What is hinderance / interference?

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In 2B.6.14, the following is stated:

If a rider is hindered due to the actions of another rider, or outside interference, either during the start or during the race, he may request to make a second attempt. The Referee decides if the request is granted.

The Rulebook gives no definition or clarification of what constitutes hinderance, it is left to the Referee.

Now I know of a disputed case that happened earlier this year in an official 100m race. Rider A fell, staying inside their lane, but during the fall it looked briefly as if A would get into the adjacent lane of rider B (who was about 5 m behind). Perhaps rider A outstretched an arm into rider B's lane, but everyone's wheel stayed in their own lane. Nevertheless, Rider B got scared and decelerated as a result, then continued the race, but this resulted in a slower time than expected. Rider B declared to have been hindered and held back by A's fall (the hesitation was clearly visible on video, as well), and requested a second attempt.

In this case, the Referee granted rider B a second attempt. To complicate matters, Rider C in the same heat as A and B, was not hindered at all by A's fall. I think C was in front of both A and B. C won the heat which happened to translate to first place (gold medal).  Rider B did the second attempt and was now faster than rider C in the original heat (translating into gold medal). Then rider C protested, arguing that rider B was not actually hindered in the first attempt. This protest was granted on the ground that the hinderance was not physical, and the (already run) second attempt of rider B was withdrawn.

The decision to initially grant a rerun and then to withdraw the results, may be questionable. But my point is: the Referee was struggling with the definition of hinderance. I think we need clearer guidelines as to what hinderance and interference in lane races means.

(In this case it might have been more satisfying if riders B and C did a second attempt together as they were the two favourites for gold anyway. But the rules don't permit that.)


No comments?


In my opinion it's nearly impossible to give a definition of what hinderance is which would avoid a situation like the one Klaas described. What a hindrance in general is should not be the think you're missing a definition, right? The situation Klaas described is a situations where the referee has to look exactly whats happened in detail to decide whether it is a hindrance or not. The situation will be never exactly like something we could describe in the rules.


Indeed, a full definition of hinderance is probably too much to ask. But perhaps we could clarify this issue: is "hinderance" limited to physical hinderance (touching or being in another rider's lane) or can hinderance (as a ground for a second attempt) be psychological as well, as was the case in my example?


Of course there are a lot of psychological influences during a race and in general this influences should be no reason for a second attempt. But there are so many possible situations that I can't think about all this before. In my opinion the referee can evaluate a situation live much better than we right now (only theoretical) to come to a conclusion wether something was a hinderance which justified a second attempt or not.

Short: I would not except, that in some cases hinderance as a reason for a second attempt can also be psychological. 


Well, this is the reasoning that the Referee in my real-life anecdote followed as well, much to the disappointment of rider B who felt treated unjust.

Imagine another situation: rider X falls and his unicycle drops in the adjacent lane, immediately before rider Y. Y thinks he cannot avoid the fallen unicycle if he continues the race normally, and therefore swerves outside of his lane. But X is lightning fast and pulls his unicycle back in his own lane before Y could actually hit it.

No physical hinderance, only "psychological" hinderance. No second attempt for Y?

I agree that we cannot cover every possible situation in the rulebook, but I still think that a few guidelines would be helpful.
And Jan V, I really appreciate your involvement, but I hope other committee members will chime in as well.


Based on my Track Referee experience, in Klaas' first example above, we have rider C complaining that rider B wasn't actually interfered with. In that example, that is the crux of the situation. So, should rider B continue at maximum acceleration toward rider A as he (potentially) falls or loses his unicycle into B's lane? That sets a dangerous precedent. Rider B reacted in what I would consider a normal fashion, depending on the amount of space between himself and rider A. I consider 5 meters to be close enough for rider B to react as he did. Rider B was not physically hindered, but there was no way for him to know this without (potentially) accelerating into a crash in his lane. His reason for hesitating was not his own, it was based on the movements of rider A (who gets extra credit for keeping himself and the unicycle in his lane). So my response to rider C, who complained after the re-race, was that rider B only hesitated because of a possible hard crash that he didn't want to experience.

So I would give rider B the opportunity to race again. Sometimes in these situations I will offer the remaining riders from that heat the opportunity to re-run that heat along with the rider that needs the re-run. If they do, they would have the option of discarding their existing time, or keeping it. But they would have to decide before that next heat. After that, all results would final. That is how I would have played it. Rider C should only be happy to win if it is against all riders successfully doing their best to win without a dismount.

HOWEVER -- I was not there. I base my above opinion on my own imagined scenario of how that race played out. Another important factor in the question is how close to the finish this occurred. There are nuances. We could probably go further to define what to include as hindrance or interference, but in the end it must be a subjective call because there are so many variables.

In Klaas' second example, it's another psychological hindrance. Rider Y takes a risk to avoid an almost certain crash. I think his move was justified. But what of rider Z? Was someone in the lane that rider Y invaded? It then goes to a question of whether rider Z has an issue with what happened. If he does, he will be offered the chance to re-run the heat. And what of rider Y? Again, if it's based on a near certainty that a fallen unicycle would be in his path, I would not penalize him from avoiding this and crossing the lane line. It would clearly not have been an advantage for him doing so, so I wouldn't expect anyone to complain about that.

So to "beef up" our description of hindrance/interference, we can provide some examples, include the idea of psychological interference (which was always a component in my mind), and of distances and likelihood of further dismounts or injuries based on something that happens up ahead. But in the end it must fall to the judgement of the Referee in charge, who must do her best to rule in terms of the spirit of everyone riding their best possible race, without interfering with others or interference from them.



@John, in your second paragraph you describe what you would "sometimes" do. It is a bit along the lines of the paragraph in () in my initial post in this discussion, and I would favour that approach as well. However, the Rulebook doesn't permit this, see 2B.6.14, where it says "The resulting time of the accompanying riders is not official."

A second attempt may indeed be fairer if the resulting time for the non-hindered-but-yet-re-running-riders is optionally official in the way you describe. Maybe restricted to riders from the heat that the hinderance occurred it. What do you think, should we make a case to propose such a rule change?


Sorry, I still can't see the working document. Here's what I can offer based on the Sept. 2013 version:

"2.7 Lane Use
In most races, a rider must stay in his or her own lane, except when the rider has to swerve to avoid being involved in a crash."

I would modify that to "has to swerve to avoid a possible crash." This would allow for an actual crash that's already happening, or a potential crash that's being avoided.

2B.6.14: I don't find that text in my older Rulebook so it's hard to comment. The reason I would offer other riders the option to re-run would be for when they are known to want to compete head-to-head; to see how they can do against those particular individuals. Or for races where having competition alongside you is a useful component in determining how hard to push. I would not offer it as an option for longer races; in fact, probably not anything over 100m due to the time factor, except for an Expert race. But I believe the Referee should have the authority to make such decisions, to ensure the best form of fair competition.

Yes to your last paragraph; the offer to re-race should be limited to the riders that were in the heat in question. Anything different would be too messy if they were offered to record a new time. If it were only to record a time for the one rider, it shouldn't matter who else rode along with him/her.



The working document is temporarily on my website, see discussion #64.

The phrase about lane use hasn't changed in the latest version, and I support your comments and your suggested modification.

As to your last paragraph: we could still make it possible for riders from other heats than the heat in question to re-race (if the rider whose protest is granted chooses them, following the current rule), but they wouldn't have the option to drop their previous result and get a new result from the second attempt. The latter would be the privilege of riders from the same heat that the protest is based on. Note I say privilege because, as in the current rule, riders can (before the re-race!) decide to hold on to their already obtained result.

I hope some more people support such a rule change, as I intend to create a proposal. But not yet, please discuss.


Since no further discussion is taking place, I am going to create a proposal.


 The proposed changes seem reasonable to me.


The proposed changes of the first paragraph seem reasonable to me, too.

Re-run a heat seems to offer some new "problems" respectively needs some more clarification:

1. In my opinion the rider who caused the hinderance shouldn't be allowed to re-run.

2. What's about rides who were disqualified based on something that happened in the first heat after the interference in question but without any hinderance (for example because they were the fastest rider and the hinderance is behind this riders) - are this riders also allowed to re-run? In my opinion they shouldn't.



I'm undecided as yet as to your point 1. I assume that no rider is causing interference on purpose. What if the fall (or whatever happened) was not their fault at all?

Re your point 2, I don't agree. If you go back to my initial post in the discussion thread, note the fate of rider C with "my" rule, and with "your" rule. My intention of the second paragraph in my proposal is to give rider C the opportunity to ride against rider B again in a direct confrontation. Look also at my last paragraph in brackets (in my initial post).


Of course I hope riders are not causing interference on purpose. But if it wasn't the fault of the rider who causes the interference that he causes the interference someone else must course an interference with this rider… and than the rider can protest and can get a restart. If there was no interference and the rider falls (or what ever happens) this may be not on purpose but it is the riders fault.

Your initial post addresses something compete different ;) Because in four post rider C won the fist heat - in my point 2 rider C get's disqualified after the hindrance occurred but without any hinderance (because he rides in front of the hinderance).

For both: I think there are a lot of falls during a competition and only a small amount lead to an interference/a hinderance of other riders. I'm strict against giving all these riders a restart only because they fall. And because of that we can not give a restart to any rider who falls. Except he was hindered.


I think I misread your point 2. I don't know exactly how. I do agree that any rider who falls during a heat, or more generally who is DQ'd in a heat, must be excluded from the opportunity to start again, unless their DQ was because of their 'legitimate' reaction to a hindrance (e.g. they fell, or swerved outside their lane).

You may have interpreted my previous (partly erroneous) post as if rider C fell. But no, rider C did not fall. He was in front of the hindrance and continued the race without falling, to win the heat. He was not DQ'd. Especially because B and C were favorites for gold in that event, it seems fair to me if, when B gets a re-run, C would have the opportunity to directly race against B.

If you agree to that, I will change the wording in the proposal.


I'm fine with the suggestion that also rider C (who didn't fall and won the race) gets the opportunity to directly race against B. So, yes I agree to that :)

My intention was to change the wording in the proposal to make clear what you wrote above in the first paragraph. Because right now the proposal doesn't address this case (or I don't understand it in the proposal ;)


Yes I will adapt the proposal. First I'll have lunch, you're keeping me busy :-)

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