01/05/2021   Our thoughts on the "so-called rule B"




In these days a debate is opening up on a social network about whether in Great Britain they are trying to legitimise races where bent knees are not judged by having it added to the UKA rule book.

Who, like us, knows the international world of walking is that we are talking about the "so-called rule B".


At the moment far too many of these races exist.

Fortunately, this idea only exists in the UK and is only used for local competitions.

Our thinking, along with that of others, is that it is a senseless rule.

We do not want to get to what appeared on the social network, as someone in UK said: “it spits in the face of the definition of race walking worldwide. Britain once ruled the waves not these fools want Britain to waive the rules”, but we want to recall two moments from the past.


The first in 1981 when in Italy there was the similar idea of ​​"not judging the flight phase" as its perception for the human eye had a spectrum of uncertainty that led to vary depending on the individual from 35 milliseconds to to 40 milliseconds.

It happened that for two years in the Bel Paese, loss of contact was tolerated too much and the athletes got used to it.

It turned out that the first international major level competition some Italian athletes were DQ’ed and the shame of the "Italian Rule" was immediately canceled. After retracing his steps, a period of exceptional technical development began: perhaps the best ever in Italy.


The second time happened in 2009 when at a conference in Metz (FRA) they returned to the current proposal of UK Athletics, asking all 35 IAAF judges present their thoughts: the answer was a unanimous chorus of maintaining the "status quo".


We totally agree with the person who wanted to add that technically speaking "the farcical notion that the "so-called rule B" helps youth development is a lie: it has done nothing for the discipline other than produce a group of young walkers left in tears or worse when, a couple of years later, they they cannot compete legally with their peers from the rest of the world in the various championships".


Here is a simple indisputable fact: if we did so we would start a race against che clock that would really lead us towards exclusion.

"This is about a race to the bottom, the lowest common denominator, if you cannot do an event within the accepted rules then you do not do the event, works everywhere else in the sport"


This is why we think, like so many others, that it is not really the case to continue on this way.