This week's rule is Article 3.3: General Conduct, or "the good conduct" rule.
Article 3.3 may very well be the best written of the competitive rules. It would be difficult to argue against any of the five specific points in this rule. It distills the rest of the rules into a model of behavior which, if followed by all, would result in the most enjoyable experience possible for all involved. In short, it simply asks everyone to have good manners.
Note that the introductory statement mandates that participants must follow the rules of behavior while "at or during an event, or while at the event site." That means participants are required to properly conduct themselves while in line at registration, while setting up their bikes and gear in transition, and while packing up to leave the site after the race. Slow packet pick-up lines, crowded transitions or inconvenient parking lots are no reason to lash out at volunteers or fellow competitors. Good behavior does not start when the gun goes off or end when one crosses the finish line.
Reading 3.3 just before a triathlete arrives on site might be a good pre-race ritual and one that raises the level of enjoyment for all. In a word, it's all about civility.
3.3 General Conduct.
At or during an event, or while at the event site, all participants must:
a. Act in compliance with these competitive rules;
b. Conduct themselves in a manner that is not offensive in any way to fellow participants, spectators, officials or volunteers and is considered reasonable and acceptable in the community;
c. Treat all participants, officials, volunteers and spectators with fairness, respect and courtesy;
d. Refrain from the use of abusive language or conduct; and
e. After violating any of the competitive rules, report such violation to the Head Referee or retire from the event.
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Have a question about the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules? Please contact Charlie Crawford.