BTF Rule Changes


25.02.16 at 10:00 am

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The BTF have released their rule changes for the 2016 race season, their only update since 2013.

As well as bringing their own rule book more in line with the ITU format to try and simplify things, they have also added a few new stipulations.

Kudos to the first person who completes a long distance triathlon with a backstroke swim and barefoot run.

 Some of the key rules that have been changed for 2016 onwards are (but not limited to):

  • Appeal fee increased to £30, with all proceeds going to the Triathlon Trust to support getting children into triathlon (Rule 3.7.c.v)
  • Backstroke is now permitted in Open Water swim elements, but only after having informed the Event Organiser (Rule 4.1.a.i)
  • Personal video recording devices are not permitted (rules 4.8.d.i, 5.2.g.i, 6.4.d)
  • Draft zones in draft illegal races – a 10 metre (increased from 7m) zone must be maintained in Standard distance and shorter race, with 20 seconds allowed for one competitor to pass through the draft zone of another. For Middle and Long distance races, a 12 metre zone must be maintained, with 25 seconds allowed for a competitor to pass through. (Rule 5.5.c.iv)
  • Barefoot running – this is now permitted, however the competitor remains solely responsible and must contact the Event Organiser beforehand to ascertain whether the run course is suitable to be done barefoot. (Rule 6.1.a.v). Children are not permitted to run barefoot in any race. (rule 22.5.d)
  • Boxes in transition – whilst boxes can be used to bring necessary items into the transition area, only a small soft-sided bag or rucksack can remain, unless boxes are provided by the Event Organiser. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that any bag used in transition does not impede other competitors. (Rule 7.1.c)
  • Snake-style swims can be used in pool swims, however no more than two lengths of any lane size are permitted. (rule 14.2)
  • Helmets must not be worn in relay exchange zones; instead they must remain on the bike before and after relay tagging. (rule 16.10.f)
  • Elite Paratriathlon – this section is for competitors that take part in events run under ITU events. This is one of the biggest sections that has changed for Elite Competitors. (Rule 17)
  • Non-Elite Paratriathlon – this section is for all other competitors taking part in paratriathlon events in Britain, and are based on the previous BTF paratriathlon rules. There is no requirement for these competitors to be classified, and these rules reflect this. (Rule 21)
  • Gear restrictions for certain Elite draft-legal Children’s races – following the two trial events in 2015, children taking part in certain Elite draft-legal races (as determined by Talent) are now subject to gear restrictions; this is supported by the Talent team. (Rule 22.5.g)

What penalties have been changed?

Whilst the majority of penalties have stayed the same, there are some that have been updated:

  • Mount/dismount line infringements – a stop and go penalty will be awarded where possible, if however this cannot be given a one-minute time penalty will be awarded.
  • Helmet infringements – a one-minute time penalty will be awarded if helmet not attached before making contact with the bike, or removal of helmet before the bike it racked.
  • Drafting in a Middle or Long distance race – first and second incidents incur a five-minute time penalty; the third incident will result in disqualification.
  • Littering – a stop and go penalty will be awarded providing the infringement is corrected; if not, the competitor will be disqualified.

You can check out the full document over on the BTF website.

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