodified in any manner (numbers may not be folded, trimmed, or otherwise defaced). Additionally, the rider may be required to wear a chip for electronic timing.
Note: stickers ruining helmets is an urban myth. Not true.
I think "on their back" (as you have it now) is clear enough. The rule states it must be "clearly visible".
We don't need to account for people who take things too literally, and state:
* If you wear a shirt, it should go on the shirt, not on your back.
* If you carry a backpack on your back (or on your shirt), it should go on the backpack.
* It should be on the outside of the shirt or backpack, on the rear of it, not upside down or sideways, letters facing to the rear.
Note: I just did some Googling and found a lot of support for your statement that stickers don't weaken helmets.
I support this change. It's a great idea to make it easier for data collectors at the end of races.
I like that the rule states it must be the official number. At large events, this can get out of hand quickly. For small events, the race officials can have the final say.
Looks good, though I suggest you consider leaving an "out" on the back number. Riders must wear it if it's provided and required, but this suggests they are both *always* going to be required. This could be done by adding "when required" before "on their back".
I don't believe a lost/damaged/destroyed officially supplied race number should disqualify someone from starting, though I don't know if we need to address it in this rule. Or make a simple reference to "replacement" or "emergency" race numbers, that must be approved by officials. There are so many ways a loose race number can be blown out of a bus window, for instance, and not be retrievable...
A different approach in this rule can be to state how race number(s) are attached, and that it/they must be worn in the fashion specified for each event. This leaves the door open for side numbers, helmet numbers, etc.
Note: I have a helmet entirely made of stickers (okay, not really)
I see merit in above suggestions.
Note: during said Googling I found out that what you describe is called "sticker bombing".
I remember a situation at a Unicon where I didn't have my number in my bag at registration. Following the new rule it would have lead to disqualification, which of course would not have been ok.
I like the idea of John about emergeny numbers, which have officially been approved by someone.
All the rest is fine for me.
I am in general agreement with having race numbers front and back to make it easier for officials to read/cross check riders, in addition to a timing chip system.
We 'need' to be able to see the numbers, but keep in mind that race numbers come in different sizes and materials, and hydration packs also come in different shapes and widths. We have to be careful about how much modification/folding is disallowed.
For instance, I use a very long, narrow, camelback. For one of the races I regularly do, I attach their race number at the top of my hydration pack but fold the bottom corners so that whole number sits on the flap The number is clearly visible (mid-thoracic region), but without the folding the corners of the number-plate, it would be half attached to the pack and half attached to my shirt. I would not be able to take the hydration pack off, nor refill it without removing the race number, my shirt and the hydration pack all at once.
My main problem with stickers is they make a mess off the helmet. It's like buying a brand new kitchen appliance and having a half-stuck on price/promotional sticker ruining the 'look'- you get the paper bit off but the gummy residue is hard to remove.
I found the solution is to make them slightly less sticky by rubbing on some fibrous material first, but keeping it just sticky enough to stay on for the whole race. Happy to do a workshop on it.
Based on the new comments above, I've changed the text:
4B.3 Rider Identification
Riders must wear their race number fixed at the four corners clearly visible on their chest and, when required, on their back so that it is visible during the race and as the rider crosses the finish line. The race number must be the officially provided race number unmodified in any manner (numbers may not be folded, trimmed, or otherwise defaced). Lost or damaged race numbers may replaced with approval by referee. Additionally, the rider may be required to wear a chip for electronic timing.
This photos is slightly small but shows what I mean:
Do we need to add text to cover Ken's situation?
What about shirt-less riders?
Or very small riders with a very narrow torso?
I'm open to suggestions for the text.
Race number-plate back and belly piercings? The ultimate Unicon body-modification momento, tattoos are so yesterday.
Or how about:
"The race number plates may not be modified in any manner (for instance folded, trimmed, or otherwise defaced), unless by prior approval with the race referee. Approval may be sought to modify a number plate if it cannot be attached securely to the rider due to the riders physique, hydration pack or other exceptional circumstance."
I like Ken's suggestion.
Anybody else? I feel this is ready to go to proposal.
I agree with Ken suggestion too.
What I would like to see is just smaller number plates, that would not need to be folded or cut. The sizes should be defined. We can make system that defines two type of number plates. Big one with number and event name, sponsors, etc. and second, small one with just a number. Riders might be required to carry two numbers, but at least one big.
There is issue of number of plates handed to racers. At last Unicon I participated in 8 races having only 4 number plates given. I damaged many of them during races.
Another issue is to allow some flexibility in judging situations when number is damaged, lost or not well visible due to crash or some other unintentional situation.
I agree with Connie & Ken last proposals.
I'm only worrying about the increasing number or riders using aerobars, that can have horizontal torso while riding.
Is it ok to have the number on tights then? It can be annoying (dangerous?) to straighten each time a referee asks...
I agree to Ken's suggestion as a replacement for Connie's second sentence. What is lost however is "must be the officially provided race number" - I think it's better to have that in there.
Little grammar thing, please correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't it be "approval of", or maybe "approval from"?
If I may take a stab:
Riders must wear their race number(s) fixed at the four corners, clearly visible on their chest and, when required, on their back so that it is visible during the race and as the rider crosses the finish line. Riders must use the officially provided race number unmodified in any manner. Numbers should not be folded, trimmed, or otherwise defaced. Referee approval may be sought to modify a number plate if it cannot otherwise be attached securely due to hydration pack, rider physique or posture when riding. Lost or damaged race numbers may replaced with approval by referee. Additionally, riders may be required to wear a chip for electronic timing.
This is a blend of Connie's edit from above, with Ken's additions, and trying to make it firm but flexible. It should be clear what riders are required to do. If they have a problem, they may seek legal adjustments from the Referee. I'll add that, in big events, the Referee can authorize one or more assistants to help with that task if lots of riders need to customize.
I added "posture" to address the situation Martin brought up, of people who ride in a bike road racing posture. The easy answer for this would be to make sure riders know they need to sit up when crossing the finish line, or any other checkpoint where rider info is taken down.
I think that having the number on the back allows for races where riders ride hunched over. The officials can see their number after they cross over the line. I don't think that we should allow people to fix the numbers to their legs, officials need to know to look in one spot and not have to search their body for the number. In a race at Unicon, realistically chips should be used. This would cover the case of top racers hunching over in a sprint finish. Between the back number and the chip there will be accurate results.
So to summarize, I am in favor of Ken's lastest suggestion, but not the edit with posture added.
I fully agree with Patricia. If there is a number on the back, riders should not be forced to sit up every time when they pass a checkpoint.
Sounds good; I'm sure the riders would not be fans of having to sit up either.
Thanks for the edits John.
I'm ready for proposal using John's text unless anybody has comments?
Sounds good for me too.
There is missing a penalty from not following this rule, but maybe it doesn't need to be mentioned. I hope the rule will be taken soft for the riders who loose number or its proper fixing due to crash or other unintentional event during the race.
Do we do anything in term of rule text with John's remark "I'll add that, in big events, the Referee can authorize one or more assistants to help with that task if lots of riders need to customize." ?
I wouldn't. The Referee can choose to delegate or not. If anything, we could add something like "Referee or duly appointed official", but that might confuse some people even more.
In practice most riders will not know who is referee, delegate referee or any other type of duly appointed official. How would they?
I think they will tend to believe anyone who acts and looks like they belong to the organisation (e.g. has yellow jacket) and decidedly tells them that the way they put up their race number is adequate.
In the last few year all riders had to "check in" at the check point before the race and latest there the number had to be placed correctly. I guess if we continue having check points where everybody has to pass before the start the people who are there with their lists can check also if the number is appropriate.
Sounds good to me, if checkpoint volunteers are authorise to approve race number placement. Whether they must do this as "delegates of the referee", or it is simply part of their job, I don't know.
Looks pretty good, except something's missing. BTW, don't expect riders to have all this stuff memorized; it will not make a big change on race day, other than knowing that the Rulebook does indeed say you have to do that stuff we're asking.
What's missing is the consequences. It should probably include something like "riders risk being disqualified, or not permitted to start if they do not comply."
"Referee approval may be sought" is a rather weak requirement. Is referee approval necessary or just an option that the rider may or may not choose? If a rider passes a checkpoint before entering the start area, perhaps drawing the attention of the checkpoint staff to their non-standard attachment of their race number and get approval from them, is that sufficient or should they go find the referee (whom they will not know in many cases). I think it's the checkpoint volunteer's task to judge the race number and approve or not.
Is non-standard attachment any different from using a replacement number in case of loss or damage, in terms of required approval? It is slightly different in the proposal.
And a typo: may be replaced.
Adding a consequence: Many sections of the rulebooks have language of "must" do something without the unnecessary addition of "or you will be disqualified". Adding this text implies to me that it would need to be added to all areas where the rulebook has this language. Why not use the combination of 1B.3 - Knowing the Rules and 1B.4 - Your Privilege ?
I am making a change to "Referee approval must be sought".
Looks good to me now.
"Lost or damaged race numbers must be replaced with approval by referee."
There is something too strong about this. The referee could still approve a slightly damaged race number.
About adding a consequence: I agree with the comment by Connie. Maybe we could amend a phrase from 1B.1 and add at the end of 1B.4 something like "Not doing so may result in loss of placement in races, disqualification from events, or ejection from the convention."