THE RACES – IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT IS ALLOWED AND WHAT IS NOT ON THE ICE?
- The task of the starter is the execution of the start procedures.
- Every competition has two Starters, one for the women and one for the men categories. Nonetheless, both of them are standing in the starter position, and the ‘inactive’ starter helps the work of the ‘active’ colleague in judging the given situations.
- Their responsibilities extend from the whistle preceding the start, to the last cone of the first curve – if until this point a fall happens and the push appears to be intentional, then the case is also judged by the video assistant.
- The command words must be announced in English.
- In case of moving over the line or moving before the start-pistol is fired, the skaters at fault will be penalized with a ‘false start’, while in case of a delay, they will get a warning (or delay). After the second warning, the competitor will be disqualified.
- The second false start – whoever may commit such – brings about disqualification, the skater at fault must leave the track immediately.
- If following the start, someone falls due to a collision before the last cone of the first curve, the race must be called back, and restarted. These cases do not count as a false start.
- The race is started by a starting pistol. The flashlight situated at the end of the pistol and the sound of gunfire coming from the loudspeakers indicate the moment of the start to the skaters, while at the same time the pistol starts the electric time-measurement device.
- At the start the hall needs to be in complete silence.
- When the starter commands: “go to the start”, the competitors must glide to their starting positions, drawn by a computer on the basis of their achievements in the previous rounds. On hearing the command “ready”, the starting position must be taken on. The competitors must not step on the start line, and they must wait for the firing of the pistol stock-still.
- In the straights skaters may go inside the cones, but they must take the first cone of the curves already from the outside.
- Overtaking is always permitted during the race, even if in reality there are only a few points where this is a real possibility, mostly during the speeding.
- The responsibility of the overtaking falls always on the skater who initiated the move, all the way until they arrive next to each other. From this point on, the responsibility is shared.
- There are three Referees on the ice. In addition to the Chief Referee, there are the first and the second assistants, and from the 2018-2019 season, there is a Video Assistant sitting in a separate room equipped with numerous monitors.
- For the falls and faults there are different codes – regarding the different cases the first assistant makes his call first, then the second curve-referee also signals his view.
- After them comes the video assistant, either confirming the previous verdicts, or calling something else and signals.
- Only after that comes the Referee, who of course may accept the verdict of the Video Assistant but may also judge differently.
- An important rule: only the Referee can watch the video, while the video assistant may continuously speak ‘on his ear’ – it is a different issue whether the Referee accepts it or not…