At which moment finishing "in control" must be assessed?This discussion has an associated proposal. View Proposal Details here.
Comments about this discussion:
According to the current rulebook (2B.6.15), the exact finish time is defined by the front edge of the tyre crossing (the rearmost part of) the finishline.
So once the front of the tyre has passed the line, the time is fixed, and the rider has finished.
He may have been in perfect control until that time, and it would be logical to state that he "has finished in control".
BUT if he then lifts off his foot from the pedal before the rear edge of the tyre is past the same finish line, then according to the rules we must consider it that he has NOT finished in control, after all.
I think that having two separate decisive moments is inconsistent. It should not matter whether the rider looses control after he has finished. So in my opinion both timing and "being in control" should be related to the same moment, i.e. the front edge of the tyre crossing the finish line.
This is a logical argument. Why judge what happens after the race is already over? The current rules are based on coming up with a definition (of "in control") that can be applied to 8 riders crossing a finish line at the same time. In other words, we can't assume available video, shot from an angle to ensure enough detail to tell if the rider's feet were still on the pedals (or wheel in the case of Wheel Walk) before the tire broke the plane of the finish line. But what we can see much more easily, is if feet (or other body parts) touch the ground before the wheel finishes crossing the line.
Much discussion (argument) went into the development of the current method, but so far we haven't come up with anything better, short of relying on technology (video) to take its place. But without multiple cameras at different vantage points, you are not likely to be able to examine every rider's position as they cross the finish line in a hotly contested 100m race. If a question, or protest comes up and the video isn't sufficient to tell the story, we need something to fall back on.
So the race ends when the tire breaks the finish line, but being the purists we unicyclists are, we want racers to ride all the way across, to show control. This does mean you have to ride about 101m to win a 100m race.
Please note also that I still have been unable to load unicycling.org to get a copy of the Rulebook version we're working from, so all of my references have been from memory. Does anyone know what the situation is, or if we have a timeline on getting the site back up? Or could someone email me a copy of the working document? Thanks very much! firstname.lastname@example.org
"BUT if he then lifts off his foot from the pedal before the rear edge of the tyre is past the same finish line, then according to the rules we must consider it that he has NOT finished in control, after all."
The older rule was that the rider's feet (or other body parts) may not touch the ground before the wheel crosses the line. But I see it had been changed by the September 2013 version of the Rulebook, which seems to be the most recent one I have on file. Under the new definition I think it's sufficient to have both feet on the pedals at the moment the tire breaks the plane of the finish line, though such a rule could lead to riders "riding into the ground" to try to complete the distance, and not necessarily actually riding across the finish line.
So I agree with you that it could be considered excessive, but as long as we want people to ride completely across the finish line, the philosophy I explained above still applies.
I don't think it is "puristic" (is that even a word?) to require the rider to ride 101m in a 100m race. On the contrary, it is pure and logical to have to ride 100m exactly.
I'm not sure about your argument of riding into the ground if the feet have only to be on the pedals when the front of the wheel crosses the line. Do you mean a rider can throw his wheel forward by pedalling faster just before the finish line, but keeping his feet on the pedals and so cause a nasty fall? I think this is both difficult (you are already pedalling near your fastest) and very unnatural to do. Also, this can also be done with the current finish rule, since a wheel diameter of pedalling slightly faster is probably not enough to touch the ground, starting from regular riding posture. But nobody does it yet. What IS done, is throw your wheel forward a bit by briefly bending over.
Since several people complained a few days now about the Rulebook being unavailable, I have temporarily copied the current 2015 Rulebook on my website. It's not really public but accessible to anyone who has this link:
The proposal corresponding to this discussion also covers discussion #48, "How to finish wheel walking in control".
While I understand the intent of riding in control past the finish line with the back of the tire I agree having two decision points makes "finishing" the race inconsistent and unnecessarily complicated. IMHO, once the race is finished for a rider it is finished. Even if a rider pushes their wheel forward at the end this technique is available to everyone in the race. Judges would not disqualify Usain Bolt for leaning into the tape.
I agree that the moment which defines the end of the race should also be the moment of demonstrating "in control".
When it comes to finishing wheel walk "in control" you write: "(c) in wheel walk races: the rider continues to wheel walk with both feet."
Do we have any rule which says, that the rider has to wheel walk with both feet? I think one food wheel walk is also allowed…
So maybe we should change it into: "(c) in wheel walk races: the rider continues to wheel walk."
Interesting point. Should we insist on two foot wheel walk?
Yes, I think we should insist on two feet wheel walk at the finish.
In 2B.6.5, the description for wheel walk says:
"Riders start mounted, with their feet on the tire, and propel the unicycle only by pushing the tire with their feet. No contact with pedals or crank arms is allowed. No crank arm restrictions."
Note the plural "feet" that occurs twice. So I think it is consistent to require that the finish is also done with both feet. If only one foot would be used at the finish, it would look to me as if the rider is losing (or even: has lost) control.
Another argument: a regular 100m race is usually done with two feet on the pedals, even though one-foot pedalling is not explicitly ruled out. Except at the finish: it is explicitly stated that both feet should be on the pedals. Again, if only one foot would be on the pedal, it would look like loss of control.
I think we shouldn't - because one foot wheel walk is also wheel walk and I see no reasons why we should ban it. You may be not so fast if you're doing one foot wheel walk but that shouldn't be a reason to ban it.
In 1D.1 Definitions, the description for wheel walk says:
"Propelling the unicycle by pushing the top of the tire with the feet. Feet touch wheel only, not pedals or crank arms. A non-pushing foot may rest on the fork."
In my opinion it is okay, that the rule uses the word "feet" and only adds the opportunity to use one foot instead of two feet in another sentence. Everything else would make the rule needless complicated in wording.
OK, I missed the definition in 1D.1. Maybe we should replace both instances of "their feet" with "one or both feet". This is not very complicated and brings 2B.6.5 in line with 1D.1.
Then I support your change in 2B.6.15 (which was the original issue), so that it is "(c) in wheel walk races: the rider continues to wheel walk."
BTW, on that page I see something else that needs sharpening up (start beeps), I'll start a separate discussion.
I agree that we should bringing 2B.6.5 in line with 1D.1. I'm fine with your suggestion to replace both instances of "their feet" with "one or both feet".
I have created a second proposal based on this discussion to edit both 1D.1 and 2B.6.5, so that both these sections are consistent with using one or both feet.