IUF Rulebook Reorganization

October 7, 2016

As the IUF Rulebook director, I am happy to announce the official release of the re-organized IUF Rulebook. This reorganization was completed as voted upon in the previous IUF Rulebook Committee. This has been a huge volunteer effort and the majority of the work has been done by Steve and Mary Koehler from Minnesota, USA. I would like to deeply thank them for all of their hard work.

Below is a write-up by Steve Koehler describing the both the process and the design of the reorganized rulebook. You can find the reorganized rulebook on the IUF’s Publication page.

Scott Wilton
IUF Vice-President and Rulebook Director


Over the past year, as decided upon by the IUF Rulebook Committee 2014, Mary and I have been reorganizing the material in the IUF Rulebook to address some problems we perceived in previous revisions. These problems included:

  1. The chapters for different events were highly inconsistent in what was covered and how the material was presented.
  2. The rule book addressed multiple audiences in the same section or paragraph. This made it difficult for a reader to know which rules applied.
  3. It was hard to determine the totality of the rules for an event, because some rules were inherited from Chapter 1 and some chapters referred to other chapters for additional rules.
  4. There was not a clear distinction between rules and advice. [We did not directly address this issue in the reorganization.]

The organization we came up with to address these issues was to divide each event into sections by role. There are separate sections for the competitor, the event organizer, and officials. Within each of these sections, we devised an organization of subsections, so that the same material appears in the same place within each event.

The process we used to move rules to the reorganized rule book was to move the rules one at a time to an appropriate new section. Paragraphs, or even sentences, were split and moved to the appropriate place. Rules from Chapter 1 were replicated in all related events.

The resulting reorganized rule book was completed too late to use for Unicon 17, but will provide a good basis for the next round of rule book edits. With the new organization, which highlights the inconsistencies between chapters, we have the opportunity to fill in the gaps and make the next rule book much better than previous ones.

Top-Level Organization into Parts

At the top level, the rule book is divided first into Parts, then into Chapters. The parts are named as follows:

  • General Rules and Definitions
  • Track: Racing
  • Track: Other
  • Road: Races
  • Mountain Unicycling: Races
  • Mountain Unicycling: Cyclocross
  • Freestyle: Artistic
  • Freestyle: Standard Skill
  • Freestyle: X-Style
  • Urban: Flatland
  • Urban: Street
  • Urban: Trials
  • Urban: Jumps
  • Team Sports: Hockey
  • Team Sports: Basketball

The parts cover individual disciplines, and are grouped by name into general categories. There is an introductory part for general information. This overall structure is only slightly different from the previous rule book.

Organization of Parts into Chapters

Each event part is divided into four primary chapters, based on the main audience for the material (competitor, official, or event host). The chapters are the same for each event part, and are as follows:

  • Overview
  • Competitor Rules
  • Judges and Officials Rules
  • Event Organizer Rules

This change is a major departure from the previous rule book. One of the motivations of this reorganization was to facilitate the possibility to publish a smaller rulebook with only competitor rules or only event organizer rules.

Organization of Chapters into Sections

The Overview chapter contains general information applicable to all readers. We put here a clear definition of the event and a small competitor summary to point out the most important things a competitor needs to know.

The Competitor chapters contain the following primary sections:

  • Safety [what safety gear is required]
  • Unicycles [what unicycles can be used]
  • Rider Identification [whether a race number/chip is required]
  • Protests [how protests are handled]
  • Event Flow [rules that apply during the running of the event, in order of the event flow (for example, information on race start comes before information on race finish)].

Additional sections are used for rules outside of event flow, such as sign-up deadlines or the need to upload music or list of skills to be performed.

The next two chapters, Judges and Officials Rules and Event Organizer Rules, are somewhat less defined. Both have some common sections.

The Judges and Officials Rules chapters have the following sections:

  • Sections describing the required officials
  • Detailed rules concerning judging or officiating

The Event Organizer Rules chapters have the following sections:

  • Venue [the requirements of the venue and/or courses]
  • Officials [a short list of required officials]
  • Communication [rules related to what needs to be communicated, and when]
  • Age Groups [which age groups/categories are required]
  • Practice [whether there is a requirement for practice time on the course or at the venue]

Guidelines for Rule Book Updates

As we go into the next round of the rule book update process, we have the opportunity to make some big improvements, beyond the basic reorganization. First, in order to retain the clarity of the new organization, we need to coordinate our efforts.

  • Try to understand the intent of the new structure, and keep it intact.
  • If you can think of a section that is missing, but should be common to other parts, please discuss this with the main committee, so we can amend the structure. This is particularly needed in the Judges and Officials Rules and Event Organizer Rules chapters.
  • The new structure makes it clear that there are missing rules. Please start filling these in.
  • Some of the rules, such as protest rules inherited from chapter 1, may seem strange. Please correct these.
  • When Mary and I did the reorganization, we left a lot of notes in the rule book source files regarding possible shortcomings or problems. These should be made available to the committees, so they can be addressed.

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