The purpose of the rules in Kids’ Triathlon is to promote safety in regards to equipment and race distances that are developmentally appropriate.
Rationale for Kids Equipment Rules
Safety is of paramount importance for young athletes. Advanced equipment can causes more harm than good when used by novices.
Inclusion is a large component of our philosophy. Many young athletes cannot afford top-end equipment, therefore, the rules create a more equitable environment for participation.
Development is also accounted for. Basic skills must be mastered as a foundation for future success. Races of longer duration and equipment that restricts basic skill acquisition are not conducive to long term involvement in sport; nor do they promote opportunities for athletes to reach their ultimate potential.
What is developmentally appropriate?
Every child develops at a different rate. Biological age, or age of the growing body may differ from chronological age by one to three years. Maturation describes the patterns of development that culminate in an adult state including : skeletal, sexual, neural (brain / nervous system), morphological (height / weight), psychological / emotional, intellectual / cognitive.
Guidelines that are developmentally appropriate take maturational patterns into account. They ensure athletes avoid practices that may negatively impact long term involvement in sport and physical activity.
For more information on childhood growth and development, sport recommendations, and maturational issues, contact Triathlon Canada.
General Race Rules
All participants must wear approved helmets on the bicycle course.
- Chinstraps must be fastened before removing the bike from the bike rack.
- Chinstraps must remain fastened until the bike has been returned to the bike rack.
- Participants must rack their bikes in the transition area at the location designated by the event. E.g. Most races provide bike racks with spaces for different age or race groups.
- Torsos must be covered during the bike and run.
- Drafting on the bike course is not permitted, except in races that are specifically authorized and sanctioned as draft legal by the Provincial Governing Body. Only Youth (14-15) or Junior Age (16-19) Sprint Distance races may be sanctioned as draft-legal. Participants in a draft legal event must have completed a drafting training and safety course conducted or accredited by the Provincial/Territorial Governing Body.
- Participants and parents must follow the principles of fair play and good sportsmanship.
- Parental assistance is not permitted on the racecourse or in the transition area once the race has begun, except with special permission from the race director for young and/or AWAD (athletes with a disability) participants.
- The Officials may disqualify a participant who is in direct violation of the rules.
- Athletes are not permitted to race up an age category, with the exception of 15 year-olds whose coaches successfully petition for inclusion in 16-19 Junior draft-legal events in Canada only. Refer to Triathlon Canada’s application and petition process for approval of such exceptions.
- All participants must belong to a Provincial/Territorial Governing Body, or must purchase a One Day Membership at a cost as levied by the Provincial/Territorial Governing Body.
- All participants will adhere to the equipment regulations specific to their age category.
- Provincial Governing Body sanctioned races will be governed by the maximum distances established in this document with exceptions as indicated in the following table.
Ages are determined as of DECEMBER 31 of the current year of competition.
Athletes MUST race in their respective age divisions; no athlete under the age of 18 is permitted to race in a higher or older age division.
Athletes 18 -19 years of age may race up in the 18-23 ITU or 20-24 Olympic Distance races.