New rules for wearing GPS-watches at World Ranking Events

Posted on | November 21, 2016 | Category: News

Previously, it has been forbidden to carry GPS-devices with a display at major events and World Ranking Events. As most GPS-watches have a built-in display, it has meant in practice that they were not allowed.

From January 2017, when the updated Competitions Rules come into force, a new wording of the equipment rule opens the possibility of wearing GPS devices (watches etc.) with the condition that they will be of no help during the competition:

“GPS-enabled devices (watches etc.) can be carried provided that they have no map display and are not used for navigation purposes,” is the new wording.

However, the organisers still have the right to specifically forbid the use of such equipment if there are particular reasons why that is necessary.

Opening up for the use of GPS-devices affects both FootO, MTBO and SkiO.

David Rosen, chairperson of the IOF Rules Commission, explains that many athletes are keen to wear their GPS watches in order to record their routes and this rule should normally allow them to do so:

– A large proportion of athletes like to wear their GPS watches while they are competing. We know that this is purely so that they can analyse their route after the race and not for navigating during the race. The previous wording did not allow GPS devices to be worn if they have a display. In fact, most GPS watches do have a display, but provided that they cannot display a map, they can be of little or no help for navigation. The athletes have been quite good in respecting the rule up to now, but the Athletes’ Commissions have suggested that it is now time to relax the rule a little, which the new wording is a result of, David Rosen says.


Read more about the new Competition Rules.

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