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Annie Oakley Buffalo Bill Triathlon

Sat June 29, 2024 Memphis, TN 38120 US Directions

USAT Rules




1.      Helmets:
Only helmets approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be used in USAT-sanctioned events. Helmets must be worn at all times while on your bike. This means before, during, and after the event.

2.      Chin Straps:
Chin straps must be fastened and fit properly when the athlete is in possession of the bicycle, which means from the time they remove the bike from the rack at the start of the bike leg until after they have placed their bike on the rack at the finish of the bike leg. DO NOT unbuckle your chin strap unless you are off your bicycle AND it is properly racked. 

If a participant moves the bike off the course for any reason, the participant may not unfasten or remove the helmet until after the athlete has moved outside the boundary of the bike course route and has dismounted the bike; and the athlete must fasten the helmet securely on the head before returning onto the bike course or before remounting the bike.

3.      Unauthorized Assistance:
No assistance other than that offered by race staff (including volunteers), medical officials and active participants may be used. A participant shall not physically assist the forward progress of another participant on any part of the course.

4.      Transition Area: 

All equipment must be placed in the properly designated and individually assigned bike corral. All participants must return their bicycles to an upright position in their designated bicycle corral. No person shall interfere with another participant’s equipment or impede the progress of another participant. All bar ends must be solidly plugged. 

5.      Drafting:
Sprint and Olympic distance races--keep at least five bike lengths (10 meters) of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 20 seconds
Longer course races--keep at least six bike lengths (12 meters) of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 25 seconds.

Motorized vehicles— The draft zone behind motorcycles shall be 15m long and 35m long for all other motorized vehicles. The front edge of the vehicle defines the start of the draft zone. Athletes must not gain or attempt to gain any unfair advantage from any external vehicle or motorcycle. A maximum of 90 seconds will be allowed to pass through the draft zone of a motorized vehicle of any type.

6.      Position:

Athletes must ride right and only move left to complete a legal pass and must not block athletes attempting a legal pass. An athlete should not attempt to complete a pass unless the athlete is highly confident in their ability to complete the pass in the allotted amount of time. Once an athlete enters the draft zone of another cyclist, there is only one exit: out the front. 
Illegal Pass-- cyclists must pass on the left, not on the right.
Blocking--riding on the left side of the lane without passing anyone and impeding other cyclists attempting to pass.
Overtaken-- Once passed, an athlete must immediately begin dropping back out of the draft zone of the forward athlete before attempting to re-pass. An athlete is deemed to have been passed once the leading edge of the front wheel of the passing bicycle has moved in front of the leading edge of the passing athlete’s bicycle.

7.      Course: 

All competitors are required to follow the prescribed course and to stay within all coned lanes. Cutting the course is an obvious violation, and going outside the course is a safety issue. Cyclists shall not cross a solid yellow center line. Cyclists must always obey all applicable traffic laws.

8.      Unsportsmanlike-Like Conduct: 

Foul, harsh, argumentative, or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators, or fellow athletes is forbidden. Treat other athletes, officials, volunteers and spectators with respect and courtesy.

9.      Headphones and Communication Devices: 

Participants may carry a phone (such as mounted on bike handlebars or in an armband) but may not use communication devices of any type, including but not limited to cell phones, smartwatches, and two-way radios, in any distractive manner during the competition. A “distractive manner” includes but is not limited to making or receiving phone calls, sending or receiving text messages, playing music, using social media, taking photographs, or using one- or two-way radio communication. 

Do NOT use headphones, headsets, Walkman’s, iPods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc. If a phone has music emitting from it, the phone becomes a personal audio device.  

10.  Race numbers: 

All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the bike and run. Numbers must be clearly visible at all times. Helmet and bicycle stickers, provided by the race director, must be worn and clearly visible. No additional stickers should be worn. Bibs with race numbers should be worn at all times while on the run. Numbers may not be altered in any way that prevents clear identification. DO NOT transfer your number to any other athlete or take a number from an athlete that is not competing. Remove any race number stickers not applicable to the current race.

11.  Wetsuits: 

Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.

12.  Abandonment: 

All personal equipment and belongings taken out onto the course must stay on the athlete the entire time. No garbage, clothing, etc. shall be thrown on the course.

13.  Forward Progress:

An athlete is not permitted to make any forward progress without the bicycle and all its component parts. If a bicycle is rendered inoperable, a participant may proceed on the cycling course, running or walking, while pushing or carrying the bicycle, so long as the bicycle is pushed or carried in a manner not to obstruct or impede the progress of other participants. 

14.  Running Conduct:

An athlete may not crawl. Athletes may not be accompanied by non-competing athletes. No non-competing athlete is allowed in the finishers chute.

Glass containers and other hazardous items. Glass containers are prohibited and may result in disqualification. Athletes should not wear, use or carry items deemed to be a hazard to oneself or others, e.g., a hard cast, jewelry, glass/metal containers or mirrors (reference to mirrors does not apply for athletes with a medically verified condition)

For a complete list of rules, please refer to the most up to date USA Triathlon Competitive Rules at:

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.


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