Plans Include Videotaping Sprint, Straightening Out the Finish
Among the changes planned for the 2006 World Inline Cup is the videotaping of the last 1000 meters of each race.
Organizers apparently decided on the change in response to persistent complaints about cheating and unfair tactics, especially in the women's sprints.
The planned changes are listed, although not much explained, in the World Inline Cup's new Catalog of Measures.
Another planned change would give "a new starting point" for skaters who are disqualified or guilty of rules violations. The catalog does not explain how this would work.
Straight to the Finish
Another proposed new rule, listed as a "binding circuit criteria," would require racecourses to end with long straight-aways.
The catalog says that there should be "no extreme changes of direction" for 1000 meters before the finish. "Finish lines should be straight ahead, a little uphill is better."
Straightening the end of races could discourage cheating by keeping racers in full view of race officials stationed at the finish line.
It could also, especially if the terrain is flat or gently climbing, keep the racers safer.
In last July's Vallee de Joux World Cup in Switzerland, more than 20 racers hit the pavement on the final, downhill turn. Several were seriously injured.
Another proposed rule change would require all racers to wear gloves.
Under the current rules, the only required protective gear is helmets.
The catalog also floats a few ideas that seem more like recommendations.
One of these is to structure all races into three-day events, which would start Friday with a 500 meter sprint, continue Saturday with a "long distance competition" and end Sunday with a "special side event."
The catalog hints elsewhere about the possibility of different kinds of World Cup races: "Different forms are thinkable: marathon, long distance, team time trials."
Nothing is definite yet. It's not clear what changes Iguana Think Tank, the World Cup organizer, will include in its 2005 rule book, which is due out in October.
The catalog says that the experiences, improvements, targets and wishes it summarizes "will be translated into action step by step next year."
(posted on Sept. 21, 2005)
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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