The new rules aim to more closely align with the ITU. Jimmy Riccitello has also been named Head Referee for Ironman.

The new rules aim to more closely align with the International Triathlon Union. Jimmy Riccitello has also been named Head Referee for Ironman.

Ironman announced today the global standardization of Ironman’s competition rules for the 2015 season. The updated rules, which apply to Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events and aim to align more closely with the International Triathlon Union (ITU), will take effect March 1, 2015 in Europe, Africa and the Americas. The rules will roll out in the Asia-Pacific region between March and July.

“We have been working closely with the ITU on this initiative for the past year,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman, in a press release. “As Ironman continues to grow globally and expand into emerging markets that have limited Federation support, it is important that we have a uniform set of rules at our races. This is a big first step for us to harmonize our competition rules, which will create a more consistent race day experience.”

“The ITU looks forward to continuing its relationship with Ironman in order to advance the standardization of long-distance triathlon competition rules,” said Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC Member.” Strengthening relationships between Ironman, the ITU and our National Federations is a positive step towards providing athletes with the best possible racing conditions.”

The rules for drafting distances, time penalties and wetsuit water temperature cut-offs, amongst other rules, have varied in the past but will now be globally uniform.

RELATED: Avoid The Penalty Tent

See some of the specific rules below and visit Ironman.com/rules-and-regulations.

Draft Zones

Age Group Athletes: The Age-Group bicycle draft zone is 10 meters long, measured from the leading edge of the front wheel and extending towards the back of the bike (5 bike lengths of clear space between bikes). An age-group athlete may enter the draft zone of another athlete when passing and must continuously progress through the draft zone. A maximum of 20 seconds will be allowed to pass through the zone of another athlete.

Professional Athletes: The Professional bicycle draft zone is 12 meters long, measured from the leading edge of the front wheel and extending towards the back of the bike (6 bike lengths of clear space between bikes). A professional athlete must immediately move to the side upon entering the draft zone of another athlete when passing (i.e., no slipstreaming) and must continuously progress through the draft zone. A maximum of 25 seconds will be allowed to pass through the zone of another athlete.

Race Referee Cards (Both Professional and Age Group Athletes)

Yellow Card: Stop and Go Time Penalty
Blue Card: Five Minute Time Penalty
Red Card: Disqualification (DSQ)

Time Penalties (Both Professional and Age Group Athletes)

First Time Penalty: Five minutes
Second Time Penalty: Five minutes
Third Time Penalty: Disqualification (DSQ)
Any combination of three cards (yellow or blue) will result in a disqualification (red card).

Wetsuit Cut-off Temperatures

Professional athletes will be allowed to wear wetsuits in water temperatures up to and including 71.5F/21.9C.  Age group athletes will be allowed to wear wetsuits in water temperatures up to and including 76.1F/24.5C. (Please note that for our U.S.A. Triathlon sanctioned events Ironman reserves the right to allow athletes to participate in the non-competitive wetsuit wave for water temperatures 76.2F/24.55C and up to 83.8F/28.8C)

Jimmy Riccitello Named Head Referee

Ironman also announced that Jimmy Riccitello will take on a new global role as Head Referee for Ironman. In his new position, Riccitello will attend the Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship as well as the majority of the Regional Ironman Championship races, including Ironman Latin American Championship Florianopolis, Ironman European Championship Frankfurt and the Memorial Hermann North American Ironman Championship Texas. In his new role, Riccitello will also be focused on collaborating with Ironman race referees to increase enforcement and ultimately create a better competitive environment for athletes.

“I’m proud of the progress Ironman and the ITU have made towards creating a common set of long-distance triathlon rules,” said Riccitello. “I look forward to working closely with our National Federations to minimize drafting by increased enforcement, athlete education and a standardized set of global rules.”

RELATED: ITU, Ironman Meet To Discuss Triathlon Rules