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Ironman updates rules for 2017

2016 Ironman World Championship

On Monday, Ironman announced on their website that they have updated some of their in-competition rules for all athletes for the 2017 season. The new rules will take effect on March 1st, 2017.

The full story is an interview with the brand’s chief referee, Jimmy Riccitello, but we’ve summed up the highlights for your here.


“Yellow card penalties will change from a stop-and-go to a one-minute stop-and-go penalty. The goal is to standardize the time that athletes cited for a yellow card rule violation spend in the penalty tent on the bike course or served on the spot while on the run course.”

Disc brakes

“Bicycles with disc brakes are now allowed globally in all non-drafting middle and long distance triathlons, including Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events.”

Tri suits

“In an effort to better define the rule prohibiting bare torsos during the bike and run, and to align with the global standard, uniforms with a front zipper must not be undone below the point of the end of the breastbone (sternum).  If not remedied promptly, athletes will be issued a disqualification.”

Electronic devices

“With athlete safety in mind, we’ve amended the rule prohibiting the use of communication devices. The rule now prohibits athletes from using communication devices in any unsafe or distractive manner. We understand and appreciate how technology is evolving the sport of triathlon, however, the use of technology in any distractive manner is grounds for disqualification.  For example, a “distractive manner” could include, but is not limited to, making and receiving phone calls, sending and receiving text messages, playing music, using social media, and taking photographs.”

Riccitello adds that in the case of middle and long distance triathlon, Ironman and the ITU (who recently signed a historic agreement in efforts to further develop the sport) will continue to work together to develop a singular set of rules, as there remain some discrepancies.