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Thread: Use of GPS banned!

  1. #1
    Master Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    Use of GPS banned!

    I don't think it's been mentioned on here, but changes to the FRA rules for the coming year include:


    "The use of GPS devices (or similar technologies) to assist with navigation or positioning in any way is now completely prohibited in all FRA races. This includes (but is not limited to) display of a map, fixing current position, following a “breadcrumb trail”and any “off-track” visual or audio warnings"

    "Runners who use such a device –even momentarily for repositioning –must retire and declare themselves non-competitive to the Race Organiser"

    and aslso:
    " A note has been added to confirm that ROs may require that competitors do not wear e.g. GPS watches even for tracking or distance display."

    GPS was banned in Wales, where ir was considered to be contrary to the spirit of the sport, a couple of years ago.
    Last edited by Dave_Mole; 01-10-2020 at 08:09 AM.
    ....it's all downhill from here.

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    I understand the reasons for banning gps in fell races but not even being allowed to wear a watch would be a step too far. Races especially are what you’d want to record on Strava

  3. #3
    Master Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fellbeast View Post
    I understand the reasons for banning gps in fell races but not even being allowed to wear a watch would be a step too far. Races especially are what you’d want to record on Strava
    I agree. There's not much benefit to be had from just a time/distance read out.
    When CFR trialled a ban they didn't go as far as to ban a watch and they haven't been banned in Wales either.
    It sounds from the above like it's an option for ROs to ban them, rather than a rule.
    ....it's all downhill from here.

  4. #4
    I think Ambleside AC have got the balance absolutely right.

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    I was wondering when this would come up! I'm surprised it's taken so long. At last, a topic I'm sure we can all agree on.

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    I thought displaying time distance and elevation were accepted, but nothing more.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Charmian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Mole View Post

    and also:
    " A note has been added to confirm that ROs may require that competitors do not wear e.g. GPS watches even for tracking or distance display."
    This applies mainly to organisers of mountain navigation events such as mountain marathons but may be applied by ROs of any FRA race. ROs may supply sealable bags (for inspection after the race or at an overnight camp) to allow competitors to record their tracks for post-race analysis.
    Charmian Heaton
    FRA Chairman
    Black Combe Runners

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charmian View Post
    This applies mainly to organisers of mountain navigation events such as mountain marathons but may be applied by ROs of any FRA race. ROs may supply sealable bags (for inspection after the race or at an overnight camp) to allow competitors to record their tracks for post-race analysis.
    Many thanks for the explanation.

  9. #9
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I think of the longer "classic" races, I can only recall Sedbergh Hills using the option of GPS Allowed.... I think most other big races were ran by organisers who choose to prohibit GPS anyway.

    But it's good that it's been totally cleared up, and I'm all for the blanket ban on its use.

  10. #10
    Moderator noel's Avatar
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    I'm largely in agreement with this. It seems sensible having one rule across all races. On Groovy Kinder Love, we allowed GPS. My rationale was that it wasn't much help in finding the best lines, but made it accessible for those who don't live near the route and therefore couldn't easily recce.

    I fully understand the argument about not wanting to have people without mountain sense relying on GPS. Also it's a sensible approach regarding safety, since you can use your watch if you're genuinely in trouble or completely lost, you just have to retire.

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