SAM 5121A Message from the Head Referee to all age-group competitors:
Welcome to this USA Triathlon sanctioned event. You are racing under the USAT Competitive Rules. In order to
minimize misunderstandings on race day, I hope you will take the time to read the following summary of the Position
Violations, which you know as the drafting rules.
I have reduced the Position Rules to the following concepts, which everyone can remember:
Ride on the right side of your lane.
Keep three bike lengths between yourself and the cyclist in front of you.
Pass on the left of the cyclist in front, never on the right.
Complete your pass within 15 seconds.
If passed, you must drop completely out of the zone, to the rear, before attempting to re-pass.
Remember you are racing in a USA Triathlon sanctioned event and there are USAT certified referees on the course to
ensure fairness in the competition. There will be NO WARNINGS if you commit a foul during competition.
Triathlon is an individual event and you must take personal responsibility to understand the rules and avoid penalties.
At the end of the race all citations by the marshals are reviewed by the Head Referee who then decides if a penalty
should be assessed. The Head Referee’s ruling is final in the case of Position Violations and there are no protests or
appeals of Position penalties. Marshals commonly cite the following violations:
Position– riding on the left side of the lane without passing.
Blocking – left side riding and impeding the forward progress of another competitor
Illegal Pass – passing on the right.
Overtaken - failing to drop back three bike lengths before re-passing
Drafting – following a leading cyclist closer than three bike lengths and failing to pass within 15 seconds.
Though Position Violations carry a time penalty for first offense, two citations will result in an additional penalty and
if you are cited for three violations, you will be disqualified. Be sure to check the penalty sheet before you leave the
race site and have a chat with the Head Referee if you have any questions.


Make sure your helmet is a CPSC approved model. All helmets legally sold in the US are CPSC approved but if you
purchased your helmet in a different country it might be illegal for use in sanctioned events.
While on your bike, always have your chinstrap securely fastened - before, during and after the event! The chin strap
rule is easy to follow, so don’t forget – that’s a DQ!
Wear your race numbers, don’t leave your trash on the course, and don’t carry or use any portable audio devices.
Remember to treat other athletes, volunteers, and officials with courtesy and consideration. Failure to do so is called
Unsportsmanlike Conduct and you will be disqualified.
All that being said, I hope you have a great race, lots of fun, and achieve all your goals.

SAM 5168

Commonly Violated Rules & Penalties
1. Helmets:
Only helmets approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be used in USAT sanctioned events. Helmets must be worn at all times while on your bike. This means before, during, and after the event.
Penalty: Disqualification

2. Chin Straps:
Chin straps must be fastened at all times when on a bicycle. DO NOT unbuckle your chin strap unless you are off your bicycle.
Penalty: Disqualification on the course; time penalty in transition area only.

3. Outside Assistance:
No assistance other than that offered by race and medical officials may be used. Triathlons and duathlons are individual tests of fitness.
Penalty: Time penalty

4. Transition Area:
All equipment must be placed in the properly designated and individually assigned bike corral. The wheel of the bicycle must be down on the side of the assigned space. All participants must return their bicycles to an upright position in their designated bicycle corral. No person shall interfere with another participant’s equipment or impede the progress of another participant. All bar ends must be solidly plugged. No participant shall bring ANY glass containers into the transition area.
Penalty: Time penalty or disqualification

5. Drafting:
Drafting--keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 15 seconds.
Position--keep to the right hand side of the lane of travel unless passing. Illegal Pass-- cyclists must pass on the left, not on the right.
Blocking--riding on the left side of the lane without passing anyone and impeding other cyclists attempting to pass.
Overtaken--once passed, you must immediately exit the draft zone from the rear, before attempting to pass again.
Penalty: Time penalty

6. Course:
All competitors are required to follow the prescribed course and to stay within all coned lanes. Cutting the course is an obvious violation and going outside the course is a safety issue. Cyclists shall not cross a solid yellow center line for ANY reason. Cyclists must obey all applicable traffic laws at all times.
Penalty: Referee's discretion, time penalty or disqualification

7. Unsportsmanlike-Like Conduct:
Foul, harsh, argumentative or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators or fellow athletes is forbidden.
Penalty: Disqualification

8. Headphones:
Headphones, headsets, walkmans, ipods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc. are not to be carried or worn at any time during the race.
Penalty: Time penalty

9. Race numbers:
All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the run. Numbers must be clearly visible at all times. Numbers may not be altered in any way that prevents a clear identification. DO NOT transfer your number to any other athlete or take a number from an athlete that is not competing.
Penalty: Time penalty for missing or altered number, Disqualification and one year suspension from membership in USAT for transferring a number without race director permission.

10. Wetsuits:
Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.

11. Abandonment:
All personal equipment and belongings taken out onto the course must stay on the athlete the entire time. No garbage, clothing, etc. shall be thrown on the course.
Penalty: Time penalty

Variable Time Penalties

 Distance Category 1st Offense   2nd Offense 3rd Offense 
Sprint 2:00 minutes 4:00 minutes Disqualification 
Intermediate  2:00 minutes  4:00 minutes Disqualification 
Long  4:00 minutes 8:00 minutes Disqualification 
Ultra  6:00 minutes 12:00 minutes  Disqualification 

For a complete list of rules, please refer to the most up to date USA Triathlon Competitive Rules at: http://www.usatriathlon.org/about-multisport/rulebook.aspx 

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