Sanctioning Quality Control Standards

 

USA Triathlon is announcing a new Quality Control Program that aims to elevate the standards of USA Triathlon-sanctioned events by increasing race director accountability. Through this program, USA Triathlon will work with athletes, spectators and race directors to ensure that the designation of a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event meets participants’ expectations of high quality, safety and enjoyability, thereby raising the value of all sanctioned events. To submit a complaint, please use the Quality Control Complaint Submission form. 

Background

USA Triathlon strives to ensure that all sanctioned events meet and maintain the standards set forth in the sanctioning agreement signed by all Race Directors. This program is intended to provide a process by which USA Triathlon can ensure those standards are met and provide guidelines when they are not. 

This document will change and evolve as new and unique situations arise and merit inclusion in the quality control standards. 

Process for Quality Control

An official investigation will begin once a complaint has been received from a concerned constituent. USA Triathlon will then contact the race director and give him/her a chance to respond. Acceptable methods of proof will include pictures, receipts, statements, etc. If the race director provides proof that they did not break the sanctioning agreement, then we will respond to the concerned party on the race director’s behalf and explain why there was no violation. 

If no proof can be provided, the race director will then receive a warning letter from the USA Triathlon CEO regarding the violation. In addition to the letter, USA Triathlon will also provide links to webinars, when applicable, for the race director to view and familiarize themselves with the best practices on the area of infraction.

If the violation reoccurs at the event the following year, or at another event operated by the race director or the same event production company, the race director will be required to take additional training pertaining to the violation. The training will include details on how to fix the violation, why it is important, and more information on why USA Triathlon enforces the rule. The race director will then be required to submit a short, written recap of the training they received for review and approval, stating how they plan on changing their event so that the violation does not happen again. 

The third instance will result in probation, temporary revocation of their Certified Race Director status and will be the race director’s final warning. The race director will be placed on a private list and USA Triathlon will have a staff member monitor the next year’s event(s) for the violations. Race directors will be removed from the probation list after one year from the reported penalty for tier one violations and after two years for tier two. 

If the violation has not been resolved after the third warning, the race director will be placed on suspension. Once suspended, sanctioning privileges will be revoked for one year from the date of suspension. The race director will be required to remove the sanction logo and verbiage off of their website. If the race director refuses to do so, USA Triathlon will contact previous years’ participants to inform them that the event is not a sanctioned event.

In the most egregious cases, USA Triathlon has the ability to skip any of the steps, including immediately revoking sanctioning privileges. 

Level of Penalties

1. Verbal Warning: Formal letter from the CEO or phone call from USAT Staff

  • Race reviews, people contacting USAT directly, officials’ reports and incident reports.
  • The RD can respond by submitting proof (receipts, pictures, statements, etc.) they followed all USAT rules, regulations and guidelines for sanctioned events.
  • The letter will state the complaint about the event, why this is a problem, and the need to immediately fix the problem before the next event. 

2. Training/Education: Webinar/case study and short answer test about the area of infraction

  • Create a custom webinar for each possible infraction. 
  • The RD can respond by submitting proof (receipts, pictures, statements, etc.) they followed all USAT rules, regulations and guidelines for sanctioned events. 
  • If RD fails exam or does not respond
  • If failed exam, communication from USAT and then retake exam until the RD is able to pass. RDs are allowed to retake exams because the intent is not to punish but to educate RDs and help them run better races
  • After three documented attempted to contact the RD, they will be placed on probation

3. Probation: Race directors will be put on a private list and USAT will monitor the event to ensure that all USAT regulations are met. Either an Event Services staff member or a certified official will monitor their next event at the expense of the offending Race Director. Race Directors will also need to go through RD Certification. (Note: RDs can still sanction during the probation period)

  • Tier 1: 
    • Erased after one year from reported penalty or until your next race
    • If after probation, the race director is again found to be in violation of sanctioning standards then they will automatically be placed on Tier 2 probation
  • Tier 2: 
    •   Erased after two years from reported penalty
    • If after probation, the race director is again found to be in violation of sanctioning standards then they will automatically be placed on suspension

4. Suspension: Sanctioning privileges revoked for one year 

  • Verify the removal of the sanction logo and verbiage from the race website
  • If they refuse, last year’s participants will be contacted and informed that the event is not USAT sanctioned
  • After suspension has ended, RD is put onto Tier 1 or Tier 2 probation based on original infraction, must have USAT official at first sanctioned event post suspension. RD to cover all costs associated with having the official at their event.

Tier 1 Offenses 

1. Size of Wave (150 or fewer unless a mass start has been approved)

  • 1st Offense = Written
  • 2nd Offense = Education
  • 3rd Offense = Probation 
  • 4th Offense = Suspension

2. Water Testing (must meet guidelines specified by testing entity)

  • 1st Offense = Written and must provide proof of passing water test before next event 
  • 2nd Offense = Education and must show proof of passing multiple water tests of two months out, one month out and one week before next sanctioned race
  • 3rd Offense = Probation 
  • 4th Offense = Suspension

3. Secure Transitions (must be secured by soft fencing, hard fencing, or other)

  • 1st Offense = Written
  • 2nd Offense = Education
  • 3rd Offense = Probation 
  • 4th Offense = Suspension
4. Failure to Follow Stated Refund Policy (Race Directors are required to abide by their stated refund policies and if refunds are offered for cancelled races then they must be paid back to the participants in a timely manner)
  • 1st Offense = Written
  • 2nd Offense = Education
  • 3rd Offense = Probation 
  • 4th Offense = Suspension

5. Bicycle Bar End Plugs (bar end plugs must be provided by the RD) 

  • 1st Offense = Written
  • 2nd Offense = Education
  • 3rd Offense = Probation 
  • 4th Offense = Suspension

6. Improper USAT Logo Usage (USAT Sanctioned Race, Certified RD, Certified Coach logos may only be listed on event pages for sanctioned events) 

  • 1st Offense = Written
  • 2nd Offense = Education
  • 3rd Offense = Probation 
  • 4th Offense = Suspension

Tier 2 Offenses

1. Incorrect number of Lifeguards (1:35 in ocean and 1:50 for all other bodies of water) Race Directors are encouraged to keep a log that checks in lifeguards as proof of compliance

  • 1st Offense = Education *If you have no lifeguards then you will automatically be placed on suspension*
  • 2nd Offense = Probation 
  • 3rd Offense = Suspension   

2. High Traffic Intersections (must be staffed by police and not volunteers directing traffic)

  • 1st Offense = Education 
  • 2nd Offense = Probation
  • 3rd Offense = Suspension   

3. Failure to Make Payment (Prize money to athletes, fees to USAT, or any other USAT affiliated party involved with the event)

  • 1st Offense = Verbal Warning – RDs will be given a set timeframe to make payment before being placed onto probation 
  • 2nd Offense = Probation
  • 3rd Offense = Suspension   

4. Cancellation without Cause (Race Directors are expected to hold their events as advertised unless there is verifiable and documented cause for cancellation that is beyond their control)

  • USAT investigation 
    • Determine 3-person committee 
      • Event Services department member, Commissioner of Officials, Race Director Committee member
 

To submit a complaint, please use the Quality Control Complaint Submission form.