Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Looking Back In A Race > BMX NOW > BMX Racing
Pages: 1, 2
I'm wondering where you all stand on the issue of looking back during a race. I have been to a couple of tracks this summer where they were threatening to DQ riders who looked back while they were racing. It looked to me like most of the kids were just check to see how close the comp was when they started getting tired. No one cut over on anyone. Is this a No No?
It's a no-no if you want to win! Looking back doesn't do anything but slow you down.
def slows you down, but a DQ is ridiculous...

[ August 10, 2007, 11:28 AM: Message edited by: delirious ]
You said it, 'D'.
I think this is something most of the younger riders do without any bad intent. They look over out of the gate and behind when they are going around the track. You can tell them that they will be faster if they look ahead, but they still do it. I've found they eventually out grow it.

As for a DQ, not at our track. They will be given a warning if they look and then move over in a way that could cause a crash. So far this year I think we've given only one warning and so far no more problem.
Looking back? What would I do that for? To see how close the next moto is getting to me?

If you're not focused on going forward, you're slowing down or setting yourself up for a wreck.
If you look back and then move over and make contact it is a "DQ".........You will see them when they pass you..............If you feel them and don't look back it is ok to move over.............I'm out BigJeff
for whatever reason people at our track think it's an illegal move. I spoke directly with the ABA because my son was DQ'd for looking. The man who writes the rule book said it's absolutely not a rule violation. Nonetheless, I still hear officials telling kids not to be looking. I say why not? It is absolutely not in the rule book and not to be automatically considered malicious intent and this comes from the ABA guy who writes the rulebook.

Now, local tracks have the discretion to put in special rules but they are supposed to be posted and/or announced before every race.

I call this the phantom look-back rule because it can't be found in the rule book yet many at our track claim it to be there. Whenever I have asked anyone to show it to me, they just remind me how much longer they have been involved in BMX than me. That's great!!

Yes, it does slow you down and yes I have seen it used by kids with malicious intent but that doesn't make every case so. Most of the time I feel that the kids are just not wanting to wreck or are wanting to cut another rider off (take their line).

I am more than willing to be corrected on this rule issue if someone can show me from the rule book.

Show me, in anybody's rule book, where it's illegal to look back.

It's not.

Somewhere this has grown up to be assumed as a rule, but, again, nothing in any rule book forbids it.

What you're not allowed to do is be some big ol' hammerhead, and taking someone out after looking over your shoulder for them implies an intent to foul, but that's not the same. The foul, the act of fouling, is a DQ, but looking over your shoulder only means you can't say "But it was an accident!" later after you stuffed HiLo McGo into a hay bale.

Some local tracks get pretty strick about this "no looking back" thing, however, 'cause some of their kids are coached into playing bike hockey by well meaning adults -- intent to break a rule (intentional foul) and breaking a rule being the same thing in the broad sense.
TC Racing
XII. Track Regulations

1. The race director shall have complete control of all officials, scorers and
riders. The race director’s decisions are final, and he/she may rule on a
situation not covered by the ABA Rules. Any ruling made by any director
that is not covered in this ABA rulebook must be submitted in writing
immediately to the ABA.

XIII. Racing Rules

1. The race director may modify a rule to meet local track conditions but only
to make the event safer. Any modifications must be fair for all riders.

Some food for thought...

This is the loophole I believe track officials use.
909 sKILLS
There is no "looking back" rule in the 2007 ABA rule book. There used to be a rule that you could not look back before you move over, or to protect your line. The only time I ever see riders looking back is in a turn, and it usually only happens if they feel like they have a big enough lead to shut it down. The fact is it's the rider's (parents) responsibility to know the rules too, the rule books are available at most tracks, and online in pdf. format on the ABA website. Some T.O.'s act like the rule books never change, you wouldn't believe the argument I had with a T.O. about pads after the rule change, he went as far as to say he didn't care and at HIS track bikes will have to run pads. I know at the end of the day he's just doing his job, protecting the riders. I then brought the new rule on paper and showed him, he apologized and I apologized and that was that. Bottom line is riders should not be looking back anyway, especially on the straits, so I see no reason to sweat it, just tell the kids not to look back, it's a good thing.
I dont think Ive ever blocked some one down a strait or at the finish in my life. Ofcourse I block in corners and quite defensive last corner in a semi..Yet I'm not sure how many times I have not looked back in some fashion. Probably in a main out front, I wouldnt look.

I was doing sprints last night with my kid. On the way back up the hill, cruising easy, I rode the entire time looking back, stetching the neck and pedaling with head down looking through, under the arm.

Only reason I even remember that is on old school days I could do that at full sprint and take peek from under armor. Now I'm not very good at it, because the only palce you do man head down sprints like that anymore if at all is the 1st strait and there is no reason to look back.

I cant imagine going a full lap and cornering and not peeking to see where everyone is at. It natual. There is always a spot in most big berms to take quick look around. At the very least to see how far some one is inside. I am pretty sure i do it every lap.

Hades for old dudes its defensive..If some one is too low we go high incase the slide up..when we go low I almost always yell, "under you" so they dont turn down and they realize I wont come up into them.

When I catch some one taking a peek back at me the natural reaction is to get on the opposite side of them ASAP, they look again you can go right by.

I dunno maybe some of the long Fla tracks all this looking around jazz isnt as big of a deal. You have so much time to pass or pull people. On a short track if guys look and block, it does shut them down and the race might be over.

You can look and block all you want at Orlando. Unless its a block the last 50 feet..I really dont think it will matter much. haha.

I dunno guys Ive been doing it so long its natural. I can be in a pack in the 1st turn and I still look around.

I was telling my kid last night he has a bad habit of focusing too much on the rider ahead of him. Look around, look for places to pass..

But the joke is, you go out side on a strait that puts you on the outside of the next corner and you dont know where the guy is behind you, pass for 1st youll end up 3-6th.
If there is no risk in losing 2nd take the high side for speed down the next strait.

yea yea most races you can hear and feel the riders around you.

Perhaps people think looking back is dangerous because they cant do it. I ve never heard of anyone being DQ-ed and Ive never had anyone comment is all these years that I do it.

I am stunned kids getting DQ-ed for looking..I bet the same kids win alot..does anyone mind the kid in 5th that looks back?
Somewhere this has grown up to be assumed as a rule, but, again, nothing in any rule book forbids it.

I think it's a remnant from the ABA rules from a couple of years ago. There was a rule that specifically talked about "looking back," used those words.

It has been removed, probably because it didnt really make sense. You can t-bone someone or run them off the track without looking back (bad), or simply look back to see where people are with no intent of doing anything bad (ok).
does anyone mind the kid in 5th that looks back?
I give ya that!!!
I catch myself looking back only in the middle of the first berm for just a second to see where the pack is . I am usually 5-6 bike lengths ahead and know I am ,but I still catch myself taking a peek.
Is it bad ?? I dont know I guess if someone was a little closer I might get on the gas a little harder that way. As far as the rest of the track . I dont look back after the first turn . theres just too many other things going on besides looking back . , Jumps, rollers, etc and I cannot afford to give up a spot turning around to take a look and Johnny on the spot rolls right by you on the outside. Illegal. Not unless your using it to take a block but nobody says you cannot use your peripheral vision to do the same thing to block your not turning your head but you can still see johhny coming with his front tire around the outside . The rule clearly states or should be anyway ,you can take them clear to the line as long as you do not make him intentionally cross and go outside the line.. SR
Scot F.
I think it's a remnant from the ABA rules from a couple of years ago. There was a rule that specifically talked about "looking back," used those words.

... Not since at least 1999. I have every ABA printed rule book since '99. The words "looking back" have not been in print.
Scot F.
Nonetheless, I still hear officials telling kids not to be looking.
Unfortunately, officials are like alot of parents and racers... they have never actually read the rule book. They have probably heard others yackin' about "presumed" rules and it kinda makes sense to them.
Tony Spencer
I look back all the time.

Especially through the first turn.
Im usually hoping you take a chance to look up at me and see the beast on the track in front of you staring you in the eyes while you do your best to catch me and you may realize what a can of whoop asss looks like when opened.
"Out on the road today I saw a dead head sticker on a radillac......A little voice inside my head said don't look back you can never look back"

Sorry I couldn't resist!!!!
Here's another rule I just heard last night. Last night was my first race back in about a year, but I still kept up on what's going on. I was told by a BMX dad that just started racing, that the ABA made a new rule this year "that you can not move over more than two lanes out of the gate"

I looked through the rule book today and found nothing abotu moving over except the rule about intentionally making contact, etc etc.

Am I just not seeing this "new" rule, or is the dad just making his own rules up too?
Alot of "new rules" are usually hearsay and rumors..

How do you enforce a "2 lane" rule with no designated lanes on the hill? Most ABA tracks only have two lines coming down the hill and they are on the edge of the track...

As for looking back, if nothing happens because of it, what's the problem?

That's what I was saying too Lumpy. No lines, who's to say where the lanes are.
Especially on some tracks that bottle neck at the first obstacle
Am I just not seeing this "new" rule, or is the dad just making his own rules up too?
He is making it up. I think a year or two ago it stated that you could not move before the crest of the first obstacle, but I may be imagining that.

Here is the rule that sets the guideline, and to me this means you can move from 8 to 1 if you have the lead. Not that this is wise or a good move, but it is allowed without malice.

"34. The lead rider can take any line available on the track. (This relates to any rider ahead of any other—2 nd place ahead of 3 rd , 5 th ahead of 6 th, etc.)
Strategy plays a big part in the sport of BMX and taking the line of another rider is a strategic and legal move. However, if the lead rider intentionally moves over and makes malicious contact with another rider, then a foul may be the determination resulting in disqualification."

[ August 10, 2007, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: CurtisN ]
" 'However, if the lead rider intentionally moves over and makes malicious contact with another rider, then a foul may be the determination resulting in disqualification.' "

So if the lead rider looks back and moves to block and they collide then is this where the lead rider could be DQed as he showed intent? And maybe this is where the no looking deal has steamed from?

My fairly new intermediate does some looking around for "strategic" moves, and we have been told he could be called for it. Vet Pro has coached if you want to look, look down under your arm and if can't see them then don't worry about them.
05 Grands, 9 or 10 cruiser in gate 2 or 7 (which way did the first turn go?) moved to the outside and ran the kid next to him off the track. He got DQ'd, even though there was no contact, because he was looking over the whole time down the starting hill.

The kid that got ran off would've won the crusier title if he'd won that race, which he probably would have. Not that that should have played into it at all.
I don't recall the rule book ever saying specifically that you can't look back.
It is mentioned in the T.O. handbook as a possible indicator for establishing intent.
However if no foul is committed, intent becomes a moot point.
Scot F.
He got DQ'd, even though there was no contact, because he was looking over the whole time down the starting hill.

I think that would fall under this rule...
"Officials look for the intention of any circumstance on the track. Situations deemed under malitious intent may result in disqualification."

Or maybe this one...
"Any rider judged by an official as maliciously forcing another rider off the track may be disqualified."

Of course that leads to question whether looking over was malicious, especially if there wasnt any contact made. Think about this though, the rule says nothing about whether contact determines malicious intent, nor does it say anything about where a racer is looking.
It is simply a judgement call.
The only time I look back is when I pull the full brake check in the 1st turn and watch the mayhem. Peoples faces are incredible when they are going 25 plus to a dead stop. HAHA I always look out of the corner of my eye just to defend the spot. If you watch some of the florida videos from the state series nobles seems to ride looking sideways or even back most of the rythem sections to taunt the other riders.
Scot F,
i know in that situation it looked very intentional and that's pretty much what everyone here agreed upon.
I like to yell at the younger Xs when I race them. Sometimes it distracts them just enough that I can pull within a length or so.
In both of the cases I was thinking of the riders were 10 feet or more in front of the second place rider. Yet, they were still warned. I don't think they should have had anything said to them. It looks to me like most of you would agree with that.

So... what if they would have been DQ'd. Do they just have to live with it?

[ August 10, 2007, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: Tk77 ]
I remember the "don't look back" rule being mentioned back in 87-92. Not sure that it was in the NBL rule book or a carry over from the ABA track that most of the officals started out at. Maybe this goes further back than either the NBL or the ABA. Someone send this in to Mythbusters or that website that debunks stuff.
40 on a 20
Ok, as a head official for 2 years for us local yocals, I never DQ'd a rider. I have sent a few parents to 30 day timeout!! Now, with that said, I have talked to a few riders (and their parents at the same time) about 'questionable' tactics on the track and said 'if A happens, then B will happen!' That usually takes care of it, unless parent is smart enough to bend the rule discussion, then I just have to define it a little better. I also would like to think I have an idea as to 'what' is racing and 'what' is not racing. I do have a few kids that their head spins like Linda Blair's in the Excorist w/o the green stuff!! Heck, I have to get onto the 'little league' parents for screaming in the turns more than the kids on the track!!

Now, that done, I have taught jr how to look through the key hole and use head position in the turn to 'see' other rider positions and listen for the freewheel in the turn to know where others are in the turn and how to use position to block or get on the gas...

What was the question?? Oh yea, looking back against the rules. Not in the book, UNLESS clear intent to wreck a rider. Rider in front has the right to any line he so chooses.

Teach jr to cream the rider blocking, usually stops shortly after that!! I think that kids will start to police themselves and that teaches character. Just my opinion...
Hate to say it, but I actually agree with 40 on this one. If someone looked back at me with the intent to drop on me and block, then they're getting blasted- no two ways about it. Clear sign of disrespect in my eyes.
Scot F.
The only time I look back is when I pull the full brake check in the 1st turn and watch the mayhem. Peoples faces are incredible when they are going 25 plus to a dead stop.
Going 25 plus AND you are ahead of them? ... yeah right, you aint that fast Glen!
I use a broken speedometer to clock myself. I says 50 all the time makes me feel better.
 He got DQ'd, even though there was no contact, because he was looking over the whole time down the starting hill. 

Could be, but my recollection was that he got DQ'ed because he told people in staging, maybe even Pelham, that he was going to run him off the track. Then he did it which proved malice.
I think the thing to remember is that malice must be proven. One way to prove it is by looking over and then moving, but that might also constitute a good block if you have the lead. It is a pretty subjective ruling that depends largely on who is watching, if and how hard the contact is, and if it results in a crash. Plus, if you say in staging that you are going to do it, then do it, then you are probably going to be scored 8th.

[ August 11, 2007, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: CurtisN ]
Titanium Tim
So here I am trying to figure out this rule. My son doesn't look back, but listenes and uses his perpheral vision to see when a rider is coming up on him and will move over. Most times the other rider will back off or try something else, but what happens when they make contact? I don't want my son to look like a dirty rider, but at the same time I was under the impression that what he was doing was illegal.

I have noticed that he does slow down when another rider gets close and was up last night thinking up a different strategy to work on, but it still bothers me.

At our local track there is a slight bend after the triple out oif the first turn and with only a few feet on the inside, another rider tried to make a move. My son noticed this and blocked him and the other riders front tire hit my son's rear and the other rider wenht down pretty hard.

I don't want to see my son get anybody hurt, but at the same time he has been on the receiving enhd of a pinch move at nationals and understands that some days he may give and some days he may receive.

I'm with my friend 40 on a 20 here. The young guys could stop most of the problems they have with overly-agressive riders by just holding their line. If he really wants to tangle, I say bring it on. Maybe you both go down, maybe not. If his intent is to run you off the track then the last thing he expects is for you to stand your ground. If you get leaned on in a turn, lean back. Watch the pros tangle in the turns, especially BITD. Also check some of the sprint finishes in road races like the Tour de France. Those guys are all over each other.

On the other hand us old guys are always looking around, mainly because we are slow and could get passed at any moment.
DQ somebody for the way the human head turns around? That is ridiculous. Might as well DQ somebody for an elbow bending or an ankle bending or a thumb curling on the grips. {actually, my elbow bends as I shove food in my face, DQ me for that!} And they wonder why nobody shows up for local races.
Rich Soryu
Retarded. I like to look back sometimes when entering turns to see if I am clear to take the line I want into the jump. I like knowing that my backwheel won't clip someones front wheel.
First race of the yr . I was in second place right on the 1st place riders rear tire going into the turn tried the high low but he took the same line and then moved up to pinch me didnt work I hit his back tire and went down. the result 2 broken ribs from the 3rd place riders front tire into the rib cage. I still think about that one all the time . OUCH !!!
Scot F.
And they wonder why nobody shows up for local races.
I thought it was lippy jumps?
You start DQ'ing people for looking back at a local -and the folks will never return. { people already look for reasons to not show at locals, that's just giving them more reasons right there} Now, DQ for maliciously going over and knocking down somebody, yeah, I could see that as being fair, whether they looked or not. I think all depends on the intent. Looking back or not....intent is the key.

Lippy jumps? I forgot all about those, we had so much rain around here most jumps have been washed away and the lips may have been rebuilt somewhat by now but it is a relatively moot point at this juncture.
BTW, I look back frequently- at the moto behind me getting ready to lap me, ha ha
I was actually threatened to be DQ'd by a TO at a Colorado ABA track this year at a SCR race for looking back on the last straight and all I was doing was to see where the comp was so I could ease up because I was running to classes. I looked in the rule bbok about this looking back and it says nothing I pointed that out to him and he said I am getting close to being DQ'd. I am 40 and getting talked to like a kid, I think TO's interpet the rules however they want and thus they should receive some formal training or something because some just don't have a clue.
lowe, sounds like they are not too bright up there in Colorado. I think the TO does get some sort of formal training if they attend a school in AZ, put on by the ABA. Nationals= less DQ, heck, practically no DQ at nationals.
Scot F.
And they wonder why nobody shows up for local races.
First, you state it present tense, like it is actually happening...

You start DQ'ing people for looking back at a local -and the folks will never return.
Now you state it as a presumption...

Which is it? Fact, or presumption?

When was the last time you remember a kid getting DQ'd for looking back?
Left me wondering why do I race??
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.