Transfer of race numbers

Important ! Rule 209 – Please read

The committee wish to bring to the attention of the club UKA rule 209 and the clubs position in respect of rule 209. It is not permitted to take part in a race with another runner’s bib number. Rule 209 states “Athletes who receive transferred numbers without permission (from the race organiser i.e. a formal transfer) will be disqualified from the race. Both runners will be subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate National Association”. In our case the national organisation is England Athletics. The sanctions imposed are usually a 12 month ban from all UKA races not only for the person running but also for the person who gave them their number if they were aware.

This is a serious rule and as a UKA registered club we are obliged to support and reinforce their rules. The reasons for the rule are:

  • If a medical emergency occurred, there could be potential mix-ups. The organisers may get in touch with your emergency contact, leading to panic and/or confusion. They may use your medical notes entered at the time of entry, which could have disastrous consequences.
  • Any race insurance will be void.
  • God forbid the impact in the event of the tragedy at Boston marathon a few years ago.
  • It impacts on results not only for the race itself but for Run Britain / Power of Ten rankings / results and this is especially so where the other runner is a different category, gender or capability.
  • There have been a number of incidents where ladies have been deprived of a first place because they were beaten by young men with women’s numbers.

UKA registered running and athletics clubs are obliged to report these incidences to England Athletics (in our case) as are race organisers. Should we neglect this we as a club could face sanctions. As far as we are aware this has not been tested yet although a number of individual athletes have been banned. This is the action we will have to take going forward.

EA are compiling a ‘blacklist’ of runners who have been reported for number-swapping, referenced to the runner’s EA registration number. A number of race organisers are now starting to check EA registrations including big races close to us.

The official club policy is for runners to adhere to the rules. If not, we will, from this date, report cases that we are aware of. If a race organiser says you can’t give your number to someone else, then don’t. If you don’t like the rule, then by all means, contact the organisers and let them know your frustrations. If enough people complained, then maybe more organisers might look at their policies on swapping numbers in the future. Perhaps only enter races that do allow this flexibility.

Nigel Crompton

Club Captain

January 19th 2017