The racing rules for the LONG distance dog sled races

2002-08-18 22:49:58 Levíčková Helena – rubrika Řády
a směrnice


1. Application form

Rules for mushers

Rulers for dogs



Dividing into categories according to the size
of the sled

Distances, bivouac



Surviving equipment

Other equipment

The checking

Rules for START and FINISH

Rules for the trail

The management of the races

Responsibility and the sportive spirit

Breaking the rules

Application form
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a. The application
form must be handed in by the deadline set by the
race organizer.

b. The organizer can deny the application form with
giving the reason.

Rules for the mushers
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a. The musher with whom the sled started in the first
round must lead the dog sled at all times.

b. When getting ill or injured the organizers can
allow the change of mushers. Then the sled can finish
the race out of the competition.

c. The minimum age of musher is 18 years. Exceptions
by the organizer are possible.

d. Mushers can take part in the race only if before
they took part in the mushermeeting that is set in
the race propositions.

e. Musher who was disqualified at one point must not
continue in the race.

Rules for the dogs
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a. The race manager can deny the presence of a dog
sled or a single dog in the race with giving a rightful
reason for it.

b. If the race manager is sure that a dog sled or
a single dog does not fulfill the race requirements,
then this dog or sled must be called out of the race.

c. The race management can order a qualified veterinary
check of the dogs before the race.

d. The race management can do the checking during
the whole race at their discretion. The mushers will
be informed about that and the time of delay is taken

e. If a musher or an owner of the dogs refuses to
have the veterinary check, the whole dog sled must
be called out of the race.

f. In a more-day race can run only those dogs that
were hitched at the start of the first round. Disqualified
dogs must not take part again.

g. The dogs taking part in the race must be minimum
18months old.

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a. All the dogs taken to the race-grounds even those
that will not race must have the vaccination certificates.
The compulsory vaccination is dog rabies and parvovirosis.
To reduce the possibility of infection, dogs should
be also vaccinated against hepatitis, leptospirosis,
and distemper.

b. Dogs and object taken from dog kennels where these
diseases appeared must not be taken to the race-grounds.

c. If a qualified veterinary surgeon finds out an
infectious disease at one dog at the race-ground,
the whole dog sled will be disqualified. All the dogs
from the dog sled must immediately leave the ground.

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a. When the race has more rounds, for the identification
reasons every dog must be marked before the first

Dividing into categories according to the size of the sled
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a. The racing categories are divided into limited
categories, open category and category S – Scandinavian.

b. The number of dogs in the Scandinavian category
is not limited. The race manager can set the maximum

c. The sled of the limited category 3-4 dogs must
not have more than 4 and less than 3 dogs.

d. The sled of the limited category 5-8 dogs must
not have more than 8 and less than 5 dogs.

e. The sled of the open category must have more
than 8 dogs.

f. After the start the musher can reduce the number
of dogs. The number cannot be reduced under the minimum

Distances, bivouac
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a. The stage race is a race with more parts. The organizer
has a free possibility to change the trail according
to the circumstances.

b. There should be included a compulsory bivouac in
between the parts. The bivouac should be cancelled
only in the exceptional cases.

c. The bivouac must be planned so the mushers would
have to carry all the necessities for themselves and
the dogs with them on the sled.

d. The race manager has the right to check the necessary
equipment before this part and also after it.

e. The checking of the sled, which is ready to start,
must be finished the latest 5 minutes before the start.
Other sled must not be delayed.

f. Dogs must be harnessed separately or in pairs next
to each other. Each dog must be connected with the
central line by the neck collar and by the harness.

g. If there are circumstances allowing different type
of the harnessing, then the race manager can allow
or order this different type.

h. Accepting somebody else’s help is not allowed.
Mushers can help each other.

i. The race propositions should show the bivouac and
its specification.

j. The race manager has the right to refuse the start
with insufficient equipment.

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The list of doping
drugs is exists as another document that is updated
every year.

All substances included in the list of the forbidden
drugs are forbidden. No drug (oral, topical or injectable)
that may suppress the signs of illness, pain or injury
may be administrated to a dog that runs in a race.
No drug or artificial means (e.g. blood) may be used
to improve a dog’s performance beyond its natural
ability. The period in which this rule is valid starts
3 days before the first start on the first heat of
the race and ends after the team has finished and
is cleared by the race-vet.

b. If the organizer
is going to conduct a doping control, this must be
stated in the race regulations. It may be conducted
on every championship (EC or WC).


c. If the doping control is ordered, the musher or
the owner must be present. He/she must hand over the
list of all medicaments that were given to the dogs
in the last 72 hours.

d. If the musher or the owner refuses the dogs are
taken the experimental doping sample, his/her dog
sled will be disqualified.


e. If a dog or a dog sled will be proved to use forbidden
medicaments, it will be considered as a major offence
and the dog or sled will be disqualified. Before the
final decision the musher or the owner will be questioned.

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a. The type of the sled is discretionary.

b. The sled must be stabile enough to carry the rider
and be spacious enough for the necessary equipment
and one or two dogs.

c. Each sled must be equipped with an appropriate
brake, a brushbow, security line and two snow hooks
( for teams over 6 dogs), one snow hook ( for teams
to 6 dogs)

d. If a musher destroys the sled he can use a spare

e. There must be a bag on the sled. It must be spacious
to carry baggage, a tired dog or for the transport
of an injured dog.

f. Two solid rods must connect the cargo sled or “pulka”
(half sled) to the harness or harnesses so it could
not run into the harnessed dogs. They must be built
so the front parts of the skids are not free and could
not harm the musher or the dog. The must enable safe
fixing of the load and must be enforced by a rope
connecting it to the musher during the race. When
there are more than 3 dogs at the sled or “pulka”,
it must have a break.

g. The equipment for the sled of the Scandinavian
“pulka” is according to §10.

Surviving equipment
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a. The organizer can require the mushers to take with
them some of the following equipment. It must be announced
in the race regulations with an exact list of the
equipment. Here is a list of the recommended equipment:

– sleeping bag, tent, bivouacking bag or canvas, insulating

– spare clothes (shoes, hat, gloves, socks, underwear,

– head lamp, spare batteries, knife, map with the
marked trail, compass, GPS, passport

– first aid kit for the dog, first aid kit for the

– spare rope, sled line, collar extension, collars,
harnesses, carabines

– cooking stove, equipment for cooking, matches

– a pair of snow shoes with the gear

– a set of booties for each dog

– chain with pegs – stake-out, water, dog food, saucers/bowls
for water

– axe or saw

– sunglasses – glacier glasses, sun-tan lotion

– spare cable3-5mm, 3-5m long

– snow shovel(avalanche shovel)

– food, thermo bottle with tea

– waterproof stick tape

– personal identification cards

– spare ski pole (Scandinavian race)

No musher must leave the check-in point or the race
without the compulsory things. The checking is taking
part before the race or after.

Other equipment
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a. Before the race the organizer sets the daily amount
of food, which should be taken with, for the dogs
and the musher, (e.g. 500g dry food or 1kg of meat).

b. Forbidden object are:

Muzzles, strangling collars, whips, bells, whistles.

c. Each musher gets a starting number from the organizer.
This number can be tightened to the body or to the
sled. It is necessary to make it well visible.

d. To make the equipment checks easier the organizer
can set the minimum weight in the propositions. Then
it depends on the musher which things he chooses.
It is 7 kg per dog for sleds as well as pulkas. The
maximum weight must not exceed 70kg.

e. The weight means the sled (or “pulka”), rods and
harnesses, pulling lines, equipment for survival and
possibly other extra weight. Each musher must find
the extra weight by himself.

The checking
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a. The sled and the equipment are a matter to the
checking and are liable to be agreed on by the race
management if there is not limit set before.

b. The musher, sled and equipment must be present
at a marked place one hour before the planned time
of the start and must be ready to the checking.

c. The sled that was accepted before the start must
not be checked again 5 minutes before the start.

d. The checking in the START/FINISH area must not
be in a way of other sleds.

e. At the international races the checking team is
put together from people representing more countries.

f. The sled and equipment checking can also be done
at the checkpoints at the trail.

Rules for START and FINISH
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A. Drawing the rank

a. The starting rank
is set by drawing the lot. The drawing takes place
before the race. The organizer sets its time and place.

b. If the organize accepts the last time applications,
the applicators are put to the end of the starting

B. The races where
the start is one by one

a. The starting rank
is set by drawing the lot. The drawing takes place
before the race. The organizer sets its time and place.

b. The starting rank of the second round is set according
to the time from the first round. The fastest dog
sled starts the first, second fastest as the fastest.etc.

c. In the race where are more than two rounds, the
starting rank is set according to the total time from
the previous rounds. The sled which has the fastest
total time also starts the first, the second as the

C. The race with starting

a. The starting rank
is set by the drawing. Firstly start numbers 1and
2, then 3 and 4.etc.

b. The starting rank
of the second round is set according to the time from
the first round. The time list is divided into two
parts. The fastest sled starts with the slowest sled.
The second fastest starts with the second slowest.etc.

c. In the race with more rounds the diving into groups
and the starting time depends on the total time of
the previous rounds. The fastest sled of both groups
starts the first.etc.

D. Equal times

a. The sleds that
have the same total time will get higher position
on the total time list.

b. The prizes for those places count together and
divide equally to those sleds.

E. Start – starting

a. Measuring the time
starts at the time announced in the starting list.

b. The front arch of the sled must be on the start

c. The delayed sled must not be in the way to the

d. The starter or the race manager can let the delayed
sled start unless it disturbs the planned time interval.

e. The sled that does not leave the zone (min. 50m)
must make place for the other sled and must not be
in its way for any reason.

F. Help in the starting

a. The way and possibilities
of help in the starting zone are set by the race manager
and are announced before.

b. If the sled left the starting zone then all the
trail rules apply.

G. Counting the time
– the finish

a. The finish time
is measured when the first dog passes the finish line.

b. The final time of the sled is the difference between
the official starting and finishing times. All delays
such as for food, time for rest, stops due to the
bad weather, bad trail etc. count into the total time
of round.

c. The time stops at the veterinary or other trail
checks announced by the organizer. Then the time of
delay counts off the total time.

d. In the case when the dog sled runs over the finish
line alone, the final measuring time is when comes
the musher.

Rules for the trail
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A. Passing through the whole trail

a. The sled and the
musher must pass all the set and marked trail.

b. If the sled leaves the trail not on purpose, the
musher must lead it back to it at the same place.
If this does not bring difficulties for musher and
the sled they can continue to the next checkpoint
but they must not shorten the trail or miss the checkpoint.

c. Mushers must follow the description of the race

d. The rules for marking the trail:

“Turn right” – red or orange sign on the right side
of the trail.

“Turn left” – red or orange sign on the left side
of the trail.

“Go straight” – blue sign on the right or left side
of the trail.

“Be careful” – two or more yellow signs on both sides
of the trail.

“No overtaking zone” – info sign for 800m.

The organizers of the race can possibly use other
signs for marking such as flags or light signs. The
colour or meaning should not be changed. There are
no arguments against signs showing the distance of
the trail.

B. Behaviour on the

a. Musher can ride
the sled or step aside or run next to it.

b. In the Scandinavian class the musher is following
its sled on cross-country skis or touristic skis

c. If during the race musher uses other mean of transport
apart from the sled he will be disqualified.

d. The musher and the dog sled make one team. Two
or more sleds must not be put together unless it is
an emergency case of help. If such a situation happens,
the checkpoint people must be informed about that.

e. Musher must not delay other sleds.

f. A dog that cannot run must be taken with on the

g. If from any reason it is not possible to continue
riding the sled musher has to end the race.

h. During the race it is forbidden taking other people
for a ride on the sled unless it is in race propositions
or it is an emergency case.

C. Forbidden help

a. No one except the
musher must lead the dogs.

b. The dogs in the sled must not be exchanged after
the start.

c. When the musher leaves some dogs at the checkpoints,
they can be put to the race again for the following
rounds if the race manager or a veterinary doctor
allows this.

d. No musher must use other help for the day supply
for the dogs or himself. There can be an exception
if the help is equally divided for all the sleds.

D. The sled without
musher and the single dogs

a. The sled or a single
dog without the dog leader or musher must not delay
other sleds.

b. Musher must catch his/her escaped dog or dog sled
on foot.

c. The escaped dog sled can continue in the race without
any punishment unless they shortened the way. The
musher only accepted allowed help and it was not against
the race regulations.

d. It is acceptable that the spectators catch or hold
the dog sled or a single dog without the leader.

e. Anyone can catch or hold the dog sled or a single
unleashed dog.

E. The right of way

a. At the double start
the dog sled, whose leading dog came the first to
the end of the double starting trail, has the right
of the way.

b. The sled going down the hill has always the right
of way.

c. The sled which was disqualified or gave up must
give the right of way to all others still taking part.

d. In the “800m zone” there is no right of the way.

F. Overtaking

a. The overtaking
dog sled can use the right of the way if its leading
dog is 15m from the sled before it.

b. The musher who is being overtaken must free the
trail by leading his dog sled to the side of the trail.
He/she must stop if the overtaking musher needs it.

c. The overtaken dog sled can overtake after 4 minutes
or 1,6km or anytime earlier if both of the mushers
agree on it.

G. The campsite

a. No litter must
be left on the trail.

b. The campsite must be cleaned before the dog sled

c. Mushers must take away the litter of take it on
the sled with them to the marked place.

d. The campsites on the trail must be organized so
they do not restrain the mushers or disturb the race.

H. Food – musher
– the dog

a. The race manager
sets the checkpoints where will be prepared: dog food,
food for mushers, and other necessities. Musher has
to have suitable lockable boxes for it.

b. The boxed must be provided with a name or a starting
number and with the name of the checkpoint where they
should be transported.

c. In the special cases the organizer can order that
the mushers or their dog handlers transport their
boxes to the checkpoint by themselves. This must be
announced in the propositions.

I. The checkpoints

The checkpoints are
places on the trail that are accessible by the road
and where it is possible to supply the sled, check
the sled, put away any injured dogs, give veterinary
help etc. If a round of the race is longer than 50km
there has to be at least one checkpoint. If a round
is shorter than 50km the checkpoints are the start
and the finish of the race.

A. The musher

1. The mushers who gave up or were disqualified must
continue in the race to the checkpoint from which
they can be driven back by a car.

2. The mushers who get sick or injured during the
race and want to give up must ride to the checkpoint
where they will get help and can be driven back.

3. If the musher is not able to ride to the next checkpoint
he/she sets up bivouac and the organizer transports
him/her together with the dogs to the checkpoint after
the end or the round.

B. The dogs

1. The dogs that are not able to continue in the race
must be transported in the sled bag and can be left
at the assigned checkpoint.

2. The musher takes care of naming the dog, leaving
the dog leash or dog chain and at the specific circumstances
also the dog food and water for the dog at the checkpoint.

3. The veterinary doctor, who is in charge in the
race, takes care after the dogs on each checkpoint.

4. The musher must say to the organizer or to the
checkpoint people what is the matter with the dog
and where it should be transported after the treatment.

The management of the races
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a. If the race organizer or the veterinary doctor
finds out any defects or irregularities at the equipment,
which could harm the dogs, then the race organizer,
the veterinary doctor or other person in charge can
stop the musher for as long as it is cleared. The
time for it is not counting away.

b. The management of the races has the right to:

– call out those dogs from the dogsled that look like
not able to continue in the race

– call out such a dogsled where the musher did not
hitch necessary minimum number of dogs.

– set the helpers who will help with handling the
dogs at the checkpoints

Responsibility and the sportive spirit
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a. Mushers are responsible for behaviour of their
dogs, their dog handlers and theirs everywhere on
the race grounds and on the race trail.

b. The sportive spirit and human senses must dominate.

c. It is forbidden to punish the dogs with a whip,
a chain, other object or elsewise.

Breaking the rules
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a. The report about
breaking the rules by the race management

1. The race management, organizers, helpers etc. immediately
make the report about breaking the rules.

2. In these cases the race manager decides and is
responsible for the steps that should be done.

b. The report about breaking the rules by the competitors

1. Mushers who want to make a report about breaking
the rules by another musher must do it as fast as
possible when they found out. They must report it
orally to an organizator.

2. After the oral protest there must follow the written
protest that must be handed in the latest one hour
after the finish of the race or round.

c. Protests and the

1. Each musher who is accused of possible breaking
the rules can protest and require hearing of his case
in front of the race management.

2. The race management must listen to the musher’s

d. The disciplinary


1. Breaking the rules for the long trails must be
either punished orally by the race management or by
disqualifying the dog sled.

2. The decision must be immediately announced to the
musher and to the checkpoint people.

3. The disciplinary procedure after the race must
be finished before announcing the winners.

4. At the doping checks it is necessary to wait for
the laboratory tests.

5. The decisions of the race management are uncontestable.

6. In the exceptional cases the race management can
give the time punishment.