Tech Director Update 1702
Technical Director Update 1702
The racing season is at its peak and is leaving us with some potential learning issues to review. Remember, there is no bad news, it’s just information! If any of the examples that are talked about are “close to where you live”, remember, the issue at hand is how to make better and more consistent decisions. It’s never about attacking anyone and it surely is about making sure others learn from our experience!
Folks, this is key to successful officiating. If you attended the summit this year, I spoke regarding best practices and emphasized communication. Good decision making, especially tough and unpleasant ones; disqualifications, relegations, warnings, fines, etc., require communications with the affected athlete(s). At the very least, this is a handwritten note added to the results posting to “please see the Chief Referee” regarding any of these actions.
The next level looks like finding even a few seconds to let someone know, “I know this isn’t welcome news, but I disqualified you for dangerous riding in the final sprint (centerline violation, cutting the course or whatever the issue is). Please see me as soon as I get this next event started, if you would like to discuss the decision.”
Moving up from there is getting in touch with the team manager or phoning the athlete directly. While we don’t have the luxury of informing every one of our decisions (it isn’t always safe to do so during an event), we have to make an attempt. I don’t consider this to be a “customer service” pitch, rather an effective event management skill we should all be working on.
Unsafe riding: CAUTION!!
Disqualifications for unsafe riding can be a very necessary part of maintaining the integrity and sporting aspects of an event. Clear aggression, dangerous bike handling around riders causing the field to scatter or crash are important things we may be called upon to take action on.
First of all, please remember there is a lot of work managing the sporting aspects of an event. It’s not going to benefit that management to become involved in behavior management that isn’t a part of the sporting aspects. Yes, you may have been a coach or great rider and think that something someone is doing something manifestly dangerous; riding without hands, forearms on the bars, descending sitting on the top tube, victory salute, wheelies, etc., however, until such activities affect the outcome of the race, they aren’t within our rule enforcement protocol. Don’t let local practices of what should or shouldn’t be tolerated govern your clear understanding of the regulations and what calls you are allowed to make.
1N8 Dangerous Rider, is not a “god” rule. It is a rule that says we have the right (responsibility) to remove someone from the race that is creating a danger to others as I indicated above. Without this, it simply becomes a personal “feeling” for enforcement regulation. So, if you are going to take action against someone; riders in small groups or by themselves doing something you find irritating, not good riding practices or poor judgement, make sure that any warning or discipline you wish to issue matches the regulations. If it isn’t within the regulations, perhaps it is best as a “reminder” that such riding could result in a discipline call if it affects the race. Someone celebrating with their hands off the bars (no longer a regulation), riding without hands briefly (track excluded), popping a wheelie with no one around that doesn’t affect anyone is NOT a regulation infraction. If it feels like something you wish the rider would learn about good riding, that’s coaching. Leave the coaching to the coaches. If you just can’t let it go, then have a discussion with the coaches in your area. They have a vested interest in rider safety and performance.
Our USA Cycling group renewal period for NASO is starting now. If you are a current member, through USA Cycling NASO registration, your expiration has been officially extended through August 15th, 2017.
For those of you that don’t already have this great additional liability coverage, please consider its many additional benefits that protect you as an official. See the attached brochure below that describes a few of these great benefits. As a group, our annual member renewal rate is $81, a $28 savings off the normal price of $109. The link below is to the Official’s Clinic page, where you will find the renewal.
Enjoy the season and enjoy what you love, officiating bike races.
This Article Updated November 6, 2017 @ 11:57 PM For more information contact: