At the end of a pre-race "intro-to-tri" clinic for a large local kids triathlon yesterday, I had a mom ask me "So what do people do if they haven't come to this clinic? How do they know the rules? I had NO IDEA about any of these!"
This is indicative of a larger problem we have in this sport that comes from youth races being open to any and all athletes regardless of experience, coaching, or team affiliation. Please, do NOT think I am saying we should make the sport less inclusive - actually, I wish we would make the sport MORE inclusive. When I say more inclusive, I mean that if we are going to open USAT sanctioned events up to all athletes, I think we need to take responsibility for properly educating them and their families on the rules of the sport to ensure a safe and fair experience for ALL athletes racing.
For those reading, take a moment to review the USAT rules, particularly those for youth athletes - even experienced tri families might learn something new!
Remember, it is our job to ensure our athletes know the rules, and understand why it is important to follow them, because we honor our sport. Have a wonderful Sunday.