Saturday, December 27, 2008

ipod lovers rejoice - usatf headphone ban at races is dead (well almost)!

the usatf has given music lovers a fantastic christmas present. at the annual meeting held earlier this month in reno, the highly controversial rule 144.3 that banned headphone use during races was amended to permit such use (at the discretion of the race director, in non-championship events). here is the effective language:

"(f) The visible possession or use by athletes of video, audio, or communications devices in the competition area. The Games Committee for an LDR event may allow the use of portable listening devices not capable of receiving communication; however, those competing in Championships for awards, medals, or prize money may not use such devices."

one important caveat, this rule change does not apply to devices "capable of receiving communications" - which, presumably is directed at cell phone use during a race. that language, however, also covers an old fashioned walk-man - how's that for a blast from the past - and, more specifically, any music device equipped with a tuner to recieve radio signals.

another important point, while the usatf rule now doesn't bar the use of headphones (i.e. music) during the race, the actual permission for such use resides within the discretion of the race director. there may be non-championship races out there where a race director will continue to prohibit headphone use during the race.

while i rarely use an ipod during races, i want that choice to be mine. i'm glad some degree of sanity has been restored.


ChickenUnderwear said...

I don't need headphones. My Sharona has been stuck in my head since 1979.


Just_because_today said...

I have never seen the harm of using them so...I use them.

Black Knight said...

I always use my i-pod during the workouts but never during the races.

Anonymous said...

During the 2007 Ridgefield half-marathon, an EMT with a portable defibrilator in her own car, was impeded by ipod runners who did not hear the car horn, as she rushed to revive me from a cardiac attack. During the 2007 Westport 10 miler, an ipod runner went off course and did not hear runners shouting behind her.
Please use them for workouts only.


Zoooma!! said...

The other day in Philadelphia, a heater caused 7 people to lose their lives. Somewhere in America today, someone drank too much alcohol, drove drunk and killed someone. Coal mining is supposed to have a positive purpose but miners die. On September 11th, 2001, 19 Muslim extremist hijackers killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. My point is: should heaters and alcohol and coal manning be banned, as well as all Muslims from airplanes, simply because sometimes something bad can happen? All of those things are a LOT worse than problems stemming from the use of an ipod (or other mp3 player as not everyone, like myself, uses the apple brand.) There are literally countless examples of how we could baby-proof America to make sure nothing bad ever happens.

Now I don't yet run races but I'm a runner and ya know what? I would not run if I could not run without music. Plain and simple. I realize no one is stopping me from running on my own time with a music player. But if I'll only run with music and I want to take part in a race, to keep me from running in that race because I want, nay, because I need music to run, that's bogus.

johnking said...

i just run. happy holidays frank!

Anonymous said...

Amen Roy. Arrogance is bliss til death comes knocking at your door. Head phones at races are self centered arrogance. lightfootman

Zoooma!! said...

"self centered arrogance" ?

How many deaths have occurred because of headphones at a race? Is there a statistic for this?

How many deaths have occurred because communities have public swimming pools? Maybe those should be banned, as well. Better safe than sorry, eh?

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty ridiculous that people who don't like headphones think everyone else should not where them either.

All it takes is some common sense to not have your headphones blaring - but at a normal level. Myself and everyone else i know who runs with headphones have never had an issue with hearing what's going on around us.

I'm training for my first marathon and could never imagine doing so without music/audio - i find the long miles incredibly boring as it is.

If using audio equipment gets more people active and doing something about their health then more power to them!

Not everyone is hardcore track and field stars our there...

Paul Both said...

The simple solution is to run with one earbud in and one out.